Artworks of the Southwest by John Russell Bartlett

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Boundary Commissioner drew the Texas/Mexico border as he surveyed it

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As a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, a Boundary Commission made up of American and Mexican engineers was sent to establish a "boundary line with due precision, upon authoritative maps, and to establish upon the ground landmarks which shall show the limits of both republics." In 1850, John Russell Bartlett (1805–1886), Boundary Commissioner for the U.S., arrived at the port of Indianola, Texas, to begin the task of mapping and marking the border.

Bartlett arrived with 160 tons of freight and over 100 people, including zoologists, botanists, engineers, and surveyors. Together, they traveled over 700 miles across Texas to their headquarters in El Paso. As they traveled, Bartlett made pencil drawings of the landscape. The pencil drawings are just some of the valuable data he recorded along their journey. Bartlett’s account of the expedition contains important scientific and historical data about Texas and the Southwest, including reports on Native American Tribes living in the region. The sketches he made of Indigenous groups as he traveled throughout the Southwest eventually became watercolors that he produced after he retired from the boundary commission.

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Artworks of the Southwest by John Russell Bartlett Artifact from Providence, Rhode Island
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