The New International Encyclopædia/Guadalupe Hidalgo, Treaty of

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GUADALUPE HIDALGO, hē̇-dȧl′gō̇ or ē̇-Däl′gō̇, Treaty of. A treaty made between the United States and Mexico, at Guadalupe Hidalgo, a small place in the outskirts of the City of Mexico, February 2, 1848, at the close of the Mexican War. The American negotiator was Nicholas P. Trist, of Virginia, chief clerk of the Department of State, who had been sent by President Polk, in the summer of 1847, to the headquarters of General Scott for the purpose of entering into negotiations with the Mexican Government. At that time Trist was instructed to demand, among other things, the cession of New Mexico and the Californias and the recognition of the Rio Grande as the international boundary. During an armistice, in the month of August, commissioners of the Mexican Government met Trist and offered radically different counter-propositions, insisting also upon the Nueces as the correct boundary. Nothing came of these negotiations, and, upon the termination of the armistice, hostilities were resumed, and Trist was recalled. Nevertheless, he remained on the ground, and upon a suitable change in the military situation, negotiations were resumed in January, 1848, and on February 2d an agreement was reached in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Trist promptly returned to Washington, and President Polk submitted the treaty to the Senate on February 23d. After vigorous opposition on the part of some of the Senators, resulting in modifications which were accepted by Mexico, the treaty was ratified by the Senate on March 16th; ratifications were exchanged on May 30th, and the treaty was proclaimed on July 4, 1848. By the terms of the treaty in its final form, the Rio Grande was established as the boundary for the eastern portion of the cession, and in the west the lines of the Gila and Colorado were so followed as to give to the United States all the territory then known as New Mexico and Upper California. The United States agreed to pay to Mexico $15,000,000, and to assume the payment of all claims adjudged against Mexico under the conventions of 1839 and 1843. Furthermore, the United States assumed the payment of all claims, not exceeding in the aggregate $3,250,000, held by citizens of the United States against Mexico, and which originated prior to the date of the treaty. On July 29, 1848, Congress passed an act providing for the payment of the claims already liquidated, and on March 3, 1849, a commission was created to pass upon claims against Mexico held by citizens of the United States. By this commission 182 claims were allowed and 70 were rejected. For a map illustrating the cession, consult Channing, United States of America, page 135.