For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Washington, D.C. 20402 - Price 50 cents n 1869, John Wesley Powell and nine adventure-seeking companions He endeavored at all times to put ment of the region. He had a keen completed the first exploration of the dangerous and almost un­ his beliefs into practice. and sympathetic interest in the In­ charted canyons of the Green and Colorado Rivers. By this trip, Powell's exploration of the Colo­ dians who inhabited this Powell, a 35-year-old professor of natural history, apparently un­ rado River led to the formulation land and made fundamental contri­ I hampered by the lack of his right forearm (amputated after the of some of the fundamental princi­ butions to the new sciences of an­ ), opened up the last unknown part of the continental ples of land sculpture. He went on thropology and ethnology. His tal­ and brought to a climax the era of western exploration. to develop an understanding of the ent for organization has left its natural conditions that control man mark on agencies and programs Powell was not an adventurer, vated by a thirst for knowledge and and society in the arid lands of the for the development and nor did he consider himself just an a firm belief that science was meant Western States and to develop conservation of the natural re­ explorer. He was a scientist, moti­ to further the progress of mankind. guidelines for the orderly develop­ sources of the world.

John Wesley Powell . . . was one of the few who believed in evolution by endeavor and who fought for intelligent and scientific planning for the devel­ opment of society. He believed that progress comes by increasing cooperation among men, and he dreamed of developing a scjence that would pro­ vide the knowledge whereby men could live to­ gether in peace and mutual cooperation.

William T. Pecora, Director U.S. Geological Survey Augtisl 1969

2 3 ohn Wesley Powell was born ture firsthand, and Powell's interest west. At various times he attended the 20th Illinois Infantry. He was in 1834 in Mount Morris, in natural history grew during their , Illinois Institute, described as "age 27, height 5' New York, the son of Joseph numerous junkets to collect speci­ and . In 1858, he 6!/2" tall, light complected, gray Powell, a Methodist preach­ mens of plants, animals, birds, and joined the newly formed Illinois eyes, auburn hair, occupation— er who had emigrated from minerals. State Natural History Society, and teacher." He was elected sergeant- JEngland 4 years earlier. A restless When Powell was 12 years old as curator of conchology, made a major of the reigment, and when man, Joseph Powell gradually moved the family moved to a farm in Wis­ fairly complete collection of the the 20th Illinois was mustered into his family west across New York consin. With his father away much mollusks of Illinois. He began the Federal service a month later, State and in 1838 settled in Jack­ of the time, the boy assumed man­ teaching at Hennepin, Illinois, in Powell was commissioned a second son, Ohio. There the Powells be­ agement of the farm, an experience 1858 and in 1860 became super­ lieutenant. The regiment was sent came embroiled in one of the most that helped develop physical stam­ intendent of its schools. to Camp Girardeau near St. Louis. controversial issues of the day— ina and moral character. While on a lecture tour in the Because of his knowledge of engi­ abolition. Reverend Powell's vigor­ Though he attended school irreg­ summer of 1860, Powell realized neering, Powell was directed to pre­ ous stand against slavery was met ularly, he was determined to pursue that a civil war was inevitable. That pare and carry out a plan for the with hostility by many of the towns­ his studies in science over the ob­ winter, he studied military science fortification of the camp and town. people. Young Powell was frequent­ jections of his father who wished and engineering. A strong aboli­ In November, General Grant au­ ly stoned by his classmates and had him to become a minister. When he tionist, John Wesley Powell was one thorized him to recruit and train a to be removed from public school was 18, Powell began teaching in of the first to volunteer when Presi­ and placed under the tutelage of a one-room country school to earn dent Lincoln issued a call for a neighbor, George Crookham, a money for college. The next 7 years troops. farmer and self-taught scientist. were spent teaching school, attend­ On May 8, 1861, he enlisted at Crookham emphasized learning na­ ing college, and exploring the Mid­ Hennepin, Illinois, as a private in

A typical farm of the 1800's similar to that on which John Wesley Powell was born. • - *e*«

Emma Dean Powell (nee Harriet Emma Dean) wife of Major John Wesley Powell.

* 5 By January 1865, Powell had risen to the rank of brevet lieuten­ ant colonel (although he preferred to be called major). With the end of the war at hand and his term of enlistment having expired, Powell asked to be mustered out of service.

Frederick S. Dellenbaugh, who was later with Powell on his second expedition down the , wrote:

Major John Wesley Powell in uniform, about 1863.

The Battle of Shiloh. A drawing from the Matthew Brady collection.

company to manage the siege guns. That same month Grant allowed Powell a short leave for a hurried pass to be with her husband wher­ "Our Works before Vicksburg—Battery Powell." It is likely that John Wesley Powell trip to Detroit to marry his cousin, ever he went, thus enabling him to is shown erroneously in this illustration.Although Powell had lost his arm in the Battle Emma Dean, who accompanied him remain in the service where his of Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862), he is shown uninjured at the (May- back to camp after the ceremony. engineering and artillery knowledge July 1863). Powell was made captain of Bat­ were sorely needed. During May As a soldier his career was marked by a thorough study and tery F, 2d Illinois Artillery Volun­ and June 1863, Captain Powell's mastery not only of the details of military life; but of mili­ teers at the end of the year. A few battery participated in the Siege of tary science. Especially was he apt in utilizing materials at weeks later, he and his battery Vicksburg, and while in the trench­ hand to accomplish his ends—a trait that was also prominent were ordered to Pittsburg Landing es he examined the rocks and made in his civil life. Bridges he built from cotton gin houses, on the Tennessee River. During the a collection of fossil shells that was mantelets for his guns from gunny sacks and old rope, and Battle of Shiloh, on April 6, as later deposited in the Illinois State shields for his sharpshooters from the moldboards of old Powell gave the signal to fire, a Museum. In late 1863, Powell was plows found on the abandoned plantations. All this time, Minie ball struck his wrist and made an inspector of artillery for whenever possible, he continued his studies in natural sci­ plowed into his arm. The wound the Department of the Army of ence. He made a collection of fossils unearthed in the trenches was so severe that his arm had to Tennessee. He served as command­ around Vicksburg, land and river shells from the Mississippi be amputated below the elbow. ing officer of the 17th Army Corps swamps, and a large collection of mosses while on detached Despite his injury, Powell re­ Artillery Brigade and took part in duty in Illinois. He also familiarized himself with the geology turned to active service within a several operations after the fall of of regions through which armies passed to which he was few months. On General Grant's Atlanta, including the Battle of attached. orders, Mrs. Powell was given a Nashville.

.?.. 6 After the war, Powell accepted a Powell loved to travel; it had from Army posts at Government professorship in geology at Illinois been one of his main interests be­ rates and to obtain free transporta­ Wesleyan University in Blooming- fore the war. In 1867, he led a tion from the railroads. Powell con­ ton. His method of teaching re­ party of students to the Rocky tributed his own salary to help flected his training under George Mountains to collect specimens for finance the trip. Crookham, and he often took his the museum. Funds for the trip In May and June of 1867, the students into the field to collect fos­ came from various sources, includ­ expedition, which included Mrs. sils, minerals, and plants and to ob­ ing the Museum of Natural His­ Powell, traveled by train, wagon, serve animals in their natural habi­ tory—$500, the Illinois Industrial and horseback across the plains to tat. The following year he gave a University (later the University of Denver and on to a valley known course of lectures at Illinois State Illinois)—$500, and the Chicago as Bergen s Park on the west side University in nearby Normal, Illi­ Academy of Science—$100. In re­ of the Rampart Range north of nois. The State Legislature provided turn he agreed to supply them with Pikes Peak. After climbing Pikes a small endowment for the museum specimens of the animals, plants, Peak they traveled west to South John Wesley Powell, winter 1869. of the State Natural History So­ and any other materials collected. Park where they camped for sev­ ciety, and Powell was named cura­ Scientific instruments were loaned Powell agreed to give the Institution eral weeks, exploring the moun­ tor. by the , and the topographic measurements made tains and hot springs and making by his party. He made arrangements a variety of natural history collec­ to procure rations for the group tions. A scene of Powell's teaching career. Illinois Wesleyan's first building, 1856. Student members of Powell's 1868 expedition.

8 9 Most of the group returned east miles above its mouth where they visited and undisturbed." But after in September, but the Powells and built cabins and established winter studying the few reports, talking a few others remained to explore quarters. During the winter of with Indians, hunters, and moun­ Middle Park and the headwaters of 1868-69, Powell traveled south to tain men familiar with the area, and the Grand River, as the upper part of the Grand River, down the White exploring tributary streams similar the Colorado River was then called. and Green Rivers, north to the to the Colorado, Powell decided it In the summer of 1868, Powell Yampa River, and around the was possible to explore the river by returned to Colorado with his wife Uinta Mountains. He befriended a descending it in small boats. He and about 20 others, mainly neigh­ tribe of Ute Indians and studied obtained some funds from private bors and students. They collected their language and customs. His in­ sources and from the Illinois State more specimens for the museum, terest in the Indians of the West Natural History Society, and he explored the Colorado mountains, grew, and in 1873, as a special gained permission from the Govern­ and climbed 14,000 - foot - high commissioner to the Indians in ment to requisition military stores. . and eastern Nevada, he He had four boats built in Chicago In October, the party reached a pleaded for greater justice and more to his own design and specifications point on the White River about 120 educational opportunities for the and had them shipped to the pro­ Indians. posed starting point at Green River By 1868, Powell was considering Station, Wyoming Territory. He se­ exploration of the Colorado River, lected a crew of nine who, with the undeterred by legends of earlier ex­ exception of his brother Walter, peditions that had perished. Lieu­ were mountain men experienced in tenant Joseph C. Ives, who in 1857 living off the land. On May 24, explored the southern stretches of 1869, Powell launched his boats on the river below the , their historic journey. believed "that the Colorado, along Navajo boy the greater part of its lonely and Major Powell talking to a Paiute Indian majestic way, shall be forever un- during northern survey.

Tau-gu, a chief of the Paiute Indian tribe and Major Powell in southern Utah.

Ruins of an ancient Indian settlement on the rim of the Grand Canyon.

10 11 Running: the Rapids First Campsite, 2d Kxpedition

Powell and Colleagues, C. D. Wal- eott (left) and Sir Archibald The Rescue >g Geikie (right)

Powell's Farewell Dinner is Diree- i tor of the U.S. GcologicaKSurvey

War Memorial at Vieksburg, Mississippi

At Riordan Ranch. Arizona

Indian Tribal Conference long after hope for their survival ments. The few specimens collected 'John Wesley Powells Pioneer River Voyage-1869 had been abandoned. Their emo­ had been cached along the river. tional ordeal was well expressed in Having succeeded so dramati­ Powell's words—"What falls there cally in conquering the Green and are, we know not; what rocks beset Colorado Rivers, Powell had little the channel, we know not; what difficulty in obtaining funds from walls rise over the river, we know Congress to continue his explora­ not." tory work. He decided that supplies Powell immediately set about should be cached along the river making plans for a second expedi­ and spent most of the year 1870 tion. He had planned and supplied in determining potential supply the first trip for what he thought routes and in establishing friendly would be a leisurely 6- to 9-month relationships with the Indians. scientific expedition. Because of the By the spring of 1871, prepara­ loss of food and equipment and the tions had been completed for the scarcity of game, the trip had been second survey of the canyon coun­ hurried. Powell's observations and try. This time the party included notes on topography and geology a surveyor, Professor Almon H. were incomplete or unreliable be­ Thompson, Powell's brother-in-law, cause of badly damaged instru- and an experienced photographer, E. O. Beaman, who together with A plaque marking the place where the his successors James Fennemore Howland brothers and William H. Dunn and J. K. Hillers, dramatically doc­ separated from the 1869 Powell expedition. The plaque is located near the northeast umented the river voyage. bank of the Colorado River on the eastern On May 22, the party pushed side of Separation Canyon. three boats of improved design into the stream. Major Powell rode in the lead, perched in a chair lashed amidships where he commanded an unrestricted view of the way ahead and could signal to the other boats. The expedition was planned to last about a year and a half. During the first 4'/2 months the expedition traveled from Green River Station to the mouth of the Paria River at the foot of . Thomp­ Relief map of Powell's pioneer river voyage—1869. son was largely responsible for con­ ducting the exploration of the river. The party traveled more than hoping to find a safer route over­ Powell spent most of July and Au­ 1,000 miles of river through wind­ land, departed only 2 days before gust traveling on horseback between ing canyons and over foaming rap­ the voyage ended. Powell and five the river and Salt Lake City, ex­ ids. One of the crew left the expe­ men in two boats emerged ploring the canyon lands, and dition after a month, having had months later on August 30 at the studying the Indian tribes. During enough adventure; three others, mouth of the , Arizona,

14 15 On the Colorado at the mouth The Kanab Canyon, near its mouth. The of the Little Colorado River. cliffs in the distance are on the far side of the Colorado River.

The Powell expedition ready to start from a location just below the Union Pacific Railway bridge at Green River Station, Wyoming.

the winter and spring (1871-72) Kanab Canyon. while Powell was in the East seek­ The second expedition brought ing new appropriations, Thompson back considerable information. Pro­ set about mapping the area. fessor Thompson completed a topo­ In the spring, while seeking graphic map of the Grand Canyon another route by which supplies region, and Powell's monumental could be brought to the river, the account was published in 1875 by party discovered the last unknown the Smithsonian Institution. Hun­ river in the United States and dreds of photographs were taken, named it the Escalante. many of them stereoscopic views In August 1872, the expedition that brought the western canyons once more started downriver from into eastern living rooms. Diaries Lee's Ferry. Because of torrential and field notes were kept by several rains and heavy snowmelt in the other members of the party. Dellen- Major Powell's boat, the Emma Dean, moored on a bank of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. mountains, the river was high, swift, baugh's story of the trip A Canyon and dangerous. Finding that con­ Voyage was published in 1908, and Powell continued to study the Colorado River region under Govern­ trolling the boats was nearly im­ the Utah Historical Society pub­ ment auspices. He became impressed with the problems of settling the possible in the rushing current, lished the diary of Thompson in arid western lands and in 1878, encouraged by Secretary of the Interior 1939 and those of Bishop, Steward, Powell called a halt to the expedi­ Carl Schurz, he completed his Report on the lands of the arid region of W. C. Powell, and Jones in 1947. tion when the party reached the United States, which was published as a Congressional document. The

16 17 book was not only a report on the physical characteristics of the land and The bill that included the organic the rainfall but also discussed the need for a land classification system act of the Geological Survey also and contained drafts of proposed legislation providing for the organization contained an appropriation for of irrigation and pasturage districts. The book, since recognized as one completing and publishing the re­ of the most important ever written about the western lands, went un­ sults of Powell's research on the heeded at the time. Indians and their cultures. This Four surveys—the Powell, Hayden, King, and Wheeler surveys—were work ultimately led to the creation mapping the West, and some conflicts of interest began to develop, espe­ of the Bureau of Ethnology, which cially between Army and civilian scientists. devoted its efforts to collecting in­ formation on the fast-disappearing In the spring of 1878, Congress investigated the rivalry among the west­ Indian tribes of North America. ern surveys but was unable to come to a satisfactory conclusion. They Powell became its Director, a post called on the National Academy of Sciences for advice, and the academy he held for the rest of his life. in turn called on Powell and others for suggestions. Legislation embodying the academy plan that contained many of Powell's ideas was introduced, In 1881, following King's resig­ but before it was finally enacted several provisions were eliminated, in­ nation, Major Powell was appointed cluding one of special interest to Powell—a proposal to change the public Director of the U.S. Geological Sur­ land system. The bill that was passed on March 3, 1879, provided for vey. As Director from 1881 to the establishment of the U.S. Geological Survey, discontinuation of the 1894, Powell was the principal western surveys, and appointment of a commission to codify the public , first Director of theU. S. force in expanding geologic studies Geological Survey, 1879-81. land laws. Powell became a member of the commission, and Clarence and topographic mapping through­ King, who had been in charge of the Geologic Exploration of the 40th out the country and in stimulating Parallel, the first of the national surveys authorized by Congress, became investigations of soil, ground water, the first Director of the U.S. Geological Survey. rivers, flood control, and irrigation. John Wesley Powell, second Director of the U. S. Geological Survey, 1881-94.

Members of the Hayden survey pack­ Campsite of Lieutenant G. M. Wheeler and Acceptance of directorship of the ing a wagon, on mules, across the San survey party near Belmont, Nevada (Wheeler, U.S. Geological Survey. Juan Mountains. seventh from left).

18 19 During the 13 years of Powell's ducted, and they recognized the The House added an amendment requiring that all irrigable lands be directorate the growth of the Geo­ wisdom of a geological survey of withdrawn from entry. This effectively closed the land to the homesteader. logical Survey was remarkable. Its the whole country. Geologic re­ After about 2 years the Irrigation Survey was discontinued, and Congress field of operations, at first restricted search was established as a proper eliminated the power to reserve irrigable land. Powell's vision of an orderly to the Far West, became nation­ function of the Government. settlement of the West was not to become a reality. Ultimately, the Irriga­ wide. The annual appropriation tion Survey led to the establishment of the Reclamation Service and then was gradually increased, and from In 1888, following a series of the Bureau of Reclamation. time to time new functions were dry years, Congress, on Powell's added, the most important being a recommendation, authorized the On June 30, 1894, Powell resigned as Director of the U.S. Geological program of topographic mapping Survey to undertake a study of the Survey. He had been in poor health for a number of years, and surgery was once more required on his arm. Major Powell's health declined and investigation of water resources John Wesley Powell in his Adams Building and irrigation. New divisions of Office, Washington, D. C, 1896. steadily after his resignation, and he died at his summer home in Haven, chemistry, physics, paleontology, Maine, on September 23, 1902, in his 69th year. He was buried in Arling­ and hydrography were also added. ton Cemetery among other heroes of the Civil War. In 1884, Congress set up a joint commission to consider the organi­ SUBKET LOSES ITS HEAD Maj. J. W. Powell Resigns His zation of several of the scientific Place as Director. bureaus, including the Geological Mia W*IIH-I-I Arm-Will K»t*la His Po­ sition In Ilia Barest -I ElhwiloBy- HI. Survey, in order to "secure greater MtUUtiT »."i lrtaHtflB HLLrj-IJuLU efficiency and economy." The Na­ SFtoL Holeotl La Miri-«v

science in government. the 30th day of June proximo. Though honored and respected by the scien­ I an Impelled to this course by reason of wounda th Midway in the hearings there was tific community, Powell was for many years over­ require surgical operation. a change of administration, and the With deep gratitude for the confidence you have laav looked by historians. Only recently has the in ma, search for efficiency and economy significance of his ideas been rediscovered. I an, with great respect. became an investigation of corrup­ arid regions of the United States tion. Powell and the Survey became with special emphasis to be placed Powell, however, was not without Your obedient servant, recognition in his own time. He was elected a the target of bitter attack. In the on investigations of stream capaci­ Vy_ bi rector. end, however, the Commission ties and potential sites for dams, member of the Philosophical Society of Wash­ found the administration of the reservoirs, ditches, and other irri­ ington in 1874 and its president in 1883 and a Through The Honorable, Geological Survey to be well con­ gation facilities. member of the National Academy of Sciences The Secretary of the Interior.

21 20 in 1880. He was a founder of the and its president Selected References during 1878 and 1888, a founder and president of the Anthropologi­ cal Society of Washington, one of the earliest members of the Biological Society of Washington, and an organizer of the Geological Society of John Wesley Powell Washington. He helped establish the National Geographic Society and the Geological Society of America. In 1888, he was elected president of the Darrah, W. C. Powell of the Colorado. Princeton University Press, 1951. American Association for the Advancement of Science, then considered Dellenbaugh, F. S. A Canyon Voyage. Yale University Press, 1962. the highest honor for an American scientist, and he received honorary Goetzmann, W. H. Exploration and Empire. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1966. degrees from several universities at home and abroad. Place, M. T. John Wesley Powell, Geologist and Conservationist. Hough­ His place among his contemporaries was fittingly expressed by G. K. ton-Mifflin, 1963. Gilbert, the eminent geologist and his long-time associate, at a meeting Powell, J. W. The Exploration of the Colorado and its Canyons. Dover commemorating Powell's achievements. Speaking of Powell before the Publications, 1961. Washington Academy of Sciences on February 16, 1903, Gilbert said: Smith, F. E. The Politics of Con­ servation. Pantheon Books, 1966. The glow of his enthusiasm, the illumination of his broad philosophy, the Stegner, W. E. Beyond the 100th warmth of his friendship, are still with us. . . . It was through this Meridian. Houghton - Mifflin, personality too that he accomplished much of his work 1960. for science. Gathering about him the ablest men he Ullman, J. R. Down the Colorado could secure, he was yet always the intellectual with Major Powell. Houghton- leader, and few of his colleagues could withstand Mifflin, 1960. the influence of his master mind. Phenomenally U.S. Geological Survey. John Wes­ fertile in his ideas, he was absolutely free in ley Powell's Exploration of the their communication with the result that Colorado River. U.S. Govern­ many of his suggestions—a number which ment Printing Office, 1974. can never be known—were unconsciously White, D. (pseud.) John Wesley appropriated by his associates and in­ Powell, Conqueror of the Can­ corporated in their published results. yon. Houghton-Mifflin, 1960. . . . The scientific produce which he directly and indirectly inspired may equal, or even exceed that which stands in his own name.

Monument erected about 1914 to honor John Wesley Powell. Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, .

22 23 aU.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1976-211-345/95 As the Nation's principal conservation agency, the Department of the Interior has responsibility for most of our nationally owned public lands and natural resources. This includes fostering the wisest use of our land and water resources, protecting our fish and wildlife, preserving the environmental and cultural values of our national parks and historical places, and providing for the enjoyment of life through outdoor recreation. The Department assesses our energy and mineral resources and works to assure that their development is in the best interests of all our people. The Department also has a major responsibility for American Indian reservation communities and for people who live in Island Territories under U.S. administration.

Thomas S. Kleppe, Secretary U. S. Department of the Interior

V. E. McKelvey. Director Geological Survey