Gadsden Purchase (American Indians Ready Reference)
Article abstract: The Gadsden Purchase resolved boundary disputes between the United States and Mexico resulting from the Mexican War but ignored consultation with affected Indians.
James Gadsden was a South Carolina railroad promoter turned diplomat. On behalf of President James Buchanan, he negotiated America's purchase of 45,535 square miles of territory from Mexico for the payment of fifteen million dollars (reduced later to ten million). A block of land nearly the size of New York State, the Gadsden Purchase lies south of the Gila River, forming part of present-day Arizona and New Mexico. The treaty embodying the purchase was signed on December 30, 1853, and ratified on June 29, 1854, settling boundary questions between the United States and Mexico left unresolved by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo at the end of the Mexican War in 1848.
The purchase was prompted by American politicians eager to build a transcontinental railroad through the Southwest. Neither the Mexican nor American governments consulted with the Tohono O’odhams (Papagos) and Chiricahua Apaches who lived in the area, and these Indians subsequently ignored boundaries that were not theirs.
(The entire section is 177 words.)
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