Charles Beaubien Requests Mexican Citizenship

On Sunday, February 22, 1829, Charles Hipolite Trotier Sieur de Beaubien (aka Carlos Beaubien) submitted his application for Mexican citizenship. One of the first French-Canadian trappers to settle in New Mexico following Mexican independence, Beaubien had already married Paula Lobato, a member of a prominent family, by the time he formalized his decision to stay there.   

Beaubien and Lobato made there home in Taos. In early January 1841, he and then-Secretary of State Guadalupe Miranda asked  the Mexican government to give them a swath of land east of Taos. The property was granted to them in January 1843, although they didn’t leave  Taos to take possession of it until Wednesday, February 22 that year.

Although they don’t seem to have made much effort to settle the grant, the two men held onto it through the final years of the Mexican period. After the 1846 American occupation, they began the lengthy U.S. process of confirming title, an procedure that wasn’t completed until  1860, almost 28 years after Beaubien became a Mexican citizen.

Charles Beaubien

In that time, he’d been, sequentially, a citizen of the United States, then Mexico, and then the U.S. again. He’d been a successful Taos merchant and a judge under both the Mexican and American systems, lost a son during the insurrection of 1847, and given his daughter Luz in marriage to the mountain man Lucien B. Maxwell.

When Beaubien died in February 1864, Luz and Lucien moved quickly to buy out her sibling’s inherited portions of the grant, as well as Guadalupe Miranda’s share, and take full control. They would sell it in 1870 to the Maxwell Land Grant and Railway Company, a group which became infamous for its treatment of the people Lucien and Luz had allowed to live, ranch, and mine on their holdings.

But it had all started on that February day in 1829 when Charles Hipolite Trotier Sieur de Beaubien became a Mexican citizen.

Sources:  Don Bullis, New Mexico Autobiographical Dictionary, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque: Rio Grande Books, 2007; Harriet Freiberger, Lucien Maxwell, Villain or Visionary, Santa Fe: Sunstone Press, 1999; Victor Westphall, Mercedes Reales, Albuquerque:UNM Press, 1983.

Future Urraca Ranch Property Sells For $660

In March 1861, Lucien Maxwell and Charles Beaubien sold what is now the Urraca Ranch wealthy Taos merchant Peter Joseph for $660. A Portuguese immigrant, Joseph had trapped and traded with Maxwell and Carson during their mountain man days. Although he died less than a year after the property transfer, in that time Joseph had a ten acre piece of the land (probably along Urraca Creek) surrounded with a board fence so it could be farmed. The eastern border of the Joseph Ranch was the Old Santa Fe Trail between Rayado and Cimarron and its western border was the Cimarron mountains. On the south, it was bounded by the Maxwell/Abreu properties at Rayado, and on the north by the ridge that separated the waters flowing into the Urraca and Cimarroncito creeks.

Antonio Joseph. Source:

About five years after Peter Joseph’s death, his sixteen year old son Antonio gained full control of the property. In 1880, he sold the land to speculator Frank R. Sherwin for $8,500, almost thirteen times his father’s original investment. Antonio Joseph went on to become New Mexico Territory’s representative to Congress from 1884 to 1894 and to play an important role in the fight for New Mexico statehood.


Sources: Lawrence R. Murphy, Philmont a history of New Mexico’s Cimarron Country, UNM Press, Albuquerque, p. 135;     1880 Colfax County Census data; David V. Holtby, Forty-Seventh Star, U of Oklahoma Press, Norman, p. 7-15, 286.