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Righteous Retribution

Want of time and space prevented more than a brief mention of the fact in the last number of the MINER, that on Sunday, April 29th, 125 Pinal Apache Indians were killed in Aravaipa Canyon, and 28 children taken alive.

The Arizona Citizen of May 6th has a column of particulars of, and comments on the killing, from which we collate these items, premising that the canyon is situated south of the Gila river, some forty miles east of Florence, and about sixty miles north of Tucson. For weeks it had been known that a band of Indians were camped in that vicinity, and numbers of animals stolen from the friendly Papago Indians near Tucson, and from Mexican and American settlers around Tucson and San Xavier, had been trailed into the canyon. Evidence was found proving satisfactorily that four citizens in San Pedro valley were murdered by the party there encamped. These discoveries were rendered more aggravating by the fact that those redskins had made one of the old style Pinal treaties with the commander of Camp Grant, had been receiving rations from that post for some time, and had in an apparently friendly mood settled themselves in the canyon, near the post, and while eating, Government supplies would make their murderous raids, and return under the shadow, as it were, of Camp Grant, to gorge themselves on the meat of stolen mules, horses, donkeys and cattle, rejoicing over their plunder and resting in fancied security till prepared to make another descent on some defenseless settler, or traveler. Having the proof of their treachery, the dwellers in Tucson and vicinity went after the Pinals, and of the entire band in camp at the time of attack, only seven are known to have escaped.

The Citizen vindicates the killing--justifies it, and at length recites the provocation, and its editor is excusable for so doing, as he is only a recent settler in Arizona.

But we applaud and glorify the deed, and rejoice in the establishment of that reservation in Arivipa Canyon, where 125 good Pinals shall rest without hunger, or thirst till resurrection.

Last November 500 Sharps and Spencer carbines, procured from Government, were distributed to Arizonans, with plenty of ammunition to enable them to protect themselves against the Apaches. The surest protection that can be devised is to show these devils in human shape that we can whip them and will do it.

Again and again during the past bloody years, has the MINER urged upon the settlers to organize and carry the war home to the villages of the redskins. Now, shall we faint at the result of our teachings? Shall we apologize?

One fact alone would forbid that we should do so: At Tubac, march 20, 1871, an Arizona pioneer, L.B. Wooster, and a Mexican woman, Trinidad Iguera, were killed by Indians. In the Pinal camp, after the slaughter, a breastpin was found and recognized by her friends at Tucson as the one always worn by the woman killed at Tubac--that would be enough.

But the whole past history of our Territory would haunt us to the grave, if weak enough to endeavor to palliate or excuse this massacre. (For such it was,--we don't mince matters, or apply words to the acts of savages that we fear to describe similar deeds of our own with.) No! a thousand times NO. The blood of our relatives and friends, spill on nearly every road and trail in every farming settlement and mining district in Arizona, cries out to us from the ground to rejoice that they are partially avenged.

Will the advocates of the Quaker policy howl through the Eastern press, and call the act another Piegan horror? Let them; and we suggest a new name: let such deeds in Arizona be known as Pinalization. How is that for high?

[The Miner, May 27, 1871, p.2]