Part III: Measured, Marked, and Recorded: Wilderness Becomes Real Estate


Partitioning the Public Domain: Emergence of the American Rectangular Land-Survey System

  • Boundaries, Fluid and Fixed
  • Boundary-Fixing, Two Ways
    • By Landscape/Landuse-Relevant Metes-and-Bounds Surveys, or By Geometric, Cardinal-Direction Grid Surveys
  • The Land Ordinance of 1785
    • The Jefferson Committee Decrees Crosshatching of “the Western Lands” with a Prior-to-Sale, Compass-Aligned, Property-Line Framework
    • Pre–Land-Ordinance Chronology of Events, 1780–85
  • The Miracle Eightieth-of-a-Mile
    • Edmund Gunter’s Hybrid-Numbered Chain Simplifies Acreage Computation
  • A Square of Squares
    • Square Townships, Each Enclosing 36 Mile-Square Sections, Organize the U.S. Public Domain
  • Crossing the Wabash, 1805
    • Surveyor William Rector Connects the Surveyors’ Points of Beginning for the Indiana and the Illinois Surveys
  • Spring 1821, East-Central Illinois
    • Mathematician-Surveyor John Messinger Leads a Corps of Deputy Surveyors and Crews in Springtime Surveys East of the 3rd Principal Meridian in Central Illinois
  • Collision Zones
    • True, or Nominal Only
  • Aftermath     

Marketing the Public Domain: Federal Land Office Sales Convert Government Land into Private Property

  • Land Office Operations
  • Land for Livelihood
    • The Pioneer Family Farm
    • Portion of a Page from a Danville Land Office Receiver’s Chronologically Ordered Ledger Book
  • Land as Capital
    • Speculation Mania, Large-Scale Investments, 1835-36-37
  • Index


Sample Pages