Legal History and New Mexico

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Land Grants and Lawsuits in Northern New Mexico

Third Edition

Malcolm Ebright

Land Grants and Lawsuits in Northern New Mexico presents a comprehensive and clear account of clashing legal systems. Considered the definitive book on New Mexico land grants, it is often used as a text in southwestern studies courses.

This edition includes a new introduction by Malcolm Ebright and stunning new cover art by Glen Strock. Contained within are eight case studies of specific land grants together with background material on the making of Spanish and Mexican land grants and their adjudication by the United States. Ebright draws on his wide experience as a historian and attorney to examine the history of New Mexico’s land grants from their antecedents in Spain and Mexico down to present-day land and water lawsuits. With detail illuminated by historical context, Ebright narrates specific cases involving fraud, forgery, and injustice, as well as courageous acts by land grant communities.


Malcolm Ebright is a lawyer and historian living in Guadalupita, New Mexico, where he directs the Center for Land Grant Studies. He has been studying land grant history and working with traditional communities in northern New Mexico for twenty-five years, and has written numerous books and articles on the history of New Mexico land grants. Until last year he maintained an active legal practice concentrating on land and water litigation.

Published By Center for Land Grant Studies Press

6 x 9 in. 424 pages 57 figs