The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958 Page: 432
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Major Neighbors was appointed Indian agent for the Republic
of Texas and remained so after annexation.2
Neighbors had won the favor of high officials in Texas includ-
ing Major General William Jenkins Worth, who, acting under
orders from Washington to establish communications with the
West Coast, ordered Major Neighbors to lay off a wagon road
through what previously had been to Americans an inaccessible
region from Central Texas to El Paso.
The success of Major Neighbors in opening communications
with the upper Rio Grande, and his knowledge of the country
and its people, made him a logical commissioner for the state of
Texas to send to establish its claim to the region. On January 3,
1850, Governor Peter Hansborough Bell nominated Neighbors,
an associate since their days in the Army of the Republic of
Texas, as the commissioner to organize the western counties of
Texas along the upper Rio Grande, and asked the advice and
consent of the Texas Senate.3 A joint resolution was passed by
the legislature to pay the commissioner's salary in advance.4 But
to travel hundreds of miles across a wilderness, much of it a deso-
late waste inhabited by savages, to win the allegiance and co-
operation of alien people long prejudiced against Texas, and to
wrest the region from the United States, Neighbors was advanced
the total salary of $550 without one cent for an expense account.
The legislature failed to act on the governor's request to provide
the commissioner with a military escort.
Thus Major Neighbors was thrown into the cauldron of the
dispute over the Texas boundary which engaged national atten-
tion for such a long period, led to threats of civil war and seces-
sion, and was not finally settled until the so-called Compromise
2For the career of Robert S. Neighbors, see Kenneth Franklin Neighbours, Robert
S. Neighbors in Texas, 1836-1859: A Quarter Century of Frontier Problems (Ph.D.
dissertation, University of Texas, 1955)
8Bell to Senate, January 3, 1850 (MS., Governors Letters, Archives, Texas State
Library); for Robert S. Neighbors' route to El Paso, see Kenneth F. Neighbours,
"The Expedition of Major Robert S. Neighbors to El Paso in 1849," Southwestern
Historical Quarterly, LVIII, 36-59; see also Kenneth F. Neighbours (ed.), "The
Report of the Expedition of Major Robert S. Neighbors to El Paso in 1849,"
ibid., LX, 527-532.
4H. P. N. Gammel (comp.), The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 (io vols.; 1898),
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958, periodical, 1958; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101164/m1/534/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.