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Ancon Colorado Grant

by J. J. Bowden

On March 2, 1893 Roman Baca instituted a suit[1] in the Court of Private Land Claims against the United States seeking the confirmation of the Ancon Colorado Grant, which contained about 800 acres of land in support of his claim, Baca filed the testimonio of the grant together with several deeds showing that the grant had been conveyed a number of times during the first half of the nineteenth century. The testimonio showed that Jose Chaves petitioned the Alcalde of Jemez, Ignacio Maria Sanchez Vergara, on November 23, 1807, asking for a grant covering a piece of agricultural land situated in the Cañon de San Diego in the Ancon Colorado and located between Tomas Lopez and Salvador Lopez’ properties. He pointed out that he occupied the tract for eight years and needed it for the support of his family. The petition was referred to Governor Joaquin del Real Alencaster for his further action. After receiving a report from Vergara that the requested tract contained five almudes of corn planting land, Alencaster, on January 3, 1808, granted the land to Chaves and ordered Vergara to place him in royal possession of the premises. In compliance with the provisions of the grant, Vergara performed the customary ceremony necessary to place Chaves in possession of the property on March 16, 1802.[2] The government filed a general answer putting the allegations contained in Baca’s petition in issue.

Since the grant was unquestionably located wholly within the boundaries of the Cañon de San Diego Grant, which previously had been confirmed by Congress, Baca notified the Court he no longer wished to further prosecute his case when it came up for trial on June 7, 1898. Thereupon a decree[3] was entered by the court rejecting the claim and dismissing the suit without prejudice to any rights Baca might have against the conferees of the Cañon de San Diego Grant.

[1] Baca v. United States, No. 160 (Mss., Records of the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.).
[2] Ibid.
[3] 3 Journal 384 (Mss., Records of the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.).