This article examines two incidents of Quechan and Tohono O’odham mobility across the U.S.-Mexico border in the late 1890s. Contrasts between the incidents reveal the influence of international relations on U.S. Indian policy, as federal officials responded to local events in ways that were shaped by issues ranging from extradition laws to customs protections to diplomatic pressures. More broadly, the incidents shed light on some of the variety inherent to Indigenous relationships with the border and some of the textures of Anglo-America’s conceptions of the border as an instrument of cultural assimilation, capitalist development, and territorial surveillance and control.

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