Maxwell Land Grant Company Records
Scope and Content
The bound volumes, followed by the boxes, are arranged chronologically, by genre. Genres are arranged alphabetically (cash books... day books... leases... ledgers, etc.). Miscellaneous items, including other ventures are last. Two scrapbooks, both of which focus predominantly on World War II, will be found at the end of the bound volumes. A third scrapbook has been disassembled; the contents are now located in Box 45. Oversize folder contains maps, newspapers, contracts, bonds.
Cash Books - Entries are made daily in chronological order, left hand page listing "Receipts," right hand page listing "Disbursements." In later dates "accounts," "particulars" and "banks" are also listed.
Cash Journals - Monetary transactions recorded under general subject heading,entries made daily but not necessarily in chronological order, "Receipts" and "Disbursements" listed on opposite pages.
Day Books - Monetary transaction recorded under general subject heading, entries made daily, in chronological order.
Ledgers - Alphabetical index at the front of each volume under which a name is listed with a number. This is a page where the accounts and transactions of this party can be found in that particular volume.
Monthly Reports - Monetary transactions recorded by the month, entered under a subject heading.
Annual Report of the General Manager - Reports from the various managers on the timber, crops, mines, and general land survey. (Water damaged).
Trial Balance - Reading from left to right, every month is listed and the transaction for that month and party is recorded in this respect.
Materials are written in English and in Dutch.
- Maxwell Land Grant Company (Organization)
Language of Materials
On May 6, 1869, the option to the Maxwell Land Grant was sold to Jerome Chaffee , George Chilcott, and Charles Holly by Lucien and Luz Beaubien Maxwell. On June 12, 1870, Maxwell was notified that Chaffee and the others had elected to exercise the option to purchase, and that arrangements had been made for them to buy the property for $1,350,000. On June 30, 1870, the transaction was completed.
Chaffee, Chilcott, and Holly had been negotiating with a group of British capitalists who were interested in the land. They organized under New Mexico laws. Prominent New Mexicans William A. Pile, Thomas Rush Spencer, and John S. Watts were chosen to "front" for the English investors and file for incorporation as the Maxwell Land Grant and Railway Company. Within 10 years, the Maxwell Land Grant and Railway Company had collapsed.
On May 3, 1880, the Maxwell Land Grant Company, was organized under the laws of Holland. The Maxwell Land Grant Co. was a joint-stock commercial association, with its headquarters in Amsterdam and offices in New Mexico (Cimarron) and Colorado. The articles of association state that the purpose of the Maxwell Land Grant Co. was to "acquire ownership of, and to administer the landed property... originally known under the name of the Beaubien and Miranda Grant and afterwards as the Maxwell Estate, together with all the mines, arable lands, forests, buildings, etc. found thereon and all the products, yield and increase thereof, to sell and trade in the same ... or ... to dispose of the said property or any part thereof; with observance, however, of the provisions of the Deed of Mortgage... [and] to do whatsoever the said Association shall be lawfully entitled to do as owner thereof." The Company was involved in activities including mining, timber, coal, farming, irrigation projects, plaster and cement manufacturing. By 1960, the company sold off most of its land and retired from northern New Mexico. As of 1980, the Maxwell Land Grant Company existed in the Netherlands under the name of De Maxwell Petroleum Holding N.V., Amsterdam.
From the earliest days, when the Ute and Jicarilla Apaches considered the land theirs, Beaubien/Miranda or Maxwell Land Grant has been controversial. At its maximum, this grant contained a disputed 1,714,764.93 acres. The United States and the Maxwell Land Grant Co. went to court over the "fraudulent" boundaries in 1887. The Maxwell Land Grant Co. won the case, its title cleared. The decision was confirmed by the Supreme Court in 1887. Familiar New Mexicans who were investors with the Maxwell Land Grant Co. include Stephen Elkins, Frank Springer, Thomas Catron.
85 boxes (70 cu. f.t) + 160 bound volumes, plus 2 oversize folders
Relevant Secondary Sources
- Pearson, Jim Berry. The Maxwell Land Grant.Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961.
- Finding Aid of the Maxwell Land Grant Company Records, 1872-1966
- Processed by B. Silbergleit
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid is in English
- June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 147 BC::Maxwell Land Grant Company Records)//EN" "nmu1mss147bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
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Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository
University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
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