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Highly Detailed Maps of the Rio Grande & Its Elusive Meanderings

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66.     [BORDERLANDS]. INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY COMMISSION. UNITED STATES & MEXICO. MEXICAN SECTION. Vol. I: Monumentación de cincuenta y siete bancos antiguos del Río Bravo mencionados explícitamente en el tratado de 20 de marzo de 1905 ejecutada en los meses de enero á mayo de 1909. Washington: Press of Byron S. Adams, 1910. 26 pp., 58 folded, color lithograph maps. Vol. II: Monumentación de bancos en el Río Bravo del Norte (o Río Grande) ejecutada conforme a la convención de bancos del 20 de marzo de 1905. Segunda serie. Bancos números 59 a 89. Años de 1910-12…. Mexico: Antigua Imprenta de Murguía, Av. de 16 de Septiembre, 54, 1912. iv, [2], [1]-103 [5] pp., 36 folded, color lithograph maps, one photographic plate of the engineers on site examining a monument. 2 vols., 4to, (35 x 23.5 cm), original black cloth, titles lettered in gilt on upper covers. Vol. I: A few mild spots to binding, front hinge split, two fingerprints to front free endpaper, otherwise fine, the maps perfect. Vol. II: Binding and blank margins with mild waterstaining, not affecting map images or text proper, maps excellent. Very scare. Locations: Harvard Law School, Sul Ross, University of Texas—Pan American, Tulane, University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee).

     First edition. Not in standard sources. No matter how diligently we humans try to put our hand on the land, in some cases, the task proves difficult, such as corralling the Rio Grande, which is wont to ignore surveyors, engineers, and treaties. This work is yet another chapter in the attempt to establish the final border between the United States and Mexico. Handbook of Texas Online: Rio Grande Boundary: “However, bancos formed by tracts of land segregated from either country by a cutoff became such a problem that a special treaty had to be negotiated to exclude them from the effects of the Treaty of 1884. A treaty on March 20, 1905, provided that bancos formed on the right bank of the river go under the dominion and jurisdiction of Mexico and those on the left bank under that of the United States. Excepted from this rule were bancos with an area of more than 250 hectares or with a population of more than 200 persons. The treaty affected 215 bancos.”

     Detailed maps at the end of each volume show the location of the eighty-nine survey monuments and environs on the Rio Grande, from the Gulf of Mexico near Brownsville to slightly north of Camargo. The scale is exceptionally large (1:10,000) and features delineated include survey stations, towns and villas, hundreds of ranches, buildings, physical features, roads, international border (red dashes), changes in the border due to flooding (solid red), river shaded in blue, etc. Two tables on each map set out longitude and latitude, vertical inclination, datum points, etc. Taken together these eighty-nine detail maps form one of the largest and most detailed maps of the lower Rio Grande ever printed, being almost a hundred feet long. The additional maps include four key maps of the river and environs from Camargo to the Gulf of Mexico (locating by number all survey markers), and a fifth illustrating eight conformations of how the river changed over time (1859-1912) in the region of Soliseño.


Sold. Hammer: $500.00; Price Realized: $600.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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