Solomon Meredith and the Initial Point of Montana (8 of 13)

Department of the Interior
General Land Office
October 14, 1867

Solomon Meredith Esq
Surveyor General
Helena, Montana Terry
Your letter of the 27th ultimo inclosing Contract and Bond No. 1 dated August 1st 1867 entered into for the survey of the Principal Base and Meidian Lines with Professor B. F. Marsh was received today.

You state that the Deputy Surveyor has proceeded with the surveys and will soon finish the work equal to about 144 lineal miles when the returns will be forwarded.

In your letter of the 29th July last you reported to this office that you were then leaving with Prof. Marsh to examine "Beaver Head Rock" the point indicated in my instructions as the most suitable for the initial point of the surveys in Montana, promising to advise this ofice at once of the result of your examination.

It appears that three days after that time you awarded the contract to Mr. Marsh for the survey of the Principal Base and Meridian Lines before the examination of the locality for the initial point could have been effected, and as the description of the point established by you has not been reported to this office and that in the contract is indefinitely mentioned, I am in doubt as to the locus of the initial point of survey in Montana. This being the case the Contract of Deputy Marsh is not approved by this ofice and will remain suspended until satisfactory showing is made by you in regard to the proceedings had in the matter.

You are therefore hereby required to report to this office at once as to the Initial Point, whether it was established by you at Beaver Head Rock as indicated in the instructions and if not, its locality and the reasons which influenced your action in departing from them, and will await further instructions.

I am, very respectfully
Your obt. servt
Jos. S. Wilson Commissioner

Department of the Interior
General Land Office
October 19, 1867

S. Meridith Esq
Surveyor General
Helena, Montana
I am in receipt of your letter of the 1st inst. enclosing revenue stamps to be attached to Contract and Bond No. 1, the approval of which was suspended and formed the subject of our letter of the 14th inst. In reply I refer you to the 25th head of the instructions from this office dated May 9, 1867, by which you will perceive that a contract for the survey of the public lands needs no stamps. The stamps (75 cts) are herewith returned.

Very respectfully etc
Jos. S. Wilson Commissioner

Surveyor General's Office
Helena Montana
November 2nd 1867 Hon.

Jos. S. Wilson
Com. Gen Land Office
Washington D. C.
I have the honor to here acknowlege the receipt of your letter of 14th ult in which you inquire of me explanation of the selection of an initial point of surveys for Montana and suspend Contract and Bond No. 1 until satisfactory explanations reach you.

(Illegible) sufficiently full to explain my choice and reasons therefor. In addition Col. W. W. deLacy writes a statement--herewith to which I agree on as possessing merit and accurate information. I will also give in detail my movements since coming into the Territory, together with my authority for so doing and hope the matter may be sufficiently clear to secure your approval.

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The Best Kept Secrets in Montana Surveying Law
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