The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 21
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The Negotiation of the Gadsden Treaty
in spite of the refusal of the Mexican commissioners to consent
to the alienation of more than the minimum required for the
projected railway, one suspects that unreasonable demands were not
entirely confined to the agents of Mexico.
At length, after the greater part of four conferences had been
consumed, Gadsden reluctantly consented to accept the contention
of the Mexican commissioners with respect to the territorial fea-
ture. They then turned to the question of Indian indemnities,
which evoked prolonged discussion. Bonilla demanded as a con-
sideration for releasing the United States from Article XI., com-
pensation both "for the losses which her Government and Citizens
had suffered in the past, and for the responsibilities and obliga-
tions of which the U. States in the future would be relieved," in-
sisting that eight million dollars be set aside in the proposed treaty
specifically for this purpose. Gadsden refused either to admit the
responsibility of his government for the Indian depredations or to
itemize the compensation he proposed to offer for the various con-
The fifth conference opened with an attempt on the part of
Gadsden to secure recognition of the Garay grant. This the
Mexican commission refused to concede on the ground that such
a step would permit an undue interference in what was purely a
domestic and administrative matter; and they persisted in this
view of the matter even when Gadsden offered three million dollars
for this consideration alone. When Bonilla suggested that the
only proper method of disposing of the claims under the grant
was to include it among the number the United States proposed
to assume, Gadsden objected that his government was unwilling
to expend more than five millions for this purpose, but that the
Garay claimants were demanding that much for themselves, and
pressed the matter of the revalidation of the concession until
Bonilla finally informed him that further discussion was useless,
as "he never would assent to anything that in the slightest degree
could affect the honor of his country or infringe upon her sov-
ereignty." Gadsden, convinced that further efforts would prove
unavailing, once more gave way; and the commissioners took up
the question of compensation for the concessions which Mexico
had signified her willingness to grant.
At first Gadsden offered seventeen millions, five millions to be
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924, periodical, 1924; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101086/m1/27/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.