«Item type text; Electronic Dissertation Authors DeJong, David Henry Publisher The University of Arizona. Rights Copyright © is held by the author. ...»
297 Ruggles had earlier reported to Dent that the Pima Reservation was the only safe spot from Apache raiding in all of southern Arizona. Not surprisingly, nearby settlers stayed near or entered the reservation during Apache uprisings. “Ruggles to Dent,” dated Pima villages, June 20, 1867.
298 “Milton Cogswell to Thomas C. Devin,” dated Headquarters Sub-District of the Verde, Camp McDowell, Arizona Territory, November 28, 1869, RG 75, M734, Roll 4.
146 incursion of Mexicans and Americans “with an unfriendly eye.”299 As early as June 1869, Interior Secretary J. D. Cox requested the U.S. Army to “remove all intruders from the reservation” and “to protect [the Indians] in their occupancy of the land, and in the right to the waters of the Gila for purposes of irrigation.”300 While the military was asked to protect Pima land and water—including the head of the Little Gila River—from encroachment, federal land laws encouraged settlement in complete disregard of Pima rights.
The crisis erupted in 1869. Following a disastrous flood the previous year that destroyed three Pima villages, the Sacaton and Casa Blanca trading posts and the Casa Blanca flour mill (Camp McDowell recorded 19.84 inches of rain during fiscal year 1869), and a poor crop in 1869, the Pima openly resisted the settlers who encroached on their ancestral land above the reservation. A detachment of troops from Camp McDowell was sent to “quell the disturbance,” although the military was in no position to war against the Pima. In the fall, 400 Indians—mainly Pima—left the reservation and claimed the fields of Mexican settlers near Adamsville, where they gathered up the corn and bean crop.301 Meanwhile, another group of Pima took up land off the reservation, clearly an attempt to protect the headwaters of the Little Gila River. A third group clashed with settlers in October, again demonstrating a Pima desire for the land immediately above 299 “Roger Jones to Randolph B.
Marcy,” dated Washington D.C., July 21, 1869, Records of the Inspector General (Washington, DC:
Government Printing Office, 1870), p. 662.
300 “J.D. Cox, Secretary of the Interior, to John Rawlins, Secretary of War,” dated Department of Interior, Washington, DC, June 9, 1869, RG 393, Records of the U.S. Army Continental Commands, 1821-1920, M1120, Fort Mojave, Letters Sent and Received, 1859Roll 6.
301 “Frederick Grossman to George W. Andrews,” dated Sacaton, Arizona Territory, November 9, 1869, RG 75, M734, Roll 3. When Grossman distributed the annual goods to the Indians, in February 1870, he refused to give any goods to the Kee-Kee-Ma Village, the village allegedly responsible for the depredations at Adamsville. See “Frederick Grossman to George W. Andrews,” February 15, 1870, RG 75, M734, Roll 4. The Weekly Arizona Miner reported the Gila at flood stage was four miles wide and that it had “destroyed everything with which it came in contact,” including 75,000 pounds of grain in Sacaton belonging to trader George F. Hooper. The loss of property and crops on the reservation was reported at “upwards of $30,000.” Weekly Arizona Miner, September 26, 1868, p. 3.
147 their reservation. Poor rainfall in 1870 left Pima crops in ruin, with Antonio Azul publicly admitting he could no longer preserve order among the Pima.302 While the Pima did not war against the United States, they were clearly pressuring the government to expand the reservation to include the land, water and natural spring above the villages.
Andrews, seeking to pacify the Pima, instructed Grossman to provide food and other goods to keep the Indians peaceful.
By 1871, the water situation was critical on the reservation. In October, newly appointed Pima agent John H. Stout informed Vincent Colyer, chairman of the newly created Board of Indian Commissioners, that “not a drop of water” had reached the Pima fields. “The time for preparing their lands is now at hand,” Stout continued, “but having no water they can do nothing.”303 The Indians blamed the settlers for taking their water. In despair, village Captain Kihua Chinkum visited Stout and explained the challenges facing his people. For many years, the village headman explained, the Pima “lived from what they planted,” but now they were without water. Nearly destitute, the Pima were prepared to forcibly drive the Mexican and American settlers out of the valley. After an hour of heated discussion, Stout convinced Kihua Chinkum that violence was foolish.
Nevertheless, the Pima headman warned that if water was not forthcoming within the month, his people would join a number of Indian families that had already settled along the Salt River. The next day Ku-vit-ke-chin, chief of Va Vak village, announced that his
for Arizona Territory, that the Pima were leaving the reservation, stealing cattle and horses and destroying non-Indian crops. The only way to resolve their “just complaints,” he suggested, was to give the Indians “a certainty of water-privileges for irrigating purposes” and enlarge their reservation. The former could only be accomplished by constructing “permanent dams of masonry” and “large irrigation canals, not ditches” that might lead water down both sides of the Gila so as to furnish sufficient irrigation.
Without government assistance, Grossman opined, the Pima “are not equal to this herculean task.”305 To ease the tensions along the Gila, Parker urged Interior Secretary Columbus Delano to enlarge the reservation by 81,140 acres. Although the military supported the proposition, Territorial Governors A. P. K. Safford and Richard C. McCormick
vehemently opposed any extension.306 On August 4, Andrews was ordered to survey the proposed extension, adopting the departmental position that the 1859 reservation provided ample room for the Indians. Nonetheless, Andrews learned firsthand from Antonio Azul and Juan Cheveria that the Indians desired the return of 5,200 square miles (3,428,000 acres) of aboriginal land along the Gila River so they might irrigate their crops, graze their animals, and gather beans from the mesquite lands.307 Grossman’s assessment of the situation highlighted the ongoing challenges. He informed Andrews that the Pima had been promised by authorized agents of the government that their claim for “more land and water” would be considered. A tone of frustration crept in when Grossman reminded his superiors that “the Indians asserted that years ago they had been promised a settlement of the water question; claimed that the whole Gila River Valley had been the property of their forefathers from time immemorial, and asked that the settlers should not be allowed to occupy lands so long considered by the Indians as their property.”308 Fearing that without water the Indians would be “subject to such contingencies as may be produced by scarcity,” Bendell strongly supported Parker’s idea of expanding the reservation.309 Government surveyors entered the field in April 1870 and surveyed an extension according to departmental limitations. Grossman reported the boundaries were “well 306 John A. Rawlins, Secretary of War; Major General E.O.C. Ord, Commander of the Department of California; and Brevet Brigadier General Thomas C. Devin, Commander of the Sub-District of Southern Arizona all favored the extension of the reservation. The Arizona Weekly Citizen also opposed the extension. See the Arizona Weekly Citizen October 15, 1870, (1:2); January 14, 1871, (1:14);
and April 8, 1871, (1:26). McCormick traveled to Washington to personally oppose the extension in February of 1871.
307 Survey of Pima and Maricopa Reservation, “George W. Andrews to Ely Parker,” August 18, 1870, House Executive Document 139, 41st Congress, 3rd Session, (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1871), p. 3. “Roger Jones to R. B. Macy,” dated Inspector General’s Office, San Francisco, Ca. in Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior, 1869, pp. 219-220.
308 “Frederick Grossman to George W. Andrews,” dated September 1, 1870, in Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior, 1870, p.
309 “Herman Bendell to Ely Parker,” dated August 22, 1871, in Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1871, p. 766.
150 known” to the Pima who were anxious for Congress to act on the extension. One reason the Pima were anxious to secure the land was because the proposed extension to the east encompassed the “fine facilities for irrigation” at the head of the Little Gila River. These were lands on which Mexican and American farmers were attempting to settle—and lands the Pima knew they must protect in order to ensure delivery of water to their lands on the south bank. Parker reminded the government to either extend the reservation or provide “ample homesteads in severalty” to the Pima.310 By fall, the survey had been completed with all supporting documents forwarded to Washington, D.C. Every effort was made to avoid “any possible interference with the settlers and at the same time satisfy the reasonable demands of the Indians.” By doing so, Andrews believed the government promise to the Pima had been fulfilled. The superintendent encouraged the Indian Service to act speedily to avoid further encroachment, “which must eventually lead to a collision.” The danger was imminent that fall as the Gila River had been “very low all the season.”311 The eastern extension included “nearly all the arable land and water privileges” that were proposed to be added to the reservation. In addition to “increase[ing] the Indians facilities for raising crops” the extension would also “quiet their complaints about the settlers using their water” and theoretically deprive the Pima of any reason to depredate. But while settlers along the Gila and in the Salt River Valley were able to plant a second crop in the summer of 1871, Pima farmers were left with inadequate water. In desperation, the Maricopa relocated off the reservation near the confluence of
the Salt and Gila rivers, where they again planted their fields. The Pima, meanwhile, drifted to the eastern end of the reservation searching for seepage water along the Gila.312 The Indian Service had ulterior motives for not diligently pursuing the extension of the reservation. While Parker cited the 1859 legislation creating the reservation as prohibiting any extension absent Congressional approval, the government was working towards a policy that would remove the Indians from Arizona to the Indian Territory.
This policy was shaped by eastern humanitarians, public opinion and the desire to develop the Gila and Salt River valleys.313 In 1872, Commissioner Francis A. Walker further explained the Indian Service was specifically contemplating the removal of the Pima and Maricopa to the Indian Territory.314 As the water crisis deepened, public opinion shifted. No longer considered trusted allies, newspapers referred to the Pima as degenerate, insolent and dangerous. The Arizona Weekly Citizen vowed that if the Indians did not cease their depredations in the Salt River Valley there would “be such blood letting of the Pima kind as will cause a greater howl in the East than did the few drops [of Apache blood] shed near Camp Grant a short time ago.”315 Nor did the Pima view the Americans as they once had. While the Pima had taken “pleasure in feeding and assisting travelers,” they were now “reserved and uncommunicative,” fearing the loss of their land, women and water.316 Apache warfare also influenced public opinion in Arizona. Politicians and 312 “Bendell to Parker,” Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1871, p. 766. The proposed extension would add 23,120 acres on the western and 58,020 acres on the southeastern end of the Pima Reservation, far short of the Indians original holdings.
313 Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1869, p. 19.
314 “Report of Francis A. Walker to Columbus Delano,” November 1, 1872, Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1872, p. 57.
315 Arizona Weekly Citizen, dated Tucson, Pima County, September 9, 1871 (1:48). On October 26, 1872, (3:3) the Citizen reported a similar occurrence.
316 J.H. Beadle, The Undeveloped West: or Five Years in the Territories (Philadelphia: National Publishing Company, 1873), pp. 611civilians, hoping to increase military protection, over-dramatized Indian-white hostilities in the territory. Without additional protection, territorial politicians and business interests feared reduced immigration and eastern capital investment, both of which were essential to exploit the rich natural resources in the territory.317 In March of 1872, Brigadier General Oliver Otis Howard arrived in Arizona to initiate President Grant’s Peace Policy among the Arizona tribes.318 Recently arrived Pima missionary Charles H. Cook met Howard at Ft. Yuma and accompanied him up the Gila and Salt rivers to Camp McDowell, where they met with General George Crook, commander of the Department of Arizona. Howard visited the Pima Reservation on the second of May, finding the Pima restless and complaining that Mexican and American settlers continued diverting their water. Lack of rain compounded their hardship. Howard informed Interior Secretary Columbus Delano that a large number of Pima and Maricopa had moved to the Salt River Valley, causing still more problems. “Pima horses get upon a farm,” Howard explained, “they are taken up or shot; retaliation comes, a house is burned, and the Pimas, as a whole, are blamed.”319 Howard suggested several possible solutions to the ongoing water problem.
Howard’s first alternative was for the government to extend the eastern boundary of the reservation to include the area around Adamsville, although he advised against this as it would involve the expense of buying up existing land claims and would not resolve the water question. Second, the government could extend the reservation as far east as 317 Jay Wagoner, Arizona Territory 1863-1912 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1970), p. 124.
318 Vincent Colyer, chairman of the Board of Indian Commissioners, had been sent by Grant, in 1871, to negotiate peace with the tribes in Arizona. The War Department—as well as most territorial newspapers—opposed Colyer’s efforts and succeeded in convincing Grant to dispatch Howard to the territory. Colyer did nothing to protect Pima water rights.