Wednesday, 08 August 2012 22:43

A Different Time--A Different View

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   A different view of land distribution in a relatively new (25 year old) territory, from “Illustrated New Mexico” by William Gillet Ritch, New Mexico Bureau of Immigration, 1883:



  “The laws of the United States, relating to the disposition of public lands, are well adapted  to place in the hands of a few men in monopoly in stock raising. The Territory suffers most from a want of permanent water. There are in many places small streams and springs, which supply water to large herds of stock. These are located under the homestead laws, or otherwise obtained, with a view to controlling the lands for miles around. Persons thus possessed of the water have the benefit pasturage of large tracts, which belong to the government without cost. If the policy were so changed that the public domain could be surveyed into tracts relative to the water supply for the same, and into tracts suitable to a yeomanry or to a homestead system, stock-growing monopolies would be prevented, and the country generally could be settled and occupied by stockman having families on the ground, and what is more, having an abiding, personal, and immediate interest in good order, low taxes and the permanent prosperity and growth of the Territory.” And he goes on, in direct opposition to later view: “The existing laws thwart their own purpose (which is to distribute lands among the people to the fullest extent possible) in all this dry and mountainous region. Their practical operation is to reinstate the Spanish and Mexican land grant system—those manorial estates which have excluded the poor from the possession of landed property, and cursed so many countries.”

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  • Comment Link Allan MacGillivray III Friday, 10 August 2012 01:25 posted by Allan MacGillivray III

    The template for land aquistion of savvy sheepmen like my ancestors who were in the sheep business and operated ranches using he partido system

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