The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 360
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
locations of ancient river channels were estimated; the formation
of islands was considered; and the frequency and volume of floods
were reviewed.'8 Before the final settlement was made, much re-
search had been done in the fields of history, physiography, plant
ecology, hydrology, and law." Yet with all this evidence available,
the commissioner appointed to survey, locate, and mark the exact
boundary of the shifting "cut" of the south bank had no easy job.
After many years of work, however, the task was completed and
the final decree of the Court as a result of the work of the com-
missioner was made in 1930.20
When the Court decided against Oklahoma's claim to the south-
ern half of the river bed, it also ruled that this land had never
been subject to location or acquisition under the mining and
land laws of the nation. This decision resulted in the cancella-
tion of the claims of many individuals who had explored the oil
lands, since these persons had relied upon placer mining laws as
they developed the area.21
Many of the original placer miners had spent considerable
sums of money in order to extract the oil from the ground, and
when these individuals suffered losses as a result of the Court's
invalidation of the private claims, some of them petitioned the
government for reimbursement. One of the most successful of
these persons was Oklahoma State Senator Tom Testerman, who
asserted that he was the first explorer to go into the area, staking
out a claim in December, 1918. Declaring that he brought oil to
the surface in August, g919, Testerman argued that he was the
first to prove the existence of oil there.22 He claimed that he had
spent a total of $12o,ooo obtaining leases, buying equipment, and
exploring for oil.28 Testerman requested the government to re.
18Carpenter, "Red River Boundary Dispute," American Journal of International
Law, XIX, 521.
o1Bowman, "American Boundary Dispute," Geographical Review, XIII, 163.
20United States Reports, CCLXXXI, o109. See also ibid., CCLXXII, 21; ibid.,
21Ibid., CCLVIII, 574; Bowman, "American Boundary Dispute," Geographical
Review, XIII, 165; Daily Times, January 20, 1920; January 28, 1920; Daily Okla-
homan, January 21, 1919.
22The original controversy between Oklahoma and Texas centered around Tester-
man, one of the most active oil explorers in the area. See Daily Times, January
22, 1919; August 12, 1919; August 17, 1919; August 21, 1919; August 22, 1919;
November 9, 1919.
28See the testimony of Thomas P. Gore in Hearings Before the Committee on the
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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/m1/427/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.