Arizona Genealogy

Survey for Railroads and Other Purposes

As early as 1850, Thomas H. Benton, Missouri’s great Senator began an agitation in Congress for a Pacific railroad. It was due to him, probably, that Bartlett, in his survey of the Boundary line under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was instructed to make notes of the country over which he passed with a view of the possibilities of building a railroad over that route. By the 24th of December, 1851, this survey had been completed to within sixty miles of the Colorado, when it was suspended for want of supplies, and the explorers found their way to San Diego …

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Spanish Explorers and Exploration

In the year 1530, Nunc de Guzman, who was President of New Spain, had in his possession an Indian, a native of the Valley of Oxitipar, who was called Tejo by the Spaniards. This Indian said he was the son of a trader who was dead, and that when he was a boy his father had gone into the back country with fine feathers to trade for ornaments, and that when he came back, he brought a large amount of gold and silver, of which there was a large amount in that country. He went with him once or twice, …

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Early Spanish Explorers and Indians

It is a grave question whether the first entry into Arizona was made by Juan de la Asunsion, or by Estevan, the Negro, the former slave of Dorantes, who was sent forward by Fra Marcos de Niza in advance of his expedition to the Seven Cities of Cibola. Bancroft accords this honor to the Negro and does not mention the priest. In an essay upon the subject, A. F. Bandelier, of the Heminway Southwestern Archaeological Expedition, in his “Contributions to the History of the Southwestern Portion of the United States,” gives a very exhaustive account of the supposed expedition of …

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The Santa Fe Trail

The opening of the Santa Fe Trail from Independence, Missouri, to Sant Fe, has such a bearing upon the subsequent explorations in Arizona, that I think it proper to give a short description of what is know as the “Commerce of the Prairies,” over this trail, and the causes which led up to it. The first attempt to explore the western boundaries of the United States after the Louisiana Purchase, was made by Lieut, Zebulon M. Pike, of the Sixth U. S. Infantry, who, in 1806, was sent with 22 men to explore the country of the Arkansas and Red …

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Spanish Exploration continues in the Territories

The military post established by Melchior Diaz in the Sonora Valley, at or near the Corazones (Ures), having been captured and destroyed by the Indians before Coronado ‘s return, the limits of New Spain remained the same as before his expedition, Culiacan being its farthest northern limit. The discovery of the rich silver mines of Zacatecas was made about the year 1542, which gave an impetus to mining in every part of New Spain, owing to which there was no further attempt made to explore the country discovered by Coronado for forty years, or until about 1580, when Antonio de …

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Negations for the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

On the first of January, 1848, the United States was in possession of the City of Mexico, the city of Chihuahua, and of the eastern seaports of Mexico, as well as of the territory now forming the States of New Mexico, Arizona and California, together with Lower California. California was the pawn which several European countries claimed and were trying to secure, and England, in particular, had she secured California, in all probability would have held all the coast territory west of the Rocky Mountains, including what is now the States of Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada. She …

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The Navajos

The Navajos, when Arizona was taken over from Mexico, were the most populous tribe of Indians. They occupied what is now the northwestern portion of New Mexico, and the northeastern portion of Arizona. For years they had been in a constant state of warfare with the Mexicans, and, to some extent, with the Zunis and Moquis. They were a virile race, further advanced in civilization, and the arts of civilization, than any of the Apache tribes. They were a pastoral people, and to some extent, an agricultural people. Their dwellings then, as now, consisted of rude conical huts of poles, …

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Navajo Attacks, Surrender and Reservations

In the first volume of this work, the expedition against the Navajos down to December 25th, 1858, when the last treaty was made with them, has been recited. There only remains now to give the history of the expeditions under the directions of General Canby and General Carleton by which the tribe was finally subdued. In 1859, war again broke out, and in 1860, the Navajos attacked Fort Defiance. Finally General Canby made a long campaign against them, leading his troops in person. After General Canby’s campaign against the Navajos, when the soldiers were employed to repel the Texas invasion, …

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Labors of the California Column

In relation to the expedition of the California Column up the Gila River, I quote from the “Record of California Men in the War of the Rebellion,” Adjutant General’s Office, 1890: “The troops composing the column were assembled at Fort Yuma in April, and early in that month information was received at that post that the Confederates, under Hunter, were on their way down the Gila, when a reconnoitering party, under Captain William P. Calloway, consisting of his own Company I, First California Infantry, a detachment of Company A, First California Cavalry, under Lieutenant James Barrett of Company A and …

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Missions, Missionaries and Military Annals

No successive narrative of early Arizona annals is extant. The data we have, which has been collected by Bancroft and others, is incomplete, but enough is known to justify the assertion that the Gila Valley of Arizona was not covered with prosperous Spanish missions and settlements that were abandoned on account of Apache raids. Under the Jesuit rule, only two missions, those of Bac and Guevavi, were established. The rest were rancherias de visita, which received a precarious protection by Tubac presidio, from 1752. Bancroft says: ”The Arizona missions were never more than two, and they were never prosperous. So, …

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