SURVEYS, United States GovernmentaL From an early period in its history the govern ment has made provision for exploring expe ditions of various kinds, mainly in the vast region west of the Mississippi which for many years was a but little lcnown wilderness. Some of these explorations were for military routes to the west and later came surveys of public lands. The first official surveys were made by a geographer attached to the Continental army in the Revolution and in 1781 Thomas Hutch ins (q.v.) was attached to Greene's division (Southern) as geographer. After the Revolu tion he was retained to supervise surveys of the Western lands and continued in office twill his death in 1789.
The earliest governmental explorations in the West could hardly be regarded as surveys although many of them prepared maps which added greatly to knowledge of a little known legion. Position were determined astronotn ically, and route maps were the principal prod ucts. The first of these was the Lewis and Clarke expedition sent out by President Jeffer son in 1803. One of its products was a map of the country between Lake Superior and the Pacific Ocean between the 39th and 49th paral lels. Major Z. M. Pike's expeditions in 1805 07 to the sources of the Mississippi and of the Arkansas and Red rivers were fruitful of ge ographic results. Major S. H. Long's expedi tion from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains in 1819 and 1820 was under order of the Sec retary of War. In 1823 Long made another journey to the Great Lakes and the source of Saint Peter's River. Sextant and pocket chro nometer were used, distances were estimated and courses were taken by compasses. The most elaborate early survey was that of J. C. Brown of a road from Osage to Taos in 1825-27. Chain compass and a good sextant were used and a large scale map prepared. Similar to it are the surveys by R. Richardson of a road from Little Rock to Fort Gibson in 1826, and a survey by Dimmock in 1838 for a military road from Fort Smith to Fort Leavenworth. In 1832 Lieutenant Allen on the Schoolcraft expedition made an excellent map on a scale of 5.75 miles to an inch, of the head of the
Mississippi Valley but all the distances were estimated. He was the discoverer of the sonce of the great river.
The Bonneville expedition in 1832-36 was not under governmental authority although Bonneville was an army officer. The Wilkes expedition in 1841 surveyed part of Columbia River. The first of the early expeditions which could be regarded as a geological survey was made by Featherstonhaugh in 1834 to the Ozark region, The following year his obser vations were extended along the Couteau des Prairies between the Missouri and Minnesota rivers. In 1838 Nicollet was sent by Colonel Abert of the United States Army Engineers to make a map of the hydrographic basin of the Mississippi River. In 1839 and 1848 D. D. Owen made surveys of mineral lands of the Northwest extending to Lake Superior and oovering an area of 57,000 square miles. These surveys were made for the United States Land Office. In 1847-48 C. T. Jackson and J. D. Foster and J. W. Whitney operating under orders of the Secretary of the Treasury ex tended this work in the copper district of the Lake Superior region.
Corps of Engineers, United States Army. — A large amount of surveying was done by the topographical engineers of the United States army. The first notable expedition under that bureau was N. Nicollet's explorations of the basin of the upper Mississippi River in 1836-40 which resulted in a map which is regarded as a most important contribution of American geog raphy. His surveys were largely instrumental and he used a barometer for ascertaining ele vations. The Fremont expedition in 1842 re sulted in a valuable map on the millionth scale, of the country from the forks of Platte River to South Pass between the 43d and 45th paral lels. Expeditions by Fremont in following years 1843-46 extended his observations westward to the Pacific Ocean and the surveys made were the basis for important new maps.