Today’s daily feature is an article by Richard O. Cowan from Journal 37:4 about the Latter-day Saint influence on the Gadsden purchase in Arizona history. Click the featured link below to access the article.
The Mormon battalion's pioneering trek through uncharted territory left its mark on the U.S.-Mexican border and blazed a trail for the future Southern Pacific Railroad.
When looking at a map of the southern boundaries of Arizona and New Mexico, one might wonder about the reasons for the curious jogs and angles. Actually, as is often the case, a knowledge of history can provide significant perspective. The boundary in question was a result of the 1853 Gadsden Purchase, by which the United States bought nearly thirty thousand square miles of land from Mexico for $10 million. American history textbooks commonly explain that this purchase was necessary to secure the route of a proposed southern transcontinental railroad. This is also the area through which the Mormon Battalion had marched only seven years earlier, mapping a potential wagon road as they went.