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hundred, and the Mexicans would cut our throats. It was concluded to
reduce the ore we had mined, which was yielding about a thousand dollars
a day, pay off the hands, and prepare for the worst.

About a week afterwards the Apaches came down by stealth, and carried
off out of the corral one hundred and forty-six horses and mules.

The Apaches are very adroit in stealing stock, and no doubt inherit the
skill of many generations in theft. The corrals are generally built of
adobe, with a gate or bars at the entrance. It was a customary practice
for the Apaches to saw an entrance through an adobe wall with their
horsehair ropes (cabrestas).

The corral at Arivaca was constructed of adobes, with a layer of cactus
poles (ocquitillo) lengthwise between each layer of adobes. The Apaches
tried their rope saw, but the cactus parted the rope. The bars were up,
and a log chain wound around each bar and locked to the post; but they
removed the bars quietly by wrapping their scrapes around the chain, to
prevent the noise alarming the watchman. The steam engine was running
day and night, and the watchman had orders to go the rounds of the place
every hour during the night; but the Apaches were so skillful and
secretive in their movements that not the least intimation of their
presence on the place was observed, - not even by the watchdogs, which
generally have a keen scent for Indians.

At the break of day the Apaches gave a whoop, and disappeared with the
entire herd before the astonished gaze of five watchmen, who were
sleeping under a porch within thirty yards. A pursuit was organized as
soon as possible; but the pursuers soon ran into an ambuscade prepared
by the retreating Apaches, when three were killed and two wounded. The
rest returned without recovering any of the stock.

This loss of stock made very lonesome times at Arivaca, as it could not
be replaced in the country, and we had no animals to haul ores, fuel, or
provisions; only a few riding and ambulance animals, which had to be
kept in stables and fed on grain.

About the same time the Apaches made an attack on the Santa Rita Mining
Hacienda, and the eastern side of the Santa Cruz River had to be

At Tubac, the headquarters of the company, where the old Mexican cuartel
furnished ample room for storage, about a hundred and fifty thousand
dollars worth of merchandise, machinery and supplies were stored. The
Apaches, to the number of nearly a hundred, surrounded the town and
compelled its evacuation. The plunder and destruction of property was
complete. We had scarcely a safe place to sleep, and nothing to sleep on
but the ground.

The women and children were escorted to the old pueblo of Tucson, where
the few people remaining in the Territory were concentrated; and they
remained there in a miserable condition until the troops arrived from
California under General James A. Carlton, United States Army, commonly
called "Carlton's Column."

General Carlton, upon arriving in the Territory, issued an order
declaring martial law between the Colorado and the Rio Grande. These
troops garrisoned the country between the rivers, and drove out the
rebel troops, who had come in from Texas under the Confederate

After the abandonment of the Territory by the United States troops armed
Mexicans in considerable numbers crossed the boundary line, declaring
that the American government was broken up, and they had come to take
their country back again. Even the few Americans left in the country
were not at peace among themselves, - the chances were that if you met in
the road it was to draw arms, and declare whether you were for the North
or the South.

The Mexicans at the mines assassinated all the white men there when they
were asleep, looted the place, and fled across the boundary to Mexico.
The smoke of burning wheat-fields could be seen up and down the Santa
Cruz valley, where the troops were in retreat, destroying everything
before and behind them. The government of the United States abandoned
the first settlers of Arizona to the merciless Apaches. It was
impossible to remain in the country and continue the business without
animals for transportation, so there was nothing to be done but to pack
our portable property on the few animals we kept in stables, and strike
out across the deserts for California.

With only one companion, Professor Pumpelly, and a faithful negro and
some friendly Indians for packers, we made the journey to Yuma by the
fourth of July, where we first heard of the battle of Bull Run. Another
journey took us across the Colorado Desert to Los Angeles, and thence we
went by steamer to San Francisco, and thence via Panama to New York.

It was sad to leave the country that had cost so much money and blood in
ruins, but it seemed to be inevitable. The plant of the Company at this
time in machinery, materials, tools, provisions, animals, wagons, etc.,
amounted to considerably over a million dollars, but the greatest blow
was the destruction of our hopes, - not so much of making money as of
making a country. Of all the lonesome sounds that I remember (and it
seems ludicrous now), most distinct is the crowing of cocks on the
deserted ranches. The very chickens seemed to know that they were

We were followed all the way to Yuma by a band of Mexican robbers, as it
was supposed we carried a great amount of treasure, and the fatigue of
the journey by day and standing guard all night was trying on the
strongest constitution in the hot summer month of June.

An account of the breaking up of Arizona and our journey across the
deserts to California has been given by Professor Pumpelly, in his book,
"Across America and Asia." The subject is so repugnant that the
harrowing scenes preceding the abandonment of the country are only
briefly stated.

The Civil War was in full blast upon my arrival in New York, and the
change of venue from Apache Land was not peaceful. The little balance to
my credit from the silver mines was with William T. Coleman & Co., 88
Wall Street, and I put it up as margin on gold at $132 and sold for

After resting a while in New York I went down to Washington, and found
my old friend General Heintzelman in command of what was technically
called "The Defenses of Washington." The capital of the nation was

The Civil War and its results set Arizona back about twenty years.

The location of the Iturbide Grant had been continued in Sonora and
Lower California, under direction of Captain - afterwards General - Stone,
an officer for the United States Army, of engineering ability. I had
first become acquainted with him when he was quartermaster at Benicia
Barracks, in California, and met him the last time when he was chief of
staff to the Khedive of Egypt at Grand Cairo, on the Nile.

Pesquiera, the governor of Sonora, held the state in quasi-independence
of Mexico, and drove the surveying party under Stone out of Mexico by
force of arms.

The funds for the location and survey of the Iturbide Grant had been
furnished by French bankers in San Francisco, and obtained by them
through their correspondent in Paris. A large portion of the money had
been contributed by the entourage of the Second Empire under Napoleon,
as the French were desirous of getting a foothold in Mexico. The
expulsion of Stone's locating and surveying party was considered an
affront to France, as the survey and location were undertaken under a
valid grant of land made by the Mexican government, and the French were
not satisfied to lose the many millions of francs they had invested in
the enterprise. The influence of the shareholders in the Iturbide land
location finally caused the intervention of the French government.

It will be remembered that the first intervention was a joint occupation
of Vera Cruz by French, English and Spanish; but the English and Spanish
soon withdrew, and left the French to pull their own chestnut out of
the fire.

The time was not ripe for the French intervention in Mexico until we
were in the midst of the Civil War, when Napoleon seized the opportunity
to set up Maximilian of Austria, as Emperor of Mexico, protected by
French forces under Bazaine.

No doubt but Napoleon and the officials of the Second Empire sympathized
with the government of the Confederate States, and would have given them
substantial aid if they had dared; but the Russian Czar sent a fleet to
New York as a warning, - and the French had had enough of Russians on
their track.

It was expressly stipulated in France, upon the founding of the
Maximilian Empire, that the obligations given for funds to carry on the
survey and location of the Iturbide Grant should be inscribed and
recognized as a public debt of the Empire, and such will be found a
matter of record and history. Many Frenchmen, no doubt, keep them as
companion souvenirs to the obligations of the Panama Canal. The Grant
has never been located, and the Mexican government yet owes the heirs,
in equity, the original million dollars.

The French, under Maximilian, occupied Mexico up to the American
boundary line, and many Mexicans took refuge in the United
States, - among them Pesquiera, the governor of Sonora. His camp was at
the old Mission of Tumucacori, in the Santa Cruz Valley and his wife is
buried there.

President Juarez, of Mexico, was a refugee at El Paso del Norte during
the reign of Maximilian, in destitute circumstances, when I was enabled
to furnish him with a hundred thousand dollars in gold on a concession
of Lower California. The circumstances were recently related for the
Examiner of San Francisco, by Señor Romero, the Mexican minister in

During the brief existence of the Maximilian Empire in Mexico, many
Americans flocked to the capital for adventures, as sympathizers with
the government of the Confederate States, and consequently with the
occupation of Mexico.

The late Senator Gwin of California was the acknowledged leader of the
Americans, and it was rumored that he was to be created Duke of Sonora,
but I never believed that the sterling old Democrat would have accepted
a title of nobility.

The battle of Gettysburg sealed the fate of the Maximilian Empire, as
well as the fate of the empire of the United States. The Mexican Empire
and the French Empire have both passed away like dreams, but the Empire
of the People grows stronger every year.


Arizona a Territory at Last

When the Civil War was nearly over, General Heintzelman accompanied me
on a call at the executive mansion, to solicit the organization of a
territorial government for Arizona.

President Lincoln listened to my tale of woe like a martyr, and finally
said, "Well, you must see Ben Wade about that."

I subsequently called upon Senator Wade of Ohio, the chairman of the
Committee on Territories, and repeated my story of Arizona.

The bluff old Senator said, "O, yes, I have heard of that country, - it
is just like hell - all it lacks is water and good society."

He finally consented to attend a meeting at the President's, to discuss
the subject.

Ashley of Ohio was chairman of the Committee on Territories in the
House, and readily agreed to favor the organization of a territorial
government. In a few days President Lincoln appointed an evening, to
hear the Delegation in favor of Arizona from 8 to 12. The chairmen of
the committees on Territories attended, and General Heintzelman and some
other friends were present. I presented the maps, historical data, some
specimens of minerals and Indian relics, and after a long conference and
some interesting stories by the President, the organization of a
territorial government for Arizona was agreed upon.

The country was at that time under martial law, - General Carlton. If any
system of government is repellent to Americans it is martial law.
Whatever may be the expense of juries, lawyers, witnesses, and courts,
they form the only means civilized society has yet devised for the
settlement of disputes. It is true that a territorial form of government
was never contemplated by the framers of the Constitution, as no
provision was made for such a form of government; but this omission is
covered by the general welfare clause, which gives Congress the power to
"provide for the general welfare."

The formula adopted in an Act of Congress organizing a Territory, is "An
Act to provide a provisional government, etc., etc., etc." In course of
time, no doubt, all the Territories will be admitted as States, as the
territorial form of government is not provided for as a permanency by
the Constitution, and is moreover anomalous in the American system. The
people residing in the Territories are to a considerable extent
disfranchised politically, and are not, in fact, full-fledged American
citizens. The idea of taxation without representation is irritating to
their sense of justice, and for many other cogent reasons Congress will
be forced by public opinion to admit the Territories to all the rights
of sovereign States.

The delegate from New Mexico and myself sat at a table, and drew up a
bill dividing New Mexico into nearly equal parts by the hundred and
eleventh degree of longitude west; and providing for the organization of
"The Territory of Arizona" from the western half. The bill soon became
an Act of Congress, and was approved by President Lincoln on the
twenty-third of February, 1863.

The offices were divided out among the supporters of the measure at an
oyster supper, and as I was apparently to get nothing but the shells, I
fortified myself with a drink, and exclaimed, "Well, gentlemen, what is
to become of me?"

They seemed not to have thought about that, and the Governor-elect said:

"O, we will give you charge of the Indians, you are acquainted with

So I was appointed "Superintendent of Indian Affairs." The salary of the
office was two thousand dollars a year, payable in greenbacks worth
about thirty-three cents on the dollar in the currency of Arizona.

Arrangements were made for the transportation of my new colleagues
across the plains at government expense; but I took Ben Holladay's coach
at Kansas City, and crossed the continent to Sacramento, and thence by
river steamer to San Francisco. The Indian goods had been shipped to

In San Francisco I met my old friend, J. Ross Browne, who had just
returned from Europe, and invited him to accompany me through Arizona at
my expense. He afterwards wrote an account of the journey, "Wanderings
in the Apache Country," published by Harpers.

Archbishop Alemany, whom I had known as a parish priest in Kentucky,
called upon me in San Francisco, and asked if I would take a couple of
priests down to Arizona, to restore the service among the Indians at
the old Mission of San Xavier del Bac on the Santa Cruz, to which I
assented with great pleasure.

After a voyage by sea from San Francisco to Los Angeles, I presented my
orders from the Secretary of War to the commanding officer at Drumm
Barracks for an escort of cavalry and transportation to Arizona; and
prepared for the journey across the Colorado Desert.

We arrived at Yuma just before Christmas, and during Christmas week
regaled the Yumas, Cocopas, and neighboring tribes of Indians with their
first presents from Uncle Sam. After distributing the Indian goods at
Yuma, we proceeded upon the Gila River some two hundred miles to the
Pima village, where my old friends, the Pima Indians, gave a warm
welcome, not entirely on account of the Indian goods.

At the Pima villages one Sunday, I requested the priests to celebrate
the mass, and tell the Indians something about God, - remembering my own
failure in teaching theology. The troops were drawn up, the Indians
assembled, and Father Bosco through my interpreter preached the first
sermon the Pima Indians ever heard.

At dinner, the good Father took me by the ear, and said, "What for you
make me preach to these savages? - they squat on the ground, and laugh
at me like monkeys."

The next place for the distribution of Indian goods was at the Mission
of San Xavier del Bac, three leagues south of Tucson, among the Papagos,
a christianized branch of the great Pima tribe. The Papago chiefs were
my old friends and acquaintances, and received the priests with
fireworks and illuminations. They knew of our coming, and had swept the
church and grounds clean, and ornamented the altar with mistletoe.

The Indians had been expecting the priests for many years, - -

For the Jesuits told them long ago
As sure as the water continued to flow,
The sun to shine, and the grass to grow,
They would come again to the Papago.

I installed the priests in the old Mission buildings, and turned over
the goods intended for the Papagos for distribution at their

I met an old friend at the Mission called "Buckskin Alick," who had
lived there all through the war without reading a newspaper or changing
his clothes. As nails were scarce, Buckskin Alick had constructed a mill
held together by rawhides, and was grinding wheat for the Papagos. In
the meantime he had taken up with a Papago girl, to the scandal of the
tribe. The priests told him he must marry the girl or leave. He
appealed to me for protection, but I told him I had resigned my
sacerdotal functions to the priest. He married the girl, and kept the

In 1863 a considerable number of prospectors had come into Arizona,
mostly from the California side, on account of discoveries of gold on
the Hassayamp. Old Pauline Weaver was the discoverer, as he had been a
trapper and pioneer since 1836. His name is carved on the walls of the
Casa Grande with that date.

The gold washers there were doing very well, and ranches began to be
established on the river. But the Apaches were not inclined to leave the
settlers in peace when they had some fine horses and mules, and some fat
cattle. So the Tonto Apaches made a raid on the Hassayamp, and carried
off nearly all the stock.

King Woolsey had come into the country then, and was a prominent man
among the settlers, and undoubtedly a very brave one; so he raised a
company to go after the Tontos. (As every one knows, "tonto" means

There were not more than twenty-five men, including some friendly
Maricopas. They were well armed, but their commisariat consisted
principally of panole and jerkey.

They followed the Indians across the Verde to a place about half way
between Globe and the Silver King, where they came to a parley. The
tanks there are surrounded by rough ledges of basalt rocks, and the
country in the vicinity is covered by scoriae, as though a volcano had
vomited the refuse of the subterranean world to disfigure nature.

The Indians came in slowly for a talk, but were insolent and defiant.
Delshay, the Tonto chief, demanded a blanket and some coffee and whisky.
The Americans had neither coffee nor whisky for their own use, and he
was quite put out about it, but partook of panole and jerked beef.

The parley was very unsatisfactory, as the Indians were surly, and made
demands which it was impossible to grant. There were about twenty-five
Indians at the council, and fifty or more on the surrounding ledges. As
the Indians became more hostile the situation became more serious, and
it was evident to the Americans that they were surrounded, and in
imminent danger of massacre.

Woolsey was not only a brave but a very intelligent man, and he saw at
once that either the Americans or the Indians were to be slaughtered, so
he said: "Boys, we have got to die or get out of this. Each of you pick
out your Indian, and I will shoot the chief for a signal."

The fusillade commenced, and all the Indians that could run stampeded.
The only American killed was Lennon, a half brother of Ammi White, my
Indian agent at the Pima villages.

Lennon had picked out his Indian and sent a bullet to his heart; but the
Indian in the agonies of death made a lunge at Lennon with his spear and
transfixed him. They both fell at the Bloody Tanks in the embrace of

The Americans rescued Lennon's body, and having strapped it over a pack
mule, carried it away to the next camp, where it was buried with
Christian services at the foot of an aspen tree.

The Americans brought away twenty-four scalps.

After the Bloody Tanks affair some of the men engaged in it came into
the Pima villages, where I was in camp. J. Ross Browne, who was with me,
took down the account in short hand, and I made a list of the Americans
engaged in the expedition. I remember, when Browne got through with his
stenography, he asked one of the men if he had any Indian relics. The
man replied, "Yes, I have got some jerked years," and he presented
Browne about a dozen "jerked years" strung on buckskin.

I concluded to make a scout up country and see what was going on among
the Indians, and as there were no troops at my command I organized a
company of Pimas and Maricopas as scouts. They had recently received
arms and ammunition from the government, and I had uniforms and swords
enough for the officers. They soon learned to drill, and already knew
how to shoot.

The commissariat was not quite up to military regulations, but we set
out all the same, following along the Hassayamp to Antelope Peak, when
we turned east by Walnut Creek to the Verde over an infernal trail.

The way down the Verde was not much better, as the Black Cañon has never
been considered strewn with roses; but we hunted and fished to the
junction of the Verde and Salt River without seeing any Apaches.

The only "sign" we saw was cut on a tree, - twenty-four Americans and
twenty-four arrows pointed at them, which the Pimas interpreted to me as
the number of Americans the Apaches threatened to kill in retaliation.

There was not a soul on the Verde, and not a white man nor a house on
the Salt River, from the junction of the Verde to its confluence with
the Gila. We camped at the "Hole-in-the-Rock," and next morning crossed
Salt River at the peak about Tempe, and crossed over to the Pima
villages, glad enough to get to that haven of rest. It was 100 miles to
Tucson, and 280 miles to Yuma, and not a soul nor any provisions
between the two places.

There was no great inducement to stay in the Territory at that time,
except for people who had an insane ambition for orchestral fame on the
golden harps of New Jerusalem. Many of the people had read about the
government of the United States, in school books; and perhaps had
enjoyed the felicity of hearing a Fourth of July oration in youth; but
these were myths of antiquity in Arizona. There was no government of any
consequence, and even what there was was conducted on the Democratic
principle, not for protection but for revenue only.

I anticipated the fourteenth amendment, and distributed the Indian goods
without regard to race, color or former condition of servitude. Anybody
that came along in need of blankets or tobacco was freely supplied. I
wound up the Indian service with loss of about $5,000 out of my own

At camp on the Hassayamp, Henry Wickenburg came in with some specimens
of gold quartz he had found out to the west, at a place subsequently
called Vulture, and wanted me to buy the find. I said, "Henry, I don't
want to buy your mine, but I will give you twenty-five dollars' worth
of grub and a meerschaum pipe if you will go away and leave me alone."

I was also importuned to purchase Miguel Peralta's title from the King
of Spain for the Salt River Valley; but my experience with Spanish
grants in Texas, California and Arizona, did not incline me to invest,
even if the grant had been made by the Pope of Rome, and guaranteed by
the Continental Congress.

The only members of the Woolsey Expedition remaining in Arizona that I
know of are Peeples of Phoenix, Chase of Antelope, and Blair at

The government of the United States can never recompense the people of
Arizona for the atrocities committed by the Apaches. It will never do to
make the plea that a government so vain-glorious and boastful could not
have conquered this tribe of savages, if the will to do so had existed.
Now, after forty years of devastation, the government pays the Apaches
one hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year in goods to maintain a
quasi peace. The settlers are not at any time secure against an Apache
outbreak, and there are at the present time some Apaches on the
war-path, which the government acknowledges its impotency to capture. "A
Century of Dishonor" was a well written book, and contains many
unpleasant truths.

In the meantime, while I was delivering the Indian goods, my colleagues

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Online LibraryCharles D. PostonBuilding a State in Apache Land → online text (page 4 of 5)