The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921 Page: 15
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Question. of Texan Jurisdiction in New Mexico, 1848-50 15
But on March 4, 1849, a new administration came into power,
and among the early acts of the new Secretary of War, George W.
Crawford, was the writing of a letter to the commanding officer at
Santa F6, reproving him for failure to report to the department
concerning the management of affairs in New Mexico. HIe then
repeated the instructions sent out by Secretary Marcy, concerning
the boundary question, but added that it was not expected that
Texas would undertake to extend her civil jurisdiction over the
remote region designated." This letter indicates that the new
secretary was not informed as to the actual situation which had
already developed in connection with the Texan activities of the
previous year. A warning was added, however, that in case Texas
should make a move to occupy the region, the commanding officer
should be careful not to come into conflict with her authorities,
and should likewise refrain from expressing an opinion upon the
validity of her claims. This meant a slight change from the policy
of the preceding administration. Marcy's instructions had indi-
cated that if it seemed necessary, the military authorities were to
aid in sustaining Texan jurisdiction, or in other words, they were
to remain neutral only so long as the Texan interests seemed to
While the Marcy instructions were still the order to follow,
Colonel Washington had written to the adjutant general that "To
avoid embarrassment in regard to recognizing the jurisdiction of
the authorities of Texas over a large portion of this territory, it
is very desirable that Congress should act in the matter before
the demand is made."" He was already facing the problem as a
result of the presence of Baird, and was divided between his in-
terest in maintaining his position with the office holders of the
region, and the possible necessity of assisting Baird in accordance
with the Marcy orders. HIs own inclinations apparently led more
strongly toward the former, so for this reason Crawford's letter
p. 271. The general orders to the War Department had made the division
between the two departments, a line running from the Rio Grande near
El Paso, directly to the Red river at the mouth of Choctaw creek, in
the vicinity of the one hundredth meridian, thus dividing the territory
claimed by Texas. See House Ex. Doe. 1, 30th Cong., 2nd sess. (Ser.
no. 537), p. 178.
"Crawford to Commanding officer at Santa FS, March 26, 1849, in
"Washington to Jones, February 3, 1849, in House Ex. Doec. 5, 31st
Cong., 1st sess. (Ser. no. 569), p. 105.
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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/m1/21/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.