The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Arizona

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1410420The American Cyclopædia — ArizonaEaton S. Drone

ARIZONA, a territory of the United States, situated between lat. 31° and 37° N. and lon. 109° and 114° 40' W., bounded N. by Utah, E. by New Mexico, S. by Mexico, and W. by California and Nevada; area estimated at 113,000 sq. m. No complete survey of the territory has been made. It is divided into five counties: Maricopa, Mohave, Pima, Yavapai, and Yuma. Tucson, in Pima county (pop. 3,224), is the capital and largest town in the territory. Arizona City, in Yuma county (pop. 1,144), is a prosperous business place, situated at the junction of the Gila and Colorado rivers. Prescott, the former capital (pop. 668), is situated in central Arizona, and is the headquarters of the military department of Arizona. In 1870 the population of the territory, exclusive of Indians, was 9,658, of whom 3,849 were native and 5,809 foreign born; 1,240 were born in the territory. The total number of Indians was 32,083; of these 4,352 were on reservations and at agencies, and 27,700 were nomadic. Many of these Indians are friendly to the whites, but the greater number are intensely hostile. Of the friendly Indians, the Pimas and the Maricopas rank first in numbers and civilization. They occupy a reservation on the Gila river, about 200 m. E. of Arizona City. The Papagos live S. of the Gila, along the line of Sonora. The Mohaves and the Yumas live along the Colorado, the Utes on the upper Colorado, and the Moquis and Navajos in N. E. Arizona. These tribes are engaged in agriculture and stock-raising. Of the hostile Indians the Apaches are the most powerful and war-like. They comprise several tribes distributed over the greater portion of middle and eastern Arizona; their raids extend all over the territory, with the exception of a narrow strip along the Colorado river and a portion of the lower Gila. Besides the Apaches, the Hualpais or Wallapis, living in the Cerbat range near the Diamond river, and in part of the Aquarius range, are the only dangerous Indians.—The middle and N. E. portions of the territory consist of elevated plateaus from 3,000 to 8,000 ft. above the sea level, with occasional bluffs and volcanic cones rising from 500 to 2,500 ft. above the plateau. The numerous parallel ranges of mountains have a general N.W. and S.E. course, and form long valleys in the same direction. The most marked exceptions to this general direction are the Mogollon range hi the east, which extends nearly E. and W. and joins the Sierra Blanca, and an E. and W. range stretching beyond Arizona into New Mexico. The axis of the Black mountains and the Cerbat range, in the N.W. part of the territory, lies very nearly N. and S. The S. portion of the territory is a plain with a slight elevation above the sea, amounting at the mouth of the Gila to only 200 ft. From this plain isolated mountains and mountain ranges rise abruptly. In central Arizona the Sierra Prieta and the Aztec range send foot hills out in every direction, and their flanks sink very gradually to the level of the high plateau surrounding the San Francisco mountain toward the N. E., and to the mesas or table lands sloping toward the Colorado on the S.W. The elevation of the town of Prescott is over 6,000 ft. above the sea, while the Tonto and San Francisco plateaus, E. and N.E. of Prescott, reach an altitude of from 8,000 to 9,000 ft. The San Francisco, a grand volcanic cone is the highest mountain in Arizona, its summit being over 11,000 ft. above the sea. N and N.E. of the San Francisco mountains, an immense mesa, increasing in altitude toward the Utah line, extends for hundreds of miles.—The largest river of the territory is the Colorado, which is formed by the junction of the Green and Grand rivers in the S. part of Utah, and has a southerly course along the W. boundary of Arizona. It has a very rapid current, and is navigable as far as Callville, 612 m. above its mouth. The cañons formed by the passage of the river through the lofty table lands are unequalled in grandeur. In the Grand cañon of the Colorado the deep and narrow current flows between massive walls that rise to a perpendicular height of nearly 7,000 ft. above the water. The principal tributaries of the Colorado are the Colorado Chiquito, which flows N.W. through the N. part of the territory, the Diamond river, and Bill Williams's Fork, into which flows the Santa Maria. The Gila rises in New Mexico, flows W. through the S. part of Arizona, and joins the Colorado about 180 m. above the gulf of California. It is a very narrow stream with a swift current, shallow during most of the year, but in the rainy season vastly increasing its volume. Its principal tributaries in Arizona are the Salado or Salt river, Verde, San Carlos, Bonito, and Prieto from the north, and Santa Cruz and San Pedro from the south.—Granite, red and white sandstone, limestone, slate, quartz, and metamorphic rocks abound in the mountains. The plains along the lower Gila are entirely made up of quaternary and tertiary deposits, which also form the great Sonora desert S. of that stream. In the Colorado valley, the sedimentary strata consist of quaternary and tertiary gravels and conglomerates, varied in a few localities by a layer of white infusorial earth. The bottom lands consist of calcareous sands and clays, the former predominating. The mountain chains are composed of granites, syenites, porphyries, trachytes, greenstone, basalt, and metamorphic slates. A section of the Grand cañon of the Colorado, 6,800 ft. above the sea level and 5,500 ft. above the river, exhibits the following sedimentary strata down to the underlying granite: upper carboniferous limestone; cross-stratified sandstone; red calcareous sandstone, with gypsum; lower carboniferous limestone; limestones, shales, and grits—Devonian; limestones, mud, rocks, and sandstones—Silurian; Potsdam sandstone; granite. No one of the mineral-bearing territories of the Pacific slope is richer than Arizona, though the mines have not been generally worked. The inaccessibility of the territory (it being off from the great overland lines of travel and without seaports), and the fierceness of the Apaches, have preventei the full development of its mineral wealth. The mountains of southern and central Arizona are nearly all mineral-bearing, and contain lodes of gold, silver, copper, and lead. The ores of silver found in this region are argentiferous galena, native silver, auriferous sulphuret of silver, black sulphuret of silver, sulphate of silver, sulphate of iron, combined. The ores of copper are usually the sulphurets, principally gray. Nearly all the silver and copper lodes show traces of gold; and placers have been found at many points, but have not proved sufficiently extensive to attract much attention. Gold is found in central Arizona, the ore yielding from $25 to $100 per ton. Iron in carbonates and oxides is abundant, and traces of tin and nickel exist. Platinum (metallic) is shown in the placers of the Black cañon. Copper, silver, and quicksilver are found together in a rare combination, but the lode is not large. Lime of a superior quality exists in large quantities near Prescott and Tucson, and is found at other points. Beds of gypsum exist in the San Pedro valley. The salt mountains near Callville and a few miles E. of the Colorado are among the most remarkable formations in Arizona. The deposits of pure, transparent, and beautifully crystallized salt are very extensive, and no salt is superior for table and general use. Traces of coal have been discovered in this locality. The bullion product of Arizona for 1868 was estimated at $250,000; 1869, $1,000,000; 1870, $800,000.—The climate is mild and generally healthful. In southern Arizona the temperature ranges from 34° to 118° F. The atmosphere is dry, and this region is singularly free from malarious diseases. Snow falls in central Arizona, but, excepting in the higher mountains, disappears in a few hours. The temperature in summer rarely exceeds 90°, and seldom falls below zero in winter. Rain falls mainly in the months of July and August, but there are frequent showers in April and May, as well as in the winter months. The average fall of rain in southern Arizona for 1867 was 2.94 inches; 1866, 4.20; 1858, 8.57; 1857, 0.33. The climate of Arizona is said to be highly beneficial to those afflicted with bronchial or lung diseases. According to the census of 1870, the total deaths in the territory for that year were 252, of which 116 resulted from general diseases, 71 from local diseases, 60 from accidents and injuries, and 5 from poisons. Of the local diseases, 44 were diseases of the respiratory system and 15 of the digestive system. The vegetation of southern and western Arizona is scanty and limited to a few genera, such as cactus, aloe, artemisia, palo verde, ironwood, and mesquite, the last a remarkably hard wood. In the middle and N. E. portions of the territory a more varied vegetation prevails. On the hills and mountain sides a rich and abundant pasturage is found. Pine and cedar forests abound; while along the course of the streams ash, walnut, cherry, willow, cottonwood, and many other forest trees grow, and large oak trees are seen on the summits of some of the highest mountains in the Sierra Prieta. The aridity of the table lands prevents their cultivation; the soil of the valleys is rich, but in places very arid. Where artificial irrigation is practicable, or where there is sufficient moisture, the crops are good, and the cereals yield abundantly. The greater portion of the territory S. of the Gila river is a sterile waste; but the river valleys of this section contain many thousand acres of the most fertile bottom lands, which need only irrigation to make them yield abundant harvests. Indian corn, wheat, barley, oats, grapes, figs, oranges, lemons, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, tobacco, the castor bean, &c., thrive here wherever the land can be irrigated; there is also much valuable grass land in this section. The valleys of middle and eastern Arizona contain much arable land. Here all the cereals and roots of the northern Atlantic states are grown, while as a grazing country this region cannot be surpassed. A thick growth of gramma and bunch grass covers the whole country, and gives to the pine woods of this region the aspect of beautiful natural parks. Wheat and barley are usually sown from November to February, and harvested in May; the average yield of wheat is from 20 to 40 bushels per acre, and of barley from 30 to 60. After the wheat and barley are harvested, corn can be planted on the same soil with ample time for it to mature. Much of the land of Arizona is cultivated in this way, and produces two crops each year. The average yield of corn is from 30 to 60 bushels per acre. In 1870 there were 14,585 acres of improved land in the territory, producing 27,052 bushels of wheat, 32,041 of corn, and 55,077 of barley; and the estimated value of all farm productions, including betterments and additions to stock, was $277,998. Cash value of farms, $161,340; of all live stock, $143,996; of slaughtered animals, $9,400.—There are no railroads in Arizona. The Atlantic and Pacific railroad company have obtained a charter with land grants to build a road along and near the 35th parallel to the Pacific ocean; this road has been completed from St. Louis into the Indian territory. A charter and lands have also been granted to the Texas Pacific railroad company to build a road on or near the 32d parallel, from Marshall in Texas to San Diego, California. There is a good wagon road from San Diego, crossing the Colorado river at Arizona City, thence to Tucson and Santa Fé. The last named town is connected with Prescott by a wagon road via Albuquerque. From Prescott to Los Angeles, Cal., there is a wagon road by way of Wickenburg, Ehrenberg, La Paz, and San Bernardino, and also by way of Hardyville and Mohave.—The government is administered by a governor, secretary, treasurer, and auditor, who are appointed by the president of the United States. The legislature and a delegate to congress are elected by the people. The judicial power is vested in a supreme court, consisting of three judges appointed by the president, and probate courts. The supreme court holds one session annually at Tucson. The salary of the governor and of the judges of the supreme court is $2,500. In 1870 the assessed value of real estate was $538,355; personal property, $871,940; total, $1,410,295; true value of real and personal property, $3,440,791; total taxation not national, $31,323. The internal revenue collections for 1871 amounted to $16,889.—According to the census of 1870, there were in the territory 1,923 persons between the ages of 6 and 21 years; the number attending school was 149. There were 2,690 persons over 10 years of age unable to read, and 1,934 over 21 years of age unable to write. The legislature has passed a school law levying a tax for school purposes of 10 cents on each $100 of the taxable property of the territory, and giving authority to the several boards of supervisors of the counties and the boards of trustees of the school districts to levy additional taxes sufficient to maintain a free school in each of the school districts. Four weekly newspapers are published in the territory.—As early as 1526 Don José de Vasconcellos crossed the centre of Arizona toward the Great cañon, and the country was subsequently visited by other Spanish explorers. Numerous ruins of Spanish towns and buildings indicate that here was the seat of an early Spanish colonization, and that the land was highly cultivated. In the N. W. part of the territory, on the Colorado plateau, is a group of pueblos in ruins, containing estufas, reservoirs, terraces, aqueducts, and walls of at least four stories high. The most extensive ruins are found in the Gila valley, which is studded throughout with deserted pueblos and remains of irrigating canals, acequias, pottery, &c. The river banks are covered with ruins of stone houses and regular fortifications, which do not appear to have been inhabited for centuries. The walls are of solid masonry, rectangular in form, and usually two stories high. It is estimated that at least 100,000 people must have occupied the Gila valley at one time.—The territory of Arizona was separated from that of New Mexico and organized by act of congress passed Feb. 24, 1863. The portion N. of the Gila river was obtained by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Feb. 2, 1848, while that S. of the Gila was acquired under the treaty made by James Gadsden at Mexico, Dec. 30, 1853. The act of Feb. 24, 1863, creating the territory, describes it as comprising all the United States lands W. of lon. 109° to the California line, which before that time had belonged to the territory of New Mexico. Since then the N.W. corner has been ceded to Nevada. No thorough exploration of central Arizona was attempted until 1862 and 1863, while much of the northern portion has never been explored.