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AUCTION 24

Texas and New Mexico Boundary

<p>P. 1</p>


470.    

[TEXAS AND NEW MEXICO]. UNITED STATES. PRESIDENT (Taylor). Message from the President of the United States, with Copies of the Correspondence in Relation to the Boundary of Texas, Called for by a Resolution of the Senate. January 31, 1850. [Washington, 1850]. [1] 2-37 [3 blank] pp. 8vo (22.5 x 14.5 cm), disbound. Left edge with old saw marks, minor foxing on p. [1], light marginal foxing throughout, several leaves moderately foxed. Overall good.

First edition (31st Congress, 1st Session, Senate Document 24).

The President, responding to a congressional resolution of January 7, 1850, provides the Senate with copies of documents and correspondence concerning the troubled state of affairs in the New Mexico territory. The immediate impetus of this report is a letter, here reprinted on p. 2, from Texas governor J. Pinckney Henderson to U.S. Secretary of State James Buchanan, questioning the actions of General Stephen W. Kearny in New Mexico and asking if the United States is claiming any jurisdiction over supposed New Mexico territory east of the Rio Grande, which would be on land that Texas claims as her own. Henderson does state that Texas has no intentions at the moment of establishing any jurisdiction over Santa Fe and has no objections if the United States does, so long as it obtains Texas’s permission to do so.

The majority of the documents and communications printed here reveal that the principal cause of Texas’s concerns is the wide-ranging actions taken by U.S. forces to pacify the area by ridding it of hostile Native Americans. Numerous field reports from U.S. Army officers detail excursions against the Native Americans and reveal the problems the Army had in properly equipping and supplying its forces. Originally intended to be staffed by troops from Fort Leavenworth, the repeated delays in their arrival forced field officers to recruit local militia to do the job. Even after regular troops arrived, they were in such condition as to be largely ineffective. Despite such problems, however, the field officers report repeated successes in their operations. Of special interest are the “List of Pueblo Indians who accompanied Brevet Lieutenant Colonel J.M. Washington...on an expedition against the Navajoe Indians” (pp. 35-36) and “List of Mexicans called into the United States service for one month for the purpose of accompanying Brevet Lieutenant Colonel J.M. Washington...against the Navajoe Indians” (pp. 36-37). Both these units served from August 22-September 22, 1849.

The boundary between the State of Texas and the Territory of New Mexico is, according to President Taylor here, “a subject which more properly belongs to the legislative than to the executive branch of the government” (p. [1]). The controversy was not initially settled until the Compromise of 1850 was passed by Congress in the summer of 1850 and approved by Texas voters in November of that year. Boundary controversies between the two states lingered on, however, until well into the twentieth century. This document is an important insight into the issues that faced Texas and the U.S. as both struggled with successful aftermath of the Mexican-American War and the immense territory the nation had acquired as a result.

($200.00-$400.00)

Auction 24 Abstracts

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