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Standard atlas of Marinette County, Wisconsin, including a plat book of the villages, cities and townships of the county, map of the state, United States and world, patrons directory, reference business directory and departments devoted to general information, analysis of the system of U.S. land surveys, digest of the system of civil government, etc., etc.
(1912)

Analysis of the system of United States land surveys


UNITED STATES LAND SURMEYS 
ANALYSIS OF THE SYSTEM 
or 
United 
States 
Land 
Surveys 
METES AND BOUNDSr                                                       
      O)AGRAMNL, 
@a  P to the time of the Revolutionar War, or until about the beginning of
the present century, land, when parcelled out, and 
sold or granted, was described by "Metes and Bounds," and that
system is still in existence in the following States, or in those portions
of them which had been sold or granted when the present plan of surveys was
adopted, viz.: New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia,
North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, and, the six
New England States. To describe land by "Meten 4Bonds,"is to have
a known land-mark fora place of begInng, and then follow a line according
to the compass-needle (or magnetic bearing), or the course of a stream, or
track of an ancient highway. This plan has resulted in endless confusion
and litigation, as land-marks decay and change, and it is a well-known fact
t the compass-needle varies and does not always point due North. 
As an example of this plan of dividing lands, the following description of
a farm laid out by "1Metes and Bounds," is given: 
"Beginning at a stone on the Bank of Doe River, at a point where the
highway from A. to B. crosses said river (see point marked C.0 on Diagram
1); thence 40'  North of West 100 rods to a large stump; thence 100 North
of West 90 rods; thence 15* West of North 80                            
  &rPLANAV'OW 
rods to an oak tree (see Witness Tree on Diagram 1); thence due East 150
rods to the highway; thence following the course of the highway 50 rods due
North; thence 50 North of East 90 rods; thence 45' East of South 60 rods;
thence 100 North of East 200 rods                                    -,-a
 -to 
to the Doe River; thence following the course of the river Southwesterly
to the place of beginning." This, which is a very simple           
              u&gA 0h=.XVoB.  A 
and moderate description by "1Metes and Bounds," would leave the
boundaries of the farm as shown in Diagram 1.       L______________________________
MERIDIANS AND BASE LINES 
DIAGRAM 2 
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PACIFIC S .rAVD'ARD  7YME       v I tAI tSTArWRA.RD TIME   CE.T RAL  ST4AARD
   TIME  , "AS RA 
I                               ' 
4~1                       ,~    /L5S 
te0                        r 
°ID 
-  \ AL ,-,,, -. -  R  K Oa  eMu   - -m,~                  " 
lot"                  % 
'-- -  -- 0        AD     0 °   .5'a/,na        T                   
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TI7HE present system of Governmental Land Surveys was adopted by Congress
on the 
7th of May, 1785.  It has been in use ever since and is the legal method
of de". scribing and dividing lands. It is called the "Rectangular
System," that is, all its distances and bearings are measured from two
lines which are at right angles to each other, viz.:+. These two lines, from
which the measurements are made, are the Principal Meridians, which run North
and South, and the Base Lines which run East and West. These Principal Meridians
are eAtablished, with great accuracy. Each Principal Meridian has its Base
Line, and these two lines form the basis or foundation for the surveys or
measurement of all the lands within the territory which they control. 
Diagram 2 shows all of the Principal Meridians and Base Lines in the United
States, and from it the territory governed by each Meridian and Base Line
may be readily 
distinguished. Each Meridian and Base Line is marked with its proper number
or name. 
Diagram 3 illustrates what is meant when this method is termed the "Rectangular
System" and how the measurements are based on lines whichrun at right
angles to each other. The heavy line running North and South (marked A. A.)
on Diagram 3, represents the Principal Meridian, in this case say the 5th
Principal Meridian. The heavy line running East and West (marked B. B.) is
the Base Line. These lines are used as the starting points or basis of all
measurements or surveys made in territory controlled by the 5th Principal
Meridian. The same fact applies to all other Principal Meridians and their
Base Lines. Commencing at the Principal Meridian, at intervals of six miles,
lines are run North and South, parallel to the Meridian. This plan is followed
both East and West of the Meridian throughout the territory controlled by
the Meridian. 
Entered According to Act of Congress, in the year 1909, by Geo. A. Ogle &
Co., in the office of the Librarian of Congms at Washington D. C. 
SUPPLEMENT I. 
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