The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937 Page: 63
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Mexican Land Grants in the Arkansas Valley
to establish a settlement on the Vigil-St. Vrain grant (1847)
came to nought as a consequence of Indian depredations.10 We
need not speculate as to the influence which might have been
exerted by these grants if the territory had not been transferred
to the United States in 1848 as part of the spoils of the Mexican
Mexican land grants in the territory ceded to the United States
were safeguarded by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (Articles
8 and 9) in so far as they were valid under the laws of Mexico.
Thus the responsibility for determining their validity devolved
upon Congress; however, a half dozen years passed before Con-
gress applied itself to the confirming of land grants in New
In July, 1854, Congress established the office of Surveyor-Gen-
eral of New Mexico and directed the incumbent,
under such instructions as may be given by the Secretary of the
Interior, to ascertain the origin, nature, character, and extent of
all claims to. lands under the laws, usages, and customs of Spain
and Mexico; . . . He shall make a full report on all such claims
as originated before the cession of the territory to the United
States by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, . . . , denoting the
various grades of title, with his decision as to the validity or
invalidity of each of the same under the laws, usages, and customs
of the country before its cession to the United States; . . .11
From this point let us follow first the history of the Vigil-St. Vrain
(Las Animas) grant through the process of confirmation and its
effect upon the progress of settlement, and then follow similarly
the history of the Nolan grant.
The report of the Surveyor-General of New Mexico, made as
directed by this act of July, 1854, shows that, on June 4, 1857,
Ceran St. Vrain had presented evidence purporting to establish
the validity of both his own claim and that of the heirs of Cornelio
Vigil.12 This evidence included the original petition for the grant,
the order for the survey, the record of the survey (that is, the
"According to testimony given by Ceran St. Vrain and included in the
report of the Surveyor General of New Mexico to the Commissioner of the
General Land Office, January 12, 1858; see House Report No. 321 (36
Cong., 1 Sess.), p. 324f.
"United States Statutes at Large, X, 309.
"House Report No. 321 (36 Cong., 1 Sess.), p. 324 f.
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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/m1/71/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.