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Pingenot Auction, Lot 125


125. GRAHAM, J. D. Report of the Secretary of War, Communicating...the Report of Lieutenant Colonel Graham on the Subject of the Boundary Line Between the United States and Mexico. Washington: SED 121, 1852. 250 pp., foldout lithographed barometric profile from San Antonio to Santa Rita, New Mexico), 2 folding lithographed maps (1) Mexican Boundary B. Extract from the Treaty Map of Disturnell of 1847.... (23 x 39.2 cm; 9 x 15-1/2 inches); (2) Mexican Boundary. Sketch A. Referred to in Colonel Graham’s Report.... (13.6 x 46.9 cm; 5-1/4 x 18-1/2 inches). 8vo, original blind-stamped plum cloth. Binding worn, especially at spine and extremities, spine slightly faded.
        First edition. Basic Texas Books 57n. Garrett, Mexican-American War, p. 298, 413, 414. Graff 1609. Howes G296. Martin & Martin 40: "The history of the Mexican Boundary Survey was, perhaps more than any other episode in the American West, colored by ineptitude, personal animosity, ambition, and political interference. It was to have a significant effect on the final shape of the region." Meisel III, p. 100. Munk (Alliott), p. 89. Plains & Rockies IV:212: "In addition to reporting his troubles with John R. Bartlett, Graham included information and reports on southern New Mexico." Raines, p. 96. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 717-18 & pp. 225-27; III:227: "This Document contains Graham’s elaborate defense of his conduct while detailed to the Boundary Commission."
        The map entitled Mexican Boundary B (see Plate 40 in Martin & Martin) delineates the boundary difference which would result from the two different interpretations of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo vis-à-vis the Disturnell map. The first interpretation was based on strict reference to the lines of longitude and latitude on the map; the second on actual reference to the landmarks of El Paso and the Rio Grande. The Disturnell map had placed El Paso too far north and west of actual position. Graham’s maps show that the two interpretations would result in a difference of 5,950 square miles to U.S. territory in an area strategic to mining and railroads.