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ford of Arizona. While absolute accuracy cannot be expected of notes so hastily taken, the sketch will nevertheless give an approximately correct idea of the features and resources of a region as yet so little known.


In its general features this portion of Arizona presents a constant succession of mountain ranges, spurs, and offshoots from the great central chains of the continent. None of these are of very great length, except, perhaps, the Sierra Blanca, but they all obtain a considerable elevation above the sea-level, and being cut up by deep cañons and gorges offer very often great obstacles to the construction of roads. Between these sierras are, in general, to be found level plains or "playas," covered with a good growth of the various grasses peculiar to the Southwest, and consequently well adapted to the purpose of stock-raising.

Commencing on the north, there is the Sierra Ancha, otherwise called the Tonto Mountains; immediately to the south and east, separated by the Rio Salado from the former, the Apache Mountains, cut up by cañons and ravines, but well watered; farther to the east, and upon the other side of the Rio San Carlos, are the Picachos de San Carlos; to the north, and slightly to the east the Sierra Natanes, and farthest to the north and making an elbow to the east and south, the Sierra Blanca and the Mogollon Mountains. South of the Apache Mountains, and bordering close upon the Rio Gila, (proceeding from west to east,) are the Sierra Pinal, Sierra Mescal, and the Cordillera Gileña.

Still farther south, and bordering upon the left bank of the Gila, are the isolated peaks called the Dos Narices or the Saddle Mountains and the northern end of the Pinaleño and Mount Trimble and Mount Graham. The Sierra Blanca trends from north to south for the greater portion of its length, but the short arm of this range has a general course from east to west. The Pinal, Mescal, and Cordillera Gileña cross the course of the River Gila obliquely, and the San Catarina, San Pedro, Pinaleño and some smaller ranges run also about northwest and southeast.

The Guachuca Mountains and the Sierra San José are upon the Sonora line, as is also the southern extremity of the Dragoon Range; the only other range of importance is the Santa Rita in the extreme southern portion of the Territory. It would be impossible to form from a sketch thus hurriedly compiled any accurate view of the general trend and arrangement of these ranges, while the lack of proper facilities prevents the completion of a topographical chart; yet as these mountains, in addition to being prominent landmarks, contain inexhaustible mineral treasure, it has been considered advisable to give them particular mention.

Among the "playas" of largest extent is the valley or "playa" of San Domingo, which extends on the east well into New Mexico. It has a few streams of no consequence.

The country in the vicinity of the capital is a large plain, extending from the San Catarina range on the north to the Sierra Mesteñes, or Whetstone Mountains on the southeast, and thence bearing away to the northwest until it runs into the plains bordering upon the Gila. The last, but most fertile and valuable, is the stretch of country from the southern side of the Sierra Mesteñes to the northern side of the Sierra Guachuca. Hemmed in on the west by the little hills called the Barbacomara, it unites at the eastern extremity of the Guachuca range with a fertile valley now belonging to Sonora, and bounded by the Sierra

Guachuca and Sierra Cananea on the north and south respectively. This is the garden spot of Southern Arizona. Abundantly provided with water by the Rio San Pedro, Rio Barbacomara, Rio Cananea, and their little affluents, it offers to the enterprising agriculturist a field of labor which would undoubtedly prove highly remunerative. Covered with rich grasses all the year, having an abundance of fine timber and building-stone in the neighboring mountains, it will yet prove to be one of the richest districts of the Southwest. In this favored section should also be included the valley of the Sonoita and the country around Camp Crittenden, which will, however, be treated of under the proper head. The rivers and streams are the Gila and its tributaries, some of which, however, sink before reaching the main stream.

The Gila rises in New Mexico, in the mountains north and west of Fort Bayard, flows in a tortuous course to west and somewhat to the south until it reaches the Colorado, at or near Fort Yuma. It is a very narrow stream, with a swift current, shallow during most of the year, but in the rainy season vastly increasing its volume. Its banks are fringed with cottonwoods, ash, and willows. Shortly after crossing the one hundred and ninth meridian it passes through an abrupt cañon, of no great depth, but great beauty; another cañon, called the Grand Cañon of the Gila, is passed before it meets the San Pedro. Much of the region through which it flows before passing Mount Trimble and Mount Graham shows decided evidence of volcanic action, lava, basalt, obsidian, and such minerals being found everywhere. West of these mountains the traces of water are upon all the hills.

The principal tributaries are (in Arizona) between 109° and 110° west, flowing in from the north, the Natros, the Prieto, the Bonito, and another stream to the east of the Bonito, and at present without a name. The San Domingo is supposed to join it from the south, but is an underground stream.

Between 110° and 1110 west are, upon the north, the Rio San Carlos and the Wallen Creek, the latter an unimportant stream; upon the south, the San Pedro, a river of considerable length and consequence and the Rock and Deer Creek, these last being, however, dry during the greater part of the year. Between 1110 and 1130 west, upon the north are the stream called Mineral Creek and the Salt River, while upon the south there is the Santa Cruz, which sinks before it joins. Of these the Rio Salado, or Salt River, the San Pedro, San Carlos, Bonito. Prieto, and Santa Cruz, with their tributaries, will be considered. The Rio Natros more properly belongs to New Mexico. It has one affluent, the Rio Azul.

The Salado is formed in the Mogollon Mountains, by the junction of two small streams; flows in a general southwest direction, and empties into the Gila between 1120 and 113° west longitude. Its main branch is the Verde, a considerable stream, which joins it from the north, but is beyond the limits of the district here described. The Salt River also has two small tributaries, the Pinto, (with its branch, the Pappoose,) and the Pinal, both of which rise in the Pinal Mountains, and flow north, join ing the Salado about ten miles apart.

Rio San Carlos rises in the Sierra Blanca region, and after flowing southwest receives one branch, the Rio Alisos, about twelve miles above its junction with the Gila. Rio San Pedro is formed in Sonora, about thirty miles above the American line, by the confluence of two streams, the Rincon de Burro from the east and the Cananea from the west. These little streams rise in the mountains of the same name. The San Pedro flows north-northwest for about one hundred and fifty miles and

empties into the Gila, fourteen miles beyond the point where it (the San Pedro) has received its principal tributary, the Aravaypa. Proceeding down the stream from its source, there are from the east the San José, a small rivulet from the Sierra Dragones, Prospect Creek, and finally the Aravaypa. On the west there are one small stream from the south side of the Sierra Guachuca, the Barbacomora, and a brook from the San Pedro Mountains, about seventy-five miles from its source. There are others, but none of permanence or importance. The San Pedro along the longest part of its course flows between clay banks, and is very narrow; its valley is one of the most beautiful in the Territory, and will be in time filled with a prosperous population.

The Bonito rises in the Sierra Blanca, flows south through a wonderful cañon, and pours its waters into the Gila, about thirty-five or forty miles due west of the New Mexican line; it is very narrow, but very swift and of some volume. No tributaries of much account join it, and it is about seventy-five miles long. The Rio Prieto, for about twenty-five or thirty miles before entering the Gila, flows parallel to the Bonito. Its course beyond that is more to the southwest. It always contains a great deal of water, but the streams flowing into it are of little volume. The Santa Cruz rises in a spur of the Sierra Guachuca, flows south into Sonora until it reaches the town of Santa Cruz, where it bends to the west, and after flowing in this direction about thirty miles turns north-northwest, passing over the line into Arizona. It sinks just below Tucson, and its waters are supposed to reach the Gila near Maricopa Wells. The principal tributary of this river is the Sonoita, coming in on the east ; there are also one or two affluents from the Sierra Guachuca. The entire valley of the Santa Cruz is very fertile, producing in great abundance nearly all the vegetables found in the Middle States. Barley is the principal cereal.

The future prosperity of this section will be mainly dependent upon two sources, mining and stock-raising. The indications of gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, and manganese can be observed in every mountain, the Sierra Guachuca being especially rich in the first three. Silver and gold, iron and manganese undoubtedly exist in great abundance in the elevated country bordering upon the Bonito and Prieto. A large silver lead has been discovered in the hills back of the village of Tres Alamos, while tradition has it the Cañon de Oro, in the San Catarina, contains a valuable mine formerly worked by the Jesuit fathers and by them abandoned on account of Indian depredations. Nearly all the valuable building stones are found. Granite, porphyry, and sandstone are in nearly all the mountains. Sulphate of lime, in the form of alabaster and gypsum, is met with in great quantity in the Aravaypa Cañon, while a valuable quarry of hard limestone exists near Camp Grant on the San Pedro, and an abundance of it is known to occur in the Sierra Blanca. The hilly country appears in general to be adapted to the rearing of sheep, while the less elevated portions could again, as formerly, be divided into large ranches for beef cattle and horses. It is said that a generation ago, before the occupation of the country by the American forces, large droves and herds of mustangs and wild cattle were raised in the valley of the San Pedro and the Barbacomara, but the constant incursions of the Apaches have since occasioned the abandonment of most of the ranches. The great number of deserted corrals and houses affords ample and melancholy evidence that the Government has completely ignored the interests and advancement of this portion of its territory. The soil, though nearly always requiring irrigation, yields an abundant return for the labor bestowed upon it, and such is the genial

nature of the climate that two crops of vegetables can without difficulty be obtained every year. The only obstacle to the prosperity of the coun try, as far as natural resources are concerned, is the lack of wood, yet this want is more apparent than real. In the Sierra Guachuca, San José, Pinal, and upon the Santa Rita and portions of the San Catarina Moun tains, plenty of fine pine timber is procurable, a large saw-mill being now in successful operation near the Sonoita settlement. The southern boundary of the "pine belt" of Arizona crosses the northern slope of the Apache Mountains. Cottonwoods, ash, and willows are found on the banks of all the streams, the first named being serviceable for posts and sills, but not of much account otherwise. The ash is a very hard wood and very durable. The "roble," or scrub oak, is encountered more frequently than any other tree except the mesquit; it affords very good fuel. The mesquite is a tree in favor of which much may be said; in the adjoining Territory of New Mexico it never reaches more than the alti tude of a bush; here it attains the dignity of a tree. Trunk and branches furnish excellent firewood, but the heat evolved by the combustion of its enormous roots exceeds that of either the oak or hickory. The few specimens of furniture constructed from this wood indicate by their beauty and durability its value to the cabinet-maker. The "beans" are much relished as food by horses, and the Indians use them to make a kind of cake, which is not unpalatable. The gum exuding from the branches in the months of October and November is very similar to the gum arabic of commerce and is applied by the Mexicans to the same purposes and as a medicine. The piñon is something like the cedar, is a good fuel, and produces a quantity of balsamic resin which has the taste and odor of turpentine; the nuts are edible. The manzanita has a very fragile but handsome wood; the berries are similar to "bear berries."

This portion of Arizona is not as well provided with game as are the regions lying closer to the Sierra Blanca and those in the northwest, nevertheless, deer, antelope, and bears are by no means uncommon. Wild turkeys are often found, and so are ducks and quails. The fish are very insipid, excepting those found in the Santa Cruz.

The supplies of the country are drawn from three sources: from California, by way of Fort Yuma; om Guaymas, through Sonora; and from the city of St. Louis, via Santa Fé. The pressing need of railroad communication is manifest, and hopes are now entertained that the early construction of the thirty-second parallel road will soon remedy the deficiency. So much ability has already been displayed and wasted in demonstrating the practicability of the various proposed routes that the extension of the limits of this sketch for any such purpose would be unnecessary and uncalled for. One thing appears evident, that the Territories of New Mexico and Arizona would derive great benefit from the construction of the line, but the United States would derive quite as much and more. The early completion of a road from the Atlantic to the Pacific, over which travel would never be impeded by the snows of winter, coupled with the great development of trade between our own country and the Mexican provinces of Sonora, Chihuahua, and Durango seems to offer inducements not to be disregarded. Emigration pouring in would soon solve the Indian problem by the extermination or complete subjugation of the hostile tribes, while the Territory, finding its natural outlet to the Pacific in the annexation of the port of Guaymas, would soon take its place among the most prosperous of the Western States.

No part of the country can possibly offer greater inducements to the stock-raiser than the valley of the Barbacomara and the Upper San

Pedro. Covered with a perennial growth of the richest grasses, well watered by numerous springs and streamlets from the neighboring mountains, this region has a climate so mild that stock would thrive the year round without shelter, save that which would be afforded against the fervid summer sun by the numerous evergreen trees, extending well into the plain.

Nor is this country devoid of beautiful scenery. The cañons of the Colorado can scarcely surpass those of the Bonito, and of the Aravaypa. The walls of the former tower to an imposing height, (nearly 1,500 feet,) and present but one or two difficult avenues of egress for a distance of thirty or forty miles. The cañon of the Aravaypa has been referred to in the recent work of Dr. Bell, "New Tracks in North America." The country lying more to the south does not present as bold an aspect, the peaks being less elevated and the cañons less abrupt. The numerous valleys, each provided with springs or streams and clothed with verdure during the entire year, make the landscape more interesting, if less impressive. From the summits of the mountains, forests and groves stretch down the sides, affording an agreeable contrast to the extensive plains below. The abundance of wild grapes growing luxuriantly from vines which have embraced some of the oldest trees indicate the adaptability of the soil to the culture of this fruit. In the low-lands perpetual summer reigns upon the hills, and in the cañons spring is the only season, but upon the mountain-tops can be experienced winds as severe as those of a northern autumn.


The development of the mineral resources of Arizona has hardly begun, although the territorial government has been organized about eight years. It will be asked why this is so, if the Territory really contains these various mineral deposits; and the invariable answer of those acquainted with the conditions surrounding mining enterprises in that country will be, because the Apaches infest the Territory. This one fact, coupled perhaps, in some parts of the country, with high freights, is really the principal obstacle, not alone to mining, but also to agriculture, and in fact all other occupations..

It is true, the southern and western portions of Arizona are excessively hot in the summer months, and water is here scarce in the mountains at that time, but the same may be said of portions of Nevada; yet mining is successfully carried on in that State, and assumes yearly greater proportions. Again, as to high freights, it is well known that all the Western States and Territories have had to contend, to within a year or two ago, with the same difficulty, and it did not prevent the mining of the precious metals, though it has crippled the industry very much in times past.

But in none of those States and Territories have the settlers had to contend with foes like the Apaches. Their hostility to the white man, as well as to other Indian tribes, has been displayed by them, and found vent for years in a sort of guerilla warfare, which, with the limited number of troops at its disposal, the Government has thus far found itself unable to terminate successfully. And, to aggravate the situation, the peculiar climate and configuration of the surface of the Territory are the best allies the Apaches could wish for. The broad gravel plains without water, as well as the rugged mountains, forbid a sufficiently rapid prosecution of the Indians, when, after their frequent foraging expedi tions, they beat a hasty retreat to their mountain strongholds, where

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