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THE law makes the 100th meridian of west longitude the boundary between Oklahoma and the panhandle of Texas. Similarly the law makes the 103d meridian the boundary (in part) between New Mexico and Texas. Recent government maps do not so show these boundaries, but place each one a little west of the meridian with which, by law, it coincides. These discrepancies have led to an inquiry as to the cause and as to our present knowledge of these boundaries.

These and similar boundaries are established as follows: First, Congress enacts what the boundary shall be; second, the boundary is surveyed and marked in conformity with the law, and, third, the survey is confirmed. When all this has been done, the marks set by the surveyor become the boundary. Even if subsequent surveys disclose inaccuracies in the original survey, as it invariably does, nevertheless the monuments originally set, although inaccurately, remain the boundary. Permanence and certainty are of more moment than refinements of accuracy.

If the accuracy of a later and more refined survey was a sufficient warrant for changing a boundary once established, the later survey would itself be subject to like change when itself followed by a survey of yet greater refinement. Thus would result the intolerable nuisance and menace of a shifting boundary. The rule and the reason, therefore, unite in declaring that subsequent surveys are powerless to alter or to fix boundaries. Boundaries become established by mutual confirmation, such confirmation being either formal or presumed from long, notorious, and undisputed acquiescence. It is not the sur

veying or marking done by the surveyor which establishes a boundary, but the acceptance and ratification of such survey by the parties. If neighbors dispute about their line fence, a surveyor is powerless to settle their dispute without the consent of both. This power to settle vests in the courts, which receive and weigh not only the testimony of the surveyor, but all other evidence pertinent to the dispute. Neglect of these obvious principles lies at the bottom of much boundary contention.

The boundary along the 100th and 103d meridians originated in 1850. In 1835 Texas declared her independence of Mexico, and on December 29, 1845. was admitted to the Union. It then comprised parts of territory now included in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming. In 1850 Texas sold to the United States for $10,000,000 all her territory north of latitude 36° 30' and west of the 103d meridian as far south as latitude 32°. In the act of Congress of September 9, 1850, effecting this purchase, the boundary here considered first appears. That act recites :

"The state of Texas will agree that her boundary on the north shall commence at the point at which the meridian of one hundred degrees west from Greenwich is intersected by the parallel of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, and shall run from said point due west to the meridian of one hundred and three degrees west from Greenwich; thence her boundary shall run due south to the thirty-second degree of north latitude; thence on the said parallel of thirty-two degrees of north latitude to the Rio Bravo del Norte." (See the line A B C D of the accompanying figure.)

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John H. Clark, who had had previous experience as an astronomer and surveyor in the "Far West" of antebellum days, was chosen early in July, 1859, as commissioner and surveyor on the part of the United States, and Mr. William R. Scurry on the part of Texas.

It was agreed that the survey should begin at the intersection of the 32d parallel with the Rio Grande near El Paso (D of Fig. 1), proceed east on that parallel to the 103d meridian (C), thence north on the 103d meridian to the northwest corner of the panhandle (B), and thence east on the parallel of 36° 30' to the rooth meridian (A). With some modifications, due to lack of water and difficulty of travel, this plan was carried out in the years 1859 and 1860.

The station Frontera, of the Mexican boundary survey near El Paso, was accepted as the starting point for longitude, and its longitude transferred, by chaining and triangulation, about a dozen miles northward to the 32d parallel. The party then chained eastward along the 32d parallel for 211 miles, the calculated distance to the 103d merid

ian, and there set a monument (C). Its longitude was not then nor has it been since checked by astronomical observations. Having set this corner monument, the party started northward, but, owing to the total absence of water, were compelled, after proceeding about. 20 miles and setting two monuments, to leave the line and go in search of water. Clark thereupon decided to ascend the Pecos River and measure offsets to the boundary; but the distance proved so great that he gave this up and proceeded to the northwest corner (B) and set about carefully determining this important corner. An astronomical camp was established in its vicinity, on Rabbit Ear Creek, and while engaged in observing with zenith telescope for latitude and moon culminations for longitude a surveying party was sent north about 35 miles to the 37th parallel to transfer the longitude found by Clark, in 1857, on that parallel southward to the parallel of 36° 30'. This was done, and the northwest corner post of Texas (B) established as to its longitude by transfer from the 37th parallel, and as to latitude by independent astronomical observations. Of the astronomical observations made by Clark to check this transfer no use has ever been made. This done, Clark ran southward for 156 miles, chaining the distance, checking by sextant observations, and building mounds or monuments to the number of 23. He then closed work for the season. The result of this season's work of 1859, so far as concerns the 103d meridian, was as follows: Monument set at the south end, fixed in longitude by chaining about 225 miles from Frontera, on the Rio Grande, without astronomical check; monument set at north end, its longitude being derived by transfer 35 miles from the 37th parallel, the longitude on that parallel being based on moon culminations observed in 1857; the running of the line northward from the south end 24 miles and erection of two

monuments; the running of the line southward from the north end 156 miles and erection of 23 monuments, leaving 130 miles between unsurveyed and unmarked.



In the following season Clark began work on the 100th meridian, where it crosses the Canadian, and accepting, as directed, the monuments set there by Jones and Brown in 1859 to mark the 100th meridian, prolonged the line northward to latitude 36° 30', and there built a monument (A) to mark the northeast corner of the panhandle. To check this position he prolonged this 100th meridian northward about 35 miles, to the 37th parallel, and found that the longitude of the northeast corner of Texas on the 100th meridian, according to Jones and Brown, was about 1,700 feet east of the 100th meridian, according to his own determinations on the 37th parallel in 1857.

He then ran west on the parallel of 36° 30' till forced to leave the line for water. Then he went to the west end and surveyed east till he reached the point where the earlier work ended, thus finishing it. He then disbanded, returned to Washington, and proceeded to work up the results, draw the maps, and make final report. The great war cloud was then hanging over Washington; there was great impatience to close up this work; there appears to have been friction over seeming slowness in finishing up. Accordingly the work was abruptly stopped, unfinished, in January, 1862. So it remained for 20 years. In January, 1882, the Senate by resolution called for Clark's report. The result is a document of 309 pages of field-notes, correspondence, maps, etc., which, while giving much information, leaves much to be desired.


On March 3, 1891, Congress confirmed Clark's survey of the 103d meridian and of the parallels of 32° and 36° 30′. Of the 26 monuments set by Clark on the 103d meridian, only two have been reported to the General Land Office. These are on the banks of the Canadian River. The surveyors, Taylor and Fuss, who connected the public land surveys of New Mexico with these monuments, recognized them as boundary monuments, but made no determination of their longitude.

The initial monument at the northwest corner of Texas has been sought for by subsequent surveyors but without success. Mr. John J. Major sought for it in 1874, failed to find it, and "reëstablished" it, setting a new one, which there is excellent reason for believing is more than two miles west of the Clark monument. Mr. Richard O. Chaney, in 1881, set another monument at the theoretical northwest corner of Texas, and this without finding either Clark's or Major's monument. Based upon these and other surveys not here mentioned, the Land Office has concluded that Clark's 103d meridian was laid down between 2 and 3 miles west of its true position, and it is so shown on the Land Office map of New Mexico, 1896. After examining with some care the information on the subject now available, I am of opinion that this conclusion is not sustained by the evidence, and that until the longitude of some monument set by Clark has been telegraphically determined the boundary line should be shown on maps as coincident with the 103d meridian.

It is very desirable that this boundary be resurveyed, old monuments restored, and additional ones erected, before the discovery of oil or mineral shall provoke a boundary dispute.



NOTEWORTHY contribution to an interesting topic appears

in the August number of the Monthly Weather Review (issued October 31, 1901) under the title "Ice Caves and Frozen Wells as Meteorological Phenomena," by H. H. Kimball, of the U. S. Weather Bureau (vol. xxix, pp. 366–371, pls. 1-11). The paper is partly a compilation, partly a record of observations on the widely known Brandon well and at other localities; it may be regarded as a supplement to the book on Glacières, or Freezing Caverns, published in 1900 by Edwin Swift Balch. The well-known ice caves, and some not so well known, are described critically, with due attention to actual temperatures and to seasons; and a few ice wells are similarly described. The popular idea that the ice accumulates in summer and disappears in winter is rejected in toto; and the author concludes:


'It is evident that ice caves and frozen wells are but different manifestations of the same phenomenon. In both cases the cold air of winter circulates to unusual depths below the surface, and freezes the small quantity of water with which it comes in contact. In summer this subterranean circulation of the air ceases, and heat finds its way to the ice only by the slow process of conduction. In consequence, the ice that accumulates during the winter and early spring may not entirely disappear during the following summer, but continue to accumulate for ages."

It is greatly to be regretted that recent writers on ice caves and frozen wells have not extended observation to the "blowing caves," "breathing wells," and "whistling wells" found in various parts of this and other countries, and sporadically recorded in ephemeral literature; for the physical laws exemplified in these are alike, and pre

sumptively connected with those revealed in glacières and ice wells. The fact is too often overlooked that the normal or ordinary cavern is a "breathing cave," in that air currents flow alternately in and out with a degree of regularity conditioned by many factors, among which varying atmospheric pressure is the primary one. The strength of the "breathing" depends on the relative sizes of the opening and of the subterranean vault or chambers; when the mouth is small and the cavern large, the inspiration may be strong enough to suck in dead leaves or sway overhanging branches, while the expiration may suffice to send dry leaves high in air or blow off the hats of incautious visitors; though when the aperture is large or multiple and the cavern small, the current may be barely perceptible. The regular breathing is diurnal, lagging behind the daily range of the barometer by minutes or hours, according to the relative dimensions of orifice and vault; though the diurnal rhythm is modified and sometimes obscured by more general changes in atmospheric pressure, and also by temperature conditions. In cavernous limestone regions where winter snows lie deep, cave-hunting boys soon learn to find hidden orifices and to estimate the magnitude of the caverns by the vapor columns emitted on frosty mornings after a snowfall followed by the customary drop in temperature, the steam columns sometimes rising hundreds of feet in a density rendering them visible for miles. The "blowing well" is the homologue of the 'breathing cavern," save that the subterranean vault is replaced commonly by a porous stratum or formation, usually coarse sandstone or granular dolomite; though it is possible that some such wells penetrate or communicate with open fissures or extended crevices in

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the rocks. There is a region of blowing wells in southeastern Wisconsin, where the Calciferous beds of the Silurian rest on the coarse-grained St. Peter sandstone; another is reported in central New York, where impervious strata overlie the pervious Potsdam sandstone; still another occurs in England, where it received attention a few years ago in connection with water-supply inquiries; while sporadic examples are by no means uncommon elsewhere.

Now it is evident that when the barometer is high in a region of caves or breathing wells, the subterranean chambers or pervious beds will gradually fill with the slightly compressed air, and that the process of filling will be accompanied by inspiration, or in-blowing, through the open mouth; it is equally evident that with the subsequent fall of the barometer the imprisoned air will expand and force itself outward through the mouth of the cavern until the pressure within and without is brought into balance. Furthermore, it is evident that the air expanding in the throat of the orifice will abstract heat from surrounding substances, precisely as it does in the expansion chamber of an atmospheric ice machine, at a rate and to an amount varying with the pressure-difference;

and hence that (provided other conditions be favorable) the moisture on adjacent surfaces may be congealed. In short, under favorable circumstances the breathing well or blowing cave may become a natural ice machine, clumsy and inefficient, indeed, yet possibly making up in magnitude for its simplicity and the slightness of the pressure-differences within its reach. Of course it would seem at first sight that in each passage from low pressure to high and back again, as in the long run, the effects of the natural mechanism would balance — i. e., that the heat given off in inspiration would equal the chill of expiration, so that no refrigeration could ensue ; yet when the seasonal ranges of barometer and thermometer are considered, it would seem clear that the heating would tend to culminate in autumn and the chill in spring, in such wise as to sustain the widespread popular opinion on the subject-i. e., that the period of icemelting runs into winter and that of iceforming into late spring and summer. In any event the discussion of glacières and freezing wells cannot be regarded as closed until the related phenomena of blowing caves and breathing wells receive exhaustive study.




INISTER CONGER has forwarded the State Department a translation of the preliminary resolutions adopted by the recently organized Board of National Administration of China. The purpose of the Board is to institute reforms in China of a more moderate nature than the sweeping reforms proposed in 1898 which brought on the Boxer troubles.

"The things of the West are genuine; those of the Chinese, for the most

part, are shams. The speech of Western men is reliable; that of the Chinese largely false," say the Board, and in this spirit of Chinese modesty and humility the resolutions were written. The following extracts are taken from these curious resolutions to show the nature of progress thus far made : *

"The first thing necessary is to manifest resolution like an upright pillar:

*The resolutions are published in full in the Consular Reports for October 28 no. 1173).

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