Need some primary source material on the history of Arizona? The State Library has gathered a large number of documents relating to Arizona’s path to statehood, much of which is available online.
Documents Leading to Statehood
Notice: The following is provided for informational purposes only.
This compilation incorporates sections, shown in italics, from Mulford Winsor’s Arizona’s Way to Statehood (Phoenix, AZ: n.p., 1945 (reprint, Arizona Secretary of State, n.d.); AZDocs No.: SS 1.2:S 71). The Honorable Mulford Winsor (1874-1956) was a delegate to the Arizona Constitutional Convention of 1910 and was elected to the Arizona State Senate five times. He also served as Director of the Department of Library and Archives (now Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records) from 1932-1956. Mr. Winsor noted that Arizona’s road to statehood was not an easy one:
In all, thirty-nine bills and twelve joint resolutions aimed exclusively or in conjunction with other Territories at statehood for Arizona were introduced in the two houses of Congress. Of these, twenty-nine bills and nine resolutions died in the committee of the house of origin, three bills were reported favorably but received no further consideration, four bills and one resolution passed the House of Representatives but did not reach a vote in the Senate, one bill passed both houses but died for want of agreement concerning amendments, one bill became a law but failed when its terms were rejected by the people of Arizona, one resolution passed both houses but was vetoed by the President, and one bill and one joint resolution, effecting the purpose for which they were designed, passed both houses and received the President’s approval.
Arizona is “composed of Territory ceded by Mexico; part [north of the Gila River] by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, and part [south of the Gila River] by what is known as the ‘Gadsden Purchase‘”…. The Arizona Geographic Alliance has produced a map showing the “Historical Development of Arizona and New Mexico Boundaries” which gives an overview of the many changes that took place before Arizona achieved statehood. The following is a chronology of key documents along Arizona’s road to statehood.
- Northwest Ordinance
The Avalon Project at Yale Law School provides a transcription of the Northwest Ordinance. This created a legal structure within which the inhabitants of lands outside of the 13 original states could operate, outlined the steps to form territorial governments and the means by which new states could be admitted to the Union. See also:Northwest Ordinance (Library of Congress), Northwest Ordinance (1787) (Our Documents: 100 Milestone Documents from the National Archives) and 1 Stat. 50 “An Act to provide for the Government of the Territory Northwest of the river Ohio” (Library of Congress).
- Confidential Letter of the Secretary of War to General Kearny
In December 1845, the U.S. Congress voted to annex the Texas Republic which Mexico considered to be its territory and, after border skirmishes, Congress declared war on Mexico on May 13, 1846. Brigadier General Stephen W. Kearny was sent with troops to secure New Mexico, Chihuahua, and California. This June 3, 1846 letter to Kearny from the Secretary of War was reprinted in the United States Serial Set and the Library of Congress provides access to H. Ex. Doc. No. 60 p. 153 (30th Congress, 1st Session) (1848).
- Bill of Rights for the Territory of New Mexico
The New Mexico Office of the State Historian provides this transcription as declared by Brigadier General Stephen W. Kearny, September 22, 1846.
- Laws for the Government of the Territory of New Mexico
The Avalon Project at Yale Law School provides a transcription of the Laws for the Government of the Territory of New Mexico dated September 22, 1846 also known as the Kearny Code. An explanation of the international law at the time relating to conquest of land through war and treaties that follows are in two U.S. Supreme Court cases: Leitensdorfer v. Webb, 61 U.S. 176 (1857) and Fleming v. Page, 50 U.S. 603 (1850).
- Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
This Library of Congress site has links to pages from the Treaty signed February 2, 1848 which brought an end to the war between the United States and Mexico.
- [Senate] Executive [Document], No. 7 (30th Congress, 1st Session)
This Library of Congress site links to Notes of a Military Reconnoissance [sic], From Fort Leavenworth, In Missouri, To San Diego, In California, Including Part of the Arkansas, Del Norte, and Gila Rivers. By W.H. Emory, Brevet Major, Corps Topographical Engineers. Made in 1846-7, with the Advanced Guard of the “Army of the West.” (Washington, DC: Wendell and van Benthuysen, Printers, 1848). According to Amazing Arizona! Historical Markers in Arizona. (Phoenix, AZ: Arizona Development Board, ) (AZDocs No.: DEV 1.2:H 47):
This book, describing the area between Bent’s Fort and California with full notes, astronomical readings and maps, possibly was the greatest single factor that led to the opening of the southern snowfree route to California. For just a year later the great gold rush started, and Emory’s book brought travelers along the Gila in increasing numbers.
- Compromise of 1850
This is from a series of Library of Congress guides to “Primary Documents in American History” and shows how the creation of the Territory of New Mexico (which included Arizona) was part of the Compromise of 1850 which was an attempt to maintain the balance between the free and slave states in the United States and avert a crisis between the North and South.
- Senate discussion of S. 307 August 6, 1850 (31st Congress, 1st session)
S.307 “A Bill Proposing to the State of Texas the establishment of her Northern and Western boundaries, the relinquishment by the said State of all territory claimed by her exterior to said boundaries, and of all her claims upon the United States” as amended, would result in the establishment of the Territory of New Mexico on September 9, 1850. The Territory of New Mexico included much of the land that now makes up the State of Arizona. The Library of Congress provides access to the Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, vol. 41, pp. 524-529 where the background is provided for amending the bill.
- 9 Stat. 446
The Library of Congress provides access to “An Act proposing to the State of Texas the Establishment of her Northern and Western Boundaries, the Relinquishment by the said State of all Territory claimed by her exterior to said Boundaries, and all her Claims upon the United States, and to establish a territorial Government for New Mexico” from the September 9, 1850 entry in the Statutes at Large.
- 9 Stat. 1005-1006
The Library of Congress provides access to President Millard Fillmore’s December 13, 1850 proclamation “Declaring Act of 1850, ch. 49, respecting the Boundaries of Texas, to be in force” which was published on pp. 1005-1006 of the appendix to vol. 9 of the Statutes at Large. This acknowledged that the Texas legislature had passed an act accepting the new boundaries.
- Gadsden Purchase Treaty
The Avalon Project at Yale Law School provides a transcription of the Gadsden Purchase Treaty as amended by the Senate of the United States and signed by President Franklin Pierce on June 30, 1854. The version of the treaty which was signed in Mexico on December 30, 1853 specified that the United States would pay $15 million for 45,000 square miles of territory. However, when the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty on April 25, 1854, only $10 million was authorized for the purchase of 29,670 square miles of territory. The renegotiated treaty was signed by Antonio López de Santa Anna on June 8, 1854. See also: Gadsden Purchase, 1853-1854 (U.S. Department of State).
- In the district south of the Gila [River, i.e., the land acquired through the Gadsden Purchase] there soon came to be a demand for some form of government. The population contained many turbulent characters, and the seat of the Territorial government at Santa Fe was so far removed from Tucson, Calabasas, Tubac and the mining camps between Tucson and the border as to be of no validity. Arizona was literally a land without organized society.
- August 29, 1856, a convention was held at Tucson which sent to Congress a memorial, signed by 260 citizens, urging the organization of a Territory of Arizona, and also provided for sending a delegate to Washington. Mark Aldrich, Mayor of Tucson, was the president of the convention; James Douglas of Sopori and Jose M. Martinez of San Xavier, vice-presidents; G. K. Terry and W. N. Brawner, secretaries, and Nathan P. Cook, G. H. Oury, H. Ehrenburg [sic], Ignacio Ortiz, and I. D. L. Pack constituted the Committee on Resolutions. Nathan P. Cook was elected as delegate. He went to Washington, and although not admitted to a seat, his mission was noticed.
- S. 176 (34th Congress, 1st Session)
The Library of Congress provides access to “A Bill To establish a separate judicial district south of the Gila, and to create the office of surveyor general therein, to provide for the adjudication of certain land claims, to grant donations to actual settlers, to survey certain lands, and for other purposes” which was introduced March 18, 1856 by Sen. Rusk of Texas. January 28, 1857 (34th Congress, 3rd Session) the title of the bill was changed to read “A bill to establish a separate judicial district south of the Gila, and to create the office of surveyor general therein; to provide for the adjudication of certain land claims; to grant donations to actual settlers; to survey certain lands; to provide for the representation of the inhabitants of the ”Gadsden Purchase” in the territorial legislature of New Mexico, and for other purposes.”
- H.R. 752 (34th Congress, 3rd Session)
The Library of Congress provides access to “A Bill To establish a separate judicial district south of the Gila, and to create the office of surveyor general therein; to provide for the adjudication of certain land claims; to grant donations to actual settlers; to survey certain lands; to provide for the representation of the inhabitants of the ‘Gadsden Purchase’ in the Territorial legislature of New Mexico, and for other purposes” which Rep. Morrill of Vermont, from the Committee on Territories, brought to the House Committee of the Whole on January 20, 1857.
- On the first Monday in September, 1857, another election was held at Tucson. New petitions to Congress were prepared and Sylvester Mowry was chosen delegate to Congress. He was not admitted.
- S. 8 (35th Congress, 1st Session)
A Bill (S. 8) [available through the Library of Congress] “to organize the territory of Arizona, and to create the office of Surveyor General therein, to provide for the examination of private land claims, to grant donations to actual settlers, to survey the public and private lands, and for other purposes,” was introduced on leave in Senate by Hon. William M. Gwin [of California], and referred to Committee on Territories, Dec. 17, 1857. The proposed Territory included the Gadsden Purchase and Dona Anna [sic] county, New Mexico, thus extending from the Colorado river to the border of Texas. The committee was discharged from further consideration of the bill, Feb. 8, 1859. See: “Memoir of the Proposed Territory of Arizona by Sylvester Mowry, U. S. A., Delegate Elect” (Avalon Project at Yale Law School)
- September 1, 1858, at Mesilla, and July 3, 1859, Tucson, meetings were held at which Mowry was nominated for reelection. In September he was reelected.
- S. 555 (35th Congress, 2nd Session)
The Library of Congress provides access to this U.S. Congressional bill “to provide temporary governments for the Territories of Dacota [sic] and Arizona, and to create the office of surveyor general for the Territory of Arizona.” February 4, 1859, a bill was introduced in the Senate (S-555), for the admission of Dakota, in which bill Arizona was included. Nothing came of it.
- April 2-5, 1860, a Constitutional Convention was held at Tucson. Thirty-one delegates were present. The Constitution ordained and established a provisional government to remain in force until Congress should organize a Territorial Government. This Territory included all of New Mexico south of latitude 33 degrees, 40 minutes, and was subdivided into four counties. James A. Lucas was president, G. H. Oury and T. M. Turner secretaries of the convention. Dr. L. S. Owings of Mesilla was elected Governor. In November Edward McGowan was elected delegate to Congress to succeed Mowry.
- S. 365 (36th Congress, 1st Session)
The Library of Congress provides access to “A Bill To provide a temporary government for the Territory of Arizuma [sic] and to create the office of surveyor general therein.” A Bill (S. 365) “to provide a temporary government for the Territory of Arizuma,” was reported from Committee on Territories, Senate, by Hon. James S. Green, April 3, 1860; considered and amended Dec. 27 and further consideration thereof postponed December 31, 1860.
- In 1861, a convention was held in Tucson, which formally declared Arizona a part of the Confederacy, and in August G. H. Oury was elected delegate to the Confederate Congress. The Library of Congress provides access to Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America where the formation of the Territory of Arizona from the southern half of the Territory of New Mexico was proposed.
- H.R. 357 (37th Congress 2nd Session)
The Library of Congress provides access to this U.S. Congressional bill “to provide a temporary government for the Territory of Arizona” which was to be formed from the western portion of the existing Territory of New Mexico. …the Arizona Bill was again introduced, and this time the north and south boundary was fixed where it now is on the 109th meridian…. [The bill] was reported from Committee on Territories, House of Representatives, by Hon.James M. Ashley, March 13, 1862; passed that House May 8, 1862; passed the Senate Feb. 20, 1863; and became a law February 24, 1863.
- 12 Stat. 664
The Library of Congress provides access to “An Act to provide a temporary Government for the Territory of Arizona, and for other Purposes” which became effective February 24, 1863. President Abraham Lincoln appointed Arizona’s Territorial officials who took the oath of office at Navajo Springs, Arizona on December 29, 1863.
- See: 19th-century ‘Old West’ law surprisingly sophisticated by Fred Veil (Sharlot Hall Museum)
- Hartley’s Map of Arizona
This 1865 map by William B. Hartley from the collections of the Library of Congress shows the original boundaries of the Territory of Arizona before the U.S. Congress transferred land from Mohave (AZGenWeb Project) and Pah-Ute counties in the Territory of Arizona to the State of Nevada in 1866.
- 14 Stat. 43
The Library of Congress provides access to “An Act concerning the Boundaries of the State of Nevada” which was approved May 5, 1866. This offered the State of Nevada land from the territories of Utah and Arizona that bordered Nevada on the east and south. James Warren Nye who served as Governor and then as U.S. Senator from the State of Nevada, served on the Committee on Territories which recommended passage of S. 155 (39th Congress, 1st Session) which took land from both Mohave (AZGenWeb Project) and Pah-Ute counties in the Territory of Arizona. The triangular section of land bounded by 37 degrees north latitude and running to the California border now forms the southern tip of Nevada where Las Vegas is located.
- The subject of Statehood was first broached in 1877, when [Arizona Territorial] Governor A. P. K. Safford, in a measure to the Arizona Legislature, predicted that the Territory “will soon become a State.”
- 24 Stat. 170 (pdf) (506 KB)
“An act to prohibit the passage of local or special laws in the Territories of the United States” also known as the “Harrison Act” was passed by Congress to limit the ability of the Territories to exceed set debt limits.
- H. R. 11916 (50th Congress 2nd Session)
This ambition [to become a state] did not, however, attract the attention of Congress until January 2, 1889, when Hon. Wm. M. Springer of Illinois introduced in the House of Representatives a bill (H. R. 11916) “to enable the people of Arizona and Idaho to form constitutions and State governments.” The bill was referred to the Committee on Territories, but was not reported back.
- The Fifteenth Territorial Legislature passed a bill, approved March 21, 1889, providing for the “holding of a convention for the purpose of framing a State constitution.” An election was to have been held November 5, 1889, and there were to be forty-two delegates. They were to receive $5 per day each, but “shall receive pay for no more than thirty days.” The delegates were to have assembled at Phoenix on the first Tuesday of January, 1890. Governor Meyer C. Zulick, who was an ardent champion of Statehood, approved the bill–indeed he had much to do with its passage. But on April 9–nineteen days after approval of the bill–Lewis Wolfley succeeded Governor Zulick, and the election which the law provided the Governor should call was never called. See also: Territorial Governor Conrad Zulick had his share of trouble by Richard Gorby (Sharlot Hall Museum)
- In September, 1891, Arizona’[s] first constitutional convention was held. It was a volunteer affair, participated in by delegates from all parts of the Territory. Among them were such well-known citizens as W. A. Rowe, H. M. Alexander, George W. Cheyney, Marshall H. Williams, Marcus A. Smith, William H. Barnes, Frank Hereford, J. W. Anderson, Alonzo Bailey, Ben M. Crawford, Thomas Davis, Foster S. Dennis, Thomas Gates, W. A. Hartt, John Hunt, William Herring, T. C. Jordan, Martin McDonald, Thomas G. Norris, A. M. Patterson, J. M. Wilson. Rowe was elected president, and Allen C. Bernard of Tucson was secretary.
- Journals of the Constitutional Convention for the State of Arizona
This Convention was convened September 7, 1891 and adjourned October 3, 1891. The Journals are from the collections of Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records–State Library of Arizona (AZDocs No.: COC 3.9:J 58)
- H.R. 7204 (52nd Congress 1st Session)
A Bill (H.R. 7204) “to provide for the admission of the State of Arizona into the Union, and for other purposes,” was introduced in the House of Representatives by Hon. Marcus A. Smith, Delegate from Arizona, and referred to Committee on Territories, March 14, 1892; reported back favorably from the committee by Mr. Smith, March 16, 1892; passed June 6, 1892. In the Senate, referred to Committee on Territories, June 9, 1892; no further action.
- H.R. 3322 (53rd Congress 1st Session)
A Bill (H.R. 3322) “to provide for the admission of the State of Arizona into the Union and for other purposes,” was introduced in the House of Representatives by Hon. Marcus A. Smith, delegate from Arizona, and referred to Committee on Territories, September 21, 1893.
- H.R. 4393 (53rd Congress 1st Session)
H.R. 4393 was reported back favorably from the committee as a substitute [for H.R. 3322 ], by Mr. Smith, November 3, 1893; amended and passed December 15, 1893. In the Senate, referred to Committee on Territories, Dec. 18, 1893; reported back from the committee, with amendments, by Hon. Charles J. Faulkner of West Virginia, August 2, 1894; no further action.
- Proceedings of the Arizona Convention for Statehood
The convention was held in Phoenix, Arizona November 27 and 28, 1893. The Proceedings are from the collections of Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records–State Library of Arizona (AZDocs No.: COC 3.9:S 71)
- 29 Stat. 262 (pdf) (588 KB)
“An Act Amending and extending the provisions of an Act of Congress entitled ‘An Act approving with amendments the funding Act of Arizona’” funded all outstanding debt of the Territory of Arizona and resolved issues arising from the Harrison Act. See: ” Letter to Honorable B. J. Franklin, Governor of Arizona Territory, captioned ‘In the Matter of Lewis Wolfley.'” (Arizona Memory Project)
- October 26, 1901, another statehood boom was launched, at a gathering held in Phoenix, called by Governor Oakes Murphy, attended by 130 prominent citizens. A. J. Doran was chairman. A delegation was selected to go to Washington to lobby for statehood. It included W. J. Murphy of Phoenix, William C. Green of San Pedro, E. B. Gage of Congress, John Lawler of Prescott, John Coffman of Pearce, and Dr. L. W. Mix of Nogales, all well-known citizens who have since passed on.
- H.R. 12543 (57th Congress, 1st Session)
A Bill (H.R. 12543) “to enable the people of Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Mexico to form constitutions and State governments,” was introduced in the House of Representatives by Hon. William S. Knox of Massachusetts, and referred to the Committee on Territories, March 14, 1902; reported favorably from the committee, by Mr. Knox, April 1, 1902; passed May 9, 1902. In the Senate, referred to Committee on Territories, May 12, 1902; reported back from the committee, with amendments, by Hon. Knute Nelson of Minnesota, December 3, 1902; debated and request made by Hon. M. S. Quay of Pennsylvania for unanimous consent for a vote, defeated by the objection of Hon. Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana, March 2, 1903.
- After the Knox statehood bill for Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Mexico passed the House in 1902 and was defeated in the Senate through the efforts of SenatorBeveridge of Indiana, Senator Beveridge and colleagues visited Arizona, inspected the Territory from the windows of their Pullman, saw the bad and overlooked the good, and carried back to Washington the report that Arizona was not ready for statehood.
- In October, 1903, a party of Congressmen was brought to Arizona by William Randolph Hearst, then a member of Congress. The report of this party was favorable.
- H.R. 14749 (58th Congress, 2nd Session)
A Bill (H.R. 14749) “to enable the people of Oklahoma and of the Indian Territory to form a constitution and State government, and to enable the people of New Mexico and of Arizona to form a constitution and state government,” [which proposed that Arizona and New Mexico would enter the Union as a single State]was introduced in the House of Representatives by Hon. Edward L. Hamilton of Michigan, and referred to the Committee on Territories, April 4, 1904 and reported back from the committee by Mr. Hamilton, April 8, 1904; debated and passed April 19, 1904. In the Senate, referred to Committee on Territories, April 20, 1904; reported back from the committee, with amendments, by Hon. Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana, December 16, 1904; debated and passed February 7, 1905; failed when the two houses were unable to agree on amendments.
- In 1905 Congressman Tawney of Minnesota headed another group of Congressmen who came inclined to favor joint-statehood, which had reared its head, but returned to Washington pledged against the plan. In the end, however, they voted for it.
- H.R. 12707 (59th Congress, 1st Session)
A Bill (H.R. 12707) “to enable the people of Oklahoma and of the Indian Territory to form a constitution and State government, and to enable the people of New Mexico and of Arizona to form a constitution and State government,” was introduced in the House of Representatives by Hon. Edward L. Hamilton of Michigan and referred to the Committee on Territories, January 22, 1906; reported back favorably from the committee, by Mr. Hamilton, January 23, 1906; debated, amended, and passed January 25, 1906. In the Senate, referred to Committee on Territories, January 25, 1906; reported back from the committee, by Hon. Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana, January 29, 1906; amended, due to the efforts of Hon. Joseph B. Foraker of Ohio, to provide for a vote by and to require approval of each territory separately, and passed March 9, 1906; approved by President Theodore Roosevelt, June 16, 1906.
- [T]he Hamilton (joint-statehood) bill… despite Arizona’s opposition passed, due, it is claimed, to the endorsement of President Theodore Roosevelt, probably influenced by Senator Beveridge. [An] election [was] held in New Mexico and Arizona, on [the] question of accepting statehood as a single state, November 6, 1906…. At the election in 1906, the gross majority of votes cast in the two Territories was against jointure. It was the tremendous opposition of Arizona–16,265 against to 3,141 for–that secured this end. The New Mexico vote was 26,195 for to 14,735 against. By a scant 1,634 the proposed jointure with New Mexico was avoided.
- H.R. 18166 (61st Congress, 2nd Session)
A Bill (H.R. 18166) “to enable the people of New Mexico to form a constitution and State government, and to enable the people of Arizona to form a constitution and State government,” was reported from Committee on Territories of the House of Representatives, as a substitute for pending statehood measures, by Hon. Edward L. Hamilton of Michigan, January 14, 1910; debated and passed January 17, 1910. In the Senate, referred to Committee on Territories, January 18, 1910; reported back from the committee, with an amendment to “strike out all after the enacting clause and insert a new bill,” by Hon. Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana; amended and passed June 16, 1910; amendment concurred in June 18, 1910; approved by President June 20, 1910. Election for delegates to Arizona constitutional convention, September 12, 1910; convention held at Phoenix, October 10-December 9, 1910; constitution ratified by people February 9, 1911.
- 36 Stat. 557-579 (pdf) (4,966 KB)
“An Act To enable the people of New Mexico to form a constitution and state government and be admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States; and to enable the people of Arizona to form a constitution and state government and be admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States.” Sections 19-35 cover Arizona.
- The fight for statehood did not end with the passage of the Enabling Act. There was the political fight for control of the Constitutional Convention; the fight over the character of the Constitution; the fight for ratification of the Constitution by the people of Arizona, and the fight for approval by the Congress and the President–the latter a requirement which had not been imposed upon states previously admitted.
- Constitution of the State of Arizona
This typed manuscript was signed December 9, 1910 by the members of the Constitutional Convention of the Territory of Arizona and is from the collections of the Arizona State Archives. This version of the constitution was vetoed by President William Howard Taft because it included a provision for the recall of judges.
- Coyle v. Smith, 221 U.S. 559
This case is mentioned in the U.S. Congressional floor debates about the judicial recall provision in the Arizona Constitution because it established that when a state is admitted the Union on an equal footing then the conditions of the enabling act are no longer valid.
- H.J. Res. 14 (62nd Congress, 1st Session) (pdf) (1,704 KB)
A Joint Resolution (HJR 14) “approving the constitution formed by the constitutional conventions of the Territories of New Mexico and Arizona,” was introduced in the House of Representatives, by Hon. Henry D. Flood of Virginia, and referred to the Committee on Territories, April 4, 1911; reported back from the committee, with amendments, by Mr. Flood, May 12, 1911, debated, amended, and passed, May 23, 1911. In the Senate, referred to Committee on Territories, May 25, 1911; reported back, with amendments, by Hon. William Alden Smith of Michigan, July 11, 1911; debated, amended, and passed, August 8, 1911; amendments accepted by House, August 10, 1911; vetoed by President William H. Taft, on account of the provision in the Arizona constitution for recall of judiciary, August 15, 1911.
- 47 Cong. Rec. 1496-1529 (pdf) (8,377 KB)
This is the May 23, 1911 “New Mexico and Arizona” debate in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- H. Rpt. 33 (62nd Congress, 1st Session) (pdf) (834 KB)
This report accompanied H. J. Res. 14 and included the constitutions of New Mexico and Arizona as well as majority and minority views.
- 47 Cong. Rec. 3669-3698 (pdf) (7,088 KB).
This is the August 7, 1911 U.S. Senate debate of H.J. Res. 14.
- H.R. Doc. 106 (62nd Congress, 1st Session) (pdf) (1,352 KB)
“Special Message of the President of the United States Returning without Approval Joint Resolution No. 14.”
- 47 Cong. Rec. 1496-1529 (pdf) (8,377 KB)
- S.J. Res. 57 (67th Congress, 1st Session) (see: 37 Stat. 39 below)
A Joint Resolution (SJR 57) “to admit the territories of New Mexico and Arizona as States into the Union,” conditioned upon the adoption by the people of Arizona of an amendment to the constitution excepting the judiciary from the recall provision, was reported to the Senate, from the Committee on Territories, by Hon. William Alden Smith of Michigan, August 17, 1911; debated, amended, and passed, August 18, 1911; passed House, August 19, 1911; approved by the President, August 21, 1911.
- 47 Cong. Rec. 4118-4141 (pdf) (6,145 KB)
This is the U.S. Senate “New Mexico and Arizona” debate from August 18, 1911 which highlights the issues surrounding the admission of New Mexico and Arizona into the Union of states. The debate centers on whether Arizona should be admitted to the Union if the state constitution allows for the recall of members of the judiciary. President Taft was opposed to allowing recall.
- 47 Cong. Rec. 4217-4242 (pdf) (6,569 KB)
This is the August 19, 1911 House debate and passage of S.J. Res. 57 including a speech by the Hon. John H. Stephens (47 Cong. Rec. Appendix 90-92).
- 47 Cong. Rec. 4258 and 47 Cong. Rec. 4309
S.J. Res. 57 was examined and signed.
- 47 Cong. Rec. 4381
The President approved of this version on August 21, 1911.
- 47 Cong. Rec. 4118-4141 (pdf) (6,145 KB)
- 37 Stat. 39 (pdf) (1,124 KB)
“Joint Resolution To admit the Territories of New Mexico and Arizona as States into the Union upon an equal footing with the original States” authorized statehood for Arizona if certain conditions were met.. …Arizona’s admission was conditioned upon the adoption by the people of Arizona of an amendment to the constitution excepting the judiciary from the recall provision. This was President Taft’s price for the acceptance of Arizona’s constitution. It contained altogether too many progressive provisions to suit his conservative views, but he was prevailed upon to settle for its amendment in this one particular.
- At the first election held for State officers, December 12, 1911, [the] constitution [was] amended to comply with the requirements of S.J.R. 57; vote for exception of judiciary from recall provision 14,963, against 1,980….
- 37 Stat. 1728 (pdf) (645 KB)
…Arizona [was] proclaimed a State [the 48th], by President Taft, February 14, 1912….
- When the people of Arizona by their votes eliminated the recall of the judiciary, to satisfy the President’s demand, they did so with a mental reservation, and at the very next election, on November 5, 1912… by a vote of 5 to 1 [16,272 for and 3,705 against], they proceeded to reinstate the offensive provision [to include judiciary in the recall provision]–offensive to Mr. Taft.
- A humorous ending was given this tale a year or so later. Many will recall that among the early features of Governor Hunt’s long tenure as Arizona’s first chief executive he advocated the abolition of capital punishment. Among those heartily seconding his efforts was R. B. Sims, warden of the State Prison [at Florence, AZ from 3/1/1912 – 12/31/1918, 1/5/1925 – 2/1/1926]. Mr. Sims, in the course of an energetic campaign to do away with capital punishment, wrote to a large number of nationally and internationally famous personages asking for an expression of their views on the subject. One of his letters was addressed to President Taft, who, still smarting from the trick played on him or more likely–for he was a big, good natured man with a keen sense of humor–in a spirit of droll facetiousness, promptly replied, under his own signature: “Dear sir: I do not believe in the abolition of capital punishment for the people of Arizona.”
The Constitution for the State of Arizona was debated, written and signed in Arizona’s Territorial Capitol in Phoenix, Arizona which is now:
- Arizona Capitol Museum
Arizona celebrated its Centennial on February 14, 2012. To learn more about Arizona and its history, visit:
- Arizona Memory Project an Arizona Centennial Legacy Project
- Arizona Centennial Legacy Projects designated by the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission
- Arizona State Centennial Websites
- Arizona’s Chronology