Comments on Changes in the Red River 417
The boundary of a state along a river is not changed by a sudden
change of the river channel so as to cut an island off from the main-
land, but the island will remain within the boundaries of the state to
which it formerly belonged. ...
Burke Bet island and Goat island, both near the Big Bend area,
are claimed by Texas on the theory that in 1821 they were part of the
land on the south side. We think the evidence, all considered, falls
short of establishing the claim, and tends rather to show that neither
island was ever part of the permanent fast land on that side. The
claim is accordingly rejected. ...
The boundary between the states of Oklahoma and Texas, where
it follows the course of the Red River from the looth meridian of
west longitude to the eastern boundary of the state of Oklahoma, is
part of the intersectional boundary established by the Treaty of
February 22, 1819 between the United States and Spain, and is on
and along the south bank of that river as the same existed in 1821,
when the treaty became effective, save as hereinafter stated. ...
Where intervening changes in that bank have occurred through the
natural and gradual processes of erosion and accretion, the boundary
has followed the change; but where the stream has left its former
channel and has made for itself a new one through adjacent upland
by the process known as avulsion, the boundary has not followed the
change but has remained on and along what was the south bank before
the change occurred. ...
Where, since 1821, the river has cut a secondary or additional
channel through adjacent upland on the south side in such a way that
land theretofore on that side has become an island, the boundary is
along that part of the south bank as theretofore existing which, by
the change, became the northerly bank of the island; and where by
accretion or erosion there have been subsequent changes in that
bank, the boundary has changed with them.
The rules stated in the last two paragraphs will be equally ap-
plicable to such changes as occur in the future. ...
The south bank of the river is the water-washed and relatively
permanent elevation or acclivity, commonly called a cut bank, along
the southerly side of the river, which separates its bed from the
adjacent upland, whether valley or hill, and usually serves to confine
the waters within the bed, and to preserve the course of the river. ...
The boundary between the two states is on and along that bank
at the mean level attained by the waters of the river when they reach
and wash the bank without overflowing it. ...
At exceptional places where there is no well-defined cut bank, but
only a gradual incline from the sand bed of the river to the upland,
the boundary is a line over such incline, conforming to the mean
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed December 20, 2013.