New Mexico v. Colorado,
267 U.S. 30 (1925)

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U.S. Supreme Court

New Mexico v. Colorado, 267 U.S. 30 (1925)

New Mexico v. Colorado

No. 12 Original

Argued December 2, 3, 1924

Decided January 26, 1925

267 U.S. 30


1. A line surveyed and marked in 1868 as the location of the parallel designated as the common boundary of the Territories, and later the States, of Colorado and New Mexico was adopted and recognized by the United States as the true location and boundary both during the existence of the two Territories and thereafter while New Mexico remained a Territory and Colorado was a state; it was likewise accepted and relied on by the State of Colorado from her admission in 1876, and by the State of New Mexico from her admission in 1912, until she brought this suit against Colorado in 1919, wherein she claimed that another survey and location, made in 1903 under an appropriation from Congress, and which had been accepted by the General Land Office from 1904 to 1908, and approved in 1908 by a joint resolution of Congress which was vetoed by the President, should be established as the true location of the boundary.


(a) That New Mexico, upon her admission as a state, was bound by the previous recognition and adoption of the earlier location by the United States, her predecessor, and could not be heard to disavow the boundary thus recognized. P. 267 U. S. 41.

(b) The effect of this recognition of the earlier location by the United States was not impaired by the temporary recognition of the later one by the General Land Office. Id.

(c) After Colorado's admission as a state, her right to rely upon the boundary previously established could not be impaired by any subsequent action of the United States. Id.

(d) New Mexico was bound also by her own recognition and adoption of the earlier line upon and after her admission to statehood. Id. .

2. The boundary between the States of Colorado and New Mexico is the line of the 37th parallel as surveyed and marked by Darling from the Macomb monument westwardly to the 109th Meridian, and as surveyed and marked by Major and Preston from the said Macomb monument eastwardly to the Preston monument on the 103rd or Cimarron Meridian. P. 267 U. S. 39

Page 267 U. S. 31

This was an original suit brought in this Court by the State of New Mexico against the State f Colorado to settle a controversy over their common boundary. New Mexico's bill was dismissed, and a decree was directed, under Colorado's cross-bill, for a resurvey and remarking of the line found by the Court to be the true one, in accordance with Colorado's contention.

Page 267 U. S. 33

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