March 13, 2003
Border war

Well, well, well. A New Mexico state legislator is introducing a bill that would force that state's Attorney General to sue the state of Texas for some 600,000 acres of border land that were incorrectly given to the Lone Star State. This is so goofy I'm going to reproduce it in full:

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) -- A land dispute between Texas and New Mexico may be headed for a showdown.

New Mexico's state Senate unanimously approved a bill Monday ordering the state's attorney general to sue Texas over a strip of oil-rich land along the state line.

Democratic Sen. Shannon Robinson sponsored the legislation that seeks the return of 603,485 acres he says were wrongly placed in Texas because of a mistake by a surveyor in 1859.

The error, Robinson said, caused the Texas-New Mexico state line to be several miles too far west. The Texas towns of Farwell, Bledsoe, Bronco and Texline are within the strip of disputed land.

"There is no doubt that the people's lives in that strip would be vastly improved because they no longer would be Texans," Robinson explained during Senate debate.

"I can see a great uplifting of their personal self worth," he said.

Despite the Texas bashing, Robinson assured his colleagues that he was serious in wanting a lawsuit filed against Texas. However, he acknowledged he sponsored the measure partly to carry on the quixotic fight of a friend, the late Sen. John Morrow, who died last year.

The bill instructs the attorney general to sue Texas for return of the disputed land and seek compensation for "subsurface mineral rights, oil and gas royalties and income, property taxes and grazing privileges that New Mexico has not realized due to the boundary error."

The measure goes to the House for consideration.

New Mexico's territorial officials first protested the placement of the state line in a 1910 draft constitution for statehood. Federal officials agreed the 1859 survey had indeed botched it.

But Texas fought back. In 1911, the federal government essentially told New Mexico to give up the land claim or forget about statehood. In 1912, New Mexico became a state - minus 603,485 acres.

I feel a song coming on, don't you?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 13, 2003 to The great state of Texas | TrackBack

Reminds me of the one about the man who's lived his entire life in western Maine. One day, someone from the surveying office shows up and informs him that, since the state line was improperly surveyed, he's actually been in New Hampshire all that time. "Thank Gawd," the man replies. "I couldn't a stood another one of them Maine wintaahs".

Posted by: Ken on March 14, 2003 2:44 PM