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Delegate to Congress to represent Arizona, and went to Washington, never returning to Arizona.
Probably no better choice could have been made for Governor of the new Territory. The position of Governor at that time was surrounded with many difficulties.
There was a mixed population in Arizona; probably the greater portion of the native Americans were Southern sympathizers, and, had harsh measures been pursued, it would have been easy to have stirred up an embryo rebellion, instead of which the Governor was a peacemaker. He united all factions in the support of his administration, with the ultimate purpose of redeeming the territory from savage dominion. He was industrious, democratic in all his views and a typical Westerner, as far as his habits were concerned, for he was in no sense a Puritan or hide bound in his views. He enjoyed a toddy, liked a game of draw, and was pleasant, affable and courteous to everyone.
Upon the arrival of the Governor's party at Fort Whipple, then located in the Chino Valley, he began at once to make a personal tour of the Territory, with a view to a permanent location of the Capital. He visited La Paz and all the settlements along the Colorado River, and from there went to Tucson and other settlements in the South, and finally selected Prescott as the site for the Capital.
While at Tucson he incorporated the town by proclamation, and appointed William S. Oury, of Virginia, who had served under Sam Huston at the Battle of San Jacinto, whose brother had served in the Confederate Congress as a Delegate from Arizona, and who himself was a strong sympathizer with the South, as mayor of Tucson,
The ravages of the Apaches continued without cessation and with increased violence after the withdrawal of the California Column into what is now New Mexico. Governor Goodwin appointed King Woolsey as Colonel of the militia of the territory, with the title of LieutenantColonel, whose expeditions will be noted in a future chapter. Woolsey was a Southerner, and when the Albert Sidney Johnson party passed through Arizona in 1861, en route to the Confederacy, Woolsey joined the party, but was taken down with smallpox at Tucson, and for this reason was left behind. John T. Alsap, a Kentuckian, was appointed the First Treasurer of the Territory.
These things I mention to show that Goodwin, in the selection of his men paid no attention to what their feelings might be in the struggle then going on; all he asked, and that he received, was loyalty to the new Territory and to the government which he established, and never was such confidence betrayed.
Prescott was selected as the capital, because it was in the center of the country in which the placers had been discovered which were then being worked, and to which locality had been attracted a population from both the East and the West, of adventurous Americans. The name was given in honor of the great American historian, by Secretary McCormick. The town itself was in the heart of the Indian country, but a more picturesque spot for a future city could not have been selected. For a number of years it was unsafe to venture any considerable distance from the town, unless in sufficient numbers to repel the attacks of the Apaches. He who did otherwise, did so at his peril. Lying always in ambush and picking off their victims, and driving off the animals belonging to the white settlers, escaping through their knowledge of the country from their pursuers, the Indians were always ready to seize upon any advantage an unguarded moment might afford. Sometimes guards were posted nightly throughout the town, and men slept upon their arms, expecting Indian attacks at any moment. The town itself escaped such a calamity, but not so with her citizens whose business affairs called them beyond the limits of safety.
In this period of doubt and uncertainty, with a gloomy future ahead of the town, within the town itself optimism prevailed, and every settler was doing his best in his particular line to oil the wheels of progress, moving steadily and firmly along the line of improvement, and seeing in the distance a great prosperity awaiting them. When harrassed with difficulties they would firmly take their stand prepared to retain any advantage already gained, holding always to the merited prestige which their city had attained, never for a moment retrograding, but always advancing, even though at a plodding gait, until the Indians were finally quieted and permanent safety assured.
The following is taken from an historical address delivered before the Prescott Library Association, Feb. 27, 1877, by the Hon. E. W. Wells:
“Upon the arrival of the corps of Federal Civil Officers early in the year 1864, they found they had been preceded, by some months, by small numbers of miners and prospectors, who had penetrated, from the west, these mountains and forests in search of mines, accounts of almost incredibly rich deposits of gold having been given them by friendly Indians, who had made incursions into the interior of this section of the Territory, and who warned the whites of the dangers to be met with in an attempt to make a search for those bonanzas, because of the fathomless mountains being filled with lurking savages. As is always the case, with men of adventure and daring, the more they were impressed with the dangers to be encountered, the stronger their inclination to meet and grapple with them, and, taking their lives in their hands, they broke the way over the mountains making their camp at and a short distance above the present site of Prescott.
“The proceedings under which the townsite was selected, the name of Prescott chosen and lots disposed of, were as follows:
“A meeting of citizens was held at Granite Creek on Monday evening, May 30th, 1864, in response to the following call :
"Notice: There will be a public meeting held at the store of Don Manuel, on Granite Creek, on Monday evening, May 30, 1864, for the purpose of considering and adopting the best mode of disposing of lots in the proposed town, to those wishing to purchase under the recent act of Congress. “ 'Granite Creek, May 27, 1864.
By order of
“ 'The Meeting convened at the time and place designated, Robert W. Groom being chosen to preside, when the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
“'Resolved: That in the judgment of this meeting, the two quarter sections of land upon the east bank of Granite Creek, the northerly line of the same, beginning at a point half a mile, more or less, southerly from the cabin of Messrs. Sheldon, Smith and Forbes, and lately surveyed for a townsite by R. W. Groom, are in a central and eligible location, and that we approve of their selection for the aforesaid purpose.
“ 'Resolved: That we invite the citizens of the Territory and those persons who may hereafter become such, to unite with us in establishing a town at this point, the name whereof shall be Prescott, in honor of the eminent American writer and standard authority upon Aztec and Spanish-American History.'
‘And it was further resolved that it being to the best interest of all concerned that the lots be sold and disposed of under the act of Congress, and that on account of the great delay which must attend communication with the Secretary of the Interior, (owing to the lack of mail facilities), and in the absence of a Register and Receiver of the Land Office in this district, that Messrs. Van C. Smith, Hezekiah Brooks, and R. W. Groom, were appointed to act as Commissioners to represent the interests of the Government and of the citizens of the Territory in laying out, appraisement and disposition of the lots.
“Prescott, as thus selected, is located near the intersection of the 34th degree of latitude, with the 112th degree of longitude; the lots number