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July 9, 2014

To the Heirs of Spanish & Mexican Land Grants
Texas House Bill 724 - 06/27/14 (Fourth) Meeting Update

The Texas House Bill 724 meeting held in Austin on 06/27/14 was well attended. First, second and third meeting rooms were needed to handle the overflow accommodating everyone. The hearing was broadcast live at

Below is the link to see a video from 06/27/14 for the State Capital Mineral Commission meeting on HB724. You may need to install RealPlayer Cloud to see the video:

The link below is a free download and instructions to install RealPlayer Cloud to see the video:

If you do not want to install the software mentioned above, you may listen to these recordings in CD or cassette format in the House Communications, Video/Audio Services office, located in the John H. Reagan Building at 105 West 15th Street, Room 330 Austin, TX. (Just North of the State Capitol) Copies of the audio recordings may be purchased for a fee. For more information, call (512) 463-0920. You may send your signed Open Records Request letter via fax at (512) 463-5729 or mail to the Texas House of Representatives, c/o Video/Audio Services, P. O. Box 2910 Austin, TX 78768-2910.

BFO leadership recommends viewing all the meetings to stay pace with the action.…. The next HB724 Mineral Commission meeting is scheduled for 09/12/14. We will post details on that meeting as soon they become available. The postings on the BFO website are posted if they provide useable information for land grant heirs. YOU decide to interact or sit by the sidelines.

Fred B. Balli

From: Nicolas R. Balli

Date: June 14, 2014

Subject: Our Texas Spanish and Mexican Land Grant Mineral Rights

To: 724 Commission Board Austin, Texas

Mr. Trace Burton stated a Texas Law was passed in 1866 that gave the mineral rights to the then current landowners of the State of Texas. Mr. Burton also stated that the State of Texas will only recognize Texas laws; however, these; laws do not apply to the territory between the Nueces and the Rio Grande where our land grants are located. The only laws that should apply are from the United States by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

The territory between the Nueces and the Rio Grande remained largely under the actual possession and jurisdiction of Mexico until after the United States and Mexican War of 1846 -1848. This is when this territory through the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo established the Rio Grande River as the southern boundary of Texas. From this date on our lands became part of the United States not Texas or under Texas laws. Our lands were private lands. We never surrendered our lands or signed any Treaty of Guadalupe. Our ancestors have never been compensated for their losses and damages done to their lands to this date by Texas, Mexico or the United States.

This commission has also stated that the laws of Texas followed the mineral laws from Spain to Mexico to Texas. This is correct for public land, but our ancestors were private landowners of the surface and subsurface areas, which required them to pay a share of the mineral royalties to the king.

Another Spanish law that also applies to our land grants then and now is that sales of lands which are sold to strangers or aliens are not permitted, only a transfer of land from parents to children or legitimate heirs. The land between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande was considered sovereign Mexican land and governed by the state of Tamaulipas. Two documents are being presented to the commission that confirms this Law.

1. From 1789 filed in the Reynosa archives # 23 Orden del Gobernador Don Manuel Munoz ordering all the justices of the Pueblos Y Villas not to allow the sale of lands to aliens or strangers but from father to sons or legitimate heirs according to the Spanish laws.

2. Another document from the Federal Court in Cameron County Weyman Vs Glavecke by Federal Judge Stephen Power, who was an American officer in the United State Army in 1848 Mexican American war stated, That before and during the year aforesaid and up to the year 1846 say on or about the 28th day of March of that year, the district and territory of country embracing the lands in question were within the de fact political and municipal jurisdiction of the Republic of Mexico and the State of Tamaulipas ; That the said John Stryker did not acquire legal title of the said lands by reason of his alienage to the Mexican Republic , nor could he as such alien as the time of his death transmit an inheritance in said lands to his heirs. This says that all lands sold before 1848 to foreigners do not have any rights to our land grants, so if Texas claims to honor the Spanish and Mexican laws, concerning the lands and minerals, then these laws should be in effect to this day.

I understand that whatever money is held by the state is not for the original descendants of the land grants, also there is no such notion in Texas as unknown owners or unclaimed lands. As Mr. Burton said, the first step is to get declared as a descendant of a land grant, which some of us have already done. The second step is to file a cause of trespass in court against each and every owner of property on each land grant. This is a costly endeavor that no one can afford, and the saddest part of this situation is that they use our own inheritance to fight us. There is not enough time on this earth to accomplish this.

I may be wrong about this, but may I ask this question? What is the largest amount listed on the unclaimed royalty list? I am certain that among the thousands of names listed, there are not many that are over a $1,000 as most are way under that. If there are any over $10,000, then these unknown heirs would have already been located by some lawyer wanting their share, any amount less than that is not worth the time and money to locate them.

So in reality, if you start researching from 1866 or 1986 of the then owners of these lands and royalties, then this 724 Bill is not going to help any original Spanish and Mexican land grant descendants’ here. If there is, then I would sure like to know how.

Mr. Chairman, I request that the commission recommend to the Texas Legislature to set up a commission as soon as possible, to find a way to compensate the original done to Spanish and Mexican land grant descendants for their losses, damages, and injustice our ancestors' private land grants. I hope to resolve the matter with the state; otherwise, I am left with no other alternative but to file a monumental lawsuit against Texas, Mexico and the United States. This ordeal has gone on unresolved long enough. All that I have said is supported by Texas history and well-documented. We stand resolute in our principles to receive what is fair and just. Thank you.

The following affidavit has been filed with HB724: