Cañada De Cochiti Land Grant, New Mexico

The Canada de Cochiti grant is alleged to have been made to Antonio Lucero, of Albuquerque, by the Spanish government, August 2, 1728. It was located on the mesa of Cochiti, east of the center of Sandoval county, and the petition of Lucero gave the boundaries as follows: On the north by the old pueblo of Cochiti; on the east by the Del Norte River; on the south by the lands of the natives of the pueblo; on the west by the Jemez mountains. The total area claimed by the heirs of Lucero was one hundred and four thousand five hundred and fifty-four acres. The petition gave as the northerly limit the old pueblo to which the Indians retreated during the uprising of 1680. When the case was brought before the United States Land Court, the boundary question was investigated by Levi A. Hughes and others, the result of their researches among the Indians showing that the members of the tribe uniformly agreed that their traditions were to the effect that during the uprising of 1680 their ancestors retreated to the pueblo located much further south than the location designated in the petition for confirmation of the grant. It was clearly proved in the trial of the case that the applicants were endeavoring to secure, by fraudulent means, title to a much larger tract than was conferred upon Lucero by the Spanish government, the fraud consisting in an endeavor to establish the northern limit of the grant upon a pueblo to which the Indians did not retreat, instead of the pueblo to which reference was made by Lucero in his petition to the Spanish government. An attempt was also made by the claimants to prove that the original grant extended to the west side of the Jemez mountains instead of the east side. The title to the grant was assigned to James G. and J. P. Whitney and others, whose petition for confirmation was filed July 22, 1882.

No record or evidence of the alleged grant was found in the old Spanish or Mexican archives, the title of the claimants resting safely upon a copy of an alleged original grant signed by Bustamante, then governor of New Mexico. Under the act of Congress approved March 3, 1891, the United States Land Court, on February 16, 1898, confirmed the grant and ordered the survey to be made, the north boundary to be located through the center of the old pueblo of Cochiti, and the western boundary to follow the "crest of the first sierra of the Jemez mountains." The eastern boundary was established at the Rio Grande, and the southern at "the northern line of the lands" belonging to the Indians. By the action of the court the amount finally conferred upon the claimants was but 19,112.78 acres, instead of the 104,554 acres claimed. 


Source: History of New Mexico, Its Resources and People, Volume I, Pacific States Publishing Co., 1907.

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Created 1996 by Charles Barnum & 2016 by Judy White