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Diego Aria de Quiros Grant

By J. J. Bowden

Jose A. Ribera instituted an action in the Court of Private Land Claims on March 2, 1893, in an effort to secure the approval of a grant covering a 2,000 acre tract lying southwest of Santa Fe.[1]

He claimed an interest in the tract by inheritance through Diego Arias de Quiros, who allegedly had received a grant and royal possession of the tract in about the year 1742. His petition described the grant as being bounded:

On the north, by the lomas; on the east, by the lands of Juan Jose Archuleta; on the south, by the Camino de los Carros; and on the west, by an arroyo.

The only documentary evidence filed by Ribera in support of the grant was a Copy of the expediente of the Juan Jose Archuleta Grant which called for that grant to adjoin “the lands of Captain Diego Arias” on the west.[2] No effort was made to account for the fact that the expediente of the grant was not contained in the archives or the loss of its testimonio The plaintiff merely stated in his petition that he had made a diligent search for the grant papers and had been unable to find them and, therefore, assumed they had been lost or destroyed. The government filed a general answer putting into issue the allegations contained in the plaintiff’s petition. Since the grant was located wholly within the Santa Fe League, the City of Santa Fe filed its customary appearance and joined the government in the opposition of the approval of the claim.

This is obviously one of the numerous suits instituted just prior to the filing deadline in order to protect the latent grants which had been turned up at the last minute by the “record checkers” who had been combing the archives.

Without concrete documentary evidence showing that a complete and perfect grant had been issued, it was futile to prosecute the suit, Therefore when the case came up for trial on February 16, 1898, the plaintiff failed to appear, and the court promptly dismissed the action and rejected the claim.3

[1]Ribera v. United States,  No, 190 (Mss, Records of the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.).

[2] Archive No. 24 (Mss., Records of the S.G.N.M.).