Originally established as a Spanish military outpost in 1775. Named for the Uto-Aztec term for "at the base of a black hill," for the adjacent volcanic Sentinel Peak. It became part of Mexico after that country gained its independence from Spain in 1821. The pueblo became part of the United States with the Gadsden Purchase in 1853. During the early days of the Civil War, Tucson served as the western capital of the Confederacy's Arizona Territory until Union forces claimed the territory in 1863 and became part of the new Arizona Territory.
The Long Hunt: On March 14, 1877, Bret Maverick visited Governor Anson P. K. Safford's office in Tucson to make an appeal on the behalf of Jedd Ferris, wrongfully serving a life sentence in Yuma Territorial Prison for the 1872 crimes committed in Dry Springs by Lefty Dolan. Safford had commuted Ferris' death sentence to one of life imprisonment and lost some important political allies as a result. With only Bret's unsubstantiated story, Safford refused the appeal. Bret spent much of October that year convalescing with a broken arm.
ABOVE: Tucson, Arizona Territory, looking east from Sentinel Peak, 1880.
ABOVE: Tucson, Arizona Territory, looking east from Sentinel Peak, 2013.
Today, Tucson is the oldest incorporated city in the United States.
01. Tucson: The Life and Times of an American City, C. L. Sonnichsen (October 15, 1987), University of Oklahoma Press
02. The Conjectural Maverick, Maverick Trails
03. Maverick, The Thirty-Ninth Star (1958), Dell Publishing Company, Inc.
04. Maverick, The Long Hunt (1958), Dell Publishing Company, Inc.
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