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Juan Felipe Rodriguez Grant

by J. J. Bowden

Jose Antonio Rodriguez instituted a suit in the Court of Private Land Claims on February 23, 1893, for the confirmation of the Juan Felipe Rodriguez Grant in which he claimed an interest by inheritance.[1] He described the grant as covering a 2,000 acre tract of land lying southwest of Santa Fe and being bounded:

On the north by the Camino de los Carros; on the east by the road to Galisteo; on the south, by the heights of the Chamisos Arroyo; and on the west, by the Altos de los Armentos.

Rodriguez alleged that the tract had been granted and royal possession thereof had been delivered to his ancestor, Juan Felipe Rodriguez, sometime prior to 1742, but that all direct documentary evidence of such proceedings had been either lost destroyed. However, to substantiate his claim he referred the court to the Act of Possession in the Juan Antonio Archuleta and Leonardo Gonzales Grant dated September 22, 1743, which called for that grant to adjoin the Juan Felipe Rodriguez Grant on the east.[2] The United States filed a general answer putting the allegations in the plaintiff’s petition in issue. The City of Santa Fe joined the government in its opposition of the claim which conflicted with the four square league tract claimed by the city by operation of law.

The court consistently refused to approve claims located within the Santa Fe League and also any claim in which only documentary evidence of its existence was a reference thereto in the grant papers of an adjoining grant. These precedents undoubtedly prompted the plaintiff to announce that he no longer wished to prosecute his action when it came up for trial on February 3, 1898. As a result of this decision, the court forthwith rejected the grant and dismissed the suit.[3]


[1] Rodriguez v. United States, No. 120 (Mss., Records of the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.).

[2] Archive No. 25 (Mss., Records of the A.N.M.).

[3] 3 Journal 345 (Mss., Records of the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.).