Survey Notes & Maps, ca. 1875
Appraised Value: $7,000 - $8,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:31)
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GUEST: This came from my wife's uncle. He was a surveyor in Oklahoma since the 1930s and surveyed all his life. And he acquired the books from a lady in Seneca, Missouri, and the maps I presume came with them. I'm not sure.
APPRAISER: What we have here is some incredible history of the surveying of our country and, in fact, of Oklahoma.
APPRAISER: These are survey maps by the General Land Office. And the General Land Office was formed in the 19th century to survey all the public lands in the United States. And they set up a process where they would put a meridian and a baseline in every section, and then they'd mark off in squares that were called ranges and townships. And if we look up here, you can see that it's the township north and the range east of the Indian meridian. Okay, so this was a small section of a block that was mapped off in Oklahoma. And they were surveying it, and this is the actual survey by the guy who went out there. Now, you know, what are the subjects of these surveys?
GUEST: The Indian tribes that came to the northeastern end of Oklahoma. And I think these were done in the 1870s.
APPRAISER: And that's when this was happening. Because the Indian tribes were being moved to the Indian Territory-- which is what Oklahoma was at the time-- they had to survey this land so the Indians knew what they had, so the U.S. government knew. And what's even more special about this, not only do we have the surveys, but we have some of the survey books here. And these are the field notes, and you can see on this one, you actually have the surveyor's name, E.W. Robinson. Now, I'm not sure he's the one who did these, but he was certainly the surveyor who did this book. And if we open up the book, you can see here's some shorthand notes with some maps on them. And then if we look at these other notes in here, this is his ledger. He went along and at each different marcation he writes down what trees were there, what stones were there. So these are the notes he used to make these maps. Now in consulting with colleagues about books and knowing the maps, we figure that as a collection, you're talking about $7,000 to $8,000.
APPRAISER: Probably it's about kind of even value between the two-- that these are probably maybe $3,000 to $4,000, the notes of the surveyor, and these are maybe $3,000 to $4,000. I will say you should have them restored or they won't survive. They should be put on new linen backing, and that'll increase the value just because they'll be kept together.
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