This is the first comprehensive history of the early federal surveyors of the Pacific Northwest, the work they performed for the US General Land Office between 1851 and 1855, the contribution their efforts made to the westerly movement of American settlement, and the order they imposed on the land of the western valleys and adjacent mountains in what are now the states of Oregon and Washington. When Oregon Territory's Surveyor General John B Preston and his cadre of engineers arrived in the Oregon region in 1851, there was little precedent for the legal systematic description of private landholding, but when the last of these surveyors left in 1855, much of the western interior valleys of Oregon and Washington territories, from Puget Sound to the Oregon-California border, lay measured in the precise pattern of townships and sections that characterized the US Rectangular Land Survey System.
While inescapably having to work and survive within the political and social whorls and eddies of a frontier democracy, the surveyors themselves, traipsing for months at a time across what was to them marginally or completely unsettled land, typically were out of view of the general public - and have frequently remained out of view of historians as well. With this book, Kay Atwood has brought the surveyors, their work, and their legacy out of the shadows of history into the deserved light of scholarship. The book is made up of eleven chapters, along with an Introduction and an Epilogue, notes, a bibliography, period photographs, and historic and contemporary maps. The work is both accessible and substantive; its flowing style will appeal to the general reader while its substance will be valued by historians, surveyors, geographers, archeologists, environmental historians, and others with interests in the people, the processes, and places that make up this work. The historic images provide views of the places that the surveyors worked, the tools that they used, and the maps that they made -- along with the elements of the landscape that they recorded as they went abut their work.
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(155mm x 230mm x 15mm)
McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company, US
Publisher: McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company, US
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Author Biography - Kay Atwood
Kay Atwood was born in Bakersfield, California, and lived there until leaving to attend Mills College in 1960. She holds degrees from both Mills College (B.A. in theatre design) and the University of California, Davis (M.A. in theatre) and taught at a community college in California for four years after completing her degree work. In 1969, Kay moved to Ashland, Oregon, to work with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Soon thereafter, she started to prepare exhibits at the Southern Oregon Historical Society in Jacksonville and, since the mid-1970s, has devoted much of her time to consulting with agencies and municipalities and preparing cultural resource inventories, environmental histories, and National Register nominations. She also has written several books on local and regional history. During the late 1990s, Kay started research on the surveyors who came to the Oregon country in 1851 to work for the General Land Office to conduct that agency's first surveys in the Pacific Northwest. "Chaining Oregon" is one result of that research. When not working on consulting projects or writing books, Kay pursues what she refers to as her "long-neglected interests" in painting and gardening. In addition to their particular interest in establishing native plants on their property in Ashland, Kay and her husband, David, also enjoy exploring the history of Oregon and northern California.