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From the initial point the line was then run south to the Colorado River. At a point 1.16 chains south of the railroad track a granite shaft 8 feet high, with its top dressed to 1 foot square and suitably marked, was placed in a pile of rocks, and 298 miles 56 chains south of the railroad a mark was set for the southwest corner of Utah. This mark was later found to be too far north and in 1901 was moved 1 mile 31.51 chains south. (See p. 232.) The distance as then measured, from the initial point on the railroad to the Colorado River, was 356 miles 23.76 chains. This part of the line as well as that north of the railroad was marked with wooden posts, single stones, or mounds of earth and stones.
The following positions on the boundary line between Utah and Nevada have been determined by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey: 77
A survey for the 120th meridian boundary between Nevada and California was first made between 1860 and 1863. A new line farther west was surveyed and marked in 1868, when a point for the intersection of the meridian with the 42d parallel (the south boundary of Oregon) was established. A third line was run in 1872, and a wooden post in a large pile of stones as a mark for the intersection of the 120th meridian and the 42d parallel was placed at a point more than 3 miles east of the 1868 corner. This line is the one which still governs, although it was found in 1889 to be considerably west of the true position of the 120th meridian where it intersects the shore of Lake Tahoe.
The following geographic positions on the California-Nevada meridian boundary on North America datum have been determined : 78
A 6-foot cast-iron post on south side of road between Verdi, Nev., and
A correct marking on the ground of the oblique boundary line between Nevada and California is very difficult. The south terminus is the intersection of the 35th parallel with the middle of the Colorado River. The north terminus is the intersection of the 120th meridian of longitude and the 39th parallel of latitude, which falls in Lake Tahoe more than 2 miles from shore; furthermore several kinds of lines that will answer the definition of a “straight line” may be run on the earth's surface. The line actually adopted for the survey of 1893-1899 is a geodetic line, which is the shortest line between the two terminals.
77 U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Special Pub. 19, pp. 105–107, 1914. 78 Idem, pp. 113–114.
Surveys for this boundary line or parts of it were made in 1852, 1855, 1861, 1865, 1873, 1889, and 1890. The present boundary, which was run by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1893– 1899, differs materially from the previous lines. It was accepted as the true boundary by California act of March 1, 1901, and by Nevada act of February 27, 1903, but has not yet been confirmed by Congress. The azimuth of this line from monument No. 1, at Lake Tahoe, is S. 48° 43' 20" E., and from the first monument at the Colorado it is N. 45° 31' 18" W. Its total length is 405.146 miles 80 and 142 large stone or concrete marks were set on it at intervals of 1 to 5 miles. 81
The Territory of Idaho was formed March 3, 1863, from parts of Washington, Dakota, and Nebraska. (See figs. 20, 25, and 26.) Its original limits, which included the present States of Idaho and Montana and all but the southwestern part of Wyoming, were given as follows in the act organizing the Territory: 82
That all that part of the territory of the United States included within the following limits, to wit: beginning at a point in the middle channel of the Snake River where the northern boundary of Oregon intersects the same; then follow down said channel of Snake River to a point opposite the mouth of the Kooskooskia, or Clearwater River; thence due north to the forty-ninth parallel of latitude; thence east along said parallel to the twenty-seventh degree of longitude west of Washington; thence south along said degree of longitude to the northern boundary of Colorado Territory; thence west along said boundary to the thirty-third degree of longitude west of Washington ;: thence north along said degree to the forty-second parallel of latitude; thence west along said parallel to the eastern boundary of the State of Oregon; thence north along said boundary to the place of beginning. In 1864 the Territory of Montana was formed from a part of this
(See p. 219.) From another part, together with a part transferred to Dakota by the act of 1864, the Territory of Wyoming was formed in 1868. These changes reduced the limits of Idaho to those described as follows in the act of admission to statehood, approved July 3, 1890: 88
79 See U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Rept. for 1900, appendix 3. 80 Idem, p. 381.
& There were eight latitude stations established for this line, descriptions of which may be found in U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Special Pub. 110, pp. 144-145, 1925.
82 12 Stat. L. 808. For historical sketch of the formation of the Territory of Idaho see The north Idaho annexation issue: Washington Univ. State Hist. Soc. Quart., April, 1930, p. 133.
Beginning at the intersection of the thirty-ninth meridian with the boundary line between the United States and the British Possessions, then following said meridian south until it reaches the summit of the Bitter Root Mountains; thence southeastward along the crest of the Bitter Root range and the continental divide until it intersects the meridian of thirty-four degrees of longitude; thence southward on this meridian to the forty-second parallel of latitude; thence west on this parallel of latitude to its intersection with a meridian drawn through the mouth of the Owyhee River; north on this meridian to the mouth of the Owyhee River; thence down the mid-channel of the Snake River to the mouth of the Clearwater River; and thence north on the meridian which passes through the mouth of the Clearwater to the boundary line between the United States and the British Possessions, and east on said boundary line to the place of beginning.
The west boundary of Idaho from the mouth of the Clearwater to the 49th parallel was surveyed and marked in 1873 under the direction of the General Land Office. The surveyor who did this work spent several days in attempts to find the position of the mouth of the Clearwater and finally selected the point where empty casks set adrift in the channels of the Snake and the. Clearwater bumped together. This line was retraced and 177 stone or iron posts were
. set on it by the United States Geological Survey in 1908.84
The meridian boundary between Idaho and Oregon from the middle of the main channel of the Snake River at the mouth of the Owyhee southward to the calculated position of the 42d parallel, was surveyed and marked in 1868 under the direction of the General Land Office. The latitude of the north end of this line was determined from more than 300 sextant observations as 43° 48' 41.1". The position for the south end was also determined from sextant observations. The measured length of the line was 124 miles 17.2 chains. The marks consisted of wooden posts, small stones, or mounds of stone.
The United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1915 located a point on this line near its north end, the position of which is latitude 43° 43' 22.43'', longitude 117° 01' 33.65'' (North American datum).
The east meridian boundary, from the 42d parallel northward a measured distance of 245 miles 561/2 chains, was surveyed in 1874 under the direction of the General Land Office, and a mark was set on the assumed crest of the Rocky Mountains (the Continental Divide) for the corner common to Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. From this mark along the crest of the mountains to the intersection with the 39th Washington meridian the survey was made in 1904– 1906 by the General Land Office. The surveyor who ran the line in 1906 found the tri-State mark about 6 miles too far north. He therefore replaced it with a new mark in the corrected position. (See p. 221.)
88 26 Stat. L. 215. 84 See U. S. Geol. Survey Bull. 466, 1911, for final report and plat of line.
The 39th meridian boundary (116° 03' 02.3" west of Greenwich) was surveyed in 1874 and resurveyed by the United States Geologi
cal Survey in 1898-99, and 92 metal or stone marks were placed along a measured distance of 70.7 miles.86
For reference to the northern boundary see page 24, and for the southern boundary see pages 231, 235.
The Territory of Washington was organized March 2, 1853, from a part of Oregon Territory. (See fig. 26.) Its original limits were defined in the following clause from the act of Congress creat
ing it: 86
That from and after the passage of this act all that portion of Oregon Territory lying and being south of the forty-ninth degree of north latitude, and north of the middle of the main channel of the Columbia River from its
86 See U. S. Geol. Survey Bull. 170, 1900, for complete report and plat. 88 10 Stat. L. 172.
mouth to where the forty-sixth degree of north latitude crosses said river, near Fort Walla Walla, thence with said forty-sixth degree of latitude to the summit of the Rocky Mountains, be organized into and constitute a temporary government by the name of the Territory of Washington.
In 1859, on the formation of the State of Oregon, the residue of the Territory of Oregon, the part extending from the east boundary of the State to the crest of the Rocky Mountains, was added to Washington. This area, with the part of Washington lying east of its present limits, was included in Idaho on the formation of that Territory in 1863.
The present boundaries of the State of Washington are as follows: Beginning on the coast at the mouth of the Columbia River; fol
lowing up the main channel of the Columbia to its point of intersection with the 46th parallel of latitude; thence east on the 46th parallel to the Snake River; thence down the main channel of the Snake River to the mouth of the Clearwater; thence north on the meridian which passes through the mouth of the Clearwater to the boundary line between the United States and the British possessions; thence west with that boundary line to the Pacific.87
Washington was declared admitted as a State by proclamation dated November 11, 1889, with its limits as above defined.88 The enabling act was dated February 22, 1889.
87 See articles relating to the northern boundary in Oregon Hist. Soc. Quart., March and December, 1919.
88 25 Stat. L, 676.