Sunday, October 20, 2013

John Wesley Powell

Explorer of the American West
Expedition Leader
Civil War Major in the Union Army
Director of the United States Geological Survey
Director of the Bureau of Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution
Born March 24, 1834 in Mount Morris, New York
Died September 23, 1902 in Haven Colony, Brooklin, Maine
Buried in the Arlington National Cemetery
alongside his wife Emma Dean

"We are now ready to start on our way down the Great Unknown. Our boats...are chafing each other, as they are tossed by the fretful river. We have but a month’s rations remaining. The flour has been resifted through the mosquito-net sieve; the spoiled bacon has been dried. . . the sugar has all melted and gone on its way down the river. We are three quarters of a mile in the depths of the earth, and the great river shrinks into insignificance, as it dashes its angry waves against the walls and cliffs, that rise to the world above; they are but puny ripples, and we are but pygmies, running up and down the sands, or lost among the boulders. We have an unknown distance yet to run; an unknown river yet to explore. What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls rise over the river, we know not."
“The wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately represented in symbols of speech, nor by speech itself. The resources of the graphic art are taxed beyond their powers in attempting to portray its features. Language and illustration combined must fail.”

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