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The remainder of the western boundary was surveyed and marked by stone or 3-inch round iron posts in 1904–1906 under the General Land Office. The total measured length of the Idaho-Montana boundary line from the Canadian border to the Wyoming line is about 738 miles, of which the first 70.7 miles is the meridional line, the next 355 miles is along the crest of the Bitterroot Mountains, and the remaining 312 miles along the Continental Divide. The west boundary of the Yellowstone National Park crosses this line about 248 miles west of the Wyoming line.
For reference to the survey of the northern boundary see page 23.
The survey of the east boundary of Montana on the 27th meridian west of Washington was undertaken in 1885; the initial position had been found by measurement from an astronomic station on the Northern Pacific Railway 6 miles 28.51 chains to the west, where an exchange of time signals had been made by telegraph. From the point thus found a random line was run south to the 45th parallel. The mark at the northeast corner of Wyoming on this parallel, as established in 1880, was reported to be 70.68 chains west of the 27th meridian as fixed by the random line. A point for the intersection of the 45th parallel and the 27th meridian (the southeast corner of Montana) was marked by a stone post. Both these corner marks were replaced in 1904 by 6-foot cut-stone posts. See page 222 for the geographic position of the Wyoming corner.
From the point marked as the southeast corner of Montana the line was run north to the 49th parallel boundary, a measured distance of 276 miles 27.80 chains. The Northern Pacific Railway was crossed at 133 miles 63 chains, the Yellowstone River between mileposts 195 and 196, and the Missouri River between mileposts 207 and 208. Most of the marks on this line were wooden posts, many of which have since been destroyed. The part from the 193d to the 218th milepost was retraced in 1901, and the posts were found to be poorly alined, varying as much as 50 minutes to the east or west for a single mile.
The geographic position of the southeast corner of Montana is latitude •44° 59' 53.74" and longitude 104° 02' 20.68" 38 Farther north (at latitude 47° 12' 42.0'') there is an accurately located boundary mark, the longitude of which is 104° 02' 39.4". This mark is an old oak post.34 The longitude of the intersection of the east boundary line with the northern boundary of the United States is 104° 02' 47.53".
38 U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Special Pub. 19, p. 93, 1914. 34 Idem, p. 94.
Wyoming was organized as a Territory on July 25, 1868, from an area previously included in the Territories of Dakota, Idaho, and Utah. Its limits, which are the same as originally established, are defined in the following clause from the act creating it: 35
That all that part of the United States described as follows: Commencing at the intersection of the twenty-seventh meridian of longitude west from Washington with the forty-fifth degree of north latitude, and running thence west to the thirty-fourth meridian of west longitude, thence south to the fortyfirst degree of north latitude, thence east to the twenty-seventh meridian of west longitude, and thence north to the place of beginning, be, and the same is hereby, organized into a temporary government by the name of the Territory of Wyoming.
Wyoming was admitted as a State by act of July 10, 1890, with boundaries as above described (see fig. 19), but it was Provided, That nothing in this act contained shall repeal or affect any act of Congress relating to the Yellowstone National Park, or the reservation of the park as now defined, or as may be hereafter defined or extended or the power of the United States over it;
Wyoming has the right to serve criminal or civil writs in its portion of the park, but otherwise the United States has exclusive jurisdiction and control over it.87 The original boundaries of the park were given in the act establishing it, dated March 1, 1872.88 Extensions were made by act approved March 1, 1929.
The north boundary of Wyoming was surveyed in 1879–80 under the General Land Office. Beginning at a post set in 1874 for the northwest corner of the State, the line was run eastward, checked by a number of observations for latitude, for a distance reported as 347 miles 43 chains. The marks were nearly all wooden posts in small mounds of earth, and a field examination of the positions made in 1881–82 by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey showed numerous large errors in alinement, many of which were then corrected. The eastern terminus of this line was on the meridian of 27° west of Washington as marked in 1877. The mark left at this corner was replaced in 1904 by a 6-foot stone post, the geographic position of which is latitude 44° 59' 52.00" longitude 104° 03' 25.62'.89
The survey of the south boundary of Wyoming was made under the direction of the General Land Office in 1873. Beginning at a mark established in 1869 for the intersection of the 41st parallel and the 27th meridian west of Washington, the line was run westward, checked by six astronomic determinations of latitude, to the computed location for the 34th meridian west of Washington. In order to find the proper position for this meridian an astronomic station was established at Evanston, Wyo., the longitude of which was found to be 35° 55' 20.69" west of Washington. From this point a line was run due south to a mark on the boundary and thence west 4 miles 4.54 chains, to a point where an 8-foot sandstone post, appropriately marked, was set 3 feet in the ground and surrounded by a pile of rocks. The measure length of the south boundary of Wyoming was found to be 367 miles 48.81 chains.
35 15 Stat. L. 178. 38 26 Stat. L. 222. 37 26 Stat. L. 73. 38 17 Stat. L. 32. 39 U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Special Pub. 19, p. 93, 1914.
Geographic positions on this boundary have been determined as follows: Boundary mark No. 44, a sandstone post projecting 4 feet above ground, stands about 11 miles west of south from Cheyenne, in latitude 40° 59' 54.2" and longitude 104° 53' 33.6”. This is said to be the only permanent boundary mark for several miles in either direction.40 Boundary mark No. 163, a cut-stone post 60 by 18 by 18 inches in size, was located by the Geological Survey in latitude 41° 00' 11.8”, longitude 107° 09' 20.4":41 The position of the stone that marks the southwest corner of Wyoming is latitude 40° 59' 53.48", longitude 111° 02' 56.67'' 12 A considerable part of the south boundary of Wyoming has been retraced by the General Land Office in connection with the surveys of public lands.
The west boundary of Wyoming was surveyed and marked in 1874. Beginning at the mark of 1873 at the southwest corner of the State, the line runs due north for a measured distance of 277 miles 72.66 chains to a point where a 30-inch pine post 10 feet long was set 3 feet in the ground and surrounded by a mound of earth and stone. The position for the intersection with the south boundary of Idaho as marked in 1871 was 51.38 chains north of the 69-mile point and 55.70 chains west of the mark previously established for the initial point of the Utah-Idaho boundary survey.
A concerted attempt was made in 1858 to organize the “State of Jefferson,” which was to include the present area of Colorado together with large areas now within the limits of Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah; but by popular vote in 1859 it was decided to organize a Territorial government instead. A governor and a legislature were elected and held office until 1861, when the Territory of Colorado was established by act of Congress.
40 Idem, pp. 92, 125.
4' U. S. Geol. Survey Bull. 707, pp. 62–65, 1922. See also Paxson, F. L., The boundaries of Colorado : Colorado Univ. Studies, vol. 2, p. 92, Boulder, 1904 ; Smiley, J. C., History of Denver, ch. 32, Denver. 1901,
Colorado was organized as a Territory on February 28, 1861,44 with the same boundaries as at present, being made up from parts of the Territories of Utah, New Mexico, Kansas, and Nebraska. (See figs. 18, 22 and 24.) The name given to this Territory in the bill as it passed the House was Idaho; but it was changed to Colorado in the Senate.
The boundaries were described in an enabling act, approved March 21, 1864, as follows: 45
That the said state of Colorado shall consist of all the territory included within the following boundaries, to wit: Commencing at a point formed by the intersection of the thirty-seventh degree of north latitude with the twenty-fifth degree of longitude west from Washington; extending thence due west along said thirty-seventh degree of north latitude to a point formed by its intersection with the thirty-second degree of longitude west from Washington; thence due north along said thirty-second degree of west longitude to a point formed by its intersection with the forty-first degree of north latitude; thence due east along said forty-first degree of north latitude to a point formed by its intersection with the twenty-fifth degree of longitude west from Washington; thence due south along said twenty-fifth degree of west longitude.
A constitution formed by a convention held in 1864 in accordance with this act was rejected by poplar vote; a second constitution formed by another convention in 1865 was accepted by a small majority. Congress at its next session passed an act for the admission of Colorado to statehood, but it was vetoed in May, 1866, by the President. The principal reasons given for this action were scanty population and the small majority resulting from the second vote (3,030 against 2,875). Furthermore, it was stated that the second voting was held without legal authority. Another act for the admission of Colorado was vetoed in 1867 for reasons similar to those previously given.46
A third enabling act, without change in boundaries, was approved March 3, 1875.47 The conditions of the act having been complied with, the President by proclamation dated August 1, 1876, declared the admission complete.
For reference to the survey and marking of the east boundary see Kansas, page 216, and for the north boundary see Nebraska, page 214, and Wyoming, page 222.
The south boundary of Colorado as far west as the 103d meridian was surveyed in 1858–59, the terminal mark (the Macomb monument established in 1859) being a stone post 30 by 10 by 8 inches in a pile of rocks. This line was retraced by John J. Major in 1874. A survey
. of the boundary line between Colorado and New Mexico from the
44 12 Stat. L. 172. 45 13 Stat. L. 33.
48 53d Cong., 2d sess., H. Misc. Doc. 210, pt. 6, pp. 413–416, 483, 489, 1897. See Thorpe, F. N., op. cit., vol. 1, p. 470.
47 18 Stat L., pt. 3, 474.
103d meridian westward was authorized by act of Congress approved March 2, 1867. This line was surveyed and marked in 1868 by E. N. Darling, United States surveyor, presumably on the 37th parallel of latitude, but subsequent investigations in the vicinity of Edith, Colo., showed that between the sixth and eighth astronomical monuments 48 (there were 11 in all) gross errors in alinement and measurement existed, there being an offset or jog of nearly half a mile in the vicinity of the 212th mile mark.
In order to locate the line where original marks were missing the State of Colorado, in 1901,49 appropriated funds for the reestablishment of the Darling line between the sixth and eighth astronomical monuments. The act required that the field notes and plats be filed with the secretary of state of Colorado, to be accepted as conclusive evidence in all cases in Colorado courts in which this part of the southern boundary was in question. This work, done in 1901, by State authority alone, was not accepted or approved by Congress and was therefore not binding on New Mexico, which was then a Territory.
In 1902 Congress authorized the resurvey of the entire line between the State of Colorado and the Territories of New Mexico and Oklahoma.50 This survey was executed by H. B. Carpenter in 1902–3, but the joint resolution passed by Congress for its acceptance as the legal boundary was vetoed by the President.52 The Carpenter line differs materially from the Darling line, being considerably north of it in certain places and south of it in others. At the east end the Carpenter line is more than half a mile north of the southern boundary as surveyed in 1858. On October 13, 1919, permission was granted to the State of New Mexico by the United States Supreme Court to file a suit against the State of Colorado for a settlement of this boundary dispute. The opinion of the court, dated January 26, 1925, was in favor of Colorado, and a resurvey of the boundary line as marked by Darling in 1868 was ordered.52 Work on the resurvey was commenced in 1927 but is not yet (1930) completed.
The west boundary of Colorado was surveyed in 1878–79. The initial point was a large stone post established in 1875 in connection with the Arizona-New Mexico boundary survey. (See p. 230.)
48 For descriptions of nine of these stations see U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Special Pub. 110, pp. 154-155, 1925.
49 Session laws of 1901, ch. 37.
50 32 Stat. L. 552-574. See 58th Cong., 3d sess., S. Doc. 89, 1905, for description of this and of the Darling surveys.
51 The veto message appears in the Congressional Record December 19, 1908, pp. 451–452. The reason given for the veto was that Colorado bad not accepted the line and probably would not do so, as it would take from that State a strip of land for nearly its whole length in which there were a considerable number of settlers and five post offices.
The discussion that preceded the passage of the joint resolution by the House is given in the Congressional Record December 12, 1908.
63 267 U. S. 41. This decision shows that the veto of 1908 was fully justifien