Public Land Survey System

Second Principal Meridian

The Second Principal Meridian, also known as the Paoli Meridian, runs through an Initial Point in the geographical center of the state of Indiana. Surveyed by Ebenezer Buckingham Jr. in 1805, the meridian coincides with 86°28’W longitude, and the initial point is approximately two miles west of the confluence of the Little Blue and Ohio Rivers. The meridian runs north to the northern boundary of Indiana, and, with the principal base line in latitude 38°28’20”N, governs the surveys in Indiana and part of those in Illinois. The principal base line was established by running a line due east from a point on the southerly line at or near the Vincennes Tract as surveyed by Thomas Freedman in 1803. There are 15 ranges of townships to both the east and the west of the Second Principal Meridian being primarily in Indiana.