Quartzsite in La Paz County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
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, Haiji 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 shift for themselves. Chiefly roaming this particular section, they survived
Officially the camel experiment was a failure, but both Lt. Beale and Major Wayne were enthusiastic in praise of the animals. A fair trial might have resulted in complete success.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Animals • Military. A significant historical date for this entry is February 10, 1581.
Location. 33° 39.846′ N, 114° 14.156′ W. Marker is in Quartzsite, Arizona, in La Paz County. Marker can be reached from Hi Jolly Road, ¼ mile north of Quartzsite Boulevard. Hi Jolly Road is at the west end of Quartzsite. Turn right and head north to the Hi Jolly Cemetery. Look for the flagpole. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Quartzsite AZ 85346, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Last Camp of Hi Jolly (within shouting distance of this marker); Tyson's Well (approx. 0.9 miles away); Oasis Hotel Site (approx. 0.9 miles away); a different marker also named Tyson's Well (approx. one mile away); Phantom II (approx. 1.8 miles away); Quinn Pass (approx. 13.3 miles away).
More about this marker. This sign/marker is adjacent to the Hi Jolly grave.
Regarding Hi Jolly. The more one digs into the Army Camel Experiment, the more fascinating it becomes. The personalities involved, the layers of facts and somewhat facts, the stories
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. The Last Camp of Hi Jolly has pictures and more references to the Great Southwest Camel Experiment
Also see . . .
1. An Izmiri Camel Herder in The Wild West. A Turkish point of view and history and yet another spelling for Hi Jolly's name. (Submitted on June 27, 2010, by Chris English of Phoenix, Arizona.)
2. Greek George, Giorgio Caralambos Wiki. This wiki page provides more detail on the camel experiment and the people participating. There is no specific web page, but Elias Calles fathered a president of Mexico and a search on Plutarco Elías Calles brings up Mexican history, shaped by the camels of the southwest. (Submitted on June 27, 2010, by Chris English of Phoenix, Arizona.)
3. Wikipedia entry for the United States Camel Corps. “Robert E. Lee, who was still a U.S. Army officer and temporary commander of the Department of Texas, ordered Lieutenant William E. Echols on another reconnaissance between Camp Hudson and (Submitted on February 10, 2018.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 27, 2010, by Chris English of Phoenix, Arizona. This page has been viewed 2,264 times since then and 114 times this year. Last updated on December 3, 2013, by James King of San Miguel, California. Photos: 1. submitted on June 27, 2010, by Chris English of Phoenix, Arizona. 2. submitted on December 12, 2009, by Chris English of Phoenix, Arizona. 3, 4. submitted on June 9, 2012, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. 5. submitted on February 10, 2018, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.