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south and west thirty-six miles, to form the base of surveys in the Owyhee gold and silver mines.

The work has been completed, and diagrams, with transcript of field-notes, transmitted to your office, except, however, about twelve miles of the meridian, near the south boundary of the district, which, owing to high water, it was utterly impossible to complete at the time.

The other contract, to A. M. Thompson, was for the extension of the Boise meridian north forty-eight miles, and the first standard northwest to Snake river, and east forty-two miles.

The standard west will be the base for the work in the Payette valley, and the same line east, for the survey of the mineral lands in Boise basin.

The contract has been completed, and diagram with transcript of field notes transmitted to the General Land Office.

The same deputy will extend the meridian into the northern part of the Territory, where there are large tracts of good agricultural lands, which are being located by actual settlers. The returns of the field-notes of the contract have not been made, but are expected in three or four days, as the deputy has just returned from the field.

In making the estimates for the office expenditures for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1869, I have only asked for a sum sufficient to meet the actual wants of the office.

The estimates for the field work for the same time are much less than might be judiciously expended, and will not enable this office to contract for the survey of more than one-fourth of the lands now in occupation of actual settlers ; but if this amount can be made available at an early day the ensuing season, it will meet the wants of the settlements, and I trust you will ask for this amount, which I propose to expend in running exterior and subdivision lines in the Pay. ette, Weiser, Boise, Clearwater, and Salmon River valleys, where the most urgent demands for the surveys exist, and where the soil is usually good and productive.

Exterior lines, sufficient to cover the most prominent quartz ledges in Owyhee, Alturas, Boise, and Nez Percés counties, should be run next season to enable this office to give a just showing of the extensive quartz and placer mines of these counties, as well as to enable the owners of quartz ledges to avail themselves of the benefit of the act of Congress, approved July 26, 1866, " granting the right of way to ditch and canal owners on the public lands and for other



The altitude of Idaho Territory, with its mountains and table lands, renders the winters cold compared with the country lying west, but dry and healthy.

The Boise, Payette, and Weiser valleys are sheltered and mild.


The soil of the valleys is highly favorable to the growth of cereals and vegetation. Extensive crops are raised where irrigation is practicable. The alkali land, mostly covered with sage bush, has proved well adapted to the raising of grain. The soil, reported second rate, being decomposed granite, yields the heaviest crops.


The extensive table lands are covered with wild grasses and wild rye, and are valuable for grazing.

TIMBER. The mountains are clothed with pine and fir timber. The valleys are destitute of timber except a species of cottonwood growing along the banks of the rivers. The valleys are depending upon the mountains at a heavy cost for lumber and fuel.


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Gold is found on the lead-waters of all the rivers. Rich placer mines have been profitably worked or years on the Clearwater and Salmon rivers. Extensive placer and quartz mines are found on the Boise river and its branches, embracing several distr cts. Many rich quartz lodes of gold and silver have been discovered and partially worked ; their future development depending upon the reduced cost of transportation and other expenses, which thus far have retarded the growth and prosperity of the country.

The quartz and placer mines of Owyhee county, situated in the southwest part of the Territory, have proved to be eminently rich so far as developed. Some of the ledges are being worked with valuable machinery, repaying the capital invested, though at an enormous outlay. The quantity and quality of the ore already abstracted are favorable indications of their future wealth.

Several thousands of gold and silver quartz claims have been taken up and recorded, more or less prospected, but the heavy expenses under which the miners of this Territory have labored, has, in general, prevented their successful development. The near approach of the Pacific railroad to the southern borders of the Territory will materially reduce the cost of working the mines, when the resources of the country will be more favorably brought into notice.

POPULATION. From the most reliable sources of information the population is estimated at twenty thousand. This does not include the floating portion of miners, which this year has been comparatively small.

IMPROVEMENTS, ETC. The farmers in general have erected substantial dwellings, barns, and fences and are extensively engaged in planting fruit trees. Many thousands of apple, plum, pear, peach, and cherry trees have been planted, some of which are already bearing. These were obtained at a distance, under the customary disadvantages, but will, in another year, repay the risk and outlay.

By the 1st of December next the full amount of the appropriation at the disposal of this office will have been consumed, and unless another is made at the next session of Congress, there will be no funds to prosecute the surveys the coming season. All of which is respectfully submitted :


Surveyor General Idaho. Hon. Jos. S. WILSON,

Commissioner General Land Office.

A.-Estimate for surveying and office expenses in the district of Idaho for the

fiscal year ending June 30, 1869.
Office expenses :
For compensation of surveyor general

$3,000 00
For compensation of chief clerk.

1,800 00
For compensation of draughtsman.

1,500 00
For rent of office, fuel, books, stationery, and other incidental

3,000 00

$9, 300 00

$6,000 00

Surveying service:
For surveying 400 miles standard lines, at $15 per mile.
For surveying exterior boundaries of 40 townships, 480 miles, at

$12 per mile ...
For surveying 2,400 miles of subdivisional lines, at $10 per mile..

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Total estimates..

45, 060 00

B.—Statement showing the condition of surveying contracts entered into since

the office was opened.

No. of contract.

Name of deputy.

Date of contract.

Character, amount, and locality of



1867. 1 Peter W. Bell April 8 Boise meridian south from the initial Surveys comple

point to the 42d parallel of lati ted, notes retude; base line west from initial turned and appoint to a point due south of the

proved, and Owyhee river, and east from the plats and tran. same point 100 miles, and the script transfirst standard parallel south(west) mitted.

36 miles. 2 Allen M. Thompson. April 8 Boise meridian north of initial Surveys comp'd,

point 48 miles, and first standard notes ret'd and parallel north (west) to Snake ap'vd, and plats river, and east 42 miles.

and transcripts

transmitted. 3 Allen M. Thompson. May 27 Boise meridian north, continued Surveys comple

180 miles, and two standard lines ted, notes not 140 miles.

yet returned.
4 Peter W. Bell ...... June 26 Exterior and subdivisional lines of Party in the field.

townships 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 north,
ranges 1, 2, 3, and 4, east of
Boise meridian.

C.-Statement of account of appropriation for compensation of surveyor general

of Idaho and clerks in his office for the fi actional fiscal year ending June 30, 1867.

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D.-Statement of appropriation for rent of office, fuel, books, stationery, and other incidental expenses for the fractional fiscal year ending June 30, 1867.



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E.-Statement of original plats or diagrams of standard lines, and copies trans

mitted to the General Land Office.

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1867, 1867. 1 April 8 July 8 Peter W. Bell..... Boise meridian south from

the initial point,72 miles

and 63 chains.
Base line west from initial

point, 36 miles.
Base line east from initial

point, 102 miles.
First standard parallel

south, (west) 36 miles. 2 April 8 June 5 Allen M. Thompson. Boise meridian north from

initial point, 48 miles. First standard parallel

north, (east) 39 miles

and 20 chains. First standard parallel

north, (west) 30 miles, 18 chains, and 50 links.

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86, 000 00

Surveying service:
For surveying 400 miles standard lines, at $15 per mile ........
For surveying exterior boundaries of 40 townships, 4-0 miles, at

$12 per mile ............................................. For surveying 2,400 miles of subdivisional lines, at $10 per mile..

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