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Juan Antonio Flores Grant

By J. J. Bowden

Esquipula Flores filed an action against the United States in the Court of Private Land Claims on February 23, 1893, in an effort to obtain the approval of the Juan Antonio Flores Grant which allegedly had been granted to one of his ancestors sometime prior to August 18, 1743.[1] Flores described the grant as covering a 1,500 acre tract of land bounded:

On the north, by the ridge of the Anatco Hills and the Acequia Madre; on the east, by road to Pecos and the lands of Antonio Dominguez; on the south by the Arroyo de los Pinos and the lands of Jose Duran; and on the west by the road to Galisteo and the lands of Juan Felipe Rodriguez

The only documentary evidence offered by Flores in support of his claim was a copy of the expediente for the Jose Duran Grant[2], which showed that on August 18, 1743, Duran was placed in royal possession of a tract which was adjacent to and south of the Juan Antonio Flores Grant. The Juan Antonio Flares Grant was apparently junior to the Antonio Dominguez Grant, which was granted and posses­sion delivered on August 14, 1743, for no mention of the Juan Antonio Flares Grant is made in its grant papers.[3] Since the grant papers for the Juan Felipe Rodriguez Grant were lost or destroyed prior to 1892, it was impossible to determine whether or not they mentioned the grant. The government filed a general answer to the plaintiff’s petition. Since the grant conflicted with the Santa Fe claim to a four square league of land by operation of law, it joined the government in its opposition of the approval of the grant.

Realizing that he would be unable to sustain the burden of proving his claim, Flores decided to abandon his suit. Therefore, when the case came up for trial on February 3, 1898, he advised the court that he no longer wished to prosecute the cause As a result of this announcement, the court dismissed his petition and rejected the grant.[4]

[1] Flores v. United States, 125 (I4ss. , Records of the Ct. Pvt, L, Cl).

[2] Archive No, 237 (Mss., Records of the A.N.M.).

[3] Archive No. 239 (Mss., Records of the A.N.M.).

[4] 3 Journal 343 (Mss., Records o the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.).