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In the following year another commission ran the line northward along the river to the thirty-second parallel as determined from astronomic observations, thence along a true north line to the south
bank of Red River. Mounds were erected at 1-mile intervals on the meridian boundary, the measured length of which was found to be a little less than 1064 miles. The original plats of this survey are on file in the United States State Department, and the General Land
Office has copies. The field notes were probably filed in the War Department.
In a joint resolution approved March 1, 1845, Congress gave its consent for the erection of Texas into a State with certain conditions and" guarantees," the third of which was as follows:5
New States, of convenient size, not exceeding four in number, in addition to said State of Texas, and having sufficient population, may hereafter, by the consent of said State, be formed out of the territory thereof, which shall be entitled to admission under the provisions of the Federal constitution.
Texas does not appear, however, to have acquired by this proviso any advantages over other States, as it merely can give its “consent to a division of its area, the right to make the recommendation or request for the division apparently resting with Congress. On December 29, 1845, Texas was admitted as a State.
In 1848 the eastern boundary of the State was extended slightly, as noted in the following extract from the act :?
That this Congress consents that the legislature of the State of Texas may extend her eastern boundary so as to include within her limits one-half of Sabine Pass, one-half of Sabine Lake, also one-half of Sabine River, from its mouth as far north as the thirty-second degree of north latitude,
In 1850 the State sold to the General Government for the sum of $10,000,000 that part lying north of the parallel of 36° 30' from longitude 100° to longitude 103° and west of longitude 103° as far south as the parallel of 320.8
The northern boundary of Texas from the one hundredth meridian westward is thus described in an act of Congress authorizing the marking of the boundary lines between the Territories of the United States and the State of Texas :'
Beginning at the point where the one hundredth degree of longitude west from Greenwich crosses Red River, and running thence north to the point wbere said one hundredth degree of longitude intersects the parallel of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude; and thence west with the said parallel of thirty-six degress and thirty minutes north latitude to the point where it intersects the one hundred and third degree of longitude west from Greenwich; and thence south with the said one hundred and third degree of longitude to the thirty-second parallel of north latitude; and thence west with said thirty second degree of north latitude to the Rio Grande.
For more than 50 years the title to an area of over 2,360 square miles was in dispute between the State of Texas and the United States. This area, known as Greer County, is east of the one
*The journal of the commission and some excellent maps of the survey were published 27th Cong., 2d sess., S. Doc. 199, 1842. *5 Stat. L. 798. 9 Stat. L, 108. 19 Stat. L. 245. *9 Stat. L. 446. 11 Stat. L. 310.
hundredth meridian and between the two main forks of Red River, which branch in approximately 99° 12' of west longitude. (See fig. 18.) Texas claimed that the North Fork of Red River is the main stream and the one referred to in the description of the boundary in the Spanish treaty of 1819, and the United States claimed the South Fork as the proper location of the boundary. After years of litigation the Supreme Court on March 16, 1896, decided that the territory east of the 100th meridian of longitude, west and south of the river now known as the North Fork of Red River, and north of a line fol- ! lowing westward, as prescribed by the treaty of 1819 between the United States and Spain, the course, and along the south bank, both of Red River and of the river now known as the Prairie Dog Town Fork or South Fork of Red River until such line meets the 100th meridian of longitude which territory is sometimes called Greer County-constitutes no part of the territory properly included within or rightfully belonging to Texas at the time of the admission of that State into the Union, and is not within the limits nor under the jurisdiction of the State, but is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States of America.
The Supreme Court records of this case, which cover more than 1,000 printed pages, are summarized in the decree of 36 pages. These documents contain much historical matter relating to the northern and eastern boundary of Texas, also copies of a number of old maps, etc. 10
Attention is called to the clause of the decree that places the boundary line on the south bank of Red River, where it was believed old treaties and other official descriptions of the line intended it should be placed.11 This boundary has also been in dispute for many years, Texas claiming to the middle of the river. In decisions of the Department of the Interior relating to public lands,12 there is an opinion rendered on April 29, 1897, by the Assistant Attorney General regarding this boundary as follows:
I therefore assume that the boundary between the Indian Territory and the State of Texas is the line of the middle of the main channel of Red River as it existed when Texas was annexed to the United States, and subsequent sudden changes in the current or main channel of said river will not in any way affect the location or position of said boundary line as it lay upon the earth's surface when established.
In this opinion no reference was made to the decision of the Supreme Court of the previous year in which a contrary opinion was rendered.
10 See Baker, Marcus, The northwest boundary of Texas: U. S. Geol. Survey Bull. 194, pp. 31–35. See also Oklahoma, p. 194.
11 See reference to the "right bank of the Red River" in the act of 1824, defining the west boundary of Arkansas, p. 157.
12 Land Dec., vol. 24, p. 372.
Briefs in a suit by Oklahoma against Texas were submitted to the United States Supreme Court at its October term, 1920, and the decision, rendered April 11, 1921, reaffirmed the former decision making the south bank the boundary, and in a decision rendered January 15, 1923, as to what constituted the south bank it was stated that the bank intended by the treaty provision is the water-washed and relatively permanent elevation or acclivity at the outer line of the river bed which separates the bed from the adjacent upland,
and that the boundary intended is on and along the bank at the average or mean level attained by the waters in the periods when they reach and wash the bank without overflowing it.
The bed of the stream was defined as including all of the area which is kept practically bare of vegetation by the wash of the waters of the river from year to year and excluding the lateral valleys which have the characteristics of relatively fast land and usually are covered by upland grasses and vegetation, although temporarily overflowed in exceptional instances when the river is at flood.
An excellent historical review of this boundary dispute is given by Isaiah Bowman, 120 who states that the Red River case is “the most complicated boundary dispute on record anywhere."
Surveys of the one-hundredth meridian boundary in whole or in part were made under the direction of the General Land Office in 1857, 1859, 1860, 1873, 1875, 1902, and 1903.
In 1892 the State of Texas employed an astronomer to determine with the utmost care the location of the one-hundredth meridian in its intersection with the Red River.” As a result of this work it Tas reported that the old “initial monument,” established in 1859, of the Oklahoma-Texas boundary, previously supposed to be on the one-hundredth meridian, was in longitude 100° 00' 45.11" and latitude 34° 34' 43.4".
The position of this point was redetermined in 1902 for the United States by surveyors of the General Land Office, and its longitude was found to be 100° 00' 44.24”, or 3,699.7 feet west of the true onehundredth meridian.
On the computed position of the one-hundredth meridian a stone post 10 by 10 by 45 inches in size was placed 1,563 feet north of Red River."
The line previously marked as the one-hundredth meridian boundary was retraced in 1903 by the General Land Office from Red
Geog. Review, April, 1923, pp. 161–189. * 57th Cong., 2d sess., H. Doc. 33, p. 8.
River northward to the parallel of 36° 30' and observation was made for longitude near its north end. These observations gave a position differing only 0.22" from that brought up from Red River.”
The northern line of the “Panhandle” of Texas, which is the southern boundary of the public-land strip," was fixed by statute at latitude 36° 30'. The west end of this line as marked has since been found to be in latitude 36° 29' 58". It was surveyed in 1860 by the General Land Office, and 16 monuments were erected. This location of the boundary and the location of the one hundred and third meridian boundary were confirmed by Congress in 1891 and by the State of Texas in the same year.1
The location of the west boundary of Texas, which by statute is the one hundred and third meridian, has been the cause of many disputes. The southern part of the line for 38 miles and the northern part for 156 miles were surveyed and marked in 1859, leaving an unmarked gap of about 116 miles. Most of the marks were merely mounds of earth; a few were stones or piles of stone, and some of these were identified many years thereafter. (See Pl. V, C.) Later surveys disclosed the fact that the northern part of the line is in longitude 103° 02' 13.80' and the southern part in 103° 03' 55.02"'--that is, there is a discrepancy between the two lines of more than a mile and a half, and both lines are west of their proper position 16_ but these lines, as well as that following the thirty-second parallel, having been accepted by the United States and Texas, are the legal boundary lines.
An act of Congress approved February 16, 1911," declared that these boundary lines as run and marked by John H. Clark in 1859– 60 shall remain the true boundary lines of Texas and New Mexico." The lines were described in the act as following the one hundred and third meridian and thirty-second parallel as “ determined by Clark," and commissioners were authorized to act for Texas and the United States to re-mark the line so far as it could be identified, and where no marks were found or where surveys had not been made straight lines were to be rún joining recovered points.
In accordance with this act surveys were run south from the known location of the north boundary mark, the position of which is latitude 36° 29' 58", longitude 103° 02' 13.8', to the thirty-fourth parallel, to which Clark claimed to have run, and north from the
14 59th Cong., 1st sess., H. Doc. 259, p. 4. 15 Idem, p. 13. 16 Idem, p. 18. See also Baker, Marcus, op. cit., for map and other data. 17 36 Stat. L. 1455. 18 See report by J. H. Clark, commissioner : 47th Cong., 1st sess., S. Doc. 70.