San Francisco. 1852. 20pp. Original plain green wrappers. Light soiling, minor foxing. Very good. In a chemise and half morocco slipcase. Item #WRCAM46581
Southern California Judge Benjamin Ignatius Hayes' copy of a foundational legal text regarding Mexican land claims in the Golden State, signed by him on the titlepage. Hayes was a legal pioneer in Southern California, arriving in Los Angeles in 1850, and first elected city attorney in 1851. In 1852, he was elected the first judge of the district court that served Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Bernardino counties, a position he held for many years. A seminal collection of documents under which California land claims were considered, and one of the earliest and rarest San Francisco imprints on that issue. California came under American control during the Mexican-American War and attained statehood in 1850. One of the most vexing legal questions in the 19th-century history of the state was the status of lands that had been granted by the former Spanish and Mexican governors. These "ranchos" at times amounted to thousands of acres, and questions of their ownership were quite contentious, despite the provisions of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to respect all Mexican land titles. This volume contains the text of the pertinent articles from the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the text of the 1851 Congressional Act establishing a Commission to investigate the cases, the instructions to the Commissioners, and the regulations under which they operated. "This is the foundation document under the terms of which all California land claims were first adjudicated" - Streeter. "One of the earliest local publications with reference to Mexican land claims" - Cowan. Greenwood locates eleven copies, including the Streeter copy. An incredibly rare early California statehood tract, made eminently desirable and unique for its contemporary ownership association. COWAN, p.375. GREENWOOD 362. STREETER SALE 2726. NORRIS CATALOGUE 1996. COHEN 9587. OCLC 191282311.