Guatemalan Government Employment
In 1883, Miles Rock was appointed the chief of the Guatemala Boundary Commission tasked with mapping the long-disputed border between Guatemala and Mexico. An 1882 treaty between Mexico and Guatemala, mediated by the United States, established that one commission from each country would work, in cooperation with their counterparts from the neighboring republic, to complete the delimitation of the boundary. This work would consume the rest of Miles Rock’s professional life, and between 1883 and his death in 1901, he rarely left Guatemala except for occasional visits to his family home in Washington, D.C.
In 1895, Miles Rock was removed from his official position as the chief of the Guatemalan Commission because of political tensions between Mexico and Guatemala. Acting on the orders of the Guatemalan Government, Miles Rock led a party of armed men into an illegal lumber camp on the disputed border. His dispersal of the loggers was met with scandalized derision in Mexico. With war threatening between the two republics, a new agreement with a new series of stipulations was reached in 1895. One of the conditions of the Mexican government was the removal of Miles Rock from the head of the boundary commission. In 1897, he purchased Finca Setzimaj, a coffee plantation that he hoped would bring in a sustaining income for himself and his family in the United States. Owing to Miles Rock’s popularity with the Guatemalan government, and his peerless knowledge of the border question, he remained consistently engaged with the work of the commission up until his death in Guatemala City in 1901.
View Exhibit Items
(Select below or in side menu)