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In said day, month, and year, likewise appeared before me and the witnesses already mentioned, Dona Luisa Soto de Diaz, and said, that in her own name, and in that of the children which she at present has, and of those which she may have in future, she consents to the sale of the beforementioned place, and that she spontaneously and voluntarily renounces whatever right she or her said children may have thereto.


Chief Magistrale, Monterey.


Magistrate's Secretary. This instrument of writing was sealed, signed, and delivered in this office, and in iny presence, this nineteenth day of September, one thousand eight hundred and forty six.


Alcalde of Monterey. WILLIAM R. GARNER, Secretary.

No. 4.


Chief Magistrate's Office, Yerba Bueno, October 6, 1846. This is to certify, that Thomas 0. Larkin, esq., for himself, and as the representative of Don Benito Diaz, has presented at this office the title to the farm called “ Punta de Lobos," on San Francisco bay, as described in said title or grant to the said Don Benito Diaz, and transfer from said Diaz to the said Thomas 0. Larkin, esq. He, the said Thomas 0. Lar . kin, claims ownership of said farm, and asks possession thereof, with permission to survey and occupy the land (as described in the title) at the earliest practicable moment. This is, therefore, to order that, in accord. ance with the aforesaid titles, the aforesaid Thomas (). Larkin can enter upon said premises, and be held to be and considered in legal possession thereof, according to the terms and conditions of the original grant, the boundaries whereof to be fixed as soon as a competent surveyor can be ob. tained to survey the same.


Chief Magistrate.

Note.- The following endorsement was placed on the foregoing documents, marked Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4:

« The United States troops are in possession of the presidio and old fort at the entrance of the bay of San Francisco, which are claimed by Mr. Thomas 0. Larkin as his property.

“Without making any decision for or against the soundness of Mr. Larkin's title, as exhibited by this paper, the possession held by the United

States will not operate to the prejudice of any just claim to said property held by Mr. Larkin. “ MONTEREY, September 3, 1847.

“ R. B. MASON, “ Colonel Ist Dragoons, Governor of California."



San Francisco, California, June 6, 1847. Sir: In compliance with your instructions, the following report is submitted in relation to Mr. T. 0. Larkin's land, in the vicinity of San Francisco. I am forced to believe that Mr. Larkin's title is not good, for the following reasons:

Ist. The old fort, at the narrows, was built and has had guns mounted upon it for the last seventy or eighty years, it being the only work commanding the entrance to this bay.

The presidio or barracks hard by were built thirty five years silice, by the Mexican soldiery, and have been occupied by a Mexican garrison for upwards of thirty years, they being the only quarters for troops on this side of the bay. It is but four or five years since the military commandant resided there; and, even at this moment, one or more old Mexican soldiers continue to reside there. Both these wurks are on the land claimed by Mr. Larkin.

2d. I am assured by General Vallejo and Colonel Prudhomme, (the latter a Mexican lawyer,) that it is contrary to the organic laws of Merico to sell or convey away any lands which might be wanted for “forts, barracks, field works, and public purposes for defence;" and also that grants of land for farms, according to the Mexican colonization laws, are not to be made to come nearer than ten leagues of the seacoast. Mr. Larkin's land is all within one league of the coast; consequently, under both these laws, his claim is illegal.

Again, no land title is good in California until it has been approved by the departmental assembly, and Mr. Larkin's has no such approval.

It is also required that the alcalde of the town or district shall certify that each particular grant can be made without any prejudice to the public interest, or to private claims, before the grant can be made.

No such certificate was or could have been made, with reference to the grant in question.

3d. Repeated instructions, I am assured on the best authority, have been given from Mexico not to sell or grant any of the lands in or about this bay, which might be required for public purposes. Several attempts have been made by Senor Pina and Madam Briones, of this town, in the years 1843, 1844, and 1845, to obtain a grant of this same land, but they were all without success. When Angel island was granted to Senor Osio, such portions as might be required for públic purposes were expressly reserved in the grant.

4th. Mr. Larkin's clạim has signs of irregularity about it, which milita!e strongly against its validiry:

1st. It is dated at the Pueblo de los Angeles, June 25, 1846, and is

signed by Pio Pico, as governor. Governor Pico left the pueblo on the 17th or 18th of June, and did not return until the 15th or 20th of July. On the 25th of June, Governor Pico was at Santa Barbara or farther north.

2d. It is upon unstamped, and therefore illegal, paper. If the gover. nor's signature has the effect of making it legal, I am still informed that it is a strong indication of informality, if not fraud.

3d. There is but lille more than half the land within its boundaries which his claim entitles him to.

4th. His claim comes within one mile of the custom-house or public buildings of the town of San Francisco, and this, I am told, is irregular and hitherto unknown, if not positively illegal.

Had my time permitted, this report would have been made at an earlier date, and would have been more complete. I am, sir, respectfully, your most obedient servant,


Captain, and Assistant Quirtermaster. Major Thos. SWORDS, Quartermaster U. S. Army,

Sutter's Fort, Sacramento, California.



Ciudad de los Angeles, September 7, 1847. Sir: The enclosed is all the information I can give in answer to the inquiries contained in your letter of the 230 August last, except that it is perfectly well understood, and can be proved, I am informed, that Governor Pico left here not later than the 17th of June, and did not return for at least four weeks; and that the deeds alluded to in the within were all signed the night before Pico left the pueblo, and when the United States was in possession of California and Commodore Stockton's forces between here and San Pedro, and were all antedated, which, of course, renders them void; besides, the proper forms were never complied with, and no departmental assembly has ever sat since to confirm the grants. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel commanding S. M. District. H. W. HALLECK, Lieut. of Engineers, and Secretary of State

for the Territory of California. [Memorandum accompanying the foregoing letter.] Query 1. Cannot answer, but from the best oral information think there is no such prohibition.

Query 2. An exceptional decree said to exist respecting California ; date, probably 1830, more or less.

Queries 3 and 4. Vide “La ley de Colonizacion,” 18th August, 1824, volume iii. orders and decrees of the Mexican Congress, edition 1829, and the“ Reglamento" of 1828, defining the manner of granting vacant lands; both of which must exist in the archives of Monterey.

Translation of portion of a deed for land granted according to said law and regulations, date 1840: “Conceding to him said land, declaring it bis property by these presents, he subjecting himself to the following conditions, and to the approbation or disapprobation of the Hon. Junta De. partmental :

“Article 1. He can enclose it without prejudice to the crossing roads and obligations, (servidumbres,) shall enjoy it freely and exclusively, put. ting it to the use or cultivation most suitable thereto, but within one year he shall build a house, and it shall be inhabited.

"Art. 2. He shall solicit the proper justice to give him judicial possession, in virtue of this decree, which justice shall define the limits, in which limits, besides the landmark, he shall set out some fruit or useful forest trees.

"Art. 3. The land referred to asked for) being of extent, more or less, according to the plan accompanying said petition, the justice who may give possession shall cause it to be measured according to regulations, the overplus (if any) remaining to the nation for such uses as may seem fit.

“ART. 4. In case he should violate any of the foregoing conditions he shall lose his right to said land, and it may be denounced by any other.”

Query 5. No such special instructions known of. If any, they can be found in the archives.' General Vallejo, or ex-Governor Alvarado, most likely may be able to throw some light on the subject.

Query 6. From the testimony of divers residents in this pueblo, exGovernor Pio Pico left here June 18, 1846, and did not return ull on or about July 21, 1846. References, Manuel Reynena, A. Stearns, A. Bell, and Ygnacio Valle.

It is a matter of common notoriety here, that grants of land were made by Pio Pico to the following individuals : Pliny F. Temple, W. Work. man, Antonio Cota, R. Den, Bery Wilson, H. Reid, and others, the deeds being made out and signed on or about August 9, 1846. Reference, A. Bell.

Two large boxes, said to contain the archives of the Departmental Assembly during its sessions in this place, were delivered by Don Luis Vignes, of this place, to the order of Commodore Stockton, in August last, supposed to have been put on board the Congress.


Senor SUPERIOR POLITICAL CHIEF: Antonio Maria Osio, with the greatest respect, before you says, that since the year 1830 I have petitioned to have the island of Los Angeles, in San Francisco, granted to me for the purpose of putting a house thereon and breeding horses or mules. I now again do the same, hoping that you will be pleased to grant it to me-requesting at the same time that you will please to admit this petition on common paper, for want of the corresponding sealed paper. I swear, &c. MONTEREY, October 7, 1837.


Monterey, February 18, 1838. Let the military commandant of the frontier to the north of San Francisco report.


SENOR SUPERIOR POLITICAL CHIEF: The island of Los Angeles, mentioned in the present petition, may be granted to Don Antonio Maria Osio, as I know thai he asked for it in the year 1830; but it will be well to make the provision, that when government wish 10 establish a fortress on the top or principal height thereof, no impediment shall be put in the way. Monterey, February 18, 1838.


Gov't sealIn view of the preceding petition, the report of the military

of office. I commandant of the frontier of the north of San Francisco, and all the rest which was borne in mind, to facilitate by all possible means the furtherance of the mercantile interests of our poris, as is recommended by the existing laws, I have by this decree granted to Don Antonio Maria Osio the occupation of the lands comprehended in the island called Los Angeles, situated within the port of San Francisco, that he may put it to the use which best suits him, establish a house, put on catile, and do everything respecting the furtherance of his mercantile and agricultural interests, on condition that the government shall be allowed to establish a military fortification there whenever it may see fit.'

The party interested shall present himself, with this decree, to the respective military commandancy, when it shall be recorded for the neces. sary purposes.

Given in Monterey, department of California, the 19th of February, 1838.


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Juan Bautista Alvarado, governor ad interim of the department of the Californias :

Being mindful of the merits of Don Antonio Maria Osio, and having in view the order addressed to this government by the supreme government of the nation, under date of the 20th of July last, authorizing the granting of the islands adjacent to the coast of this soil to natives, I have, in virtue thereof, granted to himn the one which is within the port of San Francisco, known by the name of Los Angeles, with the boundaries which it naturally has, the limits of which are therefore not pointed out, as being sufficiently known.

I consequently command that these presents serve the said Senor Osio for a title ; aud holding it to be firm and valid, it be recorded in the cor

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