Public Land Survey System
Between the Miami Rivers
In 1788, Judge John Cleves Symmes—a congressman and judge from New Jersey—petitioned Congress for 1,000,000 acres of land between the Miami rivers in the Northwest Territory. In 1794, President George Washington allowed him to purchase and privately survey about 250,000 acres plus a surveying township to be reserved for the development of an academy in what is known as the Symmes or Miami Purchase. The remaining lands between the Miami rivers that Symmes had initially wanted to purchase became Congress Lands Between the Miamis, and would be surveyed later. Collectively, the Symmes Purchase and Congress Lands are known as Between the Miamis survey.
The survey work done in the Between the Miamis survey is some of the most unique in the PLSS. Ranges were numbered in rows running south to north from the Ohio River with 2 fractional ranges occurring in the southernmost extent of the territory where fractional townships occurred against the Great Miami, Ohio, and Little Miami Rivers. Townships were numbered in columns running west to east from the Great Miami River. Due to the meandering of the Miami rivers and the territory's bottleneck—occuring through ranges IV, V, VI, and VII—north-south adjacent townships do not always share the same number designation. All of townships 1 and 6 and parts of 4 and 5 are fractional. Sections were numbered according to the Land Ordinance of 1785.