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As Mowry made clear in his report to Greenwood, he was not particularly concerned with Pima and Maricopa desires. Mowry explained the difficulty he had describing the nature and purpose of the survey. Azul repeatedly argued the Pima “claimed as their own property the entire [middle] Gila valley.” To mitigate Pima concerns over the limits of the reservation, Mowry told Azul the survey was simply to protect and enclose their “villages and planting grounds” to prevent encroachment by settlers. If the Pima “held a valid title to any lands beyond the present survey,” Mowry assured Azul the United States Government would consider it at a future date.185 While neither placated by nor pleased with these assurances, Azul and the headmen consented to survey parties commencing work. Mowry remained in the field with Gray only long enough to establish the initial points of the reservation and the general lines that would run on both sides of the Gila River to encompass the Pima villages and fields. This was critical to determining where and for what purpose the boundary line was drawn. Mowry then departed for San Francisco, with Gray returning to Tubac.186 Returning to the Pima villages on September 5, 1859, Gray spent the next fortythree days working to complete the survey, chaining nearly seventy miles of land in order to fix the limits of the reservation and include all the Pima “gardens or planting grounds.”
Gray informed Mowry that the reservation protected “a great extent of water for their acequias.”187 The reservation was in essence two trapezoids each twelve and a half miles in length and connected at their ends. Each was four miles wide and, combined, they enclosed nearly twenty-six miles of the Gila River, including the “Indian gardens,” “cultivated grounds” and “Pimo Villages.” Glaringly absent from the reservation were the Maricopa villages and fields located downstream of Pima Butte, as well as a number of upstream Pima fields near Blackwater spring. Mowry indirectly noted these lands, telling Greenwood, “The attention of the department is respectfully called to the necessity of an early settlement of the titles of the Pimo and Maricopa Indians to the lands above and below their present reservation on the Gila.”188 The Butterfield Overland Mail Company was no innocent bystander in how the reservation was surveyed. In July, before Mowry and Gray laid out the boundary monuments for the reservation, Silas St. John—a special Indian agent employed by the Overland Mail Company—dispatched a letter to Collins alleging that Thomas Dicky, a federally licensed trader operating a store at Maricopa Wells, was selling ardent spirits to the Indians.189 If substantiated, this violated the Indian Trade and Intercourse Act.190 When 187 “Silas St. John to Sylvester Mowry,” dated October 6, 1859, in University of Arizona Library Special Collections, MS 282, Box 15, file 3. See also ibid, RG 75, M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1881 (Pima Agency 1859-1861), roll 669.
“A.B. Gray to Sylvester Mowry,” dated Pimo Villages, October 17, 1859, in Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1859, p. 358. “John A. Clark, Surveyor General, to J.M. Edwards, Commissioner of the General Land Office,” dated Santa Fe, New Mexico, November 30, 1861, in RG 75, M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1881 (New Mexico Superintendency, 1860-1861), roll 550. Clark reported the field notes of the survey were never filed with the General Land Office. No field notes have ever been located. Searches of the National Archives in Washington, DC, Laguna Niguel, California and the Pima Agency have all been fruitless.
188 “Mowry to Greenwood,” dated November 21, 1859, p. 359.
189 “Silas St. John to James Collins,” dated U.S. Indian Agency, Pimo Villages, New Mexico, July 12, 1859, RG 75, M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1881 (New Mexico Superintendency, 1858-1859), roll 549.
190 “An Act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, and to preserve peace on the frontiers,” 2 Stat 139, section 21. “An Act to amend an act, entitled ‘An act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes and to preserve peace on the frontiers,’ approved thirtieth of March, one thousand eight hundred and two,” 3 Stat. 682. For a thorough examination of the formative policy regarding Indians 110 Walker investigated the allegation, he concluded its object was an attempt by St. John to drive off or buy out Dicky so the Overland Mail Company could “monopolize all the trade with the Indians.”
purpose of forfeiting his license, although in September Greenwood informed Collins that Dicky had never been licensed by the Indian Service.191 Within days Dicky sold his establishment to the Butterfield Overland Mail Company, which immediately closed the store. While St. John was “not popular” among the Indians or emigrants, he succeeded in driving out the Overland Mail Company’s chief competitor at Maricopa Wells.192 The 1859 Act of Congress specified land was to be set apart “for the confederated bands of Pimas and Maricopas.” How the reservation was surveyed, however, is explained by the actions of the Butterfield Overland Mail Company and is instructive in determining why the Maricopa villages and their cultivated lands were excluded from the reservation. When Greenwood instructed Mowry to survey the reservation, he reminded the special agent the Butterfield Overland Mail Company had recently established a station in Casa Blanca along the national road. “As your survey may embrace it,” Greenwood instructed Mowry, “you can say to the Indians, if they consent to its occupancy, that such will confer no title upon the contractors but it will revert to them immediately upon the discontinuing the use of it for the purpose now occupied, but, of course, if they do not give their consent the contractors will have no right to its use, but and ardent spirits, see Francis Paul Prucha, American Indian Policy in the Formative Years: The Indian Trade and Intercourse Acts, 1790Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1962), pp. 102-138.
191 “A.B. Greenwood to James L. Collins,” dated September 8, 1859, Department of the Interior, Office of Indian Affairs, in RG 75, T21, Records of the New Mexico Superintendency, 1849-1880, (Letters Received from the Agencies, 1859-1860), roll 4.
192 “Walker to Collins,” dated September 14, 1859. The Weekly Arizonian, September 29, 1859, p. 3. In September, Capron and his business partner Hiram Stevens relocated their business to Tucson, presumably because their trading license was not renewed.
111 must abandon it.”193 Mowry, in turn, notified the Overland Mail Company that it could “acquire no title” to any land within the proposed reservation, a proposition to which St.
John took issue.194 The Indian Office was concerned that the Butterfield Overland Mail Company would claim a 320-acre tract of land in the midst of the Pima villages and use it as the vehicle to either corner the Pima wheat market or control it. “You should apprize the contractors that their occupancy of the land at that point can confer no title upon them to the same,” Greenwood stressed to Mowry, “either at present or prospectively.”195 In October, Gray was visited by William Buckley, Superintendent of the Tucson sector of the Butterfield Overland Mail Company, and was told the company was claiming 320 acres “at this place,” a reference to Casa Blanca. Buckley further informed Gray that the newly established Indian agency was on land claimed by the mail company. St. John acknowledged “the [Overland Mail] Company neither owned nor claimed any land or property here prior to July 3, 1859,” although as the local company official, St. John nonetheless informed Gray the Overland Mail Company was asserting its right to claim the same land for its own purpose. The date is instructive, as the Pima had agreed to set aside the same ground for agency purposes on May 30, with construction of the buildings commencing in June.196 193 “Greenwood to Mowry,” dated June 13, 1859.
194 “Mowry to Greenwood,” dated November 21, 1859, p. 360. St. John took exception because, having driven out Dickey, he apparently operated a private trading post at Maricopa Wells, using the facilities of the Overland Mail Company. For this he would be fired in October. He left Maricopa Wells in early November, returning to Washington, DC to seek a post in the War Department.
“John Walker to James Collins,” dated October 1, 1859, and “Walker to Collins,” dated December 2, 1859, in RG 75, T21, Records of the New Mexico Superintendency, 1849-1880, (Letters Received from the Agencies, 1859-1860), roll 4.
195 “Mowry to Greenwood,” dated June 13, 1859. The San Antonio and San Diego Mail Line did not have legislative approval to claim 320 acres at each of its station, but the Butterfield line did.
196 “Silas St. John, Report to Special Agent Sylvester Mowry,” dated Los Pimos, October 6, 1859, in Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1859, p. 360.
112 As Gray surveyed the reservation, he advised Mowry he had included all the water of the Pima and Maricopa acequias, or canals. But this was not accurate, since he failed to protect the head and upper portions of the Little Gila River and all of the Blackwater spring and slough. Also omitted were the upstream irrigated lands between the Gila and Little Gila. These lands were east and north of the overland road and, although not then in cultivation, they had been previously farmed. Consequently, when Gray informed Mowry he had surveyed the reservation “in order to make it advantageous to the Indians,” he was accurate only to the extent that he protected the wagon roads and mail stations by including them within the reservation. Failing to include all of the Pima cultivated lands and the Maricopa villages and fields downstream helps explain why Azul and the village chiefs had difficulty in appreciating the motives behind the survey. Gray defined the boundaries of the reservation in such a manner as to strategically protect what the Indian Service perceived as an imminent threat from the Butterfield Overland Mail Company to patent prime land within the reservation (see map 8).197 The Pima were disappointed over the territorial limits of the reservation. While Mowry explained to village headmen that the reservation was not intended to limit them to 64,000 acres but was, rather, designed to protect their cultivated fields, village sites and the main transportation routes from encroachment, the Pima remained frustrated.198 St. John informed Greenwood that upstream settlement would deprive the Pima of the
low flow of the river, something that “would undoubtedly be a fruitfull (sic) source of contention and difficulty unless some law be made for the use of the water.”199
Mowry and Greenwood recognized the gravity of appeasing the Pima and Maricopa since the Indians were the main auxiliary source of armed protection guarding the overland trails from marauders and thieves. If the Butterfield Overland Mail Company acquired 320 acres of prime land in the midst of the Pima villages it might very well have signaled to the Pima that the United States was not serious in its diplomatic
appropriating the land and resources of a long-time ally, the United States risked losing its alliance of peace and friendship. Any hostility would disrupt emigrant travel to the west and temporarily slow or halt national expansion. It was this geopolitical reality that the United States sought to mitigate. The development of mineral resources in southern Arizona—of which Mowry and Gray were intimately aware—was a fundamental force behind such policy.200 The 1859 reservation points to another important element that bears on Pima water rights and use. When Mowry met with the chiefs and headmen in the spring of 1859, he assured them of the protection of their rights to additional land and that “full justice would be done them by the United States government in this and every other respect.” Azul and the village leaders were promised their land would be protected and that they could expect to subjugate additional land, something they did in the fall of 1859 and again in the spring of 1860.201 Accomplishing this could occur only by expanding the 1859 reservation, protecting their water and ensuring the viability of their economy. “Any extensive cultivation above the Indian fields will cause trouble about water for irrigation,” Mowry opined, “and inevitably bring about a collision between settlers and the Indians.”202 In the 1860s, the Pima economy continued to boom, especially with the advent of the Civil War. The California Volunteers depended heavily upon Pima food and forage crops, adding value to the Pima economy. While the Pima served notice that their land 200 A treaty was made April 9, 1863 at Ft. Yuma between southern Arizona tribes, including representatives of the Mohave, Pima, Papago, Maricopa, Quechan, Chemehuevi and Hualapai. The purpose of the treaty was to bring peace to the area, which would then allow mineral exploration to increase. RG 75, M734, Records of the Arizona Superintendency, Roll 8.
201 “Walker to Collins,” dated December 2, 1859. See also “Walker to Collins,” dated June 8, 1860, Tucson, New Mexico, in RG 75, T21, Records of the New Mexico Superintendency, 1849-1880, (Letters Received from the Agencies, 1859-1860), roll 4.
202 “Mowry to Greenwood,” dated November 21, 1859, p. 359.
115 and resources were under their sovereign control, in the post-Civil War years the United States encouraged settlement of the territory. In the following chapter, I examine those events that enabled the Pima to reach the zenith of their agricultural economy in the nineteenth century. By the end of the decade, the Pima stood on the precipice of farreaching cultural change. While in former years they controlled their own destiny, the rapidity of change brought about by the Civil War, diminished Pima sovereignty as federal policies disadvantaged the Indians and resulted in emigrants settling in the Gila and Salt River valleys where they diverted an increasing amount of water from the same