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1863 Public Survey Map of North Dakota and South Dakota (Dakota Territory)


Dakota Territory Showing progress of U.S. Land Survey during 1861, 62 and 63.
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Title:    Dakota Territory Showing progress of U.S. Land Survey during 1861, 62 and 63.

Description:    This is a fine 1863 public survey map of North Dakota and South Dakota (Dakota Territory). It covers the states of North Dakota and South Dakota before they were admitted to the Union. The map was prepared to illustrate the progress of the land survey work in the region during 1861, 1862 and 1863. Most of the survey work is limited to the land north of the Niobrarah (Niobrara) River in the southeastern portion of South Dakota, noted via a series of blocks representing the survey grid. An explanation near the left margin describes the various markings in the blocks. The map identifies the area of the Yankton Cession, the Yangton Reservation and the Ponka Reservation. Old Fort George, Fort Lookout and other forts are noted. The map also notes important rivers, creeks, towns and other topography throughout. This map was prepared under the direction of G.D. Hill, Surveyor General, and issued as part of the 1864 congressional report, Message of the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress at the Commencement of the First Session of the Thirty-Eighth Congress.

Date:    1863 (dated)

Source:    Government Printing Office, Message of the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress at the Commencement of the First Session of the Thirty-Eighth Congress, (Washington) 1864.    

References:    Rumsey 1070.008 (1866 edition).

Cartographer:    The General Land Office, created in 1812, was an independent agency charged with the administration and sale of public lands of the western territories of the United States under the Preemption Act of 1841 and the Homestead Act of 1862. During a time of frenetic energy and rapid westward expansion, the Land Office oversaw the surveying, platting, mapping and eventually the sale of much of the Western United States and Florida. The structural layout of the western United States that we see today, and many of their district and county divisions, are direct result of the early surveying work of the General Land Office. More importantly, as a branch of the Federal Government in Washington D.C. and the only agency able to legally sell and administer public lands in the western territories of the United States, the General Land Office played a pivotal role in consolidating power away from the original states and into the hand of the centralized federal government. The General Land Office was absorbed into the Department of Interior in 1849 and in 1946 merged with the United States Grazing Service to become the Bureau of Land Management. Today the Bureau of Land Management administers the roughly 246 million acres of public land remaining under federal ownership. Click here for a list of rare maps from The General Land Office.

Cartographer:    Joseph R. Bien was a topographer and an engineer working the later part of the 19th century. His name appears a number of state and regional atlases, including the important 1895 Atlas of New York. Most of Joseph Bien's work was published in conjunction with the New York Lithographing, Engraving & Printing Company, which was founded by Julius Bien. Joseph was almost certainly related to Julien, though whether he was a son, cousin, or brother, remains unknown. Click here for a list of rare maps from Joseph R. Bien.

Size:   Printed area measures 21 x 24 inches (53.34 x 60.96 centimeters)

Scale:    1 : 1250000

Condition:    Very good. Some wear and toning along original fold lines. Professionally flattened and backed with archival tissue.

Code:   Dakota-publicsurvey-1863 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)

Tags:    U.S. Government Map , Dakota Territory

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