The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921 Page: 9
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Question of Texac Jurisdiction in New Mexico, 1848-50 9
for there is not a citizen, either American or Mexican,
that will ever acknowledge themselves as citizens of Texas, until
it comes from higher authorities. New Mexico does not belong,
nor has Texas even a right to claim her as a part of Texas. We
would so advise Texas to send with her civil officers for this coun-
try, a large force, in order that they may have a sufficient body-
guard to escort them back safe. . . . Texas should show some
little sense, and drop this question, and not have it publicly an-
nounced that Texas' smartest men were tarred and feathered by
attempting to fill the offices assigned them.19
Baird started from Texas on May 24, 1848,20 going by way of
St. Louis,21 and arrived in Santa Pe on November 10.22 After
investigating the situation, he wrote to Colonel John M. Wash-
ington, the commanding officer at Santa Fe, and ex-officio civil
and military governor of New Mexico, expressing his surprise at
finding the military authorities still in control there. He inquired
if the government established by General Kearny had not come
to an end with the ratification of the treaty with Mexico, thereby
giving Texas the right to assume civil jurisdiction over the re-
gion. At the same time he presented his commission from Gov-
ernor Wood, together with the laws upon which his authority was
based, and added that for the future "the State of Texas must
regard all judicial proceedings, and the exercise of all civil func-
tions inconsistent with her laws and constitution, null and void.'"2
Washington at once replied that the government established by
General Kearny had been declared by the President to continue
to exist after the ratification of the peace terms, and added that
it was his intention to maintain its existence "at every peril" until
ordered by either the executive or the legislative power of the
United States to desist.24
On the following day he returned the documents which had
been submitted by Baird, with an accompanying statement that
when they appeared at the proper time before the proper tribunal
they would undoubtedly receive consideration in the way of estab-
"9Niles' Register, LXXIV, 224.
20Nacogdoches Times, May 27, 1848.
'Baird to Miller, September 22, 1848, in Santa Fd Papers, Texas State
"Baird to Miller, November 10, 1848, in Ibid.
28Baird to Washington, November 22, 1848; Baird to Miller, Septem-
ber 21, 1849, in Ibid.
uWashington to Baird, November 22, 1848, in Ibid.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921, periodical, 1921; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101078/m1/15/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.