Trespassers on Our Own Land is structured as an oral history of the Juan P. Valdez family, primarily covering the period from 1807 (when Juan's great, great, great-grandfather, Juan Bautista Valdez and others who were unnamed (probably his sons and grandsons) were given a grant in the area where Cañones, Rio Arriba County, New Mexico exists today) until the present. Trespassers also presents the political history of the same period establishing how the government was able to take millions of acres from the land grants during the period from 1891 to 1907.
Trespassers is a rebuke of the government's taking for itself as much as ninety percent of various land grants which had been in existance for decades. The Government's intentional taking of the land resulted in a severe economic depression from which the area has never recovered.
I have finally reloaded two galleries which can be accessed in the footer below. Gallery 1 has slides reflecting information I found while researching New Mexico land grant history. It consists of information establishing that the government unlawfully took millions of acres from various land grants, not because it was entitled to the land, but because it wanted the land.
The government had no legal basis for its taking of the millions of acres from the grants. It used the Court of Private Land Claims to disavow land grant interests. In so doing it violated the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and ignored the protections provided by the Constitution.
Gallery 2 contains copies of the "Figures" set out in Trespassers.
Trespassers was structured to be available as a textbook for courses in territorial history of the southwest, political science, sociology and creative non-fiction.
I established a blog that references Trespassers which can be accessed at: trespassersonourownland.blogspot.com
Thank you for your interest in land grant history and the oral history of the Juan Valdez fimily. I am sorry to have to report that Juan passed on August 25th, but proud that we were able to publish his family history six months prior to his passing. May he Rest in Peace!
About Mike Scarborough
Mike Scarborough grew up in Española, sixty miles south of Canjilon, where Juan grew up. After having spent eight years in the United States Air Force, Mike returned to New Mexico, attended college and law school and practiced law in the area for twenty-five years. Some years ago he was asked by his good friend, Juan Valdez, to help write Juan’s family history. Read more