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follows: For salaries, $5,500; for incidentals, $1,500. Out of the $2,615 deposited for office work on 88 mineral claim surveys, $1,705 were paid to mineral clerks, leaving an unexpended balance of $910 on June 30, 1878.
The surveyor general estimates for the surveying service in Dakota during year ending June 30, 1880, as follows: $1,620 for survey of standard lines; $19,000 for township and $105,000 for section lines, being a total for surveys of $125,620; for salaries, $11,500, and for contingent expenses, $2,700.
In explanation of the surveying estimates, he says he is in receipt of many petitions for surveys from settlers in numbers as high, in one case, as 59, and as 23 in another, asking for surveys of lands on which they have settled.
Disposals of land in the Territory during the year, about 2,083,078 acres, including 600,000 acres sold by the Northern Pacific Railroad Company.
He estimates that during that period settlers located upon 82,000 acres of unsurveyed land, thus making a total area taken by actual settlers in the year, of 2,165,078 acres, not including the Black Hills country, with 25,000 inhabitants, where no public surveys, except town sites, have been made. He thus shows that more than double the number of acres surveyed in the year have been settled upon, showing the demand for in creased appropriation for surveys.
He reports a great increase of land under cultivation throughout the Territory, also wonderful developments of mineral and agricultural resources of the Black Hills country. He closes with extracts from a letter written to him by the general agent of the land department Northern Pacific Railroad Company, showing the rapid disposals of land granted to that road, and the necessity for additional surveys by government of the granted lands.
Florida.—Six contracts were made by the surveyor general during the year ending June 30, 1878, three of which were for the survey of islands, one for survey of a private claim, and one for survey of the lots lying between the boundaries known as the Orr and Whitner, and the Watson lines. The other contract was canceled. Work under two contracts was forwarded.
Of the eight contracts not closed at date of last annual report, two were canceled, the work in three contracts has been forwarded, and in three cases the work has not yet been returned and approved.
Sixteen plats have been furnished to the local land office, also 62 descriptive lists and several indexes. Much office work is in arrears.
The contract for surveys along the Florida and Georgia boundary has been nearly filled, and the work will be forwarded soon. The $6,000 assigned for surveys in Florida for the year ending June 30, 1879, will be expended in surveys along the Florida line and the islands, &c., along the Gulf coast.
Estimates for service of year ending June 30, 1880, are as follows: for surveys, $10,000; for salaries, $6,200; and for incidentals, $1,000.
Louisiana.—The survey's entered into during the year ending June 30, 1875, have all been completed, approved, and transmitted, except in township 14 south, range 6 west, and township 15 south, range 7 east, southwest district. The work has been paid for, except in contract of S. P. Henry, in which the sum of $618.08 was found due but could not be paid because the unexpended balance had gone to the surplus fund.
For the year ending June 30, 1877, two contracts were made and have been partially completed. The sum assigned ($7,000) has been paid out and exceeded by the sum of $145.06.
For the year ending June 30, 1878, the sum of $7,200 was apportioned to Louisiana, and two contracts were made, one of which has been completed and the work in the other partly so. The sum assigned has been exhausted, and a balance of $361.89 is due for work in excess of the apportionment.
The work of the past year consisted mostly of the resurvey of ten townships in the pine timber belt" in the southwest district.
Out of the apportionment of $17,500 for surveys during the present year, two contracts have been let for the resurvey of 29 townships in the pine timber belt of the Calcasieu country.
The deputies will, without extra compensation, examine into the condition of lands entered as homesteads in that region, and report such as are abandoned and should be canceled.
A great decrease in timber depredations is reported through the instrumentality of Agent Carter and his surveyor, George R. Bradford. Settlers and homestead claimants still carry on depredations on a small scale.
Office work: But little done in the issuance of certificates of location; certificates issued on 56 claims. Several hundred applications are on file, but claimants fail to comply with the requirements of the General Land Office.
Attention is called to a great amount of office work in arrears. Field notes of 784 townships are to be copied, over 6,000 private land claims vet unpatented and requiring to be acted upon, &c. Some of this work will be brought up under the increased allowance of $4,000 for the present year ending June 30, 1879.
Estimates for expenses of the service during year ending June 30, 1880, are as follows: For surveys and resurveys, $64,450 ; for salaries, $4,800; for arrears of office work, $14,000; and for incidentals, $2,000.
The resurveys are regarded as necessary to check the depredations on timber and to enable settlers to describe the lands desired to be entered by them.
Idaho.--Surveyor general reports that the surveys of the public lands for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878, have been confined to the southern and southeastern portions of this Territory, where there are large portions of valuable agricultural lands insurveyed, which are being gradually settled, especially along the lines in the vicinity of the Utah Northern Railroad, which is expected to be completed to Snake River, in the neighborhood of Old Fort Hall, next fall.
The surveys contracted for during the last fiscal year have all been completed, and notes returned, with the exception of Mr. Allen M. Thompson's, whose work lay in close proximity to the hostile Indians, and on this account an extension of time to complete the surveys has been granted.
The first standard parallel north ought to be extended the distance given, for many valuable mines and rich agricultural valleys lie contiguOus to it.
The timber lands are being despoiled of their timber, so that unless they be surveyed the day is not far distant when the heavily timbered mountains will be stripped of timber, and thus rendered worthless to government, yet at the present rates allowed by law it is almost impossible to get competent surveyors to take a contract in the timbered and mountainous parts of the Territory.
The appropriation of $2,500 is entirely too small for clerk hire; $1,500 per annum is paid to the chief clerk and the remaining $1,000 will not secure a competent draughtsman the year round, which fact is detrimental to the public service.
The surveyor general suggests the extension of the third standard parallel north of the base line to the east boundary of the Territory, which line would pass over one of the largest and finest valleys in the Territory on the Upper Payette River and run in close proximity to the celebrated “ Yankee Fork Mines."
Forty-four original descriptive plats and 82 copies have been transmitted to the General Land Office and district office since the last annual report.
Four surveying contracts have been entered into; two of the surveys have been completed, and notes returned and approved and plats and transcripts transmitted. In the case of the other two the deputies are still in the field, owing to interruptions from hostile Indians.
The number of acres surveyed during the year is 677,994.74, and from the beginning of surveys to June 30, 1878, 6,696,629,53 acres.
Eight applications have been made for the survey of mineral lands and mill sites for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878, and the amount deposited with the United States assistant treasurer for office work for mineral claims is $241. The character of the mines is placer gold, sulphur, and gold and silver.
Amount paid for salaries, $5,611.27.
Minnesota.—The contracts uncompleted at date of last annual report have all been completed, the work examined and approved.
Four contracts were made under the assignment of $12,400 for year ending June 30, 1878; the work under them also completed and approved and the assignment expended except $28.08. The surveyor general reports two contracts payable out of assignment of $15,000 for year ending June 30, 1879.
During the year 22 townships, with an area of 406,705 acres, have been subdivided, which added to previous surveys make a total of 39,689,123 acres surveyed up to date of report.
The number of miles run and marked during the year was 1,809.
Office work: Sixty-six township plats were prepared in his office, 22 original, 22 duplicate, and 22 triplicate.
He notes the extension of several railroads and the opening up of the products of the lands to market. He renews his recommendations of last year that Congress modify the law for the disposal of timber lands.
His estimates for the service for the year ending June 30, 1880, are as follows: For field work, $29,580; salaries, $10,500; and incidentals, $1,500. The sum of $7,000 was appropriateil and paid for salaries in his office, and the sum of $1,500 for contingent expenses, during the last fiscal year.
Montana.-Under the apportionment of $17,700 for surveys in this Territory during the year ending June 30, 1878, eight contracts were made, and the work has been done and accounts rendered to said amount, less a balance of $296.47.
Surveys were made in 33 townships of 529,985 acres of agricultural and 94,727 acres of mineral lands.
The number of acres surveyed to June 30, 1878, is 10,272,390, includ. ing 1,410 acres of mineral claims on unsurveved land.
Of the appropriation of $2,750 for salary of surveyor general, a balance of $298.98 remains unexpended, while the appropriation of $3,000 for clerk hire was expended, except 29 cents. The incidental expenses of the office were $1,500. Total cost of surveys, including office expenses, $24,354.21.
The special deposits for office work during the year amounted to $3,150, on 29 mining claims; $2,187.90 were paid for clerk hire from
special deposits. This sum taken from $3,150, deposited within the year, leaves $962.10, which, applied to reduce the sum overdrawn in previous years, viz, $1,816.03, leaves $853,93 still overdrawn on special deposit account.
Six hundred and thirty-four plats were made in the surveyor general's office. Of these, 474 were of mineral claims, and 99 were ordinary township plats. Descriptive lists of 33 townships were prepared and sent to the local offices, and transcripts of field notes to the same number of townships made for the General Land Office.
The number of letters received was 350; number written, 942. All the office work included the writing of 8,266 folios.
The surveyor general made personal examinations of surveys in the field, with good results. The expense of examinations was $997.21. He says that mineral surveys should be examined as well as others. The surveys of the past year embrace lands along the Muscleshell, Blackfoot, and Yellowstone Rivers. He urges higher rates per mile for surveys, and cites Ontario, Canada, where 7 cents per acre are paid for surveys, while in Montana only about 2.8 cents are paid.
He regards the restrictions made by the General Land Office June 15, 1878, of public surveys of timber lands to non-inineral as an unwise one, because miners and mill-site owners would, if the mineral timber lands were surveyed, purchase them for the timber on them, and so the government would derive a revenue where it does not now.
He recommends the survey of exterior township lines all through the Territory, and thereby the surveyor could examine and report the classes of lands in all sections, and this would enable the office to know what lands to subdivide.
Value of gold and silver shipped from the Territory during the year, $4,480,146, while the United States assay office at Helena during the same time handled $716,738.41 of gold and silver.
The estimates of appropriations for service of year ending June 30, 1880, are as follows: For surveys, $34,400, and $10,300 for salaries and incidentals.
He estimates the same rate for meander lines as for standard.
Nebraska.—The surveys contracted for out of appropriation for fiscal year ending June 30, 1878, have been completed. The lands surveyed are suitable for agricultural and grazing purposes. Field notes of 702 miles of standard and exterior and of 1,890 miles of subdivision lines have been examined and approved, and transcripts of the same have been transmitted. Descriptive lists for 36 townships have been forwarded to local land offices. A large amount of miscellaneous work, of a character usual to the office, has been performed. The estimates for fiscal year ending June 30, 1680, are for lands believed by competent persons to be suitable for agriculture and grazing. Immigration during the past year has been greater than for any previous year in the history of the State. Statistics compiled from the last report of the State Agricultural Society, relating to the population, values, and agricultural progress, accompany the report. The reports of the railroad companies show sales of lands by them for the first four months of 1878, under their respective grants, amounting to 303,991 acres and to $1,594,147, exceeding those for any other State. The area of unsurveyed lands in Nebraska being comparatively small, the surveyor general recommends that a sufficient appropriation be made to complete the public land surveys during the next fiscal year. Estimated sum required for extension of public surveys for fiscal year ending June 30, 1880, $45,144, and for office expenses during same period, $11,300.
and town sites; also for the survey of such lands as are adapted to farming without artificial irrigation, or irrigable lands for which there exists sufficient water accessible for their reclamation and the cultivation of crops, and which lands are likely to attract settlers.
It is not intended to use the means assigned to your district for the survey of public lands subserving pastoral interests merely. You will, therefore, enter into no contract for lands of this character, but confine yourself to such as are allowed by law under the first five heads of the foregoing specifications, always giving preference to lands already settled upon and awaiting the survey.
Representations having been made to this office by the executive of the State of Colorado of the need of an early extension of the lines of public surveys in Bear River Valley, in order to prepare cultivable lands for an extensive colony of emigrants who intend to settle in that region of country, you will, upon consultation with the State authorities upon the subject, direct your field operations to that locality, provided the character of the land falls within the purview of the law.
In view of misapplication of public funds in certain surveying districts by surveyors general letting contracts for the survey of inarable lands during the past fiscal year, thus subjecting their deputies to losses voluntarily incurred by surveying desert lands in violation of law and instructions, you will caution your deputies to avoid the subdividing of unauthorized lands; for when, upon actual inspection in the field, surveys shall be found to have been executed either unfaithfully or in derogation of law, the offending deputies will be subjected to the loss of their labor and expenses incurred in unlawful surveys.
I have to inform you in this connection that the sum of $10,000 was set aside by the department out of the aforesaid $300,000 for the examination of surveys in the field in the different surveying districts." It is not intended to assign any particular sum to any of them for this service, but it will be applied by this office as exigencies may require.
In case any returns of surveys approved by you and transmitted here for payment shall be found indicative of irregularities and non-compliance with contracts and the requirements of the law and instructions, the necessary part of the funds thus set aside will be applied to cover the expenses of the examination by such agents as this office shall deem proper to appoint for the purpose, and in the mean time no payment will be made for work of that kind executed by deputy surveyors, unless the result of the inspection of the lands surveyed shall be favorably reported to this office.
Such being the policy adopted by the department, with the view of guarding against unlawful surveys in the future, you are hereby required to acquaint your deputies to whom you will let contracts for the public surveys, that unless their work shall be executed in accordance with the terms of their contracts, the law and instructions, not only in regard to the correctness of the survey, but also with respect to the character of the lands authorized to be surveyed, no accounts of such deputies will be paid.
In order to avoid as much as possible in future similarly ruinous occurrences, you will be very particular on your part to acquaint yourself with the true character of lands before entering into contract for the survey thereof, and in submitting contracts for the approval of this office you will state valid reasons for so doing.
By direction of the department, I have to inform you that if you should let contracts for the survey of lands not authorized by the appropriation act, which enumerates the six different classes of lands to be surveyed, you will be held to strict account for so doing; therefore, in order to avoid misapplication of the funds allotted to your district for the surveying service, you are required to be vigilant in the selection of the lands to be surveyed, taking only such as are known to you to be of the classes specified, either of your own knowledge or from that derived through actual settlers.
The instructions of the 230 of August, 1876, to your predecessor in office, will be regarded as still in force, except where they conflict with the foregoing.
In regard to the operations of the several surveyors general, under the instructions issued to them, I submit the abstracts given below, while referring for further details to their reports in full, which are hereto appended.
Arizona.-Under the apportionment of $8,85Q for public surveys in Arizona during the year ending June 30, 1878, two contracts were entered into, one of $5,000, and one of $3,850. The work returned under these contracts amounted to $8,984.81, of which only the amount of $8,850 was audited, that being the sum apportioned.
Of the apportionment of $5,000 for surveys of private land claims in Arizona for the year 1878, $2,000 was withdrawn and reassigned to another surveying district, and the balance, $3,000, remains unexpended and unavailable under the law.