Sopori Land and Mining Company Stock Certificate [106526]

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Sopori Land and Mining Company Stock Certificate  [106526]
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Sopori Land and Mining Company Stock Certificate May 1st, 1858. "This Certifies that Samuel Pratt proprietor of 25 shares of the Sopori Land and Mining Company, subject, in all respects to the provisions of the Articles of Association of said Company, bearing date the twenty-fourth day of April A. D. 1858, reference thereto being herby had and made for the terms thereof – transferable on the books of the Company on the surrender of this Certificate. In witness whereof, this Certificate is signed by a majority of said Trustees and countersigned by the Treasurer this 21st day of May A. D. 1858. Trustees Samuel G. Arnold and Alfred Anthony, Treasurer A. J. Burroughs, Treasurer."

In 2005 Holabird Americana sold the original 1859-1861 diaries, survey books, notes and documents of Richmond Jones, Jr. and his work on the Sopori Land and Mining Co. in Arizona, which represented a significant discovery and offered new insight into much of the early mining activity of Arizona. The archive added an important dimension, tying together a complicated web involving the Sonora Exploring & Mining Company, Sopori Land & Mining Company and the Arizona Land & Mining Company, detailing the timing expenditures, travel log and daily experiences of an early engineer to the Territory, Richmond Jones, Jr., who was murdered by the Apache in July 1861. The archive sold by Holabird in 2005 is now part of Richmond Jones Papers held by the University of Arizona, which summarizes his life as follows:

Richmond Jones, Jr. (1833-1861) was a mining engineer hired by Welcome B. Sayles (1812-1862) of the Sopori Land and Mining Company and the Arizona Land and Mining Company of Providence Rhode Island to survey the Sopori Rancho boundary in the Arizona Territory. Both the Sopori Land and Mining Company and the Arizona Land and Mining Company were incorporated in Providence Rhode Island in 1859 by Sayles with firearms manufacturer Samuel Colt (1814-1862) as a major stockholder. Although the Sopori Company was financed mainly out of Providence, Cincinnati financiers Charles Debrille Poston (1825-1902) and Samuel Peter Heintzleman (1805-1880) founders of the Sonora Exploration and Mining Company were also involved. Jones' diaries help to tie together the sometimes complicated interactions of the companies. When the Civil War began in 1861 United States troops were withdrawn from the territory of Arizona and many mines closed due to increased raiding by Apaches. As the attacks increased Jones diary entries become less frequent until they cease altogether in July 1861 when Jones was killed in an Apache raid while attempting to return to Tucson, Arizona.

A full description of his archive and more about Jones’ harrowing story can be found in the Holabird Americana Live Auction Catalog #43 dated November 12, 2005.

This stock certificate represents an important piece of the same puzzle. This document proves the date of the organization of the Sopori Land and Mining Company to be in April, 1858, not 1859 as stated elsewhere. One of the earliest major papers of substance that includes the Sopori was “Silver and Copper Mining in Arizona”, edited by William Phipps Blake, an eminent mining geologist. It appeared in Mining Magazine in November 1859 and contained 22 pages of information on the various mines and prospects, including details of the 13 different public companies organized to explore for and mine ores in the Arizona country.

Because Holabird was aware of the existence of this stock certificate, we have known the Sopori was organized April 24th 1858 and initial officers were Sam Arnold and Alfred Anthony as trustees and A. J. Burroughts as Treasurer. Sam Pratt was an initial investor and C. D. Poston ran the company. The above referenced article mentions the Sopori Mining Company as one formed in August 1858 with Welcome B. Sayles as Director. The makeup of the company described with the same names stated on this stock certificate, thus there appears to be confusion by Blake on exactly what the name of the company was.

The Arizona Land & Mining Company incorporated in Rhode Island in 1859 under President, John N. Francis, Treasurer, Amos M. Haines and Secretary, John R. Bartlett. Arizona Land & MC owned a large tract of land, including some of the Sopori Rancho land and the old silver mine at San Xavier that had been worked by the Jesuits, which was reported to be very rich. The Company was owned, in part, by Samuel Colt and Sylvester Mowry. In Sylvester Mowry's book: Arizona and Sonora, 3rd Edition, published in 1864, is given the report of F. Biertu, metallurgist, on the Mowry mine and others situated in that part of the country, which describes, perhaps better than can be done in any other way, the condition of the mining industry around Tubac and Tucson in the year 1860. On Page 74 the report states, "...Anthony, President of the Jackson Bank of Providence. Colonel Colt, Lieutenant Mowry, and other rich capitalists of the East are the actual owners. Mr. Mowry is the holder of more than one-half of the stock of the company. N. Richmond Jones, Jr., is the engineer-in-chief of this mine, as also of the Sopori Mine.."

Mowry also purchased the Patagonia mine, later renamed the Mowry. Both Colt and Mowry were major shareholders in the Sopori Land and Mining Company (Mowry, 1864, p. 81.)

The crossover principals in the early AZ mining companies is obvious. The Sonora Exploring and Mining Company and the Santa Rita Silver Mining Company were both formed in Cincinnati in 1856 and 1858 respectively. Ehrenberg was geologist for both the Sonora Exploring & MC and The Sopori Land & MC. Bruncknow was “mineralogoist” for the Sonora.

Charles Debrille Poston was Director and Secretary of the first, Director of the second and Manager of the Sopori (possibly the Director as well). Poston’s activities in Arizona were so numerous that he became known as the “Father of Arizona”. Ever the promoter, even after the horrible Apache killings and raids of 1860 & 1861 that killed his brother and many members of the mining community, Poston kept at it. He became an Officer in charge of Indian Affairs in about 1863 and in December that year enjoined J. Ross Browne for a trip through Arizona for the purpose of Browne writing an article for Harper’s Magazine.

In January, 1864 when Poston and Browne got to Tubac, the center of mining in the region, Browne described the scene:

“I saw on the road between San Xavier and Tubac… almost as many graves of the white men murdered by the Apaches within the past few years. Literally the roadside was marked with the burial places of the unfortunate settlers. There is not now a single living soul to enliven the solitude. All is silent and death like… on reaching the old Pueblo of Tubac, we found that we were the only inhabitants. There was not a living soul to be seen… Old pieces of machinery belonging to the neighboring mines lay scattered about the main building… formerly the headquarters of the Arizona Mining Co.”

Brown and Poston became lifelong friends. Such was the state of affairs just a few short years after Richmond Jones Jr. was killed. Browne later turned his articles on Arizona into a popular book, Adventures in Apache Country (1871).

Sam Arnold (1821-1880) Lawyer, historian and politician, was a member of one of the earliest families of Providence, RI and grew up wealthy, traveled extensively attended Harvard Law School and in 1861 became an aide-decamp to General Sprague.

Alfred Anthony lived in Providence in the 1860s, along with Sayles, Arnold, Sprague and others and wrote an extensive treatise on the history of the colony of Rhode Island about 1865.

Charles Poston (1825-1902) “Father of Arizona” A collection of his papers are held by the Sharlot Hall Museum Archives. His accomplishments are summarized below:

Charles Debrille Poston was born in 1825 near Elizabethtown, Kentucky. He was a Lawyer in Tennessee and Washington DC and went to California in 1850 as a clerk in the Custom House, where he met J. Ross Browne. He led a party to Arizona to look for ore deposits in 1854. He first came to the Arizona Territory in 1854, interested in silver mining, and organized the Sonora Exploring and Mining Company as a private company and later as an Ohio corporation. Poston formed the Sonora Exploring and Mining Company in 1856. He went east to raise “about a million dollars” and bought mining machinery and the Arivaca Ranch. “All was abandoned in 1861 because of the devastation of the Apache Indians that swept Arizona unchecked during the Civil War. (DAB v. 15, pp121-122) Poston was involved with the first convention held in Tucson to consider the question of territorial organization for Arizona in 1856 and in 1862-63, he and several other Arizonans made determined and forceful efforts to organize Arizona into a territory. His unofficial title, "Father of Arizona" was first published in 1884 in the Tucson Arizona Weekly Citizen. After his due diligence to pass the Arizona Territory bill in Washington in 1862, Poston was appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the new territory by Abe Lincoln. In 1866 and 1881, efforts were made to appoint Poston as Governor for the Territory. In July of 1864, Poston was elected as Arizona's first delegate to Congress, however his tenure was brief due to the start of the Civil War. After his term in Congress, Poston stayed in Washington to practice law. Twice more he was a candidate for reelection to Congress, but both times was defeated. In 1884, Poston founded the "Society of Arizona Pioneers" which is now known as the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson. In 1899 the territorial legislature voted him "Father of Arizona" with a stipend to live upon. He died in squalor and poverty in Phoenix in 1902. He is buried on top of Poston Butte near Florence. For his long and notable and adventuresome identification with Arizona, his eminent services in the creation of the Territory, and his role in founding the historical society which has contributed so conspicuously to the cultural development of the state, Charles Debrille Poston deserves to be enshrined in history as a distinguished westerner and prince of Arizona Pioneers. [Ref: Sharlot Hall Museum Archive Description]
The Sharlot Hall Museum Archives lists a Sopori Land and Mining Company Stock Certificate as one of the papers in the collection. This is the only other known certificate at present.

Sopori could have been named after the Sobaipuri, a Pima Indian group named by Father Eusebio Kino in 1700s, or it could have come from the Spanish word, "sopor", meaning peaceful or drowsy. Before European settlement, it was a historic Pima village, occupied as a Pima Rancheria into the 1740s. In the 1760s, it was a 142,000-acre Spanish land grant, supplying food to the Spanish military's Tubac Garrison. When American mining interests bought the land after the Gadsden Purchase of 1854, Col. James W. Douglas began mining at Sopori in 1855, prior to the organization of the different mining interests. Later, it was a ranch, then a gold mine, farmland and a site of an 1861 attack by Apaches, among other infamous Apache acts of aggression. It was ranched under numerous owners, including the famous Arizona pioneer family, the Penningtons, many of whom are buried in the historic Sapori Ranch Cemetery; the rich history of the Sopori Ranch land and mines, is eloquently summed up with the words carved on a chunk of granite stuck in the ground at the entrance of the Sopori Ranch Cemetery that states, “Tread softly here, These stoney mounds shelter the bones of Arizona’s oldest pioneers.” [Ref: Green Valley Times News article written by David Rookhuyzen, published July 2017 online] For more information on the Pennington family, please see the article by David RookHuyzen online.

This is one of the earliest known of the most important of all Arizona Mining Stock Certificates from the original Gold Rush Era.

Date: 1858
Country (if not USA):
State: Arizona
City: Amado