The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991 Page: 536
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
November 1850.2 From that point the line could be drawn in two direc-
tions, presumably at reasonable expense.
United States Commissioner John Russell Bartlett arrived at El Paso
del Norte with a large retinue of over one hundred men on November
13, 1850, but without the United States surveyor, Andrew B. Gray, who
was still in California. The Mexican section, consisting of Gen. Pedro
Garcia Conde as commissioner and Jose Salazar Ylarrequi as surveyor,
followed on December 1.' The Joint Commission then adopted plans
for the survey of the southern boundary of New Mexico toward the
Gila River and for the survey of the Rio Grande. Mexican Surveyor Sa-
lazar Ylarrequi and the chief astronomer of the United States section,
Col. James Duncan Graham of the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical
Engineers, presented a plan to survey the course and sinuosities of the
Rio Grande, taking care to fix all towns and villages near the river. The
topography of the river was to be taken with either section of the Joint
Commission having the option of making a less minute survey. The
work was to be corrected by astronomical observations for latitude and
longitude at suitable stations. When possible such points were to be
connected in longitude by signal flashes. Islands were to be carefully
surveyed and soundings taken to determine the river's deepest chan-
nel. Should the Rio Grande prove to have more than one channel at its
mouth, the deepest would be the boundary. Graham and Salazar Ylarr-
equi's individual plans for the survey differed only in that the Mexican
team desired to make a less detailed topography of the river. The Joint
Commission approved their plan and resolved that either section of the
commission could begin the survey alone if the other party was not
Bartlett was particularly eager to begin the survey of the Rio Grande
as soon as possible and requested Chief Astronomer Graham to orga-
2Official Journal, The Mexican Boundary Commission Papers of John Russell Bartlett (The
John Carter Brown Library, Brown University), 71-73, Josh Salazar Ylarrequi, Datos de los tra-
balos astron6macos y topogrdficos, dzspuestos en forma de diano Practicados durante el afo de 1849 y
prnczpzos de i85o por la comtii6n de limites mexicana en la linea que divzde esta repiblica de los Estados
Unidos (Mexico City. J R Navarro, 1850), 12, 30-31.
John Russell Bartlett, Personal Narrative of Exploratons and Incidents in Texas, New Mexico,
Calzforma, Sonora, and Chzhuahua, Connected with the United States and Mexican Boundary Commis-
szon, during the Years i85o, '51, '52, and '53 (2 vols., New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1854), II,
145, 150, Secretaria del Senado to Ministro de Relaciones, Jan 9, Feb. 28, 1849, Expediente
x/22 (72. 73) "847"/22 (Archivo de la Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores, Mexico City, cited
hereafter as Expediente 22), 67; Luis G Cuevas to Senado, Feb. 21, 1849, ibid., 97, "Limites
Entre Mexico y Los Estados Unidos de A.-'Trabajos de la Comisi6n de Limites entre ambos
pauses, de conformidad con el Tratado de Paz, Amistad, Limites y Arreglo Definitivo, firmado
en Guadalupe Hidalgo, D.E, el 2 de febrero de 1848," ibid., 99.
Official Journal, Bartlett Papers, 1 11- 1 15, Salazar Ylarrequi to Graham, Nov. 13, 22, 851,
James Duncan Graham Papers (Beineke Library, Yale University); File 396, Records Relating
to the United States-Mexican Border, Record Group 76 (National Archives), I, o18- 112 (cited
hereafter as RG 76)
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991, periodical, 1991; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/m1/614/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.