Solomon Meredith and the Initial Point of Montana (6 of 13)

13th The accounts for compensation of yourself, for the clerks as well as for incidental expenses of the office are to be rendered quarterly, the quarters of the fiscal year terminating on the 30th Sept 31st December 31st March and 30th June.

Immediately after the close of each quarter you will transmit certified accounts of Surveyor General's clerks and your own per form herewith marked "F"--also for the liabilities incurred as incidental expenses of the office, the incidental maybe sent at anytime.

14th The employees whom you may later into service must prior to their entrance upon duty, take an oath, copy herewith marked "G" to perform the same with fidelity and diligence as prescribed by "An act to prescribe an oath of office and for other purposes" approved July 2d 1862 U. S. Statutes at Large Vol 12 page 502. Such oath of office you will transmit to be filed among the archives of the Department as the law directs.

15th You are herewith provided with a four pole chain of a true standard measure which must always be retained in the Surveyor General's office to regulate the chains of the Deputy Surveyors, each of whom should take to the field a similar standard with which to compare and test--from time to time the chains in practical use.

A standard of good measure will be procured from the Superintendent of Weights and Measures to enable you to regulate the chains of your Deputy Surveyors also, and until you are supplied with that measure for the Surveyor General office of Montana, you will have to depend on the standard chain.

16th You will communicate with the Department as soon as practicable after have instituted the surveys of the Base and Meridian lines, and when enabled understandingly to do so, you will report the result of your observations and inquiries as to the particular portions of Montana which may demand earliest attention.

You will submit your report as seasonably as possible on the various subjects of your duties to be laid before Congress at the next session accompanied by estimates of the appropriations judged by you necessary for the Montana surveying service for the fiscal year which will commence July 1, 1868 and end on the 30th June 1869. The estimates should be sent in time to reach here by the first day of August next. Your annual report of the surveying operations in duplicate should be transmitted to this office so that the same may reach us by the first day of September 1867.

17th To assist you in the organization of the Surveyor General's office at Helena you will be supplied with the articles for constituting a portion of the official records of the Surveyor General's office and which are described in the accompanying schedule marked "I."

18th The law fixes the official hours for the transaction of public business as follows: From 1st of April to the 1st of October the office is to be kept open ten hours from the 1st of October to the 1 of April eight hours, excepting Sundays the 25th December and the 4th day of July.

19th Whilst the maximum allowance per mile is established, you are to endeavor to get competent practical public land surveyors to do the work at as much less rates as it can be done by experienced well tried and faithful surveyors intimately acquainted with the public land system of surveys. As a general rule you will restrict surveying contracts to such limited fields of labor as will insure the work being thoroughly done within the time fixed in contracts, say from four to six months.

20th You will caution your Deputy Sur- veyors to establish no meander corners at the intersection of the lines of public surveys with mountains as there exists no authority of law for that purpose, unless such corners coincide with the mile or half mile corners required by law.

21st To enable you to render the surveying accounts of the Deputies in proper shape, form "H" is inclosed herewith.

22nd The original township plats are to be protracted from the field notes of surveys. These original plats you will retain in your office, duplicates and triplicates may be copies of the originals transferred on blank township plats--for the register of the local land office and this office.

23rd The original and transcript plats must bear even dates of your approval.

24th In entering into contracts for the survey of the public lands, you will execute each contract in quadruplicate one to be retained in your office, duplicate to be sent to the Commissioner, triplicate to the first Comptroller of the U. S. Treasury and the quadruplicate to be delivered to the contracting Deputy Surveyor.

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Curtis M. Brown, Land Surveyor and Author
How to Live in the Woods
Land Boundary Monuments, Past and Present
Solomon Meredith and the Initial Point of Montana