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BOUNDARY LINES OF THE STATES
survey and mark the line. The survey was made on ice
131 during the winter of 1920–21, and the commissioners' report was confirmed by the Court February 7, 1922. The line surveyed (258 U.S. 149) was 18.4 miles in length and was almost entirely over water. Rectangular coordinates were computed for each angle, and suitable reference marks were established on shore.
In 1917, Wisconsin and Minnesota agreed to change to it by popular vote. In this act (5 Stat. L. 742) the their boundary in the Mississippi River by the ex- boundaries were given as follows: change of two islands. Wisconsin ceded Island No. 72
That the following shall be the boundaries of the said State of Iowa, opposite the City of Winona to Minnesota (Wisconsin to wit: Beginning at the mouth of the Des Moines river, at the middle Laws, 1917). Minnesota, in return, ceded Baron's Island of the Mississippi, thence by the middle of the channel of that river (now Pettibone Park) opposite the City of LaCrosse, to
to a parallel of latitude passing through the mouth of the Mankato
or Blue-Earth river [lat 44°10' N.), thence west along the said Wisconsin (Minnesota Laws, 1917). Congress approved
parallel of latitude to a point where it is intersected by a meridian the exchange (40 Stat 959).
line, seventeen degrees and thirty minutes west of the meridian of The meridian boundary between Wisconsin and Min- Washington city, thence due south to the northern boundary line of nesota from the St. Louis River to the St. Croix River the State of Missouri, thence eastwardly following that boundary was surveyed and marked in 1852 under the General
to the point at which the same intersects the Des Moines river, thence Land Office, by George R. Stuntz, deputy surveyor.
by the middle of the channel of that river to the place of beginning. (General Land Office, Wisconsin field notes, v. 37, 133.)
These boundaries were not acceptable to the people For the southern boundary, see Illinois, page 116.
and by a popular vote were rejected.
Another constitutional convention was held in May
1846, and Congress passed an act (9 Stat. L. 52), apIOWA
proved August 4, 1846, which fixed the boundaries, in Iowa was organized as a Territory by act of June
accordance with the wishes of the people, as follows: 12, 1838, effective July 3, from a portion of Wisconsin Beginning in the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi River Territory. (See figs. 27, and 31.) The limits were de
at a point due east of the middle of the mouth of the main channel of
the Des Moines River; thence up the middle of the main channel of fined as follows in the act (5 Stat. L. 235) creating it:
the said Des Moines River to a point on said river where the northern all that part of the present Territory of Wisconsin which lies boundary line of the State of Missouri, as established by the constituwest of the Mississippi river, and west of a line drawn due north tion of that State, adopted June twelfth, eighteen hundred and from the headwaters or sources of the Mississippi to the Territorial twenty, crosses the said middle of the main channel of the said Des line.
Moines River; thence westwardly along the said northern boundary The approximate position of the outlet of Lake Itasca,
line of the State of Missouri, as established at the time aforesaid, until
an extension of said line intersect the middle of the main channel of which is generally accepted as the source of the Mis
the Missouri River, thence up the middle of the main channel of the sissippi see footnote 35, p. 25), is lat 47°151/3' N., long said Missouri River, to a point opposite the middle of the main channel 95°12/2' W. The river runs northwestward for about 6 of the Big Sioux River, according to Nicollet's map; thence up the miles before it turns east. The north-south boundary
main channel of the said Big Sioux River, according to said map, until
it is intersected by the parallel of forty-three degrees and thirty line across the western part of the Lake of the Woods
minutes north latitude; thence east along said parallel of forty-three is in long 95°09'11.6" W.(p. 14).
degrees and thirty minutes, until said parallel intersect the middle The lawmakers in Congress in writing the act creat- of the main channel of the Mississippi River; thence down the middle ing the Territory of Iowa evidently had in mind their of the main channel of said Mississippi River to the place of beginning. troubles over the Ohio-Michigan boundary, and to Iowa was finally declared admitted to full stateavoid any future question as to the power of Congress hood by act of December 28, 1846 (James, 1897, p. 163they reserved the right to divide the new Territory into 173; 9 Stat. L. 117). two or more Territories or to attach any part of it to The admission of Iowa appears to have left a large any other State or Territory.
area to the north and west unattached, which so reThe following clause from an act passed in 1839 mained until Minnesota Territory was organized, in (5 Stat. L. 357) is supplementary to the act above quoted: 1849.
. That the middle or center of the main channel of the river Mississippi
The act of August 4, 1846, directed that a long-standshall be deemed, and is hereby declared, to be the eastern boundary
ing dispute between Missouri and Iowa Territory reline of the Territory of Iowa, so far or to such extent as the said garding their common boundary (U.S. Cong., 1839b) be Territory is bounded eastwardly by or upon said river.
referred to the U.S. Supreme Court for adjudication. The On March 3, 1845, an act was approved for the ad- area claimed by both was a strip of land about 10 mission of Iowa to the Union as a State, but the act miles wide and 200 miles long, north of the present required that the assent of the people of Iowa be given boundary. Missouri maintained that the clause in that
FIGURE 32.-Boundaries of Michigan, Wisconsin, and
Minnesota in Lake Superior and Lake Michigan as defined by agreement among the three States.
BOUNDARY LINES OF THE STATES
State's enabling act, "the rapids of the river Des Moines,“ referred to rapids in the river of that name and not to rapids of a similar name in the Mississippi, also that the Indian boundary line run and marked in 1816 by authority of the United States, known as the Sullivan line, was erroneously established. A line claimed by Missouri was run by J. C. Brown in 1837 by order of the State legislature.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1849 that the Sullivan line of 1816 is the correct boundary and ordered that it be resurveyed. The report of the commissioners appointed by the Court to re-mark the line was accepted in 1851.52
So many of the marks on this line as established in 1850 had become lost or destroyed that the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896 ordered that certain parts be reestablished, especially those between mileposts 50 and 55. (160 U.S. 688.) Accordingly 20 miles of line was resurveyed by officers of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1896, and durable monuments of granite or iron were established thereon.53
The geographic position of milepost 40 was determined as lat 40°34.4' N., long 95°51' W. and that of No. 60 as lat 40°34.6' N., long 93° 28' W.
The survey of the north boundary of lowa on the parallel of 43°30', authorized by congressional act of March 3, 1849, was completed in 1852. The position for each end of the line and for several intermediate points was determined astronomically.54
In 1943 the States of Iowa and Nebraska agreed to alter their common boundary to coincide with the main channel of the Missouri River as it was at that time. This compact was approved by Congress on July 12, 1943. (57 Stat. 494.)
A similar agreement had been made with Missouri in 1939 along the Des Moines River. (See p. 118.)
following limits, to wit: Beginning in the Mississippi River, at the point where the line of forty-three degrees and thirty minutes of north latitude crosses the same; thence running due west on said line, which is the northern boundary of the State of Iowa, to the northwest corner of the said State of Iowa; thence southerly along the western boundary of said State to the point where said boundary strikes the Missouri River; thence up the middle of the main channel of the Missouri River to the mouth of the White-earth River; thence up the middle of the main channel of the White-earth River to the boundary line between the possessions of the United States and Great Britain; thence east and south of east along the boundary line between the possessions of the United States and Great Britain to Lake Superior; thence in a straight line to the northernmost point of the State of Wisconsin in Lake Superior; thence along the western boundary line of said State of Wisconsin to the Mississippi River; thence down the main channel of said river to the place of beginning.
Minnesota was admitted as a State on May 11, 1858, with the same boundaries that it has at present (11 Stat. L. 285). These are given in the enabling act (11 Stat. L. 166) as follows:
Beginning at the point in the center of the main channel of the Red River of the North, where the boundary line between the United States and the British Possessions crosses the same; thence up the main channel of said river to that of the Bois des Sioux River; thence [up] the main channel of said river to Lake Travers; thence up the center of said lake to the southern extremity thereof; thence in a direct line to the head of Big Stone Lake; thence through its center to its outlet; thence by a due south line to the north line of the State of lowa; thence east along the northern boundary of said State to the main channel of the Mississippi River; thence up the main channel of said river, and following the boundary line of the State of Wisconsin, until the same intersects the Saint Louis River; thence down said river to and through Lake Superior, on the boundary line of Wisconsin and Michigan, until it intersections the dividing line between the United States and the British Possessions; thence up Pigeon River, and following said dividing line, to the place of beginning.
The western boundary line from the Big Sioux River to the Minnesota River was surveyed and marked in 1859–60 under the General Land Office. (See p. 20 for the survey of the northern boundary, p. 131 for the survey of the eastern boundary, and lowa for the survey of the southern boundary.)
The western boundary of Minnesota from Lake Traverse to Big Stone Lake was meandered, and the line from Big Stone Lake to the lowa line, a distance of 124 miles 5.23 chains, was surveyed and marked in 1859 under the General Land Office. (Winchell, 1905.)
North of the 49th parallel and separated from the main part of Minnesota by the Lake of the Woods is a land area of nearly 124 square miles,55 including a
MINNESOTA The Territory of Minnesota was organized on March 3, 1849. It comprised the portion of the former Territory of Iowa outside the limits of the present State of Iowa and extended east to the west boundary line of Wisconsin. (See fig. 31.) The terms of the act creating this Territory (9 Stat. L. 403), so far as they relate to its boundary, are as follows: all that part of the territory of the United States which lies within the
62 For a history of the line, discussion of the case, report of commissioners, and description of the survey, see 7 Howard 660 and 10 Howard 1. 63 For a
full report, which contains extracts from notes of previous surveys, see 165 U.S. 118, and U.S. Coast and Geod. Survey (1896, p. 51).
56 For an illustrated description of the survey of this line, see lowa, Dept. of History and Archives (1929, p. 483-503).
5.5 This area as given on General Land Office township plats amounts to 123.87 square miles.
BOUNDARIES OF THE
That, until congress shall otherwise direct, all that part of the Territory of Idaho included within the following boundaries, to wit: Commencing at a point formed by the intersection of the thirty-third degree of longitude west from Washington with the forty-first degree of north latitude; thence along said thirty-third degree of longitude to the crest of the Rocky Mountains; thence northward along the said crest of the Rocky Mountains to its intersection with the forty-fourth degree and thirty minutes of north latitude; thence eastward along said forty-fourth degree thirty minutes north latitude to the thirtyfourth degree of longitude west from Washington; thence northward along said thirty-fourth degree of longitude to its intersection with the forty-fifth degree north latitude; thence eastward along said forty-fifth degree of north latitude to its intersection with the twentyseventh degree of longitude west from Washington; thence south along said twenty-seventh degree of longitude west from Washington to the forty-first degree north latitude; thence west along said forty-first degree of latitude to the place of beginning, shall be, and is hereby, incorporated temporarily into and made part of the Territory of Dakota.
number of small islands, which became U.S. territory by the treaties of 1783 and 1818. (See p. 12, 14.) The inclusion of this area in the United States resulted from the use of inaccurate maps by the treaty makers and has been described as a "politico-geographical curiosity of a boundary that a glance at the map will show, that no one could have foreseen, and that would be inexplicable without some knowledge of the steps in the process by which it was brought about." (Internat. Joint Comm., United States and Canada, 1917, p. 140.)
By agreement between the States of Minnesota and North Dakota and by the approval of Congress, about 20 acres of land were transferred to North Dakota, August 25, 1961 (75 Stat. 399). This parcel of land is near the city of Fargo. Moving the channel of the Red River to provide flood control cut off a bend of the river and thus made access from Minnesota difficult.
For the boundary with Wisconsin, see p. 130.
NORTH DAKOTA AND SOUTH DAKOTA The Territory of Dakota was organized on March 2, 1861, from parts of Minnesota and Nebraska Territories. (See figs. 33, 34, 35.) The following extract from the act of organization (12 Stat. L. 239) defines its original limits:
all that part of the territory of the United States included within the following limits, namely: commencing at a point in the main channel of the Red River of the North where the forty-ninth degree of north latitude crosses he same; thence up the main channel of the same and along the boundary of the State of Minnesota to Big Stone Lake; thence along the boundary line of the said State of Minnesota, to the lowa line; thence along the boundary line of the State of Iowa to the point of intersection between the Big Sioux and Missouri rivers; thence up the Missouri river, and along the boundary line of the Territory of Nebraska to the mouth of the Niobrara or Running Water river; thence following up the same, in the middle of the main channel thereof, to the mouth of the Keha Paha or Turtle Hill river; thence up said river to the forty-third parallel of north latitude; thence due west to the present boundary of the Territory of Washington; thence along the boundary line of Washington Territory, to the forty-ninth degree of north latitude; thence east along said forty-ninth degree of north latitude to the place of beginning, be, and the same is hereby, organized into a temporary government by the name of the Territory of Dakota.
In 1863 the Territory of Idaho was formed, its area having been taken from Washington, Dakota, and Nebraska. (See Idaho, p. 156.)
In 1864, in the act creating Montana Territory, the area described in the following paragraph was temporarily restored to the jurisdiction of Dakota (13 Stat. L. 92).
All but a small part of this area was included in the Territory of Wyoming in 1868.
In 1870 and 1882 small areas were transferred to Nebraska. (See p. 137, 138.) In 1873 an area of about 2 square miles was transferred to Montana. (See p. 150.)
By the enabling act of February 22, 1889 (25 Stat. L. 676), the Territory of Dakota was divided into two parts, North Dakota and South Dakota:
The area comprising the Territory of Dakota shall be divided on the line of the seventh standard parallel produced due west to the western boundary of said Territory;
Each part, having adopted a constitution, was declared admitted as a State by presidential proclamation, dated November 2, 1889.
The boundary line between North and South Dakota, which is the seventh standard parallel north, of the public-land survey, was surveyed and marked in 189192. (See fig. 33.) The marks are placed at each half mile and are substantial cut-stone posts 7 feet long by 10 inches square at top, set 32 feet in the ground, The initials of the States are cut on the north and south sides, and the mile numbers are on the east. The first mark was placed 9 chains west of the Bois des Sioux River bed. The measured distance to the east bank of the Missouri was 190 miles 8.25 chains. At a distance of 360 miles 45.35 chains, the east boundary of Montana was intersected at a point 48.35 chains north of its milepost 65. The Montana line at this place was found to bear 1°01'30" to the west.
Boundary post 333, which is near the west end of this line, is in lat 45°56'42.64" N. and long 103°28'21.85" W., 1927 N.A.D. Where the Chicago & North Western Railway crosses this boundary, the lattitude is 45°56'07.7'' N. and the longitude is 98°07'42.1" W. Near the east end of the line the latitude of a point was found to be 45°56'09.7" N. (Marshall, 1916, p. 296.) The northeast corner of North Dakota, which is in the middle of the Red River where it crosses the 49thparallel boundary, is in long 97°13'42.58" W.