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BOUNDARY LINES OF THE STATES
second degree of north latitude; thence east with said degree to its intersection with the one hundred and third degree of longitude west of Greenwich; thence north with said degree of longitude to the parallel of thirty-eighth degree of north latitude; thence west with said parallel to the summit of the Sierra Madre; thence south with the crest of said mountains to the thirty-seventh parallel of north latitude; thence west with said parallel to its intersection with the boundary line of the State of California; thence with said boundary line to the place of beginning—be, and the same is hereby, erected into a temporary government by the name of the Territory of New Mexico.
There has been considerable uncertainty as to what mountain range was intended for the west boundary of New Mexico and the east boundary of Utah between lat 37° and 38° N. as fixed by the acts of 1850. The name Sierra Madre used in the New Mexico act is one given to many widely separated mountain groups. Emory (1857b, p. 40) refers to Sierra Madre as a general name for the mountains along the Continental Divide. On some old maps the name is given to the nearest mountains east of the Rio Grande between 37° and 38°. This group is now officially designated as a part
of the Rocky Mountain system. On other old maps the mountains west of the Rio Grande between 37° and 38° are called Sierra Madre. These are now known as the San Juan Mountains and are a part of the Continental Divide.
On the Melish map of 1818 the Mexican State of New Mexico is shown as extending north to lat 38° N. and including the Rio Grande basin. The Carey and Lea map of 1822 gives the boundaries of New Mexico between lat 32° and 38° N. as irregular lines including the Rio Grande basin. The Tanner map of 1846 of the United States of Mexico shows the western line of New Mexico as extending to about long 107°30' W. between lat 37° and 38° N. and including the drainage tributary
BOUNDARIES OF THE
New Mexico, and the only apparent reason for assigning to the Territory of New Mexico land north of lat 37° N. was to give it control of the Rio Grande basin. The Republic of Texas claimed an area as far west as the Rio Grande and from its source to the 42d parallel. The area north of the 32d parallel and west of the 103d meridian was sold by Texas to the United States in 1850, and it would seem logical to give the Rio Grande basin, which is all south of the 38th parallel, to New Mexico. (See fig. 47.)
Mr. L. R. Hafen, historian, department of history, Colorado State Historical and Natural History Society, in a letter of December 1, 1924, published in Colorado magazine in May 1926, wrote as follows:
to the Rio Grande. The Disturnell map of 1847, referred to in the treaty of 1848 with Mexico, shows New Mexico as extending north to lat 40° N. and west to long 109° W., including the Rio Grande basin. A map of New Mexico compiled by 2d Lt. John C. Parke, published in 1851, shows the "Rocky Mountain Range" (referred to in the Utah act of 1850) between 37° and 38° as east of the Rio Grande. An undated map by "E. Gilman, draftsman," printed at "P. S. Duval's Steam Lith. Press, Phila.," probably published between 1849 and 1853, shows the boundary of New Mexico between 37° and 38° at about long 108° W. and names the mountains Sierra Madre.
On an official map published by the War Department in 1859 entitled "Territory and Military Department of New Mexico, compiled in the Bureau of Top'l Engrs.," the New Mexico boundary between 37° and 38° is plainly indicated as following the Continental Divide, west of the Rio Grande. On most other maps published between 1850 and 1960, the location of the New Mexico boundary is not indicated.
In fixing the summit of the Rocky Mountains as the eastern boundary of the Territory of Utah in the act of 1850, the lawmakers probably assumed that the main range of the Rocky Mountains followed the Continental Divide through what was then an unexplored area.
The Rio Grande is a stream of great importance to
The San Luis Valley (through which the Rio Grande flows) was actually administered as a part of New Mexico from 1850 to 1861. The governor and superintendent of Indian affairs reports on this area. In his report of September 1, 1854, Governor Merriwether says that the Utahs of New Mexico inhabit "all the northern tributaries of the Rio Grande which lie in New Mexico and north of the 37th parallel of latitude" (33d Cong., 2d sess., H. Ex. Doc. 1, Report of Commissioner of Indian Affairs to Secretary of the Interior). In 1860 the superintendent in New Mexico reports that Agent Head has been placed in charge of the Tabahuaches band of Utahs and his agency located on the Conejos (west of the Rio Grande and north of 37°).
Fort Massachusetts, established in 1852 in the San Luis Valley, was under the jurisdiction of the Department of New Mexico. When Gunnison and Beckwith went through there in 1853 they spoke of the fort as being in New Mexico. G. H. Heap, accompanying Beale's expedition of the same year, speaks of the territory about Fort Massachusetts as the most fertile portion of New Mexico.
During the fifties a number of towns were founded in the San Luis Valley and were governed as parts of Taos County.
The national census of 1860 lists the towns of Costilla, Conejos, and others in San Luis Valley as parts of Taos County, N. Mex.
BOUNDARY LINES OF THE STATES
This territory was enlarged on August 4, 1854, by the
163 addition of the Gadsden Purchase (10 Stat. L. 575) and was reduced by the formation of Colorado Territory in
NEW MEXICO 1861 (p. 141) and Arizona Territory in 1863 (p. 165). The boundaries as thus changed are the same as those of present-day New Mexico and are described as follows: Beginning at the point of intersection of the 103d meridian of longitude west of Greenwich with the 37th The line between New Mexico and Arizona was surparallel of latitude; running thence south to its point of veyed in 1875 under the direction of the General Land intersection with the 32d parallel of latitude; thence Office by C. Robbins on a meridian determined by refwest on this parallel to its intersection with the Rio erence to a peak named The Needles, located by the Grande; thence southerly down the main channel of Wheeler Survey in 1874. Robbins refers to this point as the Rio Grande as it was September 9, 1850, to its point the "southwest needle point of Wilson's Peak" and of intersection with the boundary line between the gives its position as lat 36°41'40.3" N., long United States and Mexico; thence with this boundary 108°50'26.1" W.99 This peak is now known as Ship to its intersection with the 32d meridian of longitude Rock. The summit was considered to be inaccessible west from Washington; thence north along this merid- until 1940, but many climbers have reached the top ian to the 37th parallel of latitude, and east along that since that time (Baars, 1972, p. 212). (See fig. 48.) It is parallel to the place of beginning.
an intersected point in the triangulation of the U.S. The enabling act for the admission of New Mexico to Coast and Geodetic Survey. The line was run west the Union, dated June 16, 1906, included also provisions and north to the intersection of the 32d meridian west for the admission of Oklahoma and Arizona, the of Washington with the south boundary of Colorado as boundaries of each to be "as at present described." (34 marked by Darling in 1868 (see p. 141). Robbins' point Stat. L., pt. 1, 267.) Further provisions for the admission was 1 mile 45 chains east of the earlier mark estabof New Mexico were made by the act of June 20, 1910 lished for the southwest corner of Colorado and be(36 Stat. L., pt. 1, 557), and by the joint resolution of came the accepted location of "the four corners" (see August 21, 1911 (37 Stat. L., pt. 1, 39), which required p. 142). The position was marked by a sandstone the acceptance of the Texas-New Mexico boundary line monument and was used later in running the boundary as described in the joint resolution of February 16, 1911 between Colorado and Utah and that between Utah (p. 124). The proclamation by the President declaring and Arizona. Because it was not possible to make New Mexico's admission to statehood in effect was astronomic observations from the boundary corner, a dated January 6, 1912.
28-inch cottonwood tree a few hundred feet away was In 1874, John G. Major began his survey of the east cut down and the stump used as a pedestal for the boundary of New Mexico at the Johnson monument for theodolite. Observations were made for latitude, azithe 103d meridian (see Colorado, p. 141), 57 miles 4.50 muth, and time. The geodetic position of the monument chains west of the southeast corner of Colorado and has since been determined as lat 36°59'56.30" N., long 142.00 chains west of the Macomb monument already
109° 02'40.24" W. (1927 N.A.D.). referred to. Major then surveyed his line for the east From the monument, the line was surveyed south, boundary of New Mexico south 34 miles and 40 chains with marks at mile intervals (most of them small stones to a point which he designated the northwest corner of inscribed "ARIZ" on the west side and 'N MEX" on the Texas. However, he did not find the true northwest east), a measured distance of 390 miles 48.31 chains corner of Texas established by John H. Clark. Subse- to an intersection with the United States and Mexico quent retracements show that Major's line is 2 miles boundary line. This intersection was marked by the 13.50 chains west of the northwest corner of Texas 1891-96 Mexican boundary survey with monument 71, established by Clark and 4 miles 28.50 chains west of whose position is given as lat 31°19'56.35'' N., long the Chaney and Smith position for the Cimarron merid
109° 02'56.82" W. (approximate 1927 N.A.D.). ian in long 103° W.
For a description of the south boundary, see pages For reference to the New Mexico-Oklahoma line, see
29 and 124. (See fig. 49.) page 140; the New Mexico-Texas line, page 124; and
Suit was instituted in the U.S. Supreme Court in the the New Mexico-Colorado line, page 142.
October term, 1920, by New Mexico against Texas to From the south end of the Oklahoma-New Mexico
have the boundary between the two States, south of
lat 32° N., fixed at the midchannel of the Rio Grande boundary line, there is a jog in the New Mexico east line of about 2.1 miles westward along the Texas north 6 The position given in Tables of Geographic Positions, from
gathered by parties of the U.S. Geographical Surveys west of the 100th line to long 103°02'28.27" W. (1927 N.A.D.).
Meridian, is lat 36°41'28.0" N., long 108°50ʻ18.1" W. (Macomb, 1885, p. 22).
FIGURE 48.—Ship Rock, N. Mex., point of departure for
Arizona-New Mexico boundary survey. (Photograph by Josef Muench, Santa Barbara, Calif.)
BOUNDARY LINES OF THE STATES
FIGURE 49.–Marks on the tablet at the
southeast corner of New Mexico.
as it flowed in 1850, when New Mexico was made a Territory; the New Mexico claim was that prior to an avulsion which occurred in 1864, the river was in many places east of its present position. In the case before the Supreme Court, both States agreed to the boundary being the midchannel as it was in 1850, but each presented a different map to show its location. The Court appointed a special master who filed a report that the correct boundary was as claimed by Texas. The intersection of this line with the 32d parallel was stated to be 750 feet west of Clark monument 1, reestablished by commissioners in 1911. (275 U.S. 279; 276 U.S. 559.) A commissioner was designated on April 9, 1928, to survey and mark the boundary, and his report (283 U.S. 788) was confirmed by the Court on March 23, 1931. There are now 105 concrete monuments on the line.
The admission of Arizona to the Union was provided for in acts of June 16, 1906 (34 Stat. L., pt. 1, p. 267), and June 20, 1910 (36 Stat. L., pt. 1, p. 570), and in a joint resolution approved August 21, 1911 (37 Stat. L., pt. 1, p. 39). It was declared in effect by proclamation dated February 14, 1912.
The present boundaries of Arizona are described as follows: Beginning at the point of intersection of the 37th parallel of latitude with the 32d meridian of longitude west from Washington; thence south along this meridian to its intersection with the boundary line between the United States and Mexico; thence with this boundary to the Colorado River; thence up the middle of the main channel of the Colorado River to its point of intersection with the 37th meridian of longitude: north on this meridian to its intersection with the 37th parallel; and eastward along the 37th parallel to the place of beginning.
For reference to surveys of the boundaries, see pages 29, 160, and 163.
The part of the boundary that lies in the Colorado River downstream from the mouth of the Gila River is also the international boundary with Mexico. (See the Gadsden Purchase, p. 29.) The treaty between the United States and Mexico signed November 23, 1970 (TIAS 7313), has as one of its purposes to "Minimize the changes in the channels of these rivers (the Rio Grande and Colorado] and should these changes occur, attempt to resolve the problems arising therefrom promptly and equitably."
Arizona was organized as a Territory by act of February 24, 1863, from the western part of the Territory of New Mexico (fig. 47) with boundaries described as follows (12 Stat. L. 665):
That all that part of the present Territory of New Mexico situate west of a line running due south from the point where the southwest corner of the Territory of Colorado joins the northern boundary of the Territory of New Mexico to the southern boundary line of said Territory of New Mexico be, and the same is hereby, erected into a temporary government by the name of the Territory of Arizona.
In 1866 an area of approximately 11,600 square miles north of the middle of the Colorado River and west of the 37th meridian west from Washington was added to Nevada (14 Stat. L. 43).
In 1946, at the general election, Alaskans voted in favor of statehood. In subsequent sessions of Congress, bills were introduced to admit Alaska to statehood. At a State election in 1955, delegates were chosen to meet and draft a constitution. This proposed constitution was approved by the voters in April 1956. An enabling act was passed by Congress and signed by the President on July 7, 1958 (72 Stat. 339). The Presidential proclamation admitting Alaska as the 49th State was issued on January 3, 1959.
The statehood act defines the boundaries of the State simply in these words:
The State of Alaska shall consist of all the territory, together with the territorial waters appurtenant thereto, now included in the Territory of Alaska.