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To possess the land: a biography of Arthur Rochford Manby

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Ambitious and only 24 years old, Arthur Manby arrived from England in the Territory of New Mexico in 1883, and saw in its wilderness an empire that he believed himself destined to rule. For his kingdom, he chose a vast Spanish land grant near Taos, a wild 100,000 acres whose ancient title was beyond question. Obsessed, he poured more than 20 years into his dream of glory, and schemed, stole, lied, cajoled, begged, and bribed to take the vast grant from its rightful owners. With great mastery, Waters draws us into this obsession, and the intense drama of these years is at once psychological and historical. In May 1913, Manby came at last to possess the grant, but within three years it had slipped again from his grasp. The story does not end there, and perhaps only Frank Waters could have portrayed the strange disintegration of Manby's personality as he aged, his frantic but ingenious efforts to regain "his" land. Among these was the creation of a secret society which terrorized whole towns and villages, becoming so powerful that even Manby no longer knew all its members and workings. At the same time he turned deeper inward, locked and bolted his gates against the outside world which hated and feared him more than ever. On July 3, 1929, a swollen, headless body was discovered in Manby's Taos home. Some said it was murder; others swore the body was not Manby's; still others reported seeing him alive afterward. The story blazed into national headlines and an official inquiry followed. Step by step, Waters takes us into the web of strange clues, evidence, more murders and complications--an investigation which the New Mexican government inexplicably called to a halt. The case remains the West's greatest unsolved mystery.
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work IDaac5fd8f-99b4-fa05-2e1f-f6d4e57cc650
Grouping Titleto possess the land a biography of arthur rochford manby
Grouping Authorfrank waters
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2020-09-01 20:42:06PM
Last Indexed2020-10-30 04:20:25AM
Novelist Primary ISBNnone

Solr Details

authorWaters, Frank, 1902-1995.
author_displayWaters, Frank
available_at_santafeMain Library (Curbside Pickup)
Oliver La Farge (Curbside Pickup)
detailed_location_santafeLa Farge Southwest
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literary_formNon Fiction
literary_form_fullNon Fiction
local_callnumber_santafeBIO MANBY, A
owning_library_santafeSanta Fe Public Library
owning_location_santafeMain Library (Curbside Pickup)
Oliver La Farge (Curbside Pickup)
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:.b13111061BookBooks1st Swallow Press/Ohio University Press pbk. ed.EnglishSwallow Press/Ohio University Press, 1993.viii, 287 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ils:.b10534702BookBooks[1st ed.]EnglishSage Books, [1974, c1973]viii, 287 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
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subject_facetLand grants -- New Mexico -- Taos County -- History
Manby, Arthur Rochford, -- 1859?-1929?
Taos County (N.M.) -- Biography
Taos County (N.M.) -- History
title_displayTo possess the land : a biography of Arthur Rochford Manby
title_fullTo possess the land : a biography of Arthur Rochford Manby / Frank Waters
title_shortTo possess the land
title_suba biography of Arthur Rochford Manby
Land grants
Manby, Arthur Rochford