The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950

rhe Claim of krexas to jreer Couty
BERLIN B. CHAPMAN*
I
HE territory lying between the main forks of Red River
and east of the one hundredth meridian was designated
by the legislature of Texas in 186o as Greer County. The
area of the region is about 1,511,576 acres. Greer County was a
part of Indian Territory, but in reality the government settled
no Indians on the lands. For a decade the county was recognized,
considered, and treated as an organized county of Texas. In 1896
the Supreme Court of the United States decided that Greer
County constituted no part of Texas, and in 1926 the Court de-
cided that the true one hundredth meridian was the dividing
line between Texas and lands Texas had governed under the name
of Greer County. To understand how the lands were managed
by the United States and Texas, and occupied by settlers, it is
necessary to consider some cardinal facts in the history of the
lands.
Article three of the treaty' between the United States and
Spain in 1819 described a portion of their common boundary
west of the Mississippi as following the course of the Red River
westward, "to the degree of longitude too west from London
and 23 from Washington; then, crossing the said Red River, and
running thence, by a line due north, to the river Arkansas. ...
The whole being as laid down in Melish's map of the United
States, published at Philadelphia, improved to the first of Jan-
*In preparation of this study the writer profited by consultation with Mr. Arthur
D. Kidder, of the General Land Office of the United States, well-known surveyor of
Texas boundaries. Financial aid to work in the National Archives was furnished
by the Research Foundation of Oklahoma A. & M. College. Among students at the
college whose critical comments assisted the writer were Miss Anna Mae Lund, San
Angelo, Texas; Miss Imogene Conrad, Reydon, Oklahoma; and Miss Mary Lou
McVicker, Sayre, Oklahoma.
1William M. Malloy, Treaties, Conventions, International Acts, Protocols, and
Agreements Between the United States of America and Other Powers, 1776-j923
(Washington, D. C., 1923), II, 1651. In regard to the history of the treaty see
United States vs. Texas, United States Reports, CLXII (1896), 1. Melish's Map is
in ibid., 3o-31. See also the tracing of Red River taken from Melish's Map, in
House Reports, 47th Congress, 1st Session, V (2o69), No. 1282.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101126/. Accessed December 20, 2014.