costs of the large outlays and expenses of the royal treasury. At the exs piration of the said term of five years, the new pobladores and their descendants will pay, in acknowledgement of the direct and supreme dominion which belongs to the sovereign, one-half of a fanega of Indian corn for cach irrigable suerte of land, and for their own benefit they shall be collectively under the direct obligation of attending to the repair of the principal trench, dam, auxiliary drains, and other public works of their pueblos, including that of the church.

11th. When the hogs and asses shall have multiplied, and the sufficient number of seed asses for covering the mares become adopted, and it be found practicable to distribute these two kinds of animals amongst the pobladores, it must be done with all possible equality, so that of the first kind each one may receive one boar and one sow, and of the second one ass, which the owner will mark and brand.

12th. Within the five years stipulated, the new pobladores shall be obliged to possess two yoke of oxen, two ploughs, two points or plough-shares for tilling the ground, two hoes, and the other necessary implements for agri. culture ; and by the end of the first three years their houses must be entirely finished, and furnished each with six hens and one cock; and it is expressly forbidden that any one shall, during the forementioned period of five years, aleniate by means of exchange, safe, or other pretext, or kill any of the cattle granted to them or the respective increase thereof, excepting sheep and goats, which, at the end of four years, it is necessary to dispose of, or else they would die ; and therefore they may, at their discretion, dispose of as many of these animals as arrive at that age, but not of any young. er ones, under the penalty that whoever shall violate this order, made for his own benefit and for the increase of his prosperity, shall forfeit ipso facto the amount of the rations granted to him for one year; and whoever shall receive one more head of such cattle during the same time, in whatever state or condition they may be, shall be obliged to return them.

13th. At the expiration of said five years, the female breeding animals of every kind, excepting swine and asses, of which each poblador is only obliged to possess one sow and one ass, male or female, being preserved; the yokes of oxen or steers designated for their agricultural purposes being provided, and they being furnished with a cargo mule, and necessary horses, they shall be at liberty to sell their bulls, steers, foals or horses, asses, sheep, castrated goats, and pigs and sows; it being forbidden to kill cows, (except old or barren, and consequently unproductive ones,) sheep, or she-goats, which are not above three years old, and to sell mares or useful breeding females, until each poblador be possessed of fifteen mares and one stallion, fifteen cows and one bull, twelve sheep and one ram, and ten she-goats with one buck.

14th. No poblador or resident shall sell a foal horse or mule, or exchange said, except amongst each other, after they are provided with the necessary number, for the remainder' must be dedicated solely to the purpose of remounting cavalry of the presidio troops, and will be paid for at the just prices to be established, excepting all particularly fine horses or mules of said pueblos, under the penalty of twenty dollars, to be forfeited by whomsoever may violate this order. For every animal disposed of in any other manner than what is here stipulated, the half to be given to the informer, and the other half to be applied to municipal expenses, (gasto de republica).

15th. The Indian corn, beans, chick-peas, and lentils, produced by the pueblo, after the residents have separated what may be necessary for their own subsistence and for seed, must be bought and paid for in ready money at the prices established, or which may hereafter be established for provisioning the presidio, and from the amount of the same there must be deducted from the amount of each poblador such provident sums as may be considered proper towards refunding the royal revenue the advances made in money, horses, cattle, implements, seeds, and other articles, so that within the first five years the total amount must be paid.

16th. Each poblador and resident head of a family to whom house lots or parcels of land may have been, or in future shall be granted, and their successors, shall be obliged to hold themselves equipped with two horses, a saddle complete, a musket, and the other arms already mentioned, which are to be furnished them at first cost, for the defence of their respective districts, and in order that they may (without abandoning this first obligation) repair to where the governer may, in cases of urgency, order them.

17th. The corresponding titles to house-lots, lands, and waters, granted to the new pobladors, or which may hereafter be granted to other residents, shall be made out by the governor, or commissary whom he may appoint for this purpose, records of which, and of the respective branding irons, must be kept in the general book of colonization, to be made and kept in the government archives, as a headin to which a copy of these instructions shall be placed.

18th. And whereas it is expedient for the good government and police of the pueblos, the administration of justice, the direction of public works, the distribution of water privileges, and the carrying into effect the orders given in these instructions, that they should be furnished with ordinary alcaldes and other municipal officers, in prorpotion to the number of inhabitants, the governor shall appoint such for the first two years, and for the following ones, they shall appoint some one from amongst themselves to the municipal offices which may have been established, which elections are to be forwarded to the governor for his approbation, who if he sees fit, may continue said appointment for the three following years.


In conformity with the opinion of the assessor of the commandancia general, I have determined in a decree of this date that, notwithstanding the provisions made in the 81st article of the ordinance of intendentes, the captains of presidios are authorized to grant and distribute house-lots and lands to the soldiers and citizens who may solicit them to fix their residences on.

And considering the extent of four common leagues measured from the centre of the presidio square, viz: two leagues in every direction, to be sufficient for the new pueblos to be formed under the protection of said presidios, I have likewise determined, in order to avoid doubts and disputes in future, that said captains restrict themselves henceforward to the quantity of house-lots and lands within the four leagues already mentioned, without exceeding in any manner said limits, leaving free and open the exclusive jurisdiction belonging to the intendentes of the royal hacienda, respecting the sale, composition, and distribution of the remainder of the land in the respective districts.

And that this order may be punctually observed and carried into effect, you will circulate it to the captains and commandants of the presidios of your province, informing me of having done so.

God preserve you many years. CHIHUAHUA, March 22, 1791.



Decree of the 18th August, 1824, respecting colonization.

The sovereign general constituent Congress of the United Mexican States has been pleased to decree

1st. The Mexican nation promises to those foreigners who may come to establish themselves in its territory, security in their persons and property, provided they subject themselves to the laws of the country.

2d. The objects of this law are those national lands which are neither private property nor belong to any corporation or pueblo, and can therefore be colonized.

3d. To this end the Congress of the States will form, as soon as possible, the laws and regulations of colonization of their respective demarcation, with entire conformity to the constitutive act, the general constitution, and the rules established in this law.

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 co 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.

8th. 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 diplomis granted to them to that effect by the supreme executive power.

11. thIf by the decrees of capitulation, 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, 1828.

It being stipulated in the 11th article of the general law of colonization of the 17th 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 fulfilment, 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 :

1st. 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.

2d. 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 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, 1821.

5th. The grants made to families or private persons shall not be held to be

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