One of the first acts passed by congress looking towards the disposal of the public domain provided for what is known as the "rectangular system" of surveys, which has ever since been in force, and which furnishes the method of description of land for all purposes of transfer in those parts of the country in which the title to . land is derived from the United States.54 By this system, the public lands are divided into "townships," each six miles square, these being formed by lines running east and west, six miles apart, which are crossed, at intervals of six miles, by lines running north and south. Each township, thus including approximately thirty-six square miles, is divided into thirty-six rectangular portions, each one mile square, called a "section.,; A section is the smallest subdivision of which the lines are actually run on the ground, but smaller subdivisions are recognized, these being the "quarter section," containing one hundred and sixty acres, formed by running lines at right angles from points on the section boundaries half way between the corners, and "quarter quarter sections," of forty acres each. The areas of the various divisions do not, however, always correspond exactly to the figures above given, owing to irregularities in the land, and the convergence of the meridians as one goes further north.

52. Co. Litt. 4b; Doe d. Gold in v. Lakeman, 2 Barn. & Ad. 42; Green v. Biddle, 8 Wheat. (U. S.) 75, 76, 5 L. Ed. 566; Mcwilliams v. Mcnamara, 81 Conn. 310, 70 Atl. 1043; Caldwell v. Fulton, 31 Pa. 484; Drusadow v. Wilde, 63 Pa. 170.

So it has been held that a grant of the profits or royalties from the numerals in certain land was a grant of the minerals in place. Weakland v. Cunningham, (Pa.), 7 Atl. 148; Paxton v. Benedum Trees Oil Co., - W. Va., - 94 S. E. 472.

53. Fitzgerald v. Faunce, 46 N. J. L. 596: Blauvelt v. Passaic Water Co., 75 N. J. Eq. 351, 72 Atl. 1091.

54. See Rev. St. U. S. Sec.Sec. 2395-2397.

When the land which would otherwise be comprised within a section is in part covered by navigable waters, "meander" lines are run to define the sinuosities of the bank of the stream or lake, and as a means of ascertaining the quantity of land in the "fractional" section, as it is called. These meander lines are not, however, in the ordinary case, boundaries of such fractional section,55 these being the banks of the stream or lake, or the middle line thereof, in accordance with considerations previously referred to.56

Each tier of townships running north and south is known as a "range," and the range is described with reference to a line known as the " principal meridian," while each tier of townships running east and west is described with reference to some parallel of latitude, taken as a "principal base line." Thus, a township is referred to as being a certain number north or south of a certain base line, and a certain number east or west of a certain meridian.

The thirty-six sections in a township are numbered consecutively, beginning at the northeast corner, and counting west therefrom, and then proceeding east on the tier of sections next below, and so on until section thirty-six is reached in the southeast corner. The quarter section or quarter quarter section is defined with reference to the section of which it forms a part, as when one conveys the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter of section ten, in township thirty-five north, range five east.57

55. St. Paul & P. R. Co. v. Schurmeir, 7 Wall'. (U. S.) 272, 19 L. Ed. 74; Hendricks v. Feather River Canal Co., 138 Cal. 423, 71 Pac. 496; Johnson v. Johnson, 14 Idaho 561, 95 Pac. 499; Tolleston Club v. State, 141 Ind. 197, 38 N. E. 214, 40 N. E. 690; Berry v. Hoogendoorn, 133 Iowa 437, 108 N. W. 923; Arnold v. Brechtel, 174 Mich. 147,

140 N. W. 610; Sherwin v. Bitzer, 97 Minn. 252, 106 N. W. 1046; Armstrong v. Pincus, 81 Ore. 156, 158 Pac. 662; Brown v. Dunn, 135 Wis. 374, 115 N. W. 1097.

56. Ante, Sec.Sec. 300-303.

57. The government method of survey is briefly and clearly described in Warvelle, Abstracts of Title. 138 et srq.