TREATY OF GUADALUPE HIDALGO, 1848
CONTEXT: On December , 1845, the Republic of Texas was admitted to the United States of America as the 28th state. But there was a dispute as to the boundary lines between Texas and Mexico. Mexico claimed the southern border of Texas was at the Nueces River while Texas claimed land beyond the Nueces as far south as the Rio Grande.
In April, 1845, President James Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor and his troops to cross the Nueces into land claimed by Mexico. An altercation ensued with Mexican troops in which American soldiers were killed. Claiming that the disputed territory was part of Texas, President James Polk proclaimed that Mexico had “shed American blood on American soil.”
Congress declared war on Mexico on May 13, 1845. The Mexican American War lasted two years and ended with the occupation of Mexico City by American troops and the defeat of Mexico. As part of the terms of peace, Mexico agreed to cede to the United States the territory that today encompasses the states of California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas as well as parts of Wyoming and Montana. In exchange the Unite States agreed to pay Mexico $15 million dollars.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed on February 2, 1848.
Below are the salient article of the lengthy Treaty. In some cases detailed minutiae has been summarized and boldfaced in italics. Article VIII and Article IX are often quoted by scholars and Chicano activists as guaranteeing the rights and privileges of Mexicans who remained in the territories that were once Mexican and now belonged to the United States.
IN THE NAME OF ALMIGHTY GOD.
The United States of America and the United Mexican States, animated by a sincere desire to put an end to the calamities of the war which unhappily exists between the two Republics, and to establish upon a solid basis relations of peace and friendship, which confer reciprocal benefits upon the citizens of both, and assure the concord, harmony, and mutual confidence wherein the two peoples should live, as good neighbours, have for that purpose appointed their respective plenipotentiaries, that is to say:
The President of the United States has appointed Nicholas P. Trist, a citizen of the United States, and the President of the Mexican Republic has appointed Don Luis González Cuevas, Don Bernardo Couto, and Don Miguel Atristain, citizens of the said Republic;
Who after a reciprocal communication of their respective full powers, have, under the protection of Almighty God, the author of peace, arranged, agreed upon, and signed the following Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits, and Settlement between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic.
There shall be firm and universal peace between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic, and between their respective countries, territories, cities, towns, and people, without exception of places or persons.
Immediately upon the signature of this Treaty, a convention shall be entered into between a commissioner or commissioners appointed by the General-in-chief of the forces of the United States, and such as may be appointed by the Mexican government, to the end that a provisional suspension of hostilities shall take place, and that, in the places occupied by the said forces, constitutional order may be reestablished, as regards the political, administrative, and judicial branches, so far as they shall be permitted by the circumstances of military occupation.
Immediately upon the ratification of the present treaty by the Government of the United States, order shall be transmitted to the commanders of their land and naval forces, requiring the latter (provided this treaty shall then have been ratified by the Government of the Mexican Republic, and the ratifications exchanged) immediately to desist from blockading any Mexican ports and requiring the former (under the same condition) to commence, at the earliest moment practicable, withdrawing all troops of the United States then in the interior of the Mexican Republic, to points that shall be selected by common agreement, at a distance from the seaports not exceeding thirty leagues; and such evacuations of the interior of the Republic shall be completed with the least possible delay; the Mexican government hereby binding itself to afford every facility in its power for rendering the same convenient to the troops, on their march in and in their new positions, and for promoting a good understanding between them and the inhabitants. In like manner orders shall be dispatched to the persons in charge of the customs houses at all ports occupied by the forces of the United States, requiring them ( under the same condition) immediately to deliver possession of the same to the persons authorized by the Mexican government to receive it, together with all bonds and evidences of debt for duties on importations, not yet fallen due. Moreover, a faithful an exact account shall be made out, showing the entire amount of all duties on imports and on exports, collected at such customs-houses, or elsewhere in Mexico, by authority of the United States, from and after the day of ratification of this treaty by the Government of the Mexican Republic; and also on account of the cost of collection; and such entire amount, deducting only the cost of collection, shall be delivered to the Mexican government, at the city of Mexico, within three months after the exchange of ratifications.
The evacuation of the capital of the Mexican Republic by the troops of the United States, in virtue of the above stipulation, shall be completed in one month after the orders there stipulated for shall have been received by the commander of said troops, or sooner if possible.
Immediately after the exchange of ratifications of the present treaty all castles, forts, territories, places, and possessions, which have been taken or occupied by the forces of the United States during the present war, within the limits of the Mexican Republic, as about to be established by the following article, shall be definitely restored to the said Republic, together with all the artillery, arms, apparatus of war, munitions, and other public property, which were in the said castles and forts when captured, and which shall remain there at the time when this treaty shall be duly ratified by the Government of the Mexican Republic. To this end, immediately upon the signature of this treaty, orders shall be dispatched to the American officers commanding such castles and forts, securing against the removal or destruction of any such artillery, arms, apparatus of war, munitions, or other public property. The city of Mexico, within the inner line of entrenchments surrounding the said city, is comprehended in the above stipulation, as regards the restoration of artillery, apparatus of war, & c.
The final evacuation of the territory of the Mexican Republic, by the forces of the United States, shall be completed in three months from the said exchange of ratifications, or sooner if possible,; the Mexican Government hereby engaging, as in the foregoing article to use all means in its power for facilitating such evacuation, and rendering it convenient to the troops, and for promoting a good understanding between them and the inhabitants.
If, however, the ratification of this treaty by both parties should not take place in time to allow the and embarkation of the troops of the United States to be completed before the commencement of the sickly season, at the Mexican ports of the Gulf of Mexico, in such case a friendly arrangement shall be entered into between the General-in-Chief of the said troops and the Mexican government, whereby healthy and otherwise suitable places, at a distance from the ports not exceeding thirty leagues, shall be designated for the residents of such troops as may not yet have been have embarked or until the return of the healthy season. And the space of time here referred to as, comprehending the sickly season shall be understood to extend from the first day of May to the first day of November.
All prisoners of war taken on either side, on land or on see, shall be restored as soon as practicable after the exchange of ratifications of this treaty. It is also agreed that if any Mexican should now be held as captives by any savage tribe within the limits of the United States, as about to be established by the following article, the Government of the said United States will exact the release of such captives and cause them to be restored to their country.
The boundary line between the two republics shall commence in the Gulf of Mexico, three leagues from land, opposite the mouth of the Río Grande, otherwise called Río Bravo Del Norte, or opposite the mouth of its deepest branch, if it should have more than one branch emptying directly into the sea; from thence up the middle of that river, following the deepest channel, where has more than one, to the point where it 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 intersects the first branch of the river Gila;(or it should not intersect any branch of that river, then to the point of the said line nearest to such branch, and thence in a direct line to the same); thence down the middle of the said branch and of the said river, until it empties into the Río Colorado; thence across the Río Colorado, following the division line between the Upper and Lower California, to the Pacific Ocean.
The southern and western limits of New Mexico, mentioned in this article, are those laid down in the map titled “Map of United Mexican States, as organized and defined by various acts of the Congress of said republic, and constructed according to the best authorities. Revised edition, published at New York, in 1847, by J. Disturnell,” of which map a copy is added to this treaty, bearing the signature and seals of the undersigned Plenipotentiaries. And, in order to preclude all difficulty in tracing upon the ground the limit separating Upper from Lower California, it is agreed that the said limits shall consist of a straight line drawn from the middle of the Río Gila, where it unites with the Colorado, to 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, 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, in 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.
In order to designate the boundary line with due precision, upon authoritative maps and to establish upon the ground landmarks that shall show the limits of both republics, as described in the present article, the two governments shall each appoint a commissioner and a surveyor, who, before the expiration of one year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty, shall meet at the point of San Diego and proceed to run and mark said boundary in its whole course to the mouth of the Río Bravo Del Norte. They shall keep journals and make out plans of their operations; and the result agreed upon by them shall be deemed a part of this treaty, and shall have the same force as if it were inserted herein. The two governments will amicably agree regarding length we the two governments will amicably agree regarding what may be necessary to these persons, and also as to their respective escorts, should such be necessary.
The boundary line established by this article shall be religiously respected by each of the two republics, and no change shall ever be made there and, except by the express and free consent of both nations, lawfully given by the general government of each, in conformity with its own Constitution.
The vessels and citizens of the United States shall, at in all times, have a free and uninterrupted passage by the Gulf of California, and by the River Colorado below its confluence with the Gila, to and from their positions possessions situated north of the boundary line defined in the preceding article, it being understood that this passage is to be by navigating the Gulf of California and the River Colorado, and not by land, without the express consent of the Mexican government.
If, by the examination which may be made, it should be a ascertained to be practicable and advantageous 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 within the space of one marine league from either margin of the river, the government of both republics will form an agreement regarding its construction, in order that it may serve equally for the use and advantages of both countries.
The river Gila, and the part of the Río Bravo Del Norte lying below the southern boundary of New Mexico, being, agreeably to the fifth article, divided in the middle between the two republics, the navigation of the Gila and of the Bravo below said boundaries shall be free and common to the vessels and citizens of both countries; and neither shall, without the consent of the other, construct any work that may impede or interrupt, in whole or in part, the exercise of this right; or even for the purpose of favoring new methods of navigation. Nor shall any tax or contribution, under any denomination or title, be levied upon vessels or persons navigating the same or upon merchandise or effects transported thereon, except in the case of landing upon one of their shores. If, for the purpose of making the said rivers navigable, or for maintaining them in such state, it should be necessary or advantageous to establish any tax or contribution, this shall not be done without the consent of both Governments.
The stipulations contained in the present article shall not impair the territorial rights of either republic within its established limits.
Mexicans now established in territories previously belonging to Mexico, and which remain for the future within the limits of the United States as defined by the present Treaty, shall be free to continue where they now reside, or to remove at any time to the Mexican Republic, retaining the property which they possess in the said territories, or disposing thereof, and removing the proceeds wherever they please, without their being subjected, on this account, to any contribution, tax, or charges whatever.
Those who shall prefer to remain in the said territories may either retain the title and rights of Mexican citizens, or acquire those of citizens of the United States. But they shall be under the obligation to make their election within one year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty; and those who shall remain in the said territories after the expiration of that year, without having to clear the intention to retain the character of Mexicans, shall be considered to have elected to become citizens of the United States.
In the said territories, property of every kind, now belonging to the Mexicans not establish there, shall be inviolably respected. The present owners, the heirs of these, and all Mexicans who may hereafter acquire said property by contract, shall enjoy with respect to it guarantees equally ample as if the same belong to the citizens of the United States.
The Mexicans who, in the territories aforesaid, shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican Republic, conformably with that what is stipulated in the preceding article, shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States, and be admitted at the proper time (to be judged of by the Congress of the United States) to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States, according to the principles of the Constitution; and in the meantime, shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and secure in the free exercise of their religion without restriction.
This article, which provided that the United States would recognize original Mexican and Spanish land grants ceded to Mexican citizens, was eliminated when the Treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate.
Considering that a great part of the territories, which, by the present Treaty, are to be comprehended for the future within the limits of the United States, is now occupied by savage tribes, who will hereafter be under the exclusive control of the government of United States, and whose incursions within the territory of Mexico would be prejudicial in the extreme, it is solemnly agreed that all such incursion shall be forcibly restrained by the Government of the United States whensoever this may be necessary; and that when they cannot be prevented, they shall be punished by the said government, and satisfaction for the same shall be exacted – all in the same way, and with equal diligence and energy, as if the same incursions were mediated or committed within its own territory, against its own citizens.
It shall not be lawful, under any pretext whatsoever, for any inhabitants of the United States to purchase or acquire any Mexican, or any foreigner residing in Mexico, who may have been captured by Indians inhabiting the territory of either of the two republics nor to purchase or acquire horses, mules, cattle, or property of any kind, stolen within Mexican territory by such Indians.
And in the event of any person or persons, captured within Mexican territory by Indians, being carried into the territory of the United States, the Government of the latter engages and binds itself, in the most solemn manner, so soon as it shall know of such captives being within its territory, and shall be able so to do, through the faithful exercise of its influence and power, to rescue them and return them to their country, or deliver them to the agent or representative of the Mexican government. The Mexican authorities will as far as practicable, give to the Government of the United States notice of such captures; and its agent shall pay the expenses incurred in the maintenance and transmission of the rescued captives, who, in the meantime, shall be treated with utmost hospitality are the American authorities at the place where they may be. But if the Government of the United States, before receiving such notice from Mexico, should obtain intelligence, through any other channel, of the existence of Mexican captives within its territory, it will proceed forthwith to affect their release and delivery to the Mexican agent, as above stipulated.
For the purpose of giving to the stipulations the fullest possible efficacy, therefore affording the security and redress demanded by their true spirit and intent, the Government of the United States will now and hereafter pass, without unnecessary delay, and always vigilantly enforce, such laws as a nature of the subject may require. And finally, the sacredness of this obligation shall never be lost sight of by the said Government when providing for the removal of the engines from any portion of the said territories, or for its being settled by citizens of the United States; but, on the contrary, special care shall be taken not to place its Indian occupants under the necessity of seeking new homes, by committing those invasions that United States have solemnly obliged themselves to restrain.
In consideration of the extension acquired by the boundaries of the United States as defined in the fifth article of the present treaty, the Government of the United States engages to pay to that of the Mexican Republic the sum of fifteen millions of dollars.
Immediately after this treaty shall have been duly ratified by the Government of the Mexican Republic, the sum of three millions of dollars shall be paid to the said Government by that of the United States, at the city of Mexico, and the gold or silver coin of Mexico. The remaining twelve millions of dollars shall be paid at the same place, and in the same coin, in annual installments of three millions each, together with interest on the same at the rate of six per centum per annum. This interest shall begin to run upon the whole sum of twelve millions from the day of the ratification of the present treaty by the Mexican Government, and the first of the installments shall be paid at the expiration of one year from the same day. Together with each annual installment, as it falls due, the whole interest accruing on such installments from the beginning shall also be paid.
The United States engage, moreover, to assume and pay to the claimants all the amounts now do them, and those hereafter to become due, by reason of the claims already liquidated and decided against the Mexican Republic, under the conventions between the two republics severally concluded on the eleventh day of April eighteen hundred and thirty-nine, and on the thirtieth day of January, eighteen hundred and forty-three; so that the Mexican Republic shall be absolutely exempt, for the future, from all expense what ever on account of the said claims.
The United States do furthermore discharge the Mexican Republic from all claims of citizens of the United States, not heretofore decided against the Mexican government, which may have arisen previously to the date of the signature of this treaty, which discharge shall be final and perpetual, whether the said claims be rejected or be allowed by the board of commissioners provided for in the following article, and whatever shall be the total amount of those allowed.
The United States, exonerating Mexico for all demands on account of the claims of their citizens mentioned in the preceding article, and considering them entirely and forever canceled, whatever their amount may be, undertake to make satisfaction for the same, to an amount not exceeding three and one-quarter millions of dollars. To ascertain the valve validity and amount of those claims, a board of commissioners shall be established by the Government of the United States, whose award shall be final and conclusive, provided that, in deciding upon the validity of each claim, the board shall be guided and governed by the principles and rules of decision prescribed by the first and fifth articles of the unratified convention, concluded at the city of Mexico on the twentieth day of November one thousand eight hundred and forty-three; and in no case shall an award be made in favor of any claim not embraced by these principles and rules.
If in the opinion of the said board of commissioners or of the claimants, any books, records, or documents, in the possession or power of the Government of the Mexican Republic, shall be deemed necessary to the just decision of any claim, the commissioners, or the claimants through them, shall, within such period as Congress may designate, make an application in writing for the same, addressed to the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs, to be transmitted by the Secretary of State of the United States; and the Mexican government engages, at the earliest possible moment after the receipt of such demand, to cause any of the books, records, or documents so specified, which shall be in their position or power (or authenticated copies or extracts of the same) to be transmitted to the said Secretary of State, who shall immediately deliver them over to the said board of commissioners, provided that no such application shall be made by or at the instance of any claimant, until the facts that it is expected to prove by such books, records, or documents, shall have been stated under oath or affirmation.
Each of the contracting parties reserves to itself the entire right to fortify whatever point within its territory it may judge proper so to fortify for its security.
This article revives a commerce treaty between the United States of America and the United Mexican States originally signed in April of 1831 and extends it for eight years from the date the United States and Mexican governments exchange ratifications of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
In this article Mexico pledges it will not charge customs fees for supplies brought into Mexico for American troops during the transitional period of the evacuation of American troops from Mexico. The United States pledges to denounce to Mexico any attempts at fraudulently abusing this stipulation.
This article describes a detailed list of six rules to be applied to the importation of goods and merchandise into Mexico during and after the occupation of Mexico by American troops.
This article clarifies that Mexico will no levy tariffs on merchandise imported into Mexico between sixty days after the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the restoration of Mexican custom houses.
This article provides that should disagreements arise between the Governments of the United States of America and the United Mexican States, both parties will endeavor to seek peaceful resolution of their differences, including arbitration and preserve the state of peace between them.
This article stipulates agreed upon rules of engagement and the treatment of civilians and prisoners should war ever break out again between the two Governments.
This treaty shall be ratified by the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof; and by the president of the Mexican Republic, with the previous approbation of its general Congress; and the ratification shall be exchanged in the city of Washington, or at the seat of government of Mexico, in four months from the date of the signature hereof or sooner if practicable.
In faith whereof we, the respective Plenipotentiaries, have signed this treaty of peace, friendship, limits, and settlement, and have hereunto affixed our seals respectively. Done in quintuple, at the city of Guadalupe Hidalgo, on the second day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight.
Seal N. P. TRIST
Seal LUIS G. CUEVAS
Seal BERNARDO COUTO
Seal MIGUEL ATRISTAIN