The golden age of the ranchos (1833–1846) was like many eras. It favored the rich and well connected. But what if you were an American or European settler. What if you were a mestizo from Mexico? Or a woman?
The years after Mexican independence might have given you a rare chance to get a land grant. To apply, you had to write a letter explaining why you wanted a certain piece of land. With it, you would send a diseño, or hand-drawn map, that showed the plot’s boundaries.
Most land grants still went to white men. . . but not all.