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iron for this line was set up in 1855 at a point 52.55 chains west of the right bank of the Missouri, the marks on which are “NEBRASKA" on the north, “ 1854 ” on the east,“ 40° N LAT” on the west, and KANSAS on the south. This line was resurveyed and re-marked in 1855–56, and the marks on the former line were destroyed. From the 108th mile the line was extended west to the Rocky Mountains in 1858–59 as a base of the land survey.21
For the eastern boundary, see Missouri (p. 203).
The western boundary of Kansas was surveyed in 1872 and from the 174th milepost south to the Oklahoma line was reestablished in 1908 by the General Land Office. Most of the marks left were small stones. Several marks on this line have been connected with triangulation stations, giving the following results:
The Territory of Oklahoma was organized under the act of May 2, 1890 from the western part of the Indian Territory. (See pp. 71-72 and fig. 21.) Its limits as originally constituted were set forth in the act as follows: 22
That all that portion of the United States now known as the Indian Territory, except so much of the same as is actually occupied by the five civilized tribes, and the Indian tribes within the Quapaw Indian Agency, and except the unoccupied part of the Cherokee outlet, together with that portion of the United States known as the Public Land Strip,is hereby erected into temporary government by the name of the Territory of Oklahoma. The portion of the Indian Territory included in said Territory of Oklahoma is bounded by a line drawn as follows: Commencing at a point where the ninety-eighth meridian crosses the Red River; thence by said meridian to the point where it crosses the Canadian River; thence along said river to the west line of the Seminole country; thence along said line to the north fork of the Canadian River; thence down said river to the west line of the Creek country, thence along said line to the northwest corner of the Creek country; thence along the north line of the Creek country, to the ninety-sixth meridian; thence northward by said meridian to the southern boundary line of Kansas; thence west along said line to the Arkansas River; thence down said river to the north line of the land occupied by the Ponca tribe of Indians, from which point the line runs so as to include all the lands occupied by the Ponca, Tonkawa, Otoe, and Migsouria, and the Pawnee tribes of Indians until it strikes the south line of the Cherokee Outlet, which it follows westward to the east line of the State of Texas; thence by the boundary line of the State of Texas to the point of beginning; the Public Land Strip which is included in said Territory of Oklahoma is bounded east by the one hundredth meridian, south by Texas, west by New Mexico, north by Colorado and Kansas. Whenever the interest of the Cherokee Indians in the land known as the Cherokee outlet shall have been extinguished and the President shall make proclamation thereof, said outlet shall thereupon and without further legislation become a part of the Territory of Oklahoma. Any other lands within the Indian Territory not embraced within these boundries, shall hereafter become a part of the Territory of Oklahoma whenever the Indian nation or tribe owning such lands shall signify to the President of the United States in legal manner its assent that such lands shall so become a part of said Territory of Oklahoma, and the President shall thereupon make proclamation to that effect.
31 See General Land Office files, Kansas exterior plats, vol. 4, p. 2. 2 26 Stat. L. 81-82. 23 Donaldson, Thomas, op. cit., pp. 462, 1187.
The Public Land Strip was a part of the land ceded to the United States by Texas that had not been included in Kansas or New Mexico. For many years this area (5,740 square miles) was popularly known as “No Man's Land.” Its west boundary, which has been generally accepted as the Cimarron guide meridian as established by the General Land Office in 1881, is 34.25 miles in length. The latitude and longitude of the north end of this boundary, which is the northeast corner of New Mexico, are 37° 00' 00.64" and 103° 00' 06.78" (North American datum).
The United States Supreme Court having decreed that the area cast of the 100th meridian and between the two main forks of the Red River did not belong to Texas (see pp. 171-172), Congress, on May 4, 1896, enacted 24
That, the portion of the Territory of Oklahoma bounded by the North Fork 3f the Red River and the State of Texas, heretofore known as Greer County, Texas, be and the same is hereby established as Greer County, Oklahoma.
The 98th meridian, which was then part of the west bound of Indian Territory, was marked by the Geological Survey in 1899 with iron posts set in concrete.
The Cherokee Outlet originally comprised an area of more than 12,000 square miles south of the south boundary of Kansas, west of the 96th meridian, north of an east-west line through the mouth of the Cimarron River, and extending west to the 100th meridian, which was reserved for the use of Indians while traveling to visit their friends in the West. The rights of the Indians in this area were extinguished by treaty dated December 19, 1891, ratified by Congress March 3, 1893,25 and proclaimed by the President August 19, 1893, effective at 12 o'clock noon of the 16th of September following. This area thereby became a part of the Territory of Oklahoma in
24 29 Stat. L. 113.
26 27 Stat. L. 640.
accordance with the act of May 2, 1890, and was open to settlers. The Cherokee Outlet was not the same as the Cherokee strip. The Cherokee strip was a part of the Cherokee country about 242 miles wide just north of the 37th parallel, now a part of Kansas.
On June 16, 1906, an enabling act for the admission of Oklahoma as a State was passed by Congress,26 the new State to consist of all that part of the area of the United States now constituting the Territory of Oklahoma and the Indian Territory as at present described.
The bounds of the Indian Territory, as defined in the act of March 1, 1889, were as follows: 27
North by the State of Kansas, east by the States of Missouri and Arkansas, south by the State of Texas, and west by the State of Texas and the Territory of New Mexico.
The people of the two Territories having adopted a constitution, the President, by proclamation dated November 16, 1907, declared the admission to statehood complete.28
For descriptions of the boundaries of the State of Oklahoma as now marked see Arkansas, pages 178, 180; Missouri, page 203; Texas, pages 172–175; Kansas, page 215; and Colorado, page 225.
A book by Roy Gittinger, published by the University of California in 1917, entitled “ The formation of the State of Oklahoma," contains many references to boundaries as well as a history of the changes in the territory from 1803 to 1906.
An interesting set of diagrams illustrating various stages in the change of the Oklahoma area from Indian ownership to statehood was prepared by George Pamley and printed by the Webb Publishing Co., Oklahoma City, in 1917.
MONTANA The Territory of Montana was organized by act of May 26, 1864, from a portion of Idaho. Its limits (figs. 19 and 26), which have been changed but slightly, are given as follows in the organizing act:
That all that part of the territory of the United States included within the limits, to wit: Commencing at a point formed by the intersection of the twentyseventh degree of longitude west from Washington with the forty-fifth degree of north latitude; thence due west on said forty-fifth degree of latitude to a point formed by its intersection with the thirty-fourth degree of longitude west from Washington; thence due south along said thirty-fourth degree of longitude to its intersection with the forty-fourth degree and thirty minutes of north latitude; thence due west along said forty-fourth degree and thirty minutes of north latitude to a point formed by its intersection with the crest of the Rocky Mountains; thence following the crest of the Rocky Mountains northward till its intersection with the Bitter Root Mountains; thence northward along the crest of said Bitter Root Mountains to its intersection with the thirtyninth degree of longitude west from Washington; thence along said thirty-ninth degree of longitude northward to the boundary line of the British possessions ; thence eastward along said boundary line to the twenty-seventh degree of longitude west from Washington; thence southward along said twenty-seventh degree of longitude to the place of beginning, be, and the same is hereby, created into a temporary government by the name of the Territory of Montana.
2 34 Stat. L. 267. 27 25 Stat. L. 783.
38 35 Stat. L. 2160. 20 13 Stat. L. 86.
This act took from Idaho an area bounded in part on the south by the 45th parallel and on the west by the Bitterroot Mountains. The creation of Wyoming Territory in 1868 took from Dakota Territory the greater part of the area that had been restored to it by the Montana act, which extended west to the Continental Divide and north to the point where the divide intersected the parallel of 44° 30', but left a triangular area of about 142 square miles west of longitude 34°, south of latitude 44° 30', and extending west to the Continental Divide that still belonged to Dakota. This was given to Montana by the act of 1873, which described it as follows (see fig. 19): 30
That all that portion of Dakota Territory lying west of the one hundred and eleventh meridian of longitude which, by an erroneous definition of the boundaries of said Territory by a former act of Congress, remains detached and distant from Dakota proper some two hundred miles, be, and the same is hereby, attached to the adjoining territory of Montana.
This act was evidently based on inadequate geographic information relative to the position of the Continental Divide. According to the most reliable maps now available (the U. S. Geological Survey maps of the Shoshone and Grand Teton quadrangles, Wyo.) the Continental Divide crosses the 33d meridian west of Washington near the 44th parallel of latitude; running northward the divide intersects the parallel of 44° 30' at points about 21 and 17 miles east of the 34th meridian and again 2 miles west of that meridian; the last-named intersection is evidently the one referred to in the act. The act should have described the area as being west of the 34th meridian west of Washington instead of west of the 111th meridian, for the Greenwich meridian was not mentioned in the former act.
The enabling act, which included also provisions for the admission of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Washington, fixed their boundaries “as at present described.” 31
The presidential proclamation announcing the admission of Montana as a State was dated November 8, 1889.
The south boundary of Montana was surveyed and marked in 1879–80, under the General Land Office.
That portion of the west boundary between the crest of the Bitterroot Mountains and the Canada line was resurveyed and re-marked in 1898–99 by the United States Geological Survey.82
30 17 Stat. L. 464. 31 25 Stat. L. 676. 31 For a detailed report of this work see U. S. Geol. Survey Bull. 170, 1900.