The Brooklyn, of 450 tons burden, had sailed from New York February 4, 1846, the date happening to be the same as that on which began the exodus from Nauvoo westward. The voyage was an authorized expedition, counseled by President Brigham Young and his advisers in the early winter. At one time it was expected that thousands would take the water route to the west shore, on their way to the Promised Land. Elder Samuel Brannan was in charge of the first company, which mainly consisted of American farmer folk from the eastern and middle-western States. The ship had been chartered for $1200 a month and port charges. Fare had been set at $50 for all above fourteen years and half-fare for children above five. Addition was made of $25 for provisions. The passengers embraced seventy men, 68 women and about 100 children. There was a freight of farming implements and tools, seeds, a printing press, many school books, etc.
The voyage appears to have been even a pleasant one, though with a few notations of sickness, deaths and births and of trials that set a small number of the passengers aside from the Church. Around Cape Horn and as far as the Robinson Crusoe island of Juan Fernandez, off the Chilian coast, the seas were calm. Thereafter were two storms of serious sort, but without phase of disaster to the pilgrims. The next stop was at Honolulu, on the Hawaiian Islands, thence the course being fair for the Golden Gate.
When Captain Richardson dropped his anchors in the cove of Yerba Buena it appears to have been the first time that the emigrants appreciated they had arrived at anything save a colony of old Mexico. But when a naval officer boarded the ship and advised the passengers they were in the United States, "there arose a hearty cheer," though Brannan has been quoted as hardly pleased over the sight of the Stars and Stripes.
Beginnings of a Great City
As written by Augusta Joyce Cocheron, one of the emigrants:
"They crowded upon the deck, women and children, questioning husbands and fathers, and studied the picture before them—they would never see it just the same again—as the foggy curtains furled towards the azure ceiling. How it imprinted itself upon their minds! A long sandy beach strewn with hides and skeletons of slaughtered cattle, a few scrubby oaks, farther back low sand hills rising behind each other as a background to a few old shanties that leaned away from the wind, an old adobe barracks, a few donkeys plodding dejectedly along beneath towering bundles of wood, a few loungers stretched lazily upon the beach as though nothing could astonish them; and between the picture and the emigrants still loomed up here and there, at the first sight more distinctly, the black vessels—whaling ships and sloops of war—that was all, and that was Yerba Buena, now San Francisco, the landing place for the pilgrims of faith."
In John P. Young's "Journalism in California" is recited:
"It is not without significance that the awakening of Yerba Buena did not occur till the advent of the printing press. From the day when Leese built his store in 1836 till the arrival of the Mormon colony on July 31, 1846, the village retained all the peculiarities of a poverty-stricken settlement of the Spanish-American type. From that time forward changes began to occur indicative of advancement and it is impossible to disassociate them from the fact that a part of the Brooklyn's cargo was a press and a font of type, and that the 238 colonists aboard that vessel and others who found their way to the little town, brought with them books—more, one careful writer tells us, than could be found at the time in all the rest of the Territory put together."
Brannan and his California Star had a part in the very naming of San Francisco. This occurred January 30, 1847, rather hurried by discovery of the fact that a rival settlement on the upper bay proposed to take the name. So there was formal announcement in the Star that, from that date forward, there would be abandonment of the name Yerba Buena, as local and appertaining only to the cove, and adoption of the name of San Francisco. This announcement was signed by the Alcalde, Lieut. Washington A. Bartlett, who had been detached by Capt. J. B. Montgomery from the man-of-war Portsmouth on September 15, 1846, and who rejoined his ship the following February.
One of the Brooklyn's passengers in later years became a leader in the settlement of Mesa, Arizona. He was Geo. W. Sirrine, a millwright, whose history has been preserved by a son, Warren L. Sirrine of Mesa. The elder Sirrine was married on the ship, of which and its voyage he left many interesting tales, one being of a drift to the southward on beating around Cape Horn, till icebergs loomed and the men had to be detailed to the task of beating the rigging with clubs to rid it of ice. When danger threatened there was resort to prayer, but work soon followed as the passengers bore a hand with the crew.
Sirrine, who had had police experience in the East, was of large assistance to Brannan in San Francisco, where the rougher element for a time seized control, taking property at will and shooting down all who might disagree with their sway. It was he who arrested Jack Powers, leader of the outlaws, in a meeting that was being addressed by Brannan, and who helped in the provision of evidence under which the naval authorities eliminated over fifty of the desperados, some of them shipping on the war vessels in port. Some of the Mormons still had a part of their passage money unpaid and these promptly proceeded to find employment to satisfy their debt. The pilgrims' loyalty appears to have been of the highest. They had purchased arms in Honolulu and had had some drill on the passage thence. At least on one occasion, they rallied in San Francisco when alarm sounded that hostile Mexicans might attack.
According to Eldridge, historian of San Francisco:
"The landing of the Mormons more than doubled the population of Yerba Buena. They camped for a time on the beach and the vacant lots, then some went to the Marin forests to work as lumbermen, some were housed in the old Mission buildings and others in Richardson's Casa Grande (big house) on Dupont Street. They were honest and industrious people and all sought work wherever they could find it."
Brannan's Hope of Pacific Empire
A party of twenty pioneers was sent over to the San Joaquin Valley, to found the settlement of New Hope, or Stanislaus City, on the lower Stanislaus River, but the greater number for a while remained on the bay, making San Francisco, according to Bancroft, "for a time very largely a Mormon town. All bear witness to the orderly and moral conduct of the Saints, both on land and sea. They were honest and industrious citizens, even if clannish and peculiar." There was some complaint against Brannan, charged with working the Church membership for his own personal benefit.
New Hope had development that comprised a log house, a sawmill and the cultivation of eighty acres of land. It was abandoned in the fall, after word had been received that the main body of the Saints, traveling overland, would settle in the valley of the Great Salt Lake. Brannan pushed with vigor his idea that the proper location would be in California. He started eastward to present this argument and met the western migration at Green River in July, and unsuccessfully argued with Brigham Young, returning with the vanguard as far as Salt Lake. His return to San Francisco was in September, on his way there being encounter with several parties from the Mormon Battalion, to them Brannan communicating rather gloomy ideas concerning the new site of Zion.
It is one of the many remarkable evidences of the strength of the Mormon religious spirit that only 45 adults of the Brooklyn party, with their children, remained in California, even after the discovery of gold. The others made their way across the Sierra Nevadas and the deserts, to join their people in the intermountain valley. A few were cut off from the Church. These included Brannan, who gathered large wealth, but who died, poor, in Mexico, in 1889.
There might be speculation over what would have been the fate of the Mormon Church had Brannan's idea prevailed and the tide of the Nauvoo exodus continued to California. Probably the individual pilgrims thereby might have amassed worldly wealth. Possibly there might have been established in the California valleys even richer Mormon settlements than those that now dot the map of the intermountain region. But that such a course would have been relatively disruptive of the basic plans of the leaders there can be no doubt, and it is also without doubt that under a condition of greater material wealth there would have been diminished spiritual interest.
Possibly even better was the grasp upon the people shown in Utah at the time of the passage of the California emigrants, in trains of hypnotized groups all crazed by lust for the gold assumed to be in California for the gathering. The Mormons sold them provisions and helped them on their way, yet added few to their numbers.
In after years, President Lorenzo Snow, referring to the Brannan effort, stated his belief that it would have been nothing short of disastrous to the Church had the people gone to California before they had become grounded in the faith. They needed just the experiences they had had in the valley of Salt Lake, where home-making was the predominant thought and where wealth later came on a more permanent basis.
Present at the Discovery of Gold
By a remarkable freak of fortune, about forty of the members of the Mormon Battalion discharged at Los Angeles, were on hand at the time of the discovery of gold in California. Divided into companies, they had made their way northward, expecting to pass the Sierras before the coming of snow. They found work at Sutter's Fort and nearby in the building of a sawmill and a grist-mill and six of them (out of nine employees) actually participated in the historic picking up of chunks of gold from the tailrace they had dug under the direction of J. W. Marshall. Sutter in after years wrote: "The Mormons did not leave my mill unfinished, but they got the gold fever like everybody else." They mined especially on what, to this day, is known as Mormon Island, on the American River, and undoubtedly the wealth they later took across the mountains did much toward laying a substantial foundation for the Zion established in the wilderness.
Henry W. Bigler, of the gold discovery party, kept a careful journal of his California experiences, a journal from which Bancroft makes many excerpts. An odd error is in the indexing of the Bancroft volumes on California, Henry W. Bigler being confused with John Bigler. The latter was governor of California in 1852-55. A truckling California legislature unsuccessfully tried to fasten his name upon Lake Tahoe. But the Mormon pioneer turned his back upon the golden sands after only a few months of digging, and later, for years, was connected with the Mormon temple at St. George, Utah.
January 24, 1898, four of the six returned to San Francisco, guests of the State of California in its celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of gold. They were Henry W. Bigler, Jas. S. Brown, Wm. J. Johnston and Azariah Smith. A group photograph, then taken, is reproduced in this volume. The others of the Mormon gold discoverers, Alexander Stephens and James Barger, had died before that date.
Looking Toward Southern California
All through the Church administration led by Brigham Young there was evidence of well-defined intention to spread the Church influence southward into Mexico and, possibly tracking back the steps of the Nephites and Lamanites, to work even into South America. There seemed an attraction in the enormous agricultural possibilities of Southern California. The long-headed Church President, figuring the commercial and agricultural advantages that lay in the Southwest, practically paved the way for the connection that since has come by rail with Los Angeles. It naturally resulted that the old Spanish trail that had been traversed by Dominguez and Escalante in 1776 was extended on down the Virgin River toward the southwest and soon became known as the Mormon Road. Over this road there was much travel. It was taken by emigrants bound from the East for California and proved the safest at all seasons of the year. It was used by the Mormons in restocking their herds and in securing supplies and for a while there was belief that the Colorado River could be utilized as a means of connecting steamboat transportation with the wagons that should haul from Callville, 350 miles from Salt Lake.
In 1851, nearly four years after the settlement at Salt Lake, President Young made suggestion that a company be organized, of possibly a score of families, to settle below Cajon Pass and cultivate the grape, olive, sugar cane and cotton and to found a station on a proposed Pacific mail route. There was expectation that the settlement later would be a gathering place for the Saints who might come from the islands of the Pacific, and even from Europe. The idea proved immensely popular, the suggestion having come after a typical Salt Lake winter, and the pilgrimage embraced about 500 individuals. President Young, at the time of their leaving, March 24, said he "was sick at the sight of so many Saints running to California, chiefly after the gods of this earth" and he expressed himself unable to address them. Arrival at San Bernardino was in June.
The Author has been fortunate in securing personal testimony from a member of this migration, Collins R. Hakes, who later was President of the Maricopa Stake at Mesa, and, later, head of the Bluewater settlement in New Mexico. The hegira was led by Amasa M. Lyman and Chas. C. Rich, prominent Mormon pioneers.
A short distance below Cajon Pass, Lyman and Rich in September purchased the Lugo ranch of nine square leagues, including an abandoned mission. They agreed to pay $77,500 in deferred payments, though the total sum rose eventually to $140,000. Even at that, this must be accounted a very reasonable price for nearly thirty square miles of land in the present wonderful valley of San Bernardino.
Forced From the Southland
With those of the Carson Valley, the California brethren mainly returned to Utah, late in 1857, or early in 1858, at the time of the Johnston invasion. Mr. Hakes gave additional details. On September 11, 1857, occurred the Mountain Meadows massacre in the southwest corner of Utah. This outrage, by a band of outlaws, emphatically discountenanced by the Church authorities and repugnant to Church doctrines, which denounce useless shedding of blood, was promptly charged, on the Pacific and, indeed, all over the Union, as something for which the Mormon organization itself was responsible. So it happened that, in December, 1857, J. Riley Morse, of the colony, rode southward post haste from Sacramento with the news that 200 mountain vigilantes were on their way to run the Mormons out of California. Not wishing to fight and not wishing to subject their families to abuse, about 400 of the San Bernardino settlers, within a few weeks, started for southern Utah, leaving only about twenty families. The news of this departure went to the Californians and they returned to their homes without completing their projected purpose. Many Church and coast references tell of the "recall" of the San Bernardino settlers, but Hakes' story appears ample in furnishing a reason for the departure. Many of these San Bernardino pioneers later came into Arizona. Those who remained prospered, and many of the families still are represented by descendants now in the Californian city. The settlement is believed to have been the first agricultural colony founded by persons of Anglo-Saxon descent in Southern California.
How Sirrine Saved the Gold
Geo. W. Sirrine, later of Mesa, had an important part in the details of the San Bernardino ranch purchase. Amasa M. Lyman and Chas. C. Rich went to San Francisco for the money needed for the first payment. They selected Sirrine to be their money carrier, entrusting him with $16,000, much of it in gold, the money presumably secured through Brannan. Sirrine took ship southward for San Pedro or Wilmington, carrying a carpenter chest in which the money was concealed in a pair of rubber boots, which he threw on the deck, with apparent carelessness, while his effects were searched by a couple of very rough characters. Delivery of the money was made without further incident of note. Sirrine helped survey the San Bernardino townsite, built a grist mill and operated it, logged at Bear Lake and freighted on the Mormon road. Charles Crismon, a skillful miller, also a central Arizona pioneer, for a while was associated with him. Crismon also built a sawmill in nearby mountains. Sirrine spent his San Bernardino earnings, about $10,000, in attempted development of a seam of coal on Point Loma, near San Diego, sinking a shaft 183 feet deep. He left California in 1858, taking with him to Salt Lake a wagonload of honey. In a biography of Charles Crismon, Jr., is found a claim that the elder Crismon took the first bees to Utah, from San Bernardino, in 1863. This may have added importance in view of the fact that Utah now is known as the Beehive State.
The State of Deseret
A Vast Intermountain Commonwealth
Probably unknown to a majority of Arizonans is the fact that the area of this State once was included within the State of Deseret, the domain the early Mormons laid out for themselves in the western wilds. The State of Deseret was a natural sort of entity, with a governor, with courts, peace officers and a militia. It was a great dream, yet a dream that had being and substance for a material stretch of time. Undoubtedly its conception was with Brigham Young, whose prophetic vision pictured the day when, under Mormon auspices, there would be development of the entire enormous basin of the Colorado River, with seaports on the Pacific. The name was not based upon the word "desert." It is a Book of Mormon designation for "honey bee."
This State of Deseret was a strictly Mormon institution, headed by the Church authorities and with the bishops of all the wards ex-officio magistrates. At the same time, there should be understanding that in nowise was it antagonistic to the government of the United States. It was a grand plan, under which there was hope that, with a population at the time of about 15,000, there might be admission of the intermountain region into the union of States.
The movement for the new State started with a call issued in 1849, addressed to all citizens of that portion of California lying east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. There was a convention in March, probably attended by very few outside the Church, despite the broadness of the plan. In the preamble of the constitution adopted there was recitation that Congress had failed to provide any civil government, so necessary for the peace, security and prosperity of society, that "all political power is inherent in the people, and governments instituted for their protection, security and benefit should emanate from the same." Therefore, there was recommendation of a constitution until the Congress should provide other government and admit the new State into the Union. There was expression of gratitude to the Supreme Being for blessings enjoyed and submission to the national government freely was acknowledged.
Boundary Lines Established
Deseret was to have boundaries as follows:
Commencing at the 33d parallel of north latitude, where it crosses the 108th deg. of longitude west of Greenwich; thence running south and west to the boundary of Mexico; thence west to and down the main channel of the Gila River (or the northern line of Mexico), and on the northern boundary of Lower California to the Pacific Ocean; thence along the coast northwesterly to 118 degrees, 30 minutes of west longitude; thence north to where said line intersects the dividing ridge of the Sierra Nevada Mountains; thence north along the summit of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the dividing range of mountains that separate the waters flowing into the Columbia from the waters running into the Great Basin; thence easterly along the dividing range of mountains that separate said waters flowing into the Columbia River on the north, from the waters flowing into the Great Basin on the south, to the summit of the Wind River chain of mountains; thence southeast and south by the dividing range of mountains that separate the waters flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from the waters flowing into the Gulf of California, to the place of beginning, as set forth in a map drawn by Charles Preuss, and published by order of the Senate of the United States in 1848.
This description needs some explanation. The point of beginning, as set forth, was at the headwaters of the Gila River near the Mexican line, which then, and until the Gadsden Purchase in 1854, followed down the Gila River to the Colorado. At that time the boundary between Upper and Lower California had been established to the point below San Diego, which thus became included within the territory claimed. Here, naturally, there was inclusion of practically all Southern California to a point near Santa Barbara. Thence the line ran northward and inland to the summit of the Sierra Nevadas, not far from Mt. Whitney. It followed the Sierra Nevadas to the northwestward, well within the present California line, up into northwestern Nevada, thence eastward through southern Idaho and Wyoming to about South Pass, where the eastern line was taken up southward, along the summit of the Rockies to the point of beginning. So, there was general inclusion of that part of California lying east of the Sierras, of all southern California, all Nevada and Utah, the southern portions of Oregon and Idaho, southwestern Wyoming, western Colorado, not reaching as far as Denver, western New Mexico and all Arizona north of the Gila.
There can be no doubt that the region embraced, probably too large for a State under modern conditions, at that time was as logical a division as could have been made, considering the semi-arid climatic conditions, natural boundaries, generally by great mountain ranges, a single watershed, that of the Colorado River, and, in addition to all these, the highway outlet to the Pacific Ocean, to the southwest, through a country where the mountains broke away, along the course of the Colorado, even then demonstrated the most feasible route from Great Salt Lake City to the ocean.
Segregation of the Western Territories
At no time was there more than assumption by this central Salt Lake government of authority over any part of the area of the State of Deseret, save within the central Utah district, where the settlers, less than two years established, were striving to carve out homes in what was to be the nucleus of this commonwealth of wondrous proportions.
There was nothing very unusual about the constitution. It was along the ordinary line of such documents, though the justices of the Supreme Court at first were chosen by the Legislature. Brigham Young was the first Governor, Willard Richards was Secretary and Heber C. Kimball Chief Justice.
The first Legislature met July 2, 1849, at Great Salt Lake City and supported an application to Congress for the organization of a territorial government. The boundaries of the Territory of Deseret were somewhat changed from the original. The northern line was to be the southern line of Oregon and to the east there was to be inclusion of most of the present State of Colorado. Another memorial, soon thereafter, asked admission as a full State and still another plan, later proposed, was that Deseret and California be admitted as a single State, with power to separate thereafter. This suggestion was not well received in California and had short life.
September 9, 1850, President Millard Fillmore signed a bill creating the Territory of Utah, to be bounded on the west by California, on the north by Oregon, on the east by the summit of the Rocky Mountains and on the south by the 37th parallel of north latitude. South of this parallel there had been recognition of New Mexico, which included the present Arizona. Thus was denial of the dream of an empire state that should embrace the entire inter-mountain region.
Early Roads and Travelers
Old Spanish Trail Through Utah
There can be little more than speculation concerning the extent of the use of the old Spanish Trail, through southern Utah, by the Spaniards. It is known, however, that considerable travel passed over it between Santa Fe and the California missions and settlements. In winter there was the disadvantage of snow in the Rockies and in summer were the aridity and heat of the Mohave desert. In Utah was danger from the Utes and farther westward from the Paiutes, but expeditions went well armed and exercised incessant watchfulness.
The much more direct route across Arizona on the 35th parallel was used by few Spaniards, though assuredly easier than that northward around the Canyon of the Colorado River. This direct route was traversed in 1598 by Juan de Onate, New Mexico's first Spanish governor, and, in 1776, Father Garces went from the Colorado eastward to the Hopi villages. There was travel over what became known as the "Road of the Bishop" from Santa Fe to the Zuni and Hopi towns, but not beyond. Possibly the preference for the San Juan-Virgin route lay in the fact that it had practicable river fords.
This old Spanish Trail from Santa Fe to Los Angeles, undoubtedly was over a succession of aboriginal highways. The first Europeans to follow it were the Franciscan friars Escalante and Dominguez, in 1776. They took a route running northwest from Taos, New Mexico, through the San Juan country into Utah as far as Utah Lake, not reaching Great Salt Lake, and thence to the southwest through the Sevier Valley to the upper waters of the Virgin hoping to work through to California. They had an intelligent idea concerning the extent of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado and knew there could be no crossing for several hundred miles. After traveling down the Santa Clara and Virgin to about where the Arizona line now is, they turned eastward again, probably because of lack of supplies and fear of the desert. Their travel eastward was not far from the 37th parallel on either side and their Indian guides finally led them, by way of the mouth of the Paria, to the Ute ford of the Colorado, now known as the Crossing of the Fathers. Thence, crossing the river November 8, 1776, they made their way to the Hopi villages and back to the Rio Grande, finishing one of the most notable exploring trips ever known in the west. It is interesting to consider how, nearly a century later, the "Pathfinder," John C. Fremont, thought himself on a new line of discovery when he took much the same road westward through the passes of the Rockies.
This Spanish Trail is outlined on a fur-trade map in the Bancroft Library, covering the period from 1807 to 1843. No road is marked across the present area of Arizona. The Spanish Trail seems to have been considered as the western extension of the Santa Fe Trail.
The famous old traveler, Jedediah Smith, in 1826 and 1827, journeyed by the Sevier and Virgin River route to the Colorado River, though he appears to have made his own way, paralleling the aboriginal highway. In August of 1827, a number of his party were killed by Mohave Indians on the Colorado River.
Creation of the Mormon Road
The discovery of gold in California gave very great added importance to this southern Utah route. When the Washoe passes were closed by snow, California travel by the plains route necessarily was diverted, either around by Oregon or southward through the Virgin River section. The latter route appears to have been safe enough in winter, save for occasional attacks by Indians, who were bent more upon plunder than upon murder. Occasionally, parties sought a shorter cut to the westward and suffered disaster in the sands of the Amargosa desert or of Death Valley. Sometimes such men as Jacob Hamblin were detailed to act as guides, but this seemed to be more needed with respect to dealings with the Indians than to show the road, as the highway was a plain one through to San Bernardino and San Gabriel. Of summers, undoubtedly the travel was much lessened, as the goldseekers chose the much more direct and better-watered routes passing either north or south of Lake Tahoe, by Donner Lake and Emigrant Gap or by the Placerville grade.
The western end of the southern Utah-Nevada trail, after the establishment of the San Bernardino colony, soon became known as the Mormon road, a name preserved.
Mail service was known over the old Spanish or Mormon Trail, down the Virgin and to Los Angeles, at different times between 1850 and 1861. This service seems to have been as an alternative when the passes of the Sierra Nevadas were closed. The best evidence at hand concerning this route is contained within a claim made by one Chorpending, for compensation from the United States for mules and equipment stolen by Indians in 1854-1856. John Hunt, later of Snowflake, carried mail on the route in 1856 and 1857. There must be assumption that stage stations were maintained on the Muddy and at Vegas.
With the Lyman and Rich expedition, in 1851, one of the wagons bore Apostle Parley P. Pratt who, accompanied by Rufus C. Allen, was starting upon a mission to the southwest coast of South America. On May 13, there was note of encampment at "a large spring, usually called Las Vegas," after having traveled 200 miles through worthless desert and between mountains of naked rock.
Mormon Settlement at Tubac
To Commissioner John R. Bartlett, of the International Boundary Survey, the Author is indebted for a memorandum covering what clearly was the first Mormon settlement within the present confines of Arizona. It was at the old Spanish pueblo of Tubac, in the Santa Cruz valley, about forty miles south of Tucson. Both places then (in July, 1852), still were in Mexico, the time being two years before perfecting the Gadsden Purchase.
Tubac, according to the Commissioner, was "a collection of dilapidated buildings and huts, about half tenantless, and an equally ruinous church." He called it "a God-forsaken place," but gave some interesting history. After a century and a half of occupation, usually with a population of about 400, it had been abandoned a year before the Commissioner's arrival, but had been repopulated by possibly 100 individuals. There was irrigation from the Santa Cruz, but of uncertain sort, and it was this very uncertainty that lost to Arizona a community of settlers of industry surely rare in that locality. Bartlett's narrative recites:
The preceding fall (of 1851), after the place has been again occupied, a party of Mormons, in passing through on their way to California, was induced to stop there by the representations of the Mexican comandante. He offered them lands in the rich valley, where acequias (irrigation ditches) were already dug, if they would remain and cultivate it; assuring them that they would find a ready market for all the corn, wheat and vegetables they could raise, from the troops and from passing emigrants. The offer was so good and the prospects were so flattering that they consented to remain. They, therefore, set to work, plowed and sowed their lands, in which they expended all their means, anticipating an abundant harvest. But the spring and summer came without rain: the river dried up; their fields could not be irrigated; and their labor, time and money was lost. They abandoned the place, and, though reduced to the greatest extremities, succeeded in reaching Santa Isabel in California, where we fell in with them.
The Santa Isabel meeting referred to had taken place in the previous May, 1852. Santa Isabel was an old vista of San Diego Mission, about forty miles northeast of San Diego and on the road from that port to Fort Yuma. In the Commissioner's party, eastbound, was the noted scout, Antoine LeRoux, who had been one of the guides of the Mormon Battalion westward, in 1846. Bartlett wrote:
"LeRoux had been sent to the settlement at San Bernardino, to purchase a vehicle from newly-arrived Mormon immigrants and to return with it to Santa Isabel. When the wagon came ... it was driven by its owner, named Smithson. After paying him, I invited him to remain with us over night, as he had had a fatiguing day's journey. We were very much amused during the evening in listening to the history of our Mormon friend, who also enlightened us with a lecture on the peculiar doctrines of his sect. He seemed a harmless, though zealous man, ardent in his religious belief and was, I should think, a fair specimen of his fraternity. His people had lately purchased the extensive haciendas and buildings at San Bernardino, covering several miles square, for $70,000, one-half of which amount they had paid in cash. This is one of the richest agricultural districts in the State and is said to have been a great bargain."
Bartlett's narrative, while interesting, does not inform concerning the identity of the Mormons at Tubac. Including Smithson, doubtless they were swallowed within the San Bernardino settlement. Just where the Tubac settlers came from is not clear. There seems probability that they were from one of the southern States, started directly for San Bernardino, instead of via Salt Lake, in the same manner that an Arkansas expedition went directly to the Little Colorado settlements in later years.
Tubac dates back to about 1752. Possibly not pertinent to the subject of this work, yet valuable, is a map of Tubac, herewith reproduced, drawn about 1760 by Jose de Urrutia. This map lately was found in the British Museum at London by Godfrey Sykes, of the Desert Laboratory at Tucson. From him receipt of a copy is acknowledged, with appreciation. The plat includes the irrigated area below the presidio.
A Texan Settlement of the Faith
The Commissioner traveled broadly and chronicled much and the Author is indebted to his memoirs for several items of early Mormon settlement in the Southwest.
One of the earliest details given by Bartlett concerns his arrival, October 14, 1850, at the village of Zodiac, in the valley of the Piedernales River, near Fredericksburg, about seventy miles northwest of San Antonio, Texas. Zodiac he found a village of 150 souls, headed by Elder Wight, locally known as "Colonel," who acted as host. That the settlement, even in such early times, was typically Mormon, is shown by the following extract from Bartlett's diary:
"Everywhere around us in this Zodiacal settlement we saw abundant signs of prosperity. Whatever may be their theological errors, in secular matters they present an example of industry and thrift which the people of the State might advantageously imitate. They have a tract of land which they have cultivated for about three years and which has yielded profitable crops. The well-built houses, perfect fences and tidy dooryards give the place a homelike air such as we had not seen before in Texas. The dinner was a regular old-fashioned New England farmer's meal, comprising an abundance of everything, served with faultless neatness. The entire charge for the dinner for twelve persons and corn for as many animals was $3.... The colonel said he was the first settler in the valley of the Piedernales and for many miles around. In his colony were people of all trades. He told me his crop of corn this year would amount to 7000 bushels, for which he expected to realize $1.25 a bushel."
Hamblin, "Leatherstocking of the Southwest"
In Southern Arizona the first pioneering was done by devoted Franciscans and Jesuits, their chiefest concern the souls of the gentile Indians. In similar wise, the pioneering of northern Arizona had its initiation in a hope of the Mormon Church for conversion of the Indians of the canyons and plains. In neither case was there the desired degree of success, but each period has brought to us many stories of heroism and self-sacrifice on the part of the missionaries. In the days when the American colonists were shaking off the English yoke, our Southwest was having exploration by the martyred Friar Garces. Three-quarters of a century later, the trail that had been taken by the priest to the Hopi villages was used by a Mormon missionary, Jacob Hamblin, sometimes called the "Leatherstocking of the Southwest," more of a trail-blazer than a preacher, a scout of the frontier directly commissioned under authority of his Church, serene in his faith and confident that his footsteps were being guided from on high.
The Author has found himself unable to write the history of northernmost Arizona without continual mingling of the name and the personal deeds of Jacob Hamblin. Apparently Hamblin had had no special training for the work he was to do so well. It seemed to "merely happen" that he was in southwestern Utah, as early as 1854, when his Church was looking toward expansion to the southward.
Hamblin's first essay into the Arizona country was in the troublous fall and winter of 1857, a year when he and his family were living in the south end of Mountain Meadows, Utah. He happened to be in Salt Lake when the famous Arkansas emigrant train passed through his district. Brigham Young sent a messenger southward with instructions to let the wagon train (an especially troublesome one) pass as quietly as possible, but these instructions were not received and Hamblin learned on the way home, of the massacre. The information came personally from John D. Lee, the assassin-in-chief. In Hamblin's autobiography is written, "The deplorable affair caused a sensation of horror and deep regret throughout the entire community, by whom it was unqualifiedly condemned."
Thereafter, Hamblin and his associates rode hard after other emigrants who were to be attacked by Indians, and found a company on the Muddy, surrounded by Paiutes preparing to attack and destroy them. As a compromise, the Indians were given the loose horses and cattle, which later were recovered, and the Mormons remained with the company to assist in its defense.
Late in the autumn of 1857, a company came through on the way to California, bringing a letter from President Young, directing Hamblin to act as guide to California. On his way to join the train, Hamblin found a naked man in the hands of the Paiutes, who were preparing "to have a good time with him," that is, "they intended to take him to their camp and torture him." He saved the man's life and secured the return of his clothing. As the caravan neared the Muddy, news came of another Indian attack. Hamblin rode ahead and joined the Indians. He later wrote, "I called them together and sat down and smoked a little tobacco with them, which I had brought along for that purpose." Apparently there was a good deal of native diplomacy in the negotiations. There were some promises of blankets and shirts and finally there was agreement to let the travelers proceed.
Incidentally, they were met by Ira Hatch and Dudley Leavitt, on their return from a mission to the Mohave Indians. The Mohaves, careless of the Gospel privileges afforded, held a council over the Mormon missionaries and decided that they should die. Hatch thereupon knelt down among the savages and "asked the Lord to soften their hearts, that they might not shed further blood." The prayer was repeated to the Mohaves by a Paiute interpreter. "The heart of the chief was softened" and before dawn the next morning he set the two men afoot on the desert and directed them to Las Vegas Springs, eighty miles distant. Their food on the journey was mesquite bread, "made by pounding the seeds of the mesquite fruits in the valley."
Hamblin at all times was very careful in his dealings with the Indians. At an early date he might have killed one of them, but his gun missed fire, a circumstance for which he later repeatedly praised the Lord. Probably his greatest influence came through his absolute fearlessness. He was firmly convinced that he was in the Lord's keeping and that his time would not come till his mission had been accomplished.
Without doubt, Hamblin's course was largely sustained by a letter received by him March 5, 1858, from President Brigham Young, in which he prophesied that "the day of Indian redemption draws nigh," and continued, "you should always be careful to impress upon them that they should not infringe upon the rights of others; and our brethren should be very careful not to infringe upon their rights, thus cultivating honor and good principles in their midst by example, as well as precept."
In the spring of 1857, Hamblin and Dudley Leavitt, at a point 35 miles west of Las Vegas, smelted some lead ore, Hamblin having some knowledge of the proper processes. The lead later was left on the desert. The wagons were needed to haul iron, remnants of old emigrant wagons that had been abandoned on the San Bernardino road.
Encounter with Federal Explorers
In the course of his missionary endeavor, in the spring of 1858, Hamblin took five men and went by way of Las Vegas Springs to the Colorado River, at the foot of the Cottonwood Hills, 170 miles from the Santa Clara, Utah, settlement. Upon this trip he had remarkable experiences. On the river he saw a small steamer. Men with animals were making their way upstream on the opposite side. Thales Haskell, sent to investigate, returned next morning with information that the steamer company was of military character and very hostile to the Mormons, that the expedition had been sent out by the Government to examine the river and learn if a force could not be taken through southern Utah in that direction, should it be needed, to subjugate the Mormons. Hamblin returned to Las Vegas Springs and thought the situation so grave that he counseled abandonment of the Mormon settlement then being made at that point.
This record is very interesting in view of contemporary history. Without doubt, the steamboat he saw was the little "Explorer," of the topographical exploration of the Colorado River in the winter of 1857-8. Commanding was Lieut. J.C. Ives of the army Topographical Corps, the same officer who had been in the engineering section of Whipple's railway survey along the 35th parallel. The craft was built in the east and put together at the mouth of the river. The journey upstream was at a low stage of water and there was continual trouble with snags and sandy bars. Finally, when Black Canyon had been reached, the "Explorer" ran upon a sunken rock, the boiler was torn loose, as well as the wheelhouse, and the river voyage had to be abandoned, though Ives and two men rowed up the stream as far as Vegas Wash.
The steamboat was floated back to Yuma, but Ives started eastward with a pack train, guided by the Mohave chief, Iritaba, taking the same route that had been pursued many years before by Friar Garces through the Hava Supai and Hopi country.
It is to be regretted that Hamblin did not go on board the "Explorer," where no doubt he would have received cordial welcome. Even at that time, Brigham Young undoubtedly would have been pleased to have helped in forwarding the opening of a route to the southwestern coast by way of the Colorado River.
Incidentally, the steamer had a trip that was valuable mainly in the excellent mapping that was done by Ives and his engineers. Captain Johnston and the steamer "Colorado" had been over the same stretch of river before the "Explorer" came and had served to ferry across the stream, about where Fort Mohave later stood, the famous camel party of Lieutenant Beale.
The Hopi and the Welsh Legend
There was serious consideration by the Church authorities of a declaration that the Moqui (Hopi) Indians of northern Arizona had a dialect that at least embraced many Welsh words. President Young had heard that a group of Welshmen, several hundred years before, had disappeared into the western wilds, so, with his usual quick inquiry into matters that interested him, he sent southward, led by Hamblin, in the autumn of 1858, a linguistic expedition, also including Durias Davis and Ammon M. Tenney. Davis was a Welshman, familiar with the language of his native land. Tenney, then only 15, knew a number of Indian dialects, as well as Spanish, the last learned in San Bernardino. They made diligent investigation and found nothing whatever to sustain the assertion. Not a word could they find that was similar in anywise to any European language.
It happens that the Hopi tongue is a composite, mainly a Shoshonean dialect, probably accumulated as the various clans of the present tribe gathered in northeastern Arizona, from the cactus country to the south, the San Juan country to the northward and the Rio Grande valley to the eastward. But the Welsh legend was slow in dying.
This expedition of 1858, besides the two individuals noted, included Frederick and William Hamblin, Dudley and Thomas Leavitt, Samuel Knight, Ira Hatch, Andrew S. Gibbons (later an Arizona legislator), Benjamin Knell and a Paiute guide, Naraguts. The journey started at Hamblin's home in the Santa Clara settlement and was by way of the mouth of the Paria, where a good ferry point was found, but not used, and the Crossing of the Fathers on the Colorado, probably crossed by white men for the first time since Spanish days. The Hopi villages were found none too soon, for the men were very hungry. They had lost the mules that carried the provisions. The Hopi were found hospitable and furnished food until the runaway mules were brought in. There was some communication through the Ute language, after failure with the language of Wales. William Hamblin, Thomas Leavitt, Gibbons and Knell were left as missionaries and the rest of the dozen made a difficult return journey to their homes, a part of the way through snow.
The missionaries left with the Hopi returned the same winter. They had not been treated quite as badly as Father Garces, but there had been a division among the tribes, started by the priesthood. There was very good prophecy, however, by the Indians, to the effect that the Mormons would settle in the country to the southward and that their route of travel would be by way of the Little Colorado.
It might be well to insert, at this point, a condensation of the Welsh legend, though affecting, especially, the Zuni, a pueblo-dwelling tribe, living to the eastward of the Hopi and with little ethnologic connection. The following was written by Llewellyn Harris (himself of Welsh extraction), who was a Mormon missionary visitor to the Zuni in January, 1878, and is reprinted without endorsement:
"They say that, before the conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards, the Zuni Indians lived in Mexico. Some of them still claim to be the descendants of Montezuma. At the time of the conquest they fled to Arizona and settled there. They were at one time a very powerful tribe, as the ruins all over that part of the country testify. They have always been considered a very industrious people. The fact that they have, at one time, been in a state of civilization far in advance of what they are at present, is established beyond a doubt. Before the Catholic religion was introduced to them, they worshipped the sun. At present they are nearly all Catholics. A few of them have been baptized into our Church by Brothers Ammon M. Tenney and R.H. Smith, and nearly all the tribe say they are going to be baptized.
"They have a great many words in the language like the Welsh, and with the same meaning. Their tradition says that over 300 years before the conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards, some white men landed in Mexico and told the Indians that they had come from the regions beyond the sea to the east. They say that from these white men came the ancient kings of Mexico, from whom Montezuma descended.
"These white men were known to the Indians of Mexico by the name of Cambaraga; and are still remembered so in the traditions of Zuni Indians. In time those white people became mixed with Indians, until scarcely a relic of them remained. A few traditions of the Mexican Indians and a few Welsh words among the Zunis, Navajos and Moquis are all that can be found of that people now.
"I have the history of the ancient Britons, which speaks of Prince Madoc, who was the son of Owen Guynedd, King of Wales, having sailed from Wales in the year 1160, with three ships. He returned in the year 1163, saying he had found a beautiful country, across the western sea. He left Wales again in the year 1164, with fifteen ships and 3000 men. He was never again heard of."
Indians Await Their Prophets
President Young kept the Hopi in mind, for the following year (1859) he sent Hamblin on a second trip to the Indians, with a company that consisted of Marion J. Shelton, Thales Haskell, Taylor Crosby, Benjamin Knell, Ira Hatch and John Wm. Young. They reached the Hopi villages November 6, talked with the Indians three days and then left the work of possible conversion on the shoulders of Shelton and Haskell, who returned to the Santa Clara the next spring. The Indians were kind, but unbelieving, and "could make no move until the reappearance of the three prophets who led their fathers to that land and told them to remain on those rocks until they should come again and tell them what to do." Both ways of the journey were by the Ute ford.
Navajo Killing of Geo. A. Smith, Jr.
In the fall of 1860, Hamblin was directed to attempt to establish the faith in the Hopi towns. This time, from Santa Clara, he took Geo. A. Smith, Jr., son of an apostle of the Church, Thales Haskell, Jehiel McConnell, Ira Hatch, Isaac Riddle, Amos G. Thornton, Francis M. Hamblin, James Pearce and an Indian, Enos, with supplies for a year. Young Ammon Tenney was sent back. This proved a perilous adventure. Hamblin told he had had forebodings of evil. Failure attended an attempt to cross the Colorado at the Paria. For two days south of the Crossing of the Fathers, there was no water. The Navajo gathered around them and barred further progress. There was a halt, and bartering was started for goods that had been brought along to exchange for Indian blankets. At this point, Smith was shot. The deed was done with his own revolver, which had been passed to an Indian who asked to inspect it. The Indians readily admitted responsibility, stating that it was in reprisal for the killing of three Navajos by palefaces and they demanded two more victims before the Mormon company would be allowed to go in peace. The situation was a difficult one for Jacob, but he answered bravely, "I would not give a cent to live after I had given up two men to be murdered; I would rather die like a man than live like a dog." Jacob went out by himself and had a little session of prayer and then the party started northward, flanked by hostile Navajos, but accompanied by four old friendly tribesmen. Smith was taken along on a mule, with McConnell behind to hold him on. Thus it was that he died about sundown. His last words, when told that a stop could not be made, were, "Oh, well, go on then; but I wish I could die in peace." The body was wrapped in a blanket and laid in a hollow by the side of the trail, for no stop could be made even to bury the dead.
About a week later, Santa Clara was reached by the worn and jaded party, sustained the last few days on a diet mainly of pinon nuts.
That winter, through the snow and ice, Hamblin led another party across the Colorado out upon the desert, to bring home the remains of their brother in the faith. The head and the larger bones were returned for burial at Salt Lake City. It was learned that the attacking Indians were from Fort Defiance and on this trip it was told that the Navajo considered their own action a grave mistake.
A Seeking of Baptism for Gain That the Shivwits were susceptible to missionary argument was indicated about 1862, when James H. Pearce brought from Arizona into St. George a band of 300 Indians, believed to comprise the whole tribe. All were duly baptized into the Church, the ceremony performed by David H. Cannon. Then Erastus Snow distributed largess of clothing and food. Ten years later Pearce again was with the Indians, greeted in affectionate remembrance. But there was complaint from the Shivwits they "had not heard from the Lord since he left." Then followed fervent suggestions from the tribesmen that they be taken to St. George and be baptized again. They wanted more shirts. They also wanted Pearce to write to the Lord and to tell Him the Shivwits had been pretty good Indians.
The First Tour Around the Grand Canyon
Hamblin's adventures to the southward were far from complete. In the autumn of 1862 President Young directed another visit to the Hopi, recommending that the Colorado be crossed south of St. George, in the hope of finding a more feasible route. Hamblin had had disaster the previous spring, in which freshets had swept away his grist mill and other improvements. Most of the houses and cultivated land of the Santa Clara settlement had disappeared. He was given a company of twenty men, detailed by Apostles Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow. A small boat was taken to the river by wagon. Hamblin's chronicle does not tell just where the crossing was made, but it is assumed that it was at the mouth of the Grand Wash. From the river crossing there were four days of very dry travel toward the southeast, with the San Francisco Mountains in the far distance. There is no reference in his diary to the finding of any roads, but it is probable that most of the journey was on aboriginal trails. Snow was found at the foot of the San Francisco Mountains and two days thereafter the Little Colorado was crossed and then were reached the Hopi, who "had been going through some religious ceremonies to induce the Great Spirit to send storms to water their country that they might raise abundance of food the coming season." This may have been the annual Snake Dance. The Hopi refused to send some of their chief men to Utah, their traditions forbidding, but finally three joined after the expedition had started. There had been left behind McConnell, Haskell, and Hatch to labor for a season, and as hostages for the return of the tribesmen.
This journey probably was the first that ever circled the Grand Canyon, for return was by the Ute Crossing, where fording was difficult and dangerous, for the water was deep and ice was running. The three Hopi were dismayed over their violation of tradition, but were induced to go on. Incidentally, food became so scarce that resort was had to the killing and cooking of crows.
The Indians were taken on to Salt Lake City and were shown many things that impressed them greatly. An unsuccessful attempt was made to learn whether they spoke Welsh. Hamblin wrote that the Indians said, "They had been told that their forefathers had the arts of reading, writing, making books, etc."
Here it may be noted that the Grand Canyon was circumtoured in the fall of 1920 by Governor and Mrs. Campbell, but under very different circumstances. The vehicle was an automobile. Crossing of the Colorado was at the Searchlight ferry, about forty miles downstream from old Callville. On the first day 248 miles were covered, mainly on the old Mormon road, to Littlefield, through the Muddy section, now being revived. St. George and other pioneer southern Utah settlements were passed on the way to Kanab and Fredonia. The road to the mouth of the Paria and to Lee's Ferry appears to have been found very little less rough than when traveled by the Mormon ox teams, and the river crossing was attended by experiences with quicksand and other dangers, while the pull outward on the south side was up a steep and hazardous highway.
A Visit to the Hava-Supai Indians
Hamblin had about as many trips as Sindbad the Sailor and about as many adventures. Of course, he had to take the Hopi visitors home, and on this errand he started from St. George on March 18, 1863, with a party of six white men, including Gibbons, Haskell, Hatch and McConnell. They took the western route and found a better crossing, later called Pearce's Ferry. At this point they were overtaken by Lewis Greeley, a nephew of Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune, who had been sent on to the river by Erastus Snow.
A trail was taken to the left of the former route. This trail very clearly was the main thoroughfare used by the Wallapai into Cataract Canyon, which was so known at that time. Down the trail, into the abysmal "voladero" of Father Garces, they traveled a day and part of another, leading their horses most of the way. In many places they could not have turned their animals around had they wished to do so.
Cataract Canyon, the home of the Hava-Supai, is a veritable Yosemite, with craggy walls that rise nearly 3000 feet to the mesa above. Hamblin especially noted the boiling from the bottom of the canyon of a beautiful large spring, the same which today irrigates the lands of the well-disposed Indians. These Indians gave assistance to the party and told of an attack made a short time before by Apaches from the southeast, who had been met in a narrow pass where several of their number had been slain. Assuring the Hava-Supai they would send no enemies into their secret valley, Hamblin led his party to the eastward, up the Tope-Kobe trail to the plateau. This was reached April 7. Though along the Moqui trail at no point were they very far from the Grand Canyon, that gorge was not noted in Hamblin's narrative, for the brethren were not sight-seeing. A few days later they were in the Hopi towns, to which the three much-traveled Indians preceded them, in eagerness to see their people again.
Only two days were spent with the Indians and on April 15, taking Haskell, Hatch and McConnell, the party struck toward the southwest, to find the Beale road. On the 20th, Greeley discovered a pond of clear cold water several acres in extent in the crater of a volcanic peak. The San Francisco peaks were passed, left to the southward, and the Beale road was struck six miles west of LeRoux Springs, the later site of Fort Moroni, seven miles northwest of the present Flagstaff.
The Beale road was followed until the 28th. Thence, the men suffered thirst, for 56 hours being without water. Ten of their eighteen horses were stolen. This, it was explained, was due to the failure of the Hava-Supai to return Wallapai horses which the men had left in Cataract Canyon on the outward journey. St. George was reached May 13, 1863. The main result had been the exploration of a practicable, though difficult, route for wagons from St. George to the Little Colorado and to the Hopi towns.
Experiences with the Redskins
Ammon M. Tenney in Phoenix lately told the Author that the Navajo were the only Indians who ever really fought the Mormons and the only tribe against which the Mormons were compelled to depart from their rule against the shedding of blood. It is not intended in this work to go into any history of the many encounters between the Utah Mormons and the Arizona Navajo, but there should be inclusion of a story told by Tenney of an experience in 1865 at a point eighteen miles west of Pipe Springs and six miles southwest of Canaan, Utah. There were three Americans from Toquerville, the elder Tenney, the narrator, and Enoch Dodge, the last known as one of the bravest of southern Utah pioneers. The three were surrounded by sixteen Navajos, and, with their backs to the wall, fought for an hour or more, finally abandoning their thirteen horses and running for better shelter. Dodge was shot through the knee cap, a wound that incapacitated him from the fight thereafter. The elder Tenney fell and broke his shoulder blade and was stunned, though he was not shot. This left the fight upon the younger Tenney, who managed to climb a twelve-foot rocky escarpment. He reached down with his rifle and dragged up his father and Dodge. The three opportunely found a little cave in which they secreted themselves until reasonably rested, hearing the Indians searching for them on the plateau above. Then, in the darkness, they made their way fifteen miles into Duncan's Retreat on the Virgin River in Utah. "There is one thing I will say for the Navajo," Tenney declared with fervor. "He is a sure-enough fighting man. The sixteen of them stood shoulder to shoulder, not taking cover, as almost any other southwestern Indian would have done."
Apparently, on each of the visits that had been made by Hamblin to the Hopi, he had made suggestion that the tribes leave their barren land and move to the northward, across the Colorado, where good lands might be allotted them, on which they might live in peace and plenty, where they might build cities and villages the same as other people, but, according to Hamblin's journal, "They again told us that they could not leave their present location until the three prophets should appear again."
This was written particularly in regard to a visit made to the villages in 1864, and in connection with a theft of horses by Navajos near Kanab. It was found inexpedient to go into the Navajo country, as Chief Spaneshanks, who had been relatively friendly, had been deposed by his band and had been succeeded by a son of very different inclination.
In autumn of the same year, Anson Call, Dr. Jas. M. Whitmore, A.M. Cannon and Hamblin and son visited Las Vegas Springs and the Colorado River, stopping a while with the Cottonwood Island Indians and the Mohave, and establishing Callville.
Killing of Whitmore and McIntire
January 8, 1866, Doctor Whitmore and his herder, Robert McIntire, were killed in Arizona, four miles north of Pipe Springs by a band of Paiede Paiutes and Navajos, that drove off horses, sheep and cattle. There was pursuit from St. George by Col. D. D. McArthur and company.
A tale of the pursuit comes from Anthony W. Ivins, a member of the company, then a mere boy who went out on a mule with a quilt for a saddle. The weather was bitterly cold. The bodies were found covered with snow, which was three feet deep. Each body had many arrow and bullet wounds. The men had been attacked while riding the range, only McIntire being armed. A detachment, under Captain James Andrus, found the murderous Indians in camp and, in a short engagement, killed nine of them.
The trail to the Hopi towns must have been well known to the Mormon scout when in October, 1869, again he was detailed to investigate the sources of raids on the Mormon borders. He had a fairly strong company of forty men, including twenty Paiutes. The crossing was at the mouth of the Paria. Apparently all that was accomplished on this trip was to learn that the Indians intended to make still another raid on the southern settlements. Hamblin wanted to go back by way of the Ute trail and the Crossing of the Fathers, but was overruled by his brethren, who preferred the Paria route. When they returned, it was to learn that the Navajos already had raided and had driven off more than 1200 head of animals, and that, if the Mormon company, on returning, had taken the Ute trail, the raiders would have been met and the animals possibly recovered. The winter was a hard one for the Mormons who watched the frontier, assisted by friendly Paiutes. The trouble weighed heavily upon Hamblin's mind and, in the spring of 1870, at Kanab, he offered himself to President Young as an ambassador to the Navajo, to prevent, if possible, further shedding of blood.
Hamblin Among the Indians
Visiting the Paiutes with Powell
It was in the summer of 1870 that Hamblin met Major J.W. Powell, who had descended the Colorado the previous year. Powell's ideas coincided very well with those of Hamblin. He wanted to visit the Indians and prevent repetition of such a calamity as that in which three of his men had been killed near Mount Trumbull, southwest of Kanab. So, in September, 1870, there was a gathering at Mount Trumbull, with about fifteen Indians. What followed is presented in Powell's own language:
"This evening, the Shivwits, for whom we have sent, come in, and after supper we hold a long council. A blazing fire is built, and around this we sit—the Indians living here, the Shivwits, Jacob Hamblin and myself. This man, Hamblin, speaks their language well and has a great influence over all the Indians in the region round about. He is a silent, reserved man, and when he speaks it is in a slow, quiet way that inspires great awe. His talk is so low that they must listen attentively to hear, and they sit around him in deathlike silence. When he finishes a measured sentence the chief repeats it and they all give a solemn grunt. But, first, I fill my pipe, light it, and take a few whiffs, then pass it to Hamblin; he smokes and gives it to the man next, and so it goes around. When it has passed the chief, he takes out his own pipe, fills and lights it, and passes it around after mine. I can smoke my own pipe in turn, but when the Indian pipe comes around, I am nonplussed. It has a large stem, which has at some time been broken, and now there is a buckskin rag wound around it and tied with sinew, so that the end of the stem is a huge mouthful, exceedingly repulsive. To gain time, I refill it, then engage in very earnest conversation, and, all unawares, I pass it to my neighbor unlighted. I tell the Indians that I wish to spend some months in their country during the coming year and that I would like them to treat me as a friend. I do not wish to trade; do not want their lands. Heretofore I have found it very difficult to make the natives understand my object, but the gravity of the Mormon missionary helps me much.
"Then their chief replies: Your talk is good and we believe what you say. We believe in Jacob, and look upon you as a father. When you are hungry, you may have our game. You may gather our sweet fruits. We will give you food when you come to our land. We will show you the springs and you may drink; the water is good. We will be friends and when you come we will be glad. We will tell the Indians who live on the other side of the great river that we have seen Kapurats (one-armed—the Indian name for Powell) and that he is the Indian's friend. We will tell them he is Jacob's friend."
The Indians told that the three men had been killed in the belief they were miners. They had come upon an Indian village, almost starved and exhausted with fatigue, had been supplied with food and put on their way to the settlements. On receipt of news that certain Indians had been killed by whites, the men were followed, ambushed and slain with many arrows. Powell observes that that night he slept in peace, "although these murderers of my men were sleeping not 500 yards away." Hamblin improved the time in trying to make the Indians understand the idea of an overruling Providence and to appreciate that God was not pleased with the shedding of blood. He admitted, "These teachings did not appear to have much influence at the time, but afterwards they yielded much good fruit."
Wm. R. Hawkins, cook for this first Powell expedition, died a few years ago in Mesa, Arizona. Willis W. Bass, a noted Grand Canyon guide, lately published an interesting booklet carrying some side lights on the Powell explorations. In it is declared, on Hawkins' authority, that the three men who climbed the cliffs, to meet death above, left the party after a quarrel with Powell, the dispute starting in the latter's demand for payment for a watch that had been ruined while in possession of one of the trio. Powell is charged with having ordered the man to leave his party if he would not agree to pay for the watch.
A Great Conference with the Navajo
One of the greatest of Hamblin's southern visitations was in the autumn of 1870, when he served as a guide for Major Powell eastward, by way of the Hopi villages and of Fort Defiance. Powell's invitation was the more readily accepted as this appeared to be an opening for the much-desired peace talk with the Navajo. In the expedition were Ammon M. Tenney, Ashton Nebecker, Nathan Terry and Elijah Potter of the brethren, three of Powell's party and a Kaibab Indian.
According to Tenney, in the previous year, the Navajo had stolen $1,000,000 worth of cattle, horses and sheep in southern Utah, Tenney, in a personal interview with the Author in 1920, told that the great council then called, was tremendously dramatic. About a dozen Americans were present, including Powell and Captain Bennett. Tenney estimated that about 8000 Indians were on the council ground at Fort Defiance. This number would have included the entire tribe. It was found that the gathering was distinctly hostile. Powell and Hamblin led in the talking. The former had no authority whatever, but gave the Indians to understand that he was a commissioner on behalf of the whites and that serious chastisement would come to them in a visit of troops if there should be continuation of the evil conditions complained of by the Mormons. Undoubtedly this talk had a strong effect upon the Indians, who in Civil War days had been punished harshly for similar depredations upon the pueblos of New Mexico and who may have remembered when Col. Kit Carson descended upon the Navajo, chopped down their fruit trees, and laid waste their farms, later most of the tribe being taken into exile in New Mexico.
Dellenbaugh and Hamblin wrote much concerning this great council. Powell introduced Hamblin as a representative of the Mormons, whom he highly complimented as industrious and peaceful people. Hamblin told of the evils of a war in which many men had been lost, including twenty or thirty Navajos, and informed the Indians that the young men of Utah wanted to come over to the Navajo country and kill, but "had been told to stay at home until other means of obtaining peace had been tried and had failed." He referred to the evils that come from the necessity of guarding stock where neither white nor Indian could trust sheep out of sight. He then painted the beauties of peace, in which "horses and sheep would become fat and in which one could sleep in peace and awake and find his property safe." Low-voiced, but clearly, the message concluded:
"What shall I tell my people, the Mormons, when I return home? That we may live in peace, live as friends, and trade with one another? Or shall we look for you to come prowling around our weak settlements, like wolves in the night? I hope we may live in peace in time to come. I have now gray hairs on my head, and from my boyhood I have been on the frontiers doing all I could to preserve peace between white men and Indians. I despise this killing, this shedding of blood. I hope you will stop this and come and visit and trade with our people. We would like to hear what you have got to say before we go home."
Barbenceta, the principal chief, slowly approached as Jacob ended and, putting his arms around him, said, "My friend and brother, I will do all that I can to bring about what you have advised. We will not give all our answer now. Many of the Navajos are here. We will talk to them tonight and will see you on your way home." The chief addressed his people from a little eminence. The Americans understood little or nothing of what he was saying, but it was agreed that it was a great oration. The Indians hung upon every word and responded to every gesture and occasionally, in unison, there would come from the crowd a harsh "Huh, Huh," in approval of their chieftain's advice and admonition.
A number of days were spent at Fort Defiance in attempting to arrive at an understanding with the Navajo. Hamblin wrote, "through Ammon M. Tenney being able to converse in Spanish, we accomplished much good."
On the way home, in a Hopi village, were met Barbenceta and also a number of chiefs who had not been at Fort Defiance. The talk was very agreeable, the Navajos saying, "We hope that we may be able to eat at one table, warm by one fire, smoke one pipe, and sleep in one blanket."
An Official Record of the Council
Determination of the time of the council has come to the Arizona Historian's office, within a few days of the closing of the manuscript of this work, the data supplied from the office of the Church Historian at Salt Lake City. In it is a copy of a final report, dated November 5, 1870, and signed by Frank F. Bennett, Captain United States Army, agent for the Navajo Indians at Fort Defiance. The report is as follows:
"To Whom It May Concern:
"This is to certify that Capt. Jacob Hamblin of Kanab, Kane Co., Southern Utah, came to this agency with Prof. John W. Powell and party on the 1st day of November, 1870, and expressed a desire to have a talk with myself and the principal men of the Navajo Indians in regard to depredations which the Navajos are alleged to have committed in southern Utah.
"I immediately informed the chiefs that I wished them to talk the matter over among themselves and meet Captain Hamblin and myself in a council at the agency in four days. This was done and we, today, have had a long talk. The best of feeling existed. And the chiefs and good men of the Navajo Indians pledge themselves that no more Navajos will be allowed to go into Utah; and that they will not, under any circumstances, allow any more depredations to be committed by their people. That if they hear of any party forming for the purpose of making a raid, that they will immediately go to the place and stop them, using force if necessary. They express themselves as extremely anxious to be on the most friendly terms with the Mormons and that they may have a binding and lasting peace.
"I assure the people of Utah that nothing shall be left undone by me to assist these people in their wishes and I am positive that they are in earnest and mean what they say.
"I am confident that this visit of Captain Hamblin and the talk we have had will be the means of accomplishing great good."
Together with this Bennett letter is one addressed by Jacob Hamblin to Erastus Snow, dated November 21, 1870, and reciting in detail the circumstances of the great council, concluded November 5, 1870. Most of the debate was between Hamblin and Chief Barbenceta, with occasional observations by Powell concerning the might of the American Nation and the absolute necessity for cessation of thievery. Hamblin told how the young men and the middle-aged of his people had gathered to make war upon the Navajo, "determined to cross the river and follow the trail of the stolen stock and lay waste the country, but our white chief, Brigham Young, was a man of peace and stopped his people from raiding and wanted us to ask peace. This is my business here." He told that, five years before, the Navajos were led by three principal men of the Paiutes and at that time seven Paiutes were killed near the place where the white man was killed. These were not the right Indians, not the Paiutes who had done the mischief. Barbenceta talked at great length. To a degree he blamed the Paiutes, but could not promise that no more raids would be made, but he told the agent he would endeavor to stop all future depredations and would return stolen stock, if found.
Navajos to Keep South of the River
There finally was agreement that Navajos should go north of the river only for horse trading, or upon necessary errands, and that when they did go, they would be made safe and welcome, this additionally secure, if they were to go first to Hamblin.
The Hopi and the Navajo, at that time, and probably for many years before, were unfriendly. There was a tale how the Hopi had attacked 35 Navajos, disarmed them, and then had thrown them off a high cliff between two of their towns. Hamblin went to the place indicated and found a number of skeletons and remains of blankets and understood that the deed had been done the year before. The Navajo had plundered the Hopi for generations and the latter had retaliated.
Hamblin's diary gives the great Navajo council as in 1871. There also is much confusion of dates in several records of the time. But the year appears to be definitely established through the fact that Powell was in Salt Lake in October and November of 1871. It is a curious fact, also, that Powell, in his own narrative of the 1870 trip, makes no reference to Hamblin's presence with him south of the river or even to the dramatic circumstances of the great council, set by Hamblin and Dellenbaugh on November 2. Powell's diary places him at Fort Defiance October 31, 1870, and at a point near Fort Wingate November 2.
Tuba's Visit to the White Men
It was on the return from the grand council with the Navajo, in November, 1870, that Hamblin took to Utah, Tuba, a leading man of the Oraibi Hopi and his wife, Pulaskaninki.
In Hamblin's journal is a charming little account of how Tuba crossed the prohibited river. Tuba told Hamblin, "I have worshipped the Father of us all in the way you believe to be right. Now I wish you would do as the Hopi think is right before we cross." So the two knelt, Hamblin accepting in his right hand some of the contents of Tuba's medicine bag and Tuba prayed "for pity upon his Mormon friends, that none might drown, and for the preservation of all the animals we had, as all were needed, and for the preservation of food and clothing, that hunger nor cold might be known on the trail." They arose and scattered the ingredients from the medicine bag into the air, upon the men and into the waters of the river. Hamblin wrote, "To me the whole ceremony seemed humble and reverential. I feel the Father had regard for such petitions." There was added prayer by Tuba when the expedition safely landed on the opposite shore, at the mouth of the Paria.
Tuba had a remarkable trip. He was especially interested in the spinning mill at Washington, for he had made blankets, and his wife, with handmill experience, thought of labor lost when she looked at the work of a flour mill. At St. George they saw President Young, who gave them clothing.
Tuba was taken back home to Oraibi in safety in September, 1871, and his return was celebrated by feasting.
Of date December 24, 1870, in the files of the Deseret News is found a telegram from George A. Smith, who was with President Brigham Young and party in Utah's Dixie, at St. George. He wired:
"Jacob Hamblin, accompanied by Tooby, a Moqui magistrate of Oraibi village, and wife, who are on a visit to this place to get information in regard to agriculture and manufactures, came here lately. Tooby, being himself a skillful spinner, examined the factory and grist mill at Washington. Upon seeing 360 spindles in operation, he said he had no heart to spin with his fingers any more."
On the trip southward in 1871, on which Hamblin returned Tuba and his wife to their home, he served as guide as far as the Ute ford for a party that was bearing provisions for the second Powell expedition. He arrived at the ford September 25, but remained only a day, then going on to Moen Copie, Oraibi and Fort Defiance, where he seems to have had some business to conclude with the chiefs. In his journal is told that he divided time at a Sunday meeting with a Methodist preacher. Returning, with three companions and nine Navajos, Hamblin reached the Paria October 28, taken across by the Powell party, though Powell had gone on from Ute ford to Salt Lake, there to get his family. The expedition had reached the ford October 6, and had dropped down the river to the Paria, where arrival was on the 22d. Hamblin went on to Salt Lake.
The Sacred Stone of the Hopi
The trust placed in Mormon visitors to the Hopi was shown by exhibition to them of a sacred stone. On one of the visits of Andrew S. Gibbons, accompanied by his sons, Wm. H. and Richard, the three were guests of old Chief Tuba in Oraibi. Tuba told, of this sacred stone and led his friends down into an underground kiva, from which Tuba's son was despatched into a more remote chamber. He returned bringing the stone. Apparently it was of very fine-grained marble, about 15x18 inches in diameter and a few inches in thickness. Its surface was entirely covered with hieroglyphic markings, concerning which there was no attempt at translation at the time, though there were etched upon it clouds and stars. The Indians appeared to have no translation and only knew that it was very sacred. Tuba said that at one time the stone incautiously was exhibited to an army officer, who attempted to seize it, but the Indians saved the relic and hid it more securely.
The only official record available to this office, bearing upon the stone, is found in the preface of Ethnological Report No. 4, as follows:
Mr. G. K. Gilbert furnished some data relating to the sacred stone kept by the Indians of the village of Oraibi, on the Moki mesas. This stone was seen by Messrs. John W. Young and Andrew S. Gibbons, and the notes were made by Mr. Gilbert from those furnished him by Young, Few white men have had access to this sacred record, and but few Indians have enjoyed the privilege. The stone is a red-clouded marble, entirely different from anything found in the region.
In the Land of the Navajo
In 1871, 1872 and 1873 Hamblin did much exploration. He located a settlement on the Paria River, started a ranch in Rock House Valley and laid out a practicable route from Lee's Ferry to the Little Colorado.
Actual use of the Lee's Ferry road by wagons was in the spring of 1873 by a party headed by Lorenzo W. Roundy, who crossed the Colorado at Lee's Ferry, passing on to Navajo Springs, seven miles beyond, and thence about ten miles to Bitter Springs and then on to Moen Copie. The last he described as a place "a good deal like St. George, having many springs breaking out from the hills, land limited, partly impregnated with salts." He passed by a Moqui village and thence on to the overland mail route. The Little Colorado was described as "not quite the size of the Virgin River, water a little brackish, but better than that of the Virgin." In May of the same year, Hamblin piloted, as far as Moen Copie, the first ten wagons of the Haight expedition that failed in an attempt to found a settlement on the Little Colorado.
Just as the Chiricahua Apaches to the southward found good pickings in Mexico, so the Navajo early recognized as a storehouse of good things, for looting, the Mormon settlements along the southern border of Utah. A degree of understanding was reached by the Mormons with the Ute. There was more or less trouble in the earlier days with the Paiute farther westward, this tribe haying a number of subdivisions that had to be successively pacified by moral or forcible suasion. But it was with the Navajo that trouble existed in the largest measure.
Hamblin was absolutely sure of the identity of the American Indians with the Lamanites of the Book of Mormon. He regarded the Indians at all times as brethren who had strayed from the righteous path and who might be brought back by the exercise of piety and patience. Very much like a Spanish friar of old, he cheerfully dedicated himself to this particular purpose, willing to accept even martyrdom if such an end were to serve the great purpose. Undoubtedly this attitude was the basis of his extraordinary fortitude and of the calmness with which he faced difficult situations. There is admission by him, however, that at one time he was very near indeed to death, this in the winter of 1873-74. It is noted that nearly all of Hamblin's trips in the wild lands of Arizona were at the direction of the Church authorities, for whom he acted as trail finder, road marker, interpreter, missionary and messenger of peace to the aborigines.