John Wesley Powell





John Wesley Power was born March 24, 1834 in Mount Morris, New York.

He served in the US Army from 1861 to 1865 and achieved the rank of Major.

From 1867 to 1872, Powell led a series of expeditions into the Rocky Mountains and around the Green and Colorado rivers.

Powell served as second director of United States Geological Survey between 1881 and 1894

John died September 23, 1902 in Haven Colony, Brooklin, Maine and was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery.


Early Expeditions

From 1867, Powell led a series of expeditions into the Rocky Mountains and around the Green and Colorado rivers.

1869 Expedition

5/24/1869: Started from Green River Station, Wyoming Territory (now Green River, Wyoming).

7/6/1869: Frank Goodman, an Englishman, left the expedition claiming he'd had more than enough adventure. He walked away and lived for some years with the Paiutes of eastern Utah. Eventually, he settled in Vernal, Utah, where he was married and raised a family.

8/28/1869: O. G. Howland, his brother Seneca, and Bill Dunn left the company, fearing they could not survive the dangers of the river much longer. They hiked out of the canyon and were killed, it is generally believed, by local Shivwits Indians in a case of mistaken identity.

8/13/1869: Powell and the remain men of his party completed the journey.

1871-1872 Expedition



John Wesley Powell with an Indian
John Wesley Powell with Paiute Chief Tau-gu

Other photos on the web:
Collected photos of John Wesley Powell


Wikipedia article on John Wesley Powell

Utah History to Go article on John Wesley Powell

Encyclopaedia Britannica article on John Wesley Powell

Story of Major John Wesley Powell

PBS article on John Wesley Powell

John Wesley Powell River History Museum, Green River, Utah

Powell Museum, Page, Arizona

Book: "Exploration of the Colorado River of the West and Its Tributaries"
Explored in 1869, 1870, 1871, and 1872 Under the Direction of the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
By John Wesley Powell
Washington: Government Printing Office, 1875
To download a copy, click here (large file, may take a while).