The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 69
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Local Government in the Spanisk Colonies
town lot one hundred by two hundred feet, plus the other items
of a peonia multiplied five times."
The law-making officials in Spain liked to talk of equality and
non-privilege at times, but other laws usually obliterated the prin-
ciple of equality in such matters as the distribution of lands or
eligibility to office. Thus, according to one law the solares were
to be given out by lot, and an equal amount and quality of land
was to be in each allotment." But another law said that in appor-
tioning the land, a difference should be made between the escuderos
(gentlemen) and the peones (foot-soldiers, laborers), also between
the meritorious and the non-meritorious.8 In fact, the very ter-
minology for the two kinds of land grants, peonia and caballeria,
indicates at least a traditional difference in apportionment.
The viceroy or the governor was supposed to make the appor-
tionment of the land with the assistance of the procurador of the
town9 and the advice of the cabildo.10 In case there was any
difference in the parcels of land given out, the best were to go to
the regidores." The viceroy was also given general power to grant
land to any settler who would live on it.12 A petition for a pri-
vate grant of land went to the cabildo where two regidores were
appointed to look after the matter, and confer with the viceroy.a8
Like homesteads in the United States, these grants of land required
that the grantee build a house on his solar, plant his suertes and
stock his tierras de pasto with the designated live stock within a
certain time.14 After four years the grantee got a clear title to
his land,'5 except that he was forbidden to sell it to any ecclesiastic
or to any religious organization.'" The right of "composici6n de
tierras" 7 treated of in six different laws seems to relate to other
than the land acquired under this original four league grant.8
4:7:1, Felipe II. A fanega of land is the amount required to plant a
fanega, or Spanish bushel, of grain. A huebra is the amount of ground
plowed by an ox team in an average day.
'4:7:11, Felipe II; and 4:7:14, 4:7:4. 84:12:1, 1513 to 1596.
*4:12:6, 1523, 1534. 104:12:5, 1532 to 1596. 114:12:5, 1532 to 1596.
124:12:4, 1568 to 1596. "4:12:8, 1563. 14:12:3, Felipe II.
154:12:1, 1513 to 1596. 1"4:12:10, 1535.
"Literally, adjustment of lands. 184:12:15-21, 1586 to 1646.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/78/: accessed March 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.