A lot of Tucsonans have never heard of this tragic piece of history, and may even be quite shocked about it!
It happened in 1871, In the early morning hours on April 30th. Eight men, 110 Apache women and children were brutally murdered within 30 minutes. Some of the little children, defenseless and scared were kidnapped from the bloody scene and put up for sale in what used to be the child slave trade. Imagine how terrified these children were, seeing their dead mothers lying in the dirt! I can just imagine. Just awful!
Before this tragedy happened, it all started when 5 hungry Apache ladies came to the “0ld camp Grant. This camp was used from 1866 to 1872 for the military post at the confluence near the San Pedro river and Aravapai creek. It was abandoned and rebuilt many times, also called Ft. Breckenridge In 1860 before it bacame Camp Grant. The fort had a purpose and the purpose was for security to the white settlers and miners before and after the civil war.
So anyways, after the Apache women came, the man in charge at that time, a Lt. Royal Whitman let them stay. Technically, the Apaches would be considered “Prisoners of war”. After the Apaches heard about this place having food and a safe place to go to. Then over 500 Apaches came to Camp Grant.
The chief of these people was named Chief Eskiminzin, made a request that the Apaches could earn some cash by working as helpers to the farmers and ranchers. They wanted to grow corn along the Aravapai creek. Permission was granted. Unfortunately, the white people were always problematic about the Apaches.The Tucsonan’s constantly complained to the Army.
Then on March 0f 1871, some Indians killed 2 men and stole 16 mule after attacking a baggage train. The angry Tucsonans sent a delegation to General George Stoneman.
The Papago Indians hated the Apaches and told the Tucsonans about them raiding farms and stealing cows. Then the Americans and Mexicans began to leave Tucson to avoid suspicion, one of these men was Mr. William S. Oury.
Then comes Jesus Elias who claimed the Aravapai Apaches killed his two brothers and attacked his family homestead. This brought Oury and Elias together to become Vigilantes. At the trial, no one was found guilty.
Thank you very much for reading this tragic piece of Arizona history, enjoy the video and photos! Aravaipa is said to be haunted, due to this blood bath of Native American’s. Have a great week!