Hi Jolly

Illustration of Hi Jolly by Bob Boze Bell

Hadji Ali reportedly hailed from Syria and arrived in Texas in 1856 to escort a shipment of camels for use by the U.S. Army. In 1857, leaving from Arizona’s Camp Verde, he crossed the desert with Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale and his camel experiment to open a wagon road across Arizona from Fort Defiance to Fort Tejon in California. Hadji Ali then prospected and became a part-time scout for the army. Returning to Arizona, he was naturalized as Philip Tedro in 1880 in Tucson, where he married and had two daughters. In 1889 he resumed prospecting near Quartzsite. He died there, in 1902, and became known far and wide as Hi Jolly, a corruption of Hadji Ali. A monument to his irrepressible soul was erected there in 1935.

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