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AUCTION 19

94. [MAP].  MAXWELL LAND GRANT COMPANY. Sectional Map of Colfax and Mora Counties. New Mexico. Compiled from the Original Plats in the Surveyor General’s Office at Santa Fe, New Mexico, and from Private Surveys by the Maxwell Land Grant Company. 1889 [lower left inside neat line] Edward Rollandet, Draughtsman. Denver, Colo. Denver, 1889.  Lithograph map on parchment paper, with combination of original outline and full hand coloring.  Neat line to neat line:  67.8 x 94.6 cm.  Other than small staining to blank borders, very fine.

     First edition. A very large and handsome map, illustrating the extent of the famed Maxwell Grant in north central New Mexico and parts of Colorado. About the time this map was done, the Dutch company that owned the land and had been aggressively and violently expelling squatters was in the process of beginning to sell off large portions of the grant since its title had been approved by the U.S. Supreme Court.  This map shows much of the grant already platted and reveals extraordinary detail about the area, including all the settlements, some of the ranches, mining operations, pasture land, roads, and even Maxwell’s home ranch.  In all probability this was a promotional meant to help in land sales. Among the uses made of the land were half a million acres sold to William Bartlett, and nearly a quarter million acres which became Vermejo Park.  The latter eventually was acquired by Fort Worth oilman W. J. Gourley, who raised elk and other livestock on the property.

     By industry, luck, guile, and a fortuitous marriage and connections, the fur trapper and trader Lucien Maxwell (1818-1875) in 1864 became the sole owner of the legendary grant of approximately 1,777,000 acres, said to be the largest single tract owned by any one individual in the United States and “at one time perhaps the most famous tract of land in the West” (Dobie, p. 109). “After coming into possession of the land grant [Maxwell] was regarded as being the richest man in the region, living like a feudal lord in a mansion he had built at Cimarron.... He possessed vast herds of sheep and cattle, married the aristocratic Señorita Luz Beaubien, and sired a half dozen offspring” (McLoughlin, Wild & Woolly, pp. 110-11). See also Thrapp II, p. 961 and Reese, Six Score 102n. ($150-300)

Auction 19 Short Title List | Auction 19 Prices Realized

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