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Maxwell Land Grant Company Photograph Collection

Identifier: PICT-000-147

Scope and Content

Collection consists of images related to the Maxwell Land Grant in Colfax County, New Mexico. Portraits of persons closely associated with the grant, such as the Maxwell, Menard, and Beuabien families are included. Various commercial activities that took place in the grant area are shown: ranching, farming, and mining. Collection includes landscapes and townviews in Colfax County. There are a number of good photos of educational, religious, commercial, and residential buildings made of wood, adobe, and stone. Frontier life is depicted in photos of rural dwellings, round-ups, and informal shots of a New Year's party at the Mutz Hotel in Catskill, a series of photos of people tossing snowballs on a snow-covered street. Also shown are the Ute Hotel, Clifton House on the Stockton Ranch, the stagecoach station at Elizabethtown (1896), issuing of rations to Indians at the Aztec mill, the first auto in Raton (1907), a group from the Brotherhood of Boilermakers. Frontier justice is represented by the hangings of Black Jack Ketchum (1901) and Gus Mainser (1885). Of special interest are excellent prints made in the early 1890s showing irrigation projects undertaken on the grant, and mining activities and railroads.


  • 1870-1920


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Duplication of print and photographic material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for copyright compliance. For more information see the Photographs and Images Research Guide and contact the Pictorial Archivist.


On January 8, 1841, Guadalupe Miranda and Charles Hipolite Trotier de Beaubien petitioned Governor Manuel Armijo for a tract of land, which Armijo granted two years later. Miranda moved to Mexico and offered Beaubien his share of the land. Beaubien was not interested but his son-in-law, Lucien Maxwell was. On June 30, 1879, the property was sold to Jerome Chaffee, George Chilcott, and Charles Holly, who had been negotiating with a group of British capitalists who were interested in the land. Prominant New Mexicans were chosen to "front" for the English investors and file for incorporation as the Maxwell Land Grant and Railway Company. After this Company collapsed the Maxwell Land Grant Company, was organized. The Maxwell Land Grant Co. was a joint-stock commercial association, with its headquarters in Amsterdam and offices in N.M. and Colo. 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. 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. The United States and the Maxwell Land Grant Company went to court over the "fraudulent" boundaries in 1887. The Maxwell Land Grant company won the case and the decision was confirmed by the Supreme Court in 1887.


211 items (4 boxes) : 175 photographic prints, 36 glass negatives

Language of Materials



Collection consists of images related to the Maxwell Land Grant in Colfax County, New Mexico.

Physical Location

B2. Shelved by Pictorial Number. Oversize box shelved in Big Box location by Pictorial Number.

Related Archival Material

Dalton C. Bergan research materials on Lucien Bonaparte Maxwell and François Xavier Aubry Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico

Separated Material

Photographs separated from the Maxwell Land Grant Company Records.


Contact Information

  1. University of New Mexico
  2. MSC05 3020, 1, University of New Mexico
  3. Center for Southwest Research
  4. Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
  5. Phone: 505-277-7173
  6. Fax:
  7. Email:
  8. URL:
Finding Aid of the Maxwell Land Grant Company Photograph Collection, 1870-1920
Processed by Pictorial Collections Staff
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Language of description
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Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

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
Albuquerque NM 87131