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ARIZONA-The name is significant. Its derivation is uncertain; all that is known of it is that in the latter part of the seventeenth century it was given to a range of mountains across the border in Northern Sonora, in what was then known as Pimeria Alta, and thereafter was applied to the territory now embraced within the boundaries of the "Baby State."
Its history is in two parts: One, the story of a vanished race, who left behind them a record of achievement in cavate dwellings, the ruins of pueblos, fortifications, abandoned irrigation canals, and hieroglyphics on the Painted Rocks, which, it is claimed, antedate the conquest of England by William the Conqueror, and record the activities of a civilized, cultivated and refined people, who converted the desert into gardens, causing its waste places to contribute to their comfort and happiness; scientists, for thirty or forty years, have been studying these records. The other, beginning with the Spanish explorers of the 16th century, and the successive governments under the Spanish, Mexican and American flags, is the narrative of the building up of a great prosperous commonwealth, the redemption of an empire from savagery to civilization.
This history, as it proceeds, will deal with historic facts in historic times, and the prehistoric records, the story of a lost race, revealed by modern scientists and archaeologists.
No state of this Union has such a background of romance and adventure. Kentucky is called the "Dark and Bloody Ground," but the daring and enterprise of her pioneers are insignificant when compared with the trials, sufferings and heroic endurance of the early settlers of Arizona, who laid, firm and deep, the solid foundations of a great and prosperous commonwealth. In their case the truth, plainly stated, needs no embellishment to enshrine their memories in the hearts of a grateful posterity.
For forty years after the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, these pioneers in the wilderness of an unreclaimed territory, warred against the most relentless savages on the continent, and with their blood enriched the land of their adoption. We owe them a debt of gratitude which can never be cancelled. The recital of their deeds, which this history will record, however lacking in literary skill, makes a
story of most absorbing interest. These men settled our valleys and peopled our hills. Of them, the Postons, Woolseys, Ehrenbergs and Walkers, who formed the vanguard of the army of civilization that made Arizona what it is, could be paraphrased what Junius said of Pitt: "Immortal honors crown his monuments and gather o'er them. It is a solid fabric, supported by the laurels that adorn them.” In these volumes will be found a short record of the conquest of California, which England was preparing to seize, and the opening of the Santa Fe Trail, which, while collateral history, had such a bearing upon the fortunes of Arizona, that it could not well be omitted from these pages.
The task assigned me, while difficult, is a labor of love. A library has been written upon the early days of Arizona, most of which is pure fiction. To collate the historical data, separate the wheat from the chaff, and give only authentic facts, has been my object in this work.
Those who have been active in civic affairs, or prominent in our Indian Wars, will be given due credit chronologically as this history progresses.
THOS. EDWIN FARISH.
Phoenix, Arizona, December twenty-second, nineteen hundred four