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October 26, 2007

The Last Great Texas Land Dispute

33. CHAMIZAL ARBITRATION. CASASUS, Joaquín D[emetrio]. El Chamizal: Demanda, réplica, alegato é informes presentados por el Licenciado Joaquín D. Casasus ante el tribunal de arbitraje y sentencia pronunciada por el mismo tribunal. Mexico: Eusebio Gómez de la Puente, Editor, 1911. 656, [4] pp. 4to (24 x 17 cm.), original grey printed wrappers. Light wear and foxing to fragile wraps, interior fine, unopened. Contemporary ink signature of Sr. Lic. Rafael P. Garcia, 2a San José 3 Puebla. Uncommon, even in institutional holdings.

            First edition. Porrúa 47115. This work is a collection of the presentations made by Joaquín D. Casasus to the arbitration panel charged with deciding the Chamizal dispute and is considered his finest legal effort. Because of his arguments, Mexico was awarded a substantial part of the disputed area, although the United States refused to recognize the arbitrators’ findings. The dispute arose because the Rio Grande river channel shifted significantly in 1864, placing in Texas about 600 acres of formerly Mexican territory as awarded in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (among the historical arguments cited is the Disturnell Treaty map). As generally understood, the Treaty allowed the border to shift with the Rio Grande, so long as the shift was gradual and caused by silting and other slow-acting factors. The arbitration panel was convened by both countries to decide the matter. Despite their ruling, the dispute was not totally solved until 1963, when President Kennedy agreed to the original arbitration findings. Handbook of Texas Online: Chamizal Dispute.

            Casasus (1858-1916) was one of the prominent legal and political men of his time and a major figure in Porfirio Díaz’s efforts to modernize Mexico. He was also a well-known poet and translator. ($400-800)

Sold. Hammer: $400.00; Price Realized: $470.00

Auction 21 Abstracts

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