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Juan de Ulibarri Grant

by J. J. Bowden

It was nine thirty on the night of March 3, 1893, the last day on which suit could be brought under the law of March 3, 1891,[1] Thomas Benton Catron, as Attorney for Juan Ramon Duran, filed a mimeographed form petition[2] with the blanks hastily inserted in long hand in the office of the clerk of the Court of Private Land Claims. In this petition, Duran prayed for the confirmation of the Juan de Ulibarri Grant. Duran’s claim was based on Archive No. 1020[3] which showed that Juan de Ulibarri, Bartolome Lavato, Joseph Madrid, and Simon de Cordoba petitioned Governor Jose Chacon Medina Salazar y Villaseñor, the Marques de la Peñuela, for a grant covering a tract of land located on the west side of the Rio Grande and described as being bounded:

On the north, by the Pueblo of Chama Grant; on the east by the Rio Grande: on the south, by the some stone corrals and on the west, by some hills.

 The petitioners alleged that they desired to settle upon such land since it contained a number of excellent agricultural sites and wood was easily accessible. Chacon granted the land to the petitioners on February 22, 1710. Since Ulibarri was the alcalde of the area, he was directed to deliver royal possession of the premises to himself and his associates. The government called the court’s attention to the fact that the grant either conflicted with or adjoined the Bartolome Sanchez, Town of Chamita, Pueblo of San Juan, Cristobal Crispin and Antonio Salazar Grants and requested the court to join the owners of those grants as party defendants. It was also shown that the grant covered approximately 500 acres of land and had never been presented to the Surveyor General for his action.

During the trial of the case involving the Bartolome Sanchez Grant,[4] it was pointed out that there was no evidence that judicial Possession had ever been delivered to the grantees and that the grant apparently had been recalled for Bartolome Sanchez, pursuant to a decree dated November 25, 1711, was placed in possession of the Bartolome Sanchez Grant, which embraced among other lands, the lands covered by this grant. Confronted with these insurmountable obstacles Duran advised the court that he no longer desired to prosecute his claim when it came up for trial on June 13, 1898, whereupon, the court entered a decree[5] rejecting the claim and dismissing his petition.


[1] Court of Private Land Claims Act, Chap. 539, Sec. 12, 26 Stat. 854 (1891).

[2] Duran v. United States, No. 253 (Mss., Records of the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.).

[3] Archive No. 1020 (Mss., Records of the A.N.M.).

[4] Sanchez v. United States, No. 264 of the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.).

[5] 3 Journal 398 (Mss., Records of the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.)