Camels in Death Valley : LUSENET : Death Valley : One Thread

I remember some years ago that there was a man named Ives who tried to make it in Death Valley by importing Camels and using them there to work and back pack. Do you have any information on this man or this subject?

-- Monty Ives (, October 27, 1997


Subject: Lieutenant Joseph Christmas Ives


Thanks for being the first to use this forum. According to Richard Lingenfelter writing in _Death Valley and the Amargosa_ (ISBN 0-520-05663-9), Lt. Ives was responsible for the southeastern portion of boundary location for the California border in 1860. Camels were used by the northern team that surveyed the same border in the Death Valley area. The camel story starts in 1856 when Jefferson Davis was Secretary of War and had 3 dozen camels imported to see if they might be more economical than mules. After a few unsuccessful attempts, most of the camels ended up in the charge of Edward Beale in Fort Tejon California. Beale was able to persuade the party to take along 4 camels. In nearly all respects, the expedition was a failure. This was the last use of camels by the military but by this time Jefferson Davis had larger preoccupations.

Lt. Ives did a better job of surveying the southern portions of the California border. If you ever explore the Mojave Road you can see the boundary marker associated with his efforts. It misses the current border by a little distance but he did complete the task and the accuracy of the his version was good enough for those earlier times. Do you suppose he was a relative? I suspect that Dennis Casebier and the East Mojave Herritage folks would have good information on Lt. Ives.


-- Ed Scott (, October 28, 1997.

Camels and Ives

Their was a Lt. Ives. Believe you can find him in one of the Lingenfelter books. Camels were used for awhile in the Mojave by the Army.They brought an Arab camel driver over. Believe his name was Ali.

-- (, July 20, 1998.

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