"Old Tucson; a hop, skip and jump history from 1539 Indian settlement to new and greater Tucson"
by Estelle M. Buehman
EFFORTS AT TERRITORIAL ORGANIZATION SECESSION CIVIL WAR INDIANS MAIL FACILITIES.
FROM the time of American occupation of Tucson and the territory in 1855,to 1887, was a period of trial, anxiety, expectation, bloodshed and transition, and the part that our town and territory took at this stage of affairs becomes very interesting.
Two problems of exceptional interest and importance, whose results were outreaching and lasting, occupied the thoughts and attention of the people of those early times, and they were almost simultaneous in their demand for wise and prompt action.
Whether the course they took in relation to the
Also within the territory at Tucson, as early as 1856 amass meeting had been called, and Mr. Nathan P. Cook chosen to represent Arizona at Washington, in an effort to secure recognition as a distinct territory, but his credentials being unauthorized by a formally organized territory, he could not be admitted to congress It was like telling a boy to stay away from the water till he had learned how to swim.
However, his errand was considered in the House of Representatives in 1857, and referred to the Territorial Committee, who reported adversely because of "that sparsely settled section," yet acknowledging the unfortunate conditions of a people with no recognized government, recommended the passing of a bill to form a judicial district south of the Gila river, appoint a surveyor general, and to provide for representation of Arizona at Santa Fe, New Mexico, together with other measures.
Such a bill was passed in the Senate, but did not reach the House before final adjournment. In the same year President Buchanan recommended in his message a territorial government for Arizona, and Senator Gwin introduced a bill to organize such a government for the Gadsden Purchase under the name of Arizona. Various petitions from various people and states were also sent to Congress. Being attached to New Mexico, any violators of the law in Arizona had to be taken to Mesilla, the county seat of Donna Ana for trial, and Arizonans in general, and Tucsonans in particular, craved a hom e government, though there being in those days no edict against carrying concealed weapons every man armed himself to the teeth against surprise of any kind, and did as he pleased.
In an election, held in Tucson, September, 1857, the citizens prepared a new petition, choosing Sylvester Mowry as delegate to Congress. Mr. Mowry was not admitted; neither did the bill of Senator Gwin find favor in the halls of Congress. Again in 1858-1859 Mr. Mowry was sent to Washington.It has been said that Mr. Mowry "invented Arizona," and Congress was memorialized in another effort, but no territorial organization resulted. In 1858 the leg- islature of New Mexico also passed resolutions in favor of giving Arizona a separate organization, but as though blood-drenched Arizona didn't have Indian troubles enough of her own, they wished to remove all of the New Mexican Indians to Northern Arizona. Determined to have some form of home government, the leading citizens of Tucson held in 1860 a so-called constitutionalc onvention, composed of thirty-one delegates from the entire district, which at that time included the Rio Grande country.
They organized a provisional government to remain in effect until Congress should give them a territorial government, but no longer. General Wadsworth was president of that convention, which chose L. A. Owens (now of Texas) as provisional governor, who was to appoint subordi- nate officers. A legislature, consisting of nine senators and eighteen representatives, was to be elected and convened upon proclamation of the governor, who appointed Ignacio Orrantia for Lieutenant Governor; James A. Lucas, Secretary of State; Mark Aldrich, Treasurer; SamuelG.Bean, Marshal; District Judges, Granville H. Oury (Chief Justice), Samuel H. Cozzens and Edward McGowan (Associate Justices); Major General,W.C.Wadsworth, who commanded the militia, and upon his staff were Col. W. S. Oury, of Tucson, and John G. Capron. In this year Mr. Mowry got out a map, dividing the terri- tory into four counties, as follows: On the west, what is now Yuma, he named Castle Dome. Our county of 'Pima he extended eastward to Apache Pass and called it Ewell. Mesilla county eastward to the Rio Grande, and Donna Ana county eastward from the Rio Grande to line of Texas. The remainder of what is now Arizona, being inhabited by wild Indians, probably the Navajoes, was left to New Mexiconobody wanted the Indians.
Mr. Mowry was again sent to Washington, but as before his errand proved unsuccessful. It was claim- ed, and probably with justice, that the reason all these efforts in behalf of territorial organization were un- successful, was because of the approaching civil war, and the extraordinary events then taking place in Washington.
The opening of this most lamented war had caused the entire withdrawal of the Federal troops from Arizona, and though both Confederate and Union forces alternately occupied it, yet they seemed like passing waves of the sea, for their absence again placed the Apache Indian to the front, and in their ignorance, thinking that the soldiers were withdrawn out of fear of them, they took every advantage of this exposed condition, and advanced to the very out- skirts of the village, as close as the present site of the Palace Hotel on Meyer Street, and everywhere they carried death and destruction with them.
These conditions lasted for about a year, when in February, 1862, a company of Confederates (a portion of Colonel Bailey's command from Mesilla, on the Rio Grande,) arrived in Tucson, under Captain Hunter, and took possession of the territory in the name of the Confederate States. The majority of the white population were in sympathy with his cause, and perhaps for this reason the Federal troops had been withdrawn
Anyway some time before his arrival the citizens of Tucson held a meeting (those of Union sentiments, probably as a matter of discre- tion, observing silence) and with all the solemnity which the occasion demanded, passed an ordinance, proclaiming the secession of Arizona from the Union. Hunter held possession until May, when the advance of the California column, under General Carleton, changed the order of things in a very short tim e. Hunter, claiming that he did not possess suf- ficient force to meet General Carleton in battle, withdrew into New Mexico, though one account says that Hunter sent out a small detachment as far as Mount Pecacho, forty miles west of Tucson, and that there was a skirmish of some kind, resulting in the killing of one commissioned officer and several men from the California column, though of course the victory was for the Union arms. Major S. R. DeLong, Colonel James H. Toole and Captain G. C. Smith, for many years leading citizens of Tucson, were officers in this famous California column, and it is from Major De Long that we gather these facts. Colonel Toole, whose family we all knew, built and owned the large square house on the corner of Stone Avenue and East Ochoa Street. Capt. G. C. Smith was later stationed at Fort Lowell.
On June 8th of this year General Carleton, in Tucson, by general orders, placed the whole territory, since they had seceded, under martial law, until such time as a civil government should be organized under the jurisdiction of the United States. Probably for the few inhabitants then in Arizona, a military gov- ernment being more direct in its methods, was for the time being, the best, yet the General was very sensitive to criticism, and it was impossible but that he should be criticised for this coercive measure, however well meant, and we shall see later, when the territorial government came from the east not on a water wagon, nor yet on the band wagon, but in a wagon trainthat this criticism cost Tucson the capital.
In 1857 a line of stages operating between San Antonio, Texas, and San Diego, California, made bi- monthly trips, stopping at Tucson, and the Pima villages, as they passed back and forth
In 1858 this line was merged into the Overland Mail Company, which operated between St. Louis, Missouri, and San Francisco, making hi-weekly trips, and carrying United States mail. These facilities were a great help to Tucson, for it became a flourishing trading post for many, and some extensive mining concerns, thus connecting Tucson with the commercial centers both east and west; but with the breaking out of the civil war the property of the line was confiscated by some of the states through which the line ran and unfortunate Tucson, being isolated, was without mail facilities for several years. The first public mail that reached the town after the war, came on horseback from California, September 1st, 1865, and the first through mail from Eastern States, Barlow, Sanderson & Co., reached Tucson, August 25th, 1866.
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