Fitzpatrick had reservations about the location of troops in their midst, fearing that their presence might result in conflicts, and declared: ". I am satisfied it would be economical, and a good policy, for the government at this time to extend even a little show of justice to the Indians of that country, and to avoid a hostile conclusion if possible.
Merchant F. Aubry reported that Captain Hoffman, commanding the fort, held a council and smoked the pipe of peace with the principal chiefs of those bands. He declared that the Indians "appeared to be well satisfied" with the officer. Agent Fitzpatrick arrived at the post on June 1, , to council with the tribes and encourage their attendance at Laramie.
Fitzpatrick, on this his first visit to Fort Atkinson, was not impressed with what he saw and described it as "a small insignificant military station, beneath the dignity of the United States, and at the mercy and forbearance of the Indians. With such overwhelming numbers present, the garrison at the post reportedly lived in fear of extermination.
A plea for reinforcements had been dispatched to Fort Leavenworth prior to the agent's arrival, and a company of First dragoons, under Captain Chilton, arrived in response on June The presence of these mounted troops, plus the fact that Colonel Sumner with troops and recruits for New Mexico marched down the trail at the same time, probably suppressed any hostile intent on the part of the Indians, if such existed as believed by the soldiers. On July 6, after the Indian camps broke up, Chilton and the dragoons marched back to Fort Leavenworth, leaving the single company of infantry to guard the region.
Meanwhile Fitzpatrick had held council with each tribe separately, giving a "feast" consisting of pork, bread, and coffee, and distributing presents to each band. He explained that the United States government wanted to protect them from harm by American citizens and compensate them for any damages or injuries they received. To that end, he requested their presence at the Fort Laramie council in September. The Cheyennes and Arapahoes agreed to attend, but the Comanches, Kiowas, and Plains Apaches refused to go so far and meet with many tribes with which they were not familiar.
They expressed fear that the Sioux and Crows might steal their ponies. They had heard that the dreaded diseases, smallpox and cholera, were prevalent along the Oregon trail. These Indians explained that they considered themselves to be at peace with the Americans and planned to preserve the peace, but they were willing to sign papers which would bring additional presents and annuities if that could be done in council on the Arkansas river or someplace in their own country. They did not go to Laramie, and Fitzpatrick signed a treaty with them at Fort Atkinson in While Fitzpatrick was meeting with the Indian leaders, Colonel Sumner and command arrived and camped about two miles above Fort Atkinson near the Cheyenne village.
The presence of these troops almost precipitated hostilities where none had existed. Fitzpatrick lamented what happened:. The command remained. Indeed, I was much astonished, and regretted to see such familiarity, as in no country and among no people is the adage "familiarity breeds contempt" better exemplified than in that country and its natives.
Such free and unrestrained intercourse, carried on between officers, privates, squaws, and Indians, not braves or chiefs, but, as the Indians themselves would term them, "dogs," was certainly a new thing to me, and what I have rarely seen allowed even by the traders. I felt apprehensive that serious consequences would ensue. The incident which threatened to disrupt the peace was the flogging with a carriage whip of a Cheyenne brave by one of the officers, who claimed the Indian had made indecent advances toward the officer's wife. Fitzpatrick did not believe that the Indian had intended any harm and that the officer had simply misunderstood.
Nevertheless, the situation was delicate and the Cheyennes demanded their agent to seek reparation for the insult to the brave. Sumner, apparently dismissing the incident entirely, had proceeded with his command on the road to New Mexico. The Cheyennes were "exasperated" at this, and Fitzpatrick learned that they were contemplating an attack on the whites. He informed Commander Hoffman at the fort, who sent an express to Sumner. The colonel wheeled his force around and marched back to the Cheyenne camp, arriving the following day. The Indians were alarmed at this display of force and feared they might be attacked.
They came to Fitzpatrick for an explanation.
He explained and tried to patch up relations. This was done in a meeting between some of the chiefs and Sumner, which resulted in the presentation of a blanket to the whipped Indian. Peace was preserved, but Fitzpatrick observed that "such trifling matters are oftentimes fraught with serious consequences. Fitzpatrick had a good grasp of the Indian situation, and he also provided a knowledgeable analysis of the military posts, including Fort Atkinson, later that same year:. There is not a single day that passes in which the, Indians could not, if disposed to do so, strip and deprive these posts of all their resources, murder the different fatigue parties in detail, and drive off all the horses and stock belonging to either post.
I do not wish to be understood as saying that military posts are not necessary in that country; on the contrary, I am well aware of the importance of such as are to be respected and feared, and not such as are a source of ridicule and contempt. The agent then recommended more military power, particularly a mounted force of at least troopers along the Arkansas. Such force would command respect and protect the, interests of the United States.
The military would reach the same conclusion, but the real obstacle was limited resources. The solution to that problem resided only in congress. During that busy season at Fort Atkinson in , when troops feared the large congregation of natives, a real threat to the garrison came with the invasion of the sod buildings by field mice.
They were destroying the army provisions at an alarming rate until a requisition for a dozen cats from Fort Leavenworth was filled. So far as is known, this was the first time that cats were carried on the property lists of the army. They did their duty, and the mouse threat to Atkinson was virtually eliminated. Two years later the cats were declared to be "perfect wrecks" because of another kind of vermin -- fleas. It must have been disconcerting to the soldiers who had been sent to the fort to fight Indians to find that mice were their most serious enemy in There were other problems that year.
Epidemic cholera appeared during the summer, and three deaths were reported among the garrison. Lieutenant Heth reported on August 4, , that no rain of consequence had fallen within miles of the post during the previous year and, as a result, there was no grass to supply hay for the animals. This made it necessary to send most of the public animals to Fort Leavenworth for the winter.
Heth planned to retain two or three six-mule teams and 12 riding horses for emergencies. Those animals would be subsisted on the store of 1, bushels of corn which had been shipped from Fort Leavenworth earlier. Late that winter, he concluded that it would be in the best interest of the army to withdraw the garrison to Fort Leavenworth during winter months, leaving a small detachment of about a dozen enlisted men and, presumably, the cats, to guard the supplies during that time. This would conserve the scarce firewood, curtail expenditures entailed in supply, and keep troops in better quarters for the season.
Buckner's experience showed few travelers during the cold season and no Indian troubles because the natives were in their winter camps. The savings achieved in removing the garrison during the winter could be utilized to provide a sufficient garrison for the remainder of the year, which Buckner declared should consist of at least a company of infantry to construct, guard, and supply the post and two mounted companies to protect travelers and deal with Indians who exhibited hostile threats or actions. Buckner estimated that several thousand Indians would spend the summer in the vicinity of the fort, and he begged for adequate reinforcements to prevent troubles.
No troops were sent. By June, , when thousands of Indians were there awaiting Fitzpatrick's arrival with presents, and the post, according to one reporter, was virtually under siege, Buckner demanded reinforcements. With a reported 10, Indians encamped there, that could have happened but did not. Temporary reinforcements were on the way, for Maj. Winslow F. Sanderson with two companies of Mounted riflemen and one company of First dragoons marched from Fort Leavenworth on July 3 and arrived at Fort Atkinson by July What happened at Fort Atkinson was reported by Charles Hallock with some embellishment and known inaccuracies several years later.
He was delayed because the shipment of presents was late, and as the time passed for the appointed meeting, the Indians became hungry and the grass for their animals was disappearing. They reportedly threatened to attack the soldiers, declaring that they wanted the presents or they would retaliate. At that point the request for reinforcements had been sent. About mid-July, some to Kiowas and Comanches broke into Fort Atkinson after one sentry was knocked down by a warrior. No other violence or damage was reported at the time.
Later, when the Indians had returned to their tipis, the troops became brave and a young officer decided to punish the Indian who had struck the sentry. A detachment, with two field pieces, marched from the fort to the Kiowas' encampment and demanded that the guilty Indian be delivered up for punishment. Indian warriors surrounded the detachment, and the troops began to lose their confidence. When the Indian they demanded was handed over to them, they realized that an act against him would likely result in retaliation by the Kiowas.
Further trouble was avoided when the lieutenant discreetly turned the guilty Indian back to his chief for punishment. Although surrounded by Indians, the soldiers managed to return to the fort without incident.
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The Kiowas seemed to divide over the proper reaction, and the forces for peace won over those for war. Into this potential for hostilities, William Bent with a small wagon train accompanied by Stephen C. King, with an excursion party from Georgia seeking adventure and more healthful conditions for Mrs. King [who incidentally died at Fort Atkinson in late July], and a party of Englishmen led by Charles William Fitzwilliam , in all about 50 persons, arrived at the fort. They had been harassed by the Indians prior to arrival, and their numbers at the post increased its strength.
Agent Fitzpatrick still had not arrived, and the situation remained explosive. The Indians could see Bent's wagons, and they demanded distribution of those goods. Bent refused, and his friendship with Arapaho Chief Yellow Bear probably prevented the taking of the train by force. On the other hand, Hallock declared that the Indians did plan a night attack on the train and the fort, but that the war party fled after being alarmed by four deserting soldiers who were breaking away from the garrison.
These deserters supposedly spread rumors that the fort had been captured and destroyed. See above. Soon after that, the Indians began to break their camps and leave the vicinity. The reason for this became clear at the fort upon the arrival of Major Sanderson with reinforcements. Sanderson commanded Fort Atkinson for 12 days, July July His battalion of riflemen then proceeded to Fort Laramie, accompanied by the King party.
Captain Chilton arrived on August 1 and assumed command of the post. His dragoons remained until the grass for the mounts was gone. On September 27 they departed for Fort Leavenworth, leaving one company of infantry under command of Lieutenant Heth at Atkinson. While the mounted troops were present, the infantrymen had been able to lay in some supplies for the coming winter. Fitzpatrick and the presents did not reach Fort Atkinson until the end of August, by which time some 2, Indians were again encamped nearby.
Distribution of presents followed, and Fitzpatrick laid the groundwork for the negotiation of a treaty with the Kiowas and Comanches the following year. After receiving the presents, the Indians "dispersed on the plains, prosecuting their fall hunts, preparatory to taking up their winter quarters. With the coming of spring, , the Cheyennes began to raid travelers on the trail, leading Lieutenant Heth to request reinforcements for his garrison and armed escorts for the mail coaches.
The escorts were provided and Captain Chilton and his company of First dragoons returned to the post for the third summer in succession, June 24 to August 6. The post did provide some protection to the Santa Fe route during that time. One of the services provided by the garrison was the protection of a mail and stage station for mail contractors between Independence and Santa Fe. Fort Atkinson was used as a relay station soon after it was established in , and the mules were changed and wagons repaired at the point of security. A post office was established at Fort Atkinson on November 11, The most significant development at Fort Atkinson in was not the protection of the trail and mail station; the post was the site of treaty negotiations with the Kiowa, Comanche, and Plains Apache bands in the region, fulfilling the plans made by congress, the Indian bureau, and Fitzpatrick in previous years.
The agent arrived late in July with presents to distribute upon completion of the treaty arrangements, and he found some 5, to 6, natives awaiting him. The details of the treaty of Fort Atkinson were worked out in two days. Most likely all the terms were not understood by the Indians, and it was not to be a lasting agreement. A soldier, Sgt. Percival G. Lowe, First dragoons, who was present at the time declared later that it was a "so-called treaty, a renewal of faith, which the Indians did not have in the Government, nor the Government in them.
They were ignorant of the proposals to be made to them, suffering from a scarcity of game, and consequently impatient, watchful, jealous, reserved and haughty. There were no trappers or traders amongst them who could facilitate an interview; no one who could speak a syllable of the English tongue; none present in whom mutual confidence could be reposed; and the "sign language,". Thus, although nothing could exceed the correctness of their behavior at the moment, yet nothing was more uncertain than their intention and action at the end.
In his later life he lived at Leavenworth, served as sheriff, and later filled a term as state senator, In he was president of the Kansas Historical Society. Photo courtesy F. Finally, through the use of Mexican captives and the Spanish language, plus an Arapaho who could communicate with the Comanches, interpretations were repeated until Fitzpatrick believed everything was understood. The fact that negotiations were completed within two days casts doubt on such belief, and the later actions of the Kiowas and Comanches in Texas and Mexico indicated that they either misunderstood or deliberately violated the agreement.
Following the signing and the distribution of gifts, the Indians dispersed and moved south. This left the trail open to traffic without harassment from those tribes, but Pawnees attacked a caravan near Ash creek late in August. Fitzpatrick moved on to Fort Laramie to see the northern tribes in his agency.
Meanwhile, the distributions of presents brought forth a double protest from Captain Chilton, in command at Fort Atkinson. Chilton and his dragoons had spent three summers at Atkinson, helping to protect travelers on the trail. He first protested against the distribution of presents at points on the trail. The presents, he noted, were usually delayed several months beyond the time expected, and thus the Indians remained in proximity to the road, "impatient, half starving, and not capable of being made to understand the cause of delay.
Second, Chilton was angry because guns and ammunition were among the presents to the natives. He declared that the Indians used only bows and arrows for hunting, and the guns, powder, and bullets were used solely to make war. The combination of these two Indian bureau practices was making his job an impossible task. Chilton had found guns and ammunition among the presents Fitzpatrick had brought out in , had protested against their distribution, and placed them in the Fort Atkinson magazine where they remained.
He had assumed no more weapons would be given, but had discovered 50 guns, pounds of powder, and 30 sacks of bullets among the presents given after the treaty was signed. This prompted his protest.
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His successor, Cpt. Edward Johnson, filed a similar remonstrance against the Indian bureau. It is possible that these Indians could obtain guns and ammunition from the traders, too, but they must not have been well armed in the early 's. Agent John Whitfield reported in that the tribes along the Arkansas river were without guns.
Whether the protests of the officers at Fort Atkinson were the reason or not, there were no weapons included in the first annuity distribution under the treaty of Fort Atkinson the following year. Fitzpatrick elaborated on the treaty negotiations in his annual report, and what he had to say about military posts is of interest to this evaluation of Fort Atkinson. The Indians were, of course, opposed to this concession and agreed only with reluctance. There is decided aversion among all. They consider that they destroy timber, drive off the game, interrupt their ranges, excite hostile feelings, and but too frequently afford a rendezvous for worthless and trifling characters.
Their efficacy, too, for insuring the security of the country, is perhaps overrated, as at present existing, although under the command of excellent and efficient officers, who are always zealous in the performance of their duties; yet so small is the force usually at their disposal, that they maintain their own position in the country more by the courtesy of the Indians than from any ability to cope with the numbers that surround them.
Instead of serving to intimidate the red man, they rather create a belief in the feebleness of the white man. In fact, it must be at once apparent that a skeleton company of infantry or dragoons can add but little to the security of five hundred miles square of territory; nor can the great highways. Indeed, the experience of the last few years would show, that white emigrant,; who relied on such defences have often lost their lives, those who were more vigilant, and trusted to their own arms for safety, have only lost their animals.
Yet, having done so, I feel it incumbent. Our relations with the wild tribes of the prairie and mountains resolve themselves into a simple alternative. The policy must be either an army or an annuity.
Either an inducement must be offered to them greater than the gains of plunder, or a force must be at hand able to restrain and check their depredations. Any compromise between the two systems will be only productive of mischief, and liable to all the miseries of failure. It will beget confidence, without providing safety; it will neither create fear, nor satisfy avarice; and, adding nothing to the protection of trade and emigration, will add everything to the responsibilities of the governments.
Fitzpatrick's analysis was to prove prophetic. Even so, by the time this was written, Fort Atkinson had been abandoned although it would be reoccupied temporarily the following spring and summer. The location, as noted, had not proved satisfactory. On May 12, , departmental headquarters directed the removal of the fort to Walnut creek, and the post commander, Captain Johnson, began preparations. Captain Johnson was later sent with a company of infantry to locate a camp site on Walnut creek, and the troops began moving military provisions to the new camp.
On June 28 a directive was sent from department headquarters ordering the development of a post at Walnut creek to be suspended, apparently because efforts were to be concentrated on the new Fort Riley which had been garrisoned in May. Another departmental order arrived at Atkinson on August 14, directing that the post be abandoned and the troops and public property be removed to Fort Riley.
On August 22 the post office at Atkinson was discontinued, and it was moved to Walnut creek. Contractors were engaged to transport the public property to Riley, and the troops departed Fort Atkinson on September Before leaving they knocked down the sod structures so Indians could not hide in them and surprise travelers on the road.
What effect the abandonment of Fort Atkinson had on the lines of communication to the Southwest has not been determined, but the legislature of New Mexico territory, in February, , requested congress to reestablish the fort, stressing the need for the mail station as being of prime importance. Whether or not the New Mexico plea was the cause, the post was reoccupied the following year, from May 27 to October 2, by two companies of Sixth infantry under command of Maj.
Albemarle Cady. They protected a mail station and aided travelers during that time. They could not occupy the destroyed quarters, but lived in their tents on the site. Indian Agent Fitzpatrick died on February 7, , and he was succeeded by John Whitfield, who distributed the first annuities under the treaty of Fort Atkinson. He reported that bands of Kiowas, Comanches, Plains Apaches, Arapahoes, Cheyennes, and Osages set out to fight some of the removed tribes who might be out hunting buffalo, but they were soundly defeated by a much smaller force of Sac and Fox men.
Whitfield explained that the Sac and Fox warriors had rifles while the others, except for the Osages, fought with bows and arrows. The Kiowas and Comanches received their payments at the fort, but the Plains Apaches had their annuities delivered to the Big Timbers. Whitfield reported that the tribes had been stopping most passing wagon trains and begging coffee and sugar.
He was, like his predecessor, very critical of the military establishment in the agency. The great majority of the Indians in this agency have no respect for the government; they think Uncle Sam is a weak old fellow, and could be easily overcome, and they have good reason to come to that conclusion. The military posts located in this agency are perfect nuisances. Campbell , a pro-railroad politician from Alabama , later replaced Bartlett.
Mexico asserted that the commissioners' determinations were valid and prepared to send in troops to enforce the unratified agreement. At the time the treaty was ratified, Secretary of State James Buchanan had believed that the United States had both the commitment and resources to enforce this promise.
Comanche, Apache, and other tribal warriors had been punishing Spanish, Mexican, and American intruders into their stark homeland for three centuries and been given no incentive to let up their murderous marauding and pillaging, horse stealing in particular.
Fort Atkinson on the Santa Fe Trail, 1850-1854
The U. Army had posted nearly 8, of its total of 11, soldiers along the southwestern boundary, but they could not halt the 75, or so native nomads in the region from attacking swiftly and taking refuge among the hills, buttes, and arroyos in a landscape where one's enemies could be spotted twenty or thirty miles away. Mexican officials, frustrated with the failure of the United States to effectively enforce its guarantee, demanded reparations for the losses inflicted on Mexican citizens by the raids.
The United States argued that the Treaty did not require any compensation nor did it require any greater effort to protect Mexicans than was expended in protecting its own citizens. The idea of building a railroad here had been considered for a long time, connecting the Gulf of Mexico with the Pacific Ocean. In a British bank bought the rights, raising U.
United States interest in the right-of-way increased in after the gold strikes in the Sierra Nevada , which led to the California Gold Rush. The Memphis commercial convention of recommended that the United States pursue the trans-isthmus route, since it appeared unlikely that a transcontinental railroad would be built anytime soon. Interests in Louisiana were especially adamant about this option, as they believed that any transcontinental railroad would divert commercial traffic away from the Mississippi and New Orleans, and they at least wanted to secure a southern route.
Also showing interest was Peter A. In Mexico, topographical officer George W. Hughes reported to Secretary of State John M. Clayton that a railroad across the isthmus was a "feasible and practical" idea.
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Clayton then instructed Robert P. Letcher , the minister to Mexico, to negotiate a treaty to protect Hargous' rights. Mexican negotiators refused the treaty because it would eliminate Mexico's ability to play the US and Britain against each other. They eliminated the right of the United States to unilaterally intervene militarily. The United States Senate approved the treaty in early , but the Mexican Congress refused to accept the treaty.
In the meantime, Hargous proceeded as if the treaty would be approved eventually. Judah P.
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Benjamin and a committee of New Orleans businessmen joined with Hargous and secured a charter from the Louisiana legislature to create the Tehuantepec Railroad Company. The new company sold stock and sent survey teams to Mexico. President Fillmore refused to do so. Mexico sold the canal franchise, without the land grants, to A. In March Sloo contracted with a British company to build a railroad and sought an exclusive contract from the new Franklin Pierce Administration to deliver mail from New York to San Francisco.
However, Sloo soon defaulted on bank loans and the contract was sold back to Hargous. The Pierce administration, which took office in March , had a strong pro-southern, pro-expansion mindset. Pierce appointed expansionists John Y. The South as a whole, however, remained divided. In January Senator Thomas Jefferson Rusk of Texas introduced a bill to create two railroads, one with a northern route and one with a southern route starting below Memphis on the Mississippi River.
Some southerners, however, worried that northern and central interests would leap ahead in construction and opposed any direct aid to private developers on constitutional grounds. Other southerners preferred the isthmian proposals. An amendment was added to the Rusk bill to prohibit direct aid, but southerners still split their vote in Congress and the amendment failed. Chase of Ohio and supported by the railroad interests, for new surveys for possible routes.
Gwin expected that a southern route would be approved—both Davis and Robert J. Walker , former secretary of the treasury, supported it. Both were stockholders in a Vicksburg -based railroad that planned to build a link to Texas to join up with the southern route. Davis argued that the southern route would have an important military application in the likely event of future troubles with Mexico. On March 21, , a treaty initiated in the Fillmore administration, that would provide joint Mexican and United States protection for the Sloo grant was signed in Mexico.
Lane had issued a proclamation claiming the Mesilla Valley as part of New Mexico, leading to protests from Mexico. Pierce was also aware of efforts by France, through its consul in San Francisco, to acquire the Mexican state of Sonora. Meriwether was given orders to stay out of the Mesilla Valley until negotiations with Mexico could be completed. With the encouragement of Davis, Pierce also appointed James Gadsden as ambassador to Mexico, with specific instructions to negotiate with Mexico over the acquisition of additional territory. Secretary of State William L. Marcy gave Gadsden clear instructions: he was to secure the Mesilla Valley for the purposes of building a railroad through it, convince Mexico that the US had done its best regarding the Indian raids, and elicit Mexican cooperation in efforts by US citizens to build a canal or railroad across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
Supporting the Sloo interests was not part of the instructions. The Mexican government was going through political and financial turmoil. In the process, Santa Anna had been returned to power about the same time that Pierce was inaugurated. Santa Anna was willing to deal with the United States because he needed money to rebuild the Mexican Army for defense against the United States. He initially rejected the extension of the border further south to the Sierra Madre Mountains. He initially insisted on reparations for the damages caused by American Indian raids, but agreed to let an international tribunal resolve this.
Gadsden realized that Santa Anna needed money and passed this information along to Secretary Marcy. Marcy and Pierce responded with new instructions. Gadsden was authorized to purchase any of six parcels of land with a price fixed for each. The price would include the settlement of all Indian damages and relieve the United States from any further obligation to protect Mexicans. Gadsden had advised Santa Anna that "the spirit of the age" would soon lead the northern states to secede so he might as well sell them now.
Mexico balked at any large-scale sale of territory. Gadsden disavowed any government backing of Walker, who was expelled by the U. Santa Anna worried that the US would allow further aggression against Mexican territory. Santa Anna needed to get as much money for as little territory as possible. Santa Anna signed the treaty on December 30, , along with James Gadsden.
Then the treaty was presented to the U. Senate for confirmation. Pierce and his cabinet began debating the treaty in January Although disappointed in the amount of territory secured and some of the terms, they submitted it to the Senate on February Antislavery senators opposed further acquisition of slave territory. Lobbying by speculators gave the treaty a bad reputation. Some senators objected to furnishing Santa Anna financial assistance.
The treaty reached the Senate as that body focused on the debate over the Kansas—Nebraska Act. On April 17, after much debate, the Senate voted 27 to 18 in favor of the treaty, falling three votes short of the necessary two-thirds required for treaty approval. After this defeat, Secretary Davis and southern senators pressed Pierce to add more provisions to the treaty including:. The land area included in the treaty is shown in the map at the head of the article, and in the national map in this section.
This version of the treaty successfully passed the US Senate April 25, , by a vote of 33 to The reduction in territory was an accommodation of northern senators who opposed the acquisition of additional slave territory. In the final vote, northerners split 12 to Gadsden took the revised treaty back to Santa Anna, who accepted the changes. While the land was available for construction of a southern railroad, the issue had become too strongly associated with the sectional debate over slavery to receive federal funding.
Roberson wrote: . The unfortunate debates in left an indelible mark on the course of national politics and the Pacific railroad for the remainder of the antebellum period.
Americana & Regional History
It was becoming increasingly difficult, if not outright impossible, to consider any proposal that could not somehow be construed as relating to slavery and, therefore, sectional issues. Although few people fully realized it at the close of , sectionalism had taken such a firm, unrelenting hold on the nation that completion of an antebellum Pacific railroad was prohibited.
Money, interest, and enthusiasm were devoted to emotion-filled topics, not the Pacific railroad. The effect was such that railroad development, which accelerated in the North, stagnated in the South. The Mexican people opposed such boundaries, as did anti- slavery US Senators , who saw the purchase as acquisition of more slave territory. Even the sale of a relatively small strip of land angered the Mexican people, who saw Santa Anna's actions as a betrayal of their country.
They watched in dismay as he squandered the funds generated by the Purchase. Contemporary Mexican historians continue to view the deal negatively and believe that it has defined the American—Mexican relationship in a deleterious way. The purchased lands were initially appended to the existing New Mexico Territory. The difficulty of governing the new areas from the territorial capital at Santa Fe led to efforts as early as to organize a new territory out of the southern portion.
Many of the early settlers in the region were, however, pro-slavery and sympathetic to the South , resulting in an impasse in Congress as to how best to reorganize the territory. The shifting of the course of the Rio Grande would cause a later dispute over the boundary between Purchase lands and those of the state of Texas, known as the Country Club Dispute.
Pursuant to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Gadsden Treaty and subsequent treaties, the International Boundary and Water Commission which was established in to maintain the border, and pursuant to still later treaties its duties expanded to allocation of river waters between the two nations, and providing for flood control and water sanitation.
Once viewed as a model of international cooperation, in recent decades the IBWC has been heavily criticized as an institutional anachronism, by-passed by modern social, environmental and political issues. The residents of the area gained full US citizenship and slowly assimilated into American life over the next half-century.
The US Army took control of the purchase lands in but not until were troops stationed in the troubled region. The fort protected the area until it was evacuated and destroyed in July By the late s mining camps and military posts had not only transformed the Arizona countryside; they had also generated new trade linkages to the state of Sonora, Mexico.
Magdalena, Sonora, became a supply center for Tubac; wheat from nearby Cucurpe fed the troops at Fort Buchanan; and the town of Santa Cruz sustained the Mowry mines, just miles to the north. In , using a north-to-south dividing line, the Union created its own Arizona Territory out of the western half of the New Mexico Territory.
This territory would be admitted into the Union as the State of Arizona on February 14, , the last area of the Lower 48 States to receive statehood. After the Gadsden Purchase, southern Arizona's social elite, including the Estevan Ochoa , Mariano Samaniego, and Leopoldo Carillo families, remained primarily Mexican American until the coming of the railroad in the s.
A biographical analysis of some of its employees, classed as capitalists, managers, laborers, and general service personnel, reveals that the resulting work force included Europeans, Americans, Mexicans, and Indians. This mixture failed to stabilize the remote area, which lacked formal social, political, and economic organization in the years from the Gadsden Purchase to the Civil War. From the late s into the s, Texas stockmen drove their beef cattle through southern Arizona on the Texas—California trail.
Texans were impressed with the grazing possibilities offered by the Gadsden Purchase country of Arizona. In the last third of the century, they moved their herds into Arizona and established the range cattle industry there. The Texans contributed their proven range methods to the new grass country of Arizona, but also brought their problems as well. Texas rustlers brought lawlessness, poor management resulted in overstocking, and carelessness introduced destructive diseases.
But these difficulties did force laws and associations in Arizona to curb and resolve them. The Anglo-American cattleman frontier in Arizona was an extension of the Texas experience. When the Arizona Territory was formed in from the southern portion of the New Mexico Territory, Pima County and later Cochise County —created from the easternmost portion of Pima County in January —were subject to ongoing border-related conflicts. The area was characterized by rapidly growing boom towns, ongoing Apache raids, smuggling and cattle rustling across the United States-Mexico border, growing ranching operations, and the expansion of new technologies in mining, railroading, and telecommunications.
In the s conflict between the Apaches and the Americans was at its height. Until , almost constant warfare existed in the region adjacent to the Mexican border. The illegal cattle operations kept beef prices in the border region lower and provided cheap stock that helped small ranchers get by. Many early Tombstone residents looked the other way when it was "only Mexicans" being robbed.
Outlaws derisively called " The Cowboys " frequently robbed stagecoaches and brazenly stole cattle in broad daylight, scaring off the legitimate cowboys watching the herds. In December , and again the next year, Mexican authorities complained about the "Cowboy" outlaws who stole Mexican beef and resold it in Arizona.
The Arizona Citizen reported that both U. In the s and s there was considerable tension in the region—between the rural residents, who were for the most part Democrats from the agricultural South, and town residents and business owners, who were largely Republicans from the industrial Northeast and Midwest. The tension culminated in what has been called the Cochise County feud , and the Earp-Clanton feud, which ended with the historic Gunfight at the O. Corral and Wyatt Earp 's Vendetta Ride. John G. Parke and Andrew B Gray proved the feasibility of the southern transcontinental route, but sectional strife and the Civil War delayed construction of the proposed railroad.
At the same time, , the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad was building across New Mexico and met the Southern Pacific at Deming, New Mexico March 7, , completing the second transcontinental railroad the first, the central transcontinental, was completed May 10, at Promontory Summit, Utah. This line was later sold to the Southern Pacific. The portion in New Mexico runs largely through the territory that had been disputed between Mexico and the United States after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo had gone into effect, and before the time of the Gadsden Purchase.
During the early twentieth century, a number of short-lines usually associated with mining booms were built in the Gadsden Purchase to Ajo, Silverbell, Twin Buttes, Courtland, Gleeson, Arizona, Shakespeare, New Mexico, and other mine sites. Most of these railroads have been abandoned.
This highway is well north of the Gadsden Purchase. To William H. Emory of the U. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers who surveyed the region in the ss, it was a good route "to the Pacific. Lordsburg, New Mexico population 2, in , the county seat of Hidalgo County , was in the disputed area before the Gadsden Purchase, and Deming, New Mexico, the county seat of Luna County , was north of both the Mexican and American land claims before the Gadsden Purchase, though the proposed Bartlett—Conde compromise of would have left Deming in Mexico, or stated in positive terms, the negotiations for the Gadsden Purchase resolved the border disputes with Mexico, as well as transferred this land to the U.
The boundaries of most counties in Arizona do not follow the northern boundary of the Gadsden Purchase, but six counties in Arizona do have most of their populations within the land of the Gadsden Purchase. Four of these also contain areas north of the Gadsden Purchase, but these areas have low population densities, with the exception of northeastern Pinal County, Arizona , including the towns of Apache Junction and Florence. Maricopa County also extends south into the area of the Gadsden Purchase, but this area is also thinly populated.
Tucson is the largest city in the Gadsden Purchase. Economist David R. Barker estimated in that the Gadsden Purchase was likely not profitable for the United States federal government. He admits that "Current historical accounts take it for granted that the purchase has been a boon to the United States" but he feels that the region produces little tax revenue; most mines are on Indian reservations which receive all royalties.
The federal government spent a great deal of money during the 19th century to defend the territory from Apaches that would not have been necessary without the purchase. The value of the southern transcontinental rail line is not mentioned in this brief analysis. Another view of the value of the Gadsden Purchase and the resolution of the border between the U.
James in "Although the boundary controversy did not teach any lessons or impart any wisdom, it did lead to the purchase of an extremely valuable strip of territory that has more than paid for itself in subsequent mineral and agricultural resources.