Capitals of the Arizona Territory and State

Did you know Tucson was once the capital of the Arizona Territory?

In 1863, the U.S. Congress made Arizona a U.S. territory. By vote of the Arizona Territorial Legislature, in 1867 the territorial capital was moved from Prescott to Tucson. For 10 years from 1867 to 1877 Tucson was the capital of the Arizona Territory. By the time Arizona became a state on February 14, 1912 the capital had been in Phoenix for several years.

  • The first capital in 1863 was Fort Whipple in Chino Valley, Arizona.
  • May 1864 the territorial capital was moved to Prescott.
  • In 1867, the territorial capital was moved to Tucson for ten years.
  • During 1877, the capital moved back to Prescott.
  • Finally, Phoenix was declared the permanent capital starting on February 4, 1889.


Arizona blue book 2003-2004 edition. Jan Brewer, Secretary of State.  Publisher [Phoenix, Ariz.]. Pages 12-13.

Cosulich, Bernice, Tucson; with map of landmarks, references, glossary, chronology [and] bibliography. Tucson, Arizona Silhouettes [1953]. Pages 175-191.

Sonnichsen, C.L. Tucson, the life and times of an American City. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. c1982. Pages 56-58, 65-66, 68-69.

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