Tuesday, April 5, 2011

THE Trip and Tombstone Tuesday, Hi Jolly Cemetery, Quartzsite Arizona

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Quartzsite is filled with oddities, fun, and more oddities.  Even in the cemetery, yes, even there.

Born Somewhere in Syria
About 1823
Died at Quartzsite
December 16, 1902
Came to this Country
February 10, 1856
Cameldriver - Packer
Scout - Over Thirty
Years A Faithful Aid
To the U.S. Government
Highway Department
The rest of the story, taken verbatim from a sign at the cemetery:

Hi Jolly

The famous camel herd with which the name of Hi Jolly is linked constitutes an interesting sidelight of Arizona history . . .

Jefferson Davis (afterward President of the Southern Confederacy), as Secretary of War, approved a plan to experiment with camels for freighting and communication in the arid southwest . . .

Major Henry C. Wayne of the U.S. Army and Lt. D. D. Porter (later a distinguished Admiral in the Civil War) visited the levant with the storeship 'supply' and procured 33 camels which were landed at Indianola, Texas, February 10, 1856. 41 were added on a second voyage . . .

With the first camels came, as caretaker, Jaiji Ali whose Arabic name was promptly changed to "Hi Jolly" by the soldiers, and by this name he became universally known. His Greek (?) name was Philip Tedro . . .

On the Beale expedition in 1857 to open a wagon road across Arizona from Fort Defiance to California, the camels under Hi Jolly's charge, proved their worth. Nevertheless, the War Department abandoned the experiment and the camels were left on the Arizona desert to shirt for themselves. Chiefly roaming this particular section, they survived for many years creating interest and excitement . . .

Officially the camel experiment was a failure, but both Lt. Beale and Major Wayne were enthusiastic in praise of the animals. A fair trail might have resulted in complete success.

*  For further reading on Hi Jolly, see this page at Santa Clara Valley History in Pictures, or this page at Out West Newspapers, and, of course, the ever present, Wikipedia page, which includes a photo of Hi Jolly.  If you just Google Hi Jolly you will find quite a few reference pages and stories, including a page chatting about camel races at Quartzsite.



Joan said...

Gad Zooks, you are having such a good time --- I am enjoying the Trip as well.

Linda Gartz said...

Camels in Arizona! Almost as good as elephants climbing the Pyrenees! You sure get around. I'm traveling the country -- virtually through your blog. thanks for the comment on the "Linda" post. Pigfam eh? Funny. Maybe the internet things its a genealogy site for farm animals!

IrishEyesJG said...

Now that's a headstone! Fantastic.


Barbara Poole said...

Goodness, the things I'm learning. Thanks Carol.