Slike strani

divide the payment of the costs among themselves, and set up the liquor to the jury to boot.

“The health of the people was, generally speaking, good, hence there was little need for drugs and medical treatment. The same results were too often swiftly reached by the Indian arrow and lance, and the too free imbibing of the ardor of youth.

“The First Legislature of the Territory was convened at Prescott September 26th, 1864, at the mention of which comes the reminiscences of the first political campaign, in the electing of the members of the first Legislature. Partizan feeling and strife hadn't then been nourished into life as a bridge over which the incapacitated might gently glide into office, but the man of the period was popularly chosen on account of his merits alone, which consisted not simply in book learning and local fealty, but of the then selfish requirements, to wit: The sufficient state of cleanliness, and the possession of garments of such purity as would be suitable and creditable to the high station he sought. One of the chosen candidates was possessed of an ample fund of the former qualifications, but was found largely wanting in the latter, and it was discovered that his opponents in other locations had woven his shortcomings into political capital against him. A public meeting was at once called, and as the result of the deliberations thereof, our candidate was taken to the creek, vigorously scrubbed, gorgeously robed with articles donated for the occasion, put astride a mule, and sent forth to do battle. It is needless to say that he was elected by a large majority,

served with distinction through the whole term, and became the idol of his constituency.

"The first election was held on the 18th day of July, 1864, 149 votes being polled in Prescott.

On the 16th day of March, 1864, while in charge of a herd of stock, Joseph Cosgrove was attacked by Indians, within rifle shot of where you are now sitting, and killed. This was the first attack made by the Indians in the vicinity of Prescott, and signalized the uprising of a vicious and powerful foe and the beginning of a lasting, cruel and brutal war. Notwithstanding Prescott's flattering beginning, it was not the destiny of her people to escape the ravages of a bitter enemy, whose pleasure it was to be at peace or at war as best suited them, a race of beings which history gives no account of ever being civilized, subdued, or conquered—wily, cunning and dangerous enemies by nature and by instinct, murderous by inheritance, and thieves by prescription. In the death of Cosgrove the settlers came to realize the earnestness of the Indians' bold threat to check the growth of the town, and of meeting with resistance any further approach of the whites into their country. The cloud of anxiety, uncertainty, and apprehended dangers which overhung the town for so many long and gloomy years cannot be told.

The first public building erected in Arizona was what was known as the Governor's Mansion” in Prescott, a description of which is given in the Arizona Graphic of October 14th, 1899, as follows:

“No matter whether the pioneer lives north or south of the Gila, he will regard with interest this reproduction of one of the old landmarks of the days of '60. The tenderfoot, too, will join in the lock step and feel at least a kindly interest in the men who blazed the trail and set the ball a-rolling, as it were, in the westward march of American principles, to build up the country and advance its progress. Arizona may cherish in the line of personal reminiscences such men as Woolsey, Weaver, Walker, Carleton, Crook, Townsend, and a score of other equally famous Indian fighters, whose cunning and dash forever put a stop to Indian deviltry, but the pretty side of Arizona, in its Hassayampa era must be recorded behind the old log walls of the first gubernatorial mansion to be erected in what was distinctively a 'wild and woolly west.' It was in this antique structure that Arizona, officially and judicially, first found a permanent home, and where, also, the Territory for the first time breathed easily and purely, and from whence was inaugurated a form of government becoming to the conditions that faced it in privation and danger.

“Considerable discussion has prevailed, for some reason, or other, that Arizona had its first capital located at Navajo Springs, from the fact of the proclamation being dated at that point in '63; that Chino Valley, likewise, must be rated in the same regard, because the governor hobbled his horse on the plains there for a few weeks; that Tucson was officially designated at Washington as the seat of government because, we suppose, it was even that day the same old, 'Ancient and honorable pueblo' it is still. The fact of the matter is, the gubernatorial party were nothing but official tramps, and from the lips of survivors of that expedition we are informed that while Tucson was semi-officially mentioned, the governor was to be guided in his choice by a consideration of questions in geographical location, population, industrial and other matters before making a permanent home. In short, the capital of Arizona was to be on wheels. Accordingly, the governor moved from Navajo Springs to Chino. A few weeks afterward the Rich Hill gold excitement turned itself loose, and on the recommendation of General Carleton the governor again 'broke camp' and selected Prescott as the seat of government, arriving here in May, 1864.

“The first government contract was that of calling for proposals for the building of the "Gubernatorial Mansion,' being published in the Arizona Miner in June, 1864. The contract was awarded to Messrs. Blair, Hatz and Raible and the work inaugurated. In appearance, the building of that day is identical to the picture here shown, with the possible exception of the weatherboarding in front and a few minor changes. Some idea may be had of the dangerous task to face these contractors when it is stated that an armed guard was maintained over the workmen to guarantee them security from the Indians. In the line of expenses, for nails and material generally, the cost was simply fabulous—$1.75 a pound being the price of tenpennies, while other wares were measured proportionately. The result of Arizona's first contract was that it faced a busted combine and had an unfinished house. In other words, the contractors went $1,500 behind and with only the 'broad canopy' overhead for a roof. As there

was no board of control or democratic watchdogs of the treasury lurking near, a new specification was inserted in the contract, and the work went on.

The building as it stands to-day has a frontage of fifty feet and a depth of forty feet. It is two stories in height, and has some eleven rooms. Its cost was about $6,000 originally. During the regime of official life it was occupied by Governor Goodwin, deceased; Secretary McCormick, who still lives in New York; Chief Justice Turner, living in Ohio, and Assistant Secretary Fleury, deceased. After the removal of the capital from Prescott to Tucson, some four years later, Judge Fleury ‘held the fort,' so to speak, and a remarkable fact which is linked with his life and his first home in Arizona, is that from 1864 to the day of his demise, in 1896, not a night in all those years had passed without the roof of the old mansion sheltering him. How Judge Fleury obtained possession of the place no one knows, nor does anyone seem to care. His title was valid enough, however, to permit him to mortgage the house, which he did to the late Chief Justice French, the latter granting him the right to live therein during life. After the death of Judge French, the will of the latter provided for the transfer of the property to the Congregational Church of Prescott, in the event of Judge Fleury's death, and not until then. From 1864 to 1896 the gubernatorial mansion was a rendezvous and a generous home for hundreds. It made but little difference to Judge Fleury whether the person was poor, rich, honest or otherwise, everybody was sheltered or cared for, in winter or summer, with

« PrejšnjaNaprej »