In 1869 Powell a Civil War hero
who lost his arm at the battle of Shiloh set off into the unknown. He would be the first white man to run the
Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.
It must have been a fearsome prospect.
Back in 1869 the river ran wild and free, unfettered by damns that
drained its ferocious power. The rapids
deep below the canyon walls would have roared, the sound carrying back to the
expedition as a challenge. Powell’s goal
was to explore the Canyon and map this last uncharted bit of the west. It is an amazing journey.
With "The Exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons," readers can explore the one-thousand miles of the Colorado River in its natural state nearly one-hundred and fifty years ago. Legendary explorer John Wesley Powell, accompanied by a crew of close friends and associates, details his travels through the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon at a time when much of the area was unknown to contemporary readers. Starting in Wyoming, the crew travelled the last unmapped area of the continental United States. The novel begins as an explanation of the land and geography; Powell focused on the native flora and fauna, calling upon the nature writing tradition that was emerging during the 1800's. Next, Powell drew from his personal diary in order to narrate the group's travels through the breathtaking land. Finally, Powell recounts his journey and discusses the ethnography and cultures of both Native Americans and the early settlers of the new frontier. The adventures are real and threatening; Powell and his team face danger, hunger, and other obstacles for the sake of exploration. Powell was no stranger to endangerment in real life, though; he led multiple adventures out west and wrote texts about his journeys. He was also an early anthropologist, and his cultural work with different American ethnic groups helped lay the foundation for early American anthropological studies. Anyone interested in nature writing, adventures, nonfiction, or cultural studies will want to have "The Exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons" in their library.