Southwestern Historical Quarterly
level of the waters, when at other places in that vicinity they reach
and wash the cut bank without overflowing it .
The Big Bend area
... has been, since before 1821, fast upland on the southerly side
of the river, is within the state of Texas, and never was owned by the
United States. The northerly border of that area is part of the south
bank of the river on and along which the state boundary extends. ...
Burke-Bet island and Goat island both of which are in the vicinity
of the Big Bend area are islands in the river, have been islands since
before 1821, are within the State of Oklahoma and are the property
of the United States. . ...
... the secretary's [of the Interior] authority will extend to such
lands only as may lie between the interstate boundary and the medial
line of the river, as the two are settled by this court. Under present
conditions the United States has the sole proprietary interest in what-
ever may be within these limits, and it is not excepting to the
boundary reported by the commissioners. ....
During the summer of 1921, in connection with scientific in-
vestigations then being made on behalf of the State of Texas
preparatory to responding to the suit, it fell the lot of this writer
to marshal the ecological evidence. My findings were presented
in testimony before the commissioner delegated to try the case.
Later they were included in brief as part of a publications sum-
marizing scientific testimony submitted by the State of Texas,
the text of which was supplemented by detailed maps identical
with those used in testimony. All scientific investigations for
Texas were under the direction of E. H. Sellards. One of his
personal assistants was Paul T. Seashore, a graduate student in
engineering at the University of Texas.
Because of the discovery of oil in the valley of the "Big
Bend" immediately above Burkburnett in Wichita County, the
filing of the suit was prompted and the locality became the focus
of investigations. Ecologic investigation consisted in large part
of endeavoring to make full listings of species represented in
the vegetation along various transects across critical areas, and
6E. H. Sellards, B. C. Tharp, R. T. Hill, Investigation on the Red River Made in
Connection with the Oklahoma-Texas Boundary Suit (Austin, 1923; University of
Texas Bulletin, No. 2327).
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 January 25, 2015.