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terms a grant de novo, and tbat a grant may be made by a law as well as by a patent pursuant to law. Judgment affirined.



Washington, D, C., March 10, 1877. SIR: I have tbe honor to invite your attention to the decision of your predecessor dated December 31, 1869, in the matter of the survey of the private land claim in New Mexico known as the Beaubean and Miranda or Maxwell grant, wherein it is held, notwithstanding the fact that patural landmarks were called for, that said claim was not confirmed by the act of June 21, 1860, to any greater extent than eleven square leagues to each claimant, which said decision also contained in-tractions to this office, in effect, that where a Mexican c lonization grant is confirmed without ineasurement of boundari.s or of distinct specification of the quantity confirmed, either in the statute or in the report upon which confirmation was made, no greater quantity than eleven leagues to each claimant sball be surveyed.

In other words, the effect of said decision was to apply the restriction prescribed by the law of the Mexican Congress of August 18, 1824, to a legislative confirmation of a claim by specific boundaries.

The Snpreme Court of the United States, at its October term, 1876, rendered a decision (copy berewith) in the cause entitled John G. Tameling, plaintiff in error, v8. The United States Freehold and Emigration Company, which, in all essential particulars, is a case parallel to the aforesaid Beaubean and Miranda case, wherein it will be observed it is beld, Congress baving acted upon the claim “as recommended for confirmation by the surveyor general," "the confirmation being absolute and unconditional, without any limitation as to qnantity, we must regard it as effectual and operative for the entire iract." “ We have at the present term recognized and enforced as the settled doctrine of this court that sucb an act passes the title of the United States as effectually as if it contained in terms a grant de novo, and that a grant may be made by law as well as by a patent pursuant to law."

The doctrine announced in said decision of the Supreme Court being diametrically opposite tbat set forth in the aforesaid decision of the Department, I have the honor to request tbat I be instructed as to how I shall proceed in the adjudication of like cases in the future. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Commissioner. Secretary of the Interior.



Washington, D. C., March 16, 1877. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 10th instant, addressed to my predecessor, inclosing the decision of Mr. Secretary Cox, dated December 31, 1869, in relation to the survey of the Beaubien and Miranda claim to lands in New Mexico and Colorado, in wbich the rule was laid down for that and all like cases, that where a Mexican colonization grant is confirmed without measurements of boundaries, or of distinct specification of the quantity confirmed, eirher in the statute or in the report opon which confirmation was made, no greater quantity than eleven square leagues to each claimant shall be surveyed and set off to them; that such quantity shall be surveyed in tracts of eleven sqnare leagues each, the general position of such tracts to be selected by the grantee, and the tract to be then surveyed as compactly as is practicable.”

You also transmitted a copy of the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States at its October term 1876, in the case of John G. Tameling vs. The United States Freebold and Emigration Company, a case similar in all essential particulars to the case of Beaubien and Miranda, in which the court say, “Congress acted upon the claim as recommended by the surveyor general.” “The confirmation being absoluto and naconditional, without any limitation as to quantity, we must regard it as effectual and operative for the entire tract.”

The decision of the Supreme Court must be taken as the true construction of the law, by which the rights of parties are to be determined.

You will hereafter be governed by the rule laid down by the court in said case in all similar cases, and patents will issue for the tract recommended by the surveyor general and confirmed by an act of Congress, notwithstanding it may exceed in amount eleven square leagues of land.

The papers fransınitted with your letter “D," of March 10, 1877, are herewith returned. Very respectfully,



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The act of appropriation for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1877, (vol. 19, p. 120,) provided for the expenditure of $300,000 in the survey of public lands and private land claims. This sum has been apportioned among the several surveying districts as follows:

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Under date August 23, 1876, instructions, modified in accordance with the requirements of the act of appropriation, were issued to the several surveyors-general, substantially as follows:

By an act making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of the Government for the fiscal yrar ending June 30, 1877, and for other purposes, approved July 31, 1876, there was appropriated :

1st. “For survey of the public lands and private land claims, three hundred thousand dollars: Provided, That the sum hereby appropriated shall be expended in such surveys as the public interest may require, under the direction of the Commissioner of the General Land Office, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, and at such rates as the Secretary of the Interior sball prescribe, not exceeding the rate herein authorized: Provided, That no lands shall be surveyed under this appropriation except “First. Those adapted to agriculture without artificial irrigation.

“Second. Irrigable lands, or such as can be redeemed, and for which there is sufficient accessible water for the reclamation and cultivation of the same, not otherwise utilized or claimed.'

“Third. Timber lands bearing timber of commercial value. . “Fourth. Coal lands containing coal of commercial value.

“Fifth. Exterior boundary of town sites. “ Sixtb. Private land claims.

“ The cost of such surveys shall not exceed ten dollars per mi'e for standard lines, and the starting point for said surveys may be established by triangulation ; seven dollars for townsbip and six dollars for section lines, except that the Commissioner of the General Land Office may allow for the survey of standard lines in heavily timbered land a sum not exceeding thirteen dollars per inile.” “And provided further, That before any land granted to any railroad company by the United States shall be conveyed to snch company, or any persons entitled thereto under any of the acts incorporating or relating to said company, unless such company is exempted by law from the payment of such cost, there shall first be paid into the Treasury of the United States the cost of surveying, collecting, and conveying the same by the said company or persons in interest."

In conformity to law the Secretary of the Interior, under date of the 22d instant, (August, 1876,) out of said appropriation of $300,000, apportioned the sum of $13,500 for the surveys in your surveying district at the rates prescribed by law, which must not be exceeded in letting contracts for the field work, specifically authorized under the six heads hereinbefore enumerated, and you are bereby directed not to expend any portion of the apportiopinent in the survey of any other quality of lauds thau such as are prescribed by the foregoing provisions of the appropriation act.

In order to secure a strict compliance with the law, you are instructed to give priority of survey to lands already settled upon, and to require your deputies to execute tbo work in person, or under their immediate personal supervision in the field and in accordance with the printed manual of surveying instructions, and your special instructions, which must not conflict with the mannal or the existing laws.

You will caution your deputies, who must be practical surveyors and familiar with the Government surveys, not to commence tbeir surveys before the approval of their contracts by the Commissioner of the General Land Office.

With the view of reaching distant settlements awaiting the extension of the lines of public surveys, and to bring such localities within the range of the regular system of the public surveys, provision of law has been made for the determination of the starting point of surveys by triangulation instead of starting from standard parallels or the auxiliar bases prolonged over sterile and unsurveyable lands.

It will, therefore, be in your power to contract for the survey of such tracts, in case exigencies occur which seem to require it. The cost of triangulating in such cases not being provided for by law, will not constitute a proper charge in the accounts of your deputies against the Government.

Where the country intervening between the public surveys and the unsurveyed settlements is of au arable or surveyable cbaracter, the proper base should be extended in the usual manner, for which the deputy would be paid at the legal rate.

In letting contracts for the subdivision of the public lands, you are required to stipulate the condition that the survey must include all the lands in the township contracted for subdivision, which are by law classed as surveyable; and, except in case of triangulation, that the deputy shall start from the proper bases or standard parallels.

If these last shall not have been established, that must first be done, and then, if there are no exterior lines of the township surveyed, the deputy must first survey them and finally subdivide the township into sections, running, measuring, and marking the lines from south to north, in the regular process, avoiding the practice in some surveying districts of surveying partly from north to south and partly from south to north, leaving the interior of the township partly upsectionized, ostensibly for specious reasons assigned, tbat the rough and mountainous features of the country precluded the possibility of extending the lines over the same. Subsequently, the unsurveyed portion of such townships is frequently settled upon, and under tbe deposit system the survey of the townsbip is completed without difficulty, except that the last surveyor finds it impossible in such cases to connect his work with the corners of the previous surveys by due north and south or east and west lines as the law requires.

In order to obviate similar irregularities in your district you must enjoin your deputies to strictly adhere to the system of public surveys, and comply with the printed Manual of Surveying Iustructions and the existing laws as illustrated on diagrams A, B, and C of the Manual, and the requirements of instructions from this office dated April 14, 1875, in reference to the establishment of stone corners by witnessing them by pits.

The modification introduced in the supplemental printed instructions of June 1, 1864, requiring navigable rivers to be meandered on one bank only, is hereby rescinded, and you will therefore cause both banks of such streams to be meandered in future, conformably to the printed Manual of Surveying Iostructions, of February 22, 1855, at page 15, legalized by act of Congress approved May 30, 1862.

In cases where townships have formerly been partly surveyed, and it becomes necessary to complete the same, you are directed to instruct your deputies to fully describe the old corners identified by them in the field, and from which they will start in the completion of the surveys, and to state in their fieid potes the kind of corner, bearing trees, or other witnesses to the same, so that tbere will be no doubt as to the proper corner from which additional surveys are initiated.

The particular localities in your surveying district requiring earliest surveys are left to your election, but you will exercise your best judgment in the selection thereof, so as to subserve the interests of the actual and bona fide settlers on public lands who may apply to you for the extension of the lines of public surveys.

At the same time you will not omit other meritorious clains, and you will bear in mind that you must confine the surveying liabilities within the sum apportioned and appropriated for the present fiscal year, which must not be exceeded under any circumstances.

For the information of this office you are required, whenever special instructions are issued by you at the time of contracting for work, to forward a copy of the same with the contract, and when instructions are issued during the performance of the work in the field a copy of the instructions must accompany the returns of survey.

As the form of contract now used includes the preliminary oath of the deputy, it is unnecessary to repeat such oath at the commencement of the field notes of survey.

When one final affidavit is made to cover the returns of several townships, you are required to have stitched together the notes of all the townships included in such affidavits. Very respectfully,



As an additional safeguard in the promotion and preservation of the integrity of the public surveys, the following circular, bearing date January 30, 1877, was issued to the several surveyors general:

Sir : The attention of this Department having been directed to the fact that persons holding commissions and under bonds as deputy mineral surveyors are in some instances employed as clerks and draughtsmen in the offices of the respective surveyors general, I have to direct that such employment be immediately discontinuid, being contrary to the well settled rules of the Department and to that sound public policy wbich requires that the entire public service be kept free and separate from that of private individuals.

It will at once be manifest to the most casual observation that the entry upon your records, and the preparation for your approval of surveys in mineral cases, should not be confided to the hands and judgment of the persons employed by interested claimants in making the surveys of the claimed locations upon the ground.

Persons employed by you in such confidential relations to the Government as clerks and draugbtsmen, will, therefore, be required to surrender their commissions as mineral surveyors, or sever their connection with your office as emplo, és.


Commissioner. JANUARY 30, 1877. Approved :

Z. CHANDLER, Secretary of the Interior.

Abstracts of operations during the fiscal year in the several surveying dis

tricts. For detailed statements see accompanying annual reports of the surveyors general.

Idaho.The sum of $13,500 was assigned for surveys in Idaho. Under this apportionment, four contracts were let. The returns of two contracts have not been made, on account of the late period of going to the field. Four townships were surveyed, the area of which is 92,111 acres; 334 townsbips of public lands previously surveyed, having an area of 5,463,541 acres, and 38 townships of Indian lands, with an area of 463,182 acres, make a total of 6,018,834 acres surveyed, up to June 30, 1877. $5,868.20 was expended for salaries, and $1,496.63 for inci. dentals—both from regular appropriations. Twelve township plats and four descriptive lists were prepared. The sum of $87 was deposited for office work on six mineral claims. The estimates for the year ending June 30, 1879, are, for salaries, $7,000; incidental expenses, $2,000; surveys, $34,840; total, $43,840. The surveyor general recommends the sale of the sage-brush lands in large quantities-states that they can be irrigated and made to produce large crops of grain, and that these lands never will be taken up under the homestead and pre-emption laws. He also recommends that the timber lands be sold for cash, in tracts of eighty or one hundred and sixty acres to one individual, and thus be made to yield a revenue to the Government.

Washington Territory.-Out of the assignment of $20,000 for public surveys in the Territory of Washington during the year euding June 30, 1877, there were let five contracts.

Owing to the lateness of the passage of the appropriation bill, in August, 1876, many of the surveys contracted for had not been returned at tbe end of the year.

Out of the special deposits of $2,226.98 for public surveys, four contracts were let, the survey under one of which was disapproved, and the money refunded to the depositors.

The area surveyed and returned up to June 30, 1877, out of the year's assignment and special deposits, was 311,692 acres, involving the running of 1,069 miles of standard, township, section, and meander lines.

There was also surveyed during the year 80,720 acres out of the assignment for the preceding year, with distances run and marked of 306 miles of township, section, and meander lines.

Owing to the reduced rates per mile for surveys, none were made west of the Cascade Mountains.

The original, duplicate, and triplicate plats of 27 townships, with transcripts of the field notes and descriptive lists of 76 towusbips for the United States Land Office, were prepared in the office of the United States surveyor general.

The amount expended for salaries of tbe surveyor general and his clerks was $7,873.81, of which $7,061.14 was appropriated by act of August 15, 1876, $400 by deficiency appropriation, and $112.67 was deposited for office work.

The estimates for the year ending June 30, 1879, are $88,704 for public surveys, and $12,400 for salaries.

Arizona.-For the year ending June 30, 1877, the United States sur. veyor general made four contracts for surveys of public land, payable out of the assignment of $13,500; also, two contracts payable out of special deposits, one being for location No. 5, heirs of Luis Maria Baca; the other for townsbip 16 S., R. 25 E., containing Sulphur Spring ranch.

Number of miles surveyed was 2,041. Thirty townships were sub. divided in whole or in part, making an area surveyed during the year of 603,000 acres of public land, which, with the surveys prior to June 30, 1876, amounts to 3,773,033 acres.

There were surveyed twenty-three mining claims, and deposits for office work on same amounted to $920. The public lands were surveyed upon application of bona fide settlers.

Tbe a nount paid for salaries during the year was $7,797.83, of which $1,500 was deposited by individuals, and the balance was from the appropriation ; $1,490.67 was expended for incidentals.

The number of plats macle in the surveyor general's office was 208, including 92 of mining claims.

Estimates.-For surveys of public lands during year ending June 30, 1879, $20,000, and for survey of contirmed private claims, $5,000; for salaries, $9,500, including $2,500 for a clerk to aid in investigation of title to private land claims; for incidental expenses, $2,500. Total, $37,000.

In view of the extensive and important grazing interests in Arizona, the surveyor general reports that increased appropriation for surveys is necessary, and at the same time a change in the law, so that grazing lands may be surveyed and title to them obtained by persous pursuing that branch of industry, and also by settlers in narrow valleys, where the lauds now classed by law as surveyable ouly include parts of quar

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