The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 24, July 1920 - April, 1921 Page: 37
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Question of Texan Jurisdiction, in New Mexico, 1848-50 37
Mexicans in waiting for news of Congressional action upon their
Congressional Acion. upon the Question.-Throughout the en-
tire period of two years in which these local developments were
taking place, Congress was also deeply involved in discussing ex-
actly the same problem.143 Even before the close of the war, in
1848, the question of boundaries had been brought up in that body,
and the discussion had gradually changed from a partisan to a
sectional character as a result of the slavery question. By the
early months of 1850 the situation had become sufficiently acute
to alarm such a leader as Henry Clay, with the result that he
included the question of the western boundary of Texas in his
series of resolutions which he hoped would bring about "an amicable
arrangement of all questions in controversy between the free and
the slave states, growing out of the subject of slavery."14" Two
months of discussion failed to bring about a settlement, and on April
19 the Senate selected a committee of thirteen members, with Clay
as chairman, to work out a scheme of compromise which would ad-
just all the questions with which slavery was connected.145 On
May 8, this committee submitted the series of measures which
came to be known as the Compromise Bill of 1850, and included
in the proposals was a new provision for the settlement of the
The suggestions naturally brought further discussion, and it
was while this debate was in progress in Congress that Neighbors
reported to the governor of Texas concerning his failure in or-
ganizing the New Mexican region for his state. Governor Bell's
protest reached Washington in July, and President Fillmore's mes-
sage of August 6 found the discussion at fever heat. The danger
which this message implied, of a conflict in the southwest, together
with reports which were reaching the capital concerning the atti-
tude of Texas, brought an awakening to the absolute necessity of
a speedy settlement of the issues involved, in order to prevent a
"4This phase of the question is better known, and therefore a brief sum-
mary is sufficient for the purpose of the present paper. The fullest state-
ment of the activities of Congress during 1850 in connection with the
subject, is Spillman, Adjustment of the Texas Boundary, 1850, in THE
QUARTERLY, VII, 177-195.
congressionall Globe, 31st Cong., 1st sess., 244-245.
"Ibid., 774, 780.
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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/m1/43/: accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.