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May 30 | Pat Dwyer........ Exterior and subdivisional lines of
fractional township 31 south, range
ship 31 south, range 5 west.
ship 31 south, 15 west.
range 11 east, and the exterior and
Douglas County, Oregon.
SURVEYOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Portland, Oreg., August 3, 1878.
JAMES C. TOLMAN,
Surveyor General of Oregon.
H.-Statement of appropriations and expenditures for incidental purposes in office of sur
veyor general of Oregon, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878. DR.
I.—Estimate of funds required for the surveying service in Oregon for the fiscal year ending
June 30, 1880.
FOR SURVEYS IN EASTERN OREGON.
For running, measuring, and marking the following lines within the agricul.
tural and timbered districts of Oregon: For agricultural and pasture lands, 132 miles of standard lines, at $10 per mile .....................
$1,320 00 For agricultural and pasture lands, 600 miles of exterior lines, at $7 per mile. 4, 200 00 For agricultural and pasture lands, 3,300 miles of subdivisional lines, at $6 per mile ........
................. 18, 000 00 For mountainous and timbered lands, 202 miles of standard lines, at $16 per mile.......
3, 232 00 For mountainous and timbered lands, 600 miles of exterior lines, at $14 per mile ............
.. 8, 400 00 For mountainous and timbered lands, 3,000 miles of subdivisional lines, at $10 per mile...
.... 30,000 00 Total for surveys in Eastern Oregon,.....
... 65, 152 00
FOR SURVEYS IN WESTERX OREGON.
For agricultural and timbered lands, 240 miles of exterior lines, at $14 per
mile .......... For agricultural and timbered lands, 1,200 miles of subdivisional lines, at
$10 per mile... For agricultural and timbered lands, 84 miles of exterior lines, at $7 per
mile ....... For agricultural and timbered lands, 420 miles of subdivisional lines, at $6 per mile ...
Total for surveys in Western Oregon ....
3,360 00 12,000 00
2,520 00 18,468 00
Total amount asked for surveys for the year ending June 30, 1830... 83, 620 00
FOR OFFICE WORK.
1, 800 00 2, 800 00 2, 400 00
9, 500 00
FOR INCIDENTAL EXPENSES.
For pay of messenger, purchase of stationery, and incidental expenses of office of surveyor general of Oregon .......
........ 1,00 00 JAMES C. TOLMAN,
Surveyor General of Oregon. SURVEYOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Portland, Oreg., August 3, 1878.
P.-Report of the surveyor general of California.
UNITED STATES SURVEYOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
San Francisco, Cal., August 22, 1878. Sir: In compliance with your instructions I have the honor to submit, in duplicate, the annual report of this office in relation to the surveying service in California during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878.
I also forward tabular statements as follows:
A.-Statement of contracts entered into by the United States surveyor general for California with deputy surveyors for surveys of public lands during the fiscal year 1877–78, and payable out of the appropriation for the fiscal year.
B.-Statement of contracts entered into by the United States surveyor general for California with deputy surveyors for surveys of public lands during the fiscal year 1877–78, and payable out of the private deposits made in conformity with the act of May 30, 1862, and March 3, 1871.
B B._Statement of contracts entered into by the United States surveyor general for California with deputy surveyors for surveys of private land claims during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878, payable out of the public appropriation for the year 1877–78.
C.-Statement of surveys of mines in California for the fiscal year 1877–78, made in conformity with act of Congress approved May 10, 1872.
D.-Statement showing number of miles surveyed in California to June 30, 1878. E.-List of lands surveyed in California from July 1, 1877, to June 30, 1878.
F.-Statement of plats made in the office of the United States surveyor general for California during the fiscal year 1877–78.
6.-Statement of transcripts of field notes of public surveys sent to the department at Washington from the office of the surveyor general for California during the fiscal year 1877–78.
H.-Statement of descriptive notes, decrees of court, &c., in the matter of the sur.. veys of private land claims transmitted to the department at Washington during the fiscal year 1877–78.
1.–Statement of special deposits for the survey of public lands in California during the fiscal year 1877–78.
J.-Statement of special deposits for the survey of mining claims in California during the fiscal year 1877–78.
K.-Statement of account of appropriation for the survey of public lands in California during the fiscal year 1877–78.
L.-Statement of account of appropriation for office rent, pay of messenger, and incidental expenses of the office of the United States surveyor general for California for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878.
M.-Account of appropriation for the salary of United States surveyor general for California for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878.
N.-Statement of account of appropriation for compensation of clerks and draughtsmen in the office of the United States surveyor general for California for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878.
0.-Statement of special individual deposits with the United States assistant treasurer at San Francisco during the fiscal year 1877–78 for compensation of clerks and draughtsmen in the office of the United States surveyor general for California.
P.-Statement of special deposit account for the fiscal year 1877–78.
PP.-Statement of accounts of deputies, &c., paid from appropriation for the survey of private land claims in California during the fiscal year 1877–78.
0.--Estimate for the surveying service in the district of California for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1880.
SU'RVEYS OF PUBLIC LANDS. California is the largest of the public-land States and surveying districts, containing 155,000 square miles, of which about 57,000,000 acres have been surveyed and about 43,000,000 acres now remain unsurveyed.
In former years it was left to deputy surveyors to select the land to be surveyed, and the consequence of this was that generally only level, plain lands were surveyed. Much of the land thus surveyed being arid plain, is nearly worthless for all purposes except that for which it is used, i. e., furnishing profitable and easy work for deputy surveyors, and has remained unsold and undisposed of to this day, although in the market for over twenty-five years. All hilly lands, and lands interspersed by small valleys, and lands covered with undergrowth or timber, were generally carefully avoided by deputies in former years, not being so profitable to survey. This being a region, however, where the rain-fall is but scanty, the lands left unsurveyed formerly are really the most valuable for agricultural purposes, because the rain-fall generally is greater among the hills than in the large, arid plains, and the smaller valleys are usually watered by streams that soon sink and disappear after emerging among the hills upon the larger arid plains.
In former years there was comparatively but little agriculture carried on in this State, and most of the residents were engaged either in raising live stock or mining; and only since a comparatively recent time have the agricultural resources of this State been developed, and they may yet be said to be in their infancy.
Most of the settlements for agricultural purposes have been made among the foothills and in the smaller valleys among the mountains, and considerable upon table lands in the mountains and upon the gentler mountain slopes. Most of these localities now remain unsurveyed, and the small appropriation made by Congress for the survey of public lands in this State has been insufficient to survey more than but a small fraction of the lands actually settled upon and unsurveyed. This policy has operated injuriously to the best interests of this State and the smaller neighborhood communities. One result of this state of things was that the occupants of unsurveyed lands were unable to obtain a title thereto from the United States. The State legislature passed laws to protect them in their possession until such time as the land might be lawfully acquired. Under these laws, however, it frequently happens that a single individual is able to hold, as against others seeking homes, large tracts of thousands of . acres by simply fencing, using, and occupying the land. Of course such a person does not want the land surveyed, and he will do all he can to prevent it, for as long as the land remains unsurveyed he can use and enjoy it all without cost, and without paying taxes thereon; but as soon as it is surveyed others can obtain a better title than mere possession to portions of it, and the occupant is restricted to what he can legally claim under United States laws. Much desirable land which would furnish homes for a large number of families is held by a few individuals in this manner, and will be so held as long as Congress fails to appropriate a sufficient sum to properly carry on the public surveys. The very fact that such laws were enacted by the State authorities shows that there must have been many settlements upon unsurveyed lands, and, in fact, I might say that by far the larger amount of settlements is upon unsurveyed lands. In this connection I would respectfully call attention to the fact that the disposals of public lands for cash by pre-emption and under the provisions of the homestead law have been larger in California than in any other State during the year 1876–77, viz, $601,991.78, notwithstanding that an unprecedented drought prevailed in this State during that year, and I believe the same has been the case during the year 1877–78. This proves, which is also attested by other statistics, that immigration from other portions of the United States is very heavy in this State of people attracted by its unsurpassed climate and fruitful soil.
All the money which may be appropriated by Congress for surveys in this State is only in the nature of a temporary outlay, which is in a few months returned to the Treasury in the purchase money paid for lands.
The matter of the first importance in connection with the future progress of public surveys in California is the extension of standard meridian lines and township exteriors wherever practicable over the State.
It is, and has been for several years, a source of much trouble to settlers desiring surveys under the special deposit system to define their locus when making application for surveys. It is not unfrequent that interested parties desire the survey of an isolated township, involving the necessity of extending the standard and township lines from some remote point in order to get an initial corner for defining the boundaries of the tract they are immediately interested in. Now, there being no special provision made for the extension of standard and meridian lines, or township exteriors, independent of the subdivisional survey, and the amount appropriated for surveys being
totally inadequate, it follows that a hardship is imposed upon settlers in compelling them to pay for such extension, without which their lands cannot be correctly located. It is needless, perhaps, to endeavor to show the almost certain errors likely to occur in projecting these important lines, litue by little, and in fragmentary portions, as has in many instances heretofore been done, and necessarily so, from the want of sufficient appropriation by Congress.
It may be said that a large portion or all of the appropriation made by Congress might have been devoted to the extension of these lines; but that could not be done, for the reason that the compensation allowed under the appropriation for surveying such lines alone is entirely too low, so that no deputy can take a contract of that kind without losing money, except in very few exceptionally favorable localities. The reasons why deputies cannot afford to run these lines at as low rates as they can run section lines are various. These lines must be run with more care; the work is not as compact, but more scattered; the deputy can really have no camp from which he can prosecute his work-no base of supplies—but he and his assistants, with their supplies, must follow the work right on. The cost and difficulty of this is very great in such rough country as the remaining surveys in this State will now have to be made in. It is therefore impossible, except in a few isolated instances, to obtain deputies who will take contracts for the extension of these standard and exterior lines separately from subdivision lines at the rates now allowed under the appropriation. The owest rates at which the lines can be thus executed separately in this State are for standard and meridian lines $18 per mile, and for township lines $16 per mile.
By the extension of these exterior lines six miles apart a better idea may be formed of the general topography of the country, and its adaptability for agricultural or other purposes contemplated in the prosecution of the public surveys.
In townships not susceptible of rectangular subdivision a basis is thus formed for accurate triangulation for the location of tracts of land within such exteriors as cannot be reached by the rectangular method, and the boundaries of which may assume any shape.
By the non-extension of standards, meridians, and township exteriors great confusion has arisen in determining the position of mining claims with reference to the lines of public surveys-a confusion in a manner obviated by establishing independent monuments of reference, but which may be obviated altogether by the extensions suggested. In my opinion the public surveys should invariably be so conducted that standard and meridian and township and subdivision lines are established by different deputies, and for this reason, that if erroneous measurements were made in the lines first established, or the work not properly done, the other deputy closing his lines on the corners established by the former would be sure to discover the error or omission.
I estimate the number of miles of meridian, auxiliary meridian, and standard lines remaining to be surveyed at about 600, and the number of miles of township exteriors at about 10,000; and I would recommend that special provision be made by sufficient appropriation for the immediate completion of these lines.
The appropriation for subdividing townships in this State for the ensuing fiscal year should not be less than $100,000, independent of the appropriation for extending standard, meridian, and exterior township lines.
The law contemplates that as soon as the public surveys in a district are completed the office of surveyor general shall cease for that district, and it is made the duty o, the department to prosecute the surveys with all reasonable dispatch. This officef however, has been unable to comply with the plain intention of the law in this respect for want of sufficient appropriation, and it would seem questionable economy to establish and keep in operation an expensive machinery for doing a work which needs to be done without providing the means to do it.
If Congress provides the necessary means, the surveys in this State can be completed in from four to five years; so that this office may within a year thereafter be discontinued, as contemplated by section 2218 of the Revised Statutes of the United States. As before stated, the amount required, although it may seem a large outlay, will merely be in the nature of a temporary outlay, which will be returned manifold to the Treasury through sales of land, &c.
Should the completion of the public surveys at as early a date as practicable not be deemed advisable, I would nevertheless recommend that full provision be made for completing the surveys of the standard meridian and township lines. Most of the subdivision surveys could then be executed under the special deposit system by a slight amendment of the special deposit act, by making it available for all classes of entries, and by making the certificate of deposit assignable and receivable for all classes of lands, including lands under desert, timber, homestead, and pre-emption laws.
I found upon taking charge of this office that the current work was in arrears from one to three years, caused by the insufficient appropriations for the office proper. For the year now closed, there was an expenditure in excess of the appropriation of $5,971.76, for which my predecessor is responsible. This amonnt is due to employés of the office, as appears in Table N. These men worked faithfully, and are certainly