2nd Arizona Territorial Legislature

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The 2nd Arizona Territorial Legislative Assembly was a session of the Arizona Territorial Legislature which began on December 6, 1865, in Prescott, Arizona, and ran for 24 days.[1] The sessions chief accomplishments were creation of Pah-Ute County and establishing Arizona as a community property jurisdiction.


At the time the 2nd legislature met, Arizona Territory was only two years old and still in the process of setting up basic government services. The American Civil War was still in progress and military troops to deal with Apache and other tribes hostile to white settlement was limited. Establishment of the Colorado River Indian Reservation had however greatly reduced conflict with the Mohave.[2]

Mail service was a major concern in the territory. As Territorial Secretary Richard C. McCormick stated, "The hostile Indian is scarcely more inimical to the progress and prosperity of a new country than the mail contractor who by his faithlessness interrupts the business and social intercourse of the people, and deprives them of their only means of communication with the outer world."[3] The previous year had seen the establishment of the territory's first mail route, connecting Prescott with Los Angeles, California, Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory, and Tubac. To this route McCormick wished to see restoration of the old Butterfield route along with a new route serving settlers along the Colorado River.[4]

The period since the previous legislative session had also seen the territory's second elections held in September 1865. During the elections, Governor John N. Goodwin had defeated Charles D. Poston for Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. As a result, Secretary McCormick was left as Acting Governor.[5]

Legislative session[edit]

The twenty-four-day-long session of the Second Legislative Assembly convened in Prescott on December 6, 1865.[1]

Governor's address[edit]

The Governor's address was given by Acting Governor Richard C. McCormick on December 11, 1865.[6] During the address he called for general legislation, as opposed to special enactments, to clear up legal problems dealing with mine ownership within the territory. Other issues involved creation of jails to hold law breakers and encouraging agriculture by settlers and "tame Indians" to provide food to the territory's population.[7]


The first act of the session was the creation of Pah-Ute County from the northern part of Mohave County. Upon the recommendation of Acting Governor McCormick, the county was created to serve the needs of a rapidly growing population of farmers along the Colorado River. The county seat was initially located in Callville but later moved to the town of St. Thomas. On May 5, 1866, the United States Congress gave most of the new county's territory to the State of Nevada.[8][9]

Two changes to marriage laws made. First established Arizona as a community property jurisdiction. The second prohibited marriage of a white person to an Indian, Mongoloid, Mulatto, or Negro. This anti-miscegenation law remained on the books for nearly 100 years before being eliminated in the midst of a court case involving a person of Japanese descent marrying a white person.[10][11]

Other legislation passed included two new taxes. The first an ad valorem tax of US$0.25 per $100 of assessed value passed, the second a poll tax of $3.00 for everyone except Indians, Mongoloids, and Negros. Three member Board of Supervisors were authorized to oversee affairs in each county. Finally, December 4, 1865, was set for the opening date of the first session of the territorial supreme court.[10]

In addition to the legislation, a concurrent resolution expressing sorrow over the death of Abraham Lincoln was passed.[12]


House of Representatives[13]
Name District Name District
Simon Chambers[A] Pima Alexancer McKey Yuma
Peter Doll Yuma William J. Osborn[A] Pima
Juan Elias[A] Pima M. R. Platt[A] Pima
Daniel Ellis Yavapai James O. Robertson Yavapai
Octavius D. Gass Mohave Converse W. C. Rowell Mohave
James S. Giles (Speaker) Yavapai Manual Smith[A] Pima
William K. Heninger Yuma Daniel H. Stickney Pima
Samuel C. Hughes[A] Pima John W. Sweeney[A] Pima
Jackson McCracklin Yavapai Henry McC. Ward[A] Pima
Name District
Coles Bashford Pima
Henry A. Bigelow (President) Yavapai
Patrick H. Dunne Pima
Robert W. Groom Yavapai
William H. Hardy Mohave
Francisco S. León Pima
George W. Pierce[B] Pima
Manuel Ravena Yuma
King Woolsey Yavapai
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Did not attend session.
  2. ^ Elected but resigned before the session began.


  1. ^ a b Farish 1916, p. 150.
  2. ^ Farish 1916, pp. 121-2.
  3. ^ Wagoner 1970, p. 50.
  4. ^ Wagoner 1970, pp. 49-50.
  5. ^ Farish 1916, pp. 148-9.
  6. ^ Goff 1978, p. 40.
  7. ^ Goff 1978, pp. 41-2.
  8. ^ Wagoner 1970, p. 58.
  9. ^ McClintock 1916, pp. 328-9.
  10. ^ a b Wagoner 1970, p. 65.
  11. ^ Goddard, Terry (March 2005). "The Promise of Brown v. Board of Education" (PDF). Office of the Arizona Attorney General. p. 7. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  12. ^ Farish 1916, p. 159.
  13. ^ a b Wagoner 1970, p. 506.

Further reading[edit]