John Wesley Powell


Born
in Mount Morris, New York, The United States
March 24, 1834

Died
September 23, 1902


John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) was a U. S. soldier, geologist, and explorer of the American West. He is famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a three-month river trip down the Green and Colorado rivers that included the first passage through the Grand Canyon. He studied at Illinois College, Wheaton College, and Oberlin College, acquiring a knowledge of Ancient Greek and Latin but never graduating. He was elected to the Illinois Natural History Society in 1859. Due to his deep Protestant beliefs, and his social commitments, his loyalties remained with the Union, and the cause of abolishing slavery. He enlisted in the Union army as a topographer and military engineer. In 1881 he became the second director of the U. S. Geological ...more

Average rating: 3.92 · 1,887 ratings · 112 reviews · 108 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Exploration of the Colo...

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3.93 avg rating — 1,681 ratings — published 1895 — 28 editions
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Canyons of the Colorado

3.61 avg rating — 64 ratings — published 1895
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Down the Colorado: Diary of...

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3.81 avg rating — 43 ratings — published 1969 — 5 editions
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The Arid Lands

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4.28 avg rating — 18 ratings — published 1878 — 12 editions
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The Grand Canyon Expedition...

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Seeing Things Whole: The Es...

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4.25 avg rating — 12 ratings — published 2001 — 4 editions
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First Through the Grand Canyon

4.27 avg rating — 11 ratings — published 1915 — 25 editions
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Sketch of the Mythology of ...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 10 ratings — published 1881 — 11 editions
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Exploration of the Colorado...

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The Exploration of the Colo...

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More books by John Wesley Powell…
“The Grand Canyon is a gorge 217 miles in length, through which flows a great river with many storm-born tributaries. It”
John Wesley Powell, Canyons of the Colorado

“On my return from the first exploration of the canyons of the Colorado, I found that our journey had been the theme of much newspaper writing. A story of disaster had been circulated, with many particulars of hardship and tragedy, so that it was currently believed throughout the United States that all the members of the party were lost save one. A good friend of mine had gathered a great number of obituary notices, and it was interesting and rather flattering to me to discover the high esteem in which I had been held by the people of the United States. In my supposed death I had attained to a glory which I fear my continued life has not fully vindicated.”
John Wesley Powell, Canyons of the Colorado

“Many years have passed since the exploration, and those who were boys with me in the enterprise are--ah, most of them are dead, and the living are gray with age. Their bronzed, hardy, brave faces come before me as they appeared in the vigor of life; their lithe but powerful forms seem to move around me; and the memory of the men and their heroic deeds, the men and their generous acts, overwhelms me with a joy that seems almost a grief, for it starts a fountain of tears. I was a maimed man; my right arm was gone; and these brave men, these good men, never forgot it. In every danger my safety was their first care, and in every waking hour some kind service was rendered me, and they transfigured my misfortune into a boon.”
John Wesley Powell, Canyons of the Colorado

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