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UNITED STATES AND THE SEVERAL STATES
liability for certain claims against Mexico, not to ex
ceed a total of $3,250,000. BOUNDARIES OF THE
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 de
cision upon the interpretation of the treaty must be part on a secret treaty between President Santa Anna agreed to unanimously. of Mexico and officers of the Texas army at the end Under the direction of the commissioners the initial of the war between Mexico and Texas in 1836.
point of the boundary between Upper and Lower California was established on the Pacific coast and marked
by a substantial monument. A similar determination FIRST MEXICAN CESSION
was made at the eastern extremity of this line, at the In 1848 the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo added to
junction of the Gila and Colorado Rivers, where anthe country the area of California, Nevada, Utah, and other monument was placed. Between these points parts of Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. (See
the line was run and marked with five intermediate fig. 3.) This treaty was concluded February 2, 1848, monuments. 12 and proclaimed July 4, 1848. The clauses in it defining
Monument 258 is the final marker on the west. It U.S. acquisition of territory are as follows (Malloy, 1910,
is about 200 yards from the shoreline of the Pacific v. 1, p. 1109):
and is a 14-foot white marble shaft enclosed by a 7ARTICLE V. The boundary line between the two Republics shall
foot iron picket fence. Its geodetic position is lat 32°32' commence in the Gulf of Mexico, three leagues from land, opposite
03.82" N., long 117°07'18.84" W., 1927 N.A.D. the mouth of the Rio Grande, otherwise called the Rio Bravo del The most difficult question that came before the Norte, or opposite the mouth of is deepest branch, if it should have
commission for decision concerned the location and more than one branch emptying directly into the sea; from thence up
extent of the south boundary of New Mexico. Here, 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
unfortunately, the Disturnell map left room for broad New Mexico; thence, westwardly, along the whole southern boundary
differences of opinion. The town called Paso (now of New Mexico (which runs north of the town called Paso) to its named Juarez) was located on the map more than western termination; thence, northward, along the western line of half a degree too far north and nearly 2° too far east. New Mexico, until it intersects the first branch of the river Gila; (or if
In the absence of the chief surveyor for the United it should not intersect any branch of that river, then to the point on
States, the three other members of the commission 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
agreed to accept the position of the south boundary river, until it empties into the Rio Colorado; thence across the Rio of New Mexico as shown by the projection lines on Colorado, following the division line between Upper and Lower Cali- the map (lat 32°22' N.); to run a line in that latitude 3° fornia, to the Pacific Ocean.
west from the Rio Grande and thence north until a The southern and western limits of New Mexico, mentioned in this
branch of the Gila River was intersected. In accordance article, are those laid down in the map entitled "Map of the United
with this decision a durable monument was erected Mexican States, as organized and defined by various acts the Congress of said republic, and constructed according to the best
on the bank of the Rio Grande, in lat 32° 22' N., and authorities. Revised edition. Published at New York in 1847, by J. the running of the line westward was begun. (See fig. Disturnell;" of which map a copy is added to this treaty, bearing the 47.) After 1%2o had been run, the chief surveyor for signatures and seals of the undersigned Plenipotentiaries. And in the United States arrived, learned what had been order to preclude all difficulty in tracing upon the ground the limit
done, and made a vigorous protest against this interseparating Upper from Lower California, it is agreed that the said limit shall consist of a straight line drawn from the middle of the Rio
pretation of the map. This protest caused the sudden Gila, where it unites with the Colorado, to a point on the coast of stoppage of the work of running the line and the the Pacific Ocean, distant one marine league due south of the souther- repudiation of the agreement by the U.S. Government. most point of the port of San Diego, according to the plan of said
The United States claimed that the boundary should port made in the year 1782 by Don Juan Pantoja, second sailing
be located with reference to the town of Paso—the 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
only definite point for it named in the treaty. Under which plan a copy is hereunto added, signed, and sealed by the
this claim, according to later observations, the south respective plenipotentiaries.
12 For reference to a mark established in 1773 for the separation of Upper For this vast territory the United States agreed to
and Lower California and for a description of the various lines proposed pay $15 million, of which $3 million was to be paid between 1845 and 1848 for the boundary between the United States and
Mexico west of the Colorado River, see Hendry (1926). The mark of 1773 when the treaty was ratified and the remainder in
was at a point about 29 miles east of south of the Pacific terminus of the annual installments of $3 million each, with interest at
present boundary between the United States and Mexico. (Garber, 1923,
p. 13; this book contains a bibliography of more than 200 titles relating to 6 percent. Besides this, the United States assumed the
the two Mexican cessions.)
boundary of New Mexico would be placed at about lat 31°52' N., and it would extend west to long 109°30' W. Negotiations followed, but no agreement had been reached before 1853, when the Gadsden Purchase made further discussion unnecessary.
ADDITIONS TO THE TERRITORY OF
THE UNITED STATES
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 million in gold. This is known as the Gadsden Purchase, from the name of the U.S. commissioner, James Gadsden.43 The boundaries (see figs. 3, 47) as established are as follows (Malloy, 1910, v. 1, p. 1121):
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 fifth 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 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 U.S. commissioner, Maj. W. H. Emory. The line was run and marked in the year 1855, and the report was transmitted in the following year (Emory, 1857a).
As settlement increased in the territory which this line traverses, it became evident that the line was insufficiently marked. Because some of the monuments had disappeared and because there were many large areas in which no monuments had ever been placed, 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 of this commission, including maps, profiles, and illustrations of the monuments, was published in 1898. (See fig. 1; U.S. Cong. 1898a.)
and proclaimed June 20, 1867, and was made a Territory by act of August 24, 1912. (37 Stat. L., pt. 1, p. 512.)
The boundaries of Alaska are described in the accompanying extracts from the convention of 1825 between Russia and Great Britain, as quoted in Article I of the convention of 1867 (see figs. 6, 7, 9; Malloy, 1910, v. 2, p. 1521):
"Commencing from the southernmost point of the island called Prince of Wales Island, which point lies in the parallel of 54 degrees 40 minutes north latitude, and between the 131st and 133d degree of west longitude (meridian of Greenwich) the said line shall ascend to the north along the channel called Portland channel, as far as the point of the continent where it strikes the 56th degree of north latitude; from this last-mentioned point, the line of demarcation shall follow the summit of the mountains situated parallel to the coast as far as the point of intersection of the 141st degree of west longitude (of the same meridian); and finally, from the said point of intersection, the said meridian line of the 141st degree, in its prolongation as far as the Frozen ocean.
"IV. With reference to the line of demarcation laid down in the proceeding article, it is understood.
"Ist. That the island called Prince of Wales Island shall belong wholly to Russia," (now, by this cession, to the United States).
"2d. That whenever the summit of the mountains which extend in a direction parallel to the coast from the 56th degree of north latitude to the point of intersection of the 141st degree of west longitude shall prove to be at the distance of more than ten marine leagues from the ocean, the limit between the British possessions and the line of coast which is to belong to Russia as above mentioned (that is to say, the limit to the possessions ceded by this convention) shall be formed by a line parallel to the winding of the coast, and which shall never exceed the distance of ten marine leagues therefrom."
The following paragraph is in the convention of 1867 only (Malloy, 1913, v. 2, p. 1522):
The western limit within which the territories and dominion conveyed, are contained, passes through a point in Behring's straits on the parallel of sixty-five degree thirty minutes north latitude, at its intersection by the meridian which passes midway between the islands of Krusentern, or Ignalook, and the island of Ratmanoff, or Noonarbook, and proceeds due north, without limitation, into the same Frozen ocean. The same western limit, beginning at the same initial point, proceeds thence in a course nearly southwest, through Behring's straits and Behring's sea, so as to pass midway between the northwest point of the island of St. Lawrence and the southeast point of Cape Choukotski, to the meridian of one hundred and seventy-two west longitude; thence, from the intersection of that meridian, in a southwesterly direction, so as to pass midway between the island of Attou and the Copper island of the Kormandorski couplet or group in the North Pacific ocean, to the meridian of one hundred and ninetythree degrees west longitude [167° east longitude) so as to include in the territory conveyed the whole of the Aleutian islands east of that meridian.
The consideration paid for Alaska was $7,200,000 in gold.
ALASKA PURCHASE Alaska was purchased from Russia, in accordance with a convention signed March 30, 1867 (Farrar, 1922),
u For references to the events which led to this purchase and a brief discussion of the boundary questions, see Bancroft (1889, v. 17. p. 491-518, 652).
There is no possibility of misinterpreting the language
31 of the convention as to the part of the boundary running along the 141st meridian, but when the wealth of
ADDITIONS TO THE TERRITORY OF
THE UNITED STATES the area was recognized the claims of the United States on the location of the part of the boundary from Mount St. Elias southeastward to the mouth of Portland Canal were questioned by Canadian authorities.
The coast of this part of Alaska is extremely broken, that the only feasible means of access to this region containing many fiords extending far inland, and no lay through U.S. territory made it extremely desirable continuous range of mountains parallels the coast. It for Canada to possess a port or ports on this coast as was for many years tacitly admitted by both sides that the starting points of routes to the Yukon mines, and the second alternative of the treaty, that the boundary it was only when this necessity appeared that a defishould be a line 10 marine leagues distant from the nite interpretation of the treaty was required. coast and following its windings, should be the one The claim made by the British Government on befinally adopted when the question of marking the half of Canada before a joint commission on the boundary arose. This position has been consistently boundary in August 1898 was that this part of the held by the United States from the time of the acquisi- boundary, instead of passing up Portland Canal, should tion of the territory to the present day. Many maps pre
pass up Pearse Canal, connecting with Portland Canal, pared before the dispute arose, United States and up which it should follow to the summit of the mounCanadian, agreed on it. Many acts of sovereignty tains nearest to the coast, and then should follow were performed by the United States within this terri- them, regardless of the fact that they do not form a tory, and no question of their validity was raised by continuous range, crossing all the inlets of the sea up the Canadian authorities. The discovery of gold in the to Mount St. Elias. This claim was refused by the U.S. basin of the Yukon in Canada, however, and the fact commissioners. A proposition by the British commis
George Turner. The Canadian side was represented by
Baron Alverstone, lord chief justice of England, and BOUNDARIES OF THE
Sir Louis A. Jette and A. B. Aylesworth, of Canada. UNITED STATES AND THE SEVERAL STATES
After argument and discussion the majority of the tribunal, consisting of Baron Alverstone and the three Americans, on October 20, 1903, agreed on a boundary
which satisfied the American claims. The boundary sioners to refer the matter to arbitration was also re- thus adopted may be defined as follows: It crosses in fused by the United States commissioners, on the a straight line from Cape Muzon to the south end of ground that there was nothing to arbitrate, inasmuch Tongass Passage, then through the passage, up Pearse as the territory in question was in the possession of Canal, and up Portland Canal to the 56th parallel of the United States and had been for many years with- latitude. Thence the line runs from one mountain sumout dispute, such possession being in full accord with mit to another, passing above the heads of all fiords. the terms of the treaty. The commission was then dis- At the head of Lynn Canal it traverses White and Chilsolved, the only outcome being an agreement that koot Passes. Thence by a tortuous southwesterly the summits of White and Chilkoot Passes and a point course it reaches Mount Fairweather and from there upon the Chilkat River above Pyramid Harbor were follows the higher mountains around Yakutat Bay to temporarily adopted as points upon the boundary. Mount St. Elias (fig. 8).
The convention of January 24, 1903, created an A survey of the coast boundary, about 900 miles in Alaskan Boundary Tribunal, to consist of "six impartial length, was completed in 1914. More surveys along jurists of repute," three to be selected by each of the this line were made later to provide more monuments two parties to the controversy, to attempt a settlement between controlling points. The boundary from Tongass of this boundary question. The United States was repre- Passage to Mount St. Elias is now defined by a series sented by Messrs. Elihu Root, Henry Cabot Lodge, and of tangents between turning points, the geodetic posi
FIGURE 8.-Map showing boundary between the United States and Canada in southeastern Alaska.