View Full Version : Surveyor General Instructions
11-03-2004, 05:38 PM
I am a PLS in Missouri, and recently made the big move westward. I am working under the supervision of a Licensed Surveyor here.
My compliments to Ca. Surveyors!
I am amazed at the quality and quantity of information available. Mo. had no recording law, and I feel that I have spent many years Surveying with 'one hand tied behind my back'.
One of the many questions I have asked has yet to be answered.
Under which Instructions from the Surveyor General were the various parts of the State surveyed?
PlS, Mo. and soon to be applicant in Ca.
11-04-2004, 09:20 AM
That's a fairly broad question. Could you break it down or give an example of what you're trying to get at?
11-04-2004, 04:02 PM
Thanks for pointing out ambiguity in my question.
We all know the PLSS was surveyed using the manual of instructions. The instructions in effect in some areas of my former stomping grounds were Tiffins instructions of 1815. Other parts of the State were surveyed under various instructions upto the instructions of 1834. The manual has gone through updates and instructions added since then.
I want to know which instructions were in effect when Ca. was surveyed under the PLSS. I think it helps to understand what the original surveyor was facing. Of course, I could always look at the notes, but haven't had the need in my short time here.
11-04-2004, 04:31 PM
The correct answer, Chris, is what period and where are we talking about?
Originally, I believe California was surveyed under the Oregon Letter of Instructions of 1853.
There was a Circular to County Surveyors fro the Surveyor-Generalís Office in Sacramento, concerning swap and overflowed Lands, dated June of 1855.
In January 1858, the US Surveyor General for California issued a set of General Instructions for Land Claims. In May of that same year, another set of instructions was issued to County Surveyors.
These were followed up by yet another set of instructions to the County Surveyors in June of 1872.
A set of instructions to US Deputy Surveyors followed in April of 1879.
There were also other unique letters concerning particular surveys or problems.
So, as you can see, it is just isnít possible to narrow this down to a particular set of instructions as it was back in Arkansas. Here, you need to when and where the original GLO survey was made before you can determine which set of instructions were in effect.
And then, of course, thereís always Mr. Benson and his cohortsÖ
11-04-2004, 05:37 PM
That's what I was looking for.... A time range to correlate the instuctions to.
No Jacobs Staff and Compass Surveys where the Government lines bent with the influence of various ores or ther objects.
So, they used solar compass upto transit to lay the lines, depending on the time frame.
I hadn't thought of the Swamplands and Overflowed Lands Acts and how they were dealt with. I find it unusual that instuctions would be coming from the Surveyor General's Ofiice in Sacremento. The US legislation grants these to the State, and Ca. became a State in 1850, I believe. Other states have State Statutes with instructions to surveyors to establish these lines.
Maybe I'm reading between your lines, Ian. Was the Surveyor General's office in Sacremento a State position or a Federal position? Had the federal surveys not been delivered to the State?
11-04-2004, 06:28 PM
The Mount Diablo Initial Point was established in July of 1851, after which the baseline and meridian were run, at least partially. I'm looking at a plat right now that shows a township on the meridian (T8N R1W); the east line of the township was run by F.R. Loring in 1851. So I expect that at least some parts of California were surveyed under the 1851 instructions (Oregon Manual).
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