"When young George Clinton Gardner was appointed assistant surveyor on the United States and Mexican Boundary Commission in 1849, he began a journey that took him across the tropical Isthmus of Panama, the desert lands of California, the territory of New Mexico and Texas, and into the political whirlwind of the commission itself. David J. Weber and Jane Lenz Elder have done a remarkable job in presenting Gardner's letters home to his family in which he complains of the dust in his meals at camp in California, the lack of pretty women in El Paso del Norte, and the unending squabbles of the senior officers of the commission which gravely hindered the survey. This is the inside story of the international survey from a young man who tells it in a straightforward manner not found in any other correspondence. This is a gem; Gardner's lively letters will be a delight to anyone interested in the history of the Southwest."
--Joseph Werne, author of 'The Imaginary Line: A History of the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey, 1848-1857' "George Clinton Gardner's observations about the Southwest are as fresh and vivid as the day he wrote them, thanks to the painstaking work of the editors. Their commentaries help us understand the conflicting personalities and problems that plagued this first boundary survey. This treasure trove of information about the people and places along the border is a valuable addition to the primary sources available to researchers who study early U.S.-Mexican border history."--Richard Griswold del Castillo, author of 'The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: a Legacy of Conquest'
The author of several prize-winning books on the American Southwest, DAVIDJ. WEBERdirects the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.JANELENZ ELDERwas founding associate director of the Clements Center, and is now a theological reference librarian at the Bridwell Library at SMU."