1. ARIZONA. HOW ACQUIRED.—ORGANIZATION.—BOUNDARIES AND EXTENT.—NAME.


Up: Contents Previous: TESTIMONIAL. Next: 2. EARLY SETTLEMENT BY SPANIARDS, JESUIT PRIESTS,OLD MISSIONS, ETC.

THAT portion of United States territory known as Arizona, was, prior to the treaty between Mexico and the United States, February 2, 1848, a portion of the Mexican state of Sonora. Owing to a misunderstanding between the two governments respecting the boundary line, another treaty was made in 1854, by Which the United States acquired that portion of the territory south of the Gila River, commonly known as the Gadsden Purchase, paying for the same the sum of ten millions of dollars. From this time until 1863, Arizona was appended to New Mexico.

By act of Congress, February 24, 1863, Arizona was formed into a separate and distinct Territory of the United States, and was duly organized by its Governor, the Hon. John N. Goodwin, at Navajoe1 1


[page 14]

Springs, December 29, 1863. The seat of government was established, by proclamation of the Governor, at or near Fort Whipple, which was then in the beautiful Chino Valley, twenty-two miles north of where Prescott now is. This fort was removed in 1866 to its present location one mile north of Prescott, where the government had been located in 1864. In 1867 the seat of government was removed to Tucson, an old Spanish town in the rich Santa Cruz Valley, some seventy-five miles north of the Sonora line, at which place it still remained in December, 1876, but was removed back to Prescott in January, 1877.

The Hon. Richard C. McCormick came to the Territory with Governor Goodwin and suite as secretary of the Territory, and succeeded Governor Goodwin as governor, and afterwards was delegate in Congress for six years, and was succeeded as delegate by the Hon. Hiram S. Stevens, the present delegate. The Hon. A. P. K. Safford succeeded Governor McCormick as governor, and has held the position for the past six years in an acceptable manner.

Arizona is in latitude 31° 20′ to 37° north, and in longitude 32° to 37° 40′ west from Washington, and contains about 122,000 square miles, or 78,080,000 acres, the whole area being nearly three times that of the State of New York, and one third larger than all the New England States combined. It is bounded


[page 15]

on the north By Nevada and Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south By the Mexican state of Sonora, and on the west by California and Nevada.

Of the origin and significance of the name, Arizona, there seems to Be much doubt, and a score or more of definitions have been given By different and well-informed persons. Referring Back to the old Aztec traditions, the following significant item occurs, which may assist somewhat in the explanation.

“The earth is the offspring of the sky. Long prior to the present race of men, the earth was peopled By a race of giants who in time died off, leaving the earth uninhabited. After a long time, a celestial virgin, a child of one of the thirteen great deities who rule all things, came down to the earth, and being well pleased, remained for a long time its sole inhabitant. Once when in a deep sleep, a drop of dew from heaven fell on her, and she conceived and bore two children, a son and daughter, from whom have sprung all the people of the earth. The name of this celestial virgin was Arizunna, the Beautiful, or sun beloved maiden.” The Mohave language, which is by far the most perfect and complete of any of the Indian dialects of the country, has two words of nearly the same meaning: Ari, meaning the sun, holy, good, or Beautiful; and Urnia, maid, or maiden; which together means the land of the Beautiful or lovely maiden. This may Be the true meaning of the word


[page 16]

Arizona. Another definition is this, Ari, from the Mohave, meaning beautiful, or good, and Zona, from the Spanish, a zone, and taken together, meaning the land of the beautiful zone. Both of these definitions seem to be Well made, and both are quite significant and expressive.


Notes

1. Nav-a-ho.

Up: Contents Previous: TESTIMONIAL. Next: 2. EARLY SETTLEMENT BY SPANIARDS, JESUIT PRIESTS,OLD MISSIONS, ETC.




© Arizona Board of Regents