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DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 13, 1849. Sir: In my instructions of the 24th ultimo, I promised to send you further instructions before your departure from the United States. I now proceed to perform this duty.
The fifth article of our treaty with Mexico, of the 20 February, 1848, as amended by the Senate, (two copies of which are herewith transmitted,) clearly prescribes your duties. This article places you in a highly rosponsible position; because it declares that the boundary line between the two republies, which shall be run and marked by the joint commission, shall be deemned a part of the treaty, “and shall have the same force as if it were inserted therein." The action of the commission, therefore, will be final and conclusive; and the President has full confidence that in the discharge of your important duties your conduct will be characterized by prudence, firmness, and a conciliatory spirit.
Whilst he desires no advantage over the Mexican government, you will take care, on running the boundary, that all our just rights, under the treaty, shall be maintained.
Your first duty will be to run and mark that part of the boundary consisting of a straight line from a “point on the coast of the Pacific ocean distant one marine league due south of the southernmost point of the port of San Diego," to "the middle of the Rio Gila, where it unites with the Colorado."
It is not apprehended that you will encounter much difficulty in determining either of these points. This southernmost point of the port of San Diego is to be ascertained, by the treaty, “according to the plan of said port made in the year 1782, by Don Juan Pantoja, second sailing-master of the Spanish fleet, and published at Madrid, in the year 1902, on the atlas to the voyage of the schooners Sutil and Mexicana, of which plan a copy is hereunto added, signed and sealed by the respective plenipotentiaries." You are furnished with a certified copy of this plan, which appears to fix precisely what is the southern limit of the port of San Diego; and a point on the Pacific “one marine league due south of” this, is the place of beginning.
The middle of the Rio Gila, wliere it unites with the Colorado, being a natural object, there can be but little difficulty in ascertaining this point.
The duties of the surveyor are sufficiently indicated by the treaty itself; those of Major William H. Emory, the chief astronomer, will be to determine all astronomical points, and to direct the mode of running all astronomical lines on the boundary. Lieutenant J. W. Whipple and Brevet Captain E. L. F. Hardcastle, of the corps of topographical engineers, have bein designated, under the authority of the President, to accompany Major Emory as his assistants.
The remainder of the boundary runs along the middle of the Rio Gila and the Rio Grande, with the exception of that portion of it between “ the point where the Rio Grande strikes the southern boundary of New Mexico; thence westwardly along the whole southern boundary of New Mexico (which runs north of the town called Paso) to its western termination; ihence north ward, along the western line of New Mexico until it intersects the first branch of the river Gila, (or if it should not intersect any branch of that river, then to the point on the said line nearest to such branch, and thence in a direct line to the same.”)
In regard to this latter portion of the line it is impossible to give you specific instructions, for the want of accurate geographical information. It can only be ascertained by examinations and surveys upon the ground. Besides, the treaty itself declares that “the southern and western limits of New Mexico, mentioned in this article, are those laid down on the map « of the United Mexican States," published at New York, in 1847, by J. Disturnell, of which a copy was added to the treaty, bearing the signatures and seals of the plenipotentiaries. You are now furnished with a certified copy of this mar.
You are also furnished, as bearing upon this subject, with the copy of a map of New Mexico, which was attached to the atlas to Thompson's edition of the Geographical and Historical Dictionary of America and the West Indies, by Col. Don Antonio de Alcedo, published at London in 1812—a work of the highest authority.
My successor in office will, most probably, obtain further information in regard to this portion of the line; and as the work progresses, will doubt. less deem it proper to give you further instructions.
I deem it unnecessary, therefore, to say more at present upon the sub-o ject.
I need scarcely add, that the President expects you will perform your duties under the treaty with as litile delay as practicable consistently with accuracy.
As it is indispensable that each government should be furnished with a full and circumstantial record of the procecdings of the commissioners, they will doubtless order such record to be kept in duplicate. This duty will naturally devolve upon the clerks appointed on both sides, under the supervision of the respective commissioners, who will be responsible for the accuracy of such records and for their safe delivery, prop-rly certified, to the respective governments at the expiration of the commission. You will, with that view, provide the clerk appointed on the part of the United States with suitable instructions respecting this and any other duty which it shall be deemed proper to assign to him.
As soon as the boundary shall have been ascertained and marked, you will cause a true and accurate map to be made of the country through which it passes, in its entire extent. A duplicate copy of said map, cer. tified by the commissioners and surveyors on both sides, will accompany the records of the proceedings of the commission. The joint report or declaration by the commissioners of “the final result agreed upon by them,” under the fifth article of the treaty, will also be transmitted to the department, to be filed with the journal or record of their proceedings and the map.
As soon as the commission shall be organized, you will transmit to this department a list containing the names of the several persons composing it; the nature of the duties assigned to each individual and the compensation allowed to them respectively; and will also, from time to time, in
form the Secretary of State of any change which you may, by circum. · stances, be induced to make in its organization.
The sixth article of the treaty provides that “if, by the examinations i which may be made, it should be ascertained to be practicable and ad.
vantageous to construct a road, canal, or railway, which should in whole or in part run upon the river Gila, or upon its right or its left bank, with. in the space of one marine league from either margin of the river, the
governments of both republics will form an agreement regarding its construction, in order that it may serve equally for the use and advantage of both countries.”
Although you are not required to make the examinations referred to in: this article under the appropriation made by Congress on the 12th August last, which is limited to the expenses of running and marking the bouud; ary line," yet the President would be gratified if you could cause these examinations to be made incidentally, without seriously interfering with your appropriate duties. The inquiry is one of great importance to the country; and any information which you can communicate to the depart. ment on the subject will be highly appreciated by our fellow-citizens.
Major Emory has received from Major Graham, under my instructions, all the instruments belonging to the department which he believes to be suitable for running the boundary line between the two republics. In a report which he made to the department, dated at New York on the 4th. instant, he states that these are not sufficient, and furnishes a list of those which will be required. Several of the latter he deems indispensable that he should carry with him, to wit: I box chronometer
• $285 00 1 heliotrope
100 00 I reconnoitring glass ..
50 00 1 portable astronomical telescope
190 00 4 nautical almanacs, 1849
10 00 1 copy catalogue stars, B. Association
20 00 1 set of charts, coast of California
2 00 1 Daniels's hygrometer
15 00 4 Hassler's logarithms, at $1 each
4 00 6 thermometers, at $4 each
24 00 6 observing lamps . :'
15 00 4 cases drawing instruments, at $10 each
40 00 4 boules ether (sulphuric.)
bushel plaster of Paris. 2 observing tents, at $40 each
80 00 I equatorial stand, price estimated at.
. 100 00 In your absence, the President has not hesitated to advise him to purchase these instruments, not doubting that you would promptly pay for ; them out of the appropriation. As it will be impossible for him to reach New Orleans before the 28th instant, you will not take your departure thence until after his arrival.
The President has determined that your salary shall be at the rate of $ per annum, and that of the surveyor at the rate of $ per andum; but should Congress, before its adjournment, fix your salaries at different rates, this will be the guide in settling your accounts from the beginning.
The military escort, on the part of the United States, to accompany the commission, has been placed by the President under the direction of the Secretary of War. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES BUCHANAN. To John B. WELLER, Esq.,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, March 15, 1849 Sir: I have to inform you that Congress, at its late session, omitted to pass any act prescribing the amounts of the salaries of the civilians at. tached to the commission of which you are the head. Consequently, unul this omission be remedied, compensation for your services as com. missioner, and for those of Mr. Gray as surveyor, cannot be lawfully paid; and no charge for salary, on the part of either of you, can properly form an item in the statement of your account to the treasury. It will, therefore, be necessary, in any drafis which you may have occasion to make on this department for the purpose of carrying your instructions into effect, to make them, on their face, chargeable solely to the appropriation for the " cxpenses of running and marking the boundary between the United States and Mexico," leaving the salaries to be settled at some future day by Congress. I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. M. CLAYTON. To J. B. WELLER, Esq., Commissioner of the United States under the
5th article of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, June 26, 1849. Sir: The President having thought proper to appoint you the commissioner on the part of the United States for running and marking the boundary line, under the 5th article of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, I transmit your commission in that character. You will also receive herewith a copy of the several instructions which this department has addressed to your predecessor. It is not considered that you will need any further instructions at this time. I would, however, invite your special attention to the necessity of the regular transmission of your accounts and vouchers for settlement at the Treasury Department, as those instructions require. Any drafts, also, which you may have occasion to draw on account of the expenses of the commission, must be addressed to the Secretary of State, and not to the Secretary of the Treasury. You will also forward to this department a full list of the persons (other than military or naval) in the service of the commission on our part, with the rates of compensation allowed to each, and will apprize the department of any changes therein which may from time to time take place.
Your compensation, as well as that of your predecessor, will be settled by Congress at their next session. I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. M. CLAYTON, To. J. C. FREMONT, Esq.,
San Franci co, California.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, June 26, 1849. Str: Your letter from Panama, under date of the 20th March last, marked No. 1, has been received.
It is to be regretted that you should have omitted to comply with that part of your instructions which requires you to furnish the department with a list of the persons employed to assist you in the discharge of your duties. In the absence of such a list, and of a statement of the compensation stipulated to be allowed to each person, it is impossible for the department to form an estimate of the probable expenses of the commission. Your instructions also direct you to transmit your account of those ex. penses at the close of every quarter, with the vouchers requisite for adjustment of the account at the treasury. The first quarter since your appointment expired on the 31st of March last; but, although large sums had been advanced to you previously to tliat time, no account or vouchers in support thereof have yet been received from you. Under these circumstances the department has deemed it necessary to suspend the payment of your drafts, of which a memorandum is subjoined. .
The President having thought proper to appoint Mr. J. C. Frémont the commissioner on the part of the United States to run and mark the boundary line, under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, you will transfer to him all the papers and other public property in your custody, relating to the duties of that office. I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. M. CLAYTON. To John B. WELLER, Esq.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, June 29, 1849. Sir: In a letter from this department, under date the 26th instant, you were informed of your appointment as commissioner of the United States, under the 5th article of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
With that letter, one addressed to your predecessor was also transmitted, . which, however, it is deemed advisable you should not deliver or forward to him until you are about to enter upon the duties of the office. The letter for him which is herewith transmitted, you will consider as addressed to yourself, when you shall have communicated to him that above referred to. I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. M. CLAYTON. J. C. FREMONT, Esq.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, June 28, 1849. Sig: Your letter from Panama of the 15th ultimo, with the accompany. ing lists of persons in the service of the commission, was received at this department on yesterday, the 27th instant.