New country of Mexico required royal grant owners to again perfect their titles

As mentioned in our previous post, individuals who had received land grants from the Spanish crown had to certify their holdings again under the new Mexican government.

On May 25, 1829, Don Juan de Borges a resident of Camargo and mandatario general of Doña María Leonarda Liscano, widow of Francisco Cordente, appeared before Donaciano García the alcalde segundo–in absence of first alcalde–to complete the sale to Juan Manuel Ramírez of four leagues in the agostadero de Santa Cruz known as Concepción. The land, which Cordente bought and paid $600 silver pesos to the previous government in San Luis Potosí as attested by D. Marcelo de Enojosa of Mier, was located between the Palo Pinto and Concepción creeks, about 70 miles north of present day Rio Grande City.  Ramírez paid for the land.

Further north, along the banks of the San Diego Creek, Julian and Ventura Flores and Rafael Garcia Salinas applied again for their family’s claims to the 40,000-acre San Diego de Arriba and San Diego de Abajo land grants and the 20,000 acres of the San Leandro, respectively. On July 22, 1831 the Flores descendants were placed in possession of the lands, which originated under the Spanish Government and were perfected under Articles 23 and 26 of Decree No. 42. That same day, the Meixcan government placed Salinas in actual possession of the San Leandro Grant.

The following month, on August 24, 1831 the Tamaulipan Congress adopted Law No. 4 to put into effect Law #47 adopted in 1830 to secure the areas in the interior of the state against the frequent incursions of the fierce Indian tribes. This law sought to remedy an order issued by the commanding general on June 19, which directed assistance to families being moved to the first point of settlement in the Nueces River or the bay of Corpus Christi.

The government planned to appoint an official to assign and dispense land to new settlers, in accord with Article 16 of the Colonization law.  If a settler failed to work his land or bring livestock onto the land within two years or if he abandoned the land within six months, he would forfeit right to the land.
If it was not possible to establish a local government, the state–in consultation with the commanding general–would appoint a political leader for a two-year term. His residence would be centrally located and accessible to the new towns.

In addition to this political leader, there would be in each town an alcalde elected by the town’s residents from among themselves. The mayor would be in charge of the administration of justice, keep order, and  provide security to the surrounding area. The mayors were to keep the political leader informed of any important events and the comandante was required to advise the state government. If during congressional recesses, matters required quick action, the state’s executive and the commanding general were authorized to take whatever actions necessary to resolve any problems that arose, with the understanding that the Congress would review their actions when it convened.

On October 19, 1833, the Congress of Tamaulipas adopted law Number 24 authorizing the sale of five sitios of land for 10 pesos per sitio to residents of Camargo, Mier, Gurrero, and Laredo who did not own land.  Those eligible included men who had resided in those towns during the last war with the Indians and who had not emigrated before 1821.

The city council of each city was to determine eligibility and would be responsible for any fraud committed in this regard. The land was to be occupied for 20 years and if not, the title would revert to the state. The law was good for a three-year period.