The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 222
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
in 1659 at the strategic river crossing at El Paso del Norte. These
two waves of colonization activities were destined to clash along
the banks of the Rio Grande and create jealous jurisdictional
rivalries between Nueva Vizcaya and New Mexico. The bound-
aries between these two Spanish provinces were only vaguely
defined because precise boundaries were unnecessary so long as
the frontier settlements of the respective provinces were widely
separated. Jurisdiction over the settlements in the El Paso Dis-
trict was formally awarded to the province of New Mexico after
the Pueblo Revolt of 168o.'
Selfish and oppressive measures of the Spanish government led
to ever-increasing Mexican discontent which culminated in open
revolt in 181o and independence in 1821. An empire was estab-
lished in Mexico on May 18, 1822, but Emperor Agustin de Itur-
bide's frenzied reign was brief. He was deposed on March 8, 1823,
and the Republic of Mexico was created on October 4, 1824.2
The Supreme Congress of the Republic of Mexico divided the
province of Nueva Vizcaya into two new provinces known as
Chihuahua and Durango. By act dated January 31, 1824, the
provinces of Chihuahua, Durango, and New Mexico were consol-
idated into the Estado Interno del Norte. Durango immediately
protested. On July 6, 1824, Chihuahua and Durango were estab-
lished as separate states; New Mexico was made a territory.8
Jurisdiction over the group of settlements in the El Paso Dis-
trict, which had been a part of New Mexico since 168o, was
transferred to the state of Chihuahua on July 6, 1824. By a federal
decree dated July 27, 1824, the northern boundary of the state
of Chihuahua was established as "a line drawn from east to west
from the town of El Paso del Norte, with the jurisdiction it has
On October 22, 1833, the congress of the state of Chihuahua
created a geographical and topographical corps. Pedro Garcia-
'Anne E. Hughes, The Beginning of the Spanish Settlements in the El Paso
District (El Paso, 1935), 389.
2George B. Anderson, History of New Mexico (2 vols.; Chicago, 1907), I, 56-57.
sHubert Howe Bancroft, History of the North Mexican States and Texas (2 vols.;
San Francisco, 1886-1889), I, 129.
4Senate Executive Documents, 33rd Cong., 2nd Sess. (Serial No. 752), Docu-
ment No. 55, p. 48.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960, periodical, 1960; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/m1/286/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.