This Day in Quechan History – July 6, 1883

Kumathum, pipa Kwatsan!  I’m Brian Golding, Sr., and in connection with my show, “These Days on the Rez”, I’m offering up an occasional feature called, “This Day in Quechan History”.  Check it out and please share your thoughts or submit your idea of a historical date to cover.

On July 6, 1883, President Chester A. Arthur issued an Executive Order establishing a reservation for the Yuma Indians located on the Arizona side of the Colorado River.  Below is the text of the Executive Order:


It is hereby ordered that the following-described tract of country in the Territory of Arizona, viz, beginning at a point in the channel of the Colorado River, opposite the mouth of the Gila River, thence up the channel of the Gila River to the range line (when extended) between ranges 19 and 20 west of the Gila and Salt River meridian, thence north on said range line to the first standard parallel south, thence west on said parallel to the channel of the Colorado River, thence down the channel of said river to the place of beginning, be, and the same is hereby, withdrawn from settlement and sale and set apart as a reservation for the Yuma and such other Indians as the Secretary of the Interior may see fit to settle thereon: Provided, however, That any tract or tracts included within the above-described boundaries to which valid rights have attached under the laws of the United States are hereby excluded from the reservation hereby made.


This reservation didn’t last long, though, as it was cancelled by the Executive Order issued on January 9, 1884, which established the boundaries of the present-day Fort Yuma Indian Reservation.

As you can see from the image below, this initial reservation was nearly three times larger than the current reservation.



  1. This is interesting Brian thanks for sharing. I am intrigued that our original reservation was revisited and then revised. I would think we would have grounds to reclaim our full executive order placed in 1883 based on the fact that we were originally awarded that land in the first place. What was the reason given to change the original order? Lets take this fight up!

  2. krfan1120 says:

    What was the reason for the short-lived 1883 Executive Order? The 6-month window indicates some fast action to revise the original order.

    In regards to Willie’s idea, with the current munincipalities and towns established, how likely is it that such a fight could be won?

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