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4th. Those territories comprised within twenty leagues of the boundaries of any foreign nation, or within ten leagues of the seacoast, cannot be colonized without the previous approval of the supreme general executive power.

5th. If, for the defence or security of the nation, the federal government should find it expedient to make use of any portion of these lands for the purpose of constructing warehouses, arsenals, or other public edifices, it may do so, with the approbation of the general Congress, or during its recess with that of the

government council. 6th. Before the expiration of four years after the publication of this law, no tax or duty (direcho) shall be imposed on the entry of the persons of foreigners, who come to establish themselves for the first time in the nation.

7th. Previous to the year 1840, the general Congress cannot prohibit the entry of foreigners to colonize, except compelled to do so, with respect to the individuals of some nation, by powerful reasons.

Sth. The government, without prejudicing the object of this law, will take the precautionary measures which it may consider necessary for the security of the federation, with respect to the foreigners who may come to colonize. In the distribution of lands, Mexican citizens are to be attended to in preference; and no distinction shall be made amongst these, except such only as is due to private merit and services rendered to the country, or inequality of circumstances, residence in the place to which the lands distributed belong.

10th. Military persons who are entitled to lands by the promise made on the 27th of March, 1821, shall be attended to in the States, on producing the diplomas granted to them to that effect by the supreme executive power.

11th. If by the decrees of capitulization, according to the probabilities of life, the supreme executive should see fit to alienate any portion of land in favor of any military or civil officers of the federation, it may so dispose of the vacant lands of the territories.

12th. No one person shall be allowed to obtain the ownership of more than one league square, of five thousand varas, (5,000 v.) of irrigable land (de regadio,) four superficial ones of land dependent on the seasons (de temporal,) and six superficial ones for the purpose of rearing cattle (de abreradiso.)

13th. The new colonists cannot transfer their possessions in mortmain, (manos muertas.)

14th. This law guaranties the contracts which the grantees (empressarios) may make with the families which they may bring out at their expense; provided they be not contrary to the laws.

15th. No one who, by virtue of this law, 'shall acquire the ownership of lands, shall retain them if he shall reside out of the territory of the republic.

16th. The government, in conformity with the principles established in this law, will proceed to the colonization of the territories of the republic.


General rules and regulations for the colonization of territories of the

republic.-- Mexico, November 21, 1838. It being stipulated in the 16th article of the general law of colonization of the 18th of August, 1824, that the government, in conformity with the principles established in said law, shall proceed to the colonization of the territories of the republic; and it being very desirable, in order to give to said article the most punctual and exact fulálment, to dictate some general rules for facilitating its execution in such cases as may occur, his excellency has seen fit to determine on the following articles:

Ist. The governors (gefes politicos) of the territories are authorized (in compliance with the law of the general Congress of the 18th of August, 1824, and under the conditions hereafter specified) to grant vacant lands in their respective territories to such contractors (empressarios,) families, or private persons, whether Mexicans or foreigners, who may ask for them, for the purpose of cultivating and inhabiting them.

21. Every person soliciting lands, whether he be an empressario, head of a family, or private person, shall address to the governor of the respective territory a petition, expressing his name, country, profession, the number, description, religion, and other circumstances of the families or persons with whom he wishes to colonize, describing as distinctly as possible, by means of a map, the land asked for.

3d. The governor shall proceed immediately to obtain the necessary information whether the petition embraces the requisite conditions required by said law of the 18th of August, both as it regards the land and the candidate, in order that the petitioner may at once be attended to; or if it be preferred, the respective municipal authority may be consulted, whether there be any objection to making the grant or not.

4th. This being done, the governor will accede or not to such petition, in exact conformity to the laws on the subject, and especially to the beforementioned one of the 18th of August, 1824.

5th. The grants made to families or private persons shall not be held to be definitively valid without the previous consent of the territorial deputation, to which end the respective documents (espediontes) shall be forwarded to it.

6th. When the governor shall not obtain the approbation of the territorial deputation, he shall report to the supreme government, forwarding the necessary documents for its decision.

7th, I'he grants made to empressarios for them to colonize with many families shall not be held to be definitively valid until the approval of the supreme governinent be obtained; to which the necessary documents must be forwarded, along with the report of the territorial deputation.

Sth. The definitive grant asked for being made, a document signed by the governor shall be given, to serve as a title to the party interested, wherein it must be stated that said grant is made in exact conformity with the provisions of the laws in virtue whereof possession shall be given.

9th. The necessary record shall be kept, in a book destined for the purpose, of all the petitions presented, and grants made, with the maps of the lands granted, and the circumstantial report shall be forwarded quarterly to the supreme government.

10th. No capitulization shall be admitted for a new town, except the capitulizator bind himself to present, as colonists, twelve families at least.

11th. The governor shall designate to the new colonist a proportionate time within which he shall be bound to cultivate or occupy the land on the terms and with the number of persons or families which he may have capitulized for, it being understood that if he does not comply, the grant of the land shall remain void; nevertheless, the governor may revalidate it i proportion to the part which the party may have fulfilled.

12th. Every new colonist, after having cultivated or occupied the land agreeably to his capitulization, will take care to prove the same before the municipal authority, in order that, the necessary record being made, he may consolidate and secure his right of ownership, so that he may dispose freely thereof.

13th. I'he reunion of many families into one town shall follow, in its formation, interior government and policy, the rules established by the existing laws for the other towns of the republic, special care being taken that the new ones are built with all possible regularity.

14th. The minimum of irrigable land to be given to one person for colonization shall be 200 varas square, the minimum of land called de temporal shall be 800 varas square, and the minimum for breeding cattle (de obsevadeso) shall be 1,200 varas square.

15th. The land given for a house lot shall be 100 varas.

16th. The spaces which may remain between the colonized lands may be distributed among the adjoining proprietors who shall have cultivated theirs with the most application, and have not received the whole extent of land allowed by the law, or to the children of said proprietors, who may ask for them to combine the possessions of their families; but on this subject particular attention must be paid to the morality and industry of the parties.

17th. In those territories where there are missions, the lands occupied by them cannot be colonized at present, nor until it be determined whether they are to be considered as the property of the establishments of the neophytes, catechumens, and Mexican colonists.


Certificate of Don Juan B. Alvarado, respecting the Mexican government

having approved of the grant of land made to Stephen Smith at the Bodega.

I hereby certify, on my word of honor, that towards the end of the year 1845, when Colonel Don Jose Castro was commandant general of California, a mail was received in this port from Mexico, in which I saw and read an official communication from the supreme government, in answer to another of the same character addressed by General Don Manuel Mitcheltorena, predecessor of Señor Castro in said commandancy, in which it was manifested that the supreme government had approved the grant made to Nr. Stephen Smith, of the lands situated in the port of Bodega, ordering at the same time that no more grants of that kind should be made without obtaining the necessary authority from the supreme government. This I certify, because at that time I was employed in opening and arranging the official correspondence with the ministers in the secretary's office of said commander.

In testimony whereof, I give the present in Monterey, the 21st of August, one thousand eight hundred and forty-seven.



Translation of the copy of an official letter from the Minister of the Interior to the governor of California, respecting the granting of certain islands. to Merican citizens.

Most ExCELLENT Sır: His Excellency the Minister of the Interior, under date of the 12th of July, 1838, says to me that which I copy:

"Most EXCELLENT Sır: His Excellency the President, being desirous on the one hand to protect the population of the desert islands adjacent to that department, which form a part of the national territory, and on the other to hinder the many foreign adventurers from benefiting themselves with these considerable portions, from whence they may do great injury to our fisheries, commerce, and interests, has been pleased to resolve that. your excellency, in conjunction with the departmental junta, proceed with activity and prudence to grant and distribute lands on said islands to the Mexicans who may solicit them, recommending to you in particular the citizens Antonio and Carlos Carrillo, for their usefúl and patriotic services, in order that you may attend to them in preference, and grant them exclusively one of said islands, which they themselves may select. I have the honor to communicate this to you for your knowledge and corresponding effect.”

And I inform your excellency thereof for your intelligence, &c.
God and liberty. Monterey, February 27, 1840.


of California.


Manuel Mitcheltorena, brigadier general of the Mexican army, adjutant general of the staff of the same, governor, commandant, and general and inspector of the department of California:

Whereas Don a naturalized citizen of Mexico, has solicited for his personal benefit five sitios of large cattle, (five square leagues,) between the river Cosumnes on the north side, the rancheria of the Omuchumnes, the strong hills, and the pass which leads to Mr. Sutter's eslishment, where the measurement must commence towards the direction of NNW., the previous measures and investigations having been made

agreeable to the laws and regulations on the subject, I have, in the name of the Mexican nation, granted to him the before-mentioned land, declaring to him. the ownership thereof by these presents, subject to the approbation of the most excellent departmental assembly, and to the following conditions:

1st. He cannot sell, alienate, or mortgage it, impose land-rent, (censo) entail, (miculo,) reversion, (fianza,) or any other burden.

2d. He may enclose it without prejudice to the crossing highways and privileges, (servidumbres;) he shall enjoy it freely and exclusively, destining it to the use or cultivation which best may suit him, but within a year he shall build a house, and it shall be inhabited.

3d. He shall solicit the respective magistrate to give him legal possession in virtue of this title, by whom the boundaries shall be traced out, in the limit of which he shall put, beside the landmarks, some fruit trees, or wild ones of some utility:

4th. The land of which donation is made consists of five sitios, (square leagues,) as the respective map explains. The magistrate who giv session shall cause it to be measured according to law, and the overplus shall remain to the nation for the necessary uses.

5th. If he shall violate these conditions, he shall forfeit his right to the land, and it may be denounced by another.

I consequently command that these presents being held as firrn and valid, a record thereof be made in the respective book, and they be delivered to the party interested for his security and further ends. Given in Monterey on the 8th of January, 1844.

MANUEL JIMENO, Gov't Secretary.

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