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Juan Jose Archuleta Grant

by J. J. Bowden

Juan Antonio Romero, for himself and the other heirs and legal representatives of Juan Jose Archuleta, filed suit[1] against the United States in the Court of Private Land Claims on February 23, 1893, seeking the confirmation of the Juan Jose Archuleta Grant which was estimated to contain 500 acres. In support of his claim, Romero filed a copy of the expediente,[2] which showed that Archuleta had appeared before Governor Gaspar Domingo de Mendoza to register a piece of vacant land located about a quarter of a league down the river from Santa Fe and described as being bounded:

On the north, by the main road; on the east, by the lands of Catalina Maest; on the south, by the Camino de los Carros; and on the west, by the lands of Diego Arias.

Mendoza received the petition and, in order to be in a position to intelligently pass upon the merits of the request, ordered Alcalde Antonio de Ulibarri, on August 17, 1742, to give him a report on the status of the land In response to this order, Ulibarri investigated the matter and reported that the land was vacant and the issuance of the grant would not prejudice the rights of any third party. Based upon these findings, Mendoza granted the land to Archuleta on August 20, 1742, and directed Ulibarri to place him in royal possession of the premises. Ulibarri, in obedience to Mendoza’s directions, promptly went to the land and delivered royal possession of the grant to Archuleta, The Act of Possession described the boundaries of the grant as being:

… the boundaries of Catalina Maese, they being on the east, two hundred and seventy varas, measuring to the west, and on the north, the public road, which leads to the city, and on the south, the Camino de los Carros.

The government filed a general answer putting into issue the allegations contained in the petition.

Since the grant was located within the Santa Fe League and the court consistently had refused to recognize such grants, Romero failed to appear and prosecute his suit when it came up for trial on February 16, 1898 There­fore, the court dismissed his petition and rejected the grant.[3]

[1] Romero v. United States, No 124 (Mss., Records of the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.).

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

[3]3 Journal 366 (Mss., Records of the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.).