Marker text: The Gila River north of this site marked the international border of the United States and Mexico from 1848 to 1854. James Gadsden negotiated to purchase 38,000 Sq. miles of "wild country" for $15 million in gold. Amended to $10 million for 29,640 Sq. miles, the Gadsden Purchase maintained southern railroad and wagon routes but preserved Mexico's link to Baja, California. Today the Gadsden Purchase comprises 24 percent of Arizona's total land area.