CHAPTER VII. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S TREATMENT OF ARIZONA.
CONGRESS DISREGARDS APPEALS OF ARIZONA FOR AID—SYLVESTER MOWRY'S PROTEST AGAINST GOVERNMENT TAKING OVER MINES—JUDGE HOWELL'S LETTERS—NAVIGATION OF COLORADO RIVER—ACTIVITIES OF DELEGATE CHAS. D. POSTON IN CONGRESS—HIS SPEECH IN CONGRESS.
It shows how utterly regardless Congress was of the needs of Arizona when it is stated that none of the memorials set forth in the preceding chapter were acted upon. It was right that the per diem of members of the Legislature should be increased, because three dollars a day in currency did not pay their board in Prescott at that time. Board alone, without room rent, was from fifteen to twenty dollars in gold per week, and the increase in the salaries of the officers asked for was certainly not exorbitant.
The gathering in of the Indians along the Colorado River upon one reservation where they could be protected from the aggressions of the whites, and which would have afforded the whites protection against the raids of the Indians, was certainly something which Congress should have acted upon immediately, for while Congress set aside seventy-five thousand acres on the Colorado for an Indian Reservation, it made no provision whatever, so far as I can find, for a survey, the digging of canals for irrigating and the settlement of the Indians upon the reservation, consequently, for all practical purposes the
The exploration of the Colorado River by Lieut. Ives was undertaken by the Government to ascertain if a feasible route could not be found by which Salt Lake City could draw her supplies from the head waters of the Colorado. This was demonstrated, and the town of Callville, near the Virgin River, was established, and was a forwarding point into Salt Lake City for many years, but Congress would appropriate no money to improve the navigation of the Colorado River, nor did it act upon the petition asking for an appropriation of $250,000 to aid in subduing the Apaches, notwithstanding at this time the United States troops were practically withdrawn from the Territory, and the defense of their homes and holdings was left almost entirely in the hands of the settlers.
Sylvester Mowry, in a letter to the New York World, under date of April 25th, 1864, says that: “In July, 1863, the President of the United States directed the United States Marshal for the Northern District of California to take possession of the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine. General Wright, commanding the Department of the acific, was ordered to furnish troops to enforce the seizure. The Marshal and the troops proceeded on their errand, and found the mine fortified against attack. Did they seize the mine? By no means. The excitement throughout the State was intense. The present Governor, F. F. Low, leading bankers, merchants and capitalists, telegraphed to Washington, ‘For God's sake, withdraw the order to seize the New Almaden, or there will be a revolution in the state,’ and the President of the United States recalled the order.”
In the same letter Mr. Mowry says: “A resolution has been introduced in the House of Representatives authorizing the President of the United States to take possession of the mines of Colorado and Arizona. Various other propositions
“Why does not the resolution include the State of California and the Territories of Nevada, Idaho and New Mexico. In all these the precious metals are mined to a great extent on public lands. If the President is to take possession, in the name of the United States, of a mine in Arizona or Colorado, it follows by inevitable logic that he must do so throughout all the public lands.”’’
This letter was followed by one to the “New York Herald,” printed May 4th, 1864, upon the same subject, in which Mr. Mowry particularly referred to a proposition made by Senator Conness of California, proposing that a tax of 5% be levied upon all bullion, gold or silver, refined at the mint, coupled with a law prohibiting the exportation of unstamped bullion, which amounted to a tax of five per cent upon the gross proceeds of all mines.
These resolutions in Congress failed of passage, and are only noted here to show the conviction at that time, which was shared in by General Carleton, that the government could raise sufficient money from the operation of the placers and other mines of Arizona to pay the National debt, and it was only natural that Governor Goodwin should share to some extent in this feeling, and desire that Arizona should derive a large income from her mines through the sale of
It is a fact, I think, that can hardly be questioned, that those who accepted office in Arizona under the Federal Government, did not do so for the meagre salaries allowed, but expected to grow up with the country and to establish their individual fortunes through the acquisition of mining property. To one of them this certainly was an incentive, as the following letters written by Judge Howell, the author of the Howell code, to his friend in Michigan, show:‘‘
“The express contained several letters for John, whom I left at the fort for the purpose of going into the mines with Surveyor-General Bashford. The Walker mines where they go are so destitute of water, that I think they will soon return. John has a full three months' supply for any place.
“I tendered him the Clerkship of this (First Judicial District) and before I left he informed me he would accept, and be here within four weeks. I think he can make it worth a thousand dollars a year, and will enable him to make a standpoint to emerge from when circumstances justify.
JUDGE WM. T. HOWELL.
“Now for minerals: I have travelled five hundred miles in the Territory, and been fifty days on the road. While Indian hostilities continue, the silver mines of the southern portion are much surer and safer than any other, as we have sufficient protection to work them. Every day further develops their richness and extent. Southern Arizona and Sonora contain the mother deposits of silver on this continent. A silver mine once opened and tested is a safe and permanent investment. The deeper you go the wider and richer. Gold leads are apt to run out, break off suddenly, and become ‘spotted,’ as it is termed.
“Mines are discovered, tested, found rich and stock immediately created and sold in such a diluted condition that the investment is unprofitable. For instance, the expense of travel agencies, discovery, testing and all would not exceed from ten to twenty thousand dollars by nonresidents. If the stock was made from one to two hundred thousand dollars, according to the test, it would be profitable, but instead of that it ranges from a quarter to two millions of dollars, and the whole profits absorbed in the first instance. Now for a ‘peep behind the curtain.’ A resident here having the facilities can procure a mountaineer or miner to furnish him a lead for which after it is opened and proves good, he will have to pay him from one to four hundred dollars. A shaft can be sunk fifty feet from 4 to 7 dollars per foot. The depth of thirty feet secures the mine against all the world, and at that
“The best way to reach here is by water on the Pacific side. From San Francisco to the nearest port on the Gulf, and then by land. As this country has been overrun by Indians until now, and, consequently, produce is scarce, I cannot advise a large influx of population unless by way of California, and they should bring their supplies with them from that State.
Vein mining at that time was little understood. Holes in the ground in Nevada, in the Reese River and other districts, not over ten feet deep, were being sold at from fifteen thousand and to fifty thousand dollars each, and, naturally, the furore extended to every terrritory where mineral was found.
The Governor in his message called attention to the navigation of the Colorado River. As before stated, a memorial was passed by the Legislature asking Congress to appropriate money for its improvement, which, like everything else coming from Arizona in the way of a petition to the Government, to alleviate conditions there, was passed over in silence. The Colorado River, as is seen by the memorial, was navigable as high as Callville, a post established near the mouth of the Grand Canyon, which was the shipping point for several years into Utah. Mining, as we have seen, was being prosecuted to a great extent along this river up to Bill Williams' Fork.
About the latter part of the year 1863, or some time in 1864, the date not being fully established, Capt. W. H. Hardy, one of the pioneers of Mohave County, established a ferry and toll road, and also a store, at Hardyville, which, for about nine months in the year, was the head of navigation on the Colorado River, and which was about 150 miles from Yuma. Freight was discharged at this point and transferred by team to Prescott and other points in the north.
“I have sent four companies of California Volunteers to garrison Fort West, in the Pinos Altos gold regions. I beg to ask authority to let, say, one-fourth of the command at a time have one month's furlough to work in the gold mines on their own account. In this way the mines and the country will become developed, while the troops will become contented to remain in service where the temptation to leave is very great.”’’
Comparatively little is generally known of the activities of Charles D. Poston, Arizona's first Delegate to Congress, but the Congressional Globe, covering the 2d Session of the 38th Congress, shows that the “Father of Arizona,” as Mr. Poston was known lovingly to his contemporaries, did all that was possible for one in his position, and secured from an unwilling government everything possible for Arizona. On December 13th, 1864, he introduced, by unanimous consent, a bill to provide for the settlement of private land claims in the Territory of Arizona; which was read a first and second time by its title, and referred to the Committee on Private Land Claims. On December 21st, 1864, he introduced, also by unanimous consent, the following resolution, which was read, considered, and agreed to:
“Resolved: That the Committee on Foreign Affairs be directed to inquire into the expediency of making an appropriation for the purpose of colonizing the Friendly Indians of Arizona on a reservation to be selected from the public lands.”’’
“Resolved: That the Committee on Public Lands be, and they are hereby, instructed to inquire into the expediency of adopting the code of mining laws passed by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Arizona hereto appended.”’’
On the same day, Delegate Poston presented the memorial and joint resolution of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Arizona, asking Congress to increase the pay of members of the Legislative Assembly and Territorial Judges, and other officials; which were referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and ordered to be printed.
At the same time Mr. Poston presented the memorial of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Arizona, asking of Congress an appropriation of $150,009 for placing the Indians of the Colorado on a reservation; which was referred to the Committee of Ways and Means, and ordered to be printed.
He also presented the memorial of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Arizona, asking of Congress an appropriation of $250,000 in aid of the war against the Apaches; which was referred to the Committee on Military Affairs, and ordered to be printed.
He also presented the following resolutions and memorials of the Legislature of the Territory of Arizona: Requesting arms; which was referred to the Committee on Military Affairs and ordered to be printed. Resolution requesting mail facilities; which was referred to the Committee on the Postoffice and Post Roads, and ordered to be printed. Joint resolution instructing the Delegate from the Territory to ask of Congress the appointment of commissioners to fix the boundary line of the Territory of Arizona and other Territories; which was referred to the Committee on Territories, and ordered to be printed. A memorial asking for a change of the boundary line between Arizona and the State of California, which was referred to the Committee on Territories, and ordered to be printed.
On February 3rd, 1865, Mr. Poston, by unanimous consent, introduced a bill for the organization of the Territory of Arizona into a land district; which was read a first and second time, and referred to the Committee on Public Lands.
“Mr. Chairman, Arizona, more than any other Territory of the United States, rises to the dignity of historic fame; it is even prehistoric, reaching far back into the dim traditions of the Aztecs. As everywhere else on earth, the history of man is here distinctly marked by the struggle between civilization and barbarism. The Aztecs lived in continual warfare with the barbarous tribes of the mountains, and their descendants to this day maintain the warfare bequeathed to them by their ancestors. The Aztecs were peaceable, industrious Indians, living by the pursuits of agriculture, dwelling in communities, and exercising a system of government with eminent principles of justice. The barbarians of the mountains were their natural foes and finally drove them into southern Mexico, leaving only a few degenerate descendants in the north.
“The Spanish explorers found a very interesting race of Indians in that part of the continent now belonging to the United States and designated as the Territory of Arizona. A knowledge of this remote people was first given to the European world by the romantic expedition of Cabeza de Vaca, who crossed the continent from the savannas of Florida, to the mountains of New Mexico in 1538. In these remote regions he found a people bearing evidences of European origin and practicing many of the arts of civilization.
“‘Captain: I have the honor to report for the information of the department commander, that on the 15th ultimo I left this post with companies C. D. G. H. & L., first cavalry, New Mexican volunteers dismounted, for the purpose of exploring the country west of the Oribi villages, and if possible to chastise the Navajos inhabiting that region. On the 16th I detached thirty men with Sergeant Herrera, of Company C. first cavalry, New Mexican volunteers on a fresh trail which intersected our route. The sergeant followed the trail for twenty miles when he overtook a small party of Navajos, two of whom he killed, wounded two, and captured fifty head of sheep and one horse. En route the party came on a village lately deserted, which they destroyed. The energy and zeal displayed by the sergeant and his party on this occasion merit my warmest approbation.
“‘On the 21st arrived at Moqui village. I found on my arrival that the inhabitants of all the villages, except the Oribis, had a misunderstanding with the Navajos, owing to some injustice perpetrated by the latter. I took advantage of this feeling, and succeeded in obtaining representatives
“‘They have no water for purposes of irrigation, and their only dependence for subsistence is on the little corn they raise when the weather is propitious, which is not always the case in this latitude. They are a peaceable people, have never robbed or murdered the people of New Mexico, and are in every way worthy of the fostering care of the government. Of the bounty so unsparingly bestowed by it on other Pueblo Indians, ay, even on the marauding bands, they have never tasted, and I earnestly recommend that the attention of the Indian Bureau be called to this matter. I understand that a couple of years' annuities for the Navajos, not distributed, are in the possession of the Superintendent of Indian Affairs at Santa Fe, and I consider that if such an arrangement would be legal, these goods would be well bestowed on these people.
“Time immemorial their hand has been against every man, every man's hand against them; they disdain to labor, and live by robbery and plunder. For three centuries they have stayed the progress of civilization in that part of the continent, and now hold its richest mineral treasures from the grasp of the white man. They have successfully defended their mountain homes against the Spaniards, the Mexicans, and the Americans. A few hardy and enterprising Americans have been endeavoring to penetrate that El Dorado for several years, but for want of military support and on account of the desolating war which has spread its ravages to the confines of Arizona, they are yet prevented from exploring that inviting field of mineral wealth. The subjugation or extermination of this merciless tribe is a measure of stern justice which ought not to be delayed. Their subjugation would open to our hardy miners an unexplored gold field north of the Gila, which the Spaniards considered the true El Dorado. A sickly sympathy for a few beastly savages should not stand in the way of the development of our rich gold fields, or the protection of our enterprising frontiersmen. The settlers around the Capital (Prescott) have kept one hundred men in the field for more than a year at their own expense; their leader, Colonel King Woolsey, has been ruined by the Apaches, and adopted this method of retaliation. They have waited in vain for the protection of the military branch of the government,
“The Pimas and Maricopas are a confederated tribe, living on the Gila River, one hundred and eighty miles from its confluence with the Colorado. They are an agricultural people, living entirely by the cultivation of the soil, and number some seven thousand five hundred souls. They have always been friendly to the Americans, and boast that up to this day they do not know the color of the white man's blood. They hold one of the strongest positions on the continent, accessible only after crossing deserts in every direction, and have here defended their homes and fields against barbarous Apaches from time immemorial. The early Spanish explorers found them here in 1540, and ruined houses of grand proportions attest their occupation for thousands of years before the Spaniards came. To the north for several hundred miles ruined cities, fortifications, and the remains of irrigating canals, indicate the places formerly occupied by a race now passed away without having left any history. The researches of the antiquarian are in vain, and the degenerate Indian of the present day answers all questions about past grandeur with the mystic name of Montezuma. The Pimas know no more of their origin than if they had come out of the ground, as their tradition intimates. They have no religion, and worship no deity, unless a habit of hailing the rising sun with an oration may be the remains of some sun-worshipping tribe. They are exceedingly jealous of their females; and their chastity, as far as outside barbarians are concerned, remains, with a few exceptions, unimpeachable.
“The Papagoes are a branch of the great Pima tribe, speaking the same language and having the same manners and customs, modified by civilization; the only difference is, that upon being baptized, they were originally called Vapconia, in their language Christians, which has been corrupted into Papagoes; they also cut their hair short and wear a hat, and such clothing as they
“Now I come to the Indians of (the) Colorado. They never reaped the benefit of the Spanish colonization, because the Spaniards never extended their conquests north of the Gila. They are of the same family, and are affiliated with the Pimas, and desire to live in the same manner. But they have no means of exercising their industry. As far as that portion of our Indian country is concerned, they never have had an officer of the government among them until the last year. As Superintendent of Indian Affairs, I called the confederated tribes of the Colorado in council together. The council was attended by the principal chiefs and head men of the Yumas, Mohaves, Yavapais, Hualapais, and Chemihuevis. These tribes have an aggregate of ten thousand souls living near the banks of the Colorado, from Fort Yuma to Fort Mobave. They cultivate the bottom lands of the Colorado River, where an overflow affords sufficient moisture; the failure of an overflow, which sometimes
“But as the representative of the government of the United States at that time, I did not undertake to make a written treaty with these Indians, because I considered that the government was able and willing to treat them fairly and honestly without entering into the form of a written treaty, which has been heretofore so severely criticised in both Houses of Congress, and with some reason. These Indians there assembled
“‘Your memorialists, the Council and House of Representatives of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Arizona respectfully represent, that the four tribes of Indians known as the Yavapais, Hualapais, Mojaves and Yumas, numbering about ten thousand, are now scattered over an extent of country from the Gila River on the south to the northern boundary of the Territory, and from the Colorado River on the west to the Rio Verde on the east; that these Indians are now roaming at large over the vast territory above described, gaining a precarious subsistence from the small patches of land along the Colorado River, which they cultivate, and
“‘Be it resolved by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Arizona, That our Delegate in Congress, Hon. Charles D. Poston, be requested to use all honorable means to bring the subject before Congress.
“‘And be it further Resolved, That his Excellency the Governor of the Territory of Arizona be requested to forward this memorial, together with such other information touching the subject as he may have in his possession, to Hon. Charles D. Poston, our Delegate in Congress.
“In order that the proposition may be clearly understood I will read the report of the engineer who accompanied me on an examination of the valley of the Colorado to select a reservation for these Indians:
“‘I have been surprised at the great quantity of rich bottom land and alluvial soil, traversed by many sloughs and lagunas, which extend from the banks of the river for several miles into the valley. Most of them are dry now, as the river did not rise high enough last year to fill them.
“‘I directed my special attention to the lands between Halfway Bend and the Mesa. With the exception of a few stretches of heavy sand land which I estimated at about one-fifth of the entire area, I found the soil excellent, most of it consisting of a light loam, of which many thousand acres are covered with mesquite trees, a sure indication of rich ground, while willows and cotton trees grow luxuriantly in the vicinity of the river, the sloughs and lagunas.
“‘At some places I noticed alkaline efflorescences, but they are not extensive. If these places could be regularly overflowed, much of the salts would be carried off. It is well known, moreover, that Indian corn and wheat grow well in alkaline soil.
“‘If the eastern boundary of the intended reservation runs from the mouth of the principal slough at Halfway Bend (the Indians call it Mad-ku-dap) in a direction nearly north, 26° 30′ east to Corner Rock, it will include an area of about 118 square miles, equal to 75,520 acres. Of this, six square miles are mesa land, leaving 112 square miles, or 71,680 acres of valley land. One-fifth deducted as sand land leaves 90 square miles, or 57,600 acres, of bottom land or light loamy soil. About one-fourth of this, say 22 square miles, or 14,080 acres, is covered with mesquite trees. A large mesquite tree yields several bushels of beans. Supposing, then, that in this year every acre produced five bushels, the crop would amount to 70,400 bushels, which, with rabbits, lizards, tuli roots, the fish of the river, the little wheat and pumpkins they can raise, and the sale of hay, may give a precarious subsistence this year to the ten thousand Indians
“‘But, not taking into consideration that many Indians do not relish mesquite beans, the mesquite trees do not bear every year, and agriculture depends entirely on the casual overflows of the river. Last year the crops of the Indians amounted to very little, and if the river does not soon rise it will be the same this year.
“‘The most humane and cheapest way to pro vide permanently for the Indians, and educate at least their rising generation to useful labors, would be, in my humble opinion, that the government not only give them the land between Halfway Bend and Corner Rock, but also assist them in digging an irrigation canal from the Mesa toward Halfway Bend. They would then become independent of the uncertain rise and fall of the river, could raise regular crops, and would soon be able to sell a large surplus.
“‘From Halfway Bend to the Mesa I noticed at various points that the ground slopes gently back from the bank of the river toward the valley. The best proofs of this are the numerous sloughs: Ascending finally the Mesa and looking down the valley, I was struck with the evident facility with which a canal could be dug to irrigate many thousand acres of the richest soil, barren only for want of moisture.
“‘According to Lieutenant Ives' report the fall from the foot of the Mesa to Halfway Bend is fifty-five feet, the distance by land twenty-seven miles. The foot of the Mesa seems to have been destined by nature for the head of a canal. The river flows to this point between hills of conglomerate, upon which freshets can
“‘Following the natural level of the country, and giving one foot fall to the mile, which is much for a large body of water, then, after fourteen miles of canal, all the land between the canal and the river for the remaining thirteen miles could be irrigated. If the canal were at this point only two miles distant from the river, deducting one-fifth for sand land, 20 square miles, or 12,800 acres, up to Halfway Bend, could be irrigated. But long before the canal has reached the first-mentioned point, sloughs could be filled, depressed flats overflowed by branch ditches, and many Indians could plant little patches along the embankments of the canal while it is in progress of construction.
“‘Taking, now, twenty square miles as a minimum of irrigable land, at thirty bushels of Indian corn per acre, they could produce 384,000 bushels; and at twenty bushels of wheat per acre, 256,000 bushels; one-third of which, even with the propensity of the Indians to waste, would be more than sufficient for home consumption of ten thousand souls, allowing to each of them, women, children and babies included, five hundred pounds of corn or grain.
“‘Since for years accustomed in my profession to ascertain scientifically if the plans conceived by practical men can be executed, I feel some reluctance in making estimates before I have reduced them to a thorough scientific basis. The estimates of the amount of land to be reclaimed from a desert, and its productiveness, are, therefore, rather underrated.
“‘The foregoing considerations have convinced me that the lands between Halfway Bend and Corner Rock are not only suitable for a reservation, but, in my humble opinion, are in every regard the best that could be selected in this section of Arizona.
“‘The difference of level between Halfway Bend and La Paz is twenty-eight feet for a distance of nine miles by land, so that the canal could easily be continued from Halfway Bend to the foot of the valley, changing La Paz, from the city of the desert,' to the city of a territorial Eden, of laughing gardens and waving grain fields.
“It was a matter of profound regret that the natural history of Arizona could not be illustrated in that depository of natural science; but the starving condition of the Indians forced them to consume the wonderful reptile productions of the country, which, had a better fate been reserved for them, would have delighted my friend, Professor Baird and the many visitors at that fountain of science.
“I was especially charged to examine and report upon the customs and habits of the grasshoppers or locusts of the western plains, to determine if they were the locusts of Asia, their mode of procreation, subsequent length of life, and many other interesting details; but alas for the lights of science and opportunity of grasshopper fame! these interesting insects had all disappeared down the widespread gullets of my red children. The Indian policy that I have the honor to present to you is rumple and plain—easily understood by the Indians, and not to be
“With an irrigating canal, the soil of the Colorado will become wonderfully productive. In that latitude the sun is over-genial; and the valley, not having an altitude of more than three hundred and fifty feet above the level of the sea, possesses an immunity from snows and frosts, so destructive to crops in more northern latitudes. There is no reason why the valley of the Colorado may not be made as productive as the valley of the Nile. In that temperature it only needs the vivifying influence of water to
“The system of irrigation is no new experiment; it existed in Egypt before the Pyramids were born; it was practiced in Asia before Confucius wrote; it was brought to great perfection by the Aztecs of America, when our ancestors were dressed in skins and furs, and lived by the booty of the chase; it is scientific agriculture, and the only insurance against the uncertainties of a crop. With a proper system of irrigation, you shall surely reap where you sow; yea, even twice or thrice per annum. The sediment of the Colorado will plaster the walls of a canal and make them impermeable to water; such is the beautiful arcana of nature. On this river a lively commerce is already springing up, and some half dozen steamboats plow its turbid waters. It is navigable five hundred miles from its mouth, and its sources drain the great American Basin. The Indians will have a ready market for the surplus productions at their very doors, and the friendly current of the Colorado will bear it, untaxed, to market.
“It will be necessary for the Government to furnish the Indians with some intelligent superintendence in opening their irrigating canal, and the necessary implements of husbandry and seeds to enable them to raise a crop. Then let them work or starve; but do not force them to starve or steal without first giving them a chance to labor. It is a cruel thing to force men into a new civilization without preparing them for its duties. As the Americans come into the country the wants of the Indians increase; but without aid the means of satisfying these artificial
“It is not alone for the Indians that I ask your generosity, however, much may be their due; but looking far beyond the present moment, it must be apparent to every man who lifts his mind from the struggle of the hour and indulges in a contemplation of the grand future of our country, that the settlement of the aborigines
“It scarcely becomes me to allude to the subject; but justice to the brave and hardy pioneers who have risked their lives a thousand times to carry the institutions of the American people into Arizona deserve a tribute at the hands of their first Representative. No people have ever endured the hardships, dangers, and privations of those brave and adventurous men who left the homes of their ancestors a thousand miles behind and penetrated the wilderness sending its golden sands into the Gulf of California.
“In the year 1824, Sylvester Pattie and his son James, from Bardstown, Kentucky, with a party of about one hundred hardy and adventurous frontiersmen, set out upon a trapping expedition to the head waters of the Arkansas River. After many romantic adventures in New Mexico, the party dispersed, and a few of
“The oldest living trapper in Arizona at this day is old Pauline Weaver, from White County, Tennessee. His name is carved in the Casa Grande, near the Pima villages, on the Gila River, under date of 1832. This old man has been a peacemaker among the Indians for many years, and is now spending the evening of his life in cultivating a little patch of land on the public domain in the northern part of the Territory of Arizona, on a beautiful little stream called the Hasiamp.
“In the early settlement of our western country the pioneers formed the advancing wave of civilization, and were generously sustained by the friends and relatives they had left behind; but the pioneers of Arizona leaped beyond the reach of succor and led the forlorn hope of civilization. Self-reliant and full of manhood, they went forth to battle alone. And manfully they bore themselves in the struggle, until overborne by the misfortunes which have nearly enveloped the nation in ruin. Many of them had seen the glorious banner of our country carried to the
“The Government followed in the train of the people, and in a period of great prosperity, when the Treasury was overflowing with gold, gave $10,000,000 for what was called the Gadsden Purchase. The people rushed into the new purchase and soon the indomitable industry and energy of the coming race was apparent in the discovery of mineral wealth and the establishment of relations with the nearest commercial centers. The industry of our people soon spread a beneficial influence in all northern Mexico; the Indians were softening under the influences of civilization, and I wish the sequel could be omitted. Would that Lethean waters could produce oblivion. In less than sixty days after the demon of civil war had commenced his ravages on this side of the continent, the infant settlements of Arizona were abandoned and the track of receding civilization was, for the first time in the history of this country, turned eastward, marked in its retreat by new-made graves. For two years the Territory remained a prey to anarchy.
“At the end of that time, by the indefatigable efforts of a few fast friends, a provisional government for the Territory was organized, and a staff of Federal officers of more than ordinary ability and character were sent across the plains to establish civil government in that remote region. In the overwhelming events of the great civil war impending, it was a grand moral spectacle to see the Republic sending its agents to a remote and distant Territory to plant the
“At a greater distance from this capital than any proconsul ever planted the eagles of Rome from the imperial city, they established the stars and stripes of the Republic. In a beautiful lap of the mountains where never white man trod before, they located the capital of the Territory, and named it in honor of the Aztec historian, Prescott. On this very spot there is an Indian mound with the remains of an ancient fortification of the Montezumas, reminding us forcibly of the mutations of time and the rise and decline of nations; but nowhere yet in ruins do we find a temple dedicated to the living God. Let us take warning and lay deep the foundations of the Christian faith, not only in the monuments of Christianity, but in the hearts of the people.
“In that peaceful mountain home no sectional political differences rankle in the heart. It was my good fortune on the last anniversary of our Independence to assist in its celebration in that primitive capital. The people who had borne the banner of freedom from Bunker Hill to those distant mountains and the men who had escaped the horrors of war in the Old Dominion joined in fraternal celebration of Independence day, and consecrated themselves to the future prosperity of the Territory. And there in those everlasting mountains the genius of the American people will build a capital which will rear
“Such is the genius of American civilization.It may be impeded now by the horrors of civil war, but the day is not far distant when it will overleap the boundary of nations like an avalanche, and spread itself over northern Mexico.It is destiny, and it may be a duty to carry our institutions into that country; and God send the day, when as a united people, we may heal the discords of civil war by joining armies now engaged in fratricidal strife to drive from this continent the fungus of European monarchy.I am willing to join in paeans to universal, emancipation for the sake of national unity. ‘The nationality of the American people’ is the mottoupon which I was sent into this House, and when it ceases I shall leave it without regret.
“It is a source of extreme mortification that I am unable to present this amendment with the approbation of the Committee of Ways and Means, but it has not been possible to bring them to an estimate of the justice and importance of the measure. If the same economy pervades every branch of the administration of the Government, the taxpayers will have no cause of complaint. We have neither military protection, mail facilities, nor any of the fostering cares of Government; but we prefer rather to indulge in pleasant hopes of the future than unworthy complaint. The Pacific States and Territories are rich in wealth, filling up rapidly with an indomitable population and ‘by and by will grow a little stronger.’ Confident in strength and hopeful of the future, we are willing to ‘bide our time.’ With five hundred thousand
“No Alpine top nor Appennine valley is waked to industry by a brighter sunlight than bathes the mountains and valleys of Arizona. It is the land of the olive and the vine. The pearls of the Orient were not richer in purity and value than those of the sea of Cortez. The gold of Ophir was not so abundant as that which awaits the hand of industry in our pregnant mountains. The ‘Planchas de Platarsquo; are the richest silver mines known to history. We are the children of your loins; give us sympathy. We are brethren of the same family; give us help. Nurture us, strengthen us, raise us up to dignity, and in a few short years we shall come to add another block to this grand mosaic temple of freedom which we hope will endure to the remotest ages.
It is barely possible that the reason most of Arizona's demands were not granted was the desire of Congress for economy, but there seems to have been a determined opposition, most of it, perhaps, underground, against the granting of the demands. This is evidenced by the following, which is quoted from the Report of the Joint
“Indorsement on communication from Hon. Charles D. Poston, delegate from Arizona, to the War Department, Washington, D. C., January 12, 1865. Recommends the establishment of a military post at Amboy; also an Indian reservation in that vicinity, which requires protection, &c., &c. (Referred by General Halleck to headquarters department of New Mexico, January 17th, 1865.)
“Respectfully returned. I do not think there is any military necessity for the establishment of a post at the mouth of Bill Williams' Fork on the Colorado of the West; nor do I agree with the Hon. Mr. Poston about having an Indian reservation on the Colorado.
“There are very grave objections to going to the expense of such an establishment in such an inaccessible country, surrounded as it is by deserts; besides, the Mojave Indians are at peace, and could not with propriety or profit be moved from their part of the valley of that river to another part further down.
“The other Indians, living upon the various slopes of the elevated country from which rise the San Francisco mountains, are not a warlike race; and can easily be managed, if treated with moderation, judgment, and firmness, until the country is filled with white settlers; then, as in California, they can be gathered together at some point, to be chosen with care, where they can be fed and protected until the destiny, which has unrelentingly
The results of the memorials of the Legislative Assembly and the labors of Delegate Poston were not very great, but the 38th Congress did take enough notice of the newly formed Territory to give her post roads from Agua Caliente to La Paz; from Tucson, via Tubac, to Patagonia Mines; from Tubac, via Cerro Colorado, Fresnal, and Cabibi, to Tucson; from Casa Blanca, via Weaver, Walnut Grove, and Upper Hassayampa, to Prescott; from La Paz, via Williamsport, Castle Dome City, Laguna, Arizona City, to Fort Yuma; from Prescott to Mojave City; from Mojave City to Los Angeles, via San Bernardino; from Mojave City via Aubry, to La Paz; from Mojave City via Santa Clara, to Fillmore City, in the Territory of Utah.
“For the general incidental expenses of the Indian Service in the Territory of Arizona, presents of goods, agricultural implements, and other useful articles, and to assist them to locate in permanent abodes, and sustain themselves by the pursuits of civilized life, to be expended under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, twenty thousand dollars.”’’
“All that part of the public domain in the Territory of Arizona, lying west of a direct line from Half-Way Bend to Corner Rock on the Colorado River, containing about seventy-five thousand acres of land, shall be set apart for an Indian reservation for the Indians of said river, and its tributaries.”’’
The above was all that the 38th Congress did for the Territory of Arizona, and had it not been for the untiring efforts of Delegate Poston, it is doubtful whether she would have received any consideration whatever from Congress. The establishment of the Indian Reservation on the Colorado River, and the meagre appropriations for the Indian Service were secured by Poston in the face of an adverse report from the Congressional Committee on Indian Affairs.
JOHN N. GOODWIN.