The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944 Page: 36
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Ward was, as we shall see, a bit too jubilant. It lacked only
five days of being two years before Mier y TerAn was able to
leave Mexico City, and it was nearly five years before any
action was taken on his reports of what he found in Texas.
By June, 1826, when negotiations for a commercial treaty
between the United States and Mexico were nearing comple-
tion, the Mexican plenipotentiaries proposed that the contract-
ing parties take into consideration as soon as possible the
negotiation of a treaty of limits, and in the meantime, facilitate
in any way needed the work of commissioners sent out by either
power to examine the country near the proposed boundary.
On July 12, Poinsett wrote to Henry Clay that a Mexican com-
mission had been appointed ; no action of any kind was taken
on the matter, however, and it required the sensation developing
out of the Fredonian rebellion to jar the Mexican congress into
action.0 But with its eyes finally opened to the dangers of the
o"This Government has appointed General Teran to examine the country
near our respective frontiers, and to obtain such information as will enable
them to treat upon that subject understandingly. This is the gentleman
formerly nominated by the Executive to proceed to London and whose
appointment was not confirmed by the Senate. He tells me that he will
leave the capital in all [sic] September. I suppose his departure will not
take place before late in October." Poinsett to Clay, July 12, 1826, in
H. Ex. Does., 25c., 1s., No. 42, p. 24.
0oThat the executive department had long before this been ready for
action, and something of the Mexican reasoning back of the appointment
of the commission, are shown by the following communication from Alaman
to Poinsett: "In the actual state of things, the final conclusion of a treaty
which should embrace the two points of commerce and of limits, could not
be effected with that promptness which this Government wishes. The mark-
ing out of limits, by its nature, and the particular difficulties which in our
case attend such a work, both by want of the topographical information
sufficiently exact to inspire any confidence, and from the series of trig-
onometrical observations which it would be necessary to make on a vast
extent of unexplored country, is subject to delays that, however great the
zeal with which both governments might forward the work, would con-
sume a great deal of time; when on the other hand, the two subjects might
be separated without any prejudice to national interests. We might then,
if your excellency thought proper, and this is the opinion of the President,
proceed immediately to negotiate the treaty of commerce, leaving on one
side the point of limits; and that we might negotiate on this subject, the
two governments might name their commissioners, who, on examining to-
gether the country within a given latitude, from one sea to the other, might
present exact information, upon which the limits might be established as
is desired. This manner of prosecution throws no obstacle in the prosecu-
tion of the end proposed; for, whether the bases for marking the limits
are designated previously in the treaty to be then afterwards defined with
precision by commissioners of both Governments, or whether we proceed
in the manner I have the honor to propose to your excellency, the result
will always be the same, with the only difference, that by the method indi-
cated we might proceed with more certainty, and we should possess more
exact information to go upon." Alamdn to Poinsett, July 20, 1825, Ibid.,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944, periodical, 1944; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146054/m1/40/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.