SKETCH / of / The Public Surveys / in / IOWA TERRITORY

The Iowa Territory was created in 1838. This map, created under the auspices of the General Land Office, divided the eastern part of that land into square townships 6 miles on each side (townships at the edges of the state tend to be smaller and irregular in shape). The scale is 18 miles to the inch.
The identified towns include Bellevue, Benton, Bloomfield, Bloomington, Centerville, Davenport, DuBuque, Farmington, Franklin, Iowa City, Jefferson, Lyons, Marengo, Mt. Pleasant, Moscow, N. York, Peru, Rochester, Rockingham, Salem, Tuscarorah, Van Buren, Washington, and West Point. Towns in Illinois include Cassville, Ft. Armstrong, Ft. Madison, and Rock Island. A Principal Meridian runs just east of Salem, and 1st and 2nd correction lines run east and west.
Much of the underlying survey was done by William A. Burt, inventor of the solar compass.
Ref: William Milburn, “Report,” in Public Documents Printed by Order of the Senate of the United States (Washington, D.C., 1841), vol. 3, pp. 57-109.
C. Albert White, A History of the Rectangular Land Survey System (Washington, D.C., 1983).
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1840
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 11 in x 9 1/2 in; 27.94 cm x 24.13 cm
overall: 11 in x 9 1/4 in; 27.94 cm x 23.495 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Prints from the Physical Sciences Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
National Archives and Records Service

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