U. S. Stat. At Large


Show Summary

No. 101.

Treaty With Mexico

February 2, 1848

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


There shall be firm and universal peace between the United States of America and the Mexican republic, and between their respective countries, territories, cities, towns, and people, without exception of places or persons.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


The boundary line between the two republics shall commence in the Gulf of Mexico, three leagues from land, opposite the mouth of the Rio Grande, otherwise called Rio Bravo del Norte, or opposite the mouth of its deepest branch, if it should have more than one branch emptying directly into the sea; from thence up the middle of that river, following the deepest channel, where it has more than one, to the point where it strikes the southern boundary of New Mexico; thence, westwardly, along the whole southern boundary of New Mexico (which runs north of the town called Paso) to its western termination; thence, northward, along the western line of New Mexico, until it intersects the first branch of the River Gila; (or if it should not intersect any branch of that river, then to the point on the said line nearest to such branch, and thence in a direct line to the same;) thence down the middle of the said branch and of the said river, until it empties into the Rio Colorado; thence across the Rio Colorado, following the division line between Upper and Lower California, to the Pacific Ocean. . . .


The vessels and citizens of the United States shall, in all time, have a free and uninterrupted passage by the Gulf of California, and by the river Colorado below its confluence with the Gila, to and from their possessions situated north of the boundary line defined in the preceding article; it being understood that this passage is to be by navigating the Gulf of California and the River Colorado, and not by land, without the express consent of the Mexican government.

If, by the examinations which may be made, it should be ascertained to be practicable and advantageous to construct a road, canal, or railway, which should in whole or in part run upon the River Gila, or upon its right or its left bank, within the space of one marine league from either margin of the river, the governments of both republics will form an agreement regarding its construction, in order that it may serve equally for the use and advantage of both countries.


The River Gila, and the part of the Rio Bravo del Norte lying below the southern boundary of New Mexico, being, agreeably to the fifth article, divided in the middle between the two republics, the navigation of the Gila and of the Bravo below said boundary shall be free and common to the vessels and citizens of both countries; and neither shall, without the consent of the other, construct any work that may impede or interrupt, in whole or in part, the exercise of this right; not even for the purpose of favoring new methods of navigation. Nor shall any tax or contribution, under any denomination or title, be levied upon vessels, or persons navigating the same, or upon merchandise or effects transported thereon, except in the case of landing upon one of their shores. If, for the purpose of making the said rivers navigable, or for maintaining them in such state, it should be necessary or advantageous to establish any tax or contribution, this shall not be done without the consent of both governments.

The stipulations contained in the present article shall not impair the territorial rights of either republic within its established limits.


Mexicans now established in territories previously belonging to Mexico, and which remain for the future within the limits of the United States, as defined by the present treaty, shall be free to continue where they now reside, or to remove at any time to the Mexican republic, retaining the property which they possess in the said territories, or disposing thereof, and removing the proceeds wherever they please, without their being subjected, on this account, to any contribution, tax, or charge whatever.

Those who shall prefer to remain in the said territories, may either retain the title and rights of Mexican citizens, or acquire those of citizens of the United States. But they shall be under the obligation to make their election within one year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty; and those who shall remain in the said territories after the expiration of that year, without having declared their intention to retain the character of Mexicans, shall be considered to have elected to become citizens of the United States.

In the said territories, property of every kind, now belonging to Mexicans not established there, shall be inviolably respected. The present owners, the heirs of these, and all Mexicans who may hereafter acquire said property by contract, shall enjoy with respect to it guaranties equally ample as if the same belonged to citizens of the United States.


Mexicans who, in the territories aforesaid, shall not preserve the character of citizens of the Mexican republic, conformably with what is stipulated in the preceding article, shall be incorporated into the Union of the United States, and be admitted at the proper time (to be judged of by the Congress of the United States) to the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of the United States, according to the principles of the constitution; and in the mean time shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and secured in the free exercise of their religion without restriction.

[Article X., relating to Mexican land grants in the ceded territory, was stricken out by the Senate (see protocol, May 26, 1848). Article XI., binding the United States to prevent Indian incursions into Mexican territory, and to restore Mexican prisoners taken by Indians, was abrogated by Article II. of the treaty of Dec. 30, 1853.]


In consideration of the extension acquired by the boundaries of the United States, as defined in the fifth article of the present treaty, the government of the United States engages to pay to that of the Mexican republic the sum of fifteen millions of dollars. . . .


The United States engage, moreover, to assume and pay to the claimants all the amounts now due them, and those hereafter to become due, by reason of the claims already liquidated and decided against the Mexican republic, under the conventions between the two republics severally concluded on . . . [April 11, 1839, and January 30, 1843] . . .


The United States do furthermore discharge the Mexican republic from all claims of citizens of the United States, not heretofore decided against the Mexican government, which may have arisen previously to the date of the signature of this treaty; which discharge shall be final and perpetual, whether the said claims be rejected or be allowed by the board of commissioners provided for in the following article, and whatever shall be the total amount of those allowed.


The United States, exonerating Mexico from all demands on account of the claims of their citizens mentioned in the preceding article, and considering them entirely and forever cancelled, whatever their amount may be, undertake to make satisfaction for the same, to an amount not exceeding three and one quarter millions of dollars. . . .

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

[Article xvii continues for eight years the treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation of April 5, 1831, between the United States of America and the United Mexican States, "except the additional article, and except so far as the stipulations of the said treaty may be incompatible with any stipulation contained in the present treaty;" subject, however, to termination there after on one year’s notice by either party.1]


If unhappily any disagreement should hereafter arise between the governments of the two republics, whether with respect to the interpretation of any stipulation in this treaty, or with respect to any other particular concerning the political or commercial relations of the two nations, the said governments, in the name of those nations, do promise to each other that they will endeavor, in the most sincere and earnest manner, to settle the differences so arising, and to preserve the state of peace and friendship in which the two countries are now placing themselves; using, for this end, mutual representations and pacific negotiations. And if, by these means, they should not be enabled to come to an agreement, a resort shah not, on this account, be had to reprisals, aggression, or hostility of any kind, by the one republic against the other, until the Government of that which deems itself aggrieved shall have maturely considered, in the spirit of peace and good neighborship, whether it would not be better that such difference should be settled by the arbitration of commissioners appointed on each side, or by that of a friendly nation. And should such course be proposed by either party, it shall be acceded to by the other, unless deemed by it altogether incompatible with the nature of the difference, or the circumstances of the case.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *2

1 Amended by Article I. of the treaty of Dec. 30, 1853. — ED.

1 Amended by Article IV. of the treaty of Dec. 30, 1853. — ED.

2 Amended by Article IV. of the treaty of Dec. 30, 1853. — ED.

1 See protocol, May 26, 1848: Treaties and Conventions (ed. 1889), 692, 693. — ED.

1Cf. Article V. of the treaty of Dec. 30, 1853. — ED.

2 Signed: "N. P. Trist, Luis G. Cuevas, Bernardo Couto, Migl. Atristain." — ED.


Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options

Title: U. S. Stat. At Large

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options

Title: U. S. Stat. At Large

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: "Treaty With Mexico," U. S. Stat. At Large in Documentary Source Book of American History, 1606-1913, ed. William MacDonald (1863-1938) (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916), 378–382. Original Sources, accessed April 22, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CNHQBCZWD3KCU16.

MLA: . "Treaty With Mexico." U. S. Stat. At Large, Vol. IX, in Documentary Source Book of American History, 1606-1913, edited by William MacDonald (1863-1938), New York, The Macmillan Company, 1916, pp. 378–382. Original Sources. 22 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CNHQBCZWD3KCU16.

Harvard: , 'Treaty With Mexico' in U. S. Stat. At Large. cited in 1916, Documentary Source Book of American History, 1606-1913, ed. , The Macmillan Company, New York, pp.378–382. Original Sources, retrieved 22 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CNHQBCZWD3KCU16.