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generous in their care for the broad domain, the development of which will be a crowning glory of the times, and a lasting one to American enterprises. “I am your obedient servant,
“R. C. McCORMICK, “Secretary of the Territory of Arizona,” As stated in a previous chapter, the Overland Mail was discontinued in 1861, when the property of the company was forcibly taken possession of by some of the states through which the line ran, notably the State of Texas; such property of the company as could be controlled, was moved to the northern route via Salt Lake, and Arizona was left without mail or any public facilities for communicating with the outside world for several years. The first public mail that reached Tucson after the Civil War, came from California on horseback, arriving September 1st, 1865, and the first through mail from the eastern states, Barlow, Sanderson & Company, arrived in Tucson August 25th, 1866.
My authority for the above statement is Sydney R. DeLong, who came to Arizona as a member of the California Column, and who was for many years, and until the time of his decease in 1914, a citizen of Tucson, and prominent in political and mercantile history.
Of the mail service and stage lines, Fish, in his manuscript, has the following to say:
“For a year after the organization of its government, the Territory was without a mail route or a postoffice. Letters were carried by the courtesy of the military officers. The transit was not very rapid.. One instance was that of a
letter mailed in New York October 3d, which reached Cerro Colorado, May 31st of the following year. The express carriers had been the main and about the only dependence whereby the people could communicate with the outside world, but with the close of the Civil War, many changes were made, and especially in the matter of mails. Finally mail service was established, and on September 1, 1865, the first locked mail sack in four years reached Tucson on horseback. Buckboards were put on shortly afterwards to carry the mails regularly, and in a few months the stage line was re-established.”
Although the people of Arizona were for a long time cut off from public mail and passenger service, the freight business was continued, as it had of necessity to be, but the residents of the Territory paid heavily for all supplies which were brought into the Territory. The “Miner,” in 1866, says that transportation of supplies via the Colorado River and La Paz cost sixteen cents a pound, and occupied at least ninety days, and that via Wilmington, and from thence overland, it cost seventeen to twenty cents a pound, but the time was greatly reduced, it only taking from thirty to forty days to freight the goods. This, of course, applied only to the town of Prescott.
-RESUMPTION OF LABORS BY CATHOLICS —
JOSEPH-DANGERS FROM INDIANS. In 1866 there were no regular Protestant churches. Intermittently there were services held in Prescott by the chaplain from Fort Whipple, but there was no organized church. The Roman Catholics were the only denomination actively at work in Arizona. Their priests in Arizona, as elsewhere, were the heralds of the Christian faith. They braved all dangers from the Apaches and, taking their lives in their hands, went forth as true missionaries to propagate the Christian faith. As we have seen, their missions were, to some extent, abandoned at the commencement of the Civil War, or soon after they were established. The following account of the resumption of their labors from Bishop Salpointe's "Soldiers of the Cross," written by the Archbishop of Arizona, describes the early activities of the church in the Territory:
“On the 26th of October, 1863, the Right Rev. Bishop Lamy, who had already procured two Jesuit Fathers from California for the missions of Arizona, started from Santa Fe with one of his priests, the Rev. J. M. Coudert, in order to
pay a visit to these missionaries, and to see the principal settlements of the Territory. From Albuquerque he took the northwestern direction for Prescott, visiting at the same time the Parish of Cebolleta, the Pueblo of Zuni, and other places in western New Mexico. The Bishop reached Prescott toward the middle of December, and remained in the neighborhood until after Christmas Day. From there he went by Fort Mohave to Los Angeles, where he spent a few days with the Right Rev. Bishop Amat, and thence started for Tucson by the way of La Paz, Weaver, Salt River, and Maricopa Wells.
“The inhabited districts of what has since become the growing city of Prescott were then only small mining camps; Weaver was a gold placer worked by a few Mexican men; still there was activity everywhere, and the miners looked contented and entertained great hopes for the near future. The Bishop and his priest reached Tucson on the 19th of March, just in time to spend Holy Week in that town. They found generous hospitality, the Bishop in the house of W. S. Oury, and Father Coudert in that of Don Juan Fernandez.
"The two Jesuit Fathers already mentioned were the Revs. Mesea and Bosco, the former residing in Tucson and the latter in the San Xavier pueblo. They had succeeded Father Donato Rogieri, an ex-Franciscan, who was killed, with two of his companions, by the Apaches at the hot springs of Vado de Bigas in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. This priest worked faithfully for about three years in Tucson and San Xavier del Bac. He laid in Tucson the foundations of the church which was afterwards the
pro-cathedral of the Vicariate Apostolic of Arizona.
“As the Jesuit Fathers had neither church nor residence of their own in Tucson, they remained only a short time after the Bishop's visit. The people have kept a good remembrance of their stay among them. The San Xavier Indians especially were formerly fond of speaking of Father Mesea as a man who pleaded their cause with their agent, to get from him the agricultural implements they needed, besides caring zealously for their spiritual welfare.
“In August, 1864, the Right Rev. Bishop of Santa Fe was informed that the Jesuit Fathers had been recalled by their Superior, and that Arizona was left without priests to care for the spiritual wants of its people. As the mission was considered a very dangerous one on account of the Apache Indians scattered all over its territory, the good Prelate felt reluctant to send to it any of his priests authoritatively. What he did was to express his desire that some of them would volunteer for it. Out of three who offered themselves for the distant and dangerous mission, two were accepted, viz: Rev. Peter Lassaigne and Rev. Peter Bernal. The third was kept back on account of two schools he was actually engaged in building in the parish of Mora, and which had not yet reached their completion. It took only a few days to have the two priests ready for their journey. The distance between Santa Fe and Tucson was six hundred miles. The half of it was travelled by stage without difficulty, but from Las Cruces, where they left the stage, the missionaries could not find any facility for going farther in the direc