Desert Messenger

May 18, 2011

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P��� 6 VOICES FROM THE PAST Excerpts from “In the Shadow of Saguaros” By Rosalee Oldham Wheeler Find In the Shadow of Saguaros at Readers Oasis Bookstore, Qtz. Arizona Becomes a Territory in 1863 (Previous story: “Lehre Erdman’s Gold Eye Mine”) During 1857 and 1858 Lieutenant Ed- ward F. Beale surveyed a wagon route on the 35th Parallel using camels as pack animals. Today Interstate 40 closely follows that Parallel from Sand- ers in eastern Arizona, to Winslow, on to Flagstaff, continuing west to Kingman in what was then known as New Mex- ico Territory. From 1850 to 1863 that Territory was comprised of present-day New Mexico, all of present-day Arizona north of the Gila River, south central Colorado, and a portion of Nevada. About this same time the San Anto- nio & San Diego Mail Line began a semi-monthly stage service to improve communications with “the rest of the world.” The exact route was so unde- fi ned and sporadic it was said that it “Came from nowhere, through noth- ing, and to no place,” and was known as “the Jackass Mail Line.” A year later the Butterfi eld Overland Mail initiated a semi-weekly stage from St. Louis, through El Paso, to Tucson, on to Los Angeles, continuing up the Pacifi c Coast to San Francisco. What did President Lincoln have to do with Beale’s survey and the history of Quartzsite? Jefferson Davis, the Pres- ident’s Secretary of War, shared with the President an idea that had been brought to him by Lieutenant Beale. Camels could be used to carry military supplies on the Overland Trail to Fort Defi ance and then on across New Mex- ico Territory to California. President Lincoln signed on to the idea. The expedition was not without its challenges. Even though Beale and his soldiers found that the camels were capable of carrying much heavier loads than horses and that they could go without water or food much longer, the camels had one serious drawback— horses hated their odor. When local ranchers came upon the camel train, they were furious when their horses would bolt and run, sometimes with wagons or carriages attached. Chiropractic $ Adjustments Quartzsite 25 Dr. Michael Cole, D.C. Providing Chiropractic care to Quartzsite! NEW SUMMER HOURS: Friday 9am-1pm Dr. Michael Cole, D.C. Chiropractic Care 225 N. Central Suite #7 Quartzsite For more information call: 928-533-4588 Gem Stone Jewelry & Black Hills Gold Jewelry JEWELRY • FINDINGS Black Hills Gold Jewelry, Moun� ngs, Gems, Minerals, AMERICAN INDIAN JEWELRY & POTTERY BEADS • Southwest & How-to Books Open Daily 8-5 Sun. 9-4 CLOSED TUESDAYS 928-927-6381, Fax 928-927-4814 1250 W. Main, Quartzsite (across from McDonald’s) ���.D�����M��������.��� If not for the Civil War, Beale and the freighters may have overcome the drawbacks of camel use and the ex- periment could have been a success. But Beale and his camels were put on hold. As it turned out, the westernmost battle between Confederate and Union Troops occurred when a Union column was coming through Picacho Pass in April of 1862 with the intent of estab- lishing the Territory of Arizona for the United States. On February 24, 1863 President Lin- coln signed a bill creating the Territory of Arizona. The new territorial appoin- tees, lead by Governor John N. Good- win, took their oath of offi ce at Navajo Springs near present-day Chino Valley. La Paz, a bustling city of commerce on the Colorado River, was almost named the capital of the Territory, loosing by just a few votes. In 1863 Joseph Reddeford Walker found gold in a stream bed on Lynx Creek near Prescott, which even- tually yielded more than $2 million in gold. Other min- ers found rich gold placers along Big Bug and Turkey Creeks. Fort Whipple was set up nearby on Granite Creek, and by 1864 the Ter- ritorial Capital was moved from Chino Valley to a new town that was closer to the gold mines. The new town was named Prescott in tribute to the noted historian William Hickling Prescott. According to a Spe- cial 1865 Census, the population of the new Territory was 4,573, not counting the “tame” Indians. A little more than two years later Lin- coln, given credit for creating the Ter- ritory of Arizona, was assassinated on April 14, 1865. M�� 18, 2011 Prescott remained the Territorial Capi- tal until 1867 when it was relocated to Tucson. The “Capital on Wheels” re- turned to Prescott in 1877, remaining there until 1889 when it made its fi nal and permanent move to its present lo- cation of Phoenix. By 1890 the Southern Pacifi c had completed its rail line across Arizona Territory into New Mexico. With its completion, the lowly camel was per- manently forced out of the freighting business. Hadji Ali, the Syrian camel- driver hired for the experiment, kept several camels for a freighting business to haul water and supplies to the mines around Quartzsite. 1864, Arizona’s fi rst Territorial Offi cials: L to R - Henry W. Fleury, Joseph P. Allyn, Milton P. Duff- ield, Governor John N. Goodwin, Almon Gage, and Richard C. McCormick. Not shown is Charles D. Poston, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, who would later serve as the fi rst delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona Territory. How, you might ask, did President Lin- coln play a role in the history of Quartz- site? Had it not been for his support of Jef- ferson Davis and Lieutenant Beale’s belief that camels could be a means of transportation across the desert, Hadji Ali, better known as Hi Jolly, may not have ended up as one of Quartzsite’s better-known early residents.

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