CHAPTER III. TRAVELS OF GOVERNOR GOODWIN'S PARTY
Governor Goodwin's party left Fort Larnard (Larned) in Nebraska, on October 15th, 1863. One of the members of his party was Jonathan Richmond, who came to Arizona under the promise from Judge Howell, that he would make him clerk of his court. This young man was a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan; was educated at a military school in New England; spent a year in Oriental waters on a merchantman from Boston; served two years in the Navy during the Civil War, and, after a short residence in Arizona, finally located and spent the balance of his life on a ranch in Shawnee County, Kansas. To Miss Rebecca L. Richmond, a relative of Jonathan, Arizona is indebted for the following letters which describe the course of the Governor's party from Fort Larned, Nebraska, to Fort Whipple, and happenings along the way:‘‘
“We arrived here on Sunday about five p. m., and camped about a mile east of the Fort on a small creek (or mud hole rather) called Cow Creek. We found encamped here a train of twenty-eight wagons, drawn by two hundred and eighty oxen, and one company of Mo. Cavalry as an escort. They left Leavenworth a week
“On Thursday we routed a drove of fifty-seven buffalo, and in the lapse of an hour four lay dead, and were fast losing flesh in the shape of roasts, steaks, etc. On that night the buffalo meat over the camp fires scented the air for miles around.
“On Friday we had the good luck to kill three more, which has supplied us with buffalo meat for the trip. It is sliced up into small steaks and hung in the wagon to dry, when it is eaten raw or cooked, according to taste. We shall be out of the buffalo country tomorrow, but shall have abundance of game, such as antelope, deer, etc. Prairie chickens we have not had for over a week.
“The country through, which we have come thus far is a vast prairie, not a tree to be seen for miles, a few only on the borders of some creek. Most of the grass along the road has been burned by the Indians in order to keep the buffalo off the track of the white man. We apprehend a great deal of trouble with the Indians between
“On Thursday, Oct. 15th, at 6 a. m. broke camp and traveled sixteen miles, camping on Coon Creek, a short distance from the camp of the Prairie Apache Indians. We found but little wood on the creek, consequently had to eat cold ‘grub.’ During the night our camp was surrounded by wolves, which kept up a continual howl until early morn. Soon after daylight we spied a larger buffalo. In the twinkling of an eye rifles were in hand and, after a short chase, the monster was brought to the ground by the
“On Friday, traveled twenty-two miles and camped on the Arkansas River, which we found dry, but by digging a few feet in the bed of the river, found excellent Water. Being out of the wood district, were obliged to use, as a substitute, buffalo ‘chips,’ which, to our surprise, made a better fire than the wood we had been using. The chief of a tribe of the Prairie Apaches stopped in camp over night.
“Saturday opened very cold, with strong northwest wind from the mountains. Broke camp at daylight. Saw this day many prairie dogs, small animals similar to our muskrat, which live in the river banks. About noon passed a train of ten ox wagons, bound west, and met a tribe of Indians moving East, probably to Fort Larned. At 4 p. m. camped on the Arkansas, having travelled twenty miles. Obliged to dig for water and use buffalo ‘chips.’
“It is amusing enough after coming into camp to see all, from the Governor down, out on the prairie, bag in hand, collecting ‘chips.’ On Sunday saw several white wolves skulking about in the big grass. At 3 p. m., camped on the river, having moved twenty-five miles. Found plenty of water, but no wood. During the night a report was in circulation that there were 2,000 Texan rangers twenty-five miles in our advance. Travelled twenty miles on Monday. Met the stage carrying the United States mail. Very cold night. Tuesday walked most of the day, it being cold riding. No wood yet. Wednesday, one of the coldest days I have
“There are about six hundred troops stationed here, mostly Colorado volunteers; three companies of cavalry, one of infantry, and two sections of battery. There are quite a number of tribes of Indians camped near, which are very troublesome. During the summer, when game is plenty, they do not hang around these parts, but as soon as winter approaches they come in, and manage to beg or steal their living until spring, when they resume their wild pursuits.
“The governor has a Santa Fe paper (Elnoro Amejicano) of the 17th of October, from which I have been reading an official report of Capt. N. J. Pishon, U. S. A., concerning the recent mining discoveries among the San Francisco mountains, ‘Weaver's and Walker's District.’ Capt. Pishon left Fort Craig, New Mexico, with his company, to escort Surveyor-General John A. Clark, to the newly discovered gold fields of Capt. Walker and party.
“The San Francisco mountains of Arizona lie north of the Gila, and from one hundred to two hundred miles east of the Colorado River. Pishon says in his report that the mines are far richer than any previously discovered. He was there twelve days, travelling and prospecting. Gold was found everywhere. No pan was washed out but yielded more or less of the yellow metal. A quantity of dirt—about two-thirds full of a flour sack—was washed and yielded $8.75. The mining ground is known to extend one hundred and fifty miles, and Capt. Walker is confident that richer mines and more water for mining purposes exist further to the east, but he cannot venture into that country on account of the hostility of the Indians. Those whom they have encountered thus far are perfectly friendly, but the Tonto Apaches, who live just beyond, say that the whites shall not go into their country for any purpose whatever. The climate in the districts already discovered is said to be unequalled in California, being quite exempt from extremes of heat or cold.
“There is plenty of game, deer, antelope, turkey, mountain sheep, etc. A soldier here, who was with Capt. Pishon in his prospecting tour, endorses the above report. He says at the time they left the country there were not more than forty or fifty men in both districts, but that they met at least three hundred more travelling towards the new ‘El Dorado.’ If all that I have read and heard be true-which I have no reason to doubt—I think it will do me good to go up there and turn over a few sods. What say you? Many of the men of our train intend going into the mines on our arrival.
“We leave for Fort Union tomorrow, crossing the Raton Mountains about eighty miles from here. Are afraid of finding snow. If successful, we shall arrive at Santa Fe, distant three hundred and thirty-four miles, in twenty days.
“Have just been informed by Judge (Howell) that on our arrival at Santa Fe, after stopping a week or ten days, we proceed directly to the mines, (San Francisco Mountains). They now intend establishing the Capital at or near the mines instead of at Tucson. Everyone in the party is gold struck. The fever is raging furiously. Mules and Mexican ponies in Santa Fe bring $200. Governor has letters here from responsible men stating that fortunes are daily made, etc. We shall purchase tools in Santa Fe. At Fort Lyon I wrote and sent receipts for $40 which please send me at once as I need it for an outfit. Direct care of Judge Howell (Arizona party). We shall probably get our mail for the present at Tucson, Arizona, which is about one hundred miles from the mines. I write in haste. Much love to all.
“Dear Father:““We left Fort Lyon on Friday, Oct. 30th, in a heavy snowstorm, and on camping at five p. m., on the bank of the Arkansas, twenty miles from Lyon, found eight inches of snow. Saturday, 31st, pleasant, snow fast disappearing.
“Saturday, cold, with strong northwest wind; broke camp at seven, and took a last look at the ‘Arkansaw’; steered south thirty-three miles, and camped at Iron Springs. No grass or wood to be had. Monday broke camp at seven and proceeded. Found the roads very bad, country Broken and rocky; traveled thirty-three miles and camped at the 'Hole in the Prairie”; six mules sick and one horse died. No grass to be had and were obliged to give double allowance of corn. Tuesday, cold and windy, broke camp at the usual hour and proceeded; left two dead horses and one mule. At twelve o'clock arrived at the foot of the Raton Mountains at a small village called Picketware, in Colorado Territory, or ‘Purgatory’ as called by many. Camped early so as to make an early start on the morrow. Judge Howell and I feeling tired, put on a little style and concluded to take supper at a restaurant at ‘Gray’s Ranch,' instead of cooking our own meal in camp. On dinner being announced, we presented ourselves, and were soon engaged masticating what little grub lay before us. The bill of fare consisted of bear's meat, a few boiled beans, hard bread and coffee without sugar. What a luxury? Who would not sell a farm and come out here to board?
“Wednesday, broke camp at eight, and proceeded; at ten passed through a small Mexican town called Trinidad, or ‘Peth’ where two out of every three men starve to death. Saw many fresh bear tracks in our ascent, but had the good fortune not to meet the dreaded maker thereof. Camped at six p. m. at “The Cabins” six miles below the summit. Found plenty of wood, pine, cedar, oak and cherry, and water of the purest kind. ‘The Cabins’ is a level place between two tall peaks, where a large train belonging to Russell & Majors was snowed in last winter. They were obliged to build a number of small tenements or cabins, whence the name of the pass, which still remain and are occupied by many a weary and grateful traveller. In one of the cabins we found the head of an Indian woman which had not long been severed from the body. It had been scalped, but the rings still remained in the ears.
“Thursday, Nov. 5th, at eight, broke camp and proceeded and at nine passed up the ‘divide,’ a hill one mile long, the division line between Colorado and New Mexico. Arrived on the summit; had a fine view of the Spanish Peaks lying to the northwest, and Pike's Peak, northeast, distant one hundred miles. In our descent
“Friday, Nov. 6th, pleasant. Proceeded on our march at eight a. m. Saw a large number of Mexican sheep which graze in the fertile valleys west of the mountains, and are guarded by herdsmen. Drove twenty-five miles through a broken country—high bluffs on either side, passing through what is called the ‘canton.’
“Saturday. At twelve m. passed Maxwell's Rancho, said to be the finest building in New Mexico. Maxwell, an American, came out here when a boy, and on coming of age married the daughter of a wealthy herdsman. He and his father-in-law now own forty square miles of land, having 100,000 sheep and 1,000 horses, and, upon the question being put to him: ‘How many cattle have you?’ says he: ‘You see them grazing yonder,’ and so you may, scattered through a district of forty miles. He has a fine house, two stories, a flouting mill, and numerous out-buildings, corrals, etc. There are about a hundred of his herdsmen living in small mud huts close by. They are Mexicans and get from five to six dollars a month. Arrive p. m. camped at Rijo, a Mexican town built and owned by Maxwell, population two hundred, houses built mostly of ‘dobies,’ chunks of mud about the size of a brick.
“Monday, Nov. 9th. Broke camp at seven and proceeded. Arrived at two p. m. at Fort Union, all in usual health, stock looking rather slim. Fort Union is the largest military post in New Mexico. General Carleton was present to receive us, and had all the arrangements made for our immediate advance. Leaving Fort Union, we averaged twenty-five miles travel every day, camping nights in or near some Mexican town. On the 12th camped at ‘San Jose,’ found all the inhabitants drunk. A party of Navajo Indians had visited them the day before, and driven off six thousand of their sheep. A few of the Mexicans had pursued the Indians and the remainder had got on a ‘spree.’ On Friday visited the ruins of ‘Montezuma,’ an old church in which a fire was kept up for upwards of two hundred years, with the hope that the tribe of Indians should thereby regain their chief, Montezuma, but who failed to return, having been killed by Cortez for his gold. This church is located on the road thirty miles east of this place (Santa Fe).
“Saturday, 14th. Arrived here, found the place about as we expected, built up of mud houses, mostly of one story. it is situated in a valley, but, strange to say, is watered by a stream of water not more than two feet in width. Wood is scarce, being brought from the mountains. Population not known, supposed to be in the neighborhood of six thousand.
“We leave here on Tuesday for the mines. Please direct as stated in the one accompanying. Have not time or convenience for writing the kind of a letter I wish, but trust for the future. Much love to all.
“Dear Father:“We left Santa Fe at noon to-day, and travelled fifteen miles, camping about sunset. On Tuesday, Captain McFarren (Quartermaster) of Santa Fe, learning that the Judge was from Michigan, called on him, having an interest in the state, i. e., twenty acres of land about half a mile from the city limits on Bridge Street, Grand Rapids, (east side). The Judge was unable to post him, and referred him to me. Mr. McFarren invited me to the office where he produced a map of the land. He said that it was an investment (through Major Backus, who was a very intimate friend and brother officer), in fifty-five. He has it in the hands of Ball & McKee. He wished to know of the parties, situation and probable value of the land. I told him, excepting value, not being posted very well on that score. He informed me that he paid one thousand dollars and hoped it would bring that. Now, provided he had a good title, which can be learned by calling on Ball & McKee (or writing McFarren), and you wish to invest, I think a thousand dollars would purchase. Look at it. Captain McFarren I found to be a very fine gentleman. He belongs, as did Major Backus, to the (regulars) U. S. A., and served with him several years in Mexico. He asked of Mrs. Gunnison, with whose husband, when living, he was well acquainted.
“On our arrival in the mines, things looking well, I will write giving directions how to come should Uncle Fred and Abel, and Mr. Briggs think best. Things look bad at present. Most of Santa Fe moves towards the mines in the spring. Several miners from Pike's Peak joined us travelling for protection under our escort to the mines. Write, send papers.”
“Albuquerque is located in the rich, fertile valley of the Rio Grande which is irrigated at all seasons of the year. Wood is not to be found nearer than thirty miles, and when brought into market, brings from two to two and a half dollars a donkey load.
“The population of Albuquerque is about three thousand, mostly Mexicans, or, as termed in this country, ‘greasers.’ The males are a very degraded, lazy, ignorant set. An officer of a company stationed there told me he had seen men go to the market in the morning with one or two eggs, and lay there in the sun all day, and in the evening return home without a sale. Their price for a single egg is five cents.
“We left Albuquerque on December 8th, crossing the Rio Grande three miles below without accident. Drove four miles down the east bank and camped at a Mexican town. Attended a ‘baile’ (fandango) in the evening, and on the following morning broke camp, leaving the Rio Grande, drove twenty-five miles, and camped. Found neither wood nor water. In the morning broke camp at two o'clock in order to get water by noon. Drove over a very heavy sandy road, the escort going ahead burning the grass and grease plants by the roadside in order that we could see to drive. At noon arrived at ‘Sheep’ spring, where we stopped to feed and water for one hour. Our drive at four p. m. brought us to a Mexican town, where we camped and, as has been our custom in all Mexican towns, attended a fandango. Two more drives of twenty-five miles brought us here.
“We leave here in a few days, having three companies to act as escort through the Navajo country. The Navajoes are constantly attacking parties who go out in the mountains for wood. The day we arrived here, two men were shot but two miles from the fort. I have an arrow which was shot into a horse last night in the corral (horse yard).
“There is not much danger of our being attacked as the Indians care only for plunder. They crawl along through the grass where stock is herded, and drive them off. Since this fort has been established, about six months, they have lost by the Indians several hundred head of stock, and some ten or fifteen men, mostly herders. This is the last fort we stop at before reaching the mines. Fort Whipple is probably established by this time in that vicinity, several companies having gone there a few weeks since. We pass through but one village, that ‘Zuni’ an Indian (pueblo) village, eighty miles from this post. There we shall find white Indians (albinos). Judge Howard, of Colorado, formerly of Ann Arbor, and Jinks of Saranac, or Boston, are with the train, and many others, miners and fortune seekers.
“I feel as though you had forgotten where I am, not having received but two letters since leaving home, Sept. 7th. Those I received at Santa Fe, dated Sept. 14th and 27th, the latter dated the day we left the States. There is to be an express (military), sent twice a month to Fort Whipple, Arizona, from Santa Fe this winter, but in the spring a mail route will probably be established. We are hungry for news. Write, write, write. Much love to all.
“Mail leaves Leavenworth, Kansas, on Friday morning for Santa Fe. Mail letters on Monday and they will reach Leavenworth in time for Santa Fe mail, I think. Enquire! Please address as on the other side. Some mistake may have been made by letters going to California. The express which General Carleton proposes to send twice a month is to be carried on horse back and consequently newspapers will not be forwarded from Santa Fe with full mails. The mail for Santa Fe leaves Leavenworth every Friday morning instead of Monday as I wrote before. It goes through to Santa Fe in thirteen days.
“Dear Parents:“We arrived here today, and the Governor has issued his proclamation, a copy of which I enclose. This is the first point Which we know is in Arizona Territory. I bought me a burro (jackass) at Zuni. Shall not reach Fort Whipple before January 20th, 1864. Will write at length on our arrival. This goes to Wingate by military express (one of our soldiers), in the morning. All well. Love to all.
“Dear Parents:“Our arrival here was announced by the firing of a Governor's salute of eighteen guns on the morning of the 22nd. Offers of prayers and thanksgiving should have been made, but upon viewing the site which Major Willis, (who, with three companies, preceded us two weeks) had selected for a military post, and, if suitable, for a capitol, we concluded to let the thing slide. We are located about two hundred and sixty miles northwest of Tucson, and about ninety miles west of the San Francisco mountains on a small stream of water supposed to be, and, for the present, called the head Waters of the San Francisco river. The climate is mild as in the States in June. We all go about in our shirt sleeves during the day, but at sundown an overcoat is very comfortable, ( you bet ), Missouri
“The mines are twenty-five miles from here, but there are a few cabins eighteen miles. The Antelope Diggings are sixty miles, all on the Tucson road. There are some who have very rich claims, but the want of water prevents their working them at present. Large tanks are being made on the summit of the mountain to be ready for the spring rains. Morehouse, brother of B. & F., who are with us, arrived yesterday from Tucson. He takes Mr. Wrightson's goods and with the boys proceeds to the Santa Rita mines. He has specimens of gold which he picked out with his knife while on his way up.
“On our arrival we noticed several individuals who were very anxious to form the acquaintance of the officials and others of the party, and who are now known as being candidates for Delegate to Congress. There are some twenty or more now at Tucson who make no bones of the wished for position. Most of the candidates, I understand, are from California.
“I captured one horse, a quiver of arrows and a number of smaller articles. I have not received a letter since I left the Valley City excepting the two received at Santa Fe under date of Sept. 14th and 27th. How is it? Upon leaving home I promised to write at every opportunity and I think I have not only kept that but many other promises given and resolutions formed. A weekly military express is to be forwarded to this place by General Carleton; one has already arrived, mail in abundance for all but me. I do not know when I Shall have a chance to write again, as I go to the diggings Monday.
On the 25th of September, (1863) the Governor, Secretary, Judges Howell and Allyn, District Attorney Gage and Surveyor General Bashford, and their party left Leavenworth. Chief Justice Turner overtook the company at Fort Larned.
From Leavenworth to Fort Union, New Mexico, the officials were attended by three companies of Missouri troops. Companies A. and H. of the Volunteer Cavalry, and Company I. of the 4th Militia Cavalry of that State, respectively commanded by Lieut. Peter F. Clark, Captain John H. Butcher, and Captain Daniel Rice, and all under the command of Major James A. Philips of Kansas.
From Fort Union, Company A of the Cavalry and the Militia Company returned to Kansas, under Major Philips. Company H of the Cavalry, Captain Butcher, accompanied the Governor and party to Santa Fe. At Albuquerque thirty men of Company E of the First New Mexican Volunteers, under Captain Chacon, were added to the escort, and the entire command was given to Lieut. Colonel Francisco Chaves, of that regiment. At Fort Wingate, nine men of Company C, First California Infantry Volunteers, under Sergeant McCormick, desirous of joining their company at Fort Whipple, were added to the command. All came through without accident, although some suffered from the cold, the weather being very severe, and portions of the road obstructed with snow.
The officers entered the Territory on the 27th of December, and the government was formally inaugurated at Navajo Springs, 40 miles west of Zuni, on Tuesday the 29th of December. At 4 o'clock p. m. the escort and citizens were assembled, and Secretary McCormick spoke as follows:‘‘
“Gentlemen:—As the properly qualified officer, it becomes my duty to inaugurate the proceedings of the day. After a long and trying journey, we have arrived within the limits of the Territory of Arizona. These broad plains and hills form a part of the district over which, as the representatives of the United States, we are to establish a civil government. Happily, although claimed by those now in hostility to the Federal arms, we take possession of the Territory without resort to military force. The flag, which I hoist in token of our authority, is no new and untried banner. For nearly a century it has been the recognized, the honored, the loved emblem of law and liberty. From Canada
At the conclusion of these remarks, Mr. McCormick hoisted the “Stars and Stripes” and called for cheers for them, which were given with a will. Prayer was then offered by the Rev. H. W. Read. The oath of office was administered to Chief Justice Turner, and to Associate Justices Howell, and Allyn, by Mr. McCormick. Governor Goodwin and District Attorney Gage qualified before Chief Justice Turner.
Fort Whipple had been established a month previous to the arrival of the Territorial officers, by Major E. B. Willis, of the First California Infantry, under the order of Brigadier-General James H. Carleton, commanding the Military Department of New Mexico.