The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 170
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The first American commission organized to survey the bound-
ary line was headed by John B. Weller, an Ohio politician, and
Andrew B. Gray, a Texas railroad enthusiast." They received
their respective appointments as commissioner and surveyor on
January 16, 1849, from the hand of President James K. Polk
who made the choices despite vigorous opposition from the
Whig party, designed to delay matters until March when Zachary
Taylor would take office as President and dispenser of patronage.17
Either out of zeal for his duties, or from fear of recall by the in-
coming Whigs, Weller moved rapidly to get his commission to
San Diego and into the field marking the boundary. By February
28 Weller sailed for Panama with the intention of meeting the
Mexican commissioner on or before May 3o, 1849, the date
specified for the meeting in the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
Though the rush of gold seekers across the Isthmus of Panama
caused a long delay, the Weller commission was assembled at
San Diego and ready to begin work before the Mexican commis-
sioner, General Pedro Garcia-Cond6, had even arrived. Finally,
on July 3, Conde and his assistant, the surveyor, Jose Salazar
Ylarregui, sailed into San Diego harbor on the frigate Caroline
and, with a considerable flourish of ceremony, the serious nego-
tiations for the running of the boundary began."s
At the outset several serious diplomatic questions arose whose
solution required a certain amount of geographical knowledge on
the part of both delegations. The treaty specified that the initial
point of the line on the Pacific should be located one marine
league south of the southernmost point of the port of San Diego
as described previously. But since there was no accepted standard
length for a marine league, Surveyors Gray and Salazar had to
compromise on an arbitrary length of 5,564.6 meters.'9 In addi-
tion, General CondO, with an eye on the port of San Diego,
lsDictionary of American Biography (2o vols.; New York, 1933), XIX, 628; the
best indication of Gray's interests can be seen in A. B. Gray, Southern Pacific Rail-
road, Survey of a Route from the Southern Pacific Railroad on the Thirty-Second
Parallel by A. B. Gray for the Texas Western Railroad Company (Cincinnati, 1856).
lTCongressional Globe, 31st Cong., 2nd Sess., XXIII, December 18, 1850, pp. 79-80o.
1sJos6 Salazar Ylarregui, Datos de los Trabajos Astronomicos y Topograficos
Despuestos en Forma de Diario (Mexico City, 1850), 12.
g9A. B. Gray to John B. Weller, San Diego, October 4, 1849g, in Thomas Ewing,
"Report on the Boundary Commission," Senate Executive Documents, 31st
Cong., 1st Sess. (Serial No. 558), Document No. 34, P. 3o.
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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/m1/213/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.