3rd Arizona Territorial Legislature

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Arizona Territorial Legislature
2nd 4th
JurisdictionArizona Territory, United States
House of Representatives

The 3rd Arizona Territorial Legislative Assembly was a session of the Arizona Territorial Legislature which ran from October 3 through November 6, 1866, in Prescott, Arizona.[1]


At the time of the session's meeting, Arizona Territory was still in the process of being settled. Roads, postal service, and other forms of infrastructure were limited and Apache posed a threat to the lives and property of American settlers. Governor John Noble Goodwin had been elected Arizona Territory's Delegate and resigned as governor on April 10, 1866.[2] In his place, Territorial Secretary Richard C. McCormick had been appointed the territory's second governor.[3] The other big political concern was that most of Pah-Ute County, created by the previous session, had seen most of its land area transferred by the U.S. Congress to Nevada on December 4, 1865.[4]

Legislative session[edit]

The legislative session began in Prescott on October 3, 1866.

Governor's address[edit]

Governor Richard C. McCormick gave his address to the legislature on October 8, 1866.[5] During his speech he noted that a census earlier that year had shown a territorial population of 5,526.[6] There had been "an abundant harvest" produced by local farmers and McCormich believed Arizona's mineral wealth had the potential to promote significant development.[5][6]

Infrastructure presented continuing problems. The Governor was "ashamed to say that to this day there is not a stage coach running in Arizona".[5] He also denounced the reliability of postal service, claiming faithless mail contractors had abandoned their duties due to the threat posed by Apache.[6] To support the establishment of law and order, McCormick recommended construction of jails and courthouses. He suggested the Apache threat could be dealt with by either moving them to reservations or by an influx of settlers crowding them out.[6]

Financially, Governor McCormick reported that territorial debt had reached US$21,051.40.[6] As a result, he recommended that new expenditures be limited.[5]


The session oversaw a reorganization of the territorial government. The position of Territorial Attorney general was dissolved while a district attorney office was created. The Board of Territorial Auditor was likewise eliminated with a new Territorial Auditor position taking its place.[7]

To deal with transportation needs, the legislature authorized counties to levy a special road tax to construct highways.[6] Yavapai County received authorization to levy a special property tax of $0.50 per $100 assessed value to pay for the construction of a jail and other public buildings in Prescott.[8]

The session passed a resolution honoring the accomplishments of the Arizona Volunteers, a ranger force organized to fight Apaches, stated the Volunteers "have inflicted greater punishment upon the Apache than all other troops in the Territory, besides ofttimes pursuing him barefoot and upon half-rations, to his fastnesses, cheerfully enduring the hardships encountered on mountain and desert."[9] Memoranda sent to the U.S. Congress included requests for additional mail routes and a plea to repeal the law transferring most of Pah-Ute county to Nevada.[6]


House of Representatives[10]
Name District Name District
Underwood C. Barnett Yavapai William S. Little Yavapai
Oscar Buckalew Pima Michael McKenna Pima
Soloman W. Chambers[A] Pima William J. Osborn Pima
Royal J. Cutler[A] Pah-Ute Granville H. Oury (Speaker) Pima
Alonzo E. Davis Mohave Robert F. Platt Yuma
Marcus D. Dobbins Yuma John B. Slack Yavapai
James S. Douglas Pima Hannibal Sypert Yavapai
Daniel Ellis Yavapai William H Thomas[A] Yuma
Thomas D. Hutton[A] Pima Henry McC. Ward Pima
Name District
Mark Aldrich (President) Pima
Octavius D. Gass Pah-Ute
William H. Hardy Mohave
Henry Jenkins[A] Pima
Daniel S. Lount Yavapai
Alexander McKey Yuma
Mortimer R. Platt Pima
John W. Simmons Yavapai
Lewis A Stevens Yavapai
  1. ^ a b c d e Did not attend session.


  1. ^ Goff 1996, p. 29.
  2. ^ McMullin & Walker 1984, p. 28.
  3. ^ McMullin & Walker 1984, p. 29.
  4. ^ Wagoner 1970, p. 65.
  5. ^ a b c d Goff 1978, p. 42.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Wagoner 1970, p. 67.
  7. ^ Farish 1916, p. 185.
  8. ^ Farish 1916, p. 189.
  9. ^ Wagoner 1970, p. 48.
  10. ^ a b Wagoner 1970, p. 507.
  • Farish, Thomas Edwin (1916). History of Arizona, Vol IV. San Francisco: Filmer Brothers Electrotype Company.
  • Goff, John S. (1978). Arizona Territorial Officials Volume II: The Governors 1863-1912. Cave Creek, Arizona: Black Mountain Press. OCLC 5100411.
  • Goff, John S. (1996). Arizona Territorial Officials Volume VI: Members of the Legislature A–L. Cave Creek, Arizona: Black Mountain Press. OCLC 36714908.
  • McMullin, Thomas A.; Walker, David (1984). Biographical Directory of American Territorial Governors. Westport, CT: Meckler Publishing. ISBN 0-930466-11-X.
  • Wagoner, Jay J. (1970). Arizona Territory 1863-1912: A Political history. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. ISBN 0-8165-0176-9.

Further reading[edit]