Dusty Richards Legacy

The History of Wild Mustangs in Arizona

Posted by Dusty Richards on Apr 8, 2016 10:15:43 AM

From my breakfast table to yours,

Howdy folks, the coffee’s on and smells good this morning. Daylight’s peeking over the ridgeline above my house. Earlier I saw the bunch of white tail does grazing in my meadow. But as you know my 150th book is on the shelves and can be ordered from any bookstore or Amazon or Nook. “The Mustanger and the Lady” is the story about a man and woman in the harsh Sonora desert that covers about a third of the Arizona Territory.

Arizona Territory in the Old West of the Mustanger and the Lady

            The only place on earth where the towering saguaro cactus stands with almost human like arms that they grow for their balance. This is a land of some sedentary Indians who farmed using diverted rivers into canals hand dug by their ancestors. Tohono O'odham, Pimas and many more tribes were here when the first Spaniards with the desert sun shining off their armor rode in on the backs of what those Indians considered great dogs.

            To these people, the Catholic Church came to save their souls. Father Kino came and had them build churches they never finished so the king of Spain could not tax them. In this arid land they grew bountiful crops and lived in grass huts. They had few enemies for a long while but that would change.

            The Athabasca Indians came down the Rocky Mountains and they spoke the same language as Indians in Alaska today. These people, the Navajo and the Apaches though, they had some different ways were really one tribe and called themselves the “Denah” meaning the people. They lived by raiding others and thus there was much fighting went on between the raiders and the farmers.

            President Lincoln cut Arizona out of the western half of the territory of New Mexico. They couldn’t agree to be one state. Actually before that after the war with Mexico, the US bought that southern strip of both territories. Mexico would have sold them more including Baja California, because the Apaches had ran them out of their northern states down there. White congressmen said we simply needed a snow free space for a railroad across our country. Too many brown skins and Catholics were below there.

            Lincoln sent them to establish a capital in northern Arizona because the leftover rebels ran Tucson. It was set at Prescott and most natives corrupt the word so it sounds like Preskitt to me. 

            The southern portion of the territory was a desolate, arid place to live in the 1870’s.  Some started cattle ranches, a few prospected and found gold and silver. And some farmed bringing citrus to the watered desert and crops like cotton.

            You had to be tough to live in a land of sidewinders and diamond back rattlesnakes. Scorpions and vinegeroons flourished. Also the sluggish Gila Monster who’s bite would lead to a slow agonizing death.

Gila Monsters in the Mustanger and the Lady

            Mustangs, the horses that escaped the first Spanish explorer,s had prospered and multiplied for two hundred years and lived in wild bands across the west. A stallion and some mares in his herd that he defended were all over for the taking.  My man Vince captured them for a living and that is where my story starts. In a land that seeps with the smell of creosote from the brittle knee high brush that grows across the flats.

            I use that as my setting for this book  “The Mustanger and the Lady”

            And I am excited since they are working real hard right now to bring it to the silver screen of film. Flattering to me any way to have a book of mine opted for a movie. Next time I will tell you more about this era. Thanks for dropping by for our visit. Till then may the good Lord bless and keep you.

Dusty Richards