Public Land Commission
Public Land Commission, a former agency of the United States government, was created following the admission of California as a state in 1850 to determine the validity of prior Spanish and Mexican land grants in California. Spain made about 30 grants between 1784 and 1821, and Mexico granted about 270 more between 1833 and 1846, including grants of the three largest California Channel Islands: Santa Cruz Island, Santa Rosa Island; Santa Catalina Island.
Although the Commission eventually confirmed 604 of the 813 claims received, the cost of litigation forced most Californios to lose their property. All three grants to the California Channel Islands were confirmed:
- 1839 Santa Cruz Island to Andres Castillero by Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado
- 1843 Santa Rosa Island to José Antonio Carrillo and Carlos Carrillo by Governor Manuel Micheltorena
- 1846 Santa Catalina Island to Thomas Robbins by Governor Pio Pico