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WASHINGTON, January 11, 1849.
DEAR SIR: As far as I have been able to ascertain, the two instruments mentioned in the enclosed letter of General Totten were purchased for the use of the Ohio and Michigan boundary, in 1835, but, the appropriation having been expended under the War Dapartment, the instruments may be considered as belonging to that department. They are both of great value, and one of them, the zenith telescope, was used by me on the northeastern boundary. It will appear, by the letter of General Totten, they are now both required in the department to which they belong. I have the honor to be, with great regard, your obedient servant, W. H. EMORY.
Hon. JAMES BUCHANAN,
Secretary of State.
NEW YORK, February 4, 1849.
SIR: In compliance with instructions of the Department of State, January 19, 1849, I have the honor to report, that I have received from Major J. D. Graham such instruments as were deemed "necessary for correctly running and marking the boundary line" between the United States and Mexico. Two invoices-one dated New York, January 29, 1849, the other dated Boston, February 1, 1849-exhibit the character and condition of these instruments, and are herewith enclosed.
I have been compelled to adopt, in a great measure, Major Graham's report of the condition of the instruments, as it would take more time than I am allowed to set up each instrument and examine it in detail.
The character of the higher class of astronomical instruments, such as the Troughton & Semmes telescope, the transit, and the altitude and azimuth instrument, though admirably adapted for service on the northeastern boundary, intersected, as that boundary was at many points, by the great thoroughfares of travel, are, in consequence of their size, unsuited for general use on the Mexican boundary, and can only be used at or near points accessible by sea-San Diego and the mouth of the Del Norte. At these points, however, they can be profitably used.
The repacking such of the instruments as required it, and were of convenient size to carry into the interior on the backs of animals, was completed yesterday: many of these could have been rendered still more portable by placing the different parts of the same instrument in different boxes; but this is a nice operation, involving the skill of the best instrument makers, and would take one or two months to complete; it has, therefore, not been attempted.
The region in which we operate being destitute of trees of sufficient size to afford stands for the instruments, I have ordered castings to be made for portable stands. I have also ordered the observing tents put in condition for service. Both the castings and the fixtures for the tents will be completed in the course of the week.
I now proceed, in further pursuance of your instructions, to "report what other instruments" are deemed necessary for the survey, together with their probable cost, and where they may be obtained the most speedily and upon the best terms.
Mr Bond has one by Park & Frodsham, No. 648, of tried excellence.
1 equatorial stand, price estimated at $100.
If an arrangement could be made by which the use can be obtained of the transit and the zenith telescopes mentioned in my letter to you of the 11th January last, the two corresponding instruments estimated for in the above list, respectively at 400 and 700 dollars, would not be needed.
These instruments are now at the store of Messrs. E. & G. W. Blunt, New York, awaiting transportation to West Point. The object of sending these instruments there being for the purposes of instruction, as stated in General Totten's letter enclosed in mine of the 11th, I would propose, if no other means could be adopted, to place these instruments at the disposal of the State Department, (where they have been for many years,) to exchange for them the large and valuable altitude and azimuth instrument, by Troughton & Semmes. This is one of the best instruments of the kind in the country, and combines all the parts of both the other instruments; but, unfortunately, it is too large for use on the Mexican boundary. The instrument referred to is the first named on the invoice herewith sent. A letter received from the Hon. John B. Weller, commissioner, &c., requests that all the instruments intended to go overland may be sent to New Orleans before the 23d.
I return herewith the list of instruments furnished me from the records of the Department of State.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
W. H. EMORY, Bt. Major U. S. Army.
Hon. JAMES BUCHANAN, Secretary of State.
NEW ORLEANS, March 7, 1849.
SIR: I received half the amount of draft sent me for three thousand dollars by United States commissioner, upon Secretary of the Treasury, for purposes necessary to outfit and expenses of party, &c., in the boundary line service. When I left Washington ten days ago, immediately after receiving the certificate to a copy of the treaty map, it was supposed that I would meet the commissioner here, and in that event would not require the balance of the amount of draft charged to me.
I advised Mr. Weller that we were coming, but, from the irregularity of the telegraph, presume he did not receive my despatch. I found on my arrival to-day that three of the other officers attached to the survey, from unavoidable detention, (frozen state of the Ohio river,) did not reach this city, eitlrer, until two days after the departure of Mr. Weller, who sailed on the 2d instant. I therefore found it necessary to advise you of my want of the other fifteen hundred dollars, and to save time I sent the despatch by telegraph, asking permission to draw on the department for the
A vessel will leave this for Chagres in a short time, and I apprehend there will be no delay to prevent our reaching San Diego almost as soon as the commissioner.
With the highest esteem, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ANDREW B. GRAY,
Hon. Mr. CLAYTON,
PANAMA, NEW GRENADA,
March 20, 1849.
SIR: I have the honor to report that, under instructions from your' department of the 24th January last, I embarked from New Orleans with the necessary number of employés, on the 2d instant, and reached this city on the 16th. On the 30th January, at my request, a letter was addressed to the American consul in this city, directing him to have transportation ready for me and the party by the 12th instant at Cruces, And although this letter had been duly received, the transportation had not been provided, nor could I hear of the consul in any way until I reached Panama. His conduct here, generally, has given much dissatisfaction to the citizens of the United States emigrating to California; but I have not given such investigation to the various charges made against him as to enable me to say how far they are true.
The charges for transportation over the isthmus are enormous, and there is but little prospect at present of a diminution.
The steamer Irus" navigates the Chagres river only fifteen miles, and passengers and freight are carried from thence to Gorgona, about thirty-five miles, in canoes. The greater portion of my party will remain at Gorgona until all the supplies reach this place. I have with me four months' supplies for the whole party-six months' supplies having been shipped, previous to my leaving the United States, from New York to San Diego direct.
There is no transportation here now, and from present indications it is exceedingly doubtful whether the party can be gotten to San Diego for months to come, unless a government vessel should touch at this point. I intend, however, to obtain transportation for myself by the first steamer which comes in, so as to comply with the 5th article of the treaty. It is probable I will have to go to San Francisco, and travel by land thence to San Diego.
It is important, in my opinion, that the appropriation made by the act of Congress of the 12th of August, 1848, to defray the expenses, &c., of running the boundary, should be placed in a position where my drafts upon it will be duly honored. The employés generally will desire to receive their pay in the United States; and I have to request, if consistent with the views of the department, that the funds may be drawn from the treasury and placed to my credit in New York-say the Bank of America; I will then be enabled to discharge the demands against the commission without difficulty or delay. The amount now in my hands will be wholly inadequate to pay the expenses here and transportation to San Diego. Major Emory, chief of the topographical engineers, reached this. city on yesterday. Mr. Gray, the surveyor, has not yet arrived. As his presence at San Diego previous to the 30th May is indispensable, I may possibly be detained by his movements. At all events, the department may be assured that all in my power will be done to carry out the provisions of the treaty..
In the meanwhile, I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. SECRETARY OF STATE.
JOHN B. WELLER,
U. S. Commissioner.
PANAMA, March 25, 1849.
SIR: I have the honor to report to you that I joined the commission for "running and marking the boundary between the United States and Mexiço," at this place, on the 17th instant, in charge of all the astronomical apparatus and surveying instruments for the use of the commission, except those sent by the steamers Northerner and Senator via Cape Horn, of which you have been heretofore advised.
The commissioner reached here one day before me. I exhibited to him my instructions from the State and War Departments, and informed him of the condition and place of the apparatus confided to my care, and the steps taken, under instructions of the Department of State, in regard to it.
It was not possible, as those instructions contemplated, to leave New York before the 1st March; nor was it practicable to carry the instruments overland to New Orleans, to ship on board the steamer Alabama, which sailed from that port for Chagres on the 2d instant; and I was compelled to ship them, and take passage for myself and party, in the steamer Northerner, which sailed direct from New York to Chagres.
Everything has arrived here in safety, and in good condition for immediate service, except some of the astronomical books and tables, left with one of my assistants and my servant in New Orleans.
The means of getting from this place to San Diego are left to the com
missioner. It may be proper, however, to inform you that, being charged, in addition to my other duties, with the command of the military escort intended to protect the commission, I will make the attempt to reach San Diego in tinie to report the escort in readiness as soon as the commission assembles, so that no delay will happen from that cause.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
Hon. SECRETARY OF STATE.
Brevet Major United States Army, &c.
At Sea, March 26, 1849.
SIR: Up to the last moment before leaving New Orleans, I waited with anxious expectation a despatch from your department; but, receiving none, I finally sailed, early on the morning of the 21st instant, for Chagres, which latter port we expect to reach in all to-morrow.
At Panama I hope to join the commissioner, and to proceed with him to San Diego. I should have waited till hearing from you; but, finding that little reliance is to be placed in the present system of conducting telegraphic communications, and fearing lest no other favorable opportunity would again occur in some time for me to proceed on my mission, I deemed it advisable to take the responsibility of at once embarking. I hope it will have met with your approval, and that of the President.
I forward a few papers, which I had withdrawn for the purpose of making copies, and which I beg leave to ask may be filed for reference in your de partment. They are the originals.
I have the honor to remain, very faithfully, your obedient servant,
ANDREW B. GRAY,
United States Surveyor under treaty with Mexico.
Hon. J. M. CLAYTON,
PANAMA, May 9, 1849:
SIR: The enclosed package, addressed to Mr. Wm. Cranch Bond, director of the observatory at Cambridge, contains a series of astronomicaland other observations, intended for review by the A. academy of Boston. These observations, and the objects in sending them to the academy, being connected directly with the service on the boundary, with which I have been honored by the Department of State, induces me to request that they may be forwarded under the frank of the department..
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
Brevet Major United States Army, Chief As'rmomer and
Hon. J. M. CLAYTON,
Secretary of State.