Chapter 10, Note 31 (pages 205 and 273)

First, landowners, real estate developers, and others cited perceived threats to their land values or business interests, anti-Yaqui prejudices based on sociocultural stereotypes or their foreign origins, and claims that they were not “real” Indians. Hiding behind a pseudonym, one objector exclaimed, “To place the Yaqui Indians out there would be even worse than having a Leprosy colony there.” Second, some religious and humanitarian groups expressed concern that the more remote location would worsen conditions. (p. 205)

Chapter 10, Note 31 . . . for excerpts and discussion of these sources expressing opposition to Udall’s bill. (p. 273)

 

Though the process ended in success and met little resistance in Congress, objections were raised from several local Tucson residents and even some Pascua residents. Previous iterations of Yaqui political organization had caused divisions within Yaqui communities. Intra-tribal political divisions were nothing new. Juan Pistola’s influential leadership had been challenged by some due to his seeming self-appointment. During the 1918 proceedings concerning Yaqui prisoners he had emerged in public circles calling himself a “chief,” but was never elected as such by his Yaqui constituency.[1] In the 1930s, division and tension between Cayento López – Guadalupe Flores emerged during repatriation debates. Hence, some Pascua Yaquis chafed at Valencia’s 1960s terming himself as “Chief,” a title unfamiliar in Arizona Yaqui traditions, his public dealings with non-Yaquis, ostensibly on their behalf, and the inclusion of non-Yaquis in intimate internal community affairs. Muriel Painter made note of these tensions in her diary, clearly empathizing with those uncertain about Valencia’s plans.[2] However, the broader community needs and abject conditions in which many languished overshadowed only call to halt moving forward.

Two broad divisions from Tucson’s non-Yaquis objectors were evident: those who had anti-Yaqui biases and those who opposed for pro-Yaqui humanitarian reasons. The anti-Yaqui group represented land owners near the proposed 200-acre site who feared their presence would have an adverse effect on their property values and regional safety. Monte Seymour did not object to Yaqui relocation, per se, simply to it being near his lands.

Local real estate agent, Vivian Arnold, expressed similar concern. News of H.R. 6233 had “killed all present and future sales” in the area, she told Udall. As her clients had thousands of dollars tied up in adjoining lands, she suggested they be moved to more remote sites closer to Florence or Casa Grande.[7] A. Turney Smith (an apparent pseudonym) expressed similar outrage to Udall and Hayden, intoning a sharp bias against Yaquis and the proposed settlement site. “To place the Yaqui Indians out there would be even worse than having a Leprosy colony there,” Smith wrote. “When these Yaquis get hold of liquor they get wild and will do most anything even to killing . . . for God’s sake do not prosecute this Bill to passage.” Apparently dissatisfied with Udall ‘s response, he wrote to Senator Hayden as well, complaining that the Yaquis were not even “real Indians,” and their being given free lands adjacent to lands which he had spent upwards of $50,000 to purchase was an affront to himself and others in the region. They were “a mixture of several breeds,” Smith explained, “They have no nationality – no home and are not citizens of any country.”[8] Smith’s sharp tone hints not only at the frustrations of a land owner, but indignation born of deep prejudice. Congressmen Udall and Hayden were undeterred.

Anti-Yaqui voices were joined by those who opposed the move because they feared it was not in the Yaquis’ best interest. Morgan Maxwell, Principal of John Spring Junior High School that served Pascua Village, worried that to “relocate [Yaquis] into greater isolation would only result in further deprivation and a continuation of a paternalistic role compounded with unintentional apathy.”[9] Rev. John D. Swank expressed concern that resettlement was too much motivated by Tucson business interests in exploiting Yaqui festivals for tourist revenue. Finally, Joseph R. Cesare, who at first objected due to the potential drop in property value of the 180 acres he owned adjacent to the proposed site, later added his concern that H.R. 6233 promoters were simply trying to excise the Yaqui presence from their urban interests and exile them to a remote rural site. Perhaps motivated by self-interest and humanitarian concern, Cesare felt that investment and development of Pascua Village would be preferable.[10] As with anti-Yaqui opponents, Udall and Hayden attempted to assuage pro-Yaqui opponents of H.R. 6233 that the bill was sound and deemed passage.

 

[1] Interview with Cayento Lopez on the “History of Chieftainship,” August 2, 1940, Spicer Papers, ASM, Subgroup 8, Box 8, Folder 472.

[2] Muriel Thayer Painter Diary, March 26, 1963, Painter Papers, ASM, Subgroup 4, Folder 8.

[3] “There are many other government lands in Pima County where the Yaquis might be relocated,” Seymour later wrote, “where nobody would give a damn if they created a new slum . . . Why must the specific 200 + – acres now proposed be earmarked for this purpose? We’d have no objection to their being placed in a new location . . . as long as the land was not adjoined or in the vicinity of our land. And there are millions of acres of government land in Arizona on which the Yaquis might be relocated.” Monte Seymour to Carl Hayden, October 16, 1964, Hayden Papers, ASUA, Box 341, Folder 6. Seymour also suspected that the new site had been chosen by Tucson land owners who owned land near the old Pascua Village site and wished to rid themselves of the Yaqui presence.

[4] Monte Seymour to Morris K. Udall, August 10, 1964, Udall Papers, UASC, Subgroup 2, Series 3, Box 165, Folder 13.

[5] Monte Seymour to Carl Hayden, August 10, 1964, Hayden Papers, ASUA, Box 341, Folder 6.

[6] Morris K. Udall to Monte Seymour, August 13, 1964, Udall Papers, UASC, Subgroup 2, Series 3, Box 165, Folder 13; and Carl Hayden to Monte Seymour, August 20, 1964 and September 21, 1964, Hayden Papers, ASUA, Box 341, Folder 6.

[7] Vivian Arnold to Morris K. Udall, August 17, 1964, Udall Papers, UASC, Subgroup 2, Series 3, Box 165, Folder 13. It was too late in the game to switch resettlement sites, explained Udall in his reply. The proposal had been well advertised in the two previous years, Udall wrote. Offering conciliatory apologies, he concluded, “Had you and your clients contacted me before matters reached this stage I might have been able to explore other possible tracts of land for such a grant.” Morris K. Udall to Vivian Arnold, August 25, 1964, Udall Papers, UASC, Subgroup 2, Series 3, Box 165, Folder 13.

[8] A. Turney Smith to Morris K. Udall, August 11, 1964, Udall Papers, UASC, Subgroup 2, Series 3, Box 165, Folder 13. See also Morris K. Udall to A. Turney Smith, August 13, 1964, Udall Papers, UASC, Subgroup 2, Series 3, Box 165, Folder 13; A. Turney Smith to Carl Hayden, September 21, 1964, Hayden Papers, ASUA, Box 341, Folder 6. See also Carl Hayden to A. Turney Smith, September 21, 1964, Hayden Papers, ASUA, Box 341, Folder 6.

[9] Morgan Maxwell to unknown newspaper editor, July 1964, Udall Papers, UASC, Subgroup 2, Series 3, Box 165, Folder 13.

[10] Joseph R. Cesare to Morris K. Udall, August 17, 1964, and Morris K. Udall to Joseph R. Cesare, August 25, 1964, Udall Papers, UASC, Subgroup 2, Series 3, Box 165, Folder 13; and Joseph R. Cesare to Senator Henry M. Jackson, September 12, 1964, Udall Papers, UASC, Subgroup 2, Series 3, Box 162, Folder 14. Cesare enslisted others in a subsequent letter as well. See (Future U.S. Senator) Dennis Deconcini, Joseph R. Cesare, Vivian Arnold and Howard Misner to Carl Hayden, September 16, 1964, Hayden Papers, ASUA, Box 341, Folder 6.

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