Dateline:Dec1, 2022

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Hayes in New Mexico

New Mexico in 1880 was boiling and bodacious, an exciting, dangerous cauldron of social broth. President Hayes rode a mule train through the midst of it.

Presdient Hayes left Lordsburg on marginally better transportation than this. Picture links to the Ohio History Journal account of the travels of President Hayes, including his Great Western Tour.

At the north there were newspapers, government, and society, plus a best-selling novel. But the south sizzled with calamity and drama.

In 1880 the Southern Pacific Railroad darted across the Continental Divide, spawning work camps for the Chinese laborers. Lordsburg, Deming, and others became towns, but in 1880 they were just staging areas. The Tchihendeh (aka Chihenne) Apache chief, Bidu-ya (aka Victorio) was leading deadly attacks through southern New Mexico. The Clanton gang, rustlers of OK Corral fame, operated in the Lordsburg area, and threatened to kidnap the president...maybe. Billy the Kid's gang flourished with impunity around Lincoln County, where Pat Garret had just been elected sheriff. Brazen counterfeiting perplexed the federal govenment.

Gold and silver were being hauled out of numerous spots. Feral Texas cattle (aka Longhorns) grazed through gramma and scrub. Dormant forts sprang back to life, inspired by Victorio and garrisoned by former slaves. Barrels of alcohol medicated wranglers, miners and hazarders against sunburns and shootouts.

All of that ferment is well known, but another seldom-remarked adventure arose in 1880 New Mexico. The President of the United States, and first lady, with a dozen-plus companions, journeyed through southern New Mexico in mule-drawn wagons, on parched, primitive routes, amidst outlaws, Indians, and rattlesnakes. There's nothing else like it in presidential lore.

President Rutherford B. Hayes became the first president to visit New Mexico. Several others followed, but only two of them, William Henry Harrison in 1891, and William McKinley in 1901, followed Hayes' lead across southern New Mexico and the infamous Jornada Del Muerto. Most other presidential visits have been to northern New Mexico, although John Kennedy flew to White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base in 1963. Only Hayes got to Lordsburg when it became Lordsburg, and only Hayes risked his scalp doing it.

President Hayes was returning home from his Great Western Tour. He was the first president to ride the new transcontinental railroad all the way to California, and became the first into the Land of Enchantment when he went home by the southern route, passing through Tucson, Lordsburg, and Santa Fe on his way back to Ohio.

Hayes, you'll recall, had pledged to be a one-term chief executive when he accepted his party's nomination in 1876. Instead of hanging around Washington while Garfield campaigned to replace him, he hopped onto the shiny new Golden-Spike rails for San Francisco.

Kenneth E. Davison described the trip for the Ohio History Journal, and you can see his summary, along with other informaiton about the travelers, linked from the picture of participants, above.

The trip, planned for 1879, was postponed a year because Hayes had to call Congress back into session to complete its appropriation of funding for the military and other agencies.

Hayes and party finally went west in September, 1880, and, although the Great Western Tour is not greatly noted in popular history, the record has soaked up a respectable spillage of ink about the outbound trip and west-coast excursions to Washington and Oregon. The homeward trip went by the southern route through Arizona and New Mexico, and this extraordinary travel gets only a few perfunctory paragraphs in most accounts.

Recall at the time there were only three states on the west coast, California, Oregon and Nevada. Newspapers and historical accounts note the fanfare and crowd turnout at these places, as well as the general lawlessness of the new states. General Sherman is reported to have ridden "shotgun" on the president's stagecoach going through Oregon to discourage an attack by the notorious Black Bart.

click the picture Charles Rutherford Noyes had a solid military career. His picture links to more about him, including an excerpt of his diary in which he rides on the cowcather of Hayes' train..
click the picture Secretary of War Alexander Ramsey gives us the actual route followed by President Hayes. The link pops up enlarged versions of modern, and vintage maps.

Not much firsthand information comes to us from the people who were actually on Hayes' tour. On the westbound trip there is a diary kept by Lieutenant Charles Rutherford Noyes, the president's nephew, who joined the party in Cheyenne, Wyoming, then part of the Washington territory, and rode with them to Salt Lake. Some information about Noyes, and an excerpt of his diary from the Ohio History Journal, is linked from his picture, nearby.

If history has largely ignored President Hayes' Great Western Tour, and its intended unifying effects on the country, his trip home is the truly missing page in that period of post-war America. Most references to the trip wind up with a brief comment about the party taking a train to Los Angeles before riding home on the Southern Pacific Railroad through Arizona, New Mexico, and thence on to Ohio. That's a lot of real estate to cover in a single sentence, and a lot of adventure left to the imagination. Most accounts give the impression of a long train ride home. Not so.

The Southern Pacific Railroad made it across Arizona and New Mexico in 1880, but by October, when the president visited, the rails stopped east of Tucson, and south of Socorro, New Mexico. While much is made of the Hayes party dodging Black Bart in Oregon, let's recall that in late 1880 Southern New Mexico was a sugarless piñata of mayhem and murder.

Chief Victorio left the San Carlos reservation, a bit north of Tucson, in 1879 and terrorized the great southwest for months, scattering death and trauma along the Jornado del Norte. The army had responded by sending in the Buffalo Soldiers and reoccupying forts abandoned in the previous decade. No inch of southern New Mexico, or northern Mexico, was safe from Victorio's depredations in 1880. He was killed by the Mexican Federales just before Hayes got to New Mexico, but the news wasn't confirmed at once, and Victorio's right hand, Nana, had escaped and could have been anywhere.

But there was more. Two major outlaw gangs operated south of Albuquerque in those days. A rancher named Clanton was stealing people's cattle around the Mexican border. He led a large, fluctuant, and biblically ornery band of thieves known as the "Cowboys." Two years later they barged onto history's stage at Tombstone's OK corral, but in 1880 they were a threat to anyone passing through, an existential threat in modern pop-lingo. Also, in 1880, William Bonney, aka The Kid, was in full-criminal flower. President Hayes had sent Lew Wallace to Santa Fe specifically to end the violence of the Lincoln County War, and Bonney was its unfinished business, prying up hell in all quarters with his hotchpot of sociopaths.

click the pictureHayes might have traveled to NM on a train about like this vintage 1880 model. It links to some miltary ambulance pictures...a wide range of vehicles.

These egregious examples of incivility were augmented in southern New Mexico by the proliferation of silver, gold and copper mining scattered through the mountains, and the sort of people attracted to caches of wealth, particularly in places of do-it-yourself civilization. It isn't true that every social predator in the Far West gravitated to southern New Mexico. But plenty did, and they were all slouching nearby the various honey pots when President Hayes disembarked in what had just become Lordsburg, New Mexico.

click the picture A sampling of news stories about Hayes' NM trip.

Now we meet the other person who kept a diary during the Hayes western tour. Secretary of War, Alexander Ramsey, jotted down some thoughts about the Great Western Tour. He is the only one to tell posterity about the three days between the rail head at Lordsburg, where they disembarked on October 25, 1880 and the one south of San Marcial, New Mexico, where they boarded their train for Santa Fe on October 27, 1880.

Ramsey's papers have not been published, but are available to researchers. Our peek into his account comes from an article by C. A. Gustafson in the Desert Winds Magazine, February 1993.

"After a tour of the city (Tucson) and a few receptions, the visitors returned to the depot at 5:30 p.m to resume their journey.

"The next leg of the trip brought them into the outlaw empire of Old Man Clanton and his cowboy gang, cowboy being a polite name for rustler. An idol saloon comment hinted at stopping the train and making old Hayes, 'Give us a speech when he comes along.' This prompted General Willcox to muster 25 volunteers and order a heavy military guard to ensure the president's safety.[NB: In fact Wilcox had ordered heavy guard for the presidential tour, but not in response to Clanton's supposed threat. The trip had been planned for over a year, and the military took extraordinary precautions for the president's safety, all along his New Mexico route. Remember, the General of the Army himself was one of the travelers, and there were threats aplenty, other than a drunken old rustler.]

"On Oct. 25 at 6 a.m., the train reached the end of the southern Pacific track at Lordsburg, about 25 miles into the Territory of New Mexico. Trains had begun serving the railroad stop only a week before. Lordsburg was little more than a railroad camp, but 1,200 Chinese workers were there, whose purpose was to prepare the road bed in advance of the track layers. Shakespeare was the established town in the area, located about two and a half miles southwest.

"Thomas J. Culbertson, archivist at the Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio informs that, 'President Hayes was a great diarist all of his life with one big exception—the western trip.' Fortunately, Secretary Ramsey filled this void and daily recorded the activities of the party. He gives an invaluable, firsthand account of this historic visit to New Mexico.

"Ramsey wrote (Oct. 25), 'We rose at 5 & breakfasted at 6 & at 7 were off in our six ambulances drawn each by six mules & one baggage wagon – under a small escort of cavalry: it was cold.' They were heading for Fort Cummings.

"They stopped at Cow Springs for lunch and a change of mules. Ramsey added that there were but two adobe houses at the stop.

click the picture This picture of Indian Scouts in 1881 links to a BLM archeological study of Ft Cummings. It includes period illustraitons and history.

"The wagon train reached Fort Cummings that evening. Ramsey described it as 'a large collection of adobe buildings very much in ruin.' President and Mrs. Hayes, Sherman and Ramsey visited the sick in the hospital. The secretary added, 'After supper camped here for the night.'

"Fort Cummings was established in 1863 and evacuated 10 years later when the threat of Cochise subsided. With the rise of Victorio, the encampment was reopened in 1880. Many of the structures were in disrepair, necessitating troops to be housed in tents."

From Howard Couchman's "History of Southwestern New Mexico," Bureau of Land Management, we learn of a "caravansary" style hostel at Fort Cummings, operated by a man named Lyons. Couchman speculates that the president and first lady probably stayed at the hotel.

We know from other sources the fort was garrisoned by the black Ninth Cavalry, and that the parade band of the Fifteenth Infantry was also stationed there. The band did not play for the presidential party because three members were in the guardhouse. Other sources also tell us morale was a problem at Fort Cummings, probably because of the isolation and harsh conditions.

Couchman has a bit more to tell us about the presidential party and conditions at the fort at that time. " …General William Tecumseh Sherman visited some of the post facilities. At the hospital he found Michael R. Conlon, a prisoner charged with desertion. When Conlon’s Company D of the Fifteenth Infantry had been transferred to Fort Cummings from Fort Wingate, he was on a spree in a nearby Mexican town and was left behind. Since he was an old-time soldier, working on his fourth enlistment, Sherman listened to his story and asked Dudley to investigate the matter. It was not surprising that Dudley recommended the charges against the man be dropped and then paroled without waiting for an answer."

Ramsey, from Gustafson's account, continued in his diary.

click the picture Time Detective Gallery gives us this picture of Lake Valley in the 1880s. It's a bit after Hayes' arrival; no train at that time. It links to The New Mexico Nomad's remembrance of Lake Valley. We learn a bit more about Ramsey's "Mr. Miller," but the author doesn't mention Lake Valley's presidential visit. To toggle between 1880 and today, click HERE.

"Oct. 26. We left the fort at 7 a.m. and traveling N & E came to Lake Valley where a Mr. Miller keeps a store. Here we lunched upon ample provision-camped about 6 p.m. at Paulison in the valley of the Rio Grande over against the Jornado del Norte. The tents were all up when we got in and supper was soon prepared for us." The place Ramsey calls "Paulison" is generally accepted to be Las Palomas, an early New Mexican settlement on the Rio Grande, a bit south of Truth or Consequences.[NB: The New Mexico town of Truth or Consequences was called Hot Springs in 1880.]

The above mentioned Lake Valley was a tiny silver mining town, now a ghost town maintained by the Bureau of Land Management. The Mr. Miller mentioned by Ramsey might be the one who'd just bought land and silver rights from a rancher named McEvers. Miller tired of mining and sold to some people who sank a 40-foot shaft into a rich silver vein. More investors came in and established some well known mines. They were harrassed for years by the remnants of Victorio's band, now led by the 80 year old Nana. Between him and the cattle rustlers, the town was kept in uproar for years.

We should note there were two Miller families in Lake Valley in the 1900 census, and at least one other at the time of the presidential visit. The census lists Dan Samuel Miller as the store merchant, and John W. Miller as a day laborer. Descendants of Daniel Samuel (D. S. Miller) continued living in Lake Valley. D. S. Miller's son, Dan Miller, was running a store in Lake Valley into the 1930s. He left for California, and died in 1958. The last resident, Pedro Martinez, was living in Miller's house until he moved to Deming in 1994. Did either John or Daniel meet Presdient Hayes? We can't say. No family, or municipal, memory of the visit seems to have survived. The story is muddied by another Miller, this one John A. Miller. John A. was a prominent citizen of Grant County in later years, and, according to Albuquerque feature writer Howard Bryan, Albuquerque Tribune, January 20, 1958, it was this John A. Miller who developed the first silver claims in Lake Valley, established a Lake Valley ranch, and then sold out to an eastern syndicate for $100,000. They should have named the place Millersville.

The Deming Headlight, August 18, 1938.

Gustafson continues. "At 3 p.m. the next day (Oct. 27), the wagon train reached the railhead of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, which was snaking its way southward. This point was near San Marcial. A train awaited the president and his party. Aboard was a reception committee, including General Hatch and other dignitaries.{NB: Yes, General Hatch is the namesake of Hatch, New Mexico, and by extension Hatch Chiles. The town appears as Santa Barbara on vintage maps. }

Thus ends the most remarkable part of the trip, a wagon ride through the desert. Let's note some logistical details. The ambulances and baggage wagon were pulled by six-mule teams, and the mules were changed each day at the lunch stop. According to maps of the area, the minimal distance traveled was nearly 60 miles on the first day, 45 miles the second, and about 40 the third. The norm for teams of four mules was about 3-4 miles per hour and 20 miles a day. Faster speeds were possible for short distances. With 6 mules pulling each vehicle, and by keeping the teams fresh, they traveled at a sustained speed of about 5 miles per hour, a breakneck trip over notional roads that were nothing but faint tracks at their best, and the best judgment of the drivers as the norm. Ramsey mentioned no breakdowns or accidents which is as remarkable as the speed.

Gustafson continued. "The special train rolled into Santa Fe at 9:40 a.m., Oct. 28. At the depot, the Ninth Cavalry band played 'Hail to the Chief.' A carriage, drawn by two coal-black horses, awaited the president and his first lady. The afternoon was spent visiting points of interest. President Hayes found a little shop on San Francisco Street where he purchased some Indian pottery to be shipped home to Fremont, Ohio.

click the picture This picture of Fort Cummings, circa 1886, links to a sampling of news stories about the route of Hayes' NM trip, after he left.

The president visited the Palace of the Governors, the oldest public house in the United States, dating to 1610. Governor Lew Wallace had just finished writing his novel, "Ben-Hur," in the rambling old Spanish-built structure, but Wallace himself was not there. He was back in Indiana, campaigning for Hayes' successor, Garfield.

Hayes and party were invited to speak, and besides the president, notable talks were given by Secretary of War, Alexander Ramsey, and General William T. Sherman. The president made brief, appropriate remarks, Ramsey regaled with a long, entertaining talk befitting his reputation as a raconteur, and Sherman seems to have offended everyone.

President Hayes' train left Santa Fe on October 29, 1880, stopped briefly in Las Vegas, where the Don Miguel Rifles formed an honor guard while the president spoke briefly. They then left New Mexico and were back at the president's home in Fremont, Ohio by November 1, eleven days before the publication of "Ben-Hur."

Some accounts of the trip across the desert mention ambulances and others mention wagons. Both descriptions are probably correct. The term "ambulance" at the time simply meant a conveyance for the wounded. They varied greatly in style from fully enclosed, box-like, vehicles, to ordinary wagons with wisps of cloth strung above them. The route the president took was primitive even for the time, and military equipment was scarce. An "ambulance" was probably whatever wheeled thing could be pressed into service.

From the scant firsthand accounts of Hayes' dash through Apache/Outlaw country, to the equally infrequent secondary accounts by historians, we are left to imagine what it must have felt like to the participants. Some of them were old soldiers, accustomed to such fieldwork. Several were civilians, and many of those were women. They were at considerable risk and hardship, and nothing like the trip has ever been pursued by any other American president. As to everyone's feelings about the adventure, we have only our imaginations.

Let's note a detail of Hayes' Great Western Tour that seems peculiar in these hysterical times. The trip was presidential, not political. Hayes was not running for reelection and he didn't campaign for Garfield or anyone else. He was truly hoping to affix the bindings of leadership to the scattered, but coalescing nation. He was a singularly conscientious man, widely reviled by posterity for having lived in that time.

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Here is how Kenneth E. Davison described the trip for the Ohio History Journal.

Of all the Hayes' tours, the most dramatic and extended was a western trip to the Pacific Coast and return in the fall of 1880. This marked the first time any President had crossed the continent while in office, although Grant had visited as far as Utah in 1875. The trip, personally nonpolitical in nature with few prepared speeches, allowed Hayes to do something important during his final months in office, and left Garfield's men unhampered in their management of the 1880 Republican presidential campaign. Originally planned for the spring of 1879, the Great Western Tour had to be postponed for more than a year because an extra session of Congress required the President's presence in Washington. Hayes, how- ever, kept in mind the idea of a grand tour as a good way of unifying the nation and promoting pride in America's material progress and future potential. On June 18, 1880, he publicly announced his intention to make a Pacific trip. General William T. Sherman, an old friend, familiar with the terrain to be traversed, laid out the route and methods of travel, an assignment he dutifully performed knowing full well he would have to defer to the President's whims instead of his own preferences on some details. Sherman received help from various army posts and commanders scattered throughout the West. Colonel John Jameson of the Railway Mail Service supervised the day-to-day travel accommodations and kept the accounts. Generally speaking, various railroads provided a director's car for the President's comfort; the travelers stopped at military posts en route and used hotels sparingly, receiving their overnight accommodations and hospitality as a courtesy of army generals or well-known businessmen

The size of the official party fluctuated throughout the journey but usually averaged about nineteen. A limiting factor, especially restricting the number of women in the party, was the necessity of using army field ambulances to cover some five to six hundred miles of rough roads and desert country between railheads. As finally constituted the official party consisted of President Hayes, Army Chief-of-Staff William Tecumseh Sherman, and Secretary of War Alexander Ramsey, together with members of their immediate families, personal friends, and staff assistants. Hayes took his wife Lucy, two sons, Birchard and Rutherford, a favorite niece, Laura (Mrs. John G. Mitchell), and two dear friends from Cincinnati, Mr. and Mrs. John W. Herron. Isaiah Lancaster attended to the President's personal needs, while Mrs. S. O. Hunt, a young matron of Oakland, California, who had been staying in Washington, came along as a traveling guest of Mrs. Hayes. General Sherman brought his daughter Rachel, Mrs. Joseph Crain Audenried, the recently widowed wife of his longtime military aide, and General Alexander McDowell McCook, another of his aides. Secretary Ramsey's contingent included his son-in-law, Charles E. Furness of Philadelphia, and his private secretary and personal adviser, Colonel Thomas F. Barr of the War Department, who was accompanied by his wife Julia. Colonel Jameson and Dr. David Lowe Huntington, an army surgeon from the Soldier's Home in Washington, completed the presidential party.

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Lieutenant Charles Rutherford Noyes, son of the President's cousin, Horatio Noyes, stationed in 1880 near Cheyenne, Wyoming, decided to join the official greeting party as his kinsman passed through the Territory. A diary kept by Noyes is the only known account by a participant who described the Great Western Tour in detail. [NB: The author of this summary, cribbed from the Ohio History Journal seems unaware of the diary kept by Secretary of War, Alexander Ramsey, the only firsthand account of the president's wagon ride through the desert.]

There were five cars in the train, one carrying the baggage, the second, a C. B. & Q. dining car, the third, a C. B. & Q. director's car occupied by Secretary of War, General Sherman, and the ladies of their party. The fourth, a Pullman sleeper occupied by General McCook and other gentlemen of the party, also by Colonel and Mrs. Barr and Birchard and Rutherford Hayes. The fifth was the Union Pacific Director's car occupied by the President and his party excluding the boys.

Young Noyes accompanied the tour as far as Salt Lake City. Shortly after the train entered Utah, it stopped at the Emory station, and upon invitation from Rud, Noyes ran forward to join a party of five on the locomotive's cowcatcher for an exciting ride through Echo Canyon. At the same time, the President, Mrs. Hayes, Dr. Huntington, and Mrs. Herron moved up to the engineer's cab. The following description appears in the Noyes diary.

"The ride was down hill all the way and for twenty or twenty five miles through a most beautiful canyon with magnificent mountain scenery on both sides. The railroad followed a small stream for several miles which finally flowed into the Weber River, and then the Weber was followed down, At places the valley was wide enough to allow of fine wheat fields, and the houses were quite numerous, probably all Mormon settlements as we were by this time within the limits of Utah. One crop which we noticed and which covered quite large fields, we afterwards learned was alfalfa or Lucerne. Its brilliant green color attracted Mr. Herron's attention and no one knew at first what it was. It is said to make excellent fodder for animals and three or four crops can be harvested in a year, giving as many as nine tons to the acre. The wonderful rock formations on both sides of the track and the high cliffs attracted our attention. We noted the Devil's slide, and the Devil's Gate, also the one thousand mile tree, all of which we passed during this ride. The track crossed the stream whose course it followed many times and twice plunged through short tunnels where the very circuitous course of the stream could not be followed. On several occasions, as we sped along, it appeared as though we were about to run full against a mountain side, but just before reaching such places the track by a sudden turn curved through some narrow defile, and thus we passed from open glades to steep sided canyons, and back again to open glades and thrifty farms. It was a most delightful ride, and at the end of twenty five miles we returned to the train much pleased with our experience."

At Salt Lake the Hayes brothers and Noyes took a one-hour excursion to Black Rock for a swim in the famous salt water and then rejoined the main party for a tour of Salt Lake City. On September 6, after spending a pleasant weekend in the city, the tourists resumed their journey to California and Noyes returned to his army post. Before parting, Noyes found time to win a rubber of cribbage with Miss Sherman and bid goodbye to each of the passengers. He also wrote a vivid description of the President's accommodations:

"Upon arriving at Ogden [the junction for the Far West] the party changed cars to Central Pacific sleeping cars, and the Lieutenant Charles Rutherford Noyes, son of the President's cousin, Horatio Noyes, stationed in 1880 near Cheyenne, Wyoming, decided to join the official greeting party as his kinsman passed through the Territory. A diary kept by Noyes is the only known account by a participant who described the Great Western Tour in detail. "There were five cars in the train, one carrying the baggage, the second, a C. B. & Q. dining car, the third, a C. B. & Q. director's car occupied by Secretary of War, General Sherman, and the ladies of their party. The fourth, a Pullman sleeper occupied by General McCook and other gentlemen of the party, also by Colonel and Mrs. Barr and Birchard and Rutherford Hayes. The fifth was the Union Pacific Director's car occupied by the President and his party excluding the boys."

Young Noyes accompanied the tour as far as Salt Lake City. Shortly after the train entered Utah, it stopped at the Emory station, and upon invitation from Rud, Noyes ran forward to join a party of five on the locomotive's cowcatcher for an exciting ride through Echo Canyon. At the same time, the President, Mrs. Hayes, Dr. Huntington, and Mrs. Herron moved up to the engineer's cab. The following description appears in the Noyes diary.

"The ride was down hill all the way and for twenty or twenty five miles through a most beautiful canyon with magnificent mountain scenery on both sides. The railroad followed a small stream for several miles which finally flowed into the Weber River, and then the Weber was followed down, At places the valley was wide enough to allow of fine wheat fields, and the houses were quite numerous, probably all Mormon settlements as we were by this time within the limits of Utah. One crop which we noticed and which covered quite large fields, we afterwards learned was alfalfa or Lucerne. Its brilliant green color attracted Mr. Herron's attention and no one knew at first what it was. It is said to make excellent fodder for animals and three or four crops can be harvested in a year, giving as many as nine tons to the acre. The wonderful rock formations on both sides of the track and the high cliffs attracted our attention. We noted the Devil's slide, and the Devil's Gate, also the one thousand mile tree, all of which we passed during this ride. The track crossed the stream whose course it followed many times and twice plunged through short tunnels where the very circuitous course of the stream could not be followed. On several occasions, as we sped along, it appeared as though we were about to run full against a mountain side, but just before reaching such places the track by a sudden turn curved through some narrow defile, and thus we passed from open glades to steep sided canyons, and back again to open glades and thrifty farms. It was a most delightful ride, and at the end of twenty-five miles we returned to the train much pleased with our experience."

At Salt Lake the Hayes brothers and Noyes took a one-hour excursion to Black Rock for a swim in the famous salt water and then rejoined the main party for a tour of Salt Lake City. On September 6, after spending a pleasant weekend in the city, the tourists resumed their journey to California and Noyes returned to his army post. Before parting, Noyes found time to win a rubber of cribbage with Miss Sherman and bid goodbye to each of the passengers. He also wrote a vivid description of the President's accommodations: "Upon arriving at Ogden [the junction for the Far West] the party changed cars to Central Pacific sleeping cars, and the director's car of the Central Pacific was in readiness for the President. This was the finest car which I think I ever saw, its upholstery was of the richest, and all its appointments complete"

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News clippings about the New Mexico leg of President Hayes' Great Western Tour in 1880

The Record Union, October 20, 1880, page 2.
Mendocino Coast Beacon, October 30, 1880.
Harper County Times, November 11, 1880.
Las Vegas Gazette, October 27, 1880.
Las Vegas Gazette, October 28, 1880.
Notth Topeka Daily Argus, November 2, 1880.
Daily New Mexican, October 29, 1880. click to expand
Daily New Mexican, October 29, 1880 (page 2). click to expand
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President Hayes' route through southern New Mexio passed through turbulent boom-town areas. The image links to some stories about the aftermath.

The Santa Few New Mexican, December 23, 1880, page 4.
The Star Tribune, January 25, 1881, page 1.
Xenia Semi Weekly Gazette, February 4, 1881, page 2.
The Leavenworht Times, April 21, 1881, page 1.
The Las Vegas Gazette, April 10, 1884, page 2.
The Topeka State Joiurnal, October 12, 1899, page 3.
Albuquerque Tribune, October 7, 1988 click to expand
Albuquerque Tribune, October 7, 1988 (page 2). click to expand
The Deming Headlight, January 30, 2009. click to expand
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President Hayes' route through southern New Mexio is displayed on a current map, and a vintage 1880 map, showing the pre-Hayes and pre-railroad names of places. Ralston, for example, southwest corner, was renamed Shakespeare by the time Hayes came through. Lordsburg appeared two miles north. Santa Barbara became the site of present day Hatch, NM.

The Hayes route, per Ramsey, on a current map. click to expand
The 1880 Thayer map of the same area.click to expand
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We can suffer a failure to visualize

when we read about Hayes and his party traveling by military ambulance. In the southwest the Army was using anything with wheels to transport goods and people. All we know for sure is Ramsey's description of the six-mule teams, unusual for a wagon full of people. The army was anxious to get across the desert quickly, and six were faster than four.

This engine photographed in Yuma in the 1880s may resemble the engine on Hayes' train.
The "ambulances" may well have looked something like this.
This is a Civil War depiction of an ambulance...Note Grant-like stance of man leaning on the tailgate.
Stage coaches and frieghters commonly used more than 4 animals on a team.
Typical field equippage from the era.
More typical equippage.

Who in the world cares about President Hayes in New Mexico?


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