Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Beginning at the mouth of the Sabine River and running west along the Gulf of Mexico three leagues from land to the mouth of the Rio Grande, thence up the principal stream of said river to its source, thence due north to the fortysecond degree of north latitude, thence along the boundary line as defined in the treaty between Spain and the United States to the beginning.

The claim by Texas to land north to the 42d parallel and west and south to the Rio Grande was based in part on a secret treaty between President Santa Anna of Mexico and officers of the Texas army at the end of the war between Mexico and Texas in 1836.

FIRST MEXICAN CESSION

9

In 1848 the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo added to the country the area of California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. (See fig. 2.) This treaty was concluded February 2, 1848, and proclaimed July 4, 1848. The clauses in it defining our acquisition of territory are as follows:

ARTICLE V. The boundary line between the two Republics shall commence in the Gulf of Mexico, three leagues from land, opposite the mouth of the Rio Grande, otherwise called the Rio Bravo del Norte, or opposite the mouth of its deepest branch, if it should have more than one branch emptying directly into the sea; from thence up the middle of that river, following the deepest channel where it has more than one, to the point where it strikes the southern boundary of New Mexico; thence, westwardly, along the whole southern boundary of New Mexico (which runs north of the town called Paso) to its western termination; thence, northward, along the western line of New Mexico, until it intersects the first branch of the river Gila; (or if it should not intersect any branch of that river, then to the point on the said line nearest to such branch, and thence in a direct line to the same;) thence down the middle of the said branch and of the said river, until it empties into the Rio Colorado; thence across the Rio Colorado, following the division line between Upper and Lower California, to the Pacific Ocean.

The southern and western limits of New Mexico, mentioned in this article, are those laid down in the map entitled “Map of the United Mexican States, as organized and defined by various acts of the Congress of said republic, and constructed according to the best authorities. Revised edition. Published at New York in 1847, by J. Disturnell; (see pl. 6] of which map a copy is added to this treaty, bearing the signatures and seals of the undersigned Plenipotentiaries. And in order to preclude all difficulty in tracing upon the ground the limit separating Upper from Lower California, it is agreed that the said limit shall consist of a straight line drawn from the middle of the Rio Gila, where it unites with the Colorado, to a point on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, distant one marine league due south of the southernmost point of the port of San Diego, according to the plan of said port made in the year 1782 by Don Juan Pantoja, second sailing-master of the Spanish fleet, and published at Madrid in the year 1802, in the atlas to the voyage of the schooners Sutil and Mexicana; of which plan a copy is hereunto added, signed, and sealed by the respective plenipotentiaries.

9

* Malloy, W. M., op. cit., vol. 1, p. 1109.

For this vast territory the United States agreed to pay $15,000,000, of which $3,000,000 was to be paid when the treaty was ratified and the remainder in annual installments of $3,000,000 each, with interest at 6 per cent. Besides this, the United States assumed the liability for certain claims against Mexico, not to exceed a total of $3,250,000.

Much difficulty followed in the interpretation of this treaty. A joint commission of the two Governments was formed, consisting of a commissioner and a chief surveyor from each. They were instructed that any decision upon the interpretation of the treaty must be agreed to unanimously.

Under the direction of the commissioners the initial point of the boundary between Upper and Lower California was established on the Pacific coast and marked by a substantial monument. A similar determination was made at the eastern extremity of this line, at the junction of Gila and Colorado rivers, where another monument was placed. Between these the line was run and marked with five intermediate monuments.

The most important question that came before the commission for decision concerned the location and extent of the south boundary of New Mexico. Here, unfortunately, the Disturnell map left room for broad differences of opinion. The town called Paso (now named Juarez) was located on the map more than half a degree too far north and nearly 2o too far east. In the absence of the chief surveyor for the United States the three other members of the commission agreed to accept the position of the south boundary of New Mexico as shown by the projection lines on the map (latitude 32° 22'); to run a line in that latitude 3° west from the Rio Grande and thence north until a branch of the Gila River was intersected. In accordance with this decision a durable monument was erected on the bank of the Rio Grande, in latitude 32° 22', and the running of the line westward was begun. (See fig. 22.) After 112° had been run the chief surveyor for the United States arrived, learned what had been done, and made a vigorous protest against this interpretation of the map. This protest caused the sudden stoppage of the work of running the line and the repudiation of the agreement by the United States Government. The United States claimed that the boundary should be located with reference to the town of Paso—the only definite point for it named in the treaty. Under this claim, according to later observations, the south boundary of New Mexico would be placed at about latitude 31° 52', and it would extend west to longitude 109° 30'. Negotiations followed, but no agreement had been reached before 1853, when the Gadsden Purchase made further discussion unnecessary.

[ocr errors]

8

GADSDEN PURCHASE On December 30, 1853, a second purchase was made from Mexico consisting of a strip of land lying south of the Gila River in New Mexico and Arizona, the consideration being $10,000,000 in gold. This is known as the Gadsden Purchase, from the name of the United States commissioner, James Gadsden. The boundaries as

" established are as follows 8 (see figs. 2 and 22):

ARTICLE I. The Mexican Republic agrees to designate the following as her true limits with the United States for the future: Retaining the same dividing line between the two Californias as already defined and established, according to the 5th article of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the limits between the two republics shall be as follows: Beginning in the Gulf of Mexico, three leagues from land, opposite the mouth of the Rio Grande, as provided in the fifth article of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; thence, as defined in the said article, up the middle of that river to the point where the parallel of 31° 47' north latitude crosses the same; thence due west one hundred miles; thence south to the parallel of 31° 20' north latitude; thence along the said parallel of 31° 20' to the 111th meridian of longitude west of Greenwich; thence in a straight line to a point on the Colorado River twenty English miles below the junction of the Gila and Colorado Rivers; thence up the middle of the said river Colorado until it intersects the present line between the United States and Mexico.

In the year following a commission was appointed for surveying and marking this line, under the United States commissioner, Maj. W. H. Emory. The line was run and marked in the year 1855, and the report o was transmitted in the following year.

As settlement increased in the territory which this line traverses, it became evident that the line was insufficiently marked. Some of the monuments had disappeared, and there were many great areas of country in which no monuments had ever been placed, so that the necessity of rerunning and marking the line became apparent. For this purpose a commission was created in 1891, under which the line was recovered from the original monuments, as far as possible, and between these monuments was rerun and fully and durably marked. The report 10 of this commission, with maps, profiles, and illustrations of the monuments, was published in 1898. (See pl. 2.)

ALASKA PURCHASE Alaska was purchased from Russia, in accordance with a convention signed March 30, 1867, and proclaimed June 20, 1867, and was made a Territory by act of August 24, 1912.12 The boundaries of

9

11

? For references to the events which led to this purchase and a brief discussion of the boundary questions see Bancroft, H. H., Works vol. 17, pp. 491-518, 652, San Francisco, 1889.

8 Malloy, W. M., op. cit., vol. 1, p. 1121.
9 34th Cong., 1st sess., H. Ex. Doc. 135, 1857.
10 55th Cong., 2d sess., S. Doc. 247, 1898.

11 For a review of events leading up to this purchase see Farrar, V. J., The background of the purchase of Alaska : Washington Hist. Quart., Aprii, 1922, p. 93 ; Mowry, W. A., op. cit., ch. 8.

12 37 Stat. L., pt. 1, p. 512.

[blocks in formation]
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

FIGURD 2.—Map of the United States showing accessions of territory from 1803 to 1853

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

NOTE.-The north end of the western boundary of the Louisiana Purchase, as

#hown on Figures 2, 18, 19, 20, and 26, 18 slightly in error. From a point on the boundary 30 miles south of the 49th parallel the line should run northeastward instead of northwestward, so as to exclude the St. Mary River drainage basin from the Louisiana Purchase area

[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »