Spanish Concessions

by Gary S. Breschini, Ph.D.


Spain established a formal pueblo government in 1791, and it went into effect in 1794. By this time, outlying cattle ranches were being established in the Salinas Valley.

No grants could be made to private individuals. Rather, unneeded land could be assigned as provisional concessions. These were generally for the use of retired army veterans. As was often the case with concessions, the grantees made little effort to hold their lands.

The Las Salinas concession was granted before 1795, and in 1795, José Manuel Boronda was granted the El Tucho, in the Blanco area southwest of Salinas, and José Maria Soberanes and Joaquin Castro were granted the Buena Vista, south of Spreckels. There was possibly a fourth concession, Llano de Buena Vista, along the Salinas River as well. However, local Indians, most likely the Ensen, a subdivision of the Ohlone who lived in the Spreckels and Toro areas, attacked and burned El Tucho and the three other ranchos in 1795.


Copyright 2000 by G.S. Breschini


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