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´╗┐Title: Memoir of the Proposed Territory of Arizona
Author: Mowry, Sylvester, 1830-1871
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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lies between the thirty-first and thirty-third parallels of latitude,
and is bounded on the north by the Gila River, which separates it from
the territory of New Mexico; on the east by the Rio Bravo del Norte,
(Rio Grande), which separates it from Texas; on the south by Chihuahua
and Sonora, Mexican provinces; and on the west by the Colorado River of
the West, which separates it from Upper and Lower California. This
great region is six hundred miles long by about fifty miles wide, and
embraces an area of about thirty thousand square miles. It was acquired
by purchase from Mexico, during the mission of General Gadsden, at a
cost of ten millions of dollars. In the original treaty, as negotiated
by General Gadsden, a more southern boundary than the one adopted by
the Senate of the United States in confirming the treaty, was conceded
by Santa Anna. The line at present is irregular in its course, and cuts
off from our Territory the head of the Santa Cruz river and valley, the
Sonoita valley, the San Bernardino valley, the whole course of the
Colorado river from a point twenty miles below the mouth of the Gila
river, and, worse than all, the control of the head of the Gulf of
California, and the rich and extensive valley of Lake Guzman, besides a
large and extremely valuable silver region, well known both to Mexicans
and Americans--the planchas de la Platte. General Gadsden's line
included nearly all the territory south of the Gila river to the
thirty-first parallel of latitude--all the advantages above
mentioned--gave us the mouth of the Colorado river, and probably a port
near the head of the gulf at Adair's Bay. We have no accurate survey of
the west coast of the Gulf of California, but I am strongly of opinion
that the original line conceded by Mexico would have thrown a portion
of the gulf into American hands, by cutting off an arm of it extending
east and north from the main body of water. A port on the gulf is of
great and immediate necessity to our Pacific possessions. Of this

The proposed boundaries, of the Territory of Arizona, are the 34th
parallel of latitude, with New Mexico on the north, from the 103d
meridian west to the Colorado; Texas on the east; Texas, and the
Mexican provinces of New Mexico and Sonora on the south; and California
on the west. The new Territory would thus contain within its borders
the three largest rivers on the Continent, west of the Mississippi--the
Rio Grande, Gila, and Colorado of the west, and embrace 90,000 square

The Gadsden purchase is attached by act of Congress to the Territory of
New Mexico. At the time of its acquisition there was scarcely any
population except a few scattering Mexicans in the Mesilla valley, and
at the old town of Tucson, in the centre of the territory. The Apache
Indian, superior in strength to the Mexican, had gradually extirpated
every trace of civilization, and roamed uninterrupted and unmolested,
sole possessor of what was once a thriving and populous Spanish

Except the report of Col. A. B. Gray, there is scarcely anything in
print with reference to the early history of Arizona, beyond the scanty
but valuable notes of Major Emory and Hon. John R. Bartlett, in their
reports, and in the appendix to Wilson's late book, "Mexico and its
Religion." To this last I beg to refer any reader who desires accurate
information respecting the Northern Mexican provinces, presented in a
straightforward common-sense style.

In the possession of the writer of these notes is a map drawn in 1757,
just one hundred years ago, presented by the Society of Jesuits to the
King of Spain. The original of this map is now in the archives of the
Mexican Government. It was copied, with the notes relating to the
Territory, and to Sonora, Chihuahua, and Sinaloa, by Capt. C. P. Stone,
late of the United States Army. The map bears the inscription, "Carte
levee par la Societe des Jesuites, dediee au Roi d'Espagne en 1757."

The copy of the map and the accompanying notes are certified as
accurate by the officer of the Mexican Government in charge of the

My information, therefore, upon the early history of this comparatively
unknown domain, is accurate and reliable. As early as 1687, a Jesuit
missionary from the province of Sonora, which, in its southern portion,
bore already the impress of Spanish civilization, descended the valley
of Santa Cruz river to the Gila. Passing down the Gila to its mouth,
after exploring the country, he retraced his steps, penetrated the
country north of the Gila river for some distance, and ascended the
Salinas or Salt river, and other northern branches of the Gila. The
explorations of this energetic priest did not stop here. Proceeding
east, he explored the valley of the San Pedro and its branches, thence
along the Gila to the Mimbres, and probably to the Rio Grande and the
Mesilla valley. Filled with the enthusiasm of his sect, he procured
authority from the head of the order in Mexico, and established
missions and settlements at every available point. In a report to the
government of the viceroy of Spain, made during the early settlement of
the province, I find the following language: "A scientific exploration
of Sonora, with reference to mineralogy, along with the introduction of
families, will lead to a discovery of gold and silver so marvellous
that the result will be such as has never yet been seen in the world."

The reports of the immense mineral wealth of the new country, made by
the Jesuits, induced a rapid settlement. There are laid down on the map
before me more than forty towns and villages. Many of these were of
considerable size. There were a few north of the Gila, and several on
the lower Gila, near the Colorado. The Santa Cruz and its tributary
valleys teemed with an agricultural and mining population. Thousands of
enterprising Spaniards cultivated the rich valley of the San Pedro, and
scattered settlements flourished at every suitable stream and spring at
the foot of the mountains towards the Rio Grande. The notes before me
say: "All these settlements and missions were founded in fertile
valleys, and by streams and springs, which produced luxuriant crops of
wheat, corn, and beans, and in many parts grapes and other foreign
fruits were cultivated."

In the western part of the Territory were the missions of St. Pierre,
St. Paul, St. Matthias, St. Simond, St. Francisco, Merci, the ranches
of Eau Cheri, Eau de la Lune, and others; on the Santa Cruz the
missions of San Xavier del Bac, Santiago, San Cayetano, and San
Philipe, the towns of Tueson, Tubac, Reges, San Augusta, and many
others. San Xavier del Bac is still in existence. It is a mission
church of great size and beauty, magnificently ornamented within; forty
thousand dollars in solid silver served to adorn the altar. Upon the
San Pedro river were the missions of St. Mark, San Salvadore, San
Pantaleon, Santa Cruz, and the towns of Quiduria, Rosario, Eugenia,
Victoria, and San Fernando--the latter at the mouth--with many more. To
the east some small settlements were found on the Valle del Sauz, on
the Mimbres, at the copper mines north of the Mimbres, and to the south
the immense grazing and stock-raising establishment of San Bernardino,
where since have been raised hundreds of thousands of cattle and
horses. The Indians in the vicinity of the missions were reduced first
to obedience by the Jesuits, and then to slavery by the Spaniards.

The notes referred to above contain the names and localities of more
than a hundred silver and gold mines which were worked with great
success by the Spaniards. The survey of the Jesuit priest about 1687
was repeated in 1710 with renewed discoveries, and consequent accession
of population. From this time up to 1757 the conquest and settlement of
the country was prosecuted with vigor, both by the Jesuits' Society and
Spanish government.

The missions and settlements were repeatedly destroyed by the Apaches,
and the priests and settlers massacred or driven off. As often were
they re-established. The Indians at length, thoroughly aroused by the
cruelties of the Spaniards, by whom they were deprived of their
liberty, forced to labor in the silver mines with inadequate food, and
barbarously treated, finally rose, joined with tribes who had never
been subdued, and gradually drove out or massacred their oppressors. A
superior civilization disappeared before their devastating career, and
to day there is scarcely a trace of it left, except scarcely visible
ruins, evidence everywhere, of extensive and hastily-deserted mining
operations, and the tradition of the country. The mission of San Xavier
del Bac, and the old towns of Tueson and Tubac, are the most prominent
of these remains. The labors of the Jesuits to civilize the Indians are
still evident in the mission Indians, the Papagos and Pimas, who live
in villages, cultivate crops of corn and wheat, and who, in the
Christian and human elements of good faith and charity, are, to say the
least, in no way inferior to the Mexicans. After the massacre of four
of Crabbe's unfortunate party near Sonoita by the Mexicans, the Papago
Indians buried carefully the bodies to which Mexican inhumanity had
denied this last charitable office. It is a curious and suggestive fact
that the latitude of places upon Gila, Santa Cruz, and San Pedro,
determined by the Jesuits about 1750, has lately been verified by the
observations of Park Michler, and Emory. The instruments used by the
Jesuits were constructed by them, the lenses being made from pebbles.

From 1757 down to 1820, the Spaniards and Mexicans continued to work
many valuable mines near Barbacora, and the notes in my possession
speak of many silver mines, most of which contained a percentage of
gold. "The San Pedro gold mine in 1748 was worked with extraordinary
success." Among the mines anciently worked, as laid down in the
authorities heretofore referred to, were the Dolores, San Antonio, Casa
Gordo, Cabrisa, San Juan Batista, Santa Anna, (which was worked to the
depth of one hundred and twenty yards,) Rosario, Cata de Agua,
Guadaloupe, Connilla, Prieta, Santa Catarina, Guzopa, Huratano, Arpa,
Descuhidara, Nacosare, Arguage, Churinababi, Huacal, Pinal, and a great
number of others which it would only be tedious to mention.

The most celebrated modern localities are Arivaca, (also anciently
famous as Aribac,) Sopori, the Arizona mountains, the Santa Rita range,
the Cerro Colorado, the entire vicinity of Tubac, the Del Ajo, or
Arizona copper mine, the Gadsonia copper mine, and the Gila river
copper mines. These last are situated directly upon the Gila, only
twenty-five miles from its mouth. The writer assures the public that
there is no room for doubt as to the authenticity of these statements,
or the immense resources of the new Territory in silver, copper, and
probably gold. As late as 1820, the Mina Cobre de la Plata, (silver
copper mines,) near Fort Webster, north of the Gila, were worked to
great advantage; and so rich was the ore that it paid for
transportation on muleback more than a thousand miles to the city of

Every exploration within the past few years has confirmed the
statements of the ancient records. The testimony of living Mexicans,
and the tradition of the country, all tend to the same end. Col. A. B.
Gray, Col. Emory, Lt. Michler, Lt. Parke, the Hon. John R. Bartlett,
late of the United States Boundary Commission, all agree in the
statement that the Territory has immense resources in silver and
copper. Col. Emory says in his report:

"On account of the Gold Mania in California I kept the search for gold
and other precious metals as much out of view as possible, scarcely
allowing it to be a matter of conversation, much less of actual search.
Yet, enough was ascertained to convince us that the whole region was
teeming with the precious metals. We everywhere saw the remains of
mining operations, conducted by the Spaniards, and more recently by the

The report enumerates at considerable length the various localities
examined by Col. Emory's party, and others, of which there could be no

In view of these authorities, it is hoped that those who will not
believe upon any evidence, will be content in their own incredulity.
The most authentic reports of these immense mineral resources have been
used as authorities against their existence. The authors of these
denials either have never read what they pretend to quote, or think no
one else has. The Hon. T. Butler King, who was the first to reveal to
an incredulous public the wonders of the California gold mines, has had
the singular good fortune to be also among the first to publish correct
and authentic information relating to the silver treasures of Arizona.
His report upon the resources of the new Territory has all the charm to
the reader that his California report had, and its brilliant
predictions will be as fully realized. To Gray and Emory is the country
most indebted for the earliest and most important discoveries.

The agricultural resources of Arizona, are sufficient to sustain a
large mining population, and afford abundant supplies for the great
immigration which will follow the development of its mineral resources.
The whole valley of the Gila, more than four hundred miles in length,
can be made with proper exertion to yield plentiful crops. The Pimos
Indians, who live in villages on the Gila, one hundred and seventy
miles from its mouth, raise large crops of cotton, wheat, and corn, and
have for years supplied the thousands of emigrants who traverse the
Territory en route to California. These Indians manufacture their
cotton into blankets of fine texture and beautiful pattern, which
command a high price. They also grind their corn and wheat, and make
bread. In fact, the Pimos realize in their everyday life something of
our ideas of Aztec civilization. A town will probably grow up just
above the Pimos villages, as there is a rich back country, and the
streams afford a valuable water power for running mills.

The valley of the Santa Cruz traverses the territory from South to
North, sinking near the town of Tueson, and probably finding its way to
the Gila, as a subterranean stream. This valley, of the richest land,
is about one hundred miles long, in many places of great width, and has
on each side of it many rich valleys of limited extent, watered by
streams from the mountains, which flow into the Santa Cruz. The valleys
and Ranches of Arivaca, Sopori, Calabazas, and Tueson, are those at
present most thickly settled. These produce all the fruits known to a
Southern clime--grapes, wheat, corn, and cotton in great abundance. The
San Pedro river and valley is also one of great richness, and is
reported by Lieut. Parke as capable of sustaining a large population.
The Valle de Sauz, still farther East, more limited than the San Pedro
or Santa Cruz, can be made available for a considerable population. The
Mimbres River also can, by a small outlay, be made to irrigate a large
surface and supply a moderate settlement. The various springs laid down
by Gray, Emory, Parke, and Bartlett, will all afford water for small
settlements, and their supply can be much increased by a judicious
outlay of money. The Rio Grande valley is very rich, and in places of
great width. The Mesilla valley already contains a population of about
five thousand souls, and there is ample room for many more.

If, as proposed, the Northern boundary of the Arizona Territory should
enclose the Northern branches of the Gila, an agricultural region will
be opened to settlement sufficient in itself to sustain the population
of an immense agricultural State. Col. Bonneville, who is now at the
head of a large force exploring this region, writes to the Secretary of
War that it is the finest country he has ever seen, "valleys capable of
sustaining a population of twenty thousand each, teeming at every step
with evidences of an immense population long ago-and an ancient and
superior civilization." The Hon. John R. Bartlett says of the
"Salinas," one of the Northern branches of the Gila, that it alone will
supply food for a great State. It must be recollected, in this
connection, that the great mineral wealth of Arizona will call for and
amply repay for the redemption and expensive cultivation of all the
available lands, and that irrigation produces immensely greater crops
than the other method of planting. Throughout the whole of Utah,
irrigation has been resorted to with the greatest success. The soil in
Utah, in no place that the writer saw it, could in any way be compared
to that of the bottom lands of Arizona.

Captain Whipple in his valuable report of exploration for the Pacific
Railroad, published by order of Congress, crossed the upper part of the
region alluded to, and which is watered by the Rio Verde and Salinas.
He fully sustains me in my remarks on those rich valleys.

"We are in the pleasantest region we have seen since leaving the
Choctaw country. Here are clear rivulets, with fertile valleys and
forest trees. The wide belt of country that borders the Black Forest,
and probably extends along the Rio Verde to the Salinas and Gila, bears
every indication of being able to support a large agricultural and
pastoral population. The valley of the Rio Verde is magnificently
wooded with furs and oaks, affording excellent timber. Ancient ruins
are said by trappers to be scattered over its whole length to the
confluence with the Salinas. We, therefore, seem to have skirted the
boundary of a country once populous, and worthy of becoming so again.
Besides the advantages already enumerated, the mountains in this
vicinity bear indications of mineral wealth. Vol. 3, p. 93."

The notes before referred to, in the possession of the writer, speak of
great farming and grazing establishments scattered over the whole face
of the Territory, between 1610 and 1800, which produced abundant crops
of cereals, fruits, and grapes. These statements are confirmed by the
testimony of Major Emory and his report, where he enumerates several of
the most extensive--by Gray, Bartlett, Parke, and Col. Bonneville. Many
of the Ranches, deserted by the Mexicans on account of the Apache
Indians, have upon them large, well-built adobe houses which must have
cost the builders thousands of dollars. Many of these have been
occupied under squatter titles by emigrants within the last few years.
Of others, only the ruins remain, having been destroyed by the
depredations of the Indians, or by the heavy rains of the succeeding

The greater portion of these lands on the Santa Cruz and San Pedro are
covered by Mexican titles--and many of these again by squatter claims.
It is absolutely necessary that Congress should by some wise and speedy
legislation settle, upon some definite basis, the land titles of
Arizona. Until this is done, disorder and anarchy will reign supreme
over the country. The present condition of California is in a great
degree to be attributed to the want of any title to the most valuable
real property in the State, and the millions which have been spent in
fruitless litigation should teach a lesson of great practical value.
Let those Spanish grants and Mexican titles which have been occupied in
good faith be affirmed in the most expeditious and economical manner to
the claimants, and they will immediately pass into American hands, and
become productive. The remainder of the country should then be thrown
open to settlers. No better code of mining law exists than the Spanish,
adopted in the Senate bill introduced by the late General Rusk, and
passed at the last session of Congress. A judicious and liberal
donation law, giving to the actual settler a homestead, and to the
enterprising miner and "prospector" a fair security for the fruit of
his labors, will at once make of Arizona a popular, thriving and
wealthy State, affording new markets for the productions of our
Atlantic States, and yielding annually millions in silver and copper.

In addition to the produce of Arizona, the immediate vicinity of the
agricultural region of Sonora affords an abundant market for all
necessary supplies, including sugar, which is manufactured by the
Mexicans in great quantities from the cane. Guyamas, which one day will
be ours, is one of the largest ports for the export of flour on the
Pacific coast north of Chili. She also exports several millions in
silver annually, which finds its way direct to the English market.
Under an intelligent system, the Sonora mines would yield a hundred
millions a year, and the supply is inexhaustible. If any reader doubts
this statement, refer him to the statistics of Humboldt, Ward, and
Wilson, most unquestioned and valuable authorities. Both Humboldt and
Ward note the fact that the silver deposites grow richer as they are
traced farther North. There can be no doubt that the most extensive and
valuable mines, both of pure silver and silver mixed with copper and
lead, are within the limits of Arizona.

The yield of the silver mines of Mexico, as computed by Ward and
Humboldt from the actual official returns to the Government, from the
conquest to 1803, amounts to the enormous sum of $2,027,955,000, or
more than two BILLIONS Of dollars. Again, Ward says: "I am aware that
many of the statements in this and the preceding books respecting the
mineral riches of the North of New Spain, (Sonora, including the
'Gadsden Purchase,' Chihuahua, and Durango,) will be thought
exaggerated. THEY ARE NOT SO; they will be confirmed by every future
report, and in after years, the public, FAMILIARIZED WITH facts which
are only questioned because they are new, will wonder at its present
incredulity, and regret the loss of advantages which may not always be
within its reach."

Of the present mining operations in the Territory of Arizona, the most
considerable, in point of labor performed and results, is "The Arizona
Copper Mining Co." This company is incorporated by the California
Legislature, with a capital of one million of dollars. The President is
Major Robert Allen, U. S. A. The mines are old, and very celebrated in
Mexico under the name of El-Ajo. This company, at an expense of
$100,000, have supplied their mines with an abundance of water,
extracted several hundred tons of ore, and erected buildings, smelting
furnaces, and other appliances to facilitate their operations. They
employ about one hundred men, mostly Mexican miners. Their supplies of
breadstuffs and beef are obtained by contract from Sonora. These mines
are situated one hundred and thirty miles from the mouth of the Gila
River, and about sixty miles south of it. The ore varies in richness
from thirty to sixty per cent, and the proceeds of some sales in London
were quoted as being the highest prices ever paid for ore in that
market. A portion of this mine is owned by English capitalists, and it
is without doubt one of the most valuable in the world. The profits may
be easily calculated, when it is known that the ore costs delivered in
Swansea, England, not exceeding $125 per ton, and is worth from $200 to
$375 per ton. Of course these profits will be greatly increased when
the company is in a position to smelt its ores at the mine. The Sonora
Exploring and Mining Company was organized in 1856, with a capital of
two million dollars ($2,000,000). Its principal office is in
Cincinnati, Ohio, and its seat of operations at Tubac, in the Santa
Cruz valley. This company is managed in its mining operations by Chas.
D. Poston, Esq., a gentleman of much experience on the Pacific coast,
and of great energy of character.

The Rancho of Arivaca, containing several valuable silver mines, and
seventeen thousand acres of valuable land, has been purchased by this
company. It has also acquired the titles to a number of other valuable
mines of galena ore, and copper containing silver and gold. Hitherto,
the exertions of the company have been directed principally to
explorations and cleaning out the old mines, but they have at present
above ground, ready for smelting, several thousand dollars worth of
their ores. Prof. Booth, U. S. Assayer, as well as other distinguished
authorities, have, after thorough experiment, given to the company
certificates of the great richness of the ores already shipped to the
east. The annual report of the Sonora Mining Co. is full of interest to
the general reader. The Sopori mine is another very valuable property.
It is owned by Messrs. Douglass, Aldrich, and another. Want of capital
has prevented the extensive development of this mine. It affords its
proprietors a handsome profit, worked in the smallest and cheapest
manner. The vein is of great size, has been traced several rods in
length, and pays about one dollar to the pound of ore. The writer has
examined specimens from the "Sopori," taken at random, and so rich is
the ore that the native silver can be cut out of it with a penknife, as
out of a Mexican dollar. Undoubtedly the Sopori mine is destined to
yield hundreds of millions. It is a peculiarity of the ores in this
district that they run near the surface, making mining of comparative
small cost. The Sopori mine is surrounded by a fine country, well
watered and wooded. The "Gadsonia Copper Mining Co.," after taking out
a few tons of exceedingly rich ore--averaging over eighty per
cent.--was obliged to suspend operations on account of the cost of
transportation. When the Territory shall be organized and capital
protected by law, these mines will be worked to advantage. "The Gila
River Copper Mines" are more favorably situated than any other yet
opened, being directly on the Gila River, only twenty-five miles from
its mouth. The ores can be taken from the mine, immediately shipped
upon flat boats or a light draft steamer, and transported down the
Colorado River to the head of the Gulf of California, when they can be
transhipped to England at small cost. Upwards of twenty veins of copper
ore have been opened, and the assays give results varying from 30 to 70
per cent. These mines are owned by Messrs. Hooper, Hinton, Halstead,
and another. Several thousand dollars have been already expended in
prospecting and opening veins, and it was anticipated by the
proprietors that the first cargo would be shipped to Swansea, England,
this year.

Smelting works will eventually be built at the mines, or at Colorado
City, opposite Fort Yuma, and the profits of this company must be very
great. The vicinity of the Colorado, and the abundance of wood and
water, give the proprietors facilities for conducting their operations
at small cost.

Silver mining is also carried on in the vicinity of Mesilla Valley, and
near the Rio Grande. Many other mining operations are constantly being
commenced; but the depredations of the Apache Indians have almost
entirely snatched success from the hard-working miner, who, besides
losing his all, is often massacred in some ferocious manner.

No protection, either civil or military, is extended over the greater
portion of Arizona. This checks the development of all her
resources--not only to her own injury, but that of California and the
Atlantic States--by withholding a market for their productions, and the
bullion which she is fully able to supply to an extent corresponding to
the labor employed in obtaining it.

A. B. Gray, Esq., late U. S. Surveyor under the treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo, for running the Mexican Boundary, and subsequently Exploring
Engineer and Surveyor of the Southern Pacific Railroad, has probably
seen more of the proposed Territory of Arizona than any other person,
his statements in reference to that region, embodied in a report to the
Hon., the Secretary of the Interior, from actual field reconnoissances
six years ago, will be read with much interest, particularly as since
then, repeated developments in that country have proved the correctness
of his judgment; his opinions are, therefore, of much importance, as
expressed in his able report. It will be recollected that this was then
Mexican Territory. Colonel Gray says:

"The public, I think have been misled by misrepresentations made in
regard to the resources of the region of country lying along the Gila
and upon the line proposed for a railroad at or near the parallel of 32
degrees north latitude. That portion of country east of the Rio Grande
I can say but little of from personal observation, having been over but
apart of the ground near the eastern division in Texas, and that in the
vicinity of El Paso. At both these points, however, a fine country
exists. Upon the Gila river grows cotton of the most superior kind. Its
nature is not unlike that of the celebrated Sea Island cotton,
possessing an equally fine texture, and, if anything, more of a silky
fibre. The samples I procured at the Indian villages, from the rudely
cultivated fields of the Pimas and Maricopas, have been spoken of as an
extraordinary quality. Wheat, corn, and tobacco, together with beans,
melons, etc., grow likewise upon the banks and in the valleys bordering
the Gila and its tributaries. The sugar cane, too, I believe, will be
found to thrive in this section of the country west of the Rio San
Pedro. A sort of candied preserve and molasses, expressed from the
fruit of the cereus giganteus and agave Americana was found by our
party in 1851, as we passed through the Pinal Llano camps and among the
Gila tribes, to be most acceptable. The candied preserve was a most
excellent substitute for sugar. It is true that there are extensive
wastes to be encountered west of the Rio Grande, yet they are not
deserts of sand, but plains covered at certain seasons of the year with
luxuriant grass, exhibiting green spots and springs not very remote
from each other at all times. There is sufficient water in the Gila and
its branches for all the purposes of irrigation when it is wanted, the
streams being high during the season most needed. The Rio Salado, a
tributary of the Gila, is a bold and far more beautiful river than the
Gila itself, and, from the old ruins now seen there, must have had
formerly a large settlement upon its banks. "To many persons merely
travelling or emigrating across the country, with but one object in
view, and that the reaching their destination on the Pacific, the
country would generally present a barren aspect. But it will be
recollected that the most productive fields in California, before
American enterprise introduced the plough, and a different mode of
cultivation from that of the natives of the country, presented somewhat
similar appearance. Many believed, at first, from the cold and sterile
look of the hills, and the parched appearance of the fields and
valleys, over which the starving coyote is often seen prowling in
search of something to subsist on, that California could never become
an agricultural district, but must depend upon her other  resources for
greatness, and trust to distant regions for the necessaries of life
required for her increased population. It was natural enough, too, that
this impression should be created in those accustomed to a different
State of things, and particularly when it is considered that the very
season of blossom and bloom of our Atlantic States was the winter of
California; but these same fields and hills have a very different
appearance in January, February, and March, clothed as they are in the
brightest verdure and no one now will pretend to say that California
does not possess within herself great agricultural as well as mineral
wealth. This, I believe, will some day be the case with the country
from the Rio Grande to the Gulf of California, adjacent to the Gila.
Senate Ex. Doc. No. 55, 33rd Congress, 2nd Session."

 * * * * * * * *

In speaking of the resources of this region for a railroad, in the same
report, Gray says:

"The valley of Mesilla, extending from about twelve miles above the
true boundary of the treaty to the parallel of 32 degrees 22 minutes
north latitude, lies wholly within the disputed district, and is, for
its extent, one of the most beautiful and fertile along the whole
course of the Rio Grande. The town of Mesilla, only a few years old,
contains several thousand people, and is a prosperous little place. It
was not settled until after the cession of this territory to us by the
treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Portions of the valley are highly
cultivated, and produce the grains and fruits of our most thriving
States. In connexion with the land on the east side of the river, the
valley of the Messilla is capable of sustaining a considerable
population. It is situated centrally with regard to a large district of
country of lesser agricultural capacity. The section of the Rio Grande
in the vicinity of El Paso and the valley of Mesilla, is proverbial for
the production of fine vegetables and fruits. Indeed, about El Paso, it
is a complete garden with flourishing vineyards, equalling in
excellence those of the most celebrated grape growing countries.

"By a judicious disposition of military stations along this line, only
a few troops would be required to protect the great northern frontier
of Sonora and Chihuahua, and enable us to carry out the 11th article of
our late treaty with Mexico more effectually, and at the same time
prevent any depredations which the Indians might be disposed to commit
on the road. Soon after, the settlement of the country would make the
presence of the military unnecessary, either for the safety of a
railway of the security of the frontier. The strong holds of the
Apaches, and their pathway to Mexico, would be cut off.

"A wagon road established from the Gulf of California would enable
supplies to be transported along this line at one-half of the present
cost. The saving of one-third or more distance, through a comparatively
unsettled country, in transportation is an important consideration in
the construction of a railway, more especially when men and materials,
to a great extent, must be brought from very remote points. The
navigation of the Gulf of California is said to be very good. The
trade-winds from the northwest, encountering the highlands of the
peninsula of Lower California, and forming a counter current under its
lee, enable sailing vessels to proceed advantageously along that coast.
Returning, by keeping on the eastern aide, or along the shore of
Sonora, they could avail themselves of the prevailing winds, which
regain their usual direction after sweeping across the wide expanse of
water. The trade of the Gulf, with its pearl fisheries and other
resources, would be speedily developed.

 * * * * * * * *

"The advantages of such a thoroughfare are obvious. Five years would
hardly elapse before inestimable benefits would be realized; and,
should war threaten our Pacific possessions, a few days would suffice
to send from the Mississippi valley an army that would defy any force
that the most formidable power could array against us. The fine cotton
region of the Gila, the rich copper, silver, and gold mines of New
Mexico and Sonora would be at once developed, bringing a vast district
of country into cultivation which now presents a fruitless waste, owing
to Indian depredations and the absence of means of communication and
protection. Mexico has tried for a century past to insure safety to her
inhabitants in this region, but notwithstanding the expense she has
incurred in keeping up her garrisons, she has failed to afford them

"The deserted appearance of the country from El Paso to the Colorado is
no criterion by which to judge of its value. The beautiful valley of
San Xavier, or Santa Cruz, some two years ago when I passed through it,
was entirely deserted. The once thriving towns of Tumacacori and Tubac
had not the sign of a living soul about them except the recent moccasin
track of the Apaches. The orchards and vineyards of the once highly
cultivated fields and gardens bore the marks of gradual decay and
destruction. The ranchos of Calabazas, of San Bernardino, and numerous
other places on this frontier, presented the same melancholy aspect,
the result of the inability of Mexico to protect this portion of
territory from the inroads of the savages. There are now but a few
settlements throughout this district of country, but were it protected
by a power that could and would defend it, what is now a waste in the
hands of the savages might become a thriving country, with safety
insured to its inhabitants." Senate Ex. Doc. No. 55, 33rd Congress, 2nd

I quote the following language of Gray, from subsequent explorations
made by him, three years after his first expedition, and contained in
his report to the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. It was chiefly
from the discoveries made by Gray, in this adventurous expedition,
through regions unknown for many years past, between the Rio Grande and
Gulf of California, together with the Gadsden Treaty, that induced
parties at great expense to emigrate there, and commence working the
vast mineral deposites, such as the Arabac silver mines, the Ajo copper
mountain, and others, but which, through lack of proper protection and
means of communication, have been greatly retarded in their development.

After crossing the dividing ridge of the continent west of the Rio
Grande, Gray thus alludes to the country:

"There were large haciendas and fine cattle ranches in this
neighborhood, until a war of extermination was declared by the Apaches
against the Mexicans. Remains of the old San Pedro ranch are seen at
this day; also the "Tres Alamos;" and the ruins of the hacienda of
Babacomeri, whose walls and towers are still standing. These were among
the wealthiest of Sonora in horses, cattle, sheep, etc., but it has
been many years since. It is a fine grazing region, with wild cattle
and mustangs constantly seen roaming over the plains. The district from
San Pedro to Santa Cruz valley, nearly due west from our present
crossing (latitude 31 degrees 34 minutes), will be to the Pacific slope
what the region of Fort Chadbourne, in Texas, will be to the Atlantic.
The mountains and hills are covered with splendid timber of the largest
size, and for all purposes; and the valleys are full of springs, and
the finest grass. To Tubac, a town in the valley of Santa Cruz, it is
69 miles. This is by following the San Pedro about a league, passing
over a few insignificant spurs, and ascending the Rio Babacomeri;
thence continuing westward by a gradual rise over delightful plains to
the divide between that and the Sonoita or Clover creek, and along the
latter, until it loses itself in the porous earth, a mile from the
Santa Cruz river, and by the broad valley of that stream to Tubac."

 * * * * * * * *

Of the line of Gray's exploration from the Rio San Pedro, he says:

"It passes through the most desirable region, with the hills and
mountains for forty miles, containing inexhaustible quantities of
timber. We noticed tall cedar and oaks of every description; one kind
more interesting than the others, being a white oak from twenty to
forty feet in the body. Pine and spruce, with superior white ash and
walnut, were found, and the most gigantic cotton-woods, particularly on
the Sonoita. * * * * "The mountains in the neighborhood are filled with
minerals, and the precious metals are said to abound. The famous
Planchas de Plata and Arizona silver mines, which the Count Raouset de
Boulbon attempted to take possession of, are in this section of
country, not many miles below the present limits, and at several of the
old ranchos and deserted mining villages which we visited, were found
the argentiferous galena ore and gold. The Sierra Santa Rita runs along
to the east of the Santa Cruz valley, and forms a part of this
interesting region. It is very high and bold, filled with fertile
valleys and flowing rivulets, and covered with a dense growth of
timber. I saw much of this district, when here in 1851, on the survey
of the boundary."

 * * * * * * * *

The country bordering immediately the head of the Gulf of California,
through which Gray was probably the first to penetrate, lies adjacent
to the proposed Arizona Territory, but not a part of the same, being a
portion of the State of Sonora. He thus describes that section:

"The Indians represent rich Placers existing throughout this region,
and large numbers of them had lately come in with considerable
quantities of the dust. They were trading it for trifles to the
Mexicans. I got some specimens of it which was the same as the
California Gold. This was not the time of year (June) for them to work
the mines, but in the fall, after the rain has commenced. The greatest
drawback to the profitable working of the Placers of this district, is
the scarcity of water. If artesian wells succeed, there is little doubt
that it will create an important change. West from Tuseon and Tubac,
towards the Gulf of California, the country presents more the
appearance of a barren waste or desert than any district I have seen.
It nevertheless has occasional oases, with fine grazing lands about
them, and the mountains, which are more broken and detached, have
distinct marks of volcanic origin. The ranges though short, have
generally the same parallel direction as those further east. It is the
country of the Papago Indians, a peaceful and friendly tribe, extending
down to the Gulf coast, where they are mixed up somewhat with the
Cocopas of the Colorado. From Sonoita I explored to the Gulf shore,
near the mouth of Adair Bay. It was 62 miles, following a dry arroya
most of the way, and the point at which I struck the Gulf was in
latitude 31 degrees 36 minutes 34 minutes. The "Bay" is about 15 miles
across, and from all I could learn, 15 miles long, and represented as
having four fathoms of water. It is completely encircled by a range of
sand hills, reaching north-west to the Colorado river and south-east as
far as the eye could discover. These "sables" are probably eighty or
ninety miles in extent, by five to ten broad.

"Notwithstanding it appears to be the most desolate and forlorn-looking
spot for eighty miles around the head of the Gulf, the sand hills
looking like a terrible desert, nature seems even here, where no rain
had fallen for eight months, to have provided for the sustenance of
man, one of the most nutritious and palatable vegetables.

"East of the Tinaja Alta or high tank range, lie the famous Sierras del
Ajo, now United States territory. These mountains derive their name
from the vast deposits of red oxide and green carbonate of copper found
about them, and which the Indians have made use of to paint (ajo)
themselves with. The mines are unquestionably of great value, and must
become important, more particularly from their being situated in the
neighborhood of the contemplated railway. The tall Cereus Giganteus and
Agave Americana are found in abundance. From the latter plant the
natives make the pulque, mezcal and agua-diente; and the petahaya or
cereus, produces a fruit from which is made a very pleasant preserve.
At the Pimo and Maricopa villages are found wheat, corn, tobaco, and
cotton, besides melons, pumpkins, beans, etc. The nature of the soil
for great distances in the Gila valley is of a reddish loam; some parts
coated with a beautiful crystallization of salt, a quarter to half an
inch thick. This seems to be more particularly the case below the
Maricopa villages and toward the Rio Salado. The cotton, of which I
procured specimens, though cultivated by the Indians in the most
primitive manner, exhibited a texture not unlike the celebrated Sea
Island cotton. Its fibre is exceedingly soft and silky, but not of the
longest staple. Large tracts of land on the Gila and in other portions
of this district, appear to possess the same properties of soil; and
where, I have no doubt, the finest cotton will soon be extensively
raised and brought to its highest state of perfection by proper

The climate is thus referred to by Gray:

"One of the most favorable features upon the route in the vicinity of
the 32nd degree proposed for the Pacific railway is, its accessibility
at all times, admitting of labor being performed in the open air at
each season. The nature of the climate through Texas to the Rio Grande
has already been referred to, and from thence to the Santa Cruz valley
half way to the Colorado, over the elevated plateau of the Sierra
Madra, it is equally salubrious and temperate. The rainy season falls
in the summer months, and but seldom is snow seen even upon the
mountain tops. Towards the Colorado river it is much drier and more
torrid, but by no means unhealthy; nor does it prevent out door work
the whole of the day during the heated term of summer.

"The great riches of the country, however, are a total waste at the
present time, but which the Pacific railroad will at once develop, and
make to itself the foundation of a vast revenue. I refer to its
metallic wealth, the silver, gold, and copper mines that abound in
almost every mountain and valley, between the Rio Grande and the Gulf
of California.

"The ores of Chihuahua and Sonora [now Arizona. S. M.] are chiefly
sulphuret (lead or iron), or native silver in porphyritic or stratified
limestone rocks passing at greater depths into igneous rocks. From
loose piles lying upon the surface and evidently picked over, I
procured specimens of silver and copper. Three samples representing
points on the line of our exploration about equi-distant from each
other, viz.: the Rio Grande, the neighborhood of Tubac, and within 90
miles of the junction of the Gila and Colorado rivers, were submitted
to Dr. I. K. Chilton, of New York, for analysis. He found in one sample
of lead ore (argentiferous galena), by fire assay 71 per cent. of lead,
and the "LEAD YIELDED SILVER EQUIVALENT to 128 ounces, 1 dwt. to the
ton" (of 2000 pounds).

"In another, he found the lead obtained from it to yield silver in the
proportion of 72 ounces 5 dwts. to the ton or 2000 pounds.

"The copper specimen was the red oxide, and yielded as follows:

  Copper,............  71.80
  Iron,..............   7.84
  Oxygen,............  12.34
  Silicia, Alumina,..   8.02
                      100 parts.

"The Papagos and Pimas Indians, by proper management, might be made
very useful, in working upon the road where there is not much rock
excavation. They are unlike the Indians of Texas, or the Apaches,
living in villages and cultivating the soil, besides manufacturing
blankets, baskets, pottery, etc. Quiet and peaceable, they have no
fears except from their enemies, the Apaches, and are very industrious,
much more so than the lower order of Mexicans, and live far more
comfortably. It is astonishing with what precision they construct their
acequias--irrigating canals--some of them, the acequias madre, of very
large size, and without the use of levelling apparatus, but simply by
the eye. Their gardens and farms too are regularly ditched and fenced
off into rectangles and circles, with hedges and trees planted as if
done by more enlightened people."

The population of the new Territory of Arizona is at present not far
from eight thousand, and is rapidly increasing. The Mesilla Valley and
the Rio Grande are probably the most thickly populated, containing
about five thousand people. A majority of the Mesilla inhabitants are
Mexicans, but they will be controlled by the American residents, whose
number and influence is constantly on the increase. The Santa Cruz
Valley, in which are situated the towns of Tueson, Tubac, Tumacacari,
and the mining settlement of Sopori and others, is, next to Mesilla,
the most thickly settled. Tueson was formerly a town of three thousand
inhabitants; but the majority have been driven off by the Apache
Indians. It is fast becoming a thriving American town, and will before
long be a place of more importance than ever before. Real estate is
already held at high rates, and the erection of buildings shows that
American energy is about to change the face of the last half century.
Tubac had been completely deserted by the Mexicans. It has been
reoccupied by the Sonora Exploring and Mining Company, and now boasts a
population of several hundred. The Calabazas valley is also fast
filling up with an American population, and another year will see the
whole centre of the Territory dotted with settlements. Many of the fine
claims on the San Pedro River have already been located by emigrants
under the general pre-emption law, but until protection is afforded to
the settlers, but little progress will be made in agricultural
pursuits. The Apache Indian regards the soil as his own, and having
expelled the Spanish and Mexican invader, he feels little inclination
to submit to the American. A small settlement of Americans is growing
up at Colorado city, opposite Fort Yuma, at the junction of the Gila
and Colorado rivers. This point is destined to be one of great
commercial and pecuniary importance. Situated at the present head of
navigation, at the point where the overland mail route crosses the
Colorado, and where the Southern Pacific Railroad must bridge the
stream, it is a necessary stopping place for all travel across the
country. Here are transhipped all the ores coming from the Territory,
which find their way to market down the Colorado to the Gulf of
California, thence by steamer or sailing vessel to their destination.
Here all supplies of merchandise for the Territory are landed, and from
this point forwarded to their various owners. A thriving commerce has
already sprung up between Arizona and San Francisco. In almost any
daily paper in San Francisco may be seen vessels advertised for the
mouth of the Colorado. Two steamers find active employment in
transporting government stores from the head of the Gulf of California
to Fort Yuma, and goods to Colorado city for the merchants of Tueson,
Tubac, Calabazas, and for the mining companies. Should the exploration
of the Upper Colorado by Lieutenant Ives, United States Army, now in
progress, prove successful, Colorado city will become still more
important, as the surplus products of the rich valleys of New Mexico,
Utah, and California to the north, will all find a market down the
Colorado. Property in this new city is held at high rates, and by the
last San Francisco News Letter is quoted at an advance. The population
of Arizona Territory has much increased within a few months by
emigration from California. The massacre of Henry A. Crabbe and his
party by the Mexicans at Cavorca created a desire for revenge
throughout all California. Companies have been formed, and large
parties are settling in Arizona, near the Mexican line, with the
ulterior object of overrunning Sonora, and revenging the tragedy in
which was shed some of the best blood of the State. The appropriation
by the last Congress of two hundred thousand dollars for the
construction of a wagon road from El Paso to Fort Yuma, and the two
mail contracts, semi-monthly and semi-weekly, which involve an
expenditure of nine hundred thousand dollars per annum, will afford
employment to a host of people, and draw at once to the neighborhood of
the route an active and energetic population. The new wagon and mail
route traverses the Territory of Arizona throughout its entire length.
Along the mail route, at intervals, military posts will be established.
These and the necessary grazing stations will create points around
which settlements will at once grow up, and the country, now bare, will
show everywhere thriving villages. The Southern Pacific Railroad, which
will be built because it is necessary to the country, will find its way
easily through Arizona.

It is no exaggeration to say that the mining companies, in their own
interest, will be forced to subscribe enough to the stock of the
company to insure its success. The Arizona Copper Mining Company is now
paying $100 per ton for the transportation of its ores from the mines
to Colorado city. One year's freight money at this rate would build
many miles of the road. The silver mining companies will be only too
glad to get their ores to market at so cheap a rate, as their
proportion of the subscription to the railroad. Iron and coal are both
found in the Territory,--the former especially in great abundance.
Texas has guaranteed the road to El Paso, by her generous legislation;
Arizona will build it, with her mineral wealth, to Fort Yuma, the
eastern boundary of California, and California will do the rest. The
first terminus of the Southern Pacific Railroad will doubt less be on
the Gulf of California, at the Island of Tiburon, or more probably
Guyamas. A steam ferry across the Gulf, a short railroad across the
peninsula of Lower California to a secure harbor on the Pacific, (where
a steamer will take passengers and freight in four days to San
Francisco,) is the most natural course of this route. In view of this
probability, all the available points for such a terminus on the Gulf
have been, or are in progress of being, secured by capitalists, either
by obtaining grants from the Mexican Government, or by purchase from
private individuals. Already Guyamas is owned in great part by English
and American capitalists. A port on the Gulf of California is necessary
to our Pacific possessions, and must be ours sooner or later. The
longer it is delayed, the worse for American progress on the Pacific.
Arizona needs it at once, as a depot for the export of her ores, and
for the import of goods for the supply of her population.

The Mormon war has closed for years the great emigrant road to
California and Oregon, over the South Pass and Salt Lake valley,
leaving open only the route along the 32d parallel of latitude, through
Arizona. This route is by far the most practicable at all seasons of
the year, and the closing of the South Pass route by the Mormon
difficulty is an additional and urgent argument in favor of the early
organization of this Territory. Fifty thousand souls will move towards
the Pacific early in the spring, if the route is opened to a secure

The present condition of Arizona Territory is deplorable in the
extreme. Throughout the whole country there is no redress for crimes or
civil injuries--no courts, no law, no magistrates. The Territory of New
Mexico, to which it is attached by an act of Congress, affords it
neither protection nor sustenance. The following extracts from letters
received by the writer tell the story of the necessity for early action
on the part of Congress, in urgent terms.


Affairs in the Territory have not improved. A party of Americans (our
countrymen) had made an "excursion" into Sonora, captured a train of
mules, and killed several Mexicans. Upon their return to the Territory
with their ill-gotten booty, the citizens formed a company and took the
property away from them, and returned it to the owners in Magdalena, [a
town of Sonora--Ed.] and delivered the robbers up to Major Steen,
commanding first dragoons, to be held in custody until Courts should be
organized. They have again been turned loose upon the community. In
justice to Major Fitzgerald I must say he was in favor of retaining
them in custody, and has generally maintained favoring law and order in
the Territory, but as he is only second in command he has no absolute

We have no remedy but to follow the example so wide spread in the
Union, and form a "Vigilance Committee"--contrary to all good morals,
law, order, and society. Can you do nothing to induce the government to
establish authority and law in this country, and avert this unhappy

It is not desired by any good citizens, and tends to anarchy and
mobocracy, causing disloyalty in our own citizens and bringing the
reproach of foreigners upon our republican institutions. It is
impossible to progress in developing the resources of the country under
this state of affairs. The greatest objection the capitalists of San
Francisco have to aiding me in the development of silver mines, is the
insecurity of property, want of protection from government, and general
distrust of fair and honest legislation.

They have no confidence that the guarantees of the GADSDEN TREATY will
be respected by the United States, in regard to land titles under the
Mexican government.

The silver ore brought to San Francisco from our mines, has been tested
by a dozen different officers, in as many different ways, and no result

Senator Gwin goes on to Washington soon, and will corroborate my
statements. He has a piece of the silver, the first smelted in San
Francisco, showing $8,735 20--EIGHT THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED AND
THIRTY-FIVE 20-100 DOLLARS PER TON OF ORE. Mr. Dunbar is getting the
petition to Congress signed--and moving in the affairs of the Territory
in connection with Mr. Ehrenberg and our friends--but the government
came near "crushing us out" by sending a Custom House Collector to
consume and destroy what little we had saved from the Apaches. Can
nothing be done to rid us of a Custom House? It is no protection. The
Territory (as yet) produces nothing but minerals--and we have to pay
duty upon every article of consumption. This is a very onerous tax upon
our first feeble efforts to develop the resources of this remote and
unprotected country.

Very truly yours,
  C. D. Poston.

To Lieut. Mowry, U. S. A., Washington, D. C.

"We are living without the protection of law or the ameliorations of
society. New Mexico affords us no protection. We have not even received
an order for election. Every one goes armed to the teeth, and a
difficulty is sure to prove fatal. In this state of affairs it is
impossible to hold a convention."

Tueson, Oct. 1, 1857.

We are pleased to hear that the prospect for Arizona is so bright. If
you should succeed in getting a separate organization for Arizona, you
will lay the people under many obligations to you. You have no doubt
received many petitions for Congress, and also your certificate of
election as delegate for this purchase. You received the entire vote;
there was no difference of opinion among the voters.

Your ob't serv't,
  J. A. Douglas.

Lt. Mowry, U. S. A.
  Tucson, Oct. 25, 1857.

I send you the last petition from the Territory. The work is now in
your hands, and we say, God speed it.

G. H. Oury.

Tueson, Arizona Territory, Oct. 17, 1857.

Every thing begins to look up in the Territory notwithstanding the
difficulties we labor under. The Indians the other day came within
eight hundred yards of Fort Buchanan and remained some time, and when
they left carried off with them all the horses and mules in the valley
for six or eight miles below. Try your hand in this matter of our
Territory, and see if some change cannot be wrought to some benefit--we
need it greatly.

Very truly yours,
  G. H. Oury.

Tueson, Oct. 2, 1857.

We have heard from Mesilla and they fully concur with us in all we have
done, showing that you are the person chosen to act for them and to
represent their interest in this matter. The people here are very much
elated at the turn things are taking, and every one seems to be highly
pleased with the course you have pursued. An election was held on the
first Monday in September, at which you received all the votes given,
and a certificate of your election, signed by the judges and clerks,
has been forwarded to you. The country is being settled very fast, and
there is somewhat of a stir to obtain cultivated lands. The lands
already under cultivation are now fifty per cent. higher than a short
time back. The great misfortune we labor under is want of protection.
Thousands and thousands of acres of land, as rich and fertile as any on
the face of the globe, lie idle and useless because they are not
protected from the Apaches. We want only one thing besides the
Territorial organization, and that is PROTECTION.

Very truly yours,
  S. Warner.

Oct. 8, 1857.

The guerilla warfare on the Sonora frontier continues with increased
aggravation. We look for the happiest result from the exploration of
this interesting region of the Colorado, about to be explored by Lieut.
Ives, U. S. A. The ores from the Heintzelman mine took the premium at
the mechanics' fair in San Francisco, just closed, where the ores from
California and the western coast were on exhibition. So, Arizona leads
California, the great mineral State.

All we need is good government and honest, liberal legislation to make
Arizona equal in production of precious metals, if not exceed,

Yours truly,
  C. D. Poston.

Lt. Mowry, U. S. A.
  Fort Yuma, June 2, 1857.

News has just come in from the Arizona which represent an awful state
of affairs. During the time Mr. Belknap was below at Sonora it was
unsafe for him to go out unless accompanied by his friend, Don
Gaudaloupe Orosco, and even then it was very dangerous. No news from
Sonora nor even an arrival for the last twenty days. God knows what is
going on; though of one thing we are certain--no American, never mind
whatsoever he may be, can go into Sonora, with or without a passport.

Very sincerely yours,
  P. R. Brady.

Aug. 5, 1850.

The condition of the purchase has been extremely bad since the
unfortunate and injudicious expedition of Crabbe into Sonora, and at
the present time is but little better than a field of guerilla warfare,
robbery and plunder.

The exasperated state of feeling between the Mexicans and Americans
prevents intercourse and commerce, upon which the Territory is
dependent. Americans are afraid to venture into Sonora for supplies,
and Mexicans afraid to venture over the line. Americans who had nothing
to do with the fillibustering invasion have been treated badly in
Sonora and driven out of the country, and Mexicans coming into the
purchase with supplies and animals have been robbed and plundered by
the returned fillibusters.

The Americans in the Territory are by no means harmonious on these
subjects--some in favor of filibustering and others opposed to it; some
in favor of murdering and robbing Mexicans wherever found, and others
opposed to it.

It results that we are in a state of anarchy, and there is no
government, no protection to life, property, or business; no law and no
self-respect or morality among the people. We are living in a perfect
state of nature, without the restraining influence of civil or military
law, or the amelioration of society.

There have not been many conflicts and murders, because every man goes
armed to the teeth, and a difficulty is always fatal on one side or the
other. In the midst of all this, the Government has blessed us with a
custom house at Calabazos to collect duties upon the necessaries of
life which, by chance and "running the gauntlet," we may get from

God send that we had been left alone with the Apaches. We should have
been a thousand times better off in every respect.

In this state of affairs it is scarcely to be expected that the people
will meet together in a convention; there was no arrangement for that
purpose up to the time of my leaving, and none could be made.

We have never had any orders of election from Santa Fe, nor heard of
any convention.

Yours truly,
  C. D. Poston.

Major Fitzgerald, U. S. A., whose long experience on the Pacific coast
makes his opinion very valuable, in a letter dated Fort Buchanan,
Arizona, Sept. 17th, 1854, says:

"The citizens of this country are very desirous of a territorial
organization, with its courts, &c. Murders are committed and stock is
stolen by white men with impunity. There is no court nearer than the
Rio Grande (300 miles) to take cognizance of crime. Some few of the
emigrants of this year have remained in the Santa Cruz valley. More
would have done so, no doubt, if they had not started from the States
originally with stock for the California market.

The country around us is now beautiful. It has been raining almost
daily since the 1st of July, and the vegetation is most luxuriant. Many
of the Mexican citizens come over the line for purposes of trade,
bringing flour, fruit, and leather. If there was no custom house at
Calabazas, these articles could be had very cheaply.

We have very excellent gardens, and plenty of vegetables. There is said
to be a good deal of cultivable land on the upper Gila, and if a
territory is created, it should embrace this. This would also include a
large part of the Colorado valley above the junction of the Gila. That
you may succeed in your wishes with regard to Arizona, is the sincere
desire of

Your friend and obliged serv't,
  E. H. Fitzgerald."

Lt. Mowry, U. S. A.

A subsequent letter from Major Fitzgerald dated Oct. 1st, says Tueson
contains rising five hundred inhabitants, the remainder of the Santa
Cruz altogether enough to make considerable over a thousand,
independent of the population towards and upon the Gila and Colorado,
of which he remarks,

"You know more than I." "There is not a doubt but that upon the
location of the mail route, there will be a considerable emigration to
this country, and if a portion of Sonora be organized, large numbers
will come both from the East and West. The country is an excellent one
for stock of all kinds, of which there were great numbers where the
Apaches were gathered under the wing of the Catholic church. The
valleys of Santa Cruz, San Pedro, and Upper Gila, and also that of
Messilla, contain large bodies of productive lands, and all the cereals
THERE IS NO DOUBT, but it requires capital to develop it. As yet but
little progress has been made in mining. Evidences of old works are
seen on many of the water courses, but operations have not yet been
recommenced, except at Arizona, Sopori, and Ariaola, principally
because the country is very partially settled, and it is not safe to be
at any distance from the mass of the population, and the troops. Copper
ore is found in many localities, but little gold is yet discovered. If
the road from El Paso to Fort Yuma be located by Parke's route, as many
suppose, A FINE COUNTRY WILL BE OPENED on the Gila and Lower San Pedro,
which will produce ample supplies. The Territory presents no
difficulties of importance to the successful establishment of the road.
or even a portion of it be organized, this will be one of the most
pleasant localities of our country. A delightful climate, plenty of
fine fruit, facility of supply by a port on the Pacific, semi-weekly
mails from the east and west,--are only some of the attractions which
it would possess.

Sonora is quiet. Many of the wealthy men there are in favor of
annexation, it is said, but they have to keep silent on the subject for
fear of noisy patriots, who would proclaim them traitors at once, if
they made a parade of their inclinations. The San Antonio and San Deigo
mail passes through Tueson once a fortnight, and seems to have met with
no important obstacle yet. A drove of mules accompanies it, which are
harnessed in turn. When regular stations are established its speed will
be much increased. My last letter was not written with a view of the
use being made of it you mentioned, yet if it answers a good purpose, I
have no objection. It was but a careless note, but its contents were
truths, nevertheless." (This note demonstrated the facility of supply
for the Territory from the Pacific.)

"Most truly your friend,
  (Signed,) E. H. Fitzgerald."

Tubac, Gadsden's Purchase, 22d Oct., 1857.

"We have of late been seriously annoyed by the Apaches. Nearly all the
animals belonging to the citizens residing around Fort Buchanan have
been driven off by the Apaches. They are very impudent, and commit
their depredations in broad day-light, talk to the people while they
are driving off the animals, and always escape without being molested.

The other day they came within 800 yards of the Fort and looked down
upon it.

In order to bring them to terms the Government ought to enlist 1000
Pinos and Papagos to accompany the military. Indians are the only
persons who can successfully traverse these mountains and hunt up their
hiding places. If this is not done, they will surely break up our
settlements here. Forts ought to be established in the very heart of
the Apache country, in the places fit, and used by them for
cultivation. If this is done we will soon bring them to terms.

Until now, our mining establishments have not been molested by them,
and we are going on in high glee. This is undoubtedly the richest
silver mining country in the world. If the United States will make just
and liberal laws for us; give us protection; remove those trifling and
unprofitable custom houses on the frontier, at least for 5 or 6 years;
procure us a transit through Sonora to Guaymas, and hasten along the
rail-road to California, this will indeed be a prosperous country, and
will astonish the world with its production of silver and copper. But
with such terrible obstacles as those mentioned above and the great
length of transit to transport goods over the roads which we have to
take at present, progress only is possible for such as find mines of
the extraordinary and incredible richness of the Heintzelman vein. If
the present promises of few of these mines are realized, by working
them on a scale commensurate with their extent and richness, I have no
doubt but that they will equal in production the whole silver exports
of Mexico.

I think an appropriation ought to be made to sink artesian wells
through the Papagos country, between San Xavier and the lower Gila.
This route cuts off about 100 miles from the best route via the Pinos
villages. It is laid down on my map, as a rail-road route, now at the
office of the Sonora Exploring and Mining Company, at Cincinnati, Ohio.

The country consists of a succession of plains and isolated mountain
ridges, none of which need to be crossed. In fact it is a dead level to
Fort Yuma, and, in consequence, no grading is necessary. There is
scarcity of water, but the soil in general is excellent and grass
abounds all along the line, while the mountains teem with minerals of
the richest description. The oxides and the sulphurets of copper are
the most beautiful and richest in the world. Silver undoubtedly exists
of equal richness.

All the foothills contain gold, but I hardly think it will be extracted
by the whites, as the localities are devoid of water, and they are not
probably rich enough to pay without sluicing on an extensive scale."

I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
  Herman Ehrenberg.

To Lieut. S. Mowry, U. S. A.,
  Delegate elect from Arizona,
    Washington, D. C.

The only comment the writer has to make upon these statements is, that
two years' residence among and acquaintance with the people of Arizona,
has convinced him of their absolute truth. At the last session of
Congress a petition was presented, praying for a separate Territorial
organization. The necessity for some legislation was admitted by both
Senate and House; and bills creating a separate judicial district and
land offices, passed both Houses, but owing to some minor differences
and the lateness of the session, the bills failed to become a law.

With an increased population and prolonged grievances, the people of
Arizona are again about to present themselves as supplicants for that
right inherent in the American heart--the right of self-government--and
of protection under the law. Their petition sets forth in brief, plain
terms, their situation and necessities, and prays simply for a
separation from New Mexico and a Territorial organization under the
name of Arizona. As a matter of necessity for the successful carriage
of the mail across the country, this Territorial organization is
imperative. No contract for labor or supplies can be enforced in the
present condition of the country. Courts of law must be established,
with officers to enforce their mandates, or the contractors will be
utterly unable to carry out their contract.

The great necessity of a safe and speedy overland communication with
the Pacific, has directed public attention to the organization of
Arizona as a separate Territory, and the desired legislation has
received the unanimous endorsement of the press of the whole country.
Petitions with thousands of signatures from leading citizens of the
majority of the states of the Union, will be presented to Congress
asking for the immediate organization of the new Territory as the best
means to at once open a highway to the Pacific; and so important has
this view of the question been deemed as to call from the President of
the United States a recommendation in his message to Congress. No
opposition has been made to the most just prayer of the people of
Arizona, and it is believed that none will be made, unless it comes
from New Mexico. It must be born in mind that the Gadsden Purchase was
not originally an integral part of New Mexico; that it was acquired
years after the treaty of Gaudaloupe Hidalgo, and was only attached to
the territory of New Mexico as a temporary expedient. It must also be
remembered that the Gadsden Purchase, with the portion of New Mexico
which it is proposed to include within the limits of the territory of
Arizona, is separated from New Mexico proper by natural boundaries;
that it derives no benefit from the present connection, and that any
opposition to the desired legislation arises from the Mexican
population, which fears the influence of a large American emigration.
Moreover, that New Mexico contains upwards of 200,000 square miles, and
that its organic act provides for its partition; showing clearly that
Congress anticipated, at no remote day, the settlement of the country
by an American population, and its erection into several territories
and states. The only effect of the present connection of Arizona with
New Mexico is to crush out the voice and sentiment of the American
people in the territory; and years of emigration, under present
auspices, would not serve to counterbalance or equal the influence of
the 60,000 Mexican residents of New Mexico. New Mexico has never
encouraged American population. She is thoroughly Mexican in sentiment,
and desires to remain so.

As a matter of State policy, the organization of Arizona is of the
first importance. Situated between New Mexico and Sonora, it is
possible now to make it a thoroughly American State, which will
constantly exert its influence in both directions, to nationalize the
other two. New Mexico is at present thoroughly Mexican in its character
and vote. Sonora, if we acquire it at once, will be the same. By
separating Arizona from it, and encouraging an American emigration, it
will become "the leaven which shall leaven the whole lump." By allowing
it to remain attached to New Mexico, or by attaching it to Sonora when
acquired, the American influence will be swallowed up in the great
preponderance of the Mexican vote. The Apache Indian is preparing
Sonora for the rule of a higher civilization than the Mexican. In the
past half century, the Mexican element has disappeared from what is now
called Arizona, before the devastating career of the Apache. It is
every day retreating further South, leaving to us, when it is ripe for
our possession, the territory without the population.

The incentives to emigration to Arizona, in addition to the charm which
the discovery of mineral wealth carries to every mind, are very great.
The writer, in an extended tour through the Southern States, found many
people, mostly young men of moderate means, ready and anxious to
emigrate. The movement is still stronger in Southwestern States, and
already many a train of wagons is on its way. It will have no end for
years, for so mild and healthy is the climate that emigration is
practicable at all seasons. Snow never lies on the soil, and frost is
almost unknown. The contracts already authorized by Congress involve
the expenditure of six millions of dollars in the next six years; the
troops in the Territory will cost as much more. Here is enough money in
hard sub-treasury coin, to draw a large population, independent of
other considerations. All ready in many places the enterprising
merchant exposes his stock of goods only two months from San Francisco,
but he does it with the prayer that the Apache may pass him by, and too
often he sees his hard-earned profits disappear before the Indian's
successful foray.

The establishment of a firm government in Arizona will extend the
protection of the United States over American citizens resident in the
adjoining Mexican provinces. This protection is most urgently demanded.
Englishmen in Sonora enjoy not only perfect immunity in the pursuit of
business, but also encouragement. Americans are robbed openly by
Mexican officials, insulted, thrown into prison, and sometimes put to
death. No redress is ever demanded or received. This state of things
has so long existed that the name of American has become a byword and a
reproach in northern Mexico, and the people of that frontier believe
that we have neither the power nor the inclination to protect our own
citizens. The influence of a Territorial government, with the tide of
American emigration which will surely follow it, must entirely change
the tone and temper of these Mexican States.

The population of Arizona to-day, exceeds that of Washington Territory,
and is far greater than was that of Minnesota, Kansas or Nebraska, at
the time of their organization. An election for a Delegate has been
held, at which several hundred votes were polled, and the writer
returned without opposition. The unsettled and dangerous condition of
the country prevented a convention being held, but letters have been
received from all parts of the Territory, expressing a hearty
concurrence in the election on the part of those unable to vote, and an
earnest desire for the Territorial organization.

A number of gentlemen at present in Washington, can testify from actual
observation, to the truth of the statements here made in reference to
Arizona--among them I am permitted to name General Anderson, late U. S.
Senator from Tennessee, who almost alone, with rare perseverance and
courage, explored, in 1850, the whole length of the Territory, Major
Heintzelman, U. S. A., whose long station at Fort Yuma made him
acquainted with the resources of the country, and who has shown at once
his intelligence and foresight and his faith in the prospective wealth
of the silver region, by large investments of capital, Col. A. B. Gray,
late U. S. Surveyor of the Mexican Boundary line, I. Smith McMicken,
Esq., whose residence for many years on the Mexican frontier has
entitled his opinion to some weight, and A. H. Campbell, Esq.,
Superintendent of Wagon Roads, whose information is full and reliable.
To these names it may not be improper to add that of the writer, who
has for two years past, while residing at the junction of the Gila and
Colorado Rivers, made the new Territory and its resources, an object of
constant observation and study, and whose experience on the Pacific
coast, and in the frontier Territories, and on the route across the
continent, during the past five years, has enabled him to speak
understandingly of the capabilities and necessities of a new country,
and of a frontier people.

In five years a great State may be built upon this remote frontier, and
a population gathered, such as will, when we make further acquisition
of territory, spread at once over it, diffusing national sentiment and
extending the area of American principles.

Aside from these considerations, justice and humanity, imperatively
demand that Congress shall bear and at once answer the prayer of the
people of Arizona for protection. If these considerations fail, then
they offer INTEREST; for the organization of the Territory is the
guarantee of a supply of silver, which will create as great a
revolution in the commercial world as has the gold of California.
Arizona will be known as the silver State, and the prediction of
Humboldt, that the balance between gold and silver, destroyed by the
California discoveries, would one day be restored, will be made good,
from the resources of the Gadsden purchase.


The undersigned, your humble petitioners, citizens of the United
States, and residents of the Territory known as the Gadsden Purchase,
respectfully represent:

That since the annexation of their Territory to the United States, they
have been totally unprotected from Indian depredations and civil crimes.

That the protection of the Mexican Government has been with drawn, and
that it has not been replaced by any visible protection from the United

That the annexation of the Purchase to New Mexico, carried with it no
protection for life or property.

That the present force of United States troops, four companies of
dragoons, reduced by desertion and death to about one half, is entirely
inadequate to protect us against the depredations of the Apaches.

That many of your petitioners have expended their time and means in
opening and prospecting rich mines of Copper and Silver, and have been
driven from them by the Indians--losing their all, and also many
valuable lives.

That the Territory is immensely rich in minerals, especially Silver and
Copper; and, as your petitioners most firmly believe, the development
of these mines will make a change in the currency of the world, only
equalled by that caused by the gold mines of California.

That a great part of the Territory, between the Rio Grande and Tueson,
is susceptible of cultivation and will support a large agricultural

That this portion of the Territory is in the hands of the Apaches, and
useless, unless redeemed from their grasp and protected to the farmer.

That the highways of the Territory are stained with the blood of
citizens of the United States, shed by Indians and by public marauders,
who commit their crimes in open day, knowing there is no law to
restrain and no magistrate to arrest them.

That this Territory, under a separate organization, would attract a
large population and become immediately developed: and, that its
isolation--its large Indian population--its proximity to a
semi-civilized Mexican province, and its peculiar and wonderful
resources, demand protection from the Government more emphatically than
any other territory yet recognised.

That our soil has been stained with the blood of American citizens,
shed by Mexican hands, in an armed invasion of our Territory near
Sonoita, and that there is no civil magistrate or officer here to even
protest against such an outrage.

That throughout their whole Territory, from the Rio Grande to the Rio
Colorado, six hundred miles, there is no Court of Record, and no
redress except that inefficiently administered in a Justice's Court,
for civil injuries or crimes.

That the population of the Territory is much greater than was that of
Kansas or Nebraska or Washington Territory, at the time of their
organization, and that it is steadily increasing, and will, under the
influence of the Road and Mail Bills of the last Congress, be greatly

That there are no post routes or mail facilities throughout the
Territory, and that finally, we are cut off from all the comforts of
civilization--and that we claim, as a right, that protection which the
United States should everywhere extend to her humblest citizen.
Wherefore your petitioners humbly pray that the Gadsden Purchase may be
separated from New Mexico and erected into a separate Territory under
the name of Arizona, with such boundaries as may seem proper to your
honorable bodies, and that such other legislation may be made as shall
be best calculated to place us on the same footing as our more
fortunate brethren of Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Oregon and
Washington, that we may be enabled to build up a prosperous and
thriving State, and to nourish on this extreme frontier a healthy
national sentiment. And we, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

[Signed by more than five hundred resident voters.]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memoir of the Proposed Territory of Arizona" ***

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