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Brownsville Wharf Case

Jacqueline E. Timm General Entry

The Brownsville Wharf Case, an incident in the history of the boundary between the United States and Mexico, arose in August 1871, when Francisco Palacio, acting chargé d'affaires of Mexico, called the attention of Secretary of State Hamilton Fish to certain construction work on the left bank of the Rio Grande by the Wharf Company of Brownsville. Points involved were interference with the free and safe navigation of the river, invasion of Mexican territory by water, and the danger of altering the dividing line between the two countries. After investigation the United States government reported that the works did not hinder navigation or occasion appreciable destruction of the Mexican bank.

Chamizal Arbitration: Appendix to the Case of the United States before the International Boundary Commission, Vol. 2 (Washington: GPO, 1911).


  • Peoples
  • Mexican Americans
  • Military
  • Boundary Disputes and Ethnic Conflict

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

Jacqueline E. Timm, “Brownsville Wharf Case,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed April 17, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: