Hennessey and Company / Plat book of Racine and Kenosha counties, Wisconsin : including plats of the villages, cities and townships of the counties, map of the state, United States and world
Analysis of the system of United States land surveys
ANALYSIS OF THE SYSTEM - m U'l&R4 1 MVETES AND BOJUNDS. @- P to the time of the Revolutionary 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, Texa", and the six New England States. To describe land by "Metes and Bounds," is to have a known land-mark for a place of beginning, and then follow a line according to the compass-needle (or magnetic bearing), or the course of a stream, or track of an ancient high- way. This plan has resulted in endless confusion and litigation, as land-marks decay and change, and it is a wel-known fact that 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 "Metes 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. on Diagram 1); thence 40ý North of West 100 rods to a large stump; thence 100 North of West 90 rods; thence 15' West of North 80 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 5' North of East 90 rods; thence 45' East of South 60 rods; thence 100 North of East 300 rods to the Doe River; thence following the course of the river Southwesterly to the place of beginning." This, which is a very simple and moderate description by "1 Metes and Bounds," would leave the boundaries of the farm as shown in Diagram 1. MERIDIANS AND BAJSE LINES. ~P.~A.14 2. s. a. no HE present system of overnmental Land Surveys was adopted by Con- s on the 7th of May, 5. It has been in use r since and is the legal hod of describing and ding lands. It is called "Rectangular System," t is, all its distances and rings are measured from lines which are at right les to each other, viz. :+. ase two lines, from which measurements are made, the Principal Meridians, ich run North and South, I the Base Lines which East and West. These neipal Meridians are es- lished, with great aocu- y, by astronomical obser- ions. Each Principal ridian has its Base Line, I these two linesform the is or foundation for the veys or measurement of the lands within the ter- )ry which they control. )iagram 2 shows all of the ncipal Meridians and Base ies in the central portion the United States, and mn it the territory gov- ed by each Meridian and 3e Line may be readily tinguished. Each Merid- and Base Line is marked h its proper number or re, as are also the Stand- Parallels and guide (or ciliary) Meridians. )iagram 3 illustrates what neant when this method ermed the "Rectangular 3tem,1" and how the meas- ments are based on lines ich run at right angles to bl other. The heavy line ining North and South arked A. A.) represents - Principal Meridian, in s case say the 5th Principal ridian. The heavy line ining East and West arked B. B.) is the Base ae. These lines are used bhe starting points or basis all measurements or sar- rs made in territory con- lled by the 5th Principal ridian. The same fact plies to all other Principal ridians and their Base Res. Commencing at the ineipal Meridian, at inter- s of six miles, lines are a North andSouth, parallel the Meridian. This plan followed both East and est of the Meridian -oughout the territory itrolled by the Meridian ENTERED ACCORDING TO ACT OF QWNXUKMIk Mf *rS 'r - -- -. . . . .. .. .... . -- - - - - - - - .- -. 110. 1055 100. It I 10 1NT1rXr.= ISM le6t=93
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