James Gadsden

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Despite the decision of the binational Boundary Commision, in 1853 Mexian officials forced Americans off of their lands in the disputed Mesilla Valley. As a result, New Mexico governor William Lane declared the area to be part of the United States; Mexican President Santa Anna responded by sending troops into the area. In an attempt to resolve tensions in the Mesilla Valley, U.S President Franklin Pierce sent James Gadsden to Mexico City as the new Ambassador to that country with a special charge to negotiate the sale of the Mesilla Strip to the United States. Additionally, Gadsden attempted to purchase large sections of Chihuahua and Sonora, but in the end he was only able to secure the 45,000 square mile tract south of the Gila River. In the Mesilla Treaty that soleminzed the land transfer, the United States agreed to pay Mexico $15 million. Mexico also agreed to annul Article XI of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.