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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, January 12, 1850. Sir: In compliance with your directions accompanying a copy of the resolution of the House of Representatives, of the 31st ult., I send herewith a list of all the officers and agents appointed in, and in the employment of this department, in California and New Mexico, together with the letters of instructions under which they have severally acted, and all letters addressed to them by this department, and also all the communications, of whatesover nature, received from them, in writing or in print, by this department. I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
T. EWING, Secretary. To the PRESIDENT.
List of all the officers and agents appointed in, and in the employment of
the Department of the Interior, in California and New Mexico.
John Wilson, Indian agent at the Great Salt Lake. ·
IN NEW MEXICO.
Special agent.-William Carey Jones, confidential agent of the government for the collection of information in California and New Mexico, relative to titles and claims to land in those territories.
Mexican Boundary Commission.—John C. Frémont has been appointed in the place of John B. Weller, removed, but has not yet entered on duty.
No. 2. Correspondence to the United States and Mexican Boundary Commission.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington City, January 19, 1849. GENTLEMEN: You will receive herewith the list of instruments belonging to this department, furnished by Major Graham on the 29th December last.
Major Graham and Major Emory will proceed immediately to New York, and, if they should deem it advisable, to the other cities where these instruments are deposited; and Major Graham, in whose custody they now are, will deliver such of them to Major Emory, the chief of the corps of topographical engineers designated to accompany the commissioner and surveyor, under the 5th article of the late treaty with Mexico, as he may deem necessary for correctly running and marking the boundary line between the two republics, taking duplicate receipts for the same. Major Graham will deliver one of these receipts to the departinent, and preserve the other.
Major Emory will then proceed at once to cause any or all of the instruments so delivered to him to be repaired, if need be, and fitted for the survey of the Mexican boundary, and to be packed and placed in boxes for transportation on mules.
All the actual expenses incurred in executing these instructions, as well as the personal expenses of Majors Graham and Emory, will be paid out of the appropriation made on the 12th August last, not exceeding $50,000," for the expenses of running and marking the boundary line between the United States and Mexico, and paying the salaries of the officers of the commission." Accounts of these expenses, properly vouched, will be settled by the Fifth Auditor.
Major Emory, after having received and examined such instruments as he may require, will report immediately to this department what other instruments he may deem necessary for the survey, together with their probable cost, and where they may be obtained the most speedily and upon the best terms. I am, gentlemen, respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES BUCHANAN. Maj. J. Ď. Graham and Maj. Wm. H. Emory,
Of the Topographicul Engineers of the U. S. Army.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, January 24, 1849. Sir: The fifth article of the treaty requiring that the commissioner and surveyor of the United States and Mexico, respectively, should meet at San Diego before the 30th May, 1849, no time should be lost in organizing the commission on our part, preparatory to its departure for the place of destination.
As you will be held responsible for the able and faithful execution of the important public trust confided to you by the article of the treaty, the President deenis it proper to leave to you the organization of the commission, enjoining it upon you, at the same time, to employ as few persons to assist you as may be compatible with the successful and efficient performance of your duties, and to study economy, as far as practicable, in all your expenditures.
The organization will be effected solely with a view to run and mark the boundary line between the two republics; although the selection of individuals for this purpose may be made with reference to the incidental collection of information relative to the construction of “a road, canal, or
railway,” along the river Gila, as provided for by the sixth article of the treaty.
In organizing the commission you are referred, for any information which you may deem necessary, to Andrew B. Gray, esq., who has been appointed surveyor under the treaty, and Major William H. Emory, of the topographical engineers, whom the President has designated to be " chief astronomer and head of the topographical scientific corps of the commission."
Congress, by the civil and diplomatic act of August 12, 1848, has appropriated, “For the expenses of running and marking the boundary line between the United States and Mexico, and paying the salaries of the officers of the commission, a sum not exceeding fifty thousand dollars," and the President considers that he will best effectuate the intentions of Congress by directing that the expenses of the commission for one year shall be so graduated as not to exceed this appropriation. You will be charged exclusively with the disbursement of the money thus appropriated, with the exception of the sum which may be necessary to execute my instructions of the 19th instant, to Majors Graham and Emory, relative to the delivery of astronomical instruments from the former to the latter, for the use of the commission.
Your salary as commissioner, as well as that of the surveyor, will commence from this date. In case Congress should not declare by law what these salaries shall be, they will be fixed by the President before the departure of the commission from the United States. Under the head of contingent expenses of the commission will be einbraced your reasonable personal expenses while in service, and those of the surveyor, chief astronomer, and the other officers of the topographical engineers who may be detailed to assist you in the field, the pay and subsistence of assistant surveyors, chain carriers, and laborers, and the incidental and necessary expenses of exploring parties, the purchase of stationery, of tents and camp equipage, and the purchase or hire of horses, mules, and vehicles for the transportation of the same. Of all these expenses you will keep a regular uccount, which, together with the necessary vouchers, you will render and transmit quarterly to the Fifth Auditor of the Treasury for settlement. And to meet the same, as likewise the payment of the salaries, you will from time to time, as occasion may require, draw upon the department, taking care not to exceed in the amount drawn at any one time the sum which will be required to meet the actual and necessary expenses of the commission.
After the commission on the part of the United States shall have been properly organized under your direction, and before your departure from the country, you will receive further instructions. I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES BUCHANAN. To John B. WELLER, Esq.,
“ Commissioner for running the boundary line between the United
States and the republic of Meriro, under the filth article of the treaty with that republic, concluded on the 20 February, 1848.”
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 13, 1849. SIR: In my instructions of the 24th ultimo, I promised to send you further instructions before your departure from the United States. I now proceed to perform this duty.
The fifth article of our treaty with Mexico, of the 20 February, 1848, as amended by the Senate, (two copies of which are herewith transmitted,) clearly prescribes your duties. This article places you in a highly rosponsible position; because it declares that the boundary line between the two republies, which shall be run and marked by the joint commission, shall be deemed a part of the treaty, “and shall have the same force as if it were inserted therein." The action of the commission, therefore, ' will be final and conclusive; and the President has full confidence that in the discharge of your important duties your conduct will be characterized by prudence, firmness, and a conciliatory spirit.
Whilst he desires no advantage over the Mexican government, you will take care, on running the boundary, that all our just rights, under the treaty, shall be maintained.
Your first duty will be to run and mark that part of the boundary consisting of a straight line from a “point on the coast of the Pacific ocean distant one marine league due south of the southernmost point of the port of San Diego," to “the middle of the Rio Gila, where it unites with the Colorado."
It is not apprehended that you will encounter much difficulty in determining either of these points. This southernmost point of the port of San Diego is to be ascertained, by the treaty, “according to the plan of said port made in the year 1782, by Don Juan Pantoja, second sailing-master of the Spanish fleet, and published at Madrid, in the year 1802, on the atlas to the voyage of the schooners Sutil and Mexicana, of which plan a copy is hereunto added, signed and sealed by the respective plenipotentiaries." Yeu are furnished with a certified copy of this plan, which appears to fix precisely what is the southern limit of the port of San Diego; and a point on the Pacific “one marine league due south of” this, is the place of beginning.
The middle of the Rio Gila, where it unites with the Colorado, being a natural object, there can be but little difficulty in ascertaining this point. •
The duties of the surveyor are sufficiently indicated by the treaty itself; those of Major William H. Emory, the chief astronomer, will be to determine all astronomical points, and to direct the mode of running all astronomical lines on the boundary. Lieutenant J. W. Whipple and Brevet Captain E. L. F. Hardcastle, of the corps of topographical engineers, have becn designated, under the authority of the President, to accompany Major Emory as his assistants.
The remainder of the boundary runs along the middle of the Rio Gila and the Rio Grande, with the exception of that portion of it between “ the point where the Rio Grande strikes the southern boundary of New Mexico; thence westwardly along the whole southern boundary of New Mexico (which runs north of the town called Paso) to its western termination; thence northward, along the western line of New Mexico until it inter sects the first branch of the river Gila, (or if it should not intersect any branch of that river, then to the point on the said line nearest to such branch, and thence in a direct line to the same.")
In regard to this latter portion of the line it is impossible to give you specific instructions, for the want of accurate geographical information. It can only be ascertained by examinations and surveys upon the ground. Besides, the treaty itself declares that “the southern and western limits of New Mexico, mentioned in this article, are those laid down on the map “ of the United Mexican States," published at New York, in 1847, by J. Disturnell, of which a copy was added to the treaty, bearing the signatures and seals of the plenipotentiaries. You are now furnished with a certified copy of this map.
You are also furnished, as bearing upon this subject, with the copy of a map of New Mexico, which was attached to the atlas to Thompson's edition of the Geographical and Historical Dictionary of America and the West Indies, by Col. Don Antonio de Alcedo, published at London in 1812—a work of the highest authority.
My successor in office will, most probably, obtain further information in regard to this portion of the line; and as the work progresses, will doubtless deem it proper to give you further instructions.
I deem it unnecessary, therefore, to say more at present upon the subject.
I need scarcely add, that the President expects you will perform your duties under the treaty with as little delay as practicable consistently with accuracy:
As it is indispensable that each government should be furnished with a full and circumstantial record of the proceedings of the commissioners, they will doubtless order such record to be kept in duplicate. This duty will naturally devolve upon the clerks appointed on both sides, under the supervision of the respective commissioners, who will be responsible for the accuracy of such records and for their safe delivery, prop-rly certified, to the respective governments at the expiration of the commission. You will, with that view, provide the clerk appointed on the part of the United States with suitable instructions respecting this and any other duty which it shall be deemed proper to assign to him.
As soon as the boundary shall have been ascertained and marked, you will cause a true and accurate map to be made of the country through which it passes, in its entire extent. A duplicate copy of said map, certified by the commissioners and surveyors on both sides, will accompany the records of the proceedings of the commission. The joint report or declaration by the commissioners of “the final result agreed upon by them," under the fifth article of the treaty, will also be transmitted to the department, to be filed with the journal or record of their proceedings and
As soon as the commission shall be organized, you will transmit to this department a list containing the names of the several persons composing it; the nature of the duties assigned to each individual and the compensation allowed to them respectively; and will also, from time to time, inform the Secretary of State of any change which you may, by circumstances, be induced to make in its organization.
The sixth article of the treaty provides that “if, by the examinations which may be made, it should be ascertained to be practicable and ad. vantageous to construct a road, canal, or railway, which should in whole or in part run upon the river Gila, or upon its right or its left bank, with. in the space of one marine league from either margin of the river, the