Our header image is of a Tucson rodeo c. 1900. The Santa Catalinas in the background, rim the open plain. Our map above, from Bing, is an aerial shot of Tucson. The white line on the bottom is the Mexican border. Ole!

Our ascendant this week is 17.11 Pisces or “men seeking illumination,” and that seems to be issue with all the various subpoenas flying around on the political front. At home Asteroid Byron conjunct Mercury suggests that we are writing more than usual whether its that final paper, late Christmas cards or texts to our friends, relatives and co-workers for getting together.

Asteroid Odysseus conjunct Pluto suggests that all this activity is because we too are searching, whether for the correct grade or the best experience and with the Moon opposite Venus we just do not know. Klotho & Vesta next to the Moon want some amount of closure (or is that cloture Michael Flynn?) 

Pluto is too intimate with Asteroids Toro and House to make anything certain; everyone is waiting for Christmas Eve and the best deal. In the meantime, it is good time to take out the camera (Asteroid Photographica conjunct Saturn) and snap up some of winter’s beauty…even here in the deserts of Tucson.

Pima Women after a game of shinny.

TUCSON (possibly from Piman styuk-son, ” dark or brown spring,” pronounced Tooson ), a city and the county-seat of Pima county, Arizona, U.S.A., on the Santa Cruz ‘, river, in the S.E. part of the state. It is about, 130 m. S.E. of Phoenix and 69 miles northwest of Nogales, Mexico. It’s pop. (1880), 7007; (1890), 5150; (1900), and 7531 (1910).

It is served by the Southern Pacific and the Twin Buttes railways, the latter connecting with the mines of the Twin Buttes district, about 27 m. south by east, and with the Randolph lines in Mexico. The city lies about 2360 ft. above the sea in a broad valley sheltered by mountains 5000-9000ft. high.

Its climate, characteristic of southern Arizona, attracts many invalids and winter visitors. Tucson is the seat of the university of Arizona (1891; non-sectarian, coeducational), which is organized under the Morrill Acts; in 1909 it had 40 instructors and 201 students. At Tucson also are a desert botanical laboratory (owning a tract of some 1000 acres about i m. west of the city) established by the Carnegie Institution of Washington, St Joseph’s Academy (Roman Catholic); a Roman Catholic cathedral; the Tucson Mission (Presbyterian), a boarding school for Indians, the San Xavier Mission for Indians (Roman Catholic) and a Carnegie library.

In 1900 Tucson became the see of a Roman Catholic bishop. The surrounding country is arid and unproductive except where irrigated; but the soil is very rich, and Tucson is the centre of one of the oldest farming and ranching districts of the state. The Southern Pacific railway has division headquarters and repair shops here.

San Xavier Mission in Tucson, Arizona

Tucson is first heard of in history in 1699, as an Indian rancheria or settlement; and in 1763 the site for the Jesuit mission of San Xavier del Bac, founded between 1720 and 1732, 9 m. south of what is now Tucson; in 1776 it was made a presidio (San Augustin del Tugison), or military outpost, and although a few Spaniards may possibly have lived there before, the foundation of Tucson dates from this time.

It was never after abandoned during the Indian wars.

In 1848 it had 760 inhabitants. The abandonment by the Mexicans in 1848 of the mission towns of Tamacacori (a visita of Guevavi, a mission founded in the first third of the 18th century) and the presidio at Tubac (established before 1752) increased its importance. Tucson lay within the territory acquired by the United States by the Gadsden Purchase in 1853 and it was occupied by the United States in 1856.

Fort Lowell, Tucson vintage postcard

Fort Lowell, 7 m. north-east of the city, was built as a protection against the Apache Indians in 1873; it was abandoned in 1891. In the earlier days of Territorial history Tucson was the political centre of Arizona. Here were held in August 1856 a convention that demanded a Territorial government from Congress, another in April 1860 that organized a provisional government independently of Congressional permission, and others in 1861 that attempted to cast in the lot of Arizona with the Confederate states.

Tucson was occupied by the Confederates in February 1862 and by the Union forces in May.

It was the Territorial capital from 1867 to 1877. Its prosperity fluctuated with the fortunes of the surrounding mining country. Tucson was incorporated as a town in 1877, and chartered as a city in 1883. Arizona itself became a state in 1912

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