The UA's Tumultuous Founding

Jan. 24, 2013

As the story goes, UA may have been located in another part of the state if not for the "Thieving Thirteenth" Arizona Territorial Legislature, also known as the "Bloody Thirteenth" largely due to its fights in government halls and neighborhood bars.

In 1885, the Thieving Thirteenth appropriated funds to establish the UA and to fix the location of a range of government organizations and projects, including the state capital and an insane asylum. 

Christopher F. Carroll, a UA Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English, will describe the tumultuous events that led to the creation of the UA in 1885.

Carroll will present his lecture, “The Thieving, Bloody Thirteenth Legislature," Jan. 29, 4:30-6 p.m. The event will be held in the University Libraries Special Collections Reading Room.

Carroll's talk coincides with the "A Promise to the State: Celebrating the University of Arizona’s Land-Grant Mission” in the Science & Engineering Library. The exhibit will remain open through Aug. 8. 

The grandson of Selim M. Franklin, a member of the Thirteenth Arizona Territorial Legislature, Carroll will give attendees the opportunity to view unique documents and relay stories of the bloody and thieving aspects of the "Thieving Thirteenth Legislature."

Sponsored by the Friends of the University Libraries, the event is free and open to the public. To learn more, call 520-664-6452.

Photo credit:  FJ Gaylor

Contact: Chinyere Erondu, assistant director of development for the University Libraries, at 520-626-0969 or