The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 165
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The United States-Mexican Boundary Survey
may. Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia rose in the House of
Representatives to declare that, "The first Federal gun that shall
be fired against the people of Texas without the authority of the
law will be a signal for freemen from Delaware to the Rio Grande
to rally to the rescue."
Fortunately for both Texas and the United States, another
Southern Whig, James Alfred Pearce of Maryland, provided a
solution for all the difficulties by proposing the present western
boundary of Texas and an indemnity of ten million dollars which
virtually cancelled the Texan debt. His solution formed one of
the compromise measures of 1850. But though this crisis passed,
the sentiments aroused in Texas and Southern political circles
had a direct bearing upon the second great boundary crisis affect-
ing Texas and the South.
This second controversy took place almost simultaneously with
the Texas-New Mexico dispute. Officially the contestants were the
United States and Mexico, but behind the scenes expansionist
politicians from Texas and the entire South exerted a strong influ-
ence upon the outcome of the negotiations. They were vitally
concerned because the land in dispute between the two countries
contained the only practicable route for a southern transconti-
nental railroad. Since only one such transcontinental railroad
was projected, it seemed imperative to the southwestern men
that the road be built through their territory. Particularly was
this so because they were engaged in a bitter rivalry with eco-
nomic factions in Missouri, Illinois, and Minnesota over the
location of the road-with the wealth that resulted from the road
being the stakes inherited by the winner.
In addition, Texas had a particular reason for wanting the
road to cross its territory; the proposed line of travel was such
that it cut the many north-south rivers of Texas at the head of
navigation forming the basis for an almost perfect transportation
network. It would enable the Gulf ports to tap the interior cotton
and cattle lands and exchange goods with New Orleans, Cuba,
Panama, and other points of call in a Caribbean empire. From
the year 1849 onward, officials in Texas had worked closely with
army engineers and topographical engineers in an effort to secure
'William C. Binkley, "The Question of Texan Jurisdiction in New Mexico under
the United States, 1848-1850," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XXVI, 38n.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/207/: accessed February 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.