Exploration: John Wesley Powell


We have an unknown distance yet to run,

an unknown river to explore.

What falls there are, we know not;

what rocks beset the channel, we know not;

what walls ride over the river, we know not.

Ah, well! we may conjecture many things.

John Wesley Powell 1834-1902

John Wesley Powell was a soldier, scientist, and explorer. He is best known for his daring exploratory trips down the Green and Colorado Rivers in 1869 and 1872, and is credited with leading the first group of white men down the Colorado River through present day Grand Canyon.  It was 1869. Ten men in four boats were about to embark on a journey that would cover almost 1,000 miles through uncharted canyons and change the west forever. Three months later, only five of the original company plus their one-armed Civil War hero leader would emerge from the depths of the Grand Canyon at the mouth of the Virgin River. Thirty-five-year-old Major John Wesley Powell was that expedition’s leader. From early childhood, Powell manifested deep interest in all natural phenomena. Original and self-reliant to a remarkable degree, he early undertook collection and exploring trips quite unusual for a youth of his age and studied botany, zoology, and geology wholly without the aid of a teacher. Powell was born in Mount Morris, New York, in 1834. He served in the Civil War, where he lost his right arm at the Battle of Shiloh.
The illustration by Lightspring | View Portfolio  via Shutterstock is explained by the artist: Breaking through obstacles to success with broken brick walls shaped as a human head leading to a globe of the earth as a business and life concept of achievement and career goals focus

About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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