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by the "Kinney Gang" in 1879 or 1880, but the Luchini family
has survived to the present day, including among their num-
ber several generations of politically active ranchers.

There are brief traces of other Italians around Silver City,
Pinos Altos, Kingston, Carthage, and other mining towns in
the area, but these seem to have come and gone with the vi-
cissitudes of the "boom or bust" economy. The town of So-



114 NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW

corro attracted a number of Italians around the turn of the
century. Giovanni Biavaschi, a native of the Valtellina, oper-
ated a distillery there and also built a two-story business block
still in use. He was instrumental in bringing others to the
town, among whom the names of Scartaccini, Tabacci, Ba-
latti, and Del Curto still survive in the region.

Ranching and sheep raising was popular in central New
Mexico. The Bianchi and Gianera families are identified with
the grazing lands near Socorro, and Joe Gianera prospered
as well from the discovery and development of a manganese
mine on his property.

The Italians in New Mexico have been exemplary citizens,
and there is no evidence of any formal political ties with Italy
and the Fascist regime locally. In 1923 or 1924, an Alianza
Fascista degli Stati Uniti was organized through the various
consulates in this country, but it was disbanded due to lack
of interest within a year or two. Neither the Sons of Italy,
the largest of all Italian-American organizations, nor any of
the Italian Fascist groups of the 1930's found representation
in New Mexico. The Italian-American News, a pro-Fascist
newspaper, was published in Albuquerque during 1936 and
1937, but its editor, who had a prior criminal record, was de-
ported during World War II.

Both Ettore Franchini of Albuquerque and Joe Di Lisio
of Raton, who had been prominent in promoting such finan-
cial causes as the Italian Red Cross and the erection of memo-
rials in Italy, were accused of being members of the Fascist
"fifth column" in the West, but there is no evidence to support
these charges. The local Italian colony's attitude toward Fas-
cism was certainly passive. Following Pearl Harbor, as in
World War I, there was a uniform movement of allegiance
toward the United States. None were interned.

Virtually all of the older Italians became naturalized citi-
zens as soon as they were qualified by minimum residence.
In the state as a whole these people have consistently had a
higher rate of naturalization than the average for all nation-
alities. Possibly because of the freer social mobility in New
Mexico and the higher proportion of single men coming to the
state from Italy, Italians here have tended to marry outside



THE ITALIANS IN NEW MEXICO 115

their group more than their compatriots in other parts of the
United States. Interviews made during the course of this
study have indicated that those who came to New Mexico,
mainly from northern and central Italy, invariably had at
least the equivalent of an American fourth grade grammar
school education, although few attempted to carry their
schooling any further after their arrival. The second and
third generations, however, have taken advantage of every
educational opportunity, and many have entered the
professions.

Throughout the history of their emigration to New Mex-
ico, Italians have tended to be town dwellers rather than
farmers. Whereas only fifty per cent of New Mexico's total
population is found in urban areas (1950), almost seventy-
five per cent of the foreign-born Italians and their families
have fallen in this category. The movement of Italians in and
out of New Mexico was highest in 1913-14, just before the
outbreak of World War I, when 303 immigrants entering
the United States announced that New Mexico was their des-
tination. That same year 128 Italian aliens living in the state
left for their homeland. In subsequent years the turnover
diminished to a mere scattering, and in the two decades from
1912 to 1932 only two naturalized citizens returned to their
native land to stay.

For the past seventy-five or eighty years, therefore, the
Italian laymen have constituted an extremely stable group in
New Mexico, making a ready adjustment to both the Ameri-
can and Hispano cultures. They became citizens rapidly,
learned both Spanish and English, and took places in the
business community where they served all people. They have
been uniformly loyal to the United States, and have demon-
strated their allegiance by service in two world wars. They
have made no significant contributions to letters or the arts,
but, what is more important for New Mexico, they have pro-
moted understanding among peoples of divergent cultural
backgrounds.

Those Italians who came to the Territory as representa-
tives of the Roman Catholic Church from 1867 on, were im-
portant in New Mexico's life far beyond their mere numbers.



116 NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW

Foreign to this country and its ways, they frequently aroused
widespread animosity because of their autocratic methods.
Through missions, schools, a college, and a press, however,
the Neapolitan Jesuits expanded and accelerated the work
of their Church in New Mexico, and influenced their parish-
ioners not only spiritually, but socially, economically, polit-
ically, and intellectually as well. Their dedication, energy,
and intellect provided an example for all, and those Italians
who serve in the state now continue to uphold the high stand-
ards set by their predecessors.



COLLIS P. HUNTINGTON AND THE TEXAS AND
PACIFIC RAILROAD LAND GRANT

By RALPH N. TRAXLER, JR.*



THE railway land-aid policy of the Federal government
was initiated by the grant made to the Illinois Central
in 1850. 1 This legislation provided for a subsidy of six sections
for each mile of completed track. The sections were to be lo-
cated alternately bordering the track. Alternate sections were
retained by the government for sale or entry under the Home-
stead Act. Indemnity limits were to extend fifteen miles on
each side of the main line in case previous settlement denied
access to the area within the six alternate sections. When
the road was completed, land was given to the states which
patented it to the railroad. The Illinois Central bill was ap-
proved by those Congressmen who had constitutional scruples
against voting direct aid for internal improvements, yet did
not want to go on record as being against a program that
would help promote much needed railroad construction. By
the Illinois Central Act the alternate sections retained by the
government were to sell for not less than $2.50 per acre, ap-
proximately twice the minimum value set for other public
land. ,

The next federal subsidy was to the Union Pacific-Central
Pacific in 1862 for ten sections per mile to build on a route
from Omaha to San Francisco. 2 In 1863 Congress increased
the Union Pacific-Central Pacific grant to twenty sections per
mile. 3 Congress also changed the system of patenting to allow
acreage to be given directly to the road whether it was located
in the states or territories. 4 The last federal subsidy was made
to the Texas and Pacific in 1871 for construction in the terri-
tories of New Mexico and Arizona and the State of Cali-
fornia; it entitled the company to forty sections per mile. 5

* Professor of Business Administration, Emory University, Atlanta 22, Georgia.

1. U. S. Statutes at Large, IX (1850).

2. Ibid., XII. 489 (1862).

3. Ibid., XIII, 356 (1864).

4. John B. Sanborn, Congressional Grants of Land in Aid of Railways (Madison:
The University of Wisconsin Press, 1899), p. 67.

5. 17. S. Statutes at Large, 575 (1873).

117



118 NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW

Between 1850 and 1871 nearly 132,000,000 acres of federal
land was acquired by various railroad projects for 18,738
miles of track. 6

The land aid story in Texas f ollowed a pattern similar to
that of the Federal government. The enabling act which
brought Texas into the Union allowed the state to retain pos-
session of all its public domain. This amounted to almost
171,000,000 acres even after the United States purchased in
1850 more than 61,000,000 acres to settle the New Mexico-
Texas boundary dispute. 7 With an extensive unsettled area
and the need for aid to promote railway construction, there
developed increasing pressure for state donations of land.
After the Federal government had set the precedent in 1850
with the Illinois Central grant, the same type of grant-in-aid
system developed in Texas. State railway grants made from
1854 to 1882 included nearly 32,000,000 acres of Texas land
for 3,000 miles of construction. 8 Among these was included
a grant to the Texas and Pacific Railroad to aid construction
from the Texas-Louisiana boundary near Marshall to El Paso.

In the United States Senate on March 9, 1870, William
Kellogg of Louisiana introduced a bill which was to result in
Federal assistance for construction of the Texas and Pacific. 9
The bill recommended a grant of twenty sections per mile in
California and Louisiana and forty in the territories of New
Mexico and Arizona. For construction in Texas land grants
would have to come from the State of Texas. A provision was
included for branch grants from San Diego to connect with
the Southern Pacific of California, which was building south
from the San Francisco Bay area. A complicated system of
trackage to afford rail connection between the eastern bound-
ary of Texas and areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama,
and southern Tennessee, terminating at Chattanooga, was
also provided.

One year elapsed before Congressional debates ended and

6. Thomas Donaldson, The Public Domain (Washington: Government Printing
Office, 1884), p. 753.

7. Ibid.

8. D. G. Reed, A History of Texas Railroads (Houston: The St. Clair Co.. 1946)
p. 13.

9. The Congressional Globe, 41st Cong., 2d Sees. (Washington : Government Printing
Office, 1870), p. 1776.



LAND GRANT 119

the Texas and Pacific received its charter and land grant.
There was a growing hostility evidenced by many Congress-
men against further land aid. Therefore it was March 3, 1871,
before the grant was approved and signed by the President. 10
The Texas and Pacific was to begin in New Orleans, run
northwest to Marshall Texas, and westward to El Paso and
San Diego. The Company was permitted to purchase other
roads to complete its trackage and subsequently acquired the
Southern Pacific of Texas and the Southern Trans-conti-
nental. These two companies located within Texas had com-
pleted seventy-seven miles of track and received 318,000
acres.

The land-grant clauses of the charter to the Texas and
Pacific are as follows: The railroad, its successors and as-
signs, were to receive alternate sections along the route in
Louisiana and California totaling twenty sections. In Arizona
and New Mexico f orty sections were to be allowed. Mineral-
bearing areas could not become the property of the railroad.
Also excluded was any territory claimed under homestead
and pre-emption laws. All areas not sold or otherwise disposed
of within three years after the completion of the trackage
would be subject to settlement and pre-emption at a minimum
of $2.50 per acre. Bonds could be issued on any portion of land
granted to a railroad which was later purchased by the Texas
and Pacific, There were no restrictions on the amount of
bonds that could be issued. With the completion of each
twenty-mile section, it was the duty of the Secretary of the
Interior to issue patents. Within two years after the charter
was given, the company had to designate the general route
and file a map with the Secretary of the Interior. Acreage
was then to be withdrawn from public entry. Commissioners
were to be appointed by the President to inspect the road as
each twenty-mile section was completed.

By 1878, the state of Texas had made a grant to aid the
Texas and Pacific in its construction program from the
Louisiana line to El Paso. The Texas section was completed
from the Marshall, Texas, area to near El Paso in 1881. But
due to the failure of the Texas and Pacific to build west of



It. P. S. Til nil 1 1 *!*?. VI, CT1 (1SI3K



120 NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW

El Paso within the time limit (ten years) the only federal
land earned was approximately 670,000 acres in Louisiana,
patented for construction from near New Orleans to the
Louisiana line near Marshall. Congress instituted forfeiture
procedures for failure to construct in Arizona, New Mexico,
and California, and the acreage was returned and opened for
settlement in 1885.

It had become evident by 1880 that the Texas and Pacific
would not be able to finance construction west of El Paso. The
Southern Pacific was by 1880 firmly committed to building
east from San Diego to El Paso and on through southern
Texas to New Orleans. This stimulated the officials of the
Southern Pacific of California to make an open attempt to
work out a transfer of the Texas and Pacific grant west of
El Paso. Collis P. Huntington assumed leadership for getting
the Texas and Pacific land grant transferred to the Southern
Pacific. Huntington in partnership with Leland Stanford,
Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker got into the railroad
business by undertaking the construction of the Central Pa-
cific to junction with the Union Pacific in May 1869. Under
the name Southern Pacific the foursome expanded rail facili-
ties into southern California until they had strong economic
control over the whole state. Huntington was the key man in
the famous foursome. As attorney and eastern agent it was
through his efforts that negotiations were carried on for
claiming the Texas and Pacific land grant in Arizona, New
Mexico, and California. 11

There is a strong evidence that Huntington was actively
interested in acquiring the Texas and Pacific and its Arizona,
New Mexico, and California land grants as early as 1876. Con-
gress evidently was cognizant of this desire because the House
Committee on the Judiciary in 1876 investigated the possibil-
ity that influence was used by Southern Pacific officials to help
lobby for the original Texas and Pacific grant. 12 The allega-
tion was that the Southern Pacific of California had sup-

11. Dumas Malone (ed.), Dictionary of American Biography, IX (Charles Scrib-
ners' Sons, 1933), pp. 408-412.

12. U. S. Congress. Congressional Record, 44th Cong., 1st Sess. (Washington: Gov-
ernment Printing Office, 1876), p. 698.



LAND GRANT 121

ported the Texas and Pacific legislation with the hope of gain-
ing eventual control of the thirty-second parallel road.
Although there had been no proof presented and the investi-
gation had been abandoned the same year, there was danger
of the inquiry being reopened if the California company
attempted to acquire the grant by direct consolidation with
the Texas and Pacific. Huntington was extremely reluctant to
announce a definite policy of consolidation for he feared that
forfeiture of the grant might ensue. The hostility aroused by
such an announcement would have been alien to the best
traditions of Huntington's diplomacy.

On April 16, 1881, Jay Gould purchased the controlling
interest of the Texas and Pacific from Thomas A. Scott, east-
ern railway magnate and president of the Pennsylvania
Railroad, for $3,500,000. 13 Gould, one of the most famous of
railroad financiers, already owned a large block of stock in
the Union Pacific and controlled the Kansas Pacific, Missouri
Pacific, and other smaller lines. In an era that abounded with
fabulous figures, none had a more colorful career than Gould,
speculator and railroad wrecker. It should have been an easy
matter for Huntington and Gould to work out an arrange-
ment concerning joint operation of the Texas and Pacific and
Southern Pacific. Gould must have realized the impossibility
of the Texas and Pacific ever finishing its track west of El
Paso. Huntington, however, adhered to the cautious policy of
making no open commitment. If he planned to work a deal
with Gould for the Texas and Pacific grant, he did not intend
to advertise the fact.

In the spring of 1881 the new administrator of the Texas
and Pacific emphasized his independence by instituting suits
in the territorial courts of Arizona and New Mexico to pre-
vent the Southern Pacific of California from operating a line
which was planning construction from San Diego through
southern New Mexico and Arizona to El Paso and then to
New Orleans. The Texas and Pacific case had little validity
since Congress had seen fit to authorize the Calif ornians to
build in the territories. Gould must have suspected that if

13. The Commercial and Financial Chronicle, XXXII (April 16, 1881), p. 412.



122 NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW

the Southern Pacific built through Arizona and New Mexico
first Huntington might attempt to claim the grant made for
the Texas and Pacific. The court ruled that the operation of
the Huntington line would be in direct violation of the rights
granted to the Texas and Pacific by its charter, but since
Congress had authorized the Southern Pacific construction
the court's hands were tied. 14 There is a strong probability
that this suit was actually a sham action to camouflage the
beginning of confidential negotiations with the California
company. On the surface at least the Texas and Pacific had
thereby indicated it would maintain its independence. 15 The
artful handling of the negotiations was an excellent example
of Huntington's ability to allay suspicion.

By July, 1881, evidence appeared in The Galveston Daily
News that Huntington had purchased the thirty-second
parallel land grant with a one-million-dollar down payment ;
the amount of the balance was not announced. 16 At this pre-
liminary stage Huntington seemed reluctant to go to Congress
for approval of the transfer of the land subsidy. But con-
gressional action would be necessary before a transfer would
be valid since the grant had not been patented to the Texas
and Pacific.

Through a petition in 1881 a group of residents of both
Arizona and New Mexico requested Congress to refuse any
claim the Calif ornians might make for the grant. 17 The peti-
tioners argued that no road had been constructed by the
original grantee under the terms of the land-grant legisla-
tion. As for the Southern Pacific of California, it had begun
construction through the territories without making an at-
tempt to claim a land grant. The petitioners asserted that a
certification of the original grant to the California organiza-
tion would be unfair to the people of Arizona and New Mex-
ico. Accordingly, since it was obvious that the Texas and

14. Ibid. (June 11, 1881), 628.

15. Norton' 8 Daily Intelligencer (Dallas), July 1, 1881.

16. The Galveston Daily News, July 12, 1881.

17. Petitions to the Congress of the United States from the Citizens of the Terri-
tories of Arizona and New Mexico, Legislative Records Division, National Archives.



LAND GRANT 123

Pacific would not be constructed, individual settlers' claims
were being located in the grant area. 18

Despite the attitude of the residents in the territories
toward the Southern Pacific of California it was completed to
the western boundary of Texas early in November, 1881. The
company continued construction east through San Antonio
and Houston to New Orleans and on November 26, Gould
decided to come to open terms with Huntington. The Texas
and Pacific franchise to the projected line in Arizona, New
Mexico, and California accordingly was sold and provision
was made for a direct transfer of the land grant to the Hunt-
ington interests. The official deed of transfer was signed on
January 18, 1882. 19 Gould, of course, had no legal right to
transfer a grant still controlled by the Federal government
a grant which had not been properly earned under the terms
of the charter.

In a letter to the Secretary of the Interior on May 1, 1882,
Huntington made a formal request for the issuance of land
certificates to the Southern Pacific after inspection of the con-
struction had been carried out. 20 After almost a year elapsed
and the Federal government had taken no action to examine
the trackage, Huntington renewed his request, forwarding to
the Secretary of the Interior a certification testifying to the
construction of 441 miles of the main-line track in New Mex-
ico and Arizona. 21 This second request, like the first, was ig-
nored. A few days later Huntington again asked for an official
inspection. 22 The Secretary refused to recognize the validity
of the land transfer until Congress legalized the action. As
far as his office was concerned, the acreage was still in the
name of the Texas and Pacific, and that company had earned
no land.



18. Letter from G. E. Daily, Land Office of the United States, Tucson, Arizona, To
the Commissioner of the General Land Office, January 13, 1883, Land and Railroad
Division, General Land Office, National Archives, hereinafter cited as L and RD, GLO,
NA.

19. Deed of Transfer between the Texas and Pacific Railroad and the Southern
Pacific Railroad of California, L and RD, GLO, NA.

20. Letter from C. P. Huntington, President of the Southern Pacific Railroad of
California, to the Secretary of the Interior, May 1, 1882, L and RD, GLO, NA.

21. Ibid., April 13, 1883.

22. Ibid., April 24, 1883.



124 NEW MEXICO HISTORICAL REVIEW

It was doubtful that Congress would ever approve aid to
a company which had completed the desired line without the
need of such help. 23 Nevertheless, the Southern Pacific of
California maintained it had a legal claim to the acreage of
the Texas and Pacific and at the same time tried to forestall
forfeiture proceedings which Congress was threatening to
begin. Even before Huntington's initial request for inspection
and certification of the construction, the House Committee on
the Judiciary recommended that the land be returned to the
public domain of the United States. 24 The Committee indi-
cated that section seventeen of the Texas and Pacific charter
reserved for Congress the right to recover the grant if the
railroad did not build along the thirty-second parallel. 25
Furthermore, section nine provided that the assignation or
transfer of the grant had to be approved by the Federal gov-
ernment. 26 Since this had not been done the Committee in-
sisted that the Southern Pacific of California had no legal
claim.

Huntington argued that section twenty-two of the orig-
inal Texas and Pacific charter permitted the New Orleans,
Baton Rouge, and Vicksburg to make a direct transfer of its
grant to the thirty-second parallel line in Louisiana without
Congressional approval. Therefore, he declared, it was only
just that the Texas and Pacific, in turn, be allowed to transfer
any part of its acreage if a sale or any other fair agreement
had been entered into between the original grantee and a
second party. 27 Huntington, nevertheless, did not convince
the House investigating committee that it should abandon the
recommendations it had made for forfeiture.

During the investigation by the House Committee,
charges of dishonesty in acquiring the original land grant

23. U. S. Congress, House Committee on Public Lands, Letter from the Secretary
of the Interior on Land Grant Railroads, House Executive Document 144, 47th Cong.,
1st Sess. (Washington : Government Printing Office, 1882) , pp. 44f.

24. U. S. Congress, House Committee on the Judiciary, Texas and Pacific Railroad
Land Grant, House Report 1803, to accom. HR. 286, 47th Cong., 1st Sess. (Washington :
Government Printing Office, 1882), p. 4.

25. Ibid., p. 2.

26. Ibid., p. 3.

27. A brief on the Matter of the Application of the Southern Pacific Companies of
Arizona and New Mexico for the Appointment of a Commissioner to Examine the Said
Railroad Construction, L and RD, GLO, NA.



LAND GRANT 125

came into the discussion. The Secretary of the Interior had
received a letter from one J. J. Newell, who claimed that as
a lobbyist he had arranged for thirty members of Congress
to receive payment in cash and railroad stock in exchange for
their efforts in pushing the thirty-second-parallel grant
through the two houses. 28 While he did not actually say that
he had acted as an agent for the Southern Pacific in these
dealings, he hinted that this railroad had paid for his services.
He had many friends in Congress during the early seventies
and therefore had undoubtedly been useful in obtaining ap-
proval for a thirty-second parallel grant. Although Newell
quoted at length from a diary which he said had been kept at


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