The Peralta Grant scheme to defraud the government and the people of Arizona was cooked up by a clever opportunist named “Doc” Willing. Willing died long before realizing his dream and shortly after involving a St Louis real estate developer named James Addison Reavis. Reavis saw it through to the bitter end when he was found guilty by the U.S. Court of Private Land Claims in Santa Fe and sentenced to a fine and two years in prison. He died penniless in Denver in 1914.
The huge claim stretched from Silver City to Phoenix and encompassed the territory’s richest land. At the time Reavis got involved, the substance of the audacious movida consisted of old papers in a burlap sack and some carvings on a rock near Casa Grande. Like some other slick promoters and profiteers of the era, Reavis was from Missouri. He had enlisted in the Confederacy but surrendered to Union forces after forging furlough papers. Thomas Catron later recalled that Reavis had served in his artillery regiment but left to get married and never returned.
While the outcome of the scheme was ultimately unsuccessful, Reavis profited for years from quitclaim deeds sold to settlers and miners.
To be continued...
Source: The Peralta Grant: James Addison Reavis and the Barony of Arizona. Donald M. Powell, University of Oklahoma Press, 1960.
In our little corner of Colorado, the summer home phenomenon is not all about the wealthy. This subdivision is over fifty years old and those cabins that haven't been sold and converted to year-round use for town commuters, are in varying stages of decay. They are very rarely inhabited by the very aged original summer residents. Usually it's some combination of their children and grandchildren or new owners who listen wide-eyed to stories about the antics of our fathers and grandfathers. Arizonans, New Mexicans, Texans, Canadians, Oklahomans, and the rare native Coloradan all mix it up* for a couple weekends in the summer.
These acquaintances and "howdy neighbor" relations involve those of varying political persuasions - more tolerable because exposure is limited to a week or weekend. That's how I'm now friends with a bible-thumping Baptist missionary Texan. And she now associates with a uppity lefty Liberal. We, after all, have more in common than we do with the bears and enjoy the opportunity to study each other like science specimens.
She asked about what I retired from - government work. What did you do? Is that about entitlements for poor people? I said it involved things like figuring out where to put the water lines and who gets garbage contracts. Then I started getting a little bothered and said it involved asking rich white people where they want their parks. I was talking a little too loud and began morphing into my Mother, who sat on this same patio arguing politics with summer people. Only the quality of the beer has improved.
To be continued...
* I'd say "hook-up" but that would imply interstate orgies, or something.
He is a Trickster, everyone knows. Or should know. Like they should know not to put their bear-baiting trash out before garbage morning.
That coyote was close, loud and happy - alerting all the other spine-chilling forest creatures to the presence of a fat juicy cat*. He was close and loud enough to make me jump and run - down the hill clutching damp laundry, overcome with terror, trailing Big dog, who thought it no Big deal. I was out to save the cat by beating off the coyotes with a wet towel. He was thinking, will dinner be delayed?
I was both heartbroken and relieved when I couldn't find her bloodied head anywhere and reasoned, after a deep breath or two, that a coyote wouldn't be singing with a mouthful of cat. Nevertheless, I had fully resigned myself to her death when, a long six or seven minutes later, she arrived demanding dinner.
* Yes, yes, I know I should keep Fat and Juicy indoors. But have you ever tried to keep a once-feral cat inside? On a nice day with chipmunks?
But The Des Moines Register shows the power of repeated rhetoric and how anger gets deflected away from our corporate masters sponsors. "Government" is ill-defined and varied - difficult to grasp at once. It's hard to understand and easy to over-simplify. The term is used in broad swipes at federal, state and local agencies, employees and programs. It's all about government.
"Palin slipped easily into the role of the voice of a movement that feels chained down by taxes, the federal deficit and an out-of-control government."
Sorry, but where does corporate greed fit in? I feel chained down by bank fees and utility rates, the intelligence deficit and an out-of-control Wall Street.