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NEW MEXICO V. TEXAS

NEW MEXICO V. TEXAS. New Mexico v. Texas was argued before the United States Supreme Court in 1927 and 1928 to determine the boundary line between the two states in far West Texas. New Mexico claimed that Monument No. 1 of the Clark Survey of 1859, which had long since disappeared, had been improperly relocated by the Scott-Cockrell Commission (1911) 2,783 feet west of the original position. New Mexico's contention was that the Rio Grande had actually flowed against the east ridge of the valley in 1850, when the Compromise of 1850 established the boundary between Texas and New Mexico. Texas claimed the river was on the western side. The disputed distance amounted to about four miles.

The court accepted certain surveys, maps, and patents submitted by Texas counsel: the Salazar-Díaz Survey map of 1852, the Texas surveys of 1849 and 1860, Joint Boundary Commission maps of 1852 and 1855, and the Clark Survey map of 1859. The court also noted acquiescence of the United States, when New Mexico was a territory, in the claims of those holding lands under Texas surveys and the undisturbed possession of the Texas claimants. Justice Edward T. Sanford, in handing down the decision, ordered the north point on the thirty-second parallel to be placed 600 feet west of the Clark Monument No. 1 as it had been relocated by the Scott-Cockrell Commission. Samuel S. Gannett was named surveyor to locate the new boundary, costs to be borne by the two states equally. The boundary was then completely remarked south to 31 degrees 47 minutes north latitude, commonly considered equidistant from the east and west banks of the Rio Grande.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Supreme Court Reporter, October 1927.

John H. McNeely

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

John H. McNeely, "NEW MEXICO V. TEXAS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/jrn01), accessed July 31, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.