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L-List of persons employed in the office of the surveyor general of Louisiana July 1, 1872.

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SIR: In compliance with your instructions of April 5, I have the honor to submit for your consideration the following report of surveying operations in this district during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1872, together with tabular statements of office and field work.

SURVEYS.

All the field work undertaken during the present year has been completed and the work reported to this office, excepting the special contract of Deputy Macdonald. Contract No. 8, made with Deputy Samuel Hamblen, was the first contract for the year. The deputy took the field about the middle of December, and returned his work to this office the 16th day of May following. As his work north of the Caloosahatchie River exceeded the estimate for the whole, no work was done by him south of the river. The office work was completed and the duplicate plats and transcribed field notes, with account of deputy, forwarded to the General Land Office on the 22d day of July.

I contracted with Deputy William Lee Apthorp on the 23d day of December for the survey of a standard meridian line, from the Caloosahatchie River south as far as practicable for the survey of a correction parallel between townships 46 and 47 south, running east from the meridian line to Lake Okechobee, or to the marshes of said lake, and west from said line to the Gulf of Mexico; also for the survey of township lines embraced within the above mentioned lines until he should run five hundred and sixty-three miles of township lines. Owing to some unavoidable delays the deputy did not get into the field until some time in March; the season being so far advanced he failed to make his full amount of miles before the rainy season set in, which drove him from the field. His work was reported July 1, and the diagrams and transcribed field notes, together with his account, were forwarded to the General Land Office July 31.

Contract No. 10, dated January 3, 1872, with Deputy M. A. Williams, for the survey of Key Largo and adjoining keys, was reported July 6. The office work is now being pushed forward as rapidly as possible and will soon be completed and forwarded. Contract No. 11, with Deputy J. A. Macdonald, for a special survey, has not been returned; nothing has been heard from the deputy, so no reasons can be assigned for the delay.

The contract made with Deputy M. A. Williams for the survey of township 45 south, ranges 41, 42, and 43 east, and township 46 south, range 41 east, contract dated 24th of April, 1871, afterward extended to March 1, 1872, and again to June 1, was reported to this office June 1. The office work was delayed for some time on account of some irregularities in the notes, and as the deputy's whereabouts at this time was uncertain, no communication could be got to him. The office work is now completed, and the duplicate plats and notes will be sent forward as soon as examined and approved.

Contract No. 7, with Deputy Charles F. Smith, which was to have been executed by August 1, 1871, and which was extended to April 1, 1872, has not been executed. Under date of April 1, I received a letter from the deputy asking that the contract be canceled, as Mr. Westcott, the party interested, had failed, up to that time, to furnish the required data to enable him to locate the grant, though repeatedly solicited for such

data. I would therefore recommend that the contract be canceled, thereby relieving the deputy from any further responsibility in the matter.

CHARACTER OF COUNTRY SURVEYED.

The country north of the Caloosahatchie River, surveyed by Deputy Hamblen, is generally fine; some small hummocks on the river, in range 26, which he reported as very rich and susceptible of cultivation.

West of range 25, and between the mouth of Pease Creek and the Caloosahatchie River, the fine lands are of good quality, high, and somewhat rolling, well timbered, little or no saw palmetto, and, being below the frost line, are of very great valne for raising tropical fruits; the soil is good and of considerable depth. Sea-island cotton was found growing wild in many places; the plant looked well and was heavily fruited. South of the river the coral rocks come very near the surface, though there is a large quantity of good merchantable pine growing in this region, which is growing more valuable every year; the soil is suitable for pine-apples and small fruits. The settlers at Fort Myers raise some oranges, but to protect the trees from being blown over by heavy winds, on account of the thinness of the soil, they place heavy timbers around them, at a distance of four or five feet from the body of the tree. The orange grown here is large and juicy, and is excelled by none.

There is a considerable settlement at Fort Myers, mostly interested in stock raising. The number of cattle south of the River is estimated at seventy-five thousand (75,600) head. The prairie and saw grass bordering Lake Okechobee furnishes excellent pastures, and is good at all seasons of the year. Cattle are shipped from here to Cuba and bring a good price. The fisheries here are entirely neglected, though there is probably no point on the coast where such facilities could be obtained as here; for several months the river and bay are literally alive with schools of mullet, which could be taken by the hundred barrels, and, when properly cured, find a ready market.

On the eastern part of his contract, Deputy Apthorp found several Indian families living in small palmetto shanties. They had small patches in cultivation, in corn, beans, pumpkins, &c., though they seemed to subsist mostly on game and fish. Deer and other game were found in abundance, and the ponds and creeks were full of fish. The Indians dress their deer-skins and sell them at Forts Thompson or Myers, for whisky, tobacco, and such articles of clothing as they need. There were but few of them, not more than fifteen or twenty men, women, and children. They were peaceably disposed, and a party of four or five of them spent several days with the deputy in his camp. They still speak their native tongue, though they can understand some English. They carried an interpreter with them, whom they called the "doctor,” and who seemed to be principal man among them. There are several small parties west of the everglades, some near the mouth of the Kissinnee River, and still others who live in and east of the everglades. They do not seem to have any recognized chief over them, though in each community one of their number is looked up to as the head of the party. There are probably not more than two or three hundred of them living in the State, and they occupy lands that would be untenantable for white men, so it is fair to be supposed they will not be disturbed for years to come. Their wants They have no difficulty in getting plenty to eat. They are few and easily supplied. can erect a shelter, that is all they would have it, in two hours, and as for clothing in this warm climate, the less the better. They were filthy, and looked healthy, and must certainly be happy.

The lands surveyed by Deputy Williams at the south end of Lake Worth are of little value, unless drained. On the lake are several small bodies of good hummock, not large enough, however, to attract settlers to that point.

The keys surveyed by Deputy Williams have on them a considerable rocky hun mock, very productive and seemingly very desirably located for raising fruits. The growing of pine-apples on Key Largo is now an established success. Mr. Baker, who cultivates them largely on this key, makes it a success financially, and the fruit is as fine as can be raised in the West Indies, and more easily got to market. The timber growing on these keys is entirely different from any found in any other part of the State, being principally crab wood, poison wood, mastic, maderia wood, wahoo, plum. and gumbo-limbo.

The reefs outside protect the keys from the heavy storms, and the hummock is generally high enough to be cultivated without fear of overflow.

Under the appropriation for continuing the surveys for the present fiscal year, the remainder of the keys, from Key Largo to Key West will be surveyed, and the subdi vision of the country south of the Caloosahatchie River will be pushed forward to the full extent of the appropriation. Accompanying this report are the following docu

ments:

A.-Map of the State, showing the progress of surveys.

B.-Report of surveying operations in this district during the past fiscal year

C.--Statement of the present condition of contracts not closed at date of last annual report.

D.-Report of plats furnished the district land office.

E-Reports of deposits for special surveys.

F.-Estimate of appropriations required for the office of the surveyor general and for continuing the public surveys within the district for the fiscal year ending June 30,

1874.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Hon. WILLIS DRUMMOND,

Commissioner General Land Office, Washington, D. C.

M. S. STEARNS,

Surveyor General.

B.-Report of surveying operations in the district of Florida during the year ending June 30, 1872, showing the present condition of contracts made since date of last annual report.

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Samuel Hamblen

8 Nov. 20, 1971 Subdivisions..

41, 42, 43, 44, and 45. 34, 35, 41, 42, 43, 44, and 45.

22 and 23 June 1, 1872 June -, 1872 July 22, 1872 1, 002 31 87 24

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25 and 26

24, 25, and 26

Lying south of the Caloosahatchie River.

From Caloosahatchie River July 1, 1872 July 1, 1872 July 31, 1872

south, at such point as the

deputy should

practicable.

find most

Correction par- Between township 46 and 47, July 1, 1872 July 1, 1872 July 31, 1872 rallel.

from the standard meridian

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Remarks.

As the subdivisions of the townships north of the river overrun the number of miles estimated in his contract, the deputy did not run any lines south of the river. They were afterward run by Deputy William Lee Apthorp, under his contract, No. 9. Contract closed. 00 Work forwarded; contract closed, and deputy's account sent to Treasury for payment.

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east to the marshes of Lake

Okechobee and west to the Gulf of Mexico.

Township lines Beginning south of the Caloo- July 1, 1872 July 1, 1872 July 31, 1872

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Names of deputies.

No. of contract.

C.-Statement showing the present condition of contracts not closed at date of last annual report.

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41, 42, and 43 Sept. 1, 1871. Work interrupted by 205 Tosing supplies on Lake Worth

41

in a storm, and time extended to June 1, 1872.

Aug. 1, 1871. Extended to April 1, 1872.

71 Work reported June 1.

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