The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937 Page: 66
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iSouthwestern Historical Quarterly
supplied by the Pueblo branch of the United States Land Office,
the Pueblo People announced that the remainder of the tract of
4,090,000 acres was open for entry at the Pueblo Land Office.19
The 97,614 acres of the confirmed claims were parceled out into
thirteen derivative claims, varying in size from 160 to 73,251
acres.20 Practically all of the patented derivative claims were
located in the Huerfano Valley.
It does not appear that the existence of the Vigil-St. Vrain
grant delayed settlement of the upper Arkansas Valley to much
extent, as is sometimes alleged. In fact, it was responsible for
the presence of a number of the earliest permanent settlers.21
Then, too, the trek to Colorado had barely gotten well under way
when Congress passed the act of June 21, 1860, providing for the
reduction of the Vigil-St. Vrain grant from more than four
million to less than one hundred thousand acres.22 While it is
true that the matter of definitely locating the confirmed tract with
respect to the public surveys was held in abeyance for another
decade, yet there are other factors which account in large measure
for the slow progress of permanent settlement during the 1870's.
The Civil War and the Indian disturbances which accompanied
it in the Arkansas Valley certainly retarded settlement until the
Indian question was finally settled in 1868.23 Furthermore, the
"Also see Las Animas Leader, July 5, 1873, p. 1.
1CGolorado Chieftain, March 5, 1874, p. 4. The awards as published by
the Chieftain were subject to revision by the General Land Office, but no
significant changes were made. For instance, the claim awarded to
William Craig, as patented in 1878 and finally approved by letter "C" of
the Commissioner of the General Land Office, March 29, 1887, was changed
merely from 73,251 acres to 73,251.55 acres (See Records of the Pueblo
Land Office, Tract File, Range 67 West, p. 192). This was the largest
of the derivative claims.
"-For instance, it was on this grant that Fr6mont found the cattleman-
farmer to whom he refers as an "old resident" in 1854 (See John Bigelow,
Memoir of the Life and Public Services of John Charles Frdmont, 475).
The writer has found considerable evidence pointing to the identity of
this man as Charles Autobees.
The original area is given as 4,096,000 acres in a letter from the
Commissioner of the General Land Office to the Register and Receiver of
the Pueblo Land Office, January 23, 1875.
2"The Colorado Chieftain complained of the alleged fact that interests
unfriendly to the development of southern Colorado (presumably in Den-
ver) had taken advantage of the situation created by the Civil War to dis-
courage immigration to and by way of the Arkansas Valley. The
complaint reads in part as follows: "Reports were current that the
Arkansas route was infested by guerrillas. Occasional little difficulties
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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/m1/74/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.