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This weeks Look at Arizona's Past...

Chapter 16 - From #02: The Major Emory Address before the Geographical Society, 1859: Sonora, of which Western Arizona once formed a part, is so closely connected in interest with Arizona that a brief mention of her resources and condition is necessary to my subject. -- Sonora is bounded on the north by Arizona, on the east by the Sierra Madre range of mountains, which separate it from Chihuahua, on the south by the River Fuerte, which separates it from Sinaloa, and on the west by the Gulf of California and the Colorado River, which separate it from Lower California. Its capital is now Hermosillo, was formerly Ures, and, more anciently, Arizpe. This state is at present virtually independent. The government is vested in a governor, elected by the people, and a Legislature, consisting of but one house. Some years past the property owners looked forward to annexation to the United States as an inevitable event. The civil war has put an end to these ideas, and peace having been established at home, Sonora looks to herself, with the incidental help given by foreign capital and emigration, for her regeneration and future, greatness. That this reliance is well founded, the vast improvement in the past year is a sure indication.

In the preliminary advertisement to Las Noticias Estadisticas de Sonora, by Don Jose F. Velasco, a work from which I have freely quoted, the author says : It is necessary to say, without equivocation, that if there be any state among those which compose the Republic of Mexico of which it is difficult to present exact statistics, that state is undoubtedly Sonora. Populated by an indigenous people, disseminated over the whole state, without laws or politics, and mingled with the nation of which it forms a part, it is very difficult to ascertain its numbers from its chiefs. It is for this reason that I have been only able to give approximately the number of inhabitants. I have only undertaken a work that at least approximates toward the truth, limiting myself to certain notices which may give light to other writers on the same subject.

The state of Sonora, thus called by its earliest people of whom we have any knowledge, derives its name, according to the best authorities, from Sonot, an Opata Indian word, which means Senora or Madam. The Conquistadores were treated with great hospitality by the Opata Indians while visiting their rancherias or villages.

As a mark of friendship, the Indians strove to imitate the Spanish pronunciation Senora instead of using their own word Senot, from which arose the corrupted word Sonora. Sonora has been divided, by various writers, into Upper and Lower Sonora — into Pimeria Alta and Pimeria Baja ; and still farther into the subdivisions of Arizpe, Cieneguilla, and Horcasitas in the north, with Hostimuri, Alamos, and the Pueblas of the Mayo and Yaqui in the south. The state formerly included Sinaloa, from which it was separated in 1830. It is said to be a part of the plan of the present governor, Pesqueira, to again unite these states as the basis of a new confederacy.

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 Weekly Look into the Past of Arizona...

Chapter 16 - From #02: The Major Emory Address before the Geographical Society, 1859: Sonora, of which Western Arizona once formed a part, is so closely connected in interest with Arizona that a brief mention of her resources and condition is necessary to my subject. -- Sonora is bounded on the north by Arizona, on the east by the Sierra Madre range of mountains, which separate it from .........Continue to complete Chapter

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