Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Building a State in Apache Land by Charles D. (Charles Debrille) Poston

 

L'il Ol' Me

We could not explore the country north of the Gila River, because of the Apaches, who then numbered fully twenty thousand. For three hundred years they have killed Spaniards, Mexicans, and Americans, which makes about the longest continuous war on record.

Poston, a miner, a poet, an explorer, a superintendent of Indian Affairs, a delegate to the House of Representatives, a rousing figure in the early rowdy days of the Arizona Territory composed a series of articles for the Overland Monthly in 1894.

These articles tell his experiences in the wildly violent Arizona pre-statehood and his sojourn as miner, Indian proponent and ultimately statesman to the region.

It is a political tract in some respects but not dry at all.

Full of incident.

A reference that sings to me is the following…

These Arizona cliff dwellings are the only edifices of the kind that are known to have been inhabited by mankind. They exist mostly in the mountains in the northern portion of Arizona. A more ancient race, still, lived in the excavations on the sides of the mountains, prepared, no doubt, as a refuge against enemies.

For the past two years my wife and I have made sojourns to Northern Arizona to track down many of these awe-inspiring edifices just as found mentioned in this work, Bourke’s and many other Hosses of the early days.

It is gratifying and soul-stirring to stand where these prior men and women stood and admire the work of the Sinagua who came far before us, far before the Apache.

A fine volume. A fine land.











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