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Essential books on land grants, water rights and acequias in New Mexico.

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Hard-to-get books on the history and social issues of the Southwest at bargain prices.

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Including books on Chaco Canyon, petroglyphs, pictographs, myths of the Southwest, and the Pecos Ruins.

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Census and other materials, including family trees for specific families.

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Grants A-J | Grants L-R | Grants S-Z | Grants by County
Explanation of Types of Grants | Rio Arriba Grant Summaries

The Center for Land Grant Studies is a 501-c-3 non-profit organization devoted to research, education and distribution of books and other materials about the Southwest, with an emphasis on land and water rights issues of traditional communities in New Mexico. The Center focuses on Spanish and Mexican Land Grants made to Hispanics and Native Americans, as well as genealogical materials connected with the rural communities of New Mexico.

Explore our catalog of hard to find books, unpublished manuscripts, genealogical materials, and other resources that describe the rich history of Land Grants in the Southwest and the land and water issues that shaped present day laws and attitudes.

NEW 18 Cenuses Transcriptions from Rio Arriba 1860-1900

NEW Making Water Run Uphill:
The Mora Acequia de la Sierra vs. Picuris Pueblo

View or Print a PDF list of all our books with an order form

ME-PE Pablo Abeita: The Life and Times of a Native Statesman of Isleta Pueblo, 1871-1940
By Malcolm Ebright and Rick Hendricks

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University of New Mexico Press 2023
Now in Paperback 232 pages 6” X 9"


This is the first biography of a Pueblo leader, Pablo Abeita, a man considered as the most important Native leader in the Southwest in his day. Pablo Abeita's life in Isleta Pueblo, just south of Albuquerque, was a colorful and important one. Educated in the best schools in New Mexico, Abeita became a strong advocate for Isleta and the other eighteen New Mexico pueblos during the periods of assimilation, boarding schools, and the reform of US Indian policy. Working with some of the most progressive Indian agents in New Mexico, with other Pueblo leaders, and with advocacy groups, he received funding for much-needed projects, such as a bridge across the Rio Grande at Isleta. To achieve these ends, Abeita testified before Congress and was said to have met, and in some cases befriended, nearly every US president from Benjamin Harrison to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Abeita dealt with many issues that are still relevant today, including reform of US Indian policy, boarding schools, and Pueblo sovereignty. Pablo Abeita's story is one of a people still living on their ancestral homelands, struggling to protect their land and water, and ultimately thriving as a modern pueblo. 
Pueblo Sovereignty Ebright and Hendricks

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Cover photo: Martin Vigil, Governor Tesuque Pueblo, Chairman of the All Indian Pueblo Council.

ME-PS.Pueblo Sovereignty, Indian Land and Water in New Mexico and Texas
By Malcolm Ebright and Rick Hendricks.
Over five centuries of foreign rule — by Spain, Mexico, and the United States — Native American pueblos have confronted attacks on their sovereignty and encroachments on their land and water rights. How five New Mexico and Texas pueblos did this, in some cases multiple times, forms the history of cultural resilience and tenacity chronicled in Pueblo Sovereignty by two of New Mexico’s most distinguished legal historians, Malcolm Ebright and Rick Hendricks. Extending their award-winning work on Four Square Leagues, Ebright and Hendricks focus here on four New Mexico Pueblo Indian communities; Pojoaque, Nambe, Tesuque, and Isleta; and one now in Texas, Ysleta del Sur. Pueblo Sovereignty was recently awarded the Arizona/New Mexico Book Award. A recent review described Pueblo Sovereignty as “an important book for scholars of Native history. It is exhaustively researched and balanced in its analysis and interpretation of the material.” 

University of Oklahoma Press 2019
Hardcover and Paper
260 Pages, 6" x 9", 21 B&W
Illustrations, 3 Maps.

Price Hardcover $40

Price Paper $25

Tierr Amarilla

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Sale in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Tierra Amarilla Courthouse Raid, June 5, 1967, which brought the injustices in the history of the Tierra Amarilla Grant to national and international attention.

Price $30

ME-TA. The Tierra Amarilla Grant: A History of Chicanery by Malcolm Ebright. This book contains a brief history of the Tierra Amarilla Grant, with a transcription and translation of the grant documents and a list of the first settlers in the seven communities that make up the Tierra Amarilla area. With a forward by Frank Waters and a photo essay of the Tierra Amarilla communities, this is a perfect commemoration of this revolutionary event that put the land grant issue on center stage in New Mexico.

Malcolm Ebright, The Tierra Amarilla Grant: A History of Chicanery, 66 pages, notes, photos, preface by Frank Waters.

Special Price Paper $15

Advocates for the Opressed - Malcolm Ebright

ME-AFTO. Advocates for the Oppressed: Hispanos, Indians, Genízaros, and Their Land in New Mexico by Malcolm Ebright.

Having written about Hispano land grants and Pueblo Indian grants separately, Malcolm Ebright now brings these narratives together for the first time, reconnecting them and resurrecting lost histories. He emphasizes the success that advocates for Indians, Genízaros, and Hispanos have had in achieving the return of lost lands and by reestablishing the right to use those lands for traditional purposes. Includes chapters on Zuni Pueblo and Galisteo, San Marcos, Cerrillos, and La Ciénega Pueblo grants. 440 pages, 13 original drawings by Glen Strock, 4 maps, index, bibliography.


Paperback $30

Four Square Leagues - Malcolm Ebright, Rick Hendricks, Richard W. Hughes - UNM Press

EHH-FSL.Four Square Leagues: Pueblo Land in New Mexico
by Malcolm Ebright, Rick Hendricks, and Richard W. Hughes

This book, described as “an authoritative masterpiece,” with “information that is startlingly new,” is the first up-to-date account of the history of Pueblo Indian land beginning in late 17th century New Mexico. Containing chapters about the origin of the Pueblo league, about the Cruzate documents, and the adjudication of Pueblo lands by U.S. Courts, the book is characterized by success stories as well as the loss of Pueblo land. Specific studies of the land struggles of Jemez, Cochiti, Santa Clara, Sandia, and Picuris Pueblos are capped by Santa Ana Pueblo’s campaign in the early 1700s to buy back their ancestral lands from their Spanish neighbors, and the story of Taos Pueblo’s successful battle for their sacred Blue Lake. 452 pages, 12 original drawings by Glen Strock, 4 maps and 7 illustrations, index, bibliography.

Hardcover Price $50

Paperback Price $25

Just off the Press: Paperback Edition of Four Square Leagues, winner of best book award for 2014, Border Regional Library Association and best history book award for 2014 from the Historical Society of New Mexico.


Back in Print: New Edition with New Introduction

Land Grants & Lawsuits in Northern New Mexico-Malcolm Ebright

Land Grants & Lawsuits in Northern New Mexico

Now Available in Paperback $20 & in Embosssed Cloth $35

Book by Ebright & Hendricks: UNM Press
Illustrations by Glen Strock.
The Witches of Abiquiú:
The Governor, the Priest, the Genízaro Indians, and the Devil

Available in Paperback for $25.00

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General Accounting Office Land Grant Report

How to Research a Land Grant 54:23 Click on link to access audio
Historians Malcolm Ebright and Richard Salazar of the Center for Land Grant Studies explain what resources are available to research each of the more than 300 Land Grants in New Mexico. Introduced by Faith Yoman of the NM State Library Southwest Collection. Presented by the NM State Library on Nov 24, 2009. Recorded and Produced by Cultural Energy

Land Grant Database The Center for Land Grant Studies, with funding from Rio Arriba County, the New Mexico State Archive, and the Chamiza Foundation, has developed a database of all New Mexico land grants. The initial version, while not covering every grant, lists some basic information on each grant, including primary source references. A preliminary listing of grants entered so far are shown here:

Grants A-J | Grants L-R | Grants S-Z | Grants by County
Explanation of Types of Grants | Rio Arriba Grant Summaries

Later versions, if additional funding is secured, would include all grants, and may include footnoted summaries of each grant, links to transcriptions or scans of original grant documents, translations if available, maps and other resources. If funding allows, the updated database will be posted on the Internet at www.southwestbooks.org.

Database design is by Robin Collier and Malcolm Ebright. Researchers include Robin Collier, Denise Damico, Malcolm Ebright, Rick Hendricks, Kay Matthews, Norman Martinez, Richard Salazar, and Mark Schiller. Additional other resources for the project are being provided by the New Mexico State Archives. Some completed grant summaries, primarily those in Rio Arriba County, may be purchased individually on our Land & Water page.

Land Grants in a Nutshell. Complete notes online. Notes from a lecture by Malcolm Ebright explaining the essential elements of New Mexico's Land Grants.

Land Grant Research Guide on the New Mexico State Archive Web Site. Lists and describes what materials are available at the archive in Santa Fe.

Eugene Lobato v. Zachary Taylor Landmark Ruling after 21 years of litigation on the Sangre de Cristo grant in San Luis, CO by the Colorado Supreme Court, June 24, 2002, affirming the rights of access for grazing, firewood and timber. On April 28, 2003 the court issued an additional ruling, directing the trial court to identify all landowners who have access rights to the Taylor Ranch and to enter all necessary and appropriate orders to safeguard those rights. On June 16, 2003, the court clarified that plaintiffs need only prove by a preponderance of the evidence that their property is included within the boundaries of property owned or occupied by settlers during the time of Gilpin ownership, and that the costs of determining this must be borne by Taylor. The court suggests that best evidence of benefited properties conveyed by Beaubien is the official 1894 Costilla County survey and inventory of lands held by individuals along the Culebra, Vallejos, and San Francisco Creeks.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Complete text. Includes pictures from the National Archive of the treaty, the stricken Article X and the Protocol of Querétaro .

Bibliography of Land Grant books. Glossary of Land Grant terms.

Excerpts from "Land Grants & Lawsuits" Complete sections online. Introduction, Conclusion & Index from the book by Malcolm Ebright about New Mexico's land grant communities and their struggle for justice.

The US General Accounting Office (GAO) report on the Treaty of Guadalupe: Definition and List of Community Land Grants in New Mexico; Exposure Draft. Prepared for the US Senate, this 49 page report includes an overview, an inventory of 295 Spanish and Mexican land grants in New Mexico and a bibliography. Download in English or Spanish 900K PDF files. (Requires Adobe Acrobat). The GAO invited comments on this draft to be sent via the GAO web page or by email to landgrants@gao.gov until April 2, 2001. Public meeting were also held in March, 2001. The final report issued on June 4, 2004 is here: the full English pdf version of the GAO report (3 M File) or the full Spanish pdf version (3.1 M File)


Genealogical & Research Materials
Census, marriage and service records. Indexes of Spanish and Mexican archives. Family trees for specific families. Useful in tracing your roots.

Unpublished Manuscripts
By leading scholars of New Mexico and the Southwest. Not available anywhere else.


Internet Links to Research Organizations, Government Resources, Progressive News Sites, Regional Sites & Art and Cultural Organizations.

Center for Land Grant Studies
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General Accounting Office Land Grant Report

This much anticipated report was finally issued on June 4, 2004.

Malcolm Ebright, Norman Martinez & Moises Morales analyze the GAO study in a half interview, broadcast on KRZA and KDCE, by Mike Tilley of Cultural Energy. Listen online to the interview Order CD or Tape

Other view by David Benivides from the San Luis Land Grant Conference
Listen online to this Conference (selections recorded & produced by Mike Tilley of Cultural Energy & broadcast on KRZA) which also covers the victory on Sangre de Cristo Land grant and related issues

Another view on the GAO report is from the The New Mexico Land Grant Forum and the Mexicano Land Education and Conservation Trust

Malcolm Ebright, Director of the Center for Land Grant Studies,
has written a response that was published in the La Jicarita News entitled:

The G.A.O. Report: A Slap in the Face

by Malcolm Ebright

"After four years of "work" the General Accounting Office has spoken... "

more... Click here to read Malcolm Ebright's full response.

" ...The first e-mail reaction I received to the report was: "It's a whitewash." I would go further: the report is a slap in the face..."

" ... The G.A.O. report is neither independent, unbiased, nor objective. It is, rather, a partisan brief for the government, explaining, as the government has been trying to explain since land grants were first "adjudicated" by the Surveyor General of New Mexico in 1854, why these "adjudications" were fair. In fact, they were often not fair by any standard. ... "

"... Because it is so partisan, the G.A.O. report does not deserve to be taken seriously as historical scholarship or as fair-minded legal analysis. The G.A.O. report is a slap in the face because it sidesteps the issues and still expects that scholars, lawyers, and land grant heirs and residents will actually like the report. The essence of the G.A.O. report is: here are the court decisions regarding the adjudication of land grants in New Mexico. These decisions say that the process was fair and the U.S. met its responsibility under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The G.A.O. agrees without doing any independent analysis. End of story.

But this is not the end of the story. New Mexicans interested and involved in the land grant question are more dedicated and more sophisticated than these Washington lawyers. They have read and understand the research and land grant histories that have been written and continue to be written. They have worked this land, plowed it, irrigated it, planted it, weeded it, harvested it, and then gone to meetings in the evening about whether they owned it, or whether they will retain their water rights to irrigate it. They have grazed their cattle on it and gathered wood, herbs, and other important resources from it. They can see behind the legal niceties that in their hard-hearted application by the G.A.O. squeeze the life out of something they hold sacred. They and their ancestors know that this land was promised them by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and has been lost because of unfair actions by the U. S. government. This is not the end of the story."

more... Click here to read Malcolm Ebright's full response.

Click here for the full English pdf version of the GAO report (3 M File)
or here for the full Spanish pdf version of the GAO report (3.1 M File)
Both pdf files require Adobe Acrobat

For those with slow internet connections here is a Plain Text version (49 K)
of just the Executive Summary and Results in Brief and Principal Findings

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