A letter from the Secretary of the Interior to the U.S. House of Representatives details a claim that Jose Estanislao Montoya made against the U.S. Government requesting reimbursement for stolen property.
According to Estanislao Montoya and his sons D. S. Montoya and Eutimio Montoya, on 23 May 1880, Mescalero Apaches from Victoria's band stole 8,000 sheep and 15 burros from their ranching company E. Montoya and Sons. The sheep were valued at $1 each, while the burros were valued at $20 each. They were requesting that the government reimburse them $8,300 for the stolen livestock.
Affidavits were taken from witnesses Ricardo Pino and Mauricio Miera. Although the fact was not mentioned in the documents, Pino and Miera were Estanisloa's son-in-laws.
S.A. Russell, the U.S. Indian agent for the Mescalero Agency, stated that he was stationed 130 to 140 miles away from where the incident occurred and therefore was not personally able to investigate the claim. He stated that the Indians on the reservation professed that they had no knowledge of the depredations.
It took nearly ten years for the claim to be processed. The information was finally submitted to the House of Representatives on 18 January 1890. The document does not indicate what decision was made on this claim.
Source: "Genealogy Bank," database, Genealogy Bank (www.genealogybank.com: accessed 26 August 2017), E. Montoya & Sons. Letter from the Secretary of the Interior, transmitting papers in the Indian depredation claim of E. Montoya & Sons. January 18, 1890. -- Referred to the Committee on Indian Depredation Claims and ordered to be printed. Date: Saturday, January 18, 1890. Serial Set Vol. No. 2743. Report: H. Exec. Doc. 127.
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