1845 General Land Office Map of Indiana

G. A Sketch of Public Surveys in Indiana. - Main View

1845 General Land Office Map of Indiana


Highlights Clark's Grant and the Donation Lands east of Vincennes.


G. A Sketch of Public Surveys in Indiana.
  1845 (dated)     18.5 x 10.75 in (46.99 x 27.305 cm)     1 : 1140480


This is an 1845 General Land Office map of Indiana. The entirety of Indiana is platted into townships, with the exception of Clark's Grant, the Miami Reservation, and the 'Donation Tract' (east of the Wabash River and north of the White River in western Indiana just east of Vincennes). Jeffersonville, Fort Wayne, Winimac, Indianapolis, Vincennes, and Crawfordsville are labeled. Creeks and rivers are illustrated throughout.
Clark's Grant
Clark's Grant, situated northwest of the Ohio River across from Louisville, Kentucky, was granted to George Rogers Clark in 1781 by the state of Virginia for service during the American Revolutionary War. Clark (1752 - 1818) led the Virginia militia into the Illinois Country during the Revolutionary War as part of the Illinois Campaign. Virginia promised land to volunteers who joined the expedition. The Virginia Legislature fulfilled the promise on January 2, 1781, when it offered Clark and his men 150,000 acres on the northwest bank of the Ohio River. A commission of officers from Clark's militia selected the tract across the river from Louisville (which Clark founded during the war). The land was allotted in 1784, and Clark received over 8,000 acres, the largest tract. Privates were given 108-acre tracts, while sergeants received 216 acres. Those of higher rank received proportionally larger amounts of land.
Donation Tract
A large square tract of land labeled 'Donation Tract' appears east of Vincennes. This tract of land was allotted by Congress to be divided among French and Canadian inhabitants of Vincennes who could prove hereditary residency in the old French post before 1783. Founded early in the eighteenth century as part of a network of forts and fur trading posts, Post Vincennes benefited from a large grant of land along the Wabash River from good relations with the Piankashaw Indians. This land was administered almost communally, with very few private landholdings. None of the French inhabitants of Vincennes lived on the land they farmed; everyone lived town.

Post Vincennes passed into American hands following the Illinois Campaign during the American Revolutionary War. Soon after the war was over American settlers began flooding into the area. These newcomers viewed land differently than the French inhabitants. They believed in the importance of private land ownership and demanded their own grants. The economic and demographic change disenfranchised the former French and Canadian settlers, leading to severe economic hardship. The former French citizens petitioned Congress for land grants in 1787, and by 1788 Congress had passed a resolution granting 400 acres to any French or Canadian inhabitants of Vincennes whose families lived there before 1783.
Townships are platted throughout the state. Symbols within each township convey the status of the survey. Blank circles mark townships for which 'field notes [had been] transcribed', plus signs mark townships where the 'field noted [had been] recorded'. Circles inscribed with plus signs mark townships for which 'field notes [had been] transcribed and recorded', which squares mark townships where the entire township plat [had been] recorded. Squares with plus signs inside them indicate townships where all this work had been completed.
A Short Explanation of a Township
The township was created as the measure of the Public Land Survey System, which was first widely implemented to survey the Northwest Ordinance. The Public Land Survey System allowed for the systematic surveying and mapping of any territory gained by the United States. It played a pivotal role in subsequent settlement and administration new territories and states. The work of the survey influenced American Indian removal efforts, town building, railroad grants, new settlement, and more. Moreover, the efforts of the Federal Land Survey were significant in centralizing power with the Federal Government at the expense of states. h6>Publication History and CensusThis map was created for and published by the General Land Office for a report to the United States Congress in 1845. We note ten examples of the separate map cataloged in OCLC: New York Public Library, the University of Notre Dame, the Indiana Historical Society, the Indiana State Library, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and the Wisconsin Historical Society.


The General Land Office (GLO) (1812 - 1946) was an independent agency of the United States government responsible for public domain lands in the United States. Created in 1812, it took over functions previously conducted by the Department of the Treasury. The GLO oversaw the surveying, platting, and sale of public lands in the western United States. It also administered the Preemption Act of 1841, which allowed individuals who were already living on federal land to purchase up to 160 acres of land before it was offered for sale to the general public, if they met certain requirements. Following the passage of the Homestead Act in 1862, which was also administered by the GLO, claims under the Preemption Act sharply decreased. The GLO became a part of the newly-created Department of the Interior in 1849. In 1891 Grover Cleveland and Congress created 17 forest reserves, due to public concern over forest conservation, which were initially managed by the GLO, until they were transferred to the Forest Service in 1905. In 1946 the Government Land Office was 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. More by this mapmaker...


Very good.


OCLC 430943984.