This map, titled "Territory of Dakota," was published by the Department of the Interior General Land Office in 1876, with J.A. Williamson as Commissioner. It features a scale of 18 miles to 1 inch and was compiled from the official records of the General Land Office and other sources by C. Roeser, the Principal Draughtsman of the GLO. The map was photo-lithographed and printed by Julius Bien, located at 16 & 18 Park Place, New York.
The map key identifies various features, including the Surveyor General's Office, Land Office, subdivided townships, cities, towns, county seats, railroad limits, boundaries of land districts, military reservations, boundaries of counties, and Indian reservations.
This map provides valuable context for the history of Dakota Territory in the 1870s. During this time, Dakota Territory, which would later be divided into North and South Dakota, was undergoing significant growth and development. The expansion of railroads was crucial in connecting the region to the rest of the United States, facilitating trade, and attracting settlers. Additionally, the map's inclusion of Indian reservations reflects the era's policies and interactions between the U.S. government and Native American tribes. As a snapshot of the Territory's landscape and infrastructure in 1876, this map serves as an important historical resource for understanding the development of the region during that period.
The GLO also produced a colored-printed version of the map.
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.