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Antonio Ulibarri Grant

by J. J. Bowden

Antonio de Ulibarri filed suit[1] 1 in the Court of Private Land Claims on March 3, 1893, seeking the recognition of his claim to a tract of land at the place formerly called Pueblo Colorado.[2] The claim is predicated upon Archive No. 1022,[3] which is the expediente of a grant made to Captain Antonio de Ulibarri, Chief Alcalde of Santa Fe, by Acting Governor Juan Paez Hurtado on January 20, 1735. Possession of the grant was delivered on February 15, 1735, by the Alcalde of Santa Cruz and the following natural objects were designated as the boundaries of the grant:

On the north, a bald mountain (Serro Pelon), which is located on the edge of a wide meadow (Canada de Ancha); on the east, a ridge (una sexe); on the south, the lands of Bartalo Trujillo; and on the west, a wooded ridge (una sexa montuosa).

 The grant contains an estimated 1,000 acres of land located on both sides of the El Rito River. The government filed a motion seeking to require Ulibarri to join the owners of the Juan Jose Lovato and Cristobal de Torres Grants as party defendants since the grant conflicted with such grants. It also filed a general answer putting into issue all of the plaintiff’s allegations together with a special defense alleging that the grant had been revoked in 1735 by Governor Gervacio Cruzat y Góngora upon his return to New Mexico following his judicial visit to El Paso del Norte.

Since the facts in this case were similar to those pertaining to the Juan Estevan Garcia de Noriega Grant, which had been rejected in the Garcia case,[4] Ulibarri realized that the probability of obtaining the confirmation of his claim was remote. Therefore, when the case came up for trial on June 15, 1898, he announced that he no longer wished to prosecute the claim and a decree[5] was entered dismissing his petition and rejecting the claim.


[1] Ulibarri v. United States, No. 261 (145S., Records of the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.).

[2] The Pueblo of Colorado was an ancient Indian pueblo located on the El Rito del Colorado River several miles above its confluence with the Chama River. It should not be confused with the Plaza Colorado.

[3] Archive No. 1022 (Mss., Records of the A.N.M.).

[4] Garcia v. United States, No. 254 (Mss., Records of the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.).

[5] 3 Journal 407 (Mss., Records of the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.).