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Record Group Number: 000589
Series/Collection Number: .S 617
Creator: United States. General Land Office.  --Florida District.
Title, Dates: Township survey plats, 1823-1933.
Amount: 154.00 cubic ft.
Medium Included:
Organization/Arrangement: Numerical by township and range numbers.
Terms Governing Use:
Biographical/Historical:     The United States General Land Office was established in 1812. Its duties were to survey and manage the public lands of the federal government.  In 1824, the post of Surveyor General of the United States for the Territory of Florida was established to survey the public lands in Florida using a township and range system.
    Florida is divided into nearly 1,700 townships, each of which is a square six miles by six miles.  Township is also the name of the east-west axes (similar to latitude) which forms the northern and southern boundaries of any township.  Range is the name of the north-south axes (similar to longitude) which forms the eastern and western boundaries.  Each township is subdivided into square mile sections, numbered consecutively from 1 to 36.
    A township is identified by its relationship to the intersection of the Tallahassee Meridian (the central north-south axis) and the Base Line (the central east-west axis).  All townships are either Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, or Southeast of the intersection in Tallahassee.
    The selling of the surveyed public lands began in 1825.  The Florida District General Land Offices were responsible for the handling of claims made for virgin and unsettled federal public lands in Florida.  The federal land offices in Florida were closed in 1907 and its records transferred to the State Land Office and the  Commissioner of Agriculture (1907, Ch. 5611, Laws).
Summary:     This series contains approximately 6,800 survey plats, 1823-1933, drawn by the Surveyor General of the United States for the Territory and State of Florida.  The survey plats were maintained by the Florida District of the General Land Office until it was closed.  The majority of the plats are copies made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries of surveys originally completed between 1840 and 1860.
    The survey plats represent an average of 4 plats or survey maps for each of the nearly 1,700 townships.  The entire state is covered, with two major exceptions:  the Forbes Purchase, the approximate boundaries of which are St. Marks, Woodville, Bristol, and Apalachicola; and the area around Lake Okeechobee and the western halves of Palm Beach and Broward Counties.
    The series also contains other maps which cover more specific areas, such as land grants, military reservations, wildlife refuges, and maps submitted by surveyors summarizing township boundaries and the areas of specific surveying contracts.
    The average township plat contains a one-square foot map with a scale of 80 chains (one mile) = 2 inches.  Also found on the plat are a table of the area of land in each of the 36 sections, meanders (bearings and distances) of natural boundaries (shorelines, etc.), information concerning when and by whom the survey was done, and notes relating to the sale and/or disposition of land within the township.  Many of the maps are colored.
Finding Aids: Box listing available.
Additional Physical Form:
Reproduction Note:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
Associated Materials: Series S1812, United States, General Land Office, Florida District, Plat Maps of Counties; and Series S1815, United States, General Land Office, Florida District, Plat Maps, contain similar records.
Language Notes:
Ownership/Custodial History:
Publication Note:
General Note:
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields: Surveyor General of the United States, for the Territory of Florida.
Surveyor General of the United States, for the State of Florida.
Surveying Public lands
Territorial records. aat
Land surveys. aat
Plats. aat
Township surveys.
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