March 27, 2015

1498 UNITED STATES (Arizona) - Arizona map

Bordered by New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California, and Mexico, and having one point in common with the southwestern corner of Colorado, Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, achieving statehood in 1912. It was previously part of the territory of Alta California in New Spain before being passed down to independent Mexico and later annexed by United States after the  Mexican–American War. The name of the state appears to originate from an earlier Spanish name, Arizonac, derived from the O'odham name alĭ ṣonak, meaning “small spring”, which initially was applied only to an area near the Mexican silver mining camp of Planchas de Plata, Sonora.

Arizona is noted for the desert climate in its southern half, with very hot summers and mild winters. Its northern half features forests of pine, Douglas fir, and spruce trees; the Colorado Plateau; some mountain ranges (such as the San Francisco Mountains); as well as large, deep canyons, with much more moderate summer temperatures and significant winter snowfalls. There are ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff, Alpine, and Tucson. In addition to the Grand Canyon National Park, there are several national forests, national parks, and national monuments. About one-quarter of the state is made up of Indian Reservations that serve as the home of a number of Native American tribes.

Before the modern era, Arizona was home to numerous Native American Tribes. Hohokam, Mogollon and Anasazi cultures were among the many that flourished before the arrival of Marcos de Niza, a Spanish Franciscan, in 1539. Father Kino led the development of a chain of missions and converted many of the Indians to Christianity in the 1690s and early 18th century. Spain founded fortified towns at Tubac in 1752 and Tucson in 1775. When Mexico achieved its independence from Spain in 1821, what is now Arizona became part of the Territory of Nueva California. In the Mexican-American War (1847), the US occupied Mexico City and pursued its claim to much of northern Mexico, including what later became Arizona.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) specified that the sum of US$15 million in compensation be paid to the Republic of Mexico. In 1853, the land below the Gila River was acquired from Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase. Arizona was administered as part of the Territory of New Mexico until southern New Mexico Territory seceded from the Union as the Confederate Territory of Arizona in 1861. It supported the Confederate cause with men, horses, and supplies. A new Arizona Territory consisting of the western half of New Mexico Territory was declared in 1863, which became a US state in 1912. Cotton farming and copper mining, two of Arizona's most important statewide industries, suffered heavily during the Great Depression, but during the 1920s and 1930s, tourism began to be the important Arizonan industry it is today.

Arizona remained sparsely settled for most of the 19th century. The 1860 census reported the population of "Arizona County" to be 6,482, of whom 4,040 were listed as "Indians", 21 as "free colored", and 2,421 as "white". In 20th century the population grew spectacular, especially after WWII, such that in nowadays is close to 7 million, among which 4.6% are Native American (Apache County has the highest concentration of speakers of Native American Indian languages in the United States). Settled in 1867 as an agricultural community near the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers, Phoenix is the capital, and largest city of Arizona, and also the most populous state capital in the United States.

About the stamps
The first stamp, depicting a Phlox, belongs to a series featuring 10 images from vintage flower seed packets, about which I wrote here. The second stamp, depicting Spicebush Swallowtail, is part of a definitive series with butterflies, about which I wrote here.

Arizona - Wikipedia

Sender: Cecilia Northcote
Sent from Sahuarita (Arizona / United States), on 28.05.2013

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