Pueblo County, Colorado
Spanish Land Grants In Colorado

6-18-1868 Colorado Chieftain Weekly

Spanish Grants In Colorado - The term "Spanish Grants" is applied to certain tracts in that portion of Colorado which belonged to Mexico previous to the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. It was the practice of the Mexican government to make donations of land to her citizens for the purpose of settlement and improvement, and as a reward for meritorious services rendered the State. The boundary of the Mexican possessions till the time of the treaty referred to, was the Arkansas river, on the north, and the "grants" in some instances extended northward to that boundary.

Congress, after the acquisition of New Mexico, provided by law for the examination of the rights of claimants to tracts of land under the regulations of the Mexican government, by the Surveyor General of that Territory, and required him as a part of his duties in the premises to report the evidence taken in each case, and his opinion thereon, to the Department of the Interior. Upon the organization of the Territory of Colorado, three grants of land that had previously been in the Territory of New Mexico, were included within the boundaries of the former Territory. These three grants has all been reported upon favorably by the Surveyor General. They are as follows:

First, a grant of land in Costilla county to Beaubien - since purchased by Gov. Gilpin, amounting to 1,250,000 acres. This grant has been confirmed by act of Congress to the heirs and assignees of the original grantee.

Second, the grant known as the Las Animas, containing 3,079,000 acres to Ceran St.Vrain and Cornelio Vigil. This tract of land has been confirmed by Congress to the grantees to the extent of eleven square leagues to each.

Third, the grant to Gervacio Nolan, lying almost entirely in Pueblo county, and containing about 500,000 acres. The confirmation of this grant has never been urged upon Congress, and the rights of the heirs of the grantee remain as left by the report of the Surveyor General of New Mexico.

There is one more grant of land in Colorado containing 100,000 acres owned by Governor Gilpin which stands upon a little different footing from these previously named, as appears by the statement which follows:

There were two claimants to a certain tract of land in Mew Mexico, whose titles conflicted with each other. The right of one was confirmed by act of Congress, and the other, one Baca received script in lien of his claim with the right to transfer or locate the same anywhere within the original boundaries of New Mexico. Of this script to the extent of 100,000 acres Governor Gilpin became purchaser and located it in the northern part of the San Luis valley. It will thus be seen that the aggregate amount of land in Colorado claimed by this class of titles is 4,729,030 acres.

As this matter is not generally understood, and is at the same time a subject of considerable interest to many of our citizens, we have been at some pains to collect the above data, and have presented them as fully as our limits will permit.

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