Memoir of the Proposed Territory of Arizona - Part 2

Part 2

Every thing begins to look up in the Territory notwithstanding the difficulties we labor under. The Indians the other day came within eight hundred yards of Fort Buchanan and remained some time, and when they left carried off with them all the horses and mules in the valley for six or eight miles below. Try your hand in this matter of our Territory, and see if some change cannot be wrought to some benefit--we need it greatly.

Very truly yours, G. H. Oury.

Tueson, Oct. 2, 1857.

We have heard from Mesilla and they fully concur with us in all we have done, showing that you are the person chosen to act for them and to represent their interest in this matter. The people here are very much elated at the turn things are taking, and every one seems to be highly pleased with the course you have pursued. An election was held on the first Monday in September, at which you received all the votes given, and a certificate of your election, signed by the judges and clerks, has been forwarded to you. The country is being settled very fast, and there is somewhat of a stir to obtain cultivated lands. The lands already under cultivation are now fifty per cent. higher than a short time back. The great misfortune we labor under is want of protection.

Thousands and thousands of acres of land, as rich and fertile as any on the face of the globe, lie idle and useless because they are not protected from the Apaches. We want only one thing besides the Territorial organization, and that is PROTECTION.

Very truly yours, S. Warner.

Oct. 8, 1857.

The guerilla warfare on the Sonora frontier continues with increased aggravation. We look for the happiest result from the exploration of this interesting region of the Colorado, about to be explored by Lieut.

Ives, U. S. A. The ores from the Heintzelman mine took the premium at the mechanics' fair in San Francisco, just closed, where the ores from California and the western coast were on exhibition. So, Arizona leads California, the great mineral State.

All we need is good government and honest, liberal legislation to make Arizona equal in production of precious metals, if not exceed, California.

Yours truly, C. D. Poston.

Lt. Mowry, U. S. A.

Fort Yuma, June 2, 1857.

News has just come in from the Arizona which represent an awful state of affairs. During the time Mr. Belknap was below at Sonora it was unsafe for him to go out unless accompanied by his friend, Don Gaudaloupe Orosco, and even then it was very dangerous. No news from Sonora nor even an arrival for the last twenty days. G.o.d knows what is going on; though of one thing we are certain--no American, never mind whatsoever he may be, can go into Sonora, with or without a

Very sincerely yours, P. R. Brady.

Aug. 5, 1850.

The condition of the purchase has been extremely bad since the unfortunate and injudicious expedition of Crabbe into Sonora, and at the present time is but little better than a field of guerilla warfare, robbery and plunder.

The exasperated state of feeling between the Mexicans and Americans prevents intercourse and commerce, upon which the Territory is dependent. Americans are afraid to venture into Sonora for supplies, and Mexicans afraid to venture over the line. Americans who had nothing to do with the fillibustering invasion have been treated badly in Sonora and driven out of the country, and Mexicans coming into the purchase with supplies and animals have been robbed and plundered by the returned fillibusters.

The Americans in the Territory are by no means harmonious on these subjects--some in favor of filibustering and others opposed to it; some in favor of murdering and robbing Mexicans wherever found, and others opposed to it.

It results that we are in a state of anarchy, and there is no government, no protection to life, property, or business; no law and no self-respect or morality among the people. We are living in a perfect state of nature, without the restraining influence of civil or military law, or the amelioration of society.

There have not been many conflicts and murders, because every man goes armed to the teeth, and a difficulty is always fatal on one side or the other. In the midst of all this, the Government has blessed us with a custom house at Calabazos to collect duties upon the necessaries of life which, by chance and "running the gauntlet," we may get from Sonora.

G.o.d send that we had been left alone with the Apaches. We should have been a thousand times better off in every respect.

In this state of affairs it is scarcely to be expected that the people will meet together in a convention; there was no arrangement for that purpose up to the time of my leaving, and none could be made.

We have never had any orders of election from Santa Fe, nor heard of any convention.

Yours truly, C. D. Poston.

Major Fitzgerald, U. S. A., whose long experience on the Pacific coast makes his opinion very valuable, in a letter dated Fort Buchanan, Arizona, Sept. 17th, 1854, says:

"The citizens of this country are very desirous of a territorial organization, with its courts, &c. Murders are committed and stock is stolen by white men with impunity. There is no court nearer than the Rio Grande (300 miles) to take cognizance of crime. Some few of the emigrants of this year have remained in the Santa Cruz valley. More would have done so, no doubt, if they had not started from the States originally with stock for the California market.

The country around us is now beautiful. It has been raining almost daily since the 1st of July, and the vegetation is most luxuriant. Many of the Mexican citizens come over the line for purposes of trade, bringing flour, fruit, and leather. If there was no custom house at Calabazas, these articles could be had very cheaply.

We have very excellent gardens, and plenty of vegetables. There is said to be a good deal of cultivable land on the upper Gila, and if a territory is created, it should embrace this. This would also include a large part of the Colorado valley above the junction of the Gila. That you may succeed in your wishes with regard to Arizona, is the sincere desire of

Your friend and obliged serv't, E. H. Fitzgerald."

Lt. Mowry, U. S. A.

A subsequent letter from Major Fitzgerald dated Oct. 1st, says Tueson contains rising five hundred inhabitants, the remainder of the Santa Cruz altogether enough to make considerable over a thousand, independent of the population towards and upon the Gila and Colorado, of which he remarks,

"You know more than I." "There is not a doubt but that upon the location of the mail route, there will be a considerable emigration to this country, and if a portion of Sonora be organized, large numbers will come both from the East and West. The country is an excellent one for stock of all kinds, of which there were great numbers where the Apaches were gathered under the wing of the Catholic church. The valleys of Santa Cruz, San Pedro, and Upper Gila, and also that of Messilla, contain large bodies of productive lands, and all the cereals grow luxuriantly therein. THAT THERE IS MUCH SILVER IN THE TERRITORY THERE IS NO DOUBT, but it requires capital to develop it. As yet but little progress has been made in mining. Evidences of old works are seen on many of the water courses, but operations have not yet been recommenced, except at Arizona, Sopori, and Ariaola, because the country is very partially settled, and it is not safe to be at any distance from the ma.s.s of the population, and the troops. Copper ore is found in many localities, but little gold is yet discovered. If the road from El Paso to Fort Yuma be located by Parke's route, as many suppose, A FINE COUNTRY WILL BE OPENED on the Gila and Lower San Pedro, which will produce ample supplies. The Territory presents no difficulties of importance to the successful establishment of the road.

Frequent stations and PROPER PROTECTION ARE ONLY REQUISITE TO ENSURE SUCCESS AS COMPLETELY AS THE MOST SANGUINE ANTIc.i.p.aTE. Should Sonora, or even a portion of it be organized, this will be one of the most pleasant localities of our country. A delightful climate, plenty of fine fruit, facility of supply by a port on the Pacific, semi-weekly mails from the east and west,--are only some of the attractions which it would possess.

Sonora is quiet. Many of the wealthy men there are in favor of annexation, it is said, but they have to keep silent on the subject for fear of noisy patriots, who would proclaim them traitors at once, if they made a parade of their inclinations. The San Antonio and San Deigo mail through Tueson once a fortnight, and seems to have met with no important obstacle yet. A drove of mules accompanies it, which are harnessed in turn. When regular stations are established its speed will be much increased. My last letter was not written with a view of the use being made of it you mentioned, yet if it answers a good purpose, I have no objection. It was but a careless note, but its contents were truths, nevertheless." (This note demonstrated the facility of supply for the Territory from the Pacific.)

"Most truly your friend, (Signed,) E. H. Fitzgerald."

Tubac, Gadsden's Purchase, 22d Oct., 1857.

"We have of late been seriously annoyed by the Apaches. Nearly all the animals belonging to the citizens residing around Fort Buchanan have been driven off by the Apaches. They are very impudent, and commit their depredations in broad day-light, talk to the people while they are driving off the animals, and always escape without being molested.

The other day they came within 800 yards of the Fort and looked down upon it.

In order to bring them to terms the Government ought to enlist 1000 Pinos and Papagos to accompany the military. Indians are the only persons who can successfully traverse these mountains and hunt up their hiding places. If this is not done, they will surely break up our settlements here. Forts ought to be established in the very heart of the Apache country, in the places fit, and used by them for cultivation. If this is done we will soon bring them to terms.

Until now, our mining establishments have not been molested by them, and we are going on in high glee. This is undoubtedly the richest silver mining country in the world. If the United States will make just and liberal laws for us; give us protection; remove those trifling and unprofitable custom houses on the frontier, at least for 5 or 6 years; procure us a transit through Sonora to Guaymas, and hasten along the rail-road to California, this will indeed be a prosperous country, and will astonish the world with its production of silver and copper. But with such terrible obstacles as those mentioned above and the great length of transit to transport goods over the roads which we have to take at present, progress only is possible for such as find mines of the extraordinary and incredible richness of the Heintzelman vein. If the present promises of few of these mines are realized, by working them on a scale commensurate with their extent and richness, I have no doubt but that they will equal in production the whole silver exports of Mexico.

I think an appropriation ought to be made to sink artesian wells through the Papagos country, between San Xavier and the lower Gila.

This route cuts off about 100 miles from the best route via the Pinos villages. It is laid down on my map, as a rail-road route, now at the office of the Sonora Exploring and Mining Company, at Cincinnati, Ohio.

The country consists of a succession of plains and isolated mountain ridges, none of which need to be crossed. In fact it is a dead level to Fort Yuma, and, in consequence, no grading is necessary. There is scarcity of water, but the soil in general is excellent and gra.s.s abounds all along the line, while the mountains teem with minerals of the richest description. The oxides and the sulphurets of copper are the most beautiful and richest in the world. Silver undoubtedly exists of equal richness.

All the foothills contain gold, but I hardly think it will be extracted by the whites, as the localities are devoid of water, and they are not probably rich enough to pay without sluicing on an extensive scale."

I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant, Herman Ehrenberg.

To Lieut. S. Mowry, U. S. A., Delegate elect from Arizona, Washington, D. C.

The only comment the writer has to make upon these statements is, that two years' residence among and acquaintance with the people of Arizona, has convinced him of their absolute truth. At the last session of Congress a pet.i.tion was presented, praying for a separate Territorial organization. The necessity for some legislation was admitted by both Senate and House; and bills creating a separate judicial district and land offices, pa.s.sed both Houses, but owing to some minor differences and the lateness of the session, the bills failed to become a law.

With an increased population and prolonged grievances, the people of Arizona are again about to present themselves as supplicants for that right inherent in the American heart--the right of self-government--and of protection under the law. Their pet.i.tion sets forth in brief, plain terms, their situation and necessities, and prays simply for a separation from New Mexico and a Territorial organization under the name of Arizona. As a matter of necessity for the successful carriage of the mail across the country, this Territorial organization is imperative. No contract for labor or supplies can be enforced in the present condition of the country. Courts of law must be established, with officers to enforce their mandates, or the contractors will be utterly unable to carry out their contract.