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ACTS OF CONGRESS
DISPOSAL OF THE PUBLIC LANDS.
GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR THE SURVEYING, SALE
AND PROTECTION OF THE PUBLIC LANDS.
(1) Extracts from the Ordinances and Reso
lutions of Congress, under the Articles of Confederation.
THE territory ceded by individual states to the Ordinar
May 20, United States, which has been purchased of the In- 1733. Jian inhabitants, shall be disposed of in the following manner:
A surveyor from each state shall be appointed by A surveyor Congress, or a committee of the states, who shall take from each
state to be an oath for the faithful discharge of his duty, before
re appointed. the geographer of the United States, who is hereby empowered and directed to administer the same ; and the like oath shall be administered to each chain carrier, by the surveyor under whom he acts. The geographer under whose direction the sur. Geographer's
duty in reveyors shall act, shall occasionally form such regula- gard to, and tions for their conduct as he shall deem necessary, power over, and shall have authority to suspend them for miscon- the surveyduct in office, and shall make report of the same to Congress, or to the commitiee of the states; and he shall make report in case of sickness, death, or resignation of any surveyor.
How the The surveyors, as they are respectively qualified, surveyors
shall proceed to divide the said territory into townshall divide and survey ships of six miles square, by lines running due north the territory. and south, and others crossing these at right angles
as pear as may be, unless wliere the boundaries of the late Indian purchases may render the same ime practicable, and then they shall depart from this rule no farther than such particular circumstances may re
quire. And each surveyor shall be allowed and paid compensa. at the rate of two dollars for every mile in length he tion.
shall run, including the wages of chain carriers, markers and every other expense attending the
same. Beginning of The first line, running north and south as aforesaid, the first
shall begin on the river Ohio, at a point that shall be found to be due north from the western termination of a line which has been run as the southern boundary of the state of Pennsylvania: and the first line running east and west shall begin at the same point, and shall extend throughout the whole territory; provided, that nothing herein shall be construed as fixing
the western boundary of the state of Pennsylvania. Townships The geographer shall designate the townships or fracand ranges tional parts of townships, by numbers progressively to be desig. nated by
from south to north ; always beginning each range numbers. with No. 1; and the ranges shall be distinguished by
their progressive mumbers to the westward. The first range extending from the Ohio to the lake Erie,
being marked No. 1. The geographer shall personbe taken.
ally attend to the running the first east and west line, and shall take the latitude of the extremes of the first north and south line, and of the mouths of the prin
cipal rivers. Manner of The lines shall be measured with a chain ; shall running and be plainly marked by chops on the trees, and exactly marking the
described on a plat; whereon shall be noted by the Lines.
surveyor, at their proper distances, all mines, salt springs, salt licks and mill seats that shall come to his knowledge ; and all water courses, mountains and other remarkable and permanent things over or near which such lines shall pass, and also the quailty of
the lands. Plats of
The plats of the townships respectively shall be be marked by Inarked by sub-divisions into lots of one mile square,
or six hundred and forty acres, in the same direction sub-divisions as the external lines, and numbered from 1 to 36 ; of one mile always beginning the succeeding range of the lots
square. with the number next to that with which the preced. numbering ing one concluded.* And where, from the causes them, before-mentioned, only a fractional part of a township ar
tional parts. shall be surveyed, the lots protracted thereon, shall bear the same numbers as if the township had been entire. And the surveyors, in running the external, Corners of lines of the townships, shall, at the interval of every s
very to be marked mile, mark corners for the lots which are adjacent, in the exteralways designating the same, in a different manner sal lines. from those of the townships.
+ The geographer and surveyors shall pay the utmost attention to the variation of the magnetic nee. dle ; and shall run and note all lines by the true meridian, certifying with every plat what was the variation at the time of running the lines thereon noted.
As soon as seven ranges of townships and fraction- Plat of seven al parts of townships, in the direction from south to first ranges north shall have been surveyed, the geographer shall to be returned
to the treatransmit plats thereof to the board of treasury, who
sury. shall record the same with the report in well bound books to be kept for that purpose. And the geographer shall make similar returns from time to time of every seven ranges as they may be surveyed. I The One seventh secretary at war shall have recourse thereto, and shall pa
drafied for take by lot therefrom a number of townships and the late confractional parts of townships, as well from those to tinental arbe sold entire, as from those to be sold in lots, as my. will be equal to one seventh part of the whole of such seven ranges, as nearly as may be, for the use of the late continental army; and he shall make a similar draft from time to time, until a sufficient quantity is drawn to satisfy the same, to be applied in manner
• The secretary of the treasury authorised by the 7th section of the act of 2d May, 1802, to cause the sub-division lines to be surveyed, and purchasers permitted, in some cases arising under this crdinance, to select other lands. This imperfect mode of surveying successively rectitied by the acts of 18th May 1796, 10th May, 1800 and 11th February 1805
† Repealed by resolution of 12th May, 1796.
* This provision respecting reservations for military bounties modified by supplement of 9th July 1788, and repealed by act of 18t” May, 1796
The remain- hereinafter directed. The board of treasury shall ing numbers, from time to time, cause the remaining numbers, as to be allotted among the
well those to be sold entire, as those to be sold in lots, states, to be drawn* for in the name of the thirteen states,
respectively, according to the quotas in the last preceding requisition on all the states : provided that in
case more land than its proportion is allotted for sale · in any state at any distribution, a deduction be made
therefor at the next. And transmitted to the
The board of treasury shall transmit a copy of the commission. original plats, previously noting thereon the towners of loans. ships and fractional parts of townships, which shall
have fallen to the several states, by the distribution aforesaid to the commissioners of the loan office of the several states, who, after giving notice of not less than two nor more than six months, by causing advertisements to be posted up at the Court houses or other noted places in every county, and to be in
serted in one newspaper published in the states of e same, their residence respectively, shall proceed to sell the
townships or fractional parts of townships at public Manner of
vendue in the following manner, viz. The township or fractional part of a township, No. 1, in the first range shall be sold entire; and No. 2. in the same range by lots; and thus in alternate order through the whole of the first range. The township or frac, tional part of a township, No. 1. in the second range shall be sold by lots, and No. 2. in the same range entire; and so in alternate order through the whole of the second range ; and the third range shall be sold in the same manner as the first, and the fourth in the
same manner as the second, and thus alternately sold for less
throughout all the ranges; provided that none of the than Si per lands within the said territory be sold under the acre specie, price of one dollar the acre, to be paid in specie or or certificates loan office certificates, reduced to specie value by the &c. reduced
scale of depreciation, or certificates of liquidated debts of the United States including interest, besides the
expense of the survey and other charges thereon, And S 36
miship which are hereby rated at thirty six dollars the town. for charges. ship, in specie or certificates as aforesaid, and so io
* Provision relating to this allotment, and sale by commissioners of loans, repealed by supplement, of 9th July, 1788.