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the 34th parallels a straight line was run which bears N. 1° 00' 42" E. Large concrete monuments (pl. 9, D, and fig. 23) were established at a number of points, and other substantial marks were placed at each mile.

The 32d parallel boundary was also rerun in 1911; its length as measured was a little more than 209 miles. The latitude of this line near Clark monument No. 1, east of the Rio Grande, is 32° 00' 00.37' as determined from astronomic observations in 1903. At milepost 53 (resurvey of 1911) the geodetic position is latitude 31° 59' 59.93", longitude 103° 58' 02.53". Milepost 61 is in latitude 31° 59' 59.40", longitude 104° 06' 13.18". The notes and plats of these surveys are on file in the General Land Office.

The southern boundary of Texas is a part of the international boundary between the United States and Mexico and as defined by the treaty of 1848 and reaffirmed by the treaty of 1853 follows the middle of the deepest channel of the Rio Grande from the Gulf of Mexico to the southern boundary of New Mexico. A survey of this boundary was made in 1852–53. The report was published in 1857. It is generally referred to as the Emory report on the survey of the Mexican boundary. 86

Resurveys of parts of the boundary where important changes in the position of the river had occurred were provided for by the convention of 1884. The following extracts from the conventions of 1884 and 1905 86 set forth the principles that now govern the location of this boundary. The dividing line shall

follow the center of the normal channel of the rivers named, notwithstanding any alterations

effected by natural causes through the slow and gradual erosion

and not by the abandonment of an existing bed and the opening of the new one. Any other change wrought by the force of the current,

shall produce no change in the dividing line as fixed by the surveys of 1852, but the line then fixed shall continue to follow the middle of the original channel bed, even though this should be wholly dry. [Convention of 1884.)

Modifications of the articles of the convention of 1884 were made by the convention of 1905, which authorized the elimination from the effects of the agreements in the earlier convention of numerous changes in the position of the “normal channel ” as follows: Whereas

it has been observed that there is a typical class of changes effected in the bed of the Rio Grande, in which, owing to slow and gradual erosion, coupled with avulsion, said river abandons its old channel and there are separated from it small portions of land known as “bancos ” bounded by the said old bed, and which, according to the terms of the Convention of 1884, remain subject to the dominion and jurisdiction of the country from which they have been separated.

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88 34th Cong., 1st sess., S. Ex. Doc. 108, vol. 1, 1857. 88 Malloy, W. M., op. cit., vol. 1, pp. 1159, 1199.


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Whereas said “bancos are left at a distance from the new river bed, and by reason of the successive deposits of alluvium, the old channel is becoming effaced, the land of said “bancos” becomes confused with the land of the

bancos” contiguous thereto, thus giving rise to difficulties and controversies,

Whereas the labors of the International Boundary Commission; undertaken with the object of fixing the boundary line with reference to the “bancos," have demonstrated that the application to these bancos of the principle established in

the Convention of 1884 renders difficult the solution of the controversies mentioned, and, instead of simplyfying, complicates the said boundary line between the two countries ;

Article 1 refers to maps made from surveys of 58 bancos along the lower Rio Grande which the convention eliminates, those on the right bank of the river passing to Mexico and those on the left bank to the United States.

Article 2 is in part: The International Commission shall, in the future, be guided by the principle of elimination of the bancos established in the foregoing articles There are hereby excepted from this provision the portions of land segregated by the change in the bed of the said rivers having an area of over two hundred and fifty hectares [618 acres, or nearly a square mile), or a population of over two hundred souls, and which shall not be considered as bancos for the purposes of this treaty and shall not be eliminated, the old bed of the river remaining, therefore, the boundary in such cases.

Article 3 required that other bancos be surveyed and that suitable marks be placed in the abandoned river bed. 87

The present boundary lines of Texas are described as follows: Beginning in the Gulf of Mexico, at the outlet of Sabine Lake, the line passes northward through the middle of Sabine Lake and up the middle of the Sabine River to the point where the river intersects the parallel of 32°; thence north along the meridian of that point of intersection to the point where that meridian intersects the Red River; thence up the south bank of the Red River along the south fork to the 100th meridian west of Greenwich; thence north on that meridian to the parallel of 36° 30'; west on that parallel to the meridian of 103° as marked; thence south along the 103d meridian to the parallel of latitude of 32°; thence west on that parallel to its point of intersection with the Rio Grande; thence down the mid-channel of the Rio Grande to the boundary line between the United States and Mexico; thence following that line (see p. 37) to the Gulf.

87 See reports published about 1913 by U. S. Dept. State, in two yolumes, which include maps or descriptions of 89 bancos that have been eliminated,


Arkansaw 88 Territory was formed by act of March 2, 1819, effective July 4, 1819, from a part of Missouri Territory. (See fig. 15.) The following clause from the act establishing it defines its limits in


part: 80

all that part of the Territory of Missouri which lies south of a line, beginning on the Mississippi River, at thirty-six degrees, north latitude, running thence west to the river St. François; thence up the same to thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude; and thence west to the western territorial boundary line; shall, for the purposes of a territorial government, constitute a separate territory and be called the Arkansaw Territory.

In 1824 an act was passed by Congress fixing the western boundary of the Territory. This was as follows: 90 the western boundary line of the territory of Arkansas shall begin at a point forty miles west of the southwest corner of the State of Missouri and run south to the right bank of the Red River, and thence down the river and with the Mexican boundary to the line of the State of Louisiana.

Four years later, in 1828, an act defined the southern boundary as commencing on the right bank of the Mississippi River at latitude thirty-three degrees north, and running due west on that parallel of latitude to where a line running due north from latitude thirty-two degrees north, on the Sabine River, will intersect the same.91

The treaty with the Cherokee Indians signed May 6, 1828, contained the following article: 82

The western boundary of Arkansas shall be, and the same is, hereby defined, viz: A line shall be run, commencing on Red river, at the point where the Eastern Choctaw line strikes said river, and run due north with said line to the river Arkansas; thence in a direct line to the South West corner of Missouri.

The eastern Choctaw line referred to was fixed by the treaty with the Choctaw Nation of January 20, 1825, as beginning on the Arkansas River "one hundred paces east of Fort Smith, and running thence due south to the Red River.” 93

Arkansas was admitted as a State on June 15, 1836. The enabling act approved on that date describes the boundaries as follows: 94

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88 This is the original spelling. A concurrent resolution passed by the Legislature of Arkansas in. April, 1881 (Laws of 1881, pp. 216–217), declared that in the opinion of that body the State name “should be pronounced in three syllables with the final 's' silent, the 'a' in each syllable with the Italian sound and the accent on the first and last syllables." The discussions which led to the passage of this act are given in Arkansas Hist. Assoc. Pubs., vol. 2, pp. 462-477, Fayetteville, Ark., 1908.

89 3 Stat. L. 494. 004 Stat. L. 40. 914 Stat. L. 276.

92 Kappler, C. J., Indian affairs laws and treaties : 57th Cong., 1st sess., 8. Doc. 452, vol. 2, p. 149, 1903; also 7 Stat. L. 311. 98 Idem, p. 20. 5 Stat. L, 50.


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beginning in the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi river, on the parallel of thirty-six degrees north latitude, running from thence west, with the said parallel of latitude, to the Saint Francis river; thence up the middle of the main channel of said river to the parallel of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north; from thence west to the southwest corner of the State of Missouri; and from thence to be bounded on the west, to the north bank of Red River, by the lines described in the first article of the treaty between the United States and the Cherokee nation of Indians, west of the Mississippi, made and concluded at the city of Washington, on the 26th day of May,"s in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight; and to be bounded on the south side of Red river by the Mexican boundary line, to the northwest corner of the State of Louisiana; thence east with the Louisiana State line, to the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi River; thence up the middle of the main channel of the said river, to the thirty-sixth degree of north latitude, the point of beginning.

In the State constitutions for 1836, 1854, 1868, and 1874 the boundaries were described but without material change from the description given in the enabling act. The constitution of 1868 refers to an island in the Mississippi named Belle Point Island as belonging to Arkansas, and the constitution of 1874 includes this clause: “and all other land originally surveyed and included as a part of the Territory or State of Arkansas."

An act of Congress approved February 10, 1905, changed the western boundary of Arkansas near Fort Smith so as to include in that State a portion of the Indian Territory (about one-fifth of a square mile), the boundaries of which were described as follows 96 (see fig. 21) :

Beginning at a point on the south bank of the Arkansas River one hundred paces east of old Fort Smith, where the western boundary line of the State of Arkansas crosses the said river, and running southwesterly along the south bank of the Arkansas River to the mouth of the Poteau; thence at right angles with the Poteau River to the center of the current of said river; thence southerly up the middle of the current of the Poteau River (except where the Arkansas State line intersects the Poteau River) to a point in the middle of the current of the Poteau River opposite the mouth of Mill Creek, and where it is intersected by the middle of the current of Mill Creek; thence up the middle of Mill Creek to the Arkansas State line; thence northerly along the Arkansas State line to the point of beginning.

By order of the United States Supreme Court or commissioners in 1920 surveyed and marked a portion of the Arkansas-Mississippi State line, commencing about 1 mile below Friars Point, Miss., on an abandoned bed of the Mississippi River left dry by the avulsion of 1848. The line inclosed an area of about 5 square miles on the east side of the Mississippi as it now flows, which was awarded to Arkansas.98

25 This is an error; the date was May 6. 96 33 Stat. L. 714. 97 252 U. S. 344. 98 256 U. S. 28.

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