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Surveys and surveyors of the public domain, 1785-1975

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  • "Cadastral surveys are performed to create, mark, and define, or to retrace the boundaries between abutting land owners, and, more particularly, between land of the Federal Government and private owners or local governments. As referred to here, cadastral surveys were performed only by the General Land Office during its existence and by the Bureau of Land Management. The Bureau of Land Management is the only agency that is currently authorized to determine the boundaries of the public lands of the United States. Proper understanding of the basis for performance of cadastral surveys includes an understanding of the history of the public land surveys. An understanding of that history requires some consideration of the people who performed these surveys and of the people whose land was affected by them. These chapters were written to be used as an aid in training cadastral surveyors in the application of surveying principles. The learner is expected to gain from the factual material on survey laws and their formation, as well as from a study of the people who performed the surveys. Many of the men who had an important role in the history of cadastral surveying are still living, but only those who have retired are included in the present document."--Foreword.
  • Gerald W. Williams Collection
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Table of Contents
  • 1. Ancient Surveys -- 2. Colonial America -- 3. The Beginning of the Rectangular Surveys -- 4. The Ellicotts and Benjamin Banneker -- 5. The Proving Ground -- 6. Congressional Authority for Management of the Public Lands -- 7. The Refinement of the Rectangular Survey System -- 8. Pioneer Surveyors -- 9. The Far West -- 10. In the Vanguard -- 11. The Direct System -- 12. About Cadastral Surveys -- 13. Alaska -- 14. The Early Years of the Direct System -- 15. Modernization of the System -- 16. News, Notes, and Anecdotes -- 17. The Bureau of Land Management.
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