The Grand Canyon Expedition
John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) was a soldier, geologist, professor, explorer, and director of the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1869, he embarked on a three-month journey down the Colorado River, one of the last unmapped portions of the continental United States, His account would become the first recorded voyage through the Grand Canyon.
Powell's detailed descriptions of the rocks, plants, and animals seen in the canyon, the geography of the area, and his team's interactions with native groups of the area and mishaps along the trail allow readers to feel the thrill, the awe, and the humility of standing on the canyon's edge.
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