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Memoir of the Proposed Territory of Arizona by Sylvester Mowry

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"The NEW TERRITORY of ARIZONA, better known as the GADSDEN
PURCHASE, lies between the thirty-first and thirty-third
parallels of latitude, and is bounded on the north by the Gila
River, which separates it from the territory of New Mexico; on
the east by the Rio Bravo del Norte, (Rio Grande), which
separates it from Texas; on the south by Chihuahua and Sonora,
Mexican provinces; and on the west by the Colorado River of the
West, which separates it from Upper and Lower California. This
great region is six hundred miles long by about fifty miles wide,
and embraces an area of about thirty thousand square miles. It
was acquired by purchase from Mexico, during the mission of
General Gadsden, at a cost of ten millions of dollars. In the
original treaty, as negotiated by General Gadsden, a more
southern boundary than the one adopted by the Senate of the
United States in confirming the treaty, was conceded by Santa
Anna. The line at present is irregular in its course, and cuts
off from our Territory the head of the Santa Cruz river and
valley, the Sonoita valley, the San Bernardino valley, the whole
course of the Colorado river from a point twenty miles below the
mouth of the Gila river, and, worse than all, the control of the
head of the Gulf of California, and the rich and extensive valley
of Lake Guzman, besides a large and extremely valuable silver
region, well known both to Mexicans and Americans--the planchas
de la Platte. General Gadsden's line included nearly all the
territory south of the Gila river to the thirty-first parallel of
latitude--all the advantages above mentioned--gave us the mouth
of the Colorado river, and probably a port near the head of the
gulf at Adair's Bay. We have no accurate survey of the west coast
of the Gulf of California, but I am strongly of opinion that the
original line conceded by Mexico would have thrown a portion of
the gulf into American hands, by cutting off an arm of it
extending east and north from the main body of water. A port on
the gulf is of great and immediate necessity to our Pacific
possessions. Of this hereafter.

The proposed boundaries, of the Territory of Arizona, are the
34th parallel of latitude, with New Mexico on the north, from the
103d meridian west to the Colorado; Texas on the east; Texas, and
the Mexican provinces of New Mexico and Sonora on the south; and
California on the west. The new Territory would thus contain
within its borders the three largest rivers on the Continent, west of the Mississippi-the Rio Grande, Gila, and Colorado of
the west, and embrace 90,000 square miles.

The Gadsden purchase is attached by act of Congress to the
Territory of New Mexico. At the time of its acquisition there was
scarcely any population except a few scattering Mexicans in the
Mesilla valley, and at the old town of Tucson, in the centre of
the territory. The Apache Indian, superior in strength to the
Mexican, had gradually extirpated every trace of civilization,
and roamed uninterrupted and unmolested, sole possessor of what
was once a thriving and populous Spanish province.

Except the report of Col. A. B. Gray, there is scarcely anything
in print with reference to the early history of Arizona, beyond
the scanty but valuable notes of Major Emory and Hon. John R.
Bartlett, in their reports, and in the appendix to Wilson's late
book, "Mexico and its Religion." To this last I beg to refer any
reader who desires accurate information respecting the Northern
Mexican provinces, presented in a straightforward common-sense

In the possession of the writer of these notes is a map drawn in
1757, just one hundred years ago, presented by the Society of
Jesuits to the King of Spain. The original of this map is now in
the archives of the Mexican Government. It was copied, with the
notes relating to the Territory, and to Sonora, Chihuahua, and
Sinaloa, by Capt. C. P. Stone, late of the United States Army.
The map bears the inscription, "Carte levee par la Societe des
Jesuites, dediee au Roi d'Espagne en 1757."

The copy of the map and the accompanying notes are certified as
accurate by the officer of the Mexican Government in charge of
the archives.

My information, therefore, upon the early history of this
comparatively unknown domain, is accurate and reliable. As early
as 1687, a Jesuit missionary from the province of Sonora, which,
in its southern portion, bore already the impress of Spanish
civilization, descended the valley of Santa Cruz river to the
Gila. Passing down the Gila to its mouth, after exploring the
country, he retraced his steps, penetrated the country north of
the Gila river for some distance, and ascended the Salinas or
Salt river, and other northern branches of the Gila. The
explorations of this energetic priest did not stop here.
Proceeding east, he explored the valley of the San Pedro and its
branches, thence along the Gila to the Mimbres, and probably to
the Rio Grande and the Mesilla valley. Filled with the enthusiasm
of his sect, he procured authority from the head of the order in
Mexico, and established missions and settlements at every
available point. In a report to the government of the viceroy of
Spain, made during the early settlement of the province, I find
the following language: "A scientific exploration of Sonora, with
reference to mineralogy, along with the introduction of families,
will lead to a discovery of gold and silver so marvellous that the result will be such as has never yet been seen in the

The reports of the immense mineral wealth of the new country,
made by the Jesuits, induced a rapid settlement. There are laid
down on the map before me more than forty towns and villages.
Many of these were of considerable size. There were a few north
of the Gila, and several on the lower Gila, near the Colorado.
The Santa Cruz and its tributary valleys teemed with an
agricultural and mining population. Thousands of enterprising
Spaniards cultivated the rich valley of the San Pedro, and
scattered settlements flourished at every suitable stream and
spring at the foot of the mountains towards the Rio Grande. The
notes before me say: "All these settlements and missions were
founded in fertile valleys, and by streams and springs, which
produced luxuriant crops of wheat, corn, and beans, and in many
parts grapes and other foreign fruits were cultivated."

In the western part of the Territory were the missions of St.
Pierre, St. Paul, St. Matthias, St. Simond, St. Francisco, Merci,
the ranches of Eau Cheri, Eau de la Lune, and others; on the
Santa Cruz the missions of San Xavier del Bac, Santiago, San
Cayetano, and San Philipe, the towns of Tueson, Tubac, Reges, San
Augusta, and many others. San Xavier del Bac is still in
existence. It is a mission church of great size and beauty,
magnificently ornamented within; forty thousand dollars in solid
silver served to adorn the altar. Upon the San Pedro river were
the missions of St. Mark, San Salvadore, San Pantaleon, Santa
Cruz, and the towns of Quiduria, Rosario, Eugenia, Victoria, and
San Fernando--the latter at the mouth--with many more. To the
east some small settlements were found on the Valle del Sauz, on
the Mimbres, at the copper mines north of the Mimbres, and to the
south the immense grazing and stock-raising establishment of San
Bernardino, where since have been raised hundreds of thousands of
cattle and horses. The Indians in the vicinity of the missions
were reduced first to obedience by the Jesuits, and then to
slavery by the Spaniards.

The notes referred to above contain the names and localities of
more than a hundred silver and gold mines which were worked with
great success by the Spaniards. The survey of the Jesuit priest
about 1687 was repeated in 1710 with renewed discoveries, and
consequent accession of population. From this time up to 1757 the
conquest and settlement of the country was prosecuted with vigor,
both by the Jesuits' Society and Spanish government.

The missions and settlements were repeatedly destroyed by the
Apaches, and the priests and settlers massacred or driven off. As
often were they re-established. The Indians at length, thoroughly
aroused by the cruelties of the Spaniards, by whom they were
deprived of their liberty, forced to labor in the silver mines
with inadequate food, and barbarously treated, finally rose,
joined with tribes who had never been subdued, and gradually
drove out or massacred their oppressors. A superior civilization disappeared before their devastating career, and to day there is
scarcely a trace of it left, except scarcely visible ruins,
evidence everywhere, of extensive and hastily-deserted mining
operations, and the tradition of the country. The mission of San
Xavier del Bac, and the old towns of Tueson and Tubac, are the
most prominent of these remains. The labors of the Jesuits to
civilize the Indians are still evident in the mission Indians,
the Papagos and Pimas, who live in villages, cultivate crops of
corn and wheat, and who, in the Christian and human elements of
good faith and charity, are, to say the least, in no way inferior
to the Mexicans. After the massacre of four of Crabbe's
unfortunate party near Sonoita by the Mexicans, the Papago
Indians buried carefully the bodies to which Mexican inhumanity
had denied this last charitable office. It is a curious and
suggestive fact that the latitude of places upon Gila, Santa
Cruz, and San Pedro, determined by the Jesuits about 1750, has
lately been verified by the observations of Park Michler, and
Emory. The instruments used by the Jesuits were constructed by
them, the lenses being made from pebbles.

From 1757 down to 1820, the Spaniards and Mexicans continued to
work many valuable mines near Barbacora, and the notes in my
possession speak of many silver mines, most of which contained a
percentage of gold. "The San Pedro gold mine in 1748 was worked
with extraordinary success." Among the mines anciently worked, as
laid down in the authorities heretofore referred to, were the
Dolores, San Antonio, Casa Gordo, Cabrisa, San Juan Batista,
Santa Anna, (which was worked to the depth of one hundred and
twenty yards,) Rosario, Cata de Agua, Guadaloupe, Connilla,
Prieta, Santa Catarina, Guzopa, Huratano, Arpa, Descuhidara,
Nacosare, Arguage, Churinababi, Huacal, Pinal, and a great number
of others which it would only be tedious to mention.

The most celebrated modern localities are Arivaca, (also
anciently famous as Aribac,) Sopori, the Arizona mountains, the
Santa Rita range, the Cerro Colorado, the entire vicinity of
Tubac, the Del Ajo, or Arizona copper mine, the Gadsonia copper
mine, and the Gila river copper mines. These last are situated
directly upon the Gila, only twenty-five miles from its mouth.
The writer assures the public that there is no room for doubt as
to the authenticity of these statements, or the immense resources
of the new Territory in silver, copper, and probably gold. As
late as 1820, the Mina Cobre de la Plata, (silver copper mines,)
near Fort Webster, north of the Gila, were worked to great
advantage; and so rich was the ore that it paid for
transportation on muleback more than a thousand miles to the city
of Mexico.

Every exploration within the past few years has confirmed the
statements of the ancient records. The testimony of living
Mexicans, and the tradition of the country, all tend to the same
end. Col. A. B. Gray, Col. Emory, Lt. Michler, Lt. Parke, the
Hon. John R. Bartlett, late of the United States Boundary
Commission, all agree in the statement that the Territory has immense resources in silver and copper. Col. Emory says in his

"On account of the Gold Mania in California I kept the search for
gold and other precious metals as much out of view as possible,
scarcely allowing it to be a matter of conversation, much less of
actual search. Yet, enough was ascertained to convince us that
the whole region was teeming with the precious metals. We
everywhere saw the remains of mining operations, conducted by the
Spaniards, and more recently by the Mexicans."

The report enumerates at considerable length the various
localities examined by Col. Emory's party, and others, of which
there could be no doubt.

In view of these authorities, it is hoped that those who will not
believe upon any evidence, will be content in their own
incredulity. The most authentic reports of these immense mineral
resources have been used as authorities against their existence.
The authors of these denials either have never read what they
pretend to quote, or think no one else has. The Hon. T. Butler
King, who was the first to reveal to an incredulous public the
wonders of the California gold mines, has had the singular good
fortune to be also among the first to publish correct and
authentic information relating to the silver treasures of
Arizona. His report upon the resources of the new Territory has
all the charm to the reader that his California report had, and
its brilliant predictions will be as fully realized. To Gray and
Emory is the country most indebted for the earliest and most
important discoveries.

The agricultural resources of Arizona, are sufficient to sustain
a large mining population, and afford abundant supplies for the
great immigration which will follow the development of its
mineral resources. The whole valley of the Gila, more than four
hundred miles in length, can be made with proper exertion to
yield plentiful crops. The Pimos Indians, who live in villages on
the Gila, one hundred and seventy miles from its mouth, raise
large crops of cotton, wheat, and corn, and have for years
supplied the thousands of emigrants who traverse the Territory en
route to California. These Indians manufacture their cotton into
blankets of fine texture and beautiful pattern, which command a
high price. They also grind their corn and wheat, and make bread.
In fact, the Pimos realize in their everyday life something of
our ideas of Aztec civilization. A town will probably grow up
just above the Pimos villages, as there is a rich back country,
and the streams afford a valuable water power for running mills.

The valley of the Santa Cruz traverses the territory from South
to North, sinking near the town of Tueson, and probably finding
its way to the Gila, as a subterranean stream. This valley, of
the richest land, is about one hundred miles long, in many places
of great width, and has on each side of it many rich valleys of
limited extent, watered by streams from the mountains, which flow into the Santa Cruz. The valleys and Ranches of Arivaca, Sopori,
Calabazas, and Tueson, are those at present most thickly settled.
These produce all the fruits known to a Southern clime--grapes,
wheat, corn, and cotton in great abundance. The San Pedro river
and valley is also one of great richness, and is reported by
Lieut. Parke as capable of sustaining a large population. The
Valle de Sauz, still farther East, more limited than the San
Pedro or Santa Cruz, can be made available for a considerable
population. The Mimbres River also can, by a small outlay, be
made to irrigate a large surface and supply a moderate
settlement. The various springs laid down by Gray, Emory, Parke,
and Bartlett, will all afford water for small settlements, and
their supply can be much increased by a judicious outlay of
money. The Rio Grande valley is very rich, and in places of great
width. The Mesilla valley already contains a population of about
five thousand souls, and there is ample room for many more.

If, as proposed, the Northern boundary of the Arizona Territory
should enclose the Northern branches of the Gila, an agricultural
region will be opened to settlement sufficient in itself to
sustain the population of an immense agricultural State. Col.
Bonneville, who is now at the head of a large force exploring
this region, writes to the Secretary of War that it is the finest
country he has ever seen, "valleys capable of sustaining a
population of twenty thousand each, teeming at every step with
evidences of an immense population long ago-and an ancient and
superior civilization." The Hon. John R. Bartlett says of the
"Salinas," one of the Northern branches of the Gila, that it
alone will supply food for a great State. It must be recollected,
in this connection, that the great mineral wealth of Arizona will
call for and amply repay for the redemption and expensive
cultivation of all the available lands, and that irrigation
produces immensely greater crops than the other method of
planting. Throughout the whole of Utah, irrigation has been
resorted to with the greatest success. The soil in Utah, in no
place that the writer saw it, could in any way be compared to
that of the bottom lands of Arizona.

Captain Whipple in his valuable report of exploration for the
Pacific Railroad, published by order of Congress, crossed the
upper part of the region alluded to, and which is watered by the
Rio Verde and Salinas. He fully sustains me in my remarks on
those rich valleys.

"We are in the pleasantest region we have seen since leaving the
Choctaw country. Here are clear rivulets, with fertile valleys
and forest trees. The wide belt of country that borders the Black
Forest, and probably extends along the Rio Verde to the Salinas
and Gila, bears every indication of being able to support a large
agricultural and pastoral population. The valley of the Rio Verde
is magnificently wooded with furs and oaks, affording excellent
timber. Ancient ruins are said by trappers to be scattered over
its whole length to the confluence with the Salinas. We,
therefore, seem to have skirted the boundary of a country once populous, and worthy of becoming so again. Besides the advantages
already enumerated, the mountains in this vicinity bear
indications of mineral wealth. Vol. 3, p. 93."

The notes before referred to, in the possession of the writer,
speak of great farming and grazing establishments scattered over
the whole face of the Territory, between 1610 and 1800, which
produced abundant crops of cereals, fruits, and grapes. These
statements are confirmed by the testimony of Major Emory and his
report, where he enumerates several of the most extensive--by
Gray, Bartlett, Parke, and Col. Bonneville. Many of the Ranches,
deserted by the Mexicans on account of the Apache Indians, have
upon them large, well-built adobe houses which must have cost the
builders thousands of dollars. Many of these have been occupied
under squatter titles by emigrants within the last few years. Of
others, only the ruins remain, having been destroyed by the
depredations of the Indians, or by the heavy rains of the
succeeding years.

The greater portion of these lands on the Santa Cruz and San
Pedro are covered by Mexican titles-and many of these again by
squatter claims. It is absolutely necessary that Congress should
by some wise and speedy legislation settle, upon some definite
basis, the land titles of Arizona. Until this is done, disorder
and anarchy will reign supreme over the country. The present
condition of California is in a great degree to be attributed to
the want of any title to the most valuable real property in the
State, and the millions which have been spent in fruitless
litigation should teach a lesson of great practical value. Let
those Spanish grants and Mexican titles which have been occupied
in good faith be affirmed in the most expeditious and economical
manner to the claimants, and they will immediately pass into
American hands, and become productive. The remainder of the
country should then be thrown open to settlers. No better code of
mining law exists than the Spanish, adopted in the Senate bill
introduced by the late General Rusk, and passed at the last
session of Congress. A judicious and liberal donation law, giving
to the actual settler a homestead, and to the enterprising miner
and "prospector" a fair security for the fruit of his labors,
will at once make of Arizona a popular, thriving and wealthy
State, affording new markets for the productions of our Atlantic
States, and yielding annually millions in silver and copper.

In addition to the produce of Arizona, the immediate vicinity of
the agricultural region of Sonora affords an abundant market for
all necessary supplies, including sugar, which is manufactured by
the Mexicans in great quantities from the cane. Guyamas, which
one day will be ours, is one of the largest ports for the export
of flour on the Pacific coast north of Chili. She also exports
several millions in silver annually, which finds its way direct
to the English market. Under an intelligent system, the Sonora
mines would yield a hundred millions a year, and the supply is
inexhaustible. If any reader doubts this statement, refer him to
the statistics of Humboldt, Ward, and Wilson, most unquestioned and valuable authorities. Both Humboldt and Ward note the fact
that the silver deposites grow richer as they are traced farther
North. There can be no doubt that the most extensive and valuable
mines, both of pure silver and silver mixed with copper and lead,
are within the limits of Arizona.

The yield of the silver mines of Mexico, as computed by Ward and
Humboldt from the actual official returns to the Government, from
the conquest to 1803, amounts to the enormous sum of
$2,027,955,000, or more than two BILLIONS Of dollars. Again, Ward
says: "I am aware that many of the statements in this and the
preceding books respecting the mineral riches of the North of New
Spain, (Sonora, including the 'Gadsden Purchase,' Chihuahua, and
Durango,) will be thought exaggerated. THEY ARE NOT SO; they will
be confirmed by every future report, and in after years, the
public, FAMILIARIZED WITH facts which are only questioned because
they are new, will wonder at its present incredulity, and regret
the loss of advantages which may not always be within its

Of the present mining operations in the Territory of Arizona, the
most considerable, in point of labor performed and results, is
"The Arizona Copper Mining Co." This company is incorporated by
the California Legislature, with a capital of one million of
dollars. The President is Major Robert Allen, U. S. A. The mines
are old, and very celebrated in Mexico under the name of El-Ajo.
This company, at an expense of $100,000, have supplied their
mines with an abundance of water, extracted several hundred tons
of ore, and erected buildings, smelting furnaces, and other
appliances to facilitate their operations. They employ about one
hundred men, mostly Mexican miners. Their supplies of breadstuffs
and beef are obtained by contract from Sonora. These mines are
situated one hundred and thirty miles from the mouth of the Gila
River, and about sixty miles south of it. The ore varies in
richness from thirty to sixty per cent, and the proceeds of some
sales in London were quoted as being the highest prices ever paid
for ore in that market. A portion of this mine is owned by
English capitalists, and it is without doubt one of the most
valuable in the world. The profits may be easily calculated, when
it is known that the ore costs delivered in Swansea, England, not
exceeding $125 per ton, and is worth from $200 to $375 per ton.
Of course these profits will be greatly increased when the
company is in a position to smelt its ores at the mine. The
Sonora Exploring and Mining Company was organized in 1856, with a
capital of two million dollars ($2,000,000). Its principal office
is in Cincinnati, Ohio, and its seat of operations at Tubac, in
the Santa Cruz valley. This company is managed in its mining
operations by Chas. D. Poston, Esq., a gentleman of much
experience on the Pacific coast, and of great energy of

The Rancho of Arivaca, containing several valuable silver mines,
and seventeen thousand acres of valuable land, has been purchased
by this company. It has also acquired the titles to a number of other valuable mines of galena ore, and copper containing silver
and gold. Hitherto, the exertions of the company have been
directed principally to explorations and cleaning out the old
mines, but they have at present above ground, ready for smelting,
several thousand dollars worth of their ores. Prof. Booth, U. S.
Assayer, as well as other distinguished authorities, have, after
thorough experiment, given to the company certificates of the
great richness of the ores already shipped to the east. The
annual report of the Sonora Mining Co. is full of interest to the
general reader. The Sopori mine is another very valuable
property. It is owned by Messrs. Douglass, Aldrich, and another.
Want of capital has prevented the extensive development of this
mine. It affords its proprietors a handsome profit, worked in the
smallest and cheapest manner. The vein is of great size, has been
traced several rods in length, and pays about one dollar to the
pound of ore. The writer has examined specimens from the
"Sopori," taken at random, and so rich is the ore that the native
silver can be cut out of it with a penknife, as out of a Mexican
dollar. Undoubtedly the Sopori mine is destined to yield hundreds
of millions. It is a peculiarity of the ores in this district
that they run near the surface, making mining of comparative
small cost. The Sopori mine is surrounded by a fine country, well
watered and wooded. The "Gadsonia Copper Mining Co.," after
taking out a few tons of exceedingly rich ore--averaging over
eighty per cent.--was obliged to suspend operations on account of
the cost of transportation. When the Territory shall be organized
and capital protected by law, these mines will be worked to
advantage. "The Gila River Copper Mines" are more favorably
situated than any other yet opened, being directly on the Gila
River, only twenty-five miles from its mouth. The ores can be
taken from the mine, immediately shipped upon flat boats or a
light draft steamer, and transported down the Colorado River to
the head of the Gulf of California, when they can be transhipped
to England at small cost. Upwards of twenty veins of copper ore
have been opened, and the assays give results varying from 30 to
70 per cent. These mines are owned by Messrs. Hooper, Hinton,
Halstead, and another. Several thousand dollars have been already
expended in prospecting and opening veins, and it was anticipated
by the proprietors that the first cargo would be shipped to
Swansea, England, this year.

Smelting works will eventually be built at the mines, or at
Colorado City, opposite Fort Yuma, and the profits of this
company must be very great. The vicinity of the Colorado, and the
abundance of wood and water, give the proprietors facilities for
conducting their operations at small cost.

Silver mining is also carried on in the vicinity of Mesilla
Valley, and near the Rio Grande. Many other mining operations are
constantly being commenced; but the depredations of the Apache
Indians have almost entirely snatched success from the
hard-working miner, who, besides losing his all, is often
massacred in some ferocious manner.
No protection, either civil or military, is extended over the
greater portion of Arizona. This checks the development of all
her resources--not only to her own injury, but that of California
and the Atlantic States--by withholding a market for their
productions, and the bullion which she is fully able to supply to
an extent corresponding to the labor employed in obtaining it.

A. B. Gray, Esq., late U. S. Surveyor under the treaty of
Guadalupe Hidalgo, for running the Mexican Boundary, and
subsequently Exploring Engineer and Surveyor of the Southern
Pacific Railroad, has probably seen more of the proposed
Territory of Arizona than any other person, his statements in
reference to that region, embodied in a report to the Hon., the
Secretary of the Interior, from actual field reconnoissances six
years ago, will be read with much interest, particularly as since
then, repeated developments in that country have proved the
correctness of his judgment; his opinions are, therefore, of much
importance, as expressed in his able report. It will be
recollected that this was then Mexican Territory. Colonel Gray

"The public, I think have been misled by misrepresentations made
in regard to the resources of the region of country lying along
the Gila and upon the line proposed for a railroad at or near the
parallel of 32 degrees north latitude. That portion of country
east of the Rio Grande I can say but little of from personal
observation, having been over but apart of the ground near the
eastern division in Texas, and that in the vicinity of El Paso.
At both these points, however, a fine country exists. Upon the
Gila river grows cotton of the most superior kind. Its nature is
not unlike that of the celebrated Sea Island cotton, possessing
an equally fine texture, and, if anything, more of a silky fibre.
The samples I procured at the Indian villages, from the rudely
cultivated fields of the Pimas and Maricopas, have been spoken of
as an extraordinary quality. Wheat, corn, and tobacco, together
with beans, melons, etc., grow likewise upon the banks and in the
valleys bordering the Gila and its tributaries. The sugar cane,
too, I believe, will be found to thrive in this section of the
country west of the Rio San Pedro. A sort of candied preserve and
molasses, expressed from the fruit of the cereus giganteus and
agave Americana was found by our party in 1851, as we passed
through the Pinal Llano camps and among the Gila tribes, to be
most acceptable. The candied preserve was a most excellent
substitute for sugar. It is true that there are extensive wastes
to be encountered west of the Rio Grande, yet they are not
deserts of sand, but plains covered at certain seasons of the
year with luxuriant grass, exhibiting green spots and springs not
very remote from each other at all times. There is sufficient
water in the Gila and its branches for all the purposes of
irrigation when it is wanted, the streams being high during the
season most needed. The Rio Salado, a tributary of the Gila, is a
bold and far more beautiful river than the Gila itself, and, from
the old ruins now seen there, must have had formerly a large
settlement upon its banks. "To many persons merely travelling or emigrating across the country, with but one object in view, and
that the reaching their destination on the Pacific, the country
would generally present a barren aspect. But it will be
recollected that the most productive fields in California, before
American enterprise introduced the plough, and a different mode
of cultivation from that of the natives of the country, presented
somewhat similar appearance. Many believed, at first, from the
cold and sterile look of the hills, and the parched appearance of
the fields and valleys, over which the starving coyote is often
seen prowling in search of something to subsist on, that
California could never become an agricultural district, but must
depend upon her other resources for greatness, and trust to
distant regions for the necessaries of life required for her
increased population. It was natural enough, too, that this
impression should be created in those accustomed to a different
State of things, and particularly when it is considered that the
very season of blossom and bloom of our Atlantic States was the
winter of California; but these same fields and hills have a very
different appearance in January, February, and March, clothed as
they are in the brightest verdure and no one now will pretend to
say that California does not possess within herself great
agricultural as well as mineral wealth. This, I believe, will
some day be the case with the country from the Rio Grande to the
Gulf of California, adjacent to the Gila. Senate Ex. Doc. No. 55,
33rd Congress, 2nd Session."

* * * * * * * *

In speaking of the resources of this region for a railroad, in
the same report, Gray says:

"The valley of Mesilla, extending from about twelve miles above
the true boundary of the treaty to the parallel of 32 degrees 22
minutes north latitude, lies wholly within the disputed district,
and is, for its extent, one of the most beautiful and fertile
along the whole course of the Rio Grande. The town of Mesilla,
only a few years old, contains several thousand people, and is a
prosperous little place. It was not settled until after the
cession of this territory to us by the treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo. Portions of the valley are highly cultivated, and
produce the grains and fruits of our most thriving States. In
connexion with the land on the east side of the river, the valley
of the Messilla is capable of sustaining a considerable
population. It is situated centrally with regard to a large
district of country of lesser agricultural capacity. The section
of the Rio Grande in the vicinity of El Paso and the valley of
Mesilla, is proverbial for the production of fine vegetables and
fruits. Indeed, about El Paso, it is a complete garden with
flourishing vineyards, equalling in excellence those of the most
celebrated grape growing countries.

"By a judicious disposition of military stations along this line,
only a few troops would be required to protect the great northern
frontier of Sonora and Chihuahua, and enable us to carry out the llth article of our late treaty with Mexico more effectually, and
at the same time prevent any depredations which the Indians might
be disposed to commit on the road. Soon after, the settlement of
the country would make the presence of the military unnecessary,
either for the safety of a railway of the security of the
frontier. The strong holds of the Apaches, and their pathway to
Mexico, would be cut off.

"A wagon road established from the Gulf of California would
enable supplies to be transported along this line at one-half of
the present cost. The saving of one-third or more distance,
through a comparatively unsettled country, in transportation is
an important consideration in the construction of a railway, more
especially when men and materials, to a great extent, must be
brought from very remote points. The navigation of the Gulf of
California is said to be very good. The trade-winds from the
northwest, encountering the highlands of the peninsula of Lower
California, and forming a counter current under its lee, enable
sailing vessels to proceed advantageously along that coast.
Returning, by keeping on the eastern aide, or along the shore of
Sonora, they could avail themselves of the prevailing winds,
which regain their usual direction after sweeping across the wide
expanse of water. The trade of the Gulf, with its pearl fisheries
and other resources, would be speedily developed.

* * * * * * * *

"The advantages of such a thoroughfare are obvious. Five years
would hardly elapse before inestimable benefits would be
realized; and, should war threaten our Pacific possessions, a few
days would suffice to send from the Mississippi valley an army
that would defy any force that the most formidable power could
array against us. The fine cotton region of the Gila, the rich
copper, silver, and gold mines of New Mexico and Sonora would be
at once developed, bringing a vast district of country into
cultivation which now presents a fruitless waste, owing to Indian
depredations and the absence of means of communication and
protection. Mexico has tried for a century past to insure safety
to her inhabitants in this region, but notwithstanding the
expense she has incurred in keeping up her garrisons, she has
failed to afford them protection.

"The deserted appearance of the country from El Paso to the
Colorado is no criterion by which to judge of its value. The
beautiful valley of San Xavier, or Santa Cruz, some two years ago
when I passed through it, was entirely deserted. The once
thriving towns of Tumacacori and Tubac had not the sign of a
living soul about them except the recent moccasin track of the
Apaches. The orchards and vineyards of the once highly cultivated
fields and gardens bore the marks of gradual decay and
destruction. The ranchos of Calabazas, of San Bernardino, and
numerous other places on this frontier, presented the same
melancholy aspect, the result of the inability of Mexico to
protect this portion of territory from the inroads of the savages. There are now but a few settlements throughout this
district of country, but were it protected by a power that could
and would defend it, what is now a waste in the hands of the
savages might become a thriving country, with safety insured to
its inhabitants." Senate Ex. Doc. No. 55, 33rd Congress, 2nd

I quote the following language of Gray, from subsequent
explorations made by him, three years after his first expedition,
and contained in his report to the Southern Pacific Railroad
Company. It was chiefly from the discoveries made by Gray, in
this adventurous expedition, through regions unknown for many
years past, between the Rio Grande and Gulf of California,
together with the Gadsden Treaty, that induced parties at great
expense to emigrate there, and commence working the vast mineral
deposites, such as the Arabac silver mines, the Ajo copper
mountain, and others, but which, through lack of proper
protection and means of communication, have been greatly retarded
in their development.

After crossing the dividing ridge of the continent west of the
Rio Grande, Gray thus alludes to the country:

"There were large haciendas and fine cattle ranches in this
neighborhood, until a war of extermination was declared by the
Apaches against the Mexicans. Remains of the old San Pedro ranch
are seen at this day; also the "Tres Alamos;" and the ruins of
the hacienda of Babacomeri, whose walls and towers are still
standing. These were among the wealthiest of Sonora in horses,
cattle, sheep, etc., but it has been many years since. It is a
fine grazing region, with wild cattle and mustangs constantly
seen roaming over the plains. The district from San Pedro to
Santa Cruz valley, nearly due west from our present crossing
(latitude 31 degrees 34 minutes), will be to the Pacific slope
what the region of Fort Chadbourne, in Texas, will be to the
Atlantic. The mountains and hills are covered with splendid
timber of the largest size, and for all purposes; and the valleys
are full of springs, and the finest grass. To Tubac, a town in
the valley of Santa Cruz, it is 69 miles. This is by following
the San Pedro about a league, passing over a few insignificant
spurs, and ascending the Rio Babacomeri; thence continuing
westward by a gradual rise over delightful plains to the divide
between that and the Sonoita or Clover creek, and along the
latter, until it loses itself in the porous earth, a mile from
the Santa Cruz river, and by the broad valley of that stream to

* * * * * * * *

Of the line of Gray's exploration from the Rio San Pedro, he

"It passes through the most desirable region, with the hills and
mountains for forty miles, containing inexhaustible quantities of timber. We noticed tall cedar and oaks of every description; one
kind more interesting than the others, being a white oak from
twenty to forty feet in the body. Pine and spruce, with superior
white ash and walnut, were found, and the most gigantic
cotton-woods, particularly on the Sonoita. * * * * "The mountains
in the neighborhood are filled with minerals, and the precious
metals are said to abound. The famous Planchas de Plata and
Arizona silver mines, which the Count Raouset de Boulbon
attempted to take possession of, are in this section of country,
not many miles below the present limits, and at several of the
old ranchos and deserted mining villages which we visited, were
found the argentiferous galena ore and gold. The Sierra Santa
Rita runs along to the east of the Santa Cruz valley, and forms a
part of this interesting region. It is very high and bold, filled
with fertile valleys and flowing rivulets, and covered with a
dense growth of timber. I saw much of this district, when here in
1851, on the survey of the boundry."

* * * * * * * *

The country bordering immediately the head of the Gulf of
California, through which Gray was probably the first to
penetrate, lies adjacent to the proposed Arizona Territory, but
not a part of the same, being a portion of the State of Sonora.He thus describes that section:

"The Indians represent rich Placers existing throughout this
region, and large numbers of them had lately come in with
considerable quantities of the dust. They were trading it for
trifles to the Mexicans. I got some specimens of it which was the
same as the California Gold. This was not the time of year (June)
for them to work the mines, but in the fall, after the rain has
commenced. The greatest drawback to the profitable working of the
Placers of this district, is the scarcity of water. If artesian
wells succeed, there is little doubt that it will create an
important change. West from Tuseon and Tubac, towards the Gulf of
California, the country presents more the appearance of a barren
waste or desert than any district I have seen. It nevertheless
has occasional oases, with fine grazing lands about them, and the
mountains, which are more broken and detached, have distinct
marks of volcanic origin. The ranges though short, have generally
the same parallel direction as those further east. It is the
country of the Papago Indians, a peaceful and friendly tribe,
extending down to the Gulf coast, where they are mixed up
somewhat with the Cocopas of the Colorado. From Sonoita I
explored to the Gulf shore, near the mouth of Adair Bay. It was
62 miles, following a dry arroya most of the way, and the point
at which I struck the Gulf was in latitude 31 degrees 36 minutes
34 minutes. The "Bay" is about 15 miles across, and from all I
could learn, 15 miles long, and represented as having four
fathoms of water. It is completely encircled by a range of sand
hills, reaching north-west to the Colorado river and south-east
as far as the eye could discover. These "sables" are probably
eighty or ninety miles in extent, by five to ten broad.

"Notwithstanding it appears to be the most desolate and
forlorn-looking spot for eighty miles around the head of the
Gulf, the sand hills looking like a terrible desert, nature seems
even here, where no rain had fallen for eight months, to have
provided for the sustenance of man, one of the most nutritious
and palatable vegetables.

"East of the Tinaja Alta or high tank range, lie the famous
Sierras del Ajo, now United States territory. These mountains
derive their name from the vast deposits of red oxide and green
carbonate of copper found about them, and which the Indians have
made use of to paint (ajo) themselves with. The mines are
unquestionably of great value, and must become important, more
particularly from their being situated in the neighborhood of the
contemplated railway. The tall Cereus Giganteus and Agave
Americana are found in abundance. From the latter plant the
natives make the pulque, mezcal and agua-diente; and the petahaya
or cereus, produces a fruit from which is made a very pleasant
preserve. At the Pimo and Maricopa villages are found wheat,
corn, tobaco, and cotton, besides melons, pumpkins, beans, etc.
The nature of the soil for great distances in the Gila valley is
of a reddish loam; some parts coated with a beautiful
crystallization of salt, a quarter to half an inch thick. This
seems to be more particularly the case below the Maricopa
villages and toward the Rio Salado. The cotton, of which I
procured specimens, though cultivated by the Indians in the most
primitive manner, exhibited a texture not unlike the celebrated
Sea Island cotton. Its fibre is exceedingly soft and silky, but
not of the longest staple. Large tracts of land on the Gila and
in other portions of this district, appear to possess the same
properties of soil; and where, I have no doubt, the finest cotton
will soon be extensively raised and brought to its highest state
of perfection by proper cultivation."

The climate is thus referred to by Gray:

"One of the most favorable features upon the route in the
vicinity of the 32nd degree proposed for the Pacific railway is,
its accessibility at all times, admitting of labor being
performed in the open air at each season. The nature of the
climate through Texas to the Rio Grande has already been referred
to, and from thence to the Santa Cruz valley half way to the
Colorado, over the elevated plateau of the Sierra Madra, it is
equally salubrious and temperate. The rainy season falls in the
summer months, and but seldom is snow seen even upon the mountain
tops. Towards the Colorado river it is much drier and more
torrid, but by no means unhealthy; nor does it prevent out door
work the whole of the day during the heated term of summer.

"The great riches of the country, however, are a total waste at
the present time, but which the Pacific railroad will at once
develop, and make to itself the foundation of a vast revenue. I refer to its metallic wealth, the silver, gold, and copper mines
that abound in almost every mountain and valley, between the Rio
Grande and the Gulf of California.

"The ores of Chihuahua and Sonora [now Arizona. S. M.] are
chiefly sulphuret (lead or iron), or native silver in porphyritic
or stratified limestone rocks passing at greater depths into
igneous rocks. From loose piles lying upon the surface and
evidently picked over, I procured specimens of silvier and
copper. Three samples representing points on the line of our
exploration about equi-distant from each other, viz.: the Rio
Grande, the neighborhood of Tubac, and within 90 miles of the
junction of the Gila and Colorado rivers, were submitted to Dr.
I. K. Chilton, of New York, for analysis. He found in one sample
of lead ore (argentiferous galena), by fire assay 71 per cent. of
lead, and the "LEAD YIELDED SILVER EQUIVALENT to 128 ounces, 1
dwt. to the ton" (of 2000 pounds).

"In another, he found the lead obtained from it to yield silver
in the proportion of 72 ounces 5 dwts. to the ton or 2000 pounds.

"The copper specimen was the red oxide, and yielded as follows:

Copper,............ 71.80
Iron,............... 7.84
Silicia, Alumina,....8.02
100 parts.

"The Papagos and Pimas Indians, by proper management, might be
made very useful, in working upon the road where there is not
much rock excavation. They are unlike the Indians of Texas, or
the Apaches, living in villages and cultivating the soil, besides
manufacturing blankets, baskets, pottery, etc. Quiet and
peaceable, they have no fears except from their enemies, the
Apaches, and are very industrious, much more so than the lower
order of Mexicans, and live far more comfortably. It is
astonishing with what precision they construct their
acequias--irrigating canals--some of them, the acequias madre, of
very large size, and without the use of levelling apparatus, but
simply by the eye. Their gardens and farms too are regularly
ditched and fenced off into rectangles and circles, with hedges
and trees planted as if done by more enlightened people."

The population of the new Territory of Arizona is at present not
far from eight thousand, and is rapidly increasing. The Mesilla
Valley and the Rio Grande are probably the most thickly
populated, containing about five thousand people. A majority of
the Mesilla inhabitants are Mexicans, but they will be controlled
by the American residents, whose number and influence is
constantly on the increase. The Santa Cruz Valley, in which are
situated the towns of Tueson, Tubac, Tumacacari, and the mining
settlement of Sopori and others, is, next to Mesilla, the most thickly settled. Tueson was formerly a town of three thousand
inhabitants; but the majority have been driven off by the Apache
Indians. It is fast becoming a thriving American town, and will
before long be a place of more importance than ever before. Real
estate is already held at high rates, and the erection of
buildings shows that American energy is about to change the face
of the last half century. Tubac had been completely deserted by
the Mexicans. It has been reoccupied by the Sonora Exploring and
Mining Company, and now boasts a population of several hundred.
The Calabazas valley is also fast filling up with an American
population, and another year will see the whole centre of the
Territory dotted with settlements. Many of the fine claims on the
San Pedro River have already been located by emigrants under the
general pre-emption law, but until protection is afforded to the
settlers, but little progress will be made in agricultural
pursuits. The Apache Indian regards the soil as his own, and
having expelled the Spanish and Mexican invader, he feels little
inclination to submit to the American. A small settlement of
Americans is growing up at Colorado city, opposite Fort Yuma, at
the junction of the Gila and Colorado rivers. This point is
destined to be one of great commercial and pecuniary importance.
Situated at the present head of navigation, at the point where
the overland mail route crosses the Colorado, and where the
Southern Pacific Railroad must bridge the stream, it is a
necessary stopping place for all travel across the country. Here
are transhipped all the ores coming from the Territory, which
find their way to market down the Colorado to the Gulf of
California, thence by steamer or sailing vessel to their
destination. Here all supplies of merchandise for the Territory
are landed, and from this point forwarded to their various
owners. A thriving commerce has already sprung up between Arizona
and San Francisco. In almost any daily paper in San Francisco may
be seen vessels advertised for the mouth of the Colorado. Two
steamers find active employment in transporting government stores
from the head of the Gulf of California to Fort Yuma, and goods
to Colorado city for the merchants of Tueson, Tubac, Calabazas,
and for the mining companies. Should the exploration of the Upper
Colorado by Lieutenant Ives, United States Army, now in progress,
prove successful, Colorado city will become still more important,
as the surplus products of the rich valleys of New Mexico, Utah,
and California to the north, will all find a market down the
Colorado. Property in this new city is held at high rates, and by
the last San Francisco News Letter is quoted at an advance. The
population of Arizona Territory has much increased within a few
months by emigration from California. The massacre of Henry A.
Crabbe and his party by the Mexicans at Cavorca created a desire
for revenge throughout all California. Companies have been
formed, and large parties are settling in Arizona, near the
Mexican line, with the ulterior object of overrunning Sonora, and
revenging the tragedy in which was shed some of the best blood of
the State. The appropriation by the last Congress of two hundred
thousand dollars for the construction of a wagon road from El
Paso to Fort Yuma, and the two mail contracts, semi-monthly and
semi-weekly, which involve an expenditure of nine hundred thousand dollars per annum, will afford employment to a host of
people, and draw at once to the neighborhood of the route an
active and energetic population. The new wagon and mail route
traverses the Territory of Arizona throughout its entire length.
Along the mail route, at intervals, military posts will be
established. These and the necessary grazing stations will create
points around which settlements will at once grow up, and the
country, now bare, will show everywhere thriving villages. The
Southern Pacific Railroad, which will be built because it is
necessary to the country, will find its way easily through

It is no exaggeration to say that the mining companies, in their
own interest, will be forced to subscribe enough to the stock of
the company to insure its success. The Arizona Copper Mining
Company is now paying $100 per ton for the transportation of its
ores from the mines to Colorado city. One year's freight money at
this rate would build many miles of the road. The silver mining
companies will be only too glad to get their ores to market at so
cheap a rate, as their proportion of the subscription to the
railroad. Iron and coal are both found in the Territory,--the
former especially in great abundance. Texas has guaranteed the
road to El Paso, by her generous legislation; Arizona will build
it, with her mineral wealth, to Fort Yuma, the eastern boundary
of California, and California will do the rest. The first
terminus of the Southern Pacific Railroad will doubt less be on
the Gulf of California, at the Island of Tiburon, or more
probably Guyamas. A steam ferry across the Gulf, a short railroad
across the peninsula of Lower California to a secure harbor on
the Pacific, (where a steamer will take passengers and freight in
four days to San Francisco,) is the most natural course of this
route. In view of this probability, all the available points for
such a terminus on the Gulf have been, or are in progress of
being, secured by capitalists, either by obtaining grants from
the Mexican Government, or by purchase from private individuals.
Already Guyamas is owned in great part by English and American
capitalists. A port on the Gulf of California is necessary to our
Pacific possessions, and must be ours sooner or later. The longer
it is delayed, the worse for American progress on the Pacific.
Arizona needs it at once, as a depot for the export of her ores,
and for the import of goods for the supply of her population.

The Mormon war has closed for years the great emigrant road to
California and Oregon, over the South Pass and Salt Lake valley,
leaving open only the route along the 32d parallel of latitude,
through Arizona. This route is by far the most practicable at all
seasons of the year, and the closing of the South Pass route by
the Mormon difficulty is an additional and urgent argument in
favor of the early organization of this Territory. Fifty thousand
souls will move towards the Pacific early in the spring, if the
route is opened to a secure passage.

The present condition of Arizona Territory is deplorable in the
extreme. Throughout the whole country there is no redress for crimes or civil injuries-no courts, no law, no magistrates. The
Territory of New Mexico, to which it is attached by an act of
Congress, affords it neither protection nor sustenance. The
following extracts from letters received by the writer tell the
story of the necessity for early action on the part of Congress,
in urgent terms.


Affairs in the Territory have not improved. A party of Americans
(our countrymen) had made an "excursion" into Sonora, captured a
train of mules, and killed several Mexicans. Upon their return to
the Territory with their ill-gotten booty, the citizens formed a
company and took the property away from them, and returned it to
the owners in Magdalena, [a town of SonoraEd.] and delivered
the robbers up to Major Steen, commanding first dragoons, to be
held in custody until Courts should be organized. They have again
been turned loose upon the community. In justice to Major
Fitzgerald I must say he was in favor of retaining them in
custody, and has generally maintained favoring law and order in
the Territory, but as he is only second in command he has no
absolute authority.

We have no remedy but to follow the example so wide spread in the
Union, and form a "Vigilance Committee"--contrary to all good
morals, law, order, and society. Can you do nothing to induce the
government to establish authority and law in this country, and
avert this unhappy alternative?

It is not desired by any good citizens, and tends to anarchy and
mobocracy, causing disloyalty in our own citizens and bringing
the reproach of foreigners upon our republican institutions. It
is impossible to progress in developing the resources of the
country under this state of affairs. The greatest objection the
capitalists of San Francisco have to aiding me in the development
of silver mines, is the insecurity of property, want of
protection from government, and general distrust of fair and
honest legislation.

They have no confidence that the guarantees of the GADSDEN TREATY
will be respected by the United States, in regard to land titles
under the Mexican government.

The silver ore brought to San Francisco from our mines, has been
tested by a dozen different officers, in as many different ways,

Senator Gwin goes on to Washington soon, and will corroborate my
statements. He has a piece of the silver, the first smelted in
San Francisco, showing $8,735 20--EIGHT THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED
getting the petition to Congress signed--and moving in the
affairs of the Territory in connection with Mr. Ehrenberg and our friends--but the government came near "crushing us out" by
sending a Custom House Collector to consume and destroy what
little we had saved from the Apaches. Can nothing be done to rid
us of a Custom House? It is no protection. The Territory (as yet)
produces nothing but minerals--and we have to pay duty upon every
article of consumption. This is a very onerous tax upon our first
feeble efforts to develop the resources of this remote and
unprotected country.

Very truly yours, C. D. Poston.

To Lieut. Mowry, U. S. A., Washington, D. C.

"We are living without the protection of law or the ameliorations
of society. New Mexico affords us no protection. We have not even
received an order for election. Every one goes armed to the
teeth, and a difficulty is sure to prove fatal. In this state of
affairs it is impossible to hold a convention."

Tueson, Oct. 1, 1857.

We are pleased to hear that the prospect for Arizona is so
bright. If you should succeed in getting a separate organization
for Arizona, you will lay the people under many obligations to
you. You have no doubt received many petitions for Congress, and
also your certificate of election as delegate for this purchase.
You received the entire vote; there was no difference of opinion
among the voters.

Your ob't serv't, J. A. Douglas.

Lt. Mowry, U. S. A. Tueson, Oct. 25, 1857.

I send you the last petition from the Territory. The work is now
in your hands, and we say, God speed it.

G. H. Oury.

Tueson, Arizona Territory, Oct. 17, 1857.

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

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.
God 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 passport.

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

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.

God 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
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, principally
because the country is very partially settled, and it is not safe
to be at any distance from the mass 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
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 passes 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 grass 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

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 petition 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, passed
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 petition 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.

The great necessity of a safe and speedy overland communication
with the Pacific, has directed public attention to the
organization of Arizona as a separate Territory, and the desired
legislation has received the unanimous endorsement of the press
of the whole country. Petitions with thousands of signatures from
leading citizens of the majority of the states of the Union, will
be presented to Congress asking for the immediate organization of
the new Territory as the best means to at once open a highway to
the Pacific; and so important has this view of the question been
deemed as to call from the President of the United States a
recommendation in his message to Congress. No opposition has been
made to the most just prayer of the people of Arizona, and it is
believed that none will be made, unless it comes from New Mexico.
It must be born in mind that the Gadsden Purchase was not
originally an integral part of New Mexico; that it was acquired
years after the treaty of Gaudaloupe Hidalgo, and was only
attached to the territory of New Mexico as a temporary expedient.
It must also be remembered that the Gadsden Purchase, with the
portion of New Mexico which it is proposed to include within the
limits of the territory of Arizona, is separated from New Mexico
proper by natural boundries; that it derives no benefit from the
present connection, and that any opposition to the desired
legislation arises from the Mexican population, which fears the
influence of a large American emigration. Moreover, that New
Mexico contains upwards of 200,000 square miles, and that its
organic act provides for its partition; showing clearly that
Congress anticipated, at no remote day, the settlement of the
country by an American population, and its erection into several
territories and states. The only effect of the present connection
of Arizona with New Mexico is to crush out the voice and
sentiment of the American people in the territory; and years of
emigration, under present auspices, would not serve to
counterbalance or equal the influence of the 60,000 Mexican
residents of New Mexico. New Mexico has never encouraged American
population. She is thoroughly Mexican in sentiment, and desires
to remain so.

As a matter of State policy, the organization of Arizona is of
the first importance. Situated between New Mexico and Sonora, it
is possible now to make it a thoroughly American State, which
will constantly exert its influence in both directions, to
nationalize the other two. New Mexico is at present thoroughly
Mexican in its character and vote. Sonora, if we acquire it at once, will be the same. By separating Arizona from it, and
encouraging an American emigration, it will become "the leaven
which shall leaven the whole lump." By allowing it to remain
attached to New Mexico, or by attaching it to Sonora when
acquired, the American influence will be swallowed up in the
great preponderance of the Mexican vote. The Apache Indian is
preparing Sonora for the rule of a higher civilization than the
Mexican. In the past half century, the Mexican element has
disappeared from what is now called Arizona, before the
devastating career of the Apache. It is every day retreating
further South, leaving to us, when it is ripe for our possession,
the territory without the population.

The incentives to emigration to Arizona, in addition to the charm
which the discovery of mineral wealth carries to every mind, are
very great. The writer, in an extended tour through the Southern
States, found many people, mostly young men of moderate means,
ready and anxious to emigrate. The movement is still stronger in
Southwestern States, and already many a train of wagons is on its
way. It will have no end for years, for so mild and healthy is
the climate that emigration is practicable at all seasons. Snow
never lies on the soil, and frost is almost unknown. The
contracts already authorized by Congress involve the expenditure
of six millions of dollars in the next six years; the troops in
the Territory will cost as much more. Here is enough money in
hard sub-treasury coin, to draw a large population, independent
of other considerations. All ready in many places the
enterprising merchant exposes his stock of goods only two months
from San Francisco, but he does it with the prayer that the
Apache may pass him by, and too often he sees his hard-earned
profits disappear before the Indian's successful foray.

The establishment of a firm government in Arizona will extend the
protection of the United States over American citizens resident
in the adjoining Mexican provinces. This protection is most
urgently demanded. Englishmen in Sonora enjoy not only perfect
immunity in the pursuit of business, but also encouragement.
Americans are robbed openly by Mexican officials, insulted,
thrown into prison, and sometimes put to death. No redress is
ever demanded or received. This state of things has so long
existed that the name of American has become a byword and a
reproach in northern Mexico, and the people of that frontier
believe that we have neither the power nor the inclination to
protect our own citizens. The influence of a Territorial
government, with the tide of American emigration which will
surely follow it, must entirely change the tone and temper of
these Mexican States.

The population of Arizona to-day, exceeds that of Washington
Territory, and is far greater than was that of Minnesota, Kansas
or Nebraska, at the time of their organization. An election for a
Delegate has been held, at which several hundred votes were
polled, and the writer returned without opposition. The unsettled
and dangerous condition of the country prevented a convention being held, but letters have been received from all parts of the
Territory, expressing a hearty concurrence in the election on the
part of those unable to vote, and an earnest desire for the
Territorial organization.

A number of gentlemen at present in Washington, can testify from
actual observation, to the truth of the statements here made in
reference to Arizona--among them I am permitted to name General
Anderson, late U. S. Senator from Tennessee, who almost alone,
with rare perseverance and courage, explored, in 1850, the whole
length of the Territory, Major Heintzelman, U. S. A., whose long
station at Fort Yuma made him acquainted with the resources of
the country, and who has shown at once his intelligence and
foresight and his faith in the prospective wealth of the silver
region, by large investments of capital, Col. A. B. Gray, late U.
S. Surveyor of the Mexican Boundary line, I. Smith McMicken,
Esq., whose residence for many years on the Mexican frontier has
entitled his opinion to some weight, and A. H. Campbell, Esq.,
Superintendent of Wagon Roads, whose information is full and
reliable. To these names it may not be improper to add that of
the writer, who has for two years past, while residing at the
junction of the Gila and Colorado Rivers, made the new Territory
and its resources, an object of constant observation and study,
and whose experience on the Pacific coast, and in the frontier
Territories, and on the route across the continent, during the
past five years, has enabled him to speak understandingly of the
capabilities and necessities of a new country, and of a frontier

In five years a great State may be built upon this remote
frontier, and a population gathered, such as will, when we make
further acquisition of territory, spread at once over it,
diffusing national sentiment and extending the area of American

Aside from these considerations, justice and humanity,
imperatively demand that Congress shall bear and at once answer
the prayer of the people of Arizona for protection. If these
considerations fail, then they offer INTEREST; for the
organization of the Territory is the guarantee of a supply of
silver, which will create as great a revolution in the commercial
world as has the gold of California. Arizona will be known as the
silver State, and the prediction of Humboldt, that the balance
between gold and silver, destroyed by the California discoveries,
would one day be restored, will be made good, from the resources
of the Gadsden purchase.


The undersigned, your humble petitioners, citizens of the United
States, and residents of the Territory known as the Gadsden
Purchase, respectfully represent:
That since the annexation of their Territory to the United
States, they have been totally unprotected from Indian
depredations and civil crimes.

That the protection of the Mexican Government has been with
drawn, and that it has not been replaced by any visible
protection from the United States.

That the annexation of the Purchase to New Mexico, carried with
it no protection for life or property.

That the present force of United States troops, four companies of
dragoons, reduced by desertion and death to about one half, is
entirely inadequate to protect us against the depredations of the

That many of your petitioners have expended their time and means
in opening and prospecting rich mines of Copper and Silver, and
have been driven from them by the Indians--losing their all, and
also many valuable lives.

That the Territory is immensely rich in minerals, especially
Silver and Copper; and, as your petitioners most firmly believe,
the development of these mines will make a change in the currency
of the world, only equalled by that caused by the gold mines of

That a great part of the Territory, between the Rio Grande and
Tueson, is susceptible of cultivation and will support a large
agricultural population.

That this portion of the Territory is in the hands of the
Apaches, and useless, unless redeemed from their grasp and
protected to the farmer.

That the highways of the Territory are stained with the blood of
citizens of the United States, shed by Indians and by public
marauders, who commit their crimes in open day, knowing there is
no law to restrain and no magistrate to arrest them.

That this Territory, under a separate organization, would attract
a large population and become immediately developed: and, that
its isolation--its large Indian population--its proximity to a
semi-civilized Mexican province, and its peculiar and wonderful
resources, demand protection from the Government more
emphatically than any other territory yet recognised.

That our soil has been stained with the blood of American
citizens, shed by Mexican hands, in an armed invasion of our
Territory near Sonoita, and that there is no civil magistrate or
officer here to even protest against such an outrage.

That throughout their whole Territory, from the Rio Grande to the
Rio Colorado, six hundred miles, there is no Court of Record, and no redress except that inefficiently administered in a Justice's
Court, for civil injuries or crimes.

That the population of the Territory is much greater than was
that of Kansas or Nebraska or Washington Territory, at the time
of their organization, and that it is steadily increasing, and
will, under the influence of the Road and Mail Bills of the last
Congress, be greatly augmented.

That there are no post routes or mail facilities throughout the
Territory, and that finally, we are cut off from all the comforts
of civilization--and that we claim, as a right, that protection
which the United States should everywhere extend to her humblest
citizen. Wherefore your petitioners humbly pray that the Gadsden
Purchase may be separated from New Mexico and erected into a
separate Territory under the name of Arizona, with such
boundaries as may seem proper to your honorable bodies, and that
such other legislation may be made as shall be best calculated to
place us on the same footing as our more fortunate brethren of
Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington, that we may
be enabled to build up a prosperous and thriving State, and to
nourish on this extreme frontier a healthy national sentiment.
And we, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

[Signed by more than five hundred resident voters.]

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