CHAPTER XXII. THE EL PICACHOS—A LAND OF MASSACRES—COCHISE...


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THE EL PICACHOS—A LAND OF MASSACRES—COCHISE—A MOUNTAIN CABIN—TALKING MINES—A DREAM OF WATERFALLS, VALLEYS, CANYONS AND CAVES.

ONE hour before reaching the mines of the Aztec Company, however, we were to pass the ruins of what was once the works of the old Tyndal or Santa Rita Mining Company. The stories of Indian massacres and depredations connected with this place, suggested a halt. To the one side of us reared the great El Picacho of the Santa Ritas; another of these ‘‘guiding stars’’ of the plains spoken of elsewhere. To the other, the ‘‘Teats’’ adds ruddiness to the scene; and the brilliant sky, the balmy air, and the sparkling sunlight, made us think, act, enjoy—with a corresponding vigor. The term ‘‘El Picacho’’ meaning in its literal translation, the ‘‘point of rocks,’’ one is puzzled when he has the ‘‘El Picacho’’ pointed out to him in a thousand different places in Arizona. It


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would be more comprehensive to say a ‘‘point of rocks’’ or signifying in some way that it was the Picacho of that particular location only, and for these reasons: The Picachos of Arizona, as intimated by our comparison of it to a ‘‘guiding star,’’ are numerous and serve to guide the traveler in most all directions. They exist equally throughout the land. They rise to a great height above all neighboring peaks, and can be seen for a distance of from one hundred to two hundred miles distant. The one spoken of in the Santa Ritas, can be seen from a circuit of one hundred and fifty to one hundred and seventy-five miles, guiding the traveler thereby in the direction of the Santa Ritas.

We all dismounted or left our wagons here; to stand for a few moments in the midst of ruins which, could they have talked would have chilled our blood and made our hair stand on ends. We all walked around mute for a while, and as we would lay our hands on the rude adobé walls, or stumble over some loose fragment of stone, a thrill would go through our bodies something like that experienced by us when, in our school days we used to read the tales of a Kit Carson, or Velasquez; and later of the adventures of the many characters who have become identified with Indian massacres and their depredations.

One of these ruined adobé buildings, one in which the walls are the best preserved, is pointed out to us


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as the scene of a most dastardly and cruel attack by the Indians a few years since. The Indians had been troublesome for some time but with great dexterity and watchfulness, the miners of the camp had managed to hold their own. At midnight a body of the bloodthirsty Apachés under their powerful leader, and numbering ninety warriors fell upon the camp with yells and shouts and whoops. The fight was a formidable one, for the Indians attacked against odds; and sweeping down in a bloodthirsty and determined assault surprised the whole camp. In the principal house—an adobé structure of three separate apartments on the ground floor—seven men and one woman held out all day against the treacherous red men, and finally beat them off. Being a strong mining camp, and the region being one of untold attraction for miners, the whole section of country hereabouts can tell more thrilling tales of Indian atrocities than most others. Col. R. J. Hinton, in his book on Arizona, in describing the Santa Ritas and its mines, says:

‘‘“To the north and west is a bold but lesser cone, which it is proposed to call Hopkins' Peak, in honor of Gilbert Hopkins, a famous mining engineer, slain within the shadows of these mountains by the murderous Apachés. To the east and south of Mount Wrightson rises another and smaller peak, which has been called Grosvenor, in honor of another bold pioneer,


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who, in 1861, was slain near the old hacienda at Santa Rita, shortly before Mr. Wrightson, the manager, of the Salero Company lost his life.”’’ J. Ross Browne's account of the manner in which one of these gentlemen lost his life, is thrilling, He says: ‘‘“Not far beyond the mesa, we enter upon a rugged region, abounding in breaks and arroyas very rocky and difficult for our horses. In one of these desolate places we visited the spot where Mr. II. C. Grosvenor, the last manager of the Santa Rita mines, and the last of the three managers whose fate was similar, was killed by the Apachés about two years ago. It appears that a wagon containing supplies had been sent out from Tubac and was on its way to the hacienda, when the men who accompanied it were attacked and killed. Mr. Grosvenor and Mr. Pumpelly had passed the wagon and teamsters a few minutes before and proceeded to the hacienda. As the freight party did not arrive within a reasonable time, Grosvenor walked out alone to see what was the cause of the delay. The Apachés had meantime made their murderous attack on the teamsters and plundered the wagon; and were moving up the Cañon, when they saw Grosvenor coming, and immediately formed an ambush behind the rocks and shot him dead, as be approached. His grave lies a few hundred yards from the headquarters of the hacienda. A marble head-stone, upon which


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his name is inscribed, with the additional words, not uncommon in Arizona, ‘‘killed by the Apachés,’’ marks the spot. By the side of this grave is another head-stone, bearing the name of Mr, Slack, his predecessor, who lost his life by this ruthless tribe of Indians. Another of the managers also killed by the Apaché, lies buried at Tubac.”’’

Although the principal rendezvous of the formidable chief Cochise was in the capricious Dragoon Mountains, the defiles and gorges of the Santa Ritas used to serve him ‘‘on a pinch’’ we think, as he often availed himself of its natural fortresses, and partook of its hospitable camping grounds; many objects of a rude character, such as a cluster of stones, board, or a stick stuck in the ground, and some improvised means of informing the passer by that ‘‘here lies the body of—, killed by the Apachés,’’ will testify to this.

Holding converse here for a very limited time only with the spirits of some of the noblest and boldest pioneers and frontiersmen of our country, and congratulating ourselves that Cochise had gone to his happy hunting ground (as he will have more facilities there) but hoping there are no white people with him, we take a hasty departure for the Toltec camp of the Aztec Mining Company. We have arrived. And now while seated in a log cabin, after a good mountain meal of


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venison and quail, my mission being to portray to all the particular and leading features of Arizona's domain, I will diverge again, and give to my reader a chapter of facts, fancies and figures, suggested by my impressions of this particular region. The party are all busy talking ‘‘mines,’’ and planning for the prospecting and inspection of their new mines to-morrow; computing the cost of bringing machinery and supplies to the place; strengthening their confidence in their success by reiterating the success that has already attended the McMillen, Globe, Peck and McCracken districts, and congratulating themselves on the lack of antimony, zinc, and sulphur the ore of Arizona are known to show.

I am seated in one corner of the cabin with a glorious fire of logs to my back, with a rough plank board stretched across two logs at my side for a table. On the board was a turnip in which I had dug a hole and placed a candle. The fire cast its glare of light about the room, while the candle flickered a mellow accompaniment to the sterner rays.

Until reaching this neighborhood of the 111th meridian, although whatever other interests may and evidently have bespoken a glorious future for Arizona, the traveler may claim a lack of any general system of continuous mountains with its Yosemities, its Niagaras, or its canyons of a yellow-stone. But here, about two-thirds


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the distance across the State in this latitude, the general features change, and as you proceed east still further the full change has taken place. From a land of the richest meadows and plain, you ascend by a system of mountains in an altitude where snow abounds in July. Lieut. Geo. M. Wheeler, of the United States surveys, said to me on one occasion while at his house in Washington, that he had rarely, if ever, beheld a more wonderful and beautiful range of country than that witnessed from the heights of some of the mountains of eastern Arizona. What water-falls, what peculiarly wonderful valleys, what canyons exist unknown in this yet unexplored country, is difficult to conceive. What natural topographical curiosities lie hidden in this ‘‘marvelous country’’ can only be surmised; and the surmises be equalled only, by the suppositions founded on the most justifiable demonstrations. What there is to satisfy the more curious sight-seer and tourist in nature's realms alone, is perhaps but poorly demonstrated, compared to her sterner and more useful qualifications, and yet she is not wanting even in these.

In the more northern part of the Territory alone, the famous Colorado is known by the reports of Major J. W. Powell of the United States Geological and Geographical surveys, to possess features grand enough, and thrilling, to warrant the Territory a passport


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in this respect. I will first give some of the topograpical features to support my theories, and then refer to the grand canyons of the Colorado River, and to the river itself.

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