Arizona—Shape of the State

Does Arizona have a slanted border with Mexico because of the surveyors drinking?

The Arizona-Mexico border has a slant on the west side of the state. There is a story that the slant occurred because the surveyors were seeking booze. When the surveyors were surveying west of Nogales they were informed that the nearest saloon was located in Yuma. So the surveyors did a right oblique and marked a diagonal line so they could get to Yuma faster. This is why Arizona missed having a seaport.

This story is not true, it is just a legend. The border of Arizona and Mexico was surveyed correctly. Mexico did not sell their seaports because they wanted to maintain their land bridge to Baja California.


Trimble, Marshall. Arizona; a cavalcade of history. Tucson, Ariz.: Treasure Chest Publications. c1989. Pages 89-90.

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