11th Arizona Territorial Legislature

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The 11th Arizona Territorial Legislative Assembly was a session of the Arizona Territorial Legislature which convened on January 3, 1881, in Prescott, Arizona Territory.[1][2]


Since assuming office, Governor John C. Frémont had been mostly absent from his duties. The governor had left for Washington D.C. on February 28, 1879, to lobby the territory's case in a dispute over the boundaries of the Gila River Indian Reservation. The trip was expected to take five or six weeks to complete. Frémont had not returned to the territory till August 1879.[3] The governor had again left the territory on March 18, 1880.[4] He did not return to Prescott till January 5, 1881.[5] In response to these prolonged periods with no resident territorial governor, Territorial Delegate John G. Campbell said "So far we cannot tell what sort of Governor he will make as he has spent most of his time in the East."[6]

While he was away, the non-partisan alliance that had controlled Arizona Territory during the McCormick and Safford administrations broke down. This allowed the territory's Democratic Party to organize an effective opposition to the Republican governor.[5] The other signification change was the size of the legislature, which had been expanded to twelve members in the upper house and twenty-four members in the lower house.[7]

Legislative session[edit]

The legislative session began on January 3, 1881.

Governor's address[edit]

Governor Frémont's address to the session focused upon economic development. To this end he called for Federal aid in building water storage systems within the territory and increased trade with Mexico.[5] To encourage additional capital investment in the territory's mines, the governor requested removal of all taxes levied on mining products.[6] On other issues, Frémont recommended divorces be handled by the courts.[6]

The regular address was followed on February 21, 1881, by a special message. In the message, Governor Frémont called for a 100-man force to be organized to fight banditry along and near the border with Mexico.[8]


The most important, and contentious action of the session was the creation of three new counties: Cochise, Gila, Graham.[8] Of these, Cochise County generated the most objections. Creation of the county was opposed by interests in Tucson due to the diversion of tax income from their city to the new county seat. Tombstone had however managed to elect a disproportional level of representation to the session and was able to overcome the objections.[7] The new county's name also generated opposition as Representative Sharp of Maricopa County objected to the county being named for Cochise due to the "depredation and murderous attacks of that bloodthirsty savage."[9]

The towns of Phoenix, Prescott, and Tombstone were incorporated. A variety of bond issues were additionally authorized to fund construction of courthouses, jails, and other government buildings throughout the territory.[8]

Acting upon the governor's recommendation, the territorial bullion tax on mined products was repealed.[8] Frémont's request for a special force to fight crime along border with Mexico was refused.[8] The previous session's creation of a territorial lottery was repealed,[10] and gambling by minors prohibited.[8]


House of Representatives[11]
Name District Name District
J. Barton Apache Donald Robb Pinal
Peter J. Bolan Maricopa J. K. Rodgers Pima
George E. Brown Yavapai John Roman Pima
Andrew J. Doran Pinal M. G. Samaniego Pima
Thomas Dunbar Pima N. Sharp Maricopa
E. B. Gifford Pima E. H. Smith Pima
John Haynes Pima M. S. Snyder Pima
J. F. Knapp (Speaker) Yuma David Southwick Mohave
M. K. Lurty Pima R. B. Steadman Yavapai
John McCafferty Pima H. M. Woods Pima
John McCormack Maricopa L. Wollenberg Yavapai
G. W. Norton Yuma G. R. York Apache
Name District
J. W. Anderson Pinal
Albert C. Baker Maricopa
Solomon Barth Apache
A. Cornwall Mohave
John W. Dorrington Yuma
B. A. Fickas Pima
B. H. Hereford Pima
Murat Masterson (President) Yavapai
William K. Meade Pima
H. G. Rollins Pima
George H. Stevens Pima
R. S. Thomas Maricopa


  1. ^ McClintock 1916, p. 371.
  2. ^ Goff 1978, p. 57.
  3. ^ Goff 1978, pp. 78-9.
  4. ^ Goff 1978, p. 79.
  5. ^ a b c Goff 1978, p. 80.
  6. ^ a b c Wagoner 1970, p. 174.
  7. ^ a b McClintock 1916, p. 333.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Wagoner 1970, p. 175.
  9. ^ Wagoner 1970, p. 176.
  10. ^ Wagoner 1970, p. 173.
  11. ^ a b Wagoner 1970, p. 515.
  • Goff, John S. (1978). Arizona Territorial Officials Volume II: The Governors 1863-1912. Cave Creek, Arizona: Black Mountain Press. OCLC 5100411.
  • McClintock, James H. (1916). Arizona, Prehistoric, Aboriginal, Pioneer, Modern Vol. II. Chicago: S. J. Clarke.
  • Wagoner, Jay J. (1970). Arizona Territory 1863-1912: A Political history. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. ISBN 0-8165-0176-9.

Further reading[edit]