The First Survey Through Hal's Lake Swamp Page 4
authorities of Washington how far the Tombigbee ran up the country,
he replied that it did not run up the country at all, but down".10
In 1815, a period of Jackson ascendancy, Dinsmoor gave up the
position of Choctaw agent, and moved to St. Stephens,11 where a
son was born.12
Dinsmoor did not officially become a surveyor until 1819, when
he became principal deputy of the principal surveyor of the Public
Lands of the United States south of Tennessee, by appointment from
Thomas Freeman, principal surveyor.13
Dinsmoor may not have been much of a surveyor. Peter
Hamilton, real estate title lawyer extraordinaire as well as Mobile
Historian, wrote in 1910 that when (in 1821) Fort Charlotte was
abandoned by the military:
As provided by the Act,14 Silas Dinsmore [sic],
United States Deputy Surveyor, was directed to
plat it into squares, conforming as nearly as
practicable to the general city plan.
Dinsmore [sic] was, as we have seen, a man of
marked individuality and made a plat more
according to what he thought the city plan
should be than what it was; for the streets
were not continuations of those existing, and
the lots were only thirty feet wide.15
In 1824, Dinsmoor was principal Deputy Surveyor of Land of the
U.S. General Land office at New Orleans.16
Dinsmoor was chairman of the Reception Commitee to welcome
LaFayette to Mobile in 1826. Shortly afterward he took his family
10Id. at 439. Dinsmoor's grandson and namesake wrote to Peter
Hamilton in 1910 only that "while agent of the Choctaws he incurred
the lasting enmity of Andrew Jackson, a full account of which is
descendants are by no means ashamed to have known". Id. at 552.
11Id. at 454.
12Id. at 552
13Id. at 552-53.
14Act of April 20, 1818, 3 U.S. STATS. AT LARGE p. 465.
15Hamilton at 479.
16C.A. White, A HISTORY OF THE RECTANGULAR SURVEY SYSTEM (U.S.Dep't Interior) p. 81.
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