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THE GOVERNOR OF NEW MEXICO.
This subject will necessarily occupy the most important place in any report, until the titles are settled.
In my last report I spoke of the great satisfaction with which the passage of the “land-court act” was hailed in this Territory. This was increased when the president appointed the members of the court, and the admirable character of the selection of judges became generally known.
The court was organized at Denver July 1, 1891, and its first session for the transaction of business in this Territory was opened at Santa Fe, December 1, 1891. Subsequent sessions have been held, commencing March 1, 1892, and August 15, 1892.
The members of the court are as follows: Hon. Joseph R. Reed, chief justice, Iowa. Associate justices: Hon. Thomas C. Fuller, North Carolina; Hon. Wilbur S. Stone, Colorado; Hon. William W. Murray, Tennessee; Hon. Henry C. Sluss, Kansas; and its officers as follows: Matt. G. Reynolds, United States attorney; James H. Reeder, clerk; Thos. B. Baldwin, deputy clerk for Colorado; Ireneo L. Chavez, deputy clerk for New Mexico; Eusebio Chacon, interpreter; Luman F. Parker, stenographer; A. H. Jones, marshal; Colorado, Trinidad Romero, marshal, New Mexico.
The following is a list of claims that have been presented to September 1, 1892.
1. Cubero land grant, Valencia County, 16,000 acres. 2. Plaza Colorado land grant, Rio Arriba County, 15,000 acres. 3. San Rafael del Valle grant, Arizona, 20,034.62 acres. 4. San ntonio del Rio Colorado grant, 18,955.22 acres. 5. Arroyo Hondo grant, 23,040 acres. 6. Sebastian de Vargas grant, Santa Fe County, 24,000 acres. 7. Bernabé M. Montaño graut, Bernalillo Connty, 34,000 acres. 8. City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, 12,000 acres. 9. Lucero de Godoi grant, 67,480.02 acres 10. Rancho del Rio Grande, Taos County, 109,000 acres. 11. Alameda grant, Bernalillo County, 106,274.87 acres. 12. José Duran grant, Santa Fe County, 425.85 acres. 13. Socorro grant, Socorro County, area, 4 square leagues. 14. Francisco Montes Vigil grant, Taos County, 31,997 acres. 15. Antonio Sedillo grant, Valencia ('ounty, 88,079.78 acres. 16. Gijosa grant, Taos County, area indetermined. 17. Pneblo de Santa Clara grant, Rio Arriba County (claimants, Indians of Santa Clara), 90,000 acres.
18. Matias Dominguez Pacheco Dominguez grant, 500 acres.
23. The Santa Teresa de Jesus and the Bosque Grande grant; area of latter 3,253.09 acres; of former unsurveyed.
24. Donna Ana Bend Colony grant, Donna Ana County, 16,640 acres. 25. San Miguel del Bado grant, Sau Miguel County, 315,300.80 acres. 26. Santisima Trinidad or Rancho de Galvan, Bernalillo County, 30,000 acres. 27. San Antonito grant, Bernalillo County, 32,000 acres. 28. Nuestra Señora del Rosario, San Fernando y Santiago grant, Rio Arriba County, area undetermined.
29. Santiago Anisa grant, Arizona.
THE LAND-COURT ACT.
This law, which is such a boon to our people, requires some amend. ments, which should be made very promptly at the opening of the next session of Congress in December.
Those which affect the most individuals are relative to the "small holdings,” or little farms of the husbandman and peasantry of the Territory. In both my reports for 1890 and 1891, I endeavored to explain the peculiar shape of these small tracts, which makes it impossible to apply to them the ordinary United States laws as to square "legal subdivisions." As a foundation for what I wish to say now, it will perhaps be well to quote the following from last year's report:
In an irrigated country the cultivated land lies between the acequia or irrigating ditch and the river. Our valleys are usually narrow, giving ordinarily a width of 1,000 to 3,000 feet to this cultivated land. This is cut up into small farms. When first settled the original occupants usually had a plot from 50 to 300 varas wide (a vara is a short yard, 33 inches), running from the river to the foothills back of the acequia. As generations succeeded each other these tracts were divided among heirs until the strips became very narrow. The land is of great fertility, and hence a small farm will support a family. To illustrate by a part of the Rio Grande Valley, with which I am familiar, the series of “small holdings" runs as follows as to width in varas: 20, 40, 18, 22, 51, 13, 5, 40, 10, 10, 30, 40, 35, 26. Here are fourteen small farms, each about 1,500 feet long from the bills to the river, and having an aggregate width of 360 varas, or about 1,000 feet. Altogether they contain about 35 acres, or an average of 24 acres each. They have been owned and occupied and worked throngh many generations, and the title to them is as perfect as any that can be conceived, except that they are menaced by the power of the United States, in direct violation of the treaty. Now, the "and-court bill" provides, in section 17, that any one of the owners of the above fourteen tracts, upon inaking proof of the fact of his residence, etc., may “enter such legal subdivision, not exceeding 160 acres, as shall include his said possession.” The smallest “legul subdivision” known to Land Office law is 40 acres, and yet within a less :rea than that we have fourteen owners in this case. From this it will be seen how utterly inapplicable this provision is to a conntry which was settled before either Jamestown or Plymouth was thought of, and where land is held in an entirely different manner from that which was suitable to our public domain on the prairies of the North west.