Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

166

BOUNDARIES OF THE
UNITED STATES AND THE SEVERAL STATES

exterior boundaries of these blocks is the responsibility of the Bureau of Land Management.

The constitution provides for minor civil divisions called boroughs. Eleven boroughs have been established (1975) around major centers of population. By far the greater part of the State is not included in any borough.

The census of 1960 gave the population of Alaska as 226,167. This figure includes 43,081 Indians and Eskimos, who are U.S. citizens.

HAWAII

For a discussion of the boundaries of the Territory and their legal definition, see pages 29-33.

The question arose as to whether the waters of Cook Inlet were part of the territorial sea. Legal action brought a decision by the District Court (352 FS 850) which was confirmed by the Court of Appeals (497 F 155) to the effect that Cook Inlet is a historic bay and as such is territorial waters. Its seaward boundary is defined as extending from Cape Douglas to Point Gore and including the Barren Islands. The decision is awaiting review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The great size of Alaska and the difficulty of access to much of the terrain made the survey of the public lands on the rectangular system too costly. Such surveys on the ground were not needed over most of the area. It was desirable to be able to describe a parcel of land with reference to principal meridians and base lines as had been done in the conterminous 48 States. Additional initial points were selected and townships and ranges were referenced to them. (See fig. 16.) This system is called protractions. The coordinate values of any subdivision boundary are determined by computation according to the methods approved by the Bureau of Land Management.

It has been the policy of the Federal Government to give one or more sections of each township of the public lands to the States for their disposal and revenue. In the case of Alaska, more than 100 million acres is being conveyed to State ownership to meet its needs for revenue. The areas conveyed are referred to as "State Selections" and are generally in large blocks and conform to the rectangular system. Survey of the

Statehood bills for Hawaii were introduced in Congress beginning in 1922. For various reasons, Congress was reluctant to make Hawaii a State, one being the fact that it is not contiguous to the continental United States. After the admission of Alaska, the objections seemed to carry less weight. A constitution had been drafted in 1950 and approved that year and again in 1959. The statehood act was passed by the U.S. Senate on March 11, 1959, passed by the House on the following day, and signed by the President on March 18, 1959 (73 Stat. 4). The Presidential proclamation admitting Hawaii as the 50th State was signed on August 21, 1959. the statehood act defines the State as including the following:

All the islands, together with their appurtenant reels and territorial waters, included in the Territory of Hawaii on the date of the enactment of this act, except Palmyra Island, Midway. Johnston, and Sand Islands, and Kingman Reef.

For a list of the islands included in the former Territory, see pages 33 and 34.

The population of Hawaii according to the 1960 census was 632,772. It is interesting to note that of this number, 203,455 are classed as Japanese, 114,405 as Hawaiian, 69,070 as Filipino, and 38,197 as Chinese. All these groups have U.S. citizenship.

167

GENERAL STATISTICS RELATING TO

THE UNITED STATES

GENERAL STATISTICS RELATING TO

THE UNITED STATES

ORGANIZATION OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT

The name "united States of America" was used in the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, and the use of the name "United States" for all State papers was ordered by the Continental Congress on September 9, 1776. The first of the "Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union ** of 1777, is "The stile of this Confederacy shall be The United States of America."

The Articles of Confederation were agreed to by delegates from the Thirteen Original Colonies on November 15, 1777. The defects in the form of government thereby instituted were so many that steps were soon taken to change it. A convention called in 1787 to draft a constitution for the United States completed its labors on September 17 of the same year. The Constitution of the United States of America was ratified and the Thirteen Original States became members of the Union on various dates between 1787 and 1790 (table 4).

States be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be twenty stars (there were then 20 States), white in a blue field," and that "on the admission of every new State into the Union, one star be added to the union of the flag' on the 4th of July following.

EARLY SESSIONS OF CONGRESS The place and time of the early sessions of Congress are indicated below.

Continental Congress and Congress of the Confederation

[blocks in formation]

Philadelphia

Do Baltimore Philadelphia Lancaster, Pa York, Pa Philadelphia Princeton, N.J Annapolis, Md Trenton, N.J New York City

Do
Do
Do
Do

Sept. 5, 1774, to Oct. 26, 1774. May 10, 1775, to Dec 12, 1776. Dec. 20, 1776, to Mar. 4, 1777. Mar. 5, 1777, to Sept. 18, 1777. Sept. 27. 1777 (1 day only). Sept. 30, 1777, to June 27, 1778. July 2, 1778, to June 21, 1783. June 30, 1783, to Nov. 4, 1783. Nov. 26, 1783, to June 3, 1784. Nov. 1, 1784, to Dec. 24, 1784. Jan. 11, 1785, to Nov. 4, 1785. Nov. 7, 1785, to Nov. 3, 1786. Nov. 6, 1786, to Oct. 30, 1787. Nov. 5, 1787, to Oct. 21, 1788. Nov. 3, 1788, to Mar. 2, 1789.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Philadelphia was the meeting place for subsequent sessions from December 6, 1790, until November, 1800, when the seat of Government was moved to Washington.?1

[blocks in formation]

AREAS OF THE STATES AND OVERSEAS

TERRITORY

21. Illinois 22. Alabama 23. Maine 24. Missouri 25. Arkansas

--Dec. 3, 1818 ---Dec. 14, 1819 .-Mar. 15, 1820

Aug. 10, 1821 - June 15, 1836

46. Oklahoma --Nov. 16, 1907 47. New Mexico --Jan. 6, 1912 48. Arizona -Feb. 14, 1912 49. Alaska

- Jan. 3, 1959 50. Hawaii

Aug. 21, 1959

The following information relating to the area of the United States and its overseas territory has been assembled in tabular form for convenient reference. The areas are approximate only. Exact outlines of drainage

THE U.S. FLAG Congress, by act approved April 4, 1818, effective July 4, 1818,50 ordered that "the flag of the United

71 l Stat. L. 130. See "A Biographical Congressional Directory," U.S. 61st Cong., 2d sess., S. Doc. 654, p. 25, 1913, and 69th Cong., 2d sess., H. Doc. 783, p. 31, 1928, for places and dates of meetings of the Continental Congress. See annual Congressional Directory for dates and meetings of the U.S. Congress; also U.S. 69th Cong., Ist sess., H. Doc. 398, p. 1062, 1927. U.S. 56th Cong., 2d sess., H. Doc. 552, 1901, gives illustrations of the eight buildings in which sessions of Congress were held.

20 3 Stat. L. 415. See also I Stat. L. 341 and Preble (1917).

168

BOUNDARIES OF THE
UNITED STATES AND THE SEVERAL STATES

Square miles and areas west of the Mississippi River (principally in Louisiana) amounting to 22,834 square miles, but re. linquished to Spain 97,150 square miles (of the Louisiana Purchase), or a net loss of

15,650 Texas, annexed in 1845 (including 95,650 sq mi of the area relinquished to Spain in 1819)

388,687 Oregon Territory, title established in 1846

3 286,541 Mexican cession, 1848 (included 775 sq mi relinquished to Spain in 1819)

3529,189 Gadsden Purchase, 1853

329,670

1 This value was obtained by adding the accepted areas of the 24 States and the District of Columbia (723.947 sq mi) which lie wholly within the 1783 treaty limits, including the parts of Alabama (49,359 sq mi) and Mississippi (44,079 sq mi) north of lat 31° N. and the part of Minnesota (29,950 sq mi) east of the Mississippi and Lake of the Woods lines. The Lake Michigan area (22,400 sq mi) was also included, as it is within the original cession.

? If it is assumed that the United States had no valid claim to the area south of lat 31° N. and between the Perdido and Mississippi Rivers, then this value should be reduced by an area of 13,433 sq mi and that amount added to the area of the Florida Purchase. Of the 13,433 sq mi, 2,639 sq mi is now a part of Alabama, 2,786 a part of Mississippi and 8,008 a part of Louisiana.

3 Areas from Bond, (1912, p. 13). chief clerk, General Land Office).

basins of large rivers that form boundaries are in many places not well established even on the best maps. Original area of the United States and areas of continental changes (except Alaska and Canal Zone)

Square miles The territory of the United States, as recognized by Great

Table 5, showing land and water areas, is taken from the "Statistical Abstract of the United States," 1962, published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The water areas include only "inland water" as defined below, and exclude those parts of the Great Lakes and certain other bodies of water under the jurisdiction of the United States.

The average or mean area of the 50 States is 72,303 square miles.

Table 6 (p. 170) includes the areas of overseas territory of the United States. These figures also were taken from the "Statistical Abstract" of the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

Area, in square miles Total

Land? Inland

3

Britain in 1783: The area limited by the present accepted northern boundary from eastern Maine to a point near the northwesternmost angle of the Lake of the Woods, thence by a direct line to the source of the Mississippi River, down that river to the 31st parallel of latitude, thence eastward along that parallel and the north line of Florida to the Atlantic Ocean (excluding the water surfaces of the Great Lakes, except Lake Michigan, and the Atlantic Ocean)

1869,735 The parts of the Great Lakes on the international bound

ary which are under the jurisdiction of the United States

38,550 A 3-mile strip along the Atlantic coast

5,000 Louisiana Purchase, 1803: The part of the drainage basin

of the Mississippi River west of that river, including
the basin of the Missouri River and the area south of
the 31st parallel between the Mississippi and Perdido
Rivers:
South of the 49th parallel

2 909,130 North of the 49th parallel

250 Red River Basin and Lake of the Woods drainage: South

of the 49th parallel, west of the head of the Mississippi River

48,080 By treaty with Spain in 1819 the United States acquired

East and West Florida, an area of 58,666 square miles,

Table 5.-Land and water area of the United States, by States

State(s)

water

United States

3,615,211

3,548,974

66,237

New England

Maine
New Hampshire
Vermont
Massachusetts
Rhode Island
Connecticut

66,600
33,218
9,281
9,613
8,267
1,209
5,012

63,118
31,015
8,991
9,280
7,877
1,053
4,902

3,482
2,203

290 333 390 156 110

Middle Atlantic

New York
New Jersey
Pennsylvania

102,207
49,108

7,790
45,309

99,929
47,471

7,475
44,983

2,278 1,637

315 326

3,472

East North Central

Ohio
Indiana
Illinois

248,662
41,315
36,180
56,337

245,190
41,065
36,074
55,867

250 106 470

GENERAL STATISTICS RELATING TO

THE UNITED STATES

169

Table 5.—Land and water area of the United States, by States—Continued

Area, in square miles Total

Land

1

Inland water?

2

58,692 56,138

57,495 54,689

1,197 1,449

517,822

7,573

84,403 56,278 69,714 70,704 77,112 77,331 82,280

510,249 80,344 56,020 69,166 69,496 76,443 76,716 82,064

4,059

258 548 1,208

669 615 216

278,526

267,319

11,207

2,043 10,444

69 40,595 24,229 52,666 31,104 58,914 58,462

1,964 9,741

61 39,618 24,127 49,021 30,321 58,312 54,154

79 703

8 977

102 3,645

783

602 4,308

[blocks in formation]

State(s)

Michigan
Wisconsin

West North Central

Minnesota
Iowa
Missouri
North Dakota
South Dakota
Nebraska
Kansas

South Atlantic

Delaware
Maryland
District of Columbia
Virginia
West Virginia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Georgia
Florida

East South Central

Kentucky
Tennessee
Alabama
Mississippi

West South Central

Arkansas
Louisiana
Oklahoma
Texas

Mountain

Montana
Idaho
Wyoming
Colorado
New Mexico
Arizona
Utah
Nevada

Pacific

Washington
Oregon
California
Alaska
Hawaii

6,447

6,438

1 Dry land and land temporarily or partially covered by water, such as marshland, swamps, and river flood plains; streams, sloughs, estuaries, and ponds less than 40 acres in area.

2 Permanent inland water surface, such as lakes, reservoirs, and ponds having 40 acres or more of area; streams, sloughs, estuaries, and canals more than one-eighth of a statute mile in width; deeply indented em

bayments and sounds, and other coastal waters behind or sheltered by headlands or islands separated by less than 1 nautical mile of water; and islands of less than 40 acres of area. Does not include water surface of the oceans, bays, the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, Long Island Sound, Puget Sound, and the Straits of San Juan de Fuca and Georgia, lying within the jurisdiction of the United States.

[blocks in formation]

point on which the surface of the area would balance if it were a plane of uniform thickness.

No marked or monumented point has been established by any Government agency as the geographic center of either the 50 States, the conterminous United States, or the North American Continent. However, a monument was erected in Lebanon, Kansas, by a group of citizens who hired engineers to determine the position of the geographic center of the United States.

Meades Ranch triangulation station, about 12 miles north of Lucas, Kansas, is sometimes confused with the geographic center of the United States. This triangulation station is the reference point for all property lines and city, county, State, and international boundaries on the North American Continent that are tied to the national triangulation networks of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America. Its location is lat 39°12'26.686'' N., long 98°32'30.506" W. This triangulation station is the base point or origin of geodetic positions and directions in the triangulation net of the United States because it is at the junction of the main east-west transcontinental triangulation arc stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast and the main north-south arc, which follows approximately the 98th meridian from the Canadian border to the Rio Grande. (See page 6.)

Because many factors, such as the curvature of the Earth, large bodies of water, and irregular surfaces, affect the determination of geographic centers, the locality of the centers (table 7) should be considered as approximations only.

The geographic center of the conterminous United States (48 States) is near Lebanon, Smith County, Kansas. Its latitude is 39°50' N. and its longitude is 98°35' W. (Deetz, 1918, p. 57.)

275

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

72 Other information on geographic centers is contained in Adams (1932, p. 586-587) and Culley (1949, p. 98-99).

Table 7.-Geographic centers of the several States

State

County

Locality

Chilton

Alabama
Alaska

12 miles southwest of Clanton.
63°50' N., 152°00' W., 60 miles northwest of

Mount McKinley.
55 miles east-southeast of Prescott.
12 miles northwest of Little Rock.
38 miles east of Madera.

Arizona
Arkansas
California

Yavapai
Pulaski
Madera

Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida

Park
Hartford
Kent

30 miles northwest of Pikes Peak.
At East Berlin.
11 miles south of Dover.
Near Fourth and L Streets NW.
12 miles north-northwest of Brookville.

Hernando

Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana

Twiggs
Hawaii
Custer
Logan
Boone

18 miles southwest of Macon.
20°15' N., 156°20' W., off Maui Island.
At Custer, southwest of Challis.
28 miles northeast of Springfield.
14 miles north-northwest of Indianapolis.

« AnteriorContinuar »