PHOENIX (AP) — People in Prescott are happy to tell visitors their city was named Arizona’s first territorial capital because Tucson had briefly been part of the Confederacy.

The truth is Prescott has had a long and complicated history with white supremacy and race, according to the Arizona Republic.

When gold was discovered near Prescott, the Union Army that fought to end Black slavery moved in to protect miners, in part by waging a campaign of extermination against another race.

Civil War Major Gen. James Henry Carleton, who has a street named for him in Prescott, ordered the establishment of nearby Fort Whipple as a vanguard against the local Yavapai Indians, but also as a part of his larger vision of Christianizing and civilizing Native Americans.

History books show it was Carleton who removed the Navajos from their homeland in a forced march in which hundreds died from starvation and exposure.

In the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan established a foothold in Prescott as part of its nationwide expansion. A 1924 photograph in Arizona Historical Foundation archives shows hooded members parading down a street along the courthouse square.

Last month, a showdown took place in front of the historic Yavapai County Courthouse in Prescott.

The Republic reported that 1,200 Prescott area residents had recently signed onto an ad that ran two full pages in the local newspaper decrying the lack of basic everyday civility on city streets.

According to the latest census, Prescott is 91% white.

A Black Lives Matter demonstration was held in front of the courthouse.

It drew more than 100 counterprotesters — many of them armed, most of them maskless, and many of them intent on preventing the demonstration, according to the Republic.

“We are here to protect our city,” said Becky Hawlish. “We’re here for our cops.”

In the square, dozens of men and women wore tactical vests and carried AR-15s, side arms and other weapons.

Jim Arroyo said his group was merely exercising its First and Second Amendment rights in a peacekeeping role to assist police in case Marxist antifa and BLM forces got violent or started destroying property.

The event ended on the lawn in front of the Prescott Valley Police Department, where people spoke at a podium about their gratitude for police officers and unveiled a copper plaque.

Rosemary Dixon, a community activist who has lived in Prescott for nine years, said she sees a community struggling with change.

“We don’t want to change. We don’t want anything to change ever, ever, ever, but at the same time, all the development is happening,” Dixon told the Republic.

Prescott’s population has increased 10% in the last five years. Prescott Valley, 8 miles (13 km) to the east, has grown nearly 25% in the last decade and now eclipses Prescott in population.

Much of that growth has come from California.

John Lutes, a 40-year Prescott resident who runs a furniture business on Whiskey Row, said many locals fear California transplants will bring liberal policies with them along with higher taxes.

“There’s a certain kind of people they want moving in,” Dixon said, “and there’s a certain kind of people they don’t want moving in because they think it’s a threat to their lifestyle.”