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Of the above amount, the disbursement of only a very small portion came under my direction or within my knowledge. The item of $38,100 for office-work and the two items of $10,000, each were disbursed by Captain Thom under my immediate direction. Of the first sum, there was, January 1, 1856, a balance untouched of $24,445 54; and of the two last sums a balance of $12,900. As far as my authority has extended, there have been no defalcations. : I have also to submit a table showing the appropriations made by Congress for the survey of the boundary between the United States and Mexico, as established under the treaty of December 30, 1853.


Of the amount appropriated for the survey, &c., of the boundary under the treaty of December 30, 1853, most of it was disbursed by myself, and a portion by Lieut. Michler ; and there remained, on the 1st of January, 1856, in the hands of the assistant treasurer of the United States at New York, to my credit

--- $42,004 59 In the hands of Lieut. Michler -

5,000 00 In the treasury of the United States at Washington, not drawn.--

51, 450 00 Total...

98,454 59 Total from above ..

37,345 54

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Grand total.........

135,800 13

And I have further to report that no defalcations have occurred in those under my orders.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

W. H. EMORY, U. S. Commissioner. Hon. ROBERT MCCLELLAND, Secretary of the Interior.

The field-work of the boundary survey under the treaty of 1850, confided to my charge, was finished within the time estimated by the government. It will be seen from the above statement that the whole work will be completed at an expense much within the appropriation made by Congress.





On the 15th August, 1854, I received from the President of the United States, through the Hon. Robt. McClelland, Secretary of the Interior, the appointment of commissioner 6 to survey and mark out upon the land the dividing line between the United States and the republic of Mexico, concluded on the 30th of December, 1853, the ratifications of which were exchanged in the city of Washington on the 30th day of June, 1854.” At the same time I received special instructions from the Secretary of the Interior, and a copy of the treaty, which will be found in the appendix.

The terms of the treaty required that each of the two governments should nominate one commissioner, and that the two thus nominated should meet in the city of El Paso del Norte three months after the exchange of ratifications of the treaty, and proceed to survey and mark out the line,' &c.

To reach El Paso del Norte in the time required by the treaty, (October 1st,) it would have been necessary to leave my outfit to take care of itself, and travel post-haste. Knowing well the character of the country in which that service was to be performed, I concluded to send forward a special messenger to meet the Mexican commissioner, and to remain and give my personal attention to the outfit. Everything in the way of astronomical and surveying instruments, transportation, arms, provisions, and medicines required for the campaign, was to be provided in advance, and shipped from New York.

By employing men to work night and day, and shipping my wagons, at great expense, on board the passenger steamers, I was enabled to land the whole outfit at Indianola, Texas, by the 25th of September. ,

On the night of the 18th September, while crossing the Gulf, a terrific tornado swept the coast, and every wharf in Matagorda bay, except that upon which a portion of our outfit was landed, was carried away, and the town of Matagorda itself levelled with the ground. We found at Indianola a number of mules belonging to the old commission; but they were in such miserable condition, I determined to send them up to San Antonio with the empty wagons, and hire transportation for the supplies which had been purchased in New Orleans and safely landed at Indianola. The low country between Indianola and Kilpatrick's, a distance of twenty miles, was inundated, and the roads so bad, that the contractor for the transportation of our supplies was twenty days passing as many miles. The yellow fever was then prevalent, and added much to our embarrassments, several of our party having been stricken down at the moment of entering upon a distant and arduous service. I was, however, so thankful to have escaped without damage the tornado of the 17th–19th of September, which proved so disastrous around us, that every other adverse circumstance seemed trifling.

On the 25th of October I had succeeded in enlisting and equipping sixty or seventy men for the service, and in purchasing the necessary number of animals.

The escort, consisting of a company of the 7th infantry, commanded by Brevet Capt. E. K. Smith, reported itself in readiness on the same day, and on the next we took up the line of march for El Paso.

Before leaving Washington I organized, with the assent of the Secretary, a party, under Lieut. Michler, to proceed to California and work from the Pacific side to meet me.

When the commission took the field the following was its organization; and this organization was continued with scarcely a change until the successful conclusion of the field-work, in the fall of 1855 :

W. H. Emory, U. S. commissioner, chief astronomer and surveyor.
Chas. Radziminski, secretary.
Lieut. Chas. N. Turnbull, corps Topographical Engineers, general assistant.
M. T. W. Chandler,

J. H. Clark, principal assistant astronomer.
Hugh Campbell, assistant.
Winder Emory, clerk.
Maurice Von Hippel, principal assistant surveyor.
Chas. Weiss, assistant surveyor.
F. Wheaton, reconnoitring assistant.
Wm. Likens, assistant in charge of commissary stores.
Jas. Houston, assistant.
David Hinkle, do.
Benj. Burns, assistant in charge of instruments.
Lieut. N. Michler, corps Topographical Engineers, in charge of party operating from

the Pacific side.
Arthur Schott, assistant to Lieut, Michler.
E. A. Phillips, do.

John O'Donoghue, do.

do. Capt. George Thom, corps Topographical Engineers, with a few civil assistants, was left in Washington in charge of the office, to reduce the observations and project the work done under the old commission.

Besides the above, there were employed in the different parties about one hundred men, in the various capacities of teamsters, laborers, cooks, servants, and arrieros.

The infantry escort accompanied the commission from the time of leaving San Antonio until our return to El Paso. From that point to San Antonio it was commanded by Lieutenant Cummins. At El Paso, on the outward journey, we received an accession to the escort of thirty dragoons, commanded by Lieutenant Hastings. Lieutenant Michler was escorted by a detachment of artillery soldiers, commanded by Lieutenant (now Captain) Patterson. In addition to his military duties, Captain Smith aided me materially in the business of the boundary survey.

The first part of the journey from San Antonio to El Paso was very slow, in consequence of the heavy rains, which made the roads in many places almost impassable for our heavily laden wagons. Beyond Devil's river we found the roads good, water and grass plenty, and succeeded at last in reaching El Paso in time for the Mexican commission.

We did not see an Indian on the route, although in front and in rear of us they were committing depredations along the whole road.

At Cantorment Blake, on the Devil's river, they waylaid and killed a couple of soldiers ; at Live Oak they drove off, in open day-light, all the animals of the military post temporarily established at that point. At Fort Davis, we found they had attacked a party and killed a sergeant and musician; just beyond, at Dead Man's Hole, they attacked the mail party, and would probably have handled them severely, had not another party coming in the opposite direction, joined them at the critical moment.

On arriving at the cañon about seventy miles below El Paso, I left my escort and train, with directions to proceed slowly up the river, while I went to make such arrangements with the Mexican commissioner as would enable me to move the parties directly on the new line, and commence operations.

I accomplished this with the Mexican commissioner satisfactorily; although winter had now set in with severity, and the small-pox showed itself in our camp, and we had just accomplished a journey of sixteen hundred miles, every assistant and man took the field as cheerfully as if he had just left his barracks.

Each one of the principal assistants was selected upon the estimate of his professional abilities, derived from personal knowledge, and I had no reason to make any changes of importance from the beginning to the end of the work. My own expectations, and I hope those of the government, were entirely fulfilled in the manner in which the work was accomplished. Under all circumstances-during the cold winter exposed upon the bare ground of the bleak plains, and in the summer to the hot sun blazing over the arid desert-every order was executed with fidelity, and the work was completed within the time, and largely within the amount appropriated by Congress. We passed the entire width of the continent and returned with the loss only of two men, and without losing a single animal, (except those worn out by service,) or suffering a stampede by the Indians; at the same time that our co-operators on the Mexican commission were twice robbed of every hoof by the Apaches, and extensive losses were sustained by other detachments of United States troops, and by our citizens traversing this region.

I close this short personal account by giving the journal of the joint commission, composed of Señor Salazar and myself. It will be seen, that throughout the whole expedition the utmost harmony prevailed, and I take this occasion to express, not only for myself, but for the whole American commission, the pleasant recollection of the agreeable intercourse which existed between ourselves and the Mexican commissioner, and the officers under his command. Señor Salazar failed to receive from his government means to carry on the work with the rapidity contemplated in the agreement with myself, and he was twice crippled in his operations by the depredations of the Indians.


Vol. 1-4


PASO DEL NORTE, December 4, 1854. The undersigned, commissioners respectively on the part of the United States of America and of the Mexican republic to run and mark the boundary line between the two countries, according the treaty concluded in the city of Mexico on the 30th day of December, 1853, met informally in the town of El Paso del Norte on the 2d instant, and on the 4th, the date of this joint record of their proceedings, they had another meeting in the same town, when, having exchanged credentials, they proceeded to discuss and arrange the business upon which they were called together by their respective governments.

Both parties being ready to commence operations, and there being no difference of opinion upon the scientific and practical manner of determining the boundary between the two countries, it was agreed that each should proceed, with all the means at his disposal, to determine the initial point of said boundary on the Rio Grande, which the treaty stipulated to be at the parallel of 31° 47' north latitude. It was further agreed that as soon as each party ascertained

point, both parties should compare notes and eliminate any differences or errors, by the methods best known to science, and conclude the final result, giving to each set of observations the weight due to them.

There being no other business before the commission, it adjourned, to meet when either commissioner should signify to the other that he had concluded the observations necessary to determine where the parallel of 31° 47' north latitude intersects the Rio Grande.



RIO GRANDE, LATITUDE 31° 47', January 10, 1855. On the 9th of January, both commissioners having finished the observations necessary to determine the initial point of the boundary on the Rio Grande, met this day to compare results. The necessary measurements being made to connect the two observatories, and also the observatory established at Frontera in 1851-252, it was ascertained that the difference between the determinations of the parallel of 31° 47', made by the two commissions, was eightyfour hundredths of one second. It was then mutually agreed to take the mean between the two results; and the point thus ascertained was marked on the ground in presence of both commissioners, as the point where the parallel of 31° 47' strikes the river; that is to say, the point where the boundary under the treaty of December 30, 1853, leaves the river to run westward. The commission adjourned, to meet to-morrow at 10 o'clock a. m.




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RIO GRANDE, LATITUDE 31° 47', January 11, 1855. The commission met and laid off the tangent to the parallel of 31° 47', and having agreed upon the elements assumed for the figure of the earth, (Besseløs,) and compared the results of their computations for the length and azimuth of the ordinates connecting the tangent with the parallel, found them to correspond,

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