The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937 Page: 59
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Mexican Land Grants in the Arkansas Valley 59
controversies. Articles VIII and IX of the treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo, 1848, afforded the basic protection of existing land titles
in the territory ceded to the United States; hence the problem
of giving effect to such treaty provisions once more was passed on
to Congress and the Federal courts. This problem presented
greatest difficulties in California, consequent upon the rush of
goldseekers and prospective settlers to that area; but difficulties
were encountered also in New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado.
This study is devoted to the history of two large Mexican land
grants in the Arkansas Valley, within the present limits of the
State of Colorado. It deals not merely with the controversies
concerning the validity of titles, but also with the influence of
these grants upon the settlement and economic development of the
region in question.
The valley of the Arkansas River in the high plains region of
southeastern Colorado lies in what might be called the twilight
zone of Franco-Spanish exploration. A few historians of local
fame have attributed the first exploration of this region to
Coronado,1 and at least one was convinced that it was traversed by
Cabeza de Vaca;2 however, Spanish penetration of this portion of
the Arkansas Valley began with the expedition which Captain
Uribarri led from Taos in 1706, approximately a century after the
founding of Santa Fe.3 Not long thereafter, in 1719, Valverde
led another Spanish expedition into the same region. Both of
these explorers brought back evidence of the fact that the
French had penetrated into the plains of what is now Kansas.'
During the next quarter of a century the French manifested
an increasing interest in the upper Arkansas Valley, chiefly inci-
dental to efforts to establish trade relations with the Spaniards
in New Mexico. The French failed in this major objective, trade
between New Orleans and Santa F6; but they claimed to have
explored the Arkansas all the way to the Rocky Mountains and
'Frank Hall, History of the State of Colorado, 1, 34; J. H. Baskin, ed.,
History of the Arkansas Valley, 18.
2Henry Inman, The Old Santa F6 Trail, 1-2.
'The route of Uribarri's expedition is traced by H. E. Bolton, Spanish
Exploration in the Southwest, 1542-1706 (Original Narratives of Early
American History), map opposite the title page; also by Alfred B. Thomas,
After Coronado: Spanish Exploration Northeast of New Mexico, 1696-1727,
pp. 16-22, 59-77, and notes pp. 263f.
'Thomas, After Coronado, 19ff.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937, periodical, 1937; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101099/m1/67/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.