U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Reports of the Commissioner of the General Land Office
Congressional documents and debates from 1833 through 1873 were recorded in the Congressional Globe, the predecessor of the Congressional Record. Prior to 1860, the reports of the Commisioner of the General Land Office were included in the proceedings of the House and Senate.
In 1861, the GLO began issuing its own Annual Report. Here's a web version of the 1861 Annual Report compiled by the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum. The railroad received a land grant from the GLO in 1862.
Annual Reports of the Commissioner of the General Land Office
These detailed reports documented the distribution of millions of acres of land every year. The 1881 report, for example, is more than 700 pages, describing the disposition of more than 14 million acres and returning more than $8.3 million to the U.S. Treasury. Most of these documents have been scanned by Google and are hosted by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization best known for its "Wayback Machine." The 1885 Annual Report was scanned by the BLM Library and is hosted by the Internet Archive.
Clerks Wanted: $100 per Month
A Bill to Reorganize the Clerical Force of the General Land Office (1872)--On March 4, 1872, Congressman Ketchum introduced a bill to "Reorganize the Clerical Force of the General Land Office." Among the provisions:
"The clerical force of the General Land-Office shall be as follows: One chief clerk, at an annual salary of two thousand six hundred dollars; nine clerks, in charge of divisions, at an annual salary of two thousand four hundred dollars each; eleven clerks of class five....ten clerks of class four...forty clerks of class three...forty clerks of class two...and fifty clerks of class one, at an annual salary of one thousand two hundred dollars each."
In addition, the bill authorized the hiring of six messengers, eight laborers, and two packers.
In the following year (1873), the GLO distributed more than 13 million acres and surveyed over 30 million acres, and returned over $3.4 million to the U.S. Treasury.
Centennial Speech, 1912
Photo of Fred Dennett courtesy of Reid Miller, BLM National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, Casper, Wyoming