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136

Milestone 4 on the Wyoming-South Dakota line was located by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1912; it is at lat 43°03'30.61" N. and long 104°03'10.07' W.

BOUNDARIES OF THE
UNITED STATES AND THE SEVERAL STATES

NEBRASKA

was

The west boundary of South Dakota as far north as the northeast corner of Wyoming, lat 45° N., surveyed in 1877, commencing at a post set in 1869 for the northwest corner of Nebraska. That part of the boundary north of lat 45° N. was surveyed in 1885. (See p. 150.) The entire west boundary of the State was resurveyed in 1904 and marked with 6-foot stone posts at each mile except from the 39th to the 104th, inclusive, which were marked with iron posts for the Black Hills National Forest. The measured distance to the northeast corner of Wyoming was 139 miles 8.78 chains, and to the northwest corner of South Dakota, 204 miles 48.26 chains. From the northeast corner of Wyoming to the southeast corner of Montana the line runs east a distance of 70.68 chains. This jog in the State line is due to errors in the location of the 27th meridian as determined from two widely separated stations; the position brought down from the north (see Montana, east boundary, p. 150) is 41.6" too far east, and that brought up from the south (see Nebraska, 41st parallel boundary, p. 138) is 23.3" too far west.

The Territory of Nebraska was formed on May 30, 1854, from the northwestern part of Missouri Territory. Its original limits are defined as follows in the act of organization (see fig. 35; 10 Stat. L. 277): Beginning at a point in the Missouri Rver where the fortieth parallel of north latitude crosses the same; then west on said parallel to the east boundary of the Territory of Utah, on the summit of the Rocky Mounains; thence on said summit northward to the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude; thence east on said parallel to the western boundary of the territory of Minnesota; thence southward on said boundary to the Missouri River; thence down the main channel of said river to the place of beginning, be, and the same is hereby, created into a temporary government by the name of the Territory of Nebraska.

This area was reduced in 1861 by the formation of the Territories of Colorado and Dakota and further reduced in 1863 by the formation of the Territory of Idaho. (See Colorado, p. 141, Dakota, p. 134, and Idaho,

p. 156.)

In 1861, in the act creating the Territory of Dakota, a small area was added to the west end of Nebraska. The following is the text of the act making this addition (12 Stat. L. 244):

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137

BOUNDARY LINES OF THE STATES

NEBRASKA

a

That, until Congress shall otherwise direct, the portion of the Territories of Utah and Washingon between the forty-first and forty-third degrees of north laitude, and east of the thirty-third meridian of longitude west from Washington, shall be, and is hereby, incorporated into and made a part of the Territory of Nebraska.

The act for the admission of Nebraska to the Union was passed by Congress February 9, 1867, over a presidential veto, and, the conditions having been accepted by the people, statehood was declared in effect by proclamation of the President dated March 1, 1867 (14 Stat. L. 391, 821).

The limits of the State are defined as follows in the enabling act (13 Stat. L. 47), approved April 19, 1864.

That the said state of Nebraska shall consist of all the territory included within the following boundaries, to wit: Commencing at a point formed by the intersection of the western boundary of the state of Missouri with the fortieth degree of north latitude; extending thence due west along said fortieth degree of north latitude to a point formed by its intersection with the twenty-fifth degree of longitude west from Washington; thence north along said twenty-fifth degree of longitude to a point formed by its intersection with the forty-first degree of north latitude; thence west along said forty-first degree of north latitude to a point formed by its intersection with the twenty-sevenh degree of longitude west from Washington; thence north along said twentyseventh degree of west longitude to a point formed by its intersection with the forty-third degree of north latitude; thence east along said forty-third degree of north latitude to the Reya Paha [Keyapaha) river; thence down the middle of the channel of said river, with its meanderings, to its junction with the Niobara river; thence down the middle of the channel of said Niobara river, and following the meandering thereof, to its junction with the Missouri river; thence down the middle of the channel of said Missouri river, and following he meanderings thereof, to the place of beginning.

As the result of a sudden change in the course of the Missouri, an area of about 5 square miles, which had previously been a part of Dakota Territory, was left on the Nebraska side of the river a short distance above Sioux City, Iowa. (See fig. 35.) To avoid future complications, this tract was given to Nebraska by an act approved April 28, 1870, "to redefine a portion of the boundary line between the State of Nebraska and the Territory of Dakota," as follows (16 Stat. L. 93):

That so soon as the State of Nebraska, through her legislature, has given her consent thereto, the centre of the main channel of the Missouri River shall be the boundary line between the State of Nebraska and the Territory of Dakota, between the following points, to wit: Commencing at a point in the centre of said main channel, north of the west line of section twenty four in township twenty nine north, of range eight east of the sixth principal meridian, and running along the same to a point west of the most northerly portion of fractional section seventeen, of said township twenty nine north, of range nine east of said meridian, in the State of Nebraska.

For plat showing the changes, see General Land Office files, Nebraska township plats, volume 9. This change was approved by Nebraska by acts of February 9, 1871.

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FIGURE 35.-Historical diagram of Nebraska.

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100 t

UNITED STATES AND THE SEVERAL STATES

138

6-foot limestone corner post was established. From this

point a random line was run due south to the calBOUNDARIES OF THE

culated position of the 40th parallel as determined by astronomic observations. At the point thus found, a limestone post 6 feet long by 1 foot square at top, appropriately marked, was set in a mound of earth, from

which the line was run north, and marks (most of In 1882 an act was passed transferring to this State them wooden posts) were set for each mile, a distance from Dakota a small area lying between the Keya of 68 miles 79.59 chains to the 41st parallel mark. Paha River and the 43d parallel of latitude. The follow- From the Julesburg meridian mark on the 41st ing is an extract from this act (22 Stat. 35):

parallel, the line was run west to the intersection with That the northern boundary of the State of Nebraska shall be, and

the 27th meridian, a total distance on the parallel of hereby is, subject to the provisions hereinafer contained, extended 104 miles 72.07 chains. The correct position of the 27th so as to include all that portion of the Territory of Dakota lying south meridian was found from a telegraphic determination of the forty-third parallel of north latitude and east of the Keyapaha

of longitude at a station 8 miles 49.45 chains east. From River and west of the main channel of the Missouri River.

the intersection of the 41st parallel and the 27th meIn 1943, the States of Iowa and Nebraska agreed to

ridian, where a 6-foot stone post was set, the line was make their common boundary coincide with the main

run northward on the 27th meridian to the northwest channel of the Missouri River as it existed at that time.

corner of Nebraska. (See p. 133.)

The Nebraska-Wyoming line was retraced in 1908 By act of March 1, 1905, Congress approved the com- and re-marked with granite posts 6 feet long and 10 pact between Nebraska and South Dakota, fixing the

inches square at the top, each set 3 feet in the ground boundary south of Union County, S. Dak., in the middle and marked with "WYO" on the west, "NEB“ on the of the main channel of the Missouri River as it then

east, and the mile number on the south. The measured existed.

length of this line was 139 miles 22.43 chains. The north boundary of Nebraska from the middle of

For a description of the survey of the south boundary, the Keya Paha westward was surveyed in 1874, after

see Kansas. the proper position for the 43d parallel had been found from an astronomic station near the east end of the

KANSAS line. In 1893 this line was retraced, and 7-foot cut-stone posts were placed at each mile and half-mile corner

The Territory of Kansas was organized on May 30, on the line as established in 1874. The stone set in

1854, from a part of Missouri Territory. (See fig. 27.) 1869 for the northwest corner of the State was also re

The following cluuse from the act of organization deplaced by one of the 7-foot posts. The reported length

fines its limits: 56 of this line was 224 miles 12.13 chains.

all that part of the Territory of the United States included wihin The U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey determined posi- the following limits, except such portions thereof as are hereinafter tions for mile-posts 56 and 222/2 in 1912. The 1927

expressly exempted from the operations of this act, to wit: beginning N.A.D. position of milepost 56 is lat 42°59'53.37" N.,

at a point on the western boundary of the State of Missouri, where

the thirty-seventh parallel of north latitude crosses the same; thence long 100°45'04.67" W., and that of milepost 222%2 is

west on said parallel to the eastern boundary of New Mexico; thence lat 43°00'06.15" N., long 104°00'02.73" W.

north on said boundary to latitude thirty-eight; thence following said In 1893 the north boundary from the Keya Paha River boundary westward to the east boundary of the Territory of Utah, on eastward was surveyed and marked with 7-foot cut

the summit of the Rocky Mountains; thence northward on said summit

to the fortieth parallel of latitude; thence east on said parallel to the stone posts, and the distance was given as 57 miles

western boundary of the State of Missouri; thence south with the 72.70 chains to a terminal mark 72.82 chains from high

western boundary of said State to the place of beginning, be, and the water mark on the west bank of the Missouri River.

same is hereby, created into a temporary government by the name The west boundary of Nebraska, including the part

of the Territory of Kansas. along the 41st parallel, was surveyed in 1869 under Kansas was admitted into the Union on January 29, the direction of the General Land Office. The initial 1861, with its present boundaries, which are thus deastronomic station was at Julesburg, Colo., the position fined in the enabling act (12 Stat. L. 126): of which was taken as lat 40°59'01.56'' N. and long

• the said State shall consist of all the territory included within 25°18'30.90' W. of Washington. From this station a the following boundaries, to wit: beginning at a point on the western line was measured due north 89.65 chains to the com- boundary of the State of Missouri, where the thirty-seventh parallel of puted position of the 41st parallel, thence due east 16 north latitude crosses the same; thence west on said parallel to the miles 10.47 chains to the computed position of the 25th

twenty-fifth meridian longitude west from Washington; thence north degree of longitude west from Washington, where a

56 10 Stat. L. 283. The excepted parts were Indian lands.

139

BOUNDARY LINES OF THE STATES

OKLAHOMA

The western boundary of Kansas was surveyed in 1872 and was reestablished from the 174th milepost south to the Oklahoma line 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: Boundary mark Latitude (N.)

Longitude (W)
681
39°00'22.6''

102° 02'45. 1"
731/21
38°55'31.0"

102° 02'43. 4"
38°51'30.1"

102° 02'42. 5"
38°47'09. 3''

102° 02'41. 8'
130
38°06'01. 5"

102° 02'41. 5"
140?
37°57' 18.0"

102° 02'38. 4"
1 U.S. Coast and Geod. Survey Rept. for 1902, p. 253.
? U.S. Geol, Survey 18th Ann. Rept., pt. 1, p. 184.

781

831

2

on said meridian to the fortieth parallel of latitude; thence east on said parallel to the western boundary of the State of Missouri; thence south with the western boundary of said State to the place of beginning.

It is noteworthy that Kansas was the first State to be admitted to the Union having a meridional boundary referred to the Washington meridian.

The part of Kansas Territory west of the 25th Washington meridian, detached by this act, was made a part of the Territory of Colorado 30 days later.

The southern boundary of Kansas was surveyed in 1857. The initial point on the 37th parallel was found from astronomic observations on the Kansas-Missouri boundary line in long 94°40'26.3'' W. and was checked by observations at 10 other astronomic stations. Marks were left at irregular intervals.

The General Land Office resurveyed this line from the 166th mile to the 226th mile in 1872 and from he 207th mile to the 268th mile in 1873.

Two boundary stones were located by triangulation in 1902 on the Kansas-Oklahoma line--boundary stone 160, a sandstone post 5 by 12 by 20 inches, projecting about 9 inches above ground, marked "160" on top, "K" on the north side, and "I T" on the south side, in lat 36°50'55.03" N., long 97°54'01.75" W.; and boundary stone 163, a stone marked as above described except that "163" is the number on top, in lat 36°59'54.78'' N., long 97°57' 16.23" W. These values are as corrected to 1927 N.A.D.

The U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1935 determined the position of the southeast corner of Kansas as lat 36°59'54.75" N., long 94°37'03.74" W.

The boundary between Kansas and Nebraska is the base line of the sixth principal meridian, which was used for land surveys in the two States. The survey of the boundary was begun in 1854, and 108 miles of line west of the Missouri River were run and marked; the marks with few exceptions were small wooden posts or stones. The initial position for the 40th parallel was found by calculation and measurement from an astronomic station (lat. 40°01'10.3'' N.) on the east side of the Missouri about 2/2 miles southeast of the mouth of the Nemaha. An initial monument for this line, made of cast iron, 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. (See General Land Office files, Kansas exterior plats, v. 4, p. 2.)

For the eastern boundary, see Missouri (p. 118).

OKLAHOMA The Territory of Oklahoma was organized under the act of May 2, 1890, from the western part of the Indian Territory. (See p. 51 and fig. 36.) Its limits as originally constituted were set forth in the act as follows (26 Stat. L. 81-82):

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 [Donaldson, 1884, p. 462, 1187), 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 Missouria, 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 Cheerokee 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 boundaries, shall hereafter become a part of the Territory of Oklahoma whenever the Indian nation or tribe owning such lands shall signify to the

as

140

BOUNDARIES OF THE
UNITED STATES AND THE SEVERAL STATES

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.

The Public Land Strip was a rectangular part of the land ceded to the United States by Texas that lay south of Kansas and east of 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 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°00'00.47" N. and 103°00'06.63" W., 1927 N.A.D.

The U.S. Supreme Court having decreed that the area east of the 100th meridian and between the two main forks of the Red River did not belong to Texas (see p. 122), Congress, on May 4, 1896, enacted (29 Stat. L. 113)

Greer County, Texas, be and the same is hereby established as Greer County, Oklahoma.

The 98th meridian, which was then part of the west boundary 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 east of the 100th meridian; this area 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 (27 Stat. L. 640), dated December 19, 1891, ratified by Congress March 3, 1893, and proclaimed by the President August 19 of the same year; the treaty became effective at 12 o'clock noon of the 16th of September. This area thereby became a part of the Territory of Oklahoma in 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 21/2 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 (34 Stat. L. 267), 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.

That, the portion of the Territory of Oklahoma bounded by the North Fork of the Red River and the State of Texas, heretofore known

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