Session laws of the legislatures of the Territory and State of Arizona: title varies, 1864 to date, Phoenix, var. state printers, 1864-. The lands
that became the State of Arizona were occupied by the native Anasazi, Hohokam and Mogollon Indian tribes. Spanish settlers began arriving in the
mid-1500s, and the territory comprised part of Spain’s New World empire until 1821, when it came under the control of newly independent Mexico. The area
became American territory as the result of the U.S.-Mexican War in 1846 and the Gadsden Purchase in 1854. In 1850 the U.S. government established the
large territory of “New Mexico,” a major portion of which encompassed modern Arizona. Finally, in 1863, due to strategic considerations during the Civil
War, western “New Mexico” was severed off to become the separate Territory of Arizona with its own governor and legislature. Attempts at statehood
began as early as 1872, and a hopeful constitutional convention was even held in 1891, but Congress, troubled by the area’s sparse population, ignored the
requests of residents for statehood status. In fact, the preferred solution in Washington was to reunite Arizona with New Mexico, and in 1904 a
formal motion to that effect passed Congress and was endorsed by President Theodore Roosevelt. However, Arizona’s citizens rejected the option
overwhelmingly. Finally, in 1908 Congress relented and endorsed separate admission for New Mexico and Arizona; an enabling act to that effect passing in 1910.
After some finagling between local leaders and Washington, a constitution was finally approved; with Arizona becoming the 48th state in the Union
effective 14 January 1912, ending an unprecedented 62 years as a territory. During the territorial period, 1864-1909, the legislative branch of government
was bicameral, with the upper chamber being styled “the Council.” With statehood the latter name changed to “Senate.” (Records that were part of the
Early State Records collection were digitized from a microfilm copy of titles originally held the Arizona State Library and the Library of Congress).