CHAPTER XVI. CREATION OF TERRITORY
Real Causes for Creation of Territory—Efforts of Chas. D. Poston—Introduction of Bill for Creation by Mr. Ashley—Passage of Same Through House and Senate—Signing of Same by President Lincoln—Description of Passage of Bill by Chas. D. Poston—Appointments of Officials of Territory—Starting of Officials for Territory.
Undoubtedly the Confederate invasion of Arizona and New Mexico, and the organization of Arizona into a separate Territory by the Confederates, which was acknowledged by the Confederate Government, with the discovery of gold in large quantities in Arizona, of which the Government at that time stood in great need, were the real causes of the passage of the bill through Congress in the session of 1862–63 for the creation of the Territory of Arizona.
Charles D. Poston, who was in Washington at that time, aided by General Heintzelman, was active in promoting the measure, which had the support of Ben Wade of Ohio, in the Senate and Ashley, of Ohio, in the House.
On March 12th, 1862, Mr. Ashley introduced a bill for the organization of the Territory of Arizona, which was referred to the Committee on Territories. This bill, adopting the suggestion of New Mexico, fixed the north and south-eastern
This bill, after a lively debate, was passed through the House by a small majority on May 8th. 1862. Watts, the Delegate from New Mexico, and Ashley, from Ohio, were its chief advocates in the House, and Wheeler of New York, led the opposition. It was argued, that Arizona's white population of 6500 evidently included the Mexican population, for, at that time, by the best accounts, the native born American population was not over 600, and they, and the four thousand civilized Indians were entitled to a civil government and protection as citizens of the United States, which it was contended they could not receive as long as it was under the territorial government of New Mexico. It was also argued that the great mineral wealth of the country was ample justification for the necessary expenditure in creating a new Territory. The opposition claimed that the population never had been sufficient for a territory; that the 6500 population shown in the census included Mexicans and half breeds, totally unfit for American citizenship, that the American population as enumerated at that time had been driven out and that the territory was in the possession of rebels and hostile Indians. Under such
In the Senate the bill was supported by McDougal of California and Wade of Ohio. After some debate the bill was postponed from June, 1862, to December of the same year. Final action was taken on the 20th day of February, 1863, when the clause designating Tucson as the capitol was removed, and, under the championship of Senator Wade, the bill was finally passed by a vote of twenty-five to twelve and signed by President Lincoln on the 24th day of February, 1863.
Charles D. Poston, in giving his connection with the final passage of this bill says: ‘‘At the meeting of Congress in Dec. 1862 I returned to Washington, made friends with Lincoln, and proposed the organization of the terr. of Arizona. Oury (who I suppose had been elected delegate in '62 to succeed McGowan) was in Richmond, cooling his heels in the ante-chambers of the confederate congress without gaining admission as a delegate from Arizona. Mowry was a prisoner in Yuma, cooling his head from the political fever which had afflicted it, and meditating on the decline and fall of a West Point
The newly appointed statesmen started overland in August for Arizona, except Chas D. Poston, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, J. Ross Browne, agent for the Department of the Interior, Milton B. Duffield, U. S. Marshal, and Robert F. Greely, Deputy Marshal for the Territory, who came by way of California, under the military escort of Capt. S. A. Gorham, who conducted them to Tucson on January 17th, 1864.