Important early GLO map of Indian Territory, pre-dating the inclusion of the Panhandle, which was then Public Lands. This map was originally drawn in support of the process of redrawing the boundary lines of the various Indian Tribes, as the US Government amended certain earlier treaties and agreements which had been based on incorrect and misleading surveys and maps. This official map was drawn to support a Congressional act redistributing land among the Creek, Seminole, and Sac and Fox nations. Probably based in part on the work of Elias Cornelius Boudinot (1835-1890), whose Map of Indian Territory was prepared in 1879 to show the some 14 million acres of public lands which were not assigned to any Indian Tribes. This excellent early map identifies numerous treaties, towns, settlements, roads, mountains, rivers, etc., and was a significant early step in the mapping of what would become Oklahoma.
The General Land Office (GLO) refers to the independent agency in the United States that was in charge of public domain lands. Created in 1812, it assumed the responsibilities for public domain lands from the United States Department of the Treasury. The Treasury had overseen the survey of the Northwest Territory, but as more area was added to the United States, a new agency was necessary to survey the new lands.
Eventually, the GLO would be responsible for the surveying, platting, and sale of the majority of the land west of the Mississippi, with the exception of Texas. When the Secretary of the Interior was created in 1849, the GLO was placed under its authority. Until the creation of the Forest Service in 1905, the GLO also managed forest lands that had been removed from public domain. In additional to managing the fees and sales of land, the GLO produced maps and plans of the areas and plots they surveyed. In 1946, the GLO merged with the United States Grazing Service to become the Bureau of Land Management.