Oklahoma v. Texas
272 U.S. 21 (1926)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Oklahoma v. Texas, 272 U.S. 21 (1926)

Oklahoma v. Texas

No. 6, Original

Argued November 25, 1925

Decided October 11, 1926

272 U.S. 21

Syllabus

1. The effect of a decree as an adjudication conclusive upon the parties is not to be determined by isolated passages in the opinion considering the rights of the parties, but upon an examination of the issues made and intended to be submitted, and which it was intended to decide. P. 272 U. S. 42.

2. In the "Greer County case," (United States v. Texas,162 U. S. 1), it was conclusively determined that the boundary line between Texas and the territories of the United States followed the line of the true 100th meridian from its intersection with the South Fork of Red River, but the precise location of the meridian line was left open. P. 272 U. S. 39.

3. A boundary line between two governments which has been run out, located, and marked upon the earth, and afterwards recognized and acquiesced in by them for a long course of years, is conclusive, even if it be ascertained that it varies somewhat from the correct course; the line so established taking effect, in such case, as a definition of the true and ancient boundary. P. 272 U. S. 44.

Page 272 U. S. 22

4. Upon the facts, it is found that the "Jones, Brown and Clark Line," run in 1859 and 1860 as a location of the 100th meridian between the south bank of the Red River and the parallel of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, and claimed by Oklahoma to be the boundary between that state and Texas, has not been accepted and acquiesced in as the established boundary by the United States, Texas, or Oklahoma. P. 272 U. S. 44.

5. Qauere, whether twenty-four years' acquiescence by one state in the possession of territory under claim of right, and in the exercise of dominion and sovereignty over it by another state, is sufficient in time to found a prescriptive right in the latter. P. 272 U. S. 47.

6. The fact that the Territory and the State of Oklahoma in succession have continuously for twenty-four years enforced their civil and criminal laws over the area in dispute does not establish the state's claim to it by prescription in view of the fact that, even during that period, assertion of a claim of right (by the United States when Oklahoma was a territory), on the one hand, and acquiescence therein (by Texas), upon the other, were not continuous. P. 272 U. S. 47.

7. Where, prior to the admission of Oklahoma to statehood, a federal surveyor, pursuant to an Act of Congress, attempted to locate the true intersection of the 100th meridian with the South Fork of the Red River, and marked the location by a monument, and this was approved by the Secretary of the Interior and adopted by Texas, but not by Congress, as marking the corner in the boundary, held that the facts did not sustain the claim of Texas that the boundary was thus established by acquiescence, as a line to be run north from the monument. P. 272 U. S. 48.

8. The boundary between Oklahoma and the Panhandle of Texas is the line of the true 100th meridian extending north from its intersection with the south bank of the South Fork of Red River to its intersection with the parallel of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes. P. 272 U. S. 49.

Original suit brought by Oklahoma against Texas to establish their boundary on the Red River. A number of opinions, orders, and decrees of the Court relative to that primary phase of the litigation have already been reported. The present opinion deals with another portion of the boundary which was brought into the case by the counterclaim of Texas. See269 U. S. 314, 539, and other references in the opinion.

Page 272 U. S. 23

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