- Type of Place
- Independent City or Town
- Metro Area
- Politics c. 1860?
- Don’t Know
- Unions, Organized Labor?
Sundown Town Status
- Confirmed Sundown Town?
- Was there an ordinance?
- Yes, Written Evidence
- Yes, Strong Oral Tradition
- Year of Greatest Interest
- Still Sundown?
- Probably Not, Although Still Very Few Blacks
Method of Exclusion
Main Ethnic Group(s)
- Native American
A resident of Prescott said that there signs in
Prescott that read,”Ethnoid, don’t let the sun set on
you here.” There were also covenants against
selling property to “Ethnoids”, or ordinances
prohibiting “Ethnoids” from renting, owning, living
in certain communities, etc.
The resident also said that she remembers seeing a
sign (perhaps in the book “Westering Man” by Bill
Gilbert) that stood at the city limits of Prescott in
the 1960’s that read, “Nigger Don’t Let the Sun Set
On You Here.”
In addition, the resident added that Prescott had a
bad reputation among Indians too. Apparently a
group of white men calling themselves the Smoke
eyes did an annual fake Indian dance for some city
celebration. The local Indian peoples were unable
to stop doing this.
According to Bill Gilbert in his book “Westering
Man”: “Even in comparison with other early mining
communities, the camps around Prescott were
rough and wretched. Among other things, the
place was permeated by racism of the most blatant
and vicious sort. Included in the first ordinances
passed by the miner-citizens was one which
prohibited ‘Asiatics and Senoranians [i.e. Mexicans]’
from filing claims, working, or living in the district.
This was later amended because the exclusion of
the latter proved inconvenient, both Mexican
laborers and traders being useful to the miners.
Therefore, a committee was established to
determine ‘who are and who are not Mexicans.’
Desirable ‘Senoranians’ were certified as Spanish.”
Gilbert continued, “The attitudes and behavior of
the early miners became traditional in Prescott,
which well into the twentieth century prided itself,
informally, on being the ‘Only white man’s town in
Arizona’…The Arizona Miner, a weekly newspaper
established in Prescott in 1864, put the matter [re
Indians] in an editorial: ‘We see no other remedy %
u2014 than to exterminate nearly if not the whole
race of savages on the Pacific coast, and the sooner
this is accomplished the better for the whole
country…In reality, there were probably no more
than 500 Indians, of all ages and sexes, in the
vicinity of Prescott, and hunting them down became
something of a blood sport, the pleasures of which
were enhanced by the conviction that bagging
savages contributed to the spread of civilization.”
Prescott was a mining town in the mid-1990s.