ARIZONA ACROSS 400 YEARS
Stories from a Colorful Past
By John Philip Wilson
A collection of episodes, from the earliest European explorations of Arizona in the 1500s to the early twentieth century, that includes both little-known and more familiar events.
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These fourteen non-fictional accounts relate to Arizona from the time of the first visit by Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1540 to the frustrated claim of a would-be homesteader in the early 1900s. Between these we meet a series of military visitors, the railroad dreams of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, adventures and encounters by early-day travelers, and characterizations of Fort Yuma and Tucson by persons who were not among their admirers. Two young boys helped to turn aside the mayhem brought on by the last Apache raid in 1886, and less than a decade later Arizona farmers began raising a new type of livestock—ostriches. The glowing success of oil drillers in Texas and California encouraged Arizona entrepreneurs to explore for black gold as well. The results proved elusive. These and other stories helped establish the state’s colorful history.
The author is an archaeologist and historical researcher, now retired after ten years with a state museum and another twenty-eight years contracting for clients that included utility companies, mining and engineering businesses, Native American tribes, and several state and federal agencies. Among his published books are When the Texans Came, Missing Records from the Civil War in the Southwest; Islands in the Desert, A History of the Uplands of Southeastern Arizona; Peoples of the Middle Gila, A Documentary History of the Pimas and Maricopas, 1500–1945 and New Mexico Episodes, Stories from a Colorful Past, the latter from Sunstone Press. He lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
6 x 9, Illustrated