State land states are those states where the original "seller" on the first deed was the state--actually the colony. This is generally the 13 colonies and a few states that border those states.
Federal land states are those where the original "seller" on the first deed was the federal government. Usually areas settled after the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, but not always.
State land states usually describe their land in metes and bounds. Federal land states usually use base lines and meridians.