The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950 Page: 8
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
limits of the United States for this distance, and admitted Lou-
isiana with a western boundary along the middle of the Sabine
to the thirty-second parallel, thence due north to the thirty-third
parallel, in the belief that this line would also become the inter-
national line. When, however, the United States entered into a
treaty with Spain in 1819, the international line for the distance
of the western boundary of Louisiana was fixed along the western
bank of the Sabine to the thirty-second parallel, thence due north.
Congress took no subsequent action to make the two lines coin-
cide, but one view is that
Congress could not have intended establishing a thin strip of territory
comprising the western half of the Sabine up to the 32 parallel, and
maintaining it as Federal territory.22
Under such circumstances, of course, the western boundary of
Louisiana might be assumed to have coincided with the inter-
national boundary after 1819.
But if one supposes the 1812 mid-river line and the 1819 west-
ern bank line to have remained distinct to the thirty-second
parallel, did the non-river portion of the two lines between the
thirty-second and thirty-third parallels coincide? The line as sur-
veyed by the joint commission in 1840-1841, was an interna-
tional line per se; but for the distance between the thirty-second
and thirty-third parallels it also served as the western boundary of
Louisiana, without any questions being asked, apparently, until
about 1941.23 Therefore, the line (though not surveyed until
1840-1841) which separated the United States, on the one hand,
from Spanish territory, Mexico, then Texas, successively, on the
other hand, was also the line which the state of Louisiana re-
garded as her legitimate boundary, and to which she exercised
jurisdiction. The annexation of Texas as a state of the Union
in 1845,24 did not alter this situation, except to eliminate the
international aspect of the line.
If, in the years subsequent to the Treaty of 1819, the western
22John L. Madden, special assistant attorney general, State of Louisiana, to
Bunyan H. Andrew, April 12, 1945, copy on file, Department of Justice, Office of
the Attorney General, State of Louisiana, Baton Rouge.
23"Boundary Error Discovered," Engineering News Record, CXXVIII (1942), 480.
24Conditions of admission, United States Statutes at Large, V, 797; admission,
ibid., IX, 1o8.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950, periodical, 1950; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101126/m1/26/: accessed March 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.