The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 175
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The United States-Mexican Boundary Survey
pattern of longitude and latitude on the map. Both sides, Amer-
ican and Mexican, nevertheless insisted on using the map as a
definition of the southern boundary of New Mexico.3"
General Cond6 maintained that the line should be laid down
with strict reference to its orientation vis-a-vis the lines of latitude
and longitude on the map. In this case the boundary would begin
at a point on the Rio Grande some thirty miles north of El Paso
and continue westward for one degree of longitude thence north-
ward to the first tributary of the Gila River. Such a line would
give Mexico the potential riches of the Santa Rita del Cobre
mines and the fertile Mesilla Valley.38
Commissioner Bartlett assumed that such a line had not been
Trist's intention, but upon reference to the map he was forced
to admit the strength of Cond6's position. He remembered, too,
his instructions which were to maintain a conciliatory attitude
towards Mexico, and thus he was prepared to be more than fair.
There were, however, two slight discrepancies on the map which
were irreconcilable with Conde's position: (1) the southern
boundary of New Mexico was plainly indicated as extending
westward not one but three degrees from the Rio Grande, and
(2) the town of El Paso, by the scale on the map, was located only
eight miles south of the line as laid down. Bartlett argued that
Trist had surely meant the southern boundary of New Mexico
to extend further than one degree westward, and he pointed to
the map for support. After much discussion the two commis-
sioners compromised. General Cond agreed that the boundary
should run, as pictured on the map, three degrees west of the
Rio Grande, regardless of the river's true position. Bartlett, in
turn, conceded that the initial point on the Rio Grande should
be at 32 22' latitude, and not eight miles north of El Paso, which
was really located further south at 31 45'.34 He thus freely inter-
preted the clause in the treaty which specified that the boundary
should run "north of the town called Paso" to mean any dis-
s32"Report of the Secretary of the Interior .. in relation to the Commission
Appointed to Run and Mark the Boundary between the United States and Mex-
ico," Senate Executive Documents, 32nd Cong., Ist Sess. (Serial No. 626), Docu-
ment No. 119, pp. 146-148, 278.
34Ibid. See map which accompanies the report. See also, Bartlett, Personal Nar-
rative, I, 2o1-2o8.
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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/m1/218/: accessed April 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.