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For this week, an Elevation Certificate Surveyor's look at Arizona's Past.......

Chapter 68 Land Surveyor Weekly From #04 - The Colorado River reservation was established by act of Congress, March 3, 1865. Since then it has been enlarged, and contains at the present time about 140 square miles, situated between Ehrenberg and La Paz, with a total Indian population of 1,010, composed of the following tribes: Chim-e-hue-vis, 208; Mohaves, 802. Besides the agent in charge, there is a physician, clerk, farmer, carpenter, blacksmith, teacher, matron, and cook. It is said that the morals of these Indians are better than could have been expected from their lax marriage rules; prostitution is not universal by any means, and is confined to a few depraved women of the tribes. The Indians on this reservation cultivate small patches of ground along the Colorado, raising corn, wheat, melons, pumpkins, etc. The government has expended large sums in opening irrigating canals, and it is hoped that they may soon become self-sustaining. They were once in active hostility against the whites, but the crushing defeat they received at the hands of Colonel Hoffman, in 1859, completely broke their spirit, and they have never since shown any disposition to go on the war-path.

The Yumas live on the Colorado river, ranging from Yuma down towards the gulf. They raise some corn and vegetables on the Colorado bottoms, but spend most of their time loafing around the streets of the town, doing small jobs and carrying messages for the whites. They were once a powerful tribe, but intemperance and immorality have done their work upon them, and they are now the lowest and most debased of all the Indians in the Territory.

The Hualapais live in the mountains of Mohave county. They are a brave and warlike race, and gave the early settlers a great deal of trouble. They were placed on the Colorado reservation, but the enervating climate of the river bottoms was fatal to Indians accustomed to the purer air of the more elevated regions, and they were allowed to return to their native hills. They are industrious, and many of them find employment at the settlements and mining camps throughout the county. They are generally self-supporting, though the government occasionally issues them supplies. The Hualapais did good service during the Apache wars, several companies enlisting as scouts, and fighting bravely by the side of the troops. They have become debased by their intercourse with the whites, and are rapidly decreasing. They number about 700, divided into bands.

The Ava-Supies live in the deep canyon of Cataract creek, a tributary of the Colorado, which rises in Bill Williams mountain, north of Prescott. The band numbers about 300 men, women and children. The narrow valley in which they live averages from 100 to 400 yards wide, with walls of sandstone from 2,000 to 4,000 feet, rising perpendicularly on either side. Down in this beautiful glen the climate is almost perpetual summer; and while the icy winds sweep over the elevated plateau, the lovely vale below sees the flowers bloom and the grass green all the year round. Through the center of this valley runs a clear stream; the soil is rich and easily cultivated, producing grain and vegetables of all kinds, also fine peaches and other fruits. A trail leads down the sides of the perpendicular cliffs, from three to six feet wide, and requires a steady nerve to pass over it in safety. Thus, literally shut out from the world, the Supies live in their beautiful canyon, blessed with everything to supply their few and simple wants. They do a large trade in buckskins and dried fruits with the Hualapais, Moquis, and other Indians. They are peaceful, industrious, and contented, and warmly attached to their homes; are kind and hospitable to strangers, and are, in all respects, the most remarkable tribe in the Territory.

The Moquis occupy several villages in the north-eastern portion of the Territory. Their pueblos are situated on rocky cliffs from three to six hundred feet above the level of the surrounding plain. On one of these isolated mesas are located four of their villages. Three other villages occupy as many rocky bluffs or mesas. The houses are of stone, and built in terraces, in such a manner that to enter the lower story it is necessary to climb to the top and then descend. The inhabitants of Oraybe, west from the Moquis, are of different origin and language, although their manners, customs, and mode of life are the same. Water is brought to these pueblos, perched on those rocky crags, from a half to two miles distant. The valley below, although sandy and barren-lookinh, produces good crops of corn, pumpkins, melons, and fine peaches. About three thousand acres are in cultivation at the different villages. They have large flocks of sheep and goats, which they carefully guard from the raids of their more warlike neighbors, the Navajos. The Moquis are temperate, industrious, and true to their marriage relations. They make blankets, baskets, and ollas; have lived in their present abode since we have any knowledge of them, and are the same in all respects to-day as they were three hundred and forty years ago, when Coronado and his followers, in their search for the Seven Cities of Cibola, first met them. An agent has been appointed for them, and a boarding-school established, which is proving a gratifying success.

The Navajo reservation is located in the north-eastern corner of the Territory, adjoining the line of New Mexico, and embraces an area of 5,200 square miles, the greater portion being fine grazing land. The Navajos are the main branch of the Apache family, and are probably the most intelligent, active and enterprising of all the Indians in Arizona. Their manufacture of fine blankets has long been admired, and in their agricultural and pastoral possessions, they are one of the richest tribes in the United States. They own about 15,000 fine horses, over 400,000 head of sheep, nearly 2,000 head of cattle, besides mules, burros, etc. They derive over $30,000 annually from the sale of blankets, sashes, etc. Every family has its loom, where the women are constantly employed. The Navajos are a warlike race, have long kept their Moquis and Zuni neighbors in wholesome dread, and at one time were the terror of the Rio Grande valley. Since their subjugation by the government in 1860, they have made rapid strides in prosperity, and are said to be the only Indians who are increasing. They number at present about 15,000. Their agency is established at Fort Defiance.

The total number of Indians in the Territory is about 25,000. The power of the wild Apache has been broken, and he no longer obstructs the path of progress and civilization. The Indian question in Arizona has been settled forever; the wild tribes are fast passing away, and in a few years will have entirely disappeared, leaving behind only a name linked with bloody deeds and savage atrocity.

About The Historical Texts

Following is the list of uncopyrighted publications used for the History of Arizona and the Southwest. All can be easily found on-line in PDF format. Sorted by publication date they are:

  1. The Memoir of the Proposed Territory of Arizona - 1857 | By Sylvester Mowry
  2. Arizona and Sonora - 1863 | By Sylvester Mowry
  3. The Territory of Arizona_1874 | By Arizona Legislative Assembly
  4. Resources of Arizona - 1881 | By Arizona Legislative Assembly
  5. The History of Arizona and New Mexico, Volume 17 - 1889 - (Arizona Portion) | By Hubert Howe Bancroft
  6. Titan of Chasms the Grand Canyon - 1906 | By C.A. Higgins, J.W. Powell, Chas.F.Lumins
  7. Reminiscences of a Soldiers Wife - 1907 - (Arizona Portion) | By Ellen McGowan Biddle
  8. The First Through the Grand Canyon - 1915 | By Major John Wesley Powell
  9. The History of Arizona, Volume 1 - 1915 (starting Chapter VII) | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  10. The History of Arizona, Volume 2 - 1915 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  11. The History of Arizona, Volume 3 - 1916 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  12. The History of Arizona, Volume 4 - 1916 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  13. The History of Arizona, Volume 5 - 1918 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  14. The History of Arizona, Volume 6 - 1918 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  15. The History of Arizona, Volume 7 - 1918 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  16. The History Of Arizona, Volume 8 - 1918 | By Thomas Edwin Farish
  17. Arizona the Wonderland - 1917 | By George Wharton James
  18. The Story of Arizona - 1919 | By Will H. Robinson

The majority of the publications listed here were written with the intent to be historically accurate. This is not an attempt to make a point of historical fact by providing this information. It is intended to simply share what is documented about the American Southwest, primarily on the Arizona Territorial area.

There are no living people to speak for the time period related here. We must use recorded information to look into that era. The point-of-view of today is different from those living then. The intent here is not to provide an opinion. If one spends time reading the material listed, it will be enlightening as to life in the untamed Territory of Arizona as it was in the minds of the people of at that era.

Regarding the stories of the all of people in the Territory of Arizona it can bring out all emotions. From sympathy to anger and sadness to admiration, you will feel something. It is difficult to imagine what it would be like to be living here, or traveling through, at different times in the past. It is hopeful that all will find a least find some amusement looking through the window of the past provided here.

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