Thomas J. Rusk to Governor of Texas,
concerning the 1850 Boundary Act

Unlike many southern senators in the United States Congress, Thomas J. Rusk did not favor secession to resolve the impass over Texan claims to territory in present-day New Mexico. He labored to get compensation, too, for the revenues lost when Texas surrendered her customs houses on annexation to the United States. Likewise, he lobbied for compensation for the millions of acres Texas would lose by the Compromise of 1850.

His letter to Governor Bell shows the scope of the senator's concerns for both Texas and the South as he details the advantages of the bill.

Rusk Letter to Gov. Bell


7th Sept. 1850

Dear Sir
The Texas boundary Bill
passed the House yesterday by
a majority of ten votes including
Messes Howard & Kaufman the bill
was amended by attaching the
territorial Bill of New Mexico
Texas saved by this measure
upwards of twenty million acres
of land more than by the
Compromise Bill and gets ten
millions of dollars the Territorial
Government is not to go into
operation until after Texas
agrees to the adjustment
this Bill looses no slave soil
as it opponents alege but
on the contrary removes the
restriction from all above
36-30 and west of the Rio
Grande besides all this Texas
while she has firmly maintained
her right has faithfully regarded
her obligation to the union
Very truly yours
Thos J Rusk

His Ex
P H. Bell

Page last modified: April 14, 2016