The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 27, July 1923 - April, 1924 Page: 24
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
of the United States in the department of New Mexico, was given
a copy of Meriwether's instructions for his guidance.22 These
facts seem to indicate the absence of any intention on the part
of the United States immediately to occupy the disputed section;
and apparently there was no change of purpose prior to the com-
pletion of the negotiations which resulted in the Gadsden Treaty.
In the first letter written from his post of duty, Meriwether re-
marked that there were about thirty Mexican soldiers at Mesilla
and that it was rumored that many more were on their way, but
he made no reference whatever to United States troops being
stationed there.23 In his despatch of August 31, he confirmed his
previous view of the situation, but maintained the same significant
silence regarding the forces of the United States.24 Gadsden's
communication of October 8, to the military officer commanding
in New Mexico, in which he informed him that an agreement to
leave the area in status quo had been made but gave no direction
as to removal of troops, appears to be conclusive evidence that no
news regarding an occupation on the part of the army of the
United States had reached the American minister up to this time.25
A letter from Meriwether to Marcy, dated November 14, indicates
that such action had not yet been taken. Meriwether asked for
instructions regarding a criminal who had escaped to the disputed
region. He said he feared that if he asked the Governor of Chi-
huahua for the culprit, such request might be construed into an
acknowledgment of the possession of the section by that state,
while an attempt at forcible seizure might "precipitate matters
more than it is [was] desirable to the government at Washing-
ton.'26 Lastly, a very careful examination of the archives of the
War Department at Washington has failed to reveal any evidence
indicating the presence of troops of the United States in the dis-
puted territory prior to December 30, 1853, when the Gadsden
pact was signed. Therefore, the conclusion that the first charge
preferred by Santa Anna against the United States is false seems
22Ibid., pp. 728, passim.
2Meriwether to Marcy, August 13, 1853, State Department, B. I. A.,
2I4bid., loc. cit.
26H. E. Bolton, Transcripts from the Archives of Mexico.
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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/m1/30/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.