The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 172
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
tions. In spite of this, by the time Weller received an official
notice of his demise from Secretary Thomas Ewing, most of the
work on the boundary had been completed. Thanks to the energy
of the commission's chief topographical officer, Major W. H.
Emory, and his ability to "borrow" supplies from the military
commissaries to support the field parties, the line had been run,
and only the markers needed to be placed.24 In a letter smoulder-
ing with anger, ex-Commissioner Weller pointed out to his old
Ohio political rival, Thomas Ewing, who had been made secre-
tary of the interior, how "fortunate" it was for the country that
he was not informed of his dismissal until the work was com-
pleted, and how "unfortunate" it was for him since it had cost
him dearly in his own funds and prevented him from engaging
in more agreeable and profitable business. He was, moreover,
deprived of all the credit of its accomplishment.25 The stormy
political relations between Weller and the Whig administration
had an important bearing on the later Bartlett-Cond6 boundary
question by providing the occasion for its introduction into the
debates on the floor of Congress.
President Zachary Taylor's choice for the new boundary com-
missioner was John Russell Bartlett, a prominent bibliophile and
amateur ethnologist from Providence, Rhode Island. The ap-
pointment was made on May 14, 185o, and the earnest solicita-
tions of Senator John B. Clarke of Rhode Island insured prompt
confirmation by the Senate. Bartlett brought to the commission-
er's post a curious set of qualifications and a somewhat incon-
gruous background for that of the chief officer of the field survey.
He had no previous political experience, nor was he a surveyor.
Since 1836 he had lived in New York where, in partnership with
Charles Welford, he ran a bookstore located on the ground floor
of the Astor Hotel. His bookstore specialized in foreign books and
travel accounts which made it the center of a unique literary
group that included Ephriam G. Squier, John Lloyd Stephens,
24William H. Emory, "Report on the United States and Mexican Boundary Sur-
vey," House Executive Documents, 34th Cong., Ist Sess. (Serial No. 861), Docu-
ment No. 135, Pp. 5-6.
2sWeller to Ewing, San Francisco, California, March 1, 185o, in "Report of the
Secretary of the Interior ... in relation to the Commission Appointed to Run and
Mark the Boundary between the United States and Mexico," Senate Executive
Documents, 32and Cong., 1st Sess. (Serial No. 626), Document No. 119, pp. 74-76.
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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/m1/215/: accessed May 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.