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So, also, of the observations on the dip and intensity of the needle, as connected with the discovery of large masses of iron ore, especially of the protoxide. I may here add, that it was a matter of much interest, and one which has been fairly and fully tested in the course of the expedition, to decide whether lead, in the greatest masses, exerts any influence on the needle; and, as a consequent, whether that metal can be magnetically detected. It was well known that lead, in any ordinary mass, exerts no perceptible influence on the magnetic needle; but it remained to be proved whether, in the enormous quantity existing throughout the lead region of Wiskonsin, it might not act upon instruments of a construction so pecu. liarly delicate as those employed by Doctor Locke. No appreciable influence, however, was exerted on the needle, even in the heart of one of the richest mines near Dubuque.

A portion of Doctor Locke's report, including the chapter on the earthwork antiquities of Wiskonsin, however replete with interest to the scientific world, may be considered as touching upon topics which, according to the strict letter of my instructions, were not embraced therein. In justice to Doctor Locke, to niyself, and to the department from which we obtained our commissions, I feel it my duty to state that these investigations into matters of mere curious research were made without adding a dollar to the cost to Government of this expedition. Even the magnetical observations on the variation of the needle, which have a practical bearing, and cannot be considered supererogatory in the geological examination of a mineral region, were made, with few exceptions, either before the hour when the labors of the day commenced; or by candle light, when the other members of the expedition were wrapped in sleep; or during necessary intervals of rest, when awaiting the reports of a corps, or unavoidably delayed by any other circumstances. They were not suffered by Doctor Locke to interfere with the other duties intrusted to him, and which he performed as strictly and efliciently, as if these had been his sole avocation. The antiquities were examined, (to employ his own words) “ by an enthusiasm which awoke him in his tent at midnight, and sent him into the bleak fields on a November morning, to finish the admeasurements of a whole group of figures before the usual time of commencing the labors of the day.”

Thus Doctor Locke's contributions to abstract science and aboriginal history are tendered to the department and to the country, as a voluntary offering; which, if not demanded by official requirements, has not been paid for from the public purse.

To the assiduous industry and untiring perseverance of Doctor Locke, from the first day he joined the expedition until the hour of his finul departure, exhausted in body and mind from his unremitted labors, no one can bear testimony more fully or more justly than myself.


The deficiencies and imperfections which I am well aware that a critical examination will detect in the preceding report, should, in justice to all those concerned in the expedition, be viewed with reference to the extent of territory of which the survey was demanded, and the length of tiine per. mitted to complete it. An allotted task was to be performed in a given number of days. A district of country larger than the State of Vermont,

and nearly equalling in area the State of Maryland, was to be geologically examined; the mineral appearances of each tract of land, its situation in the section, and its occupation by settlers, were to be specifically reported : all in two months and a few days. It will hardly excite surprise, if the further and important general requirement, to add “such facts as will convey some idea of its value and productiveness,” should have been somewhat imperfectly performed.

The anxiety of the department to obtain, in special reports, and without delay, certified assurance as to which tracts of land contained no lead or other valuable mineral deposites, so that such lands might be brought into market at the earliest day practicable, was strongly expressed ; and ihe evident importance to the Government and to the settler that these special reports should be accurately made and speedily transmitted, designated them as the great official object of the exploration, to which all others, however important in themselves, or tempting from their scientific interest, ought, of right, to be postponed. Such general deductions, then, as are submitted in the present report, and such contributions to the geology of the west as its pages may furnish, were obtained but as incidental objects, upon which such time and attention only could be bestowed, as were to spare after ful. filling the more immediate and special requisitions contained in my instructions.

And even when the expedition had closed its labors, and I retired to my laboratory to collect, and arrange, and examine a thousand materials, which, in the hurry of a life in camp, I had hastily thrown together, and to submit to analytical test the various ores and minerals of the explored region, I did not consider myself at liberty to delay, unui a late period of the session, the conclusion of my report; inasmnch as, by the wording of the resolution of Congress under which the survey was instituted, the information sought by this expedition is evidently intended to aid the President in scausing to be prepared, and presented to the next Congress, at an early day, a plan for the sale of the public mineral lands, having reference as well to the amount of revenue to be derived from them, and value as public property, as to the equitable claims of individuals." Thus, an exploration hastily made has been, from necessity', as hastily reported; a disadvantage which those who know the time demanded to obtain accuracy in cheinical analysis, and to prepare suitable illustrations for a geological report, will duly appreciate.

On the other hand, I may remark, that much of what to some may seem abstract scientific research was necessary to enable me to make, with judgment and accuracy, even those formal and apparently mechanical reports, which were transmitted weekly to the respective land offices, and to the General Land Office at Washington City.

To search for, and ascertain the value of, the mineral resources of a country, without strictly examining and defining the character and succession of its geological formation, would be like putting to sea without a compass; and in determining that geological character, many things that seem trifles to the uninitiated, the examination of characteristic fossil remains, for example,) are of prominent and essential importance.

I have endeavored, in the conduct of this expedition, and in the framing of the present report, to preserve a due medium between a latitudinarian construction of my official instructions, involving an expenditure of public funds for objects not contemplated in the original projection of the enter

prise, on the one hand; and, on the other, a contracted and illiberal int pretation of the same, an adherence to the letter at expense of the soi. which saves without economising, and destroys the very object of such a expedition, by way of curtailing its indispensable expenses. How far 1 have succeeded in this endeavor, others must judge.

A collection of several thousand specimens, consisting almost entirror ores, soils, ore bearing rocks, and their distinctive fossils, was, at a tieg additional expense, collected and arranged; and now awaits the fun! structions of the department. A descriptive catalogue of each variety [TDbered from 1 to 136,) has been made out, and is appended to th's report Each separate specimen in the whole collection has altached to it arried label, specifying, according to my instructions, the “quarter sect102 In TDship, and range, from whence the same was taken;" and likewistarbed with a number, corresponding to the number on the descriptive clasje. and also to the numbers on the township maps and the general map wite district. Thus, an inspection of these maps in connexion with the csinlogue will show, at a glance, the character of rock and species of m Lara! at any given location; and will also exhibit the bearings and of the different formations throughout the district.

I trust that I shall not be considered as overstepping the sphere of my duty, if I suggest the importance, in an economical as well as sciert'C point of view, of having these specimens arranged in some suitable aj artment at the seat of Government, as the nucleus of a national cabinet of only the man of science, but the practical miner, would inspect such a collection with deep interest; and it might be the means at once of gratiyag laudable curiosity, and of stimulating commercial enterprise.

I doubt whether any other geological cabinet, public or private, has its specimens located with the same minute accuracy as, from the nature of this survey, I have been enabled to locate these ; and it is accuracy of location which gives to all geological and mineralogical specimens their chiet value.

A somewhat copious appendix to this report has been forwarded, intended chiefly as a table of reference. It contains a brief description of eacil separate township in Iowa and Wiskonsin, (in number about two hundred and forty.) specifying the geological formation and mineralogical character of each ; its organic remains, if any; its ores and minerals, if worthy of remark; the nature and quality of its soil; the proportion of prairie and timber; the species and quality of timber; how watered; the face of the country, whether level or hilly; and, cccasionally, other remarkable particulars.

The separate township maps, which were transmitted to the department in January last, contain brief annotations, corresponding to the abore information; the cataloglie numbers of the specimens found in each; and the names and claims of the settlers on each tract, as far as these last could be accurately ascertained.

These elaborate details, exhibiting the materials whence my general deductions have been made, may supply an antidote, if such be required, to any hasty or over sanguine opinions 1 may have expressed in regard to the value and importance of the territory which has been explored. It is difficult, when the attention has been strongly bent for a length of time upen any particular discovery, to avoid exaggerating, to some extent, its importance. The explorer is apt to become the special pleader. Aud it is not

for me to say that I have avoided (though I have certainly endeavored to avoid) this error.

In concluding my report, I desire to express my grateful remembrance of the promptitude with which not only every Government officer to whom I had occasion to address myself, but also the principal inhabitants of the country, exerted themselves to forward the objects of the expedition. It would be invidious to select individual instances of hospitality and kindness, where these were of daily occurrence. The settlers, in general, were found willing to render assistance, and to communicate what information they possessed. And no instance of ill-feeling or collision occurred between them and any individual employed on this expedition.

The members of the expedition generally, and my sub-agents in particular, discharged their duties, on the whole, with faithfulness and industry, and often with a degree of ability which gave me the highest satisfaction. All which is respectfully submitted.

DAVID DALE OWEN, Principal agent to explore the mineral lands of the U. S. To the Hon. James WHITCOMB,

Commissioner of the General Land Office.

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35 and 36

1 west Northwest

2 west Northwest

2 west Southwest

| 2 west Northeast

I east North half

1 east Southeast

1 east West half

I east South half

| 1 east Northwest

89 1 east Southeast


1 east Northeast

90 | 1 east Southeast

1 east Northeast

90 1 east Southwest

90 l east Southeast

90 | 1 east South balf

1 east South half

90 | 1 east Northwest

1 east East half

2 east Nearly all of

2 east Southwest

2 east Southeast

3 east Southeast

3 east Northwest

3 east Southwest

3 east Northwest

3 east South half

3 east Northwest

3 east North half

4 east Southeast

4 east Northwest

4 east Near the line for 25 and 35 | 87 4 east

Timber diggings. Durango diggings.






Do. Catfish diggings. Dubuque diggings. Little Mekoqueta diggings. Catfish diggings.


5th 5th 51h 5th 5th 51h 5th 5th 5th 5th 51h

Do. Do. Do.

Do. New discovery. Tête des Moris diggings.


5th 51h



New discovery.

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