The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 183
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The United States-Mexican Boundary Survey
Senator Rusk spoke for a determined group of southwestern
men from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi who were
especially concerned over the possible loss of the southern railroad
route to California. Since 1844 when Asa Whitney proposed his
Pacific railroad plan, a complicated set of local and sectional eco-
nomic rivalries had deadlocked the Congress over the question of
a proper location for the transcontinental road. Numerous explo-
rations by the Corps of Topographical Engineers, of which the
most prominent had been the one conducted by Lieutenant
Emory during the Mexican War, indicated that a route across
Texas through El Paso and along the Gila River was the best
for the national railroad.6" In public letters to the railroad con-
ventions of 1849, held in Memphis and St. Louis, and again in
1851 at New Orleans, Colonel J. J. Abert, chief of the topograph-
ical corps, had wholeheartedly endorsed the southern route."'70
Thus, with the prospect of victory within their grasp, the south-
western men were resolved not to countenance any diplomatic
blunder which would lose them the right-of-way along the Gila
River. Initially, they had accepted the Bartlett-Conde agreement
as a fait accompli, and immediately proposed a new treaty to pur-
chase the land needed for the right-of-way.71 But after hearing
Surveyor Gray's arguments, the Rusk supporters saw a more effec-
tive way to accomplish their purpose. They placed their support
behind Gray, and called the Bartlett-Conde agreement null and
void, since it did not bear the signature of the official American
surveyor.72 Major Emory was then forced to explain that he had
done nothing to alter Gray's refusal to authenticate the initial-
point agreement by his witnessing of the official maps.'7
Another group which joined in the assault on the Whigs was
69W. H. Emory, "Notes of a Military Reconnaissance from Fort Leavenworth,
in Missouri to San Diego in California, including parts of the Arkansas, Del Norte,
and Gila Rivers." Senate Executive Documents, 3oth Cong., Ist Sess. (Serial No.
505), Document No. 7, p. 36.
70J. J. Abert to J. Loughborough, St. Louis, September 24, 1849; Abert to Glendy
Burke, New Orleans, December 17, 1851 (MSS., Letters Sent, Corps of Topographi-
cal Engineers, Record Group 77, National Archives).
7'Russel, Improvement of Communication with the Pacific Coast, 135.
7TEmory to Mason, Washington, February 16, 1853 (MS., Yale Collection of
Western Americana, Emory Papers, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University),
folder XIV, January-June, 1853.
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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/m1/226/: accessed March 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.