History and Southwest

$45.00 hardcover

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Four Leagues of Pecos: A Legal History of the Pecos Grant, 1800-1933

G. Emlen Hall

Land grant disputes from the nineteenth century have divided and embittered some people for most of the twentieth century. In an attempt to bring final resolution to lingering controversies in New Mexico and throughout the West, in 2000 the U.S. Congress pledged to review disputed claims in the next few years.

The Pecos Grant is illustrative of legal and administrative wrangling over land grants. To ensure that a U.S. Senate Committee understood the complexity of the Pecos Grant, New Mexico lawyer and historian Ralph Emerson Twitchell told them in 1923: "There are so many things in connection with this entire business that twenty King Solomons cannot unravel the knot." Yet in this book Hall does sort through the conflicting claims in the over one hundred years of Spanish, Mexican, and American legal maneuvers, legislative stalemates, and private sales involving this 18,000 acre square of land.


G. Emlen Hall is professor emeritus in the School of Law at the University of New Mexico. His most recent book is High and Dry (UNM Press).


"A book for everyone interested in New Mexico history."


Albuquerque Journal

6 x 9 in. 392 pages 8 halftones, 6 maps