The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 39, July 1935 - April, 1936

THE
SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL
QUARTERLY
VOL. XXXIX APRIL, 1936 No. 4
The publication committee and the editors disclaim responsibility for views expressed
by contributors to THa QUARTaRLY
JACKSON'S NECHES CLAIM, 1829-1836
RICHARD R. STENBERG
The Florida treaty of February, 1819, defined the southwest-
ern boundary of the United States as the Sabine River from its
mouth to the thirty-second parallel, from thence a line due north
to the Red River, and ultimately the line of the forty-second par-
allel westward to the Pacific Ocean-"the whole being as laid
down in Melish's map of the United States, published at Phila-
delphia, improved to the first of January, 1818," so Article III
of the treaty states. Melish's map properly labels the more east-
ern of the two rivers which separately flow into Sabine Bay the
"Sabine," and labels the more western river "Rio de Nieves or
Neches R."' It would seem that there could have been no ques-
tion or honest doubt about the true southwestern boundary
after 1819.
Nevertheless, the American-Texas land speculators and expan-
sionists of the southwestern border region conceived the conven-
ient notion at an early date that the Rio Neches, the western of
the two rivers, might feasibly be considered the Sabine referred
to in the Spanish treaty of 1819. Unfortunately for this pre-
tension (which grew up after 1819),2 the Neches did not inter-
1A large folding copy of John Melish's map is given as frontispiece in
An Eoursion Through the United States and Canada During the Years
1822-28, By an English Gentleman (London, 1824). A facsimile of the
map was reproduced in National IntelUlgener (Washington), August 6,
1836, to refute President Jackson.
'Judge H. M. Brackenridge observed with regard to President Jackson's
boundary pretension, in 1836: "The boundary set up by our Government
in the place of the Sabine, contrary to the treaty, contrary to all the maps,
and to the continued assertions of Louisiana, is something entirely new

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 39, July 1935 - April, 1936. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101095/. Accessed April 28, 2015.