History of Ysleta del Sur Pueblo
Travel Down the Mission Trail
Scholars' Bookshelf
Missions Bibliography
Ysleta Bibliography
Roster of El Paso Area Tribal Leaders
Native American Water Use Chronology
Tigua Military History
Early Accounts & Bibliography
Tigua Participation at Texas State Fair
Travel Links & More
Ysleta Land Grant Chronology
Acknowledgments / Resources

1642            Royal Cédula of 1642 declared that in lands adjudicated to Spaniards, the land and water rights of the Indians were inviolate:

"We order that the sale, grant and adjustment of lands be done with such consideration that there are left to the Indians, with an excess, all those [lands] which belong to them, individually as well as communally, and the waters and irrigation systems; and the lands on which they have constructed acequias, or any other improvements through which by their personal effort they have rendered fertile, are reserved in the first place, and cannot be sold or alienated..." (Jenkins 1989:8).

1660            Bowden (1971:39, fnt. #2) estimated that "the first acequia or gravity canal" was constructed at El Paso del Norte in about 1660.

1667            Drought of 1667-1672 – drought period in the Tigua and Tompiro pueblos of eastern frontier of New Mexico (Saline area) (Hankins 1962:33). This drought must have affected river flow in the El Paso region.

1668            Description of irrigation (Manso Mission of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Paso) “They have opened for them a beautiful acequia, and tillable lands; they (the Indians) have been fed, and even to day there are distributed among them three meals a day by means of pot and spoon…” (page 197). (Scholes, France, Documents for the History of the New Mexican Missions in the Seventeenth Century, Part III., New Mexico Historical Review, Vol. IV, No. 2, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

1677            Flooding water block Spanish caravan which accompanied the new governor, Don Antonio de Otermin, at Paso del Norte (Hankins 1962:30).

1680            Flood waters at Paso del Norte preclude passage of Ayeta’s wagon caravan at which time he received news of the Pueblo Revolt (Hankins 1962:47-48).

(Post-1680) First irrigation system in Texas - Ysleta Pueblo by the Tigua Indians (DoBkins 1959:104). The resettled Tigua at Ysleta cultivated some 3,000 acres (DoBkins 1959:104).

Recopilación de Leyes de los Reynos de las Indias (special body of laws for the colonies were not a complete code but an enumeration of exceptions to the general and common law of Spain; cited by DoBkins 1959:89-90; 89, fnt. #5). "Almost every law in the Recopilación dealing with lands calls on the officials to respect the rights of Indians" (DoBkins 1959:94, fnt. #17: Recopilación, Bk. 4, Title 17, Laws 5,6,7,8, 14).

"The Indians were to be 'left in possession of the full amount of lands belonging to them, either singly or in communities, together with their rivers and waters" (DoBkins 1959:97, fnt. #31: Recopilación, Bk. 4, Title 12, Law 17).

1684            Villa de Santa Fe relocated from San Lorenzo to about 1 league from El Paso to have access of Irrigation for the Spanish refugees; As a result of drought and hostile Indian depredations during the Manso/Suma revolt, there were few crops harvested in 1684: see page 361. Fray Lopez favored in 1684 to relocate the refugee settlements upriver where irrigation could be better: [see page 375] (Hughes 1935:361, 375).

1691            Lack of rain resulted in new crops being harvested in Ysleta, Socorro and Senecú Pueblos in the El Paso area (Hendricks 1993:10).

1692            Governor de Vargas mentioned irrigation of the El Paso del Norte region, and was concerned that Indian water rights in the region be protected (Research note locate source).

July 30, 1692, “Petition to Governor de Vargas for the detail of fifteen Indians from each pueblo to repair their main irrigation ditch of El Paso”. Participants from Isleta, Senecú, Socorro and San Lorenzo (Twitchell 1914:78).