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THE EAGLE: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 1895.
13 THE PERALTA GRANT. The Biggest Land Claim on Record. It IntcretttH the Tcnple of Both New Mex ico and Arizona to a Very Great Degree. Southern New Mexico has been said to be free from land grant claims and the holders of land here have always fancied that they were free from the an noyance of interference by land grant claimants until the Peralta land grant claim came to the surface. This grant undoubtedly exists only in the minds of the claimants, but they have for years been working up a case which they fancied would be so strong that the government would be unable to prove the falsity of the claim. Thp claim is for more than 12,000,000 acres of land in the territories of New Mexico and Arizona and the grant extends from a point a little west of Phoenix to a point east of Silver City, so that the grant includes both of these places. Its estimated value is nearly $100,000,000 and of course, the claimants have thought it worth while to expend a con siderable sum of money within the past thirty years collecting evidence to sub st nntiate the claim. The evidence is believed to be false but it will be incum bent on the government to prove that it is false and this will be no easy thing to do. When it first leaked out that such an immense claim would be made, the pro ject was laughed at mainly on account of the immensity of the claim. Everybody thought that the grant could be nothing else but fraudulent but no steps were taken to secure evidence to disprove that which was being collected by the claim ants of the grant and during the lapse of years many important witnesses have died. Affidavits are in the possession of the claimants to this grant which, al though they are undoubtedly untrue, cannot be proved to be false as the per sons familiar with the facts have been dead for years. Pefore the creation of the land court for the settlement of land grant titles in the west, the claimants of this grant were proceeding leisurely in the matter of getting their case ready to present to congress ami they would undoubtedly have delayed for years to come in order that the government would have less op portunity for proving the falsity of the claim, but the creation of the land court hastened matters and made it impera tive that the case should be ready for trial and determination this year. The claim was made in the land court in 1893 and since that time the government has been collecting evidence in the case. Agents of the government have visit ed California, Mexico and Spain in order to get evidence in the case and how the United States attorney has asked for a special appropriation of $25,000 to get additional evidence. This slnws very, conclusively that the United States at torney does not treat the matter lightly and Attorney General Olney is also im pressed with the gravity of the case for more than a year ago he employed an eminent New York attorney to assist in the case. United States Atorney Reynolds wrote a letter to the attorney general which was submitted to congress last week. The attorney states that "a large amount of testimony has already been taken on be half of the government as to the forgery of the records from which certified copies of the muniments of the title were taken showing conclusively that the grossest frauds are being perpetrated against the government to secure a confirmation of this claim. The ramifications extend through the archives of the city of Mex ico and Guadalajara, Madrid and Seville, Spain and to California and A'rizona. The attempt to sustain the claim that Mrs. Reavis is the great-granddaughter of the alleged original grantee is evident ly a most desperate ruse, having its ramifications in northern and southern California and Arizona. The claimants evidently relied upon the inability of the officers of the government to obtain suf ficient means and men reliable enough to run this claim down. We have taken sufficient testimony and made sufficient investigations to justify the promise that the right of these claimants to the grant, as well as the existence of the original grant itself, to one Baron Peralta, can be successfully defeated, and many of the guilty parties exposed. Forgery, perjury and subornation of perjury have been committed in almost every form. "To reach this result we have labored under many disadvantages for want of ample funds to probe each detail to the bottom, which shiuld be done without delay. I therefore recommend that con gress be requested to pass an additional appropriation of not less than $25,000 for this case, to lie expended under your di rection and according to your discretion in making the government's defense ab solute and complete, and whatever por tion you may deem proper may at any time be applied to the expense of bring ing the criminals to justice. "The grant carries all minerals, and is absolute and unconimittal. If the claim is not fully and completely defeated, it will subject the government and its citi zens who are trying to develop the coun try to continual harassing, and will stand as a menace to every enterprise in augurated for the development of the mining and agricultural interests. An instance can be cited in case No. 16,719 in the court of claims and I am reliably informed that one mining company paid $25,000 for a release of the cloud this claim placed upon its property, and sev eral other instances have been called to my notice. "Such conspiracy, forgery, perjury and subornation of perjury could only have reached its present dangerous stage except for want of sufficient funds to en able the executive officers to have it promptly exposed and the offenders brought to justice years ago. The longer this claim and the parties connected with it are permitted to go unexposed the more dangerous, troublesome and expensive it becomes. The statutes of limitations have already forgiven many perjurers, one of whom confessed his part. I am satisfied, as soon as it is un derstood that the government is going to the very bottom of every detail, we shall obtain very much in addition to that which we already have. Congress should not hesitate a moment alxjut making the appropriation. The case can lie won be fore trial by its careful preparation." The members of Silver City chapter O. E. S. gave a banquet last Wednesday evening after having initiated several new members into the mysteries of the lodge. A large amount of barley was raised last year on the Hrockman ranch on the Mimbres. A few carloads of it tvere ship ped to this place where it finds a ready market. If the ranchmen would raise more grain there would be less need of sending money out of the country than there is now. The CLARK- WHITSON LEITCH MUSICCO. EL PASO, TEXAS, ll'J Sun Fidiwincu St. ALRUQUEHQVE, X. .1., 0.1 RniUimil Air ii in: Sell reliable goods on easy monthly payments. Can refer to many families with whom they I i manv famines wit i wiiom tnev nave oemi. Tuning of Pianos in Grant county attended to. Write them for catalogue of new style Pianos, Tmh v