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Thoreau the Land Surveyor$
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Patrick Chura

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034935

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034935.001.0001

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The surveyor and the state

The surveyor and the state

(p.1) 1 The surveyor and the state
Thoreau the Land Surveyor

Patrick Chura

University Press of Florida

Land surveying has long been a tool of empire, linked not coincidentally with the development and hegemony of white European society over Native peoples in the New World. Once land was formally located and officially acquired, the multiple purposes of establishing individual ownership, taxable value, and legal jurisdiction were embodied in the person of the land surveyor. The surveyor not only carried considerable state-invested power but swore an oath that affirmed his honesty, the accuracy of his measures, and his loyalty to the state's protocols of property definition and distribution.

Keywords:   land surveying, state power, property definition, measurement, landowner, surveyor

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