The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902 Page: 42
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42 bTxas Historical Association Quawrtely.
indulge the presumption that the westward march of General
Taylor from the Nueces to the Rio Grande was an invasion of
Mexico involves a recapitulation of the history of the western
boundary of Texas in so far as the same is accessible. The Con-
stitution of the United States makes it the duty of the President,
when there is threatened invasion, to mobilize troops and repel it.
As Texas, after July, 1845, was to all intents and purposes, save
the perfunctory acts necessary to adjust her governmental machin-
ery to statehood, a 'State of the United States, President Polk
would have been justified not only in ordering General Taylor to
the Nueces, but to the Rio Grande and beyond. President Jack-
son, Lincoln, or Cleveland would have taken such a course at least
five months sooner than President Polk did.
As the boundary question has been pushed to the front as a
material matter among the causes of the Mexican war, and it has
been assumed as a matter of fact that the Rio Grande was not the
western boundary of Texas, and that all territory between that
river and the Nueces was Mexican territory, a review of the his-
tory of the subject may not be out of place. It has received elab-
orate attention in speeches made in both houses of Congress, in
newspapers, magazines and such pro hac vice productions as Jay's
Review of the Mexican War. The discussion takes up several hun-
dred pages of the Congressional Globe, and is marked by a research
almost without parallel in the parliamentary history of the United
States Congress, but in all these one will search in vain for any
reference to any law, decree, order, treaty, or other official desig-
nation of the Nueces or any other western boundary of Texas. All
the learning on the subject is based upon a common repute in sec-
tions remote from either river, a common repute by no means gen-
eral except in so far as geographers made it so by making maps,
which themselves were based upon hearsay testimony.
Taking this as a basis for determining whether or not Texas
ever had any actual western boundary line prior to 1845, except
such as was marked by the sword in the struggle with Mexico, we
First. That the Rio Grande was its ancient western boundary
before it became a province of Spain, and continued to be the gen-
erally regarded boundary line up to the middle of the 18th century.
Second. That since that 'time the line had been vriously
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902, periodical, 1902; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101021/m1/48/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.