The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921 Page: 25
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Question of Texan Jurisdiction in New Mexico, 1848-50 25
fore have existed in respect to the government, and our people as
a race.""9 He was already familiar with the country which he
was to organize, having been a special Indian agent for the United
States government in the El Paso region, and he set out at once
to begin his work.94 His salary as commissioner was voted to him
in advance,05 and at the same time the legislature resolved that all
the territory east of the Rio Grande was included in the rightful
civil and pohtical jurisdiction of the state, and that she was de-
termined to maintain the integrity of this territory.96
Baird at once began to make preparations for returning to
Santa F in order to be on hand to hold court as soon as Neigh-
bors succeeded in organizing the region. Before leaving Austin,
however, he submitted to Governor Bell a series of suggestions,
covering numerous points which had been omitted in the plans for
organization, and which he deemed to be necessary, in order to
gain the confidence of the people of that region. Among other
things, he felt that the territory should have been divided into
seven counties, corresponding with the ones then existing under
the Mexican law; that the Pueblo Indians should be induced to
settle on the frontiers; that the Mexican laws with regard to irri-
gation, mining, and herding cattle should be perpetuated; that
the wood and the salt deposits should be reserved from private
appropriation and declared to be the common property of the
people for their free use; and that English schools should be estab-
li,.hed there to the full extent of the means that could be raised
by Texas.97 During his previous stay in the region, he had ap-
pa :t tly been studying the situation, but the officials in Texas
failed to recognize the soundness of his suggestions, and therefore
no changes were made in the plans for organization.
9"Webb to Neighbors, January 8, 1850, in Senate Journal, 3rd Legisla-
ture, 2nd sess., appendix, 72-74.
"Bancroft, History of Arizona and New Mexico, 455, purports to give
the personnel of the Neighbors party, but the party named was one
which accompanied him in the spring of 1849, on one of his trips as
Indian agent. See Ford to the editor of the Texas Democrat, June 18,
1849, in Creuzbaur, Guide to California and the Pacific Coast, 4.
95Gammel, Laws of Texas, III, 773. Neighbors was later granted the
sum of $1256.51 to reimburse him for expenditures made while on this
mission. Ibid., III, 786.
"6Ibid., III, 645-646; also Bancroft, History of the North Mexican States
and Texas, II, 399.
"Baird to Bell, February 27, 1850, in Senate Journal, 3rd Legislature,
2nd sess., appendix, 74-81.
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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/m1/31/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.