Birth of explorer and geologist John Wesley Powell

by Anonymous on Mar. 24th, 2013

John Wesley Powell: The Ute Indians called him Kapurats, meaning "arm off".
John Wesley Powell: The Ute Indians called him Kapurats, meaning "arm off".Courtesy Public domain via the National Park Service
A remarkable figure in the history of American science, John Wesley Powell was born this day in 1834 in Mount Morris, New York.

During the late 1860s and early 1870s, and despite losing his right arm during the Civil War, Powell led several extensive expeditions into the rugged, unexplored regions of the American West collecting geological, geographical, and ethnological data, along with natural history specimens for the United States government. A fervent scientist, Powell served as director of both the U.S. Geological Society and the Bureau of Ethnology, and helped found the National Geographic Society.

Powell is probably best remembered for his study and befriending of the Ute people, and for making the first explorations of the Colorado River (then called the Grand River) and the Grand Canyon. Lake Powell, a large reservoir located on the border of northern Arizona and southern Utah is named in his honor.

NPS-USG Powell Info page
Powell Chronology
J.W. Powell Wikipedia page
More about Powell
Powell Expedition photos

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