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Government and Politics - Federal Government - Federal agencies and programs - Policies and programs - Land - Land surveying

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Andrew H. Reeder's instructions about his land claim in the Wyandotte Float

Andrew H. Reeder's instructions about his land claim in the Wyandotte Float
Creator: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: [1857]
This document, obviously written by Andrew H. Reeder either to the surveyor or to Reeder's attorney, John A. Halderman, is undated but was most likely composed in 1857. It addresses issues related to the location of Reeder's claim to land in the Wyandotte Float in the Kansas Territory.


Bounty Land Grant for Franklin Loomis Crane

Bounty Land Grant for Franklin Loomis Crane
Creator: United States. General Land Office
Date: June 1, 1860
A bounty land grant was originally issued to Oliver Brown, a private during the War of 1812. This document declares that the tract of land described has been turned over to Franklin Crane, a resident of Topeka, who most likely purchased it from the original owner. This was done in accordance with an act of Congress passed on March 3, 1855, entitled "An Act in addition to certain Acts granting Bounty Land to certain Officers and Soldiers who have been engaged in the Military Service of the United States." It was signed by President James Buchanan.


Correspondence on the Lone Tree massacre, Meade County

Correspondence on the Lone Tree massacre, Meade County
Creator: Scott, Charles F., b. 1860
Date: 1931-1932
This is correspondence among Charles F. Scott, Harold C. Short, Frank Fuhr, Mrs. F.C. Montgomery and George A. Root. The correspondence focuses on the Lone Tree massacre, Meade County, 1874, where a group of United States Surveyors were killed by Indians.


Emigrant's Intelligence Office, Lawrence

Emigrant's Intelligence Office, Lawrence
Creator: Whitman and Searl
Date: June 15, 1856
This advertisement by Whitman and Searl of Lawrence, Kansas Territory, states that they propose to open an Emigrant's Intelligence Office to "meet the urgent demands by emigrants, for accurate and reliable information in regard to the different sections of the Territory." Apparently, they had created a map of Kansas, which made them qualified for this task. They also offer their services as general land agents, and write that they "are also prepared to lay out town sites and to survey farm claims," to "negotiate the sale and transfer of town property," and to "investigate the validity of titles."


John Calhoun

John Calhoun
Creator: Henry, E. E.
Date: Between 1854 and 1961
This is a cabinet card showing John Calhoun who was the Surveyor General of Kansas and Nebraska Territories. He was an active Democrat and served as President of the Lecompton Constitutional Convention.


Kansas: a description of the country, its soil, climate & resources

Kansas: a description of the country, its soil, climate & resources
Creator: Parrott, Marcus J. (Marcus Junius), 1828-1879
Date: March 1856
This pamphlet provides people emigrating to Kansas with practical and reliable information about soil, timber, stone, coal, water, roads, postal facilities, climate, surveys, inhabitants, towns and town sites, routes, and politics.


Kansas Land Survey Plats

Kansas Land Survey Plats
Date: Bulk 1857-1861
These eighteen land survey plat maps show townships 18 through 23 south, ranges 23 through 25, east of the 6th principal meridian. The U.S. Surveyor General began surveying Kansas after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Plat maps were created at that time to document the surveys. The plats show public lands within the territory divided by range, township and section. Townships were measured in six mile increments starting from the Kansas-Nebraska border. Ranges were numbered in six mile increments east and west from the Six Prime Meridian, which crosses through present day Wichita, Kansas. This system is still the basis for legal land description in the state.


Kansas land survey plats

Kansas land survey plats
Creator: U.S. Surveyor General of Kansas and Nebraska
Date: 1855-1861
The U.S. Surveyor General began surveying Kansas after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Plat maps were created at that time to document the surveys. The plats show public lands within the territory divided by range, township and section. Townships were measured in six mile increments starting from the Kansas-Nebraska border. Ranges were numbered in six mile increments east and west from the Sixth Prime Meridian, which crosses through present day Wichita, Kansas. This system is still the basis for legal land description in the state. The Kansas Historical Society acquired a collection of these original plats previously held by the Kansas Secretary of State. The National Archives and the Bureau of Land Management also hold copies of the plats. The sixteen plats presented here are from the Kansas Historical Society collection but are not included in the National Archives copies. These plats cover portions of Douglas, Jefferson, Johnson, Shawnee and Wyandotte counties. Kansas land surveyors are the most frequent users of these maps. They use them to verify section corners when surveying land. A complete collection of the original plats is available in the Society's Center for Historical Research. The plats are also available on microfilm (AR 137-143). For more information on these plats and the accompanying field notes, click on the Land Survey Maps link below.


Kansas land survey plats

Kansas land survey plats
Creator: U.S. Surveyor General of Kansas and Nebraska
Date: 1857-1861
Six land survey plat maps showing townships 11 through 15 south, range 16 east. The U.S. Surveyor General began surveying Kansas after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Plat maps were created at that time to document the surveys. The plats show public lands within the territory divided by range, township and section. Townships were measured in six mile increments starting from the Kansas-Nebraska border. Ranges were numbered in six mile increments east and west from the Sixth Prime Meridian, which crosses through present day Wichita, Kansas. This system is still the basis for legal land description in the state. The Kansas Historical Society acquired a collection of these original plats previously held by the Kansas Secretary of State. The National Archives and the Bureau of Land Management also hold copies of the plats. Kansas land surveyors are the most frequent users of these maps. They use them to verify section corners when surveying land.


Land Survey Plats and Tract Books, Township 9 South, Range 111 West

Land Survey Plats and Tract Books, Township 9 South, Range 111 West
Date: 1860
Hand-colored plat map of Kansas from original surveys for Township 9 South, Range 111 West. This plat map shows significant geographical landmarks such as rivers and other waterways, as well as man-made features such as roads and trails, boundaries of Native American reservations, and other landmarks. See series 194481 for microfilmed copies of original plat maps from 1854-1884.


Robert S. Stevens to Samuel N. Wood

Robert S. Stevens to Samuel N. Wood
Creator: Stevens, Robert S.
Date: August 6, 1860
Writing from Lecompton, Kansas Territory, Robert S. Stevens contacts Samuel L. Wood about an issue of grave concern to the people of Council Grove--"the Kaw Treaty," which had been taken up "the last day of the Extra or called Executive session & then ratified with certain amendments." Stevens explains the treaty's provisions and discusses the land survey to come.


Township 11 South, Range 15 East, plat maps

Township 11 South, Range 15 East, plat maps
Date: January 06, 1866
The U.S. Surveyor General began surveying Kansas after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Plat maps were created at that time to document the surveys. The plats show public lands within the territory divided by range, township and section. Townships were measured in six mile increments starting from the Kansas-Nebraska border. Ranges were numbered in six mile increments east and west from the Sixth Prime Meridian, which crosses through present day Wichita, Kansas. This system is still the basis for legal land description in the state. The Kansas Historical Society acquired a collection of these original plats previously held by the Kansas Secretary of State. The National Archives and the Bureau of Land Management also hold copies of the plats. These two maps show the east and west sides of township 11 south, range 15 east. On the east side, the Kansa "Half Breed" lots are on the north bank of the Kansas River; the west map shows part of the Pottawattomie Reservation, including the Pottawattomie Baptist Mission in the northwest quarter of section 32, which is still standing today on the grounds of the Kansas Historical Society. The town of Indianola, which later became part of North Topeka, is shown on the east portion of the maps.


Township No. 42 south of range XXV east of the 6, principal meridian

Township No. 42 south of range XXV east of the 6, principal meridian
Date: Between 1850 and 1860
A plat map showing township 42, range 25, east of the 6th principal meridian. The U.S. Surveyor General began surveying Kansas after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Plat maps were created at that time to document the surveys. The plats show public lands within the territory divided by range, township and section. Townships were measured in six mile increments starting from the Kansas-Nebraska border. Ranges were numbered in six mile increments east and west from the Sixth Prime Meridian, which crosses through present day Wichita, Kansas. This system is still the basis for legal land description in the state.


United States surveyors massacred by Indians, Lone Tree, Meade  County, Kansas

United States surveyors massacred by Indians, Lone Tree, Meade County, Kansas
Creator: Montgomery, Mrs. Frank C.
Date: 1874
This manuscript is about the 1874 Lone Tree massacre in Meade County, Kansas, where six government land surveyors were murdered by Cheyenne Indians. A longer account of the massacre has been published in the Kansas Historical Quarterly, volume 1.


Willliam B. Shockley affidavit

Willliam B. Shockley affidavit
Creator: Shockley, William B.
Date: March 25, 1869
William B. Shockley, Clerk of the District Court at Cherokee County, testifies before Henry G. Sumner, Justice of the Peace of Cherokee County, concerning an armed band of men opposing the operation of a land office at Baxter Springs (Cherokee County). The band of two hundred and twelve armed men identified themselves as the Cherokee Neutral Land League. The League arrested or threatened persons associated with the land office and raided the office to steal its plat maps and land entries. The League was composed of many settlers of the Cherokee Neutral Lands, which lands were open for sale in 1866 by treaty with the Cherokee. The League's actions were an attempt to stop the construction of a railroad by the Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad whose recent purchase of the lands many considered illegal. James F. Joy represented the railroad. In May 1869, Governor James Harvey appealed for federal troops to help control settler violence.


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