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This weeks Look at Arizona's Past...

Chapter 67 Land Surveyor Weekly From #04 - The Pima and Maricopa tribes have a reservation on the Gila river, commencing about nine miles below Florence and extending down the stream for nearly thirty-five miles. The Maricopas were once a part of the Yuma tribe, but in the middle of the last century they allied themselves with the Pimas, and they have ever since lived together in peace and harmony, although their manners, customs, laws, religious ceremonies and language are as distinct as if they were thousands of miles apart. The tribes number about 5000, 500 being Maricopas. They live in small villages; the houses are built by placing poles ten or twelve feet long in a circle of about twelve feet in diameter at the bottom, and fastened together at the top. These poles are then covered with grass and mud, only a small opening being left for a door. Each village is ruled by a chief, who is subordinate to the chieftain of the tribe. All disputes between the inhabitants of the same village are submitted to a council of the old men for settlement, and their decision, be what it may, is final; in disputes between residents of different villages, representatives from all the hamlets are called by the chief of the tribe to settle the differences. They are polygamists to a certain extent, and an annual feast and dance called the Tizwin feast, is held in the early summer, when all who so desire, make their choice of mates for the ensuing year. The Maricopas are cremationists, while the Pimas bury their dead.

Besides their reservation on the Gila, a large tract on the north side of Salt river was set aside for their use by an executive order dated July 14, 1878. They cultivate about 400 acres on Salt river, and on the Gila something like 800. Their wheat crop averages about 2,000,000 pounds a year, and is much superior to that of the whites, both in cleanliness and quality. Corn, beans, pumpkins, and sorghum are also raised in large quantities. Living down the Gila, below the mouth of the Salt, there are about 400 Papagoes who cultivate nearly 400 acres. All of these tribes have some cattle and a great number of ponies. The agent for the Pimas and Maricopas resides at Sacaton, on the Gila, and distributes the government annuities among them. Two schools have been established at this point, with what success we have not learned. These Indians are peaceable and industrious; besides their farming they manufacture ollas, baskets, and formerly made some fine blankets. Many of them, by their industry and thrift, have accumulated property to the value of several thousand dollars. They have ever been the friends of the whites, and during the Apache wars their doors were always open for the unfortunate American hard pressed by the foe.

The Pimas were settled on their present abode when found by the Spanish explorers, nearly 350 years ago. Then, as now, they cultivated the soil, and manufactured earthen vessels, and cotton and woolen fabrics. Their farming is done in primitive style, using wooden plows, and threshing the grain by spreading it in a circle on the earthen floor, and driving a band of ponies over it. The Pimas are good warriors, and for centuries resisted successfully the attacks of their hereditary enemies, the Apaches. They have great faith in their medicine men—so long as they are successful in effecting cures. Repeated failures, however, are apt to lead to serious consequences. A case has lately occurred where an unfortunate follower of Galen, having sent three patients, in succession, to the happy hunting-grounds, was taken by a strong guard to the cemetery near Phoenix, and summarily dealt with by having his brains knocked out with a club. If civilization should adopt such a plan, what a thinning out there would be in the medical profession!

The Papagoes were partly civilized when discovered by the Spaniards, over three centuries ago. They were converted to Christianity by the early Catholic missionaries, and still remain steadfastly attached to that faith. Of all the Indians of the Territory, they are the most industrious, virtuous, temperate, and thrifty. They live by cultivating the soil, and by stock-raising. They have always been peaceable and well-disposed, and during their long contest with the Apaches, they rendered valuable services to the whites. They have never asked or received assistance from the government, although no tribe has so well deserved it. They speak the same language as the Pimas, and are supposed to be a branch of that tribe; but, unlike them, they cut their hair, wear hats, and dress after the fashion of the lower classes of Mexicans. Many of them are employed by the farmers of the Gila and Salt-river valleys, during the harvest season, and have proven steady and faithful laborers. The tribe numbers about 6,000. They have a reservation on the Santa Cruz, south of Tucson, where they raise considerable wheat, barley, corn, pumpkins, melons, etc., and a great many cattle and horses. Their location is a good one, being well watered and timbered, and containing some of the finest land in the Territory. A number of them still live in their old home, the Papagueria, south-west of Tucson, engaged principally in stock-raising. The Papagoes are in charge of the agent at Sacaton. A school is maintained for their benefit, at San Xavier, by the Sisters of St. Joseph, and is largely attended.

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.

A little about the Arizona Land Surveyors of yester-year

It was a rough life for the Land Surveyor of yester-year. The Survey party that was sent out then consisted of a large crew. Usually between 5-7 men. There was a head Land Surveyor along with a couple of Land Surveyor trainees which pulled the chain. The chain was an actual 66 foot long chain, with 100 links, used to measure distance. It looks similar to what holding the flags at the base of the page. There were laborers to help clear trees and brush out of the way. Given the crude equipment of the time, it is amazing how accurate some of the old Land Surveyor's measurements were.

Land Surveying in Arizona Started in 1866. From a report in 1867 by Joseph S. Wilson, Commissioner of the General Land Office : "A contract was entered into with Deputy Surveyor William H. Pierce on the 15th day of December, 1866, for the survey in Arizona of 96 miles of the Gila and Salt River Meridian; 36 miles of the base line and standard and exterior township boundary lines, to amount in the aggregate to a sum not exceeding $7,500. Mr. Pierce completed the survey of the meridian from the initial corner north 24 miles, the base line from the same corner east 36 miles, and the first standard parallel north along the south boundary of township 5 north, east 42 miles, and west 42 miles, when the military protection which had been furnished him was withdrawn, and he was compelled to quit the field, the Indians infesting the country, rendering it unsafe and impracticable to continue the work without military escort. At his request, and by your order, Mr. Pierce has been released from further obligation to prosecute the work under his contract."

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Our Arizona Land Surveyor's Weekly Look into the Past of Arizona...

Chapter 67 Land Surveyor Weekly From #04 - The Pima and Maricopa tribes have a reservation on the Gila river, commencing about nine miles below Florence and extending down the stream for nearly thirty-five miles. The Maricopas were once a part of the Yuma tribe, but in the middle of the last century they allied themselves with the .........Continue to complete Chapter

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