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. In the letter you had to explain why you wanted a certain piece of land. With it, you would send a diseño. A diseño was a hand-drawn map that showed the boundaries of the land.
Most land grants still went to white men. . . but not all.