Map of Arizona Territory, C.S.A. (1861)
(Image property of Hans K. Kirsch.)

     Loss of mail service, constant threat of Apache raids, feeling largely ignored by the Federal Government, and having States' Rights beliefs like those of their Texan neighbors, the people of the southern portion of New Mexico Territory chose to secede when Federal forces withdrew from the area in early 1861. A "friendly invasion" by Confederate troops from Texas under Lt. Col. John Robert Baylor (27 July 1822-08 February 1894) secured the region from Union reprisal, and Baylor proclaimed Arizona a Confederate Territory on 01 August 1861. Granville Henderson Oury (12 March 1825-11 January 1891) was then sent to Richmond as their Congressional Representative. Oury was later replaced by Marcus H. MacWillie. The Provisional Confederate Congress passed legislation for the official creation of the territory on 13 January 1862, which President Jefferson Davis (03 June 1808-06 December 1889) approved on 14 February 1862.

     The Confederacy was not able to maintain possession of Arizona beyond July 1862 due to Federal opposition, and lack of supply, finances, military, political, and public support. On 24 February 1863, the Federal Government formed its own Arizona Territory to spite the Confederacy. Against logic of population statistics or topographical reasoning, they created the state lines as they are today. Coincidentally, Arizona achieved statehood on the 50th Anniversary of its recognition by the Confederate Government, 14 February 1912.

Ordinance of Secession of Arizona Territory
(Passed in Convention at Mesilla, 16 March 1861.
Ratified by a second convention at Tucson, 28 March 1861.)

WHEREAS, a sectional party of the North has disregarded the Constitution of the United States, violated the rights of the Southern States, and heaped wrongs and indignities upon their people; and WHEREAS, the Government of the United States has heretofore failed to give us adequate protection against the savages within our midst and has denied us an administration of the laws, and that security for life, liberty, and property which is due from all governments to the people; and WHEREAS, it is an inherent, inalienable right in all people to modify, alter, or abolish their form of government whenever it fails in the legitimate objects of its institution, or when it is subversive thereof; and WHEREAS, in a government of federated, sovereign States, each State has a right to withdraw from the confederacy whenever the treaty by which the league is formed, is broken; and WHEREAS, the Territories belonging to said league in common should be divided when the league is broken, and should be attached to the separating States according to their geographical position and political identity; and WHEREAS, Arizona naturally belongs to the Confederate States of America (who have rightfully and lawfully withdrawn from said league), both geographically and politically, by ties of a common interest and a common cause; and WHEREAS we, the citizens of that part of New Mexico called Arizona, in the present distracted state of political affairs between the North and the South, deem it our duty as citizens of the United States to make known our opinions and intentions; therefore be it,

RESOLVED, That our feelings and interests are with the Southern States, and that although we deplore the division of the Union, yet we cordially indorse the course pursued by the seceded Southern States.

RESOLVED, That geographically and naturally we are bound to the South, and to her we look for protection; and as the Southern States have formed a Confederacy, it is our earnest desire to be attached to that Confederacy as a Territory.

RESOLVED, That we do not desire to be attached as a Territory to any State seceding separately from the Union, but to and under the protection of a Confederacy of the Southern States.

RESOLVED, That the recent enactment of the Federal Congress, removing the mail service from the Atlantic to the Pacific States from the Southern to the Central or Northern route, is another powerful reason for us to ask the Southern Confederate States of America for a continuation of the postal service over the Butterfield or El Paso route, at the earliest period.

RESOLVED, That it shall be the duty of the President of this Convention to order an election for a delegate to the Congress of the Confederate States of America, when he is informed that the States composing said Confederacy have ordered an election for members of Congress.

RESOLVED, That we will not recognize the present Black Republican Administration, and that we will resist any officers appointed to this Territory by said Administration with whatever means in our power.

RESOLVED, That the citizens residing in the western portion of this Territory are invited to join us in this movement.

RESOLVED, That the proceedings of this Convention be published in the Mesilla Times, and that a copy thereof be forwarded to the President of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, with the request that the same be laid before Congress.

Passed by the People of Arizona, in Convention assembled at La Mesilla, Arizona Territory, 16 March 1861.

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