The work of the Survey began with the surveying methodology called triangulation. (Triangulation Article) This method was used to extend the survey network from its start in New York, north to Maine, and southwest to New Orleans and eventually across the entire U.S. from Cape May, NJ to California. Thereafter, lines of surveys were conducted to form a "grid" of surveys covering the entire country and the results mathematically adjusted into one horizontal network.
NGS History Powerpoint An overview of 200 years of history of NGS and its predecessor agencies including how it started, technological advancements, the spread of work that was done by the Survey, and a basic explination as to how the different disciplines fit together.
Many of the special publications reference work in specific states. To see the name and numbers of all of the special publications please see Navigating the USC&GS Special Publications. The special publications can be found here. Listed below are three important special publications that reference the horizontal network in general.