Santa Fe’s Land Grant Legacy

My great-grandmother, Agapita Rodriguez, with her tapalo and cane.

The history of Santa Fe’s land grants is part of my family’s story. My grandfather Martin lived in a house on Pacheco Street. Today, two monstrosity loft buildings are located on that property. That street, along with the surrounding area, were part of the Rodriguez land grant. It was awarded to the Rodriguez family by King Philip IV of Spain during the 17th century. My great-grandmother was Agapita Rodriguez. Agapita was married to Jose de la Cruz Pacheco. Although the property belonged to her family, the street was named for my great-grandfather. This was during an era when women were considered second class citizens.

Colonization Through Land Grants

In the 1590s Spain issued grants of land to individuals and groups to encourage settlements in New Mexico. These two types of grants consisted of property allotted to individuals in service to the Crown and groups of people that petitioned for a specific parcel of property. During this era Spanish law dictated that all land once considered public domain could only be granted to individuals and groups under the authority of the monarchy. From 1693 through 1790, 44 Spanish families acquired land grants in Santa Fe that comprise much of the city as we now know it.

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