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Juan Tafoya Grant

by J. J. Bowden


Francisco Tafoya filed suit[1] against the United States in the Court of Private Land Claims on March 3, 1893 seeking the confirmation of a grant which had been made to “Juan and Antonio Tafoya” on June 8, 1724 by Governor Juan Domingo de Bustamante. The petition alleged that possession had been given to the grantees by the Alcalde of Santa Cruz, Cristobal Torres on June 10, 1724 and described the grant as being bounded:

On the north, by some high dark wooded hills which form the point of mountains; on the east, the lands of the Pueblo of Santa Clara; on the south, the mesilla of San Ildefonso; and on the west, by a high mountain.

The grant was estimated to contain 86,000 acres of land. On October 20, 1896 the United States filed a motion to require the plaintiff to make the owners of the Antonio Salazar and the Canada de Santa Clara Grants parties defendant since the Juan Tafoya Grant conflicted with them. Meanwhile, the Court of Private Land Claims had confirmed the Canada de Santa Clara Grant,[2] which covered substantially the same land as the Juan Tafoya Grant. Confronted with this adverse decision, Tafoya requested that her petition be dismissed, without prejudice to any claim she might have under the Canada de Santa Clara Grant, when the case came up for trial on June 14, 1898. The court granted her motion on the same date and rejected the grant.[3]


[1] Tafoya v. United States, No. 266 (Mss., Records of the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.).

[2] Pueblo of Santa Clara v. United States, No. 17 (Records of the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.).

[3] 3 Journal 401 (Mss., Records of the Ct. Pvt. L. Cl.).