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Recently I obtained some photos relevant to the material of these diaries. It was a bit of a late delivery but at least they got here. Nevertheless, I came up with an idea that might be a win-win situation for everyone: posting a makeshift powerpoint slide show that captures the highlights of scenery from Green River, Wyoming to the Grand Wash Cliffs. Naturally, all of the pictures or drawings were taken on the 1871-72 excursion, because the major did not think to take along a camera on the first run down the rivers or else it was a forgotten item. One can also say he likely relied on map-making of the canyon country he and his men explored. Then again, some historians claim he always had in mind at least two explorations. Take that thought like the proverbial grain of salt. What matters most is the written account (which later gets straightened out by Frederick Dellenbaugh's epic tomes he wrote after the 1871 longer expedition). Of course, on the second expedition he had at least two talented camera men to rely on, O. E. Beaman and J. K. Hillers. In the upcoming slide show it is Beaman's works that take the lion's share of the show. Then again, he also took most of the photographs.

In this supplemental diary I will be sparing on commentary and mention only the captions of each photo in the lineup. Hope you enjoy the show and I hope you enjoyed reading the diaries. The photographs are also arranged chronologically, that is, depicting the scenery from Green River (Station), Wyoming), to successive canyons leading all the way to the Grand Wash Cliffs, the official terminus of the first expedition, though Kanab Creek (around mile 171) was the terminus for the second expedition).

(Continues after the fold.)

Where it all began:

Typical landmark scenery in this vicinity of the Wyoming Territory where the Overland Route (First Transcontinental Railroad Crossing) was established:

A modest monument marks the very spot:

Could this possibly be a photo of the first expedition crew? The caption on the pictures says so. What do you think?

(Nope, it's not. Notice the thingy on the rear of the Whitehall boat? Remember what the crew of the second expedition had going for them which the first crew did not? A tiller oar! That's how you can tell what boat design was added, as well as the major's high chair lashed to the deck.)

The boats on shore:

The skeleton frame of a Whitehall hauler craft:

The original and clumsy-looking Emma Dean (sans high chair, because it was an added design only used on the second expedition):

Like the Emma Dean 2, let's call her, and looking more like a boat should (because it's in the water):

Here's a rather silly display of the major seated on the deck of the Emma Dean (2). I mean, what fool would dress like this when on the river, and what even bigger fool would have selected this apparel and boots for the major?

A modern day Whitehall model (without the compartments and separate cockpits):

The first canyon was Flaming Gorge (now a yawning, deep reservoir):

Like so. . .

The next canyon was Horseshoe:

Red Canyon followed:

Red Canyon Park:

Lodore Canyon, where things literally started going south for the men (especially for Frank Goodman):

A respite from the gnarly water was always welcomed:

Then came another cataracts, this time aptly named––Disaster Falls:

Not too long after that, the wind-blown conflagration at camp (here depicted by a painting):

After a series of major falls to run in adjoining canyons Split Mountain (today's Echo Park) was a welcomed change of pace and scenery (with fewer rapids to test the men and their overloaded craft, including seriously water-logged):

Split Mountain:

Desolation Canyon:

Labyrinth Canyon:

Stillwater Canyon:

The fortuitous long john underwear incident where Bradley saved the major:

The Graveyard of the Colorado––Cataract Canyon:

Another photo of the 'graveyard':

The Fremont River alias "Dirty Devil" erroneously named by the major:

The most pristine canyon of them all (with its welcomed calm, flat water), Glen Canyon:

Mound Canyon, which Major Powell later dubbed Glen Canyon:

Another view of the Glen as aficionados once called the canyon (before that damn dam was built):

Lee's Ferry (that was established long after the Powell expeditions) and was the only river crossing for hundreds of miles:

Below the crossing was the gateway to the Great Unknown. . .Marble Canyon:

Another view of Marble Canyon:

The canyon of the Little Colorado (junction), at mile-60:

The Great Unknown:

An overview of the Grand Canyon (obviously something only the second expedition crew got to map and see):

Another overview:

From Toroweap on the North Rim, where the walls of both rims come within 1/2 mile and the straight-down view to the Colorado is around 3,000 feet:

Like so. . .

This canyon had more treacherous rapids than all the others combined. This famous sketch of one of them, Sockdologer (a Swedish word loosely translated as "Knock-down punch") was one of the main stretches that tested the men:

In the long gauntlet of rapids thrown down in this canyon, here is an eye-level view of a monstrous rapid Powell's men were forced to deal with throughout any given day:

Here's another:

At the foot of a whitewater stretch (possibly, Bass rapid):

The infamous Separation Rapid at mile 239.5:

A depiction of capsizing (somewhat common for these men), also called a muddy river baptism:

A rather graphic painting (by Dellenbaugh) of what it feels like to run a rapid in a Whitehall:

Since Dellenbaugh is responsible for getting Major Powell to finally admit to readers there really was a second expedition, and with a new crew on its much longer excursion, it is only fitting to post this rare photograph depicting most of the men who faithfully served under the major in 1871 and '72:

Frederick Dellenbaugh, 1872 portrait:

The Grand Wash Cliffs (which the 1869 expedition reached on August 29), at least the six who survived the peril:

But it was Kanab Creek, at mile 171, where the crew of the second expedition finished their year-long assignment:

So ends this canyon-river tour told by historic photographs.

Powell to Paiute Indian: I say down there. . .was this picture show to your liking?

Paiute Indian: Only if you apologize for blaming us for what happened to your three missing men!

Rich: I say Amen and A-women to that, sir!

Of course, this mystery remains what it is. Given what these diaries have shared, what do you think happened to the Howlands' and Bill Dunn?

Meanwhile, and regardless what we think of the man's character, this hero of the Civil War had accomplished what he set out to do. Doubtless no other under his command could have matched his prowess and steadfast intent to do the nearly impossible. To this end, I dedicate this diary series to Major John Wesley Powell but also to the brave men who served under his somewhat autocratic command. . .including the Howlands and Dunn.

As always, your thoughtful commentaries are welcomed.


Thu Mar 07, 2013 at 5:00 PM PT: P. S. Forgot this important proviso. . .as follows:

Note: Under the "Fair Use" protocol, which is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work, photographs, pictures and illustrations, including maps (that are not my own personal property), posted in my diaries provide for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in use of another author's work under a four-factor balancing test. Ergo, the diary posts are strictly for an educational purpose and are transformative (using an image in a broader story or educational presentation with text). In short, my diaries are promoting an educational presentation intended only to help Daily Kos community members learn more about the many topics my diaries feature.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

    by richholtzin on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 02:25:03 PM PST

  •  Terrific job (7+ / 0-)

    all of us who have come under the spell of that river and land thank you for posting these images.

    'those who go into Little Niagara, come out broken."

    fouls, excesses and immoderate behavior are scored ZERO at Over the Line, Smokey!

    by seesdifferent on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:03:19 PM PST

    •  nice way to put it. . . (4+ / 0-)

      seesdiffernt. . .those who came under the spell of that river! I never thought of it that way, 'til now, but you're right: there is something rather spellbinding about what Powell and his achieved. And trying to manhandle a boat, literally, of that type was indeed like trying to row down a wild or two with an elephant on your back. Thanks for the comment and for your support given this lengthy series.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:46:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wonderful! (5+ / 0-)

    Thanks Rich for all the hard work you put into this series, and all of your other gorgeous diaries.  

    I am a work in progress. Still.

    by broths on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:07:14 PM PST

    •  as I just wrote to another. . . (5+ / 0-)

      Dkos commentator, broths. . .not so much hard work but a true labor of love. The only challenge was rewriting the material to fit into a more compact setting, which, of course, the Powell story generally requires 300 to 400 or more pages to tell it. And you folks got all the essentials and then some. I was pleased how it turned out, though midway thru I thought to myself, "Uh-oh. . .this isn't going to work" (the brevity of the presentation. . .well, relatively brief, considering). Anyway, thank you so very much for your kind support and patience reading these missives. Means a lot to me.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:44:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bravo, Rich. (4+ / 0-)

    And many, many thanks for an epic
    job done superbly.

    Stonewall was a RIOT!

    by ExStr8 on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:15:57 PM PST

  •  EXPEDITION (4+ / 0-)

    Maybe I was too hard on Major Powell - you are right - it was an incredible journey and not many men then or now would take it on the way he did. You asked what we thought happened to the three disappearing men. Based on the history of the time and the Mountain Massacre, I have to say I feel that the mormons probably killed them thinking they were spies. It was a wild west back then and because the mormons were trying to settle that part of the country, I think they would have done whatever it took in order to carry out their plans. There was really no one to stop them and they made sure of that. In all of my reading and in my humble opinion, for whatever it is worth (not much) the native Americans were usually a peaceful people until they were threatened by the white man. Three people on foot would probably not have been much of a threat to them. Just saying. Thanks again for this awesome diary series - I cannot tell you how much I have looked forward each day to the next chapter.

    •  your insights. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      confitesprit, greenchiledem

      wynative. . .spot on. I think the Native Americans were always getting blamed for something or other, especially the Shivwits and Paiutes. Even the Mountain Meadow Massacre was staged by Mormons dressing up as Indians and doing the deed. As for Powell's men, likely, yes, that's what happened to these fateful men who somehow also did the impossible by hiking out of that very long canyon. I'm a fairly good canyoneer, myself, but I could never find a way up the immensity of the Redwall (though years later I was told by an acquaintance he did in fact find a route through that sheer limestone). Anyway, I also agree the Mormons were heavily persecuted at the time and they really didn't know Powell's men from federal spies. Remember: by that time the Mormons camped out by the Virgin River were told to look for the bodies of Powell's men when they flushed out beyond the Grand Wash Cliffs, because that damned fool who lies for drinks and steaks claimed he saw those men drown (which, of course, another party did drown, but way, way up there on the Green River). Anyway, how were the Mormons supposed to know the men they captured weren't spies, since Powell and his men were already declared dead? Yes, Powell made his share of mistakes, but I do admire him for his pluck and somehow getting his men, or most of them, to the end of the line, disgruntled or otherwise. Thank you so much for your support and patience given these many diaries. Just ask me to write a similar and smaller diary on the Brown-Stanton Survey. I DARE YOU! HA. Took about a farce and a funny story in its own macabre way.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:42:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great postscript, Rich. Nice way to wrap a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenchiledem, RiveroftheWest

    beautiful bow on this wonderful present to the community.

    As for the fate of the Howlands and Dunn, I have to agree with wynative's take on it above. I think it likely the Mormons took them to be a harbinger of yet more persecution.  But, I doubt we'll ever really know for sure.

    Thanks again.

  •  Brown-Stanton Survey (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenchiledem, RiveroftheWest

    Okay, I dare you to write about the Brown-Stanton Survey and any other history you wish to share with us. It may not get 286 people to read it, but as I said before, they don't know what they have missed and I hope you feel the appreciation coming from those of us who have enjoyed this series so much.

    •  I always take a dare. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenchiledem, RiveroftheWest

      well, in this case, sure. Why not? I know I worked up a rough draft somewhere on this fabulous story. . .of irony. . .and I think it can be told in one or two diaries. While I admire Stanton, I have to say the "Unsinkable Molly," who was married to Frank Brown, did the right thing by sailing on the Titanic, while he, himself, bought it at Soap Creek, the rapid, or was that Badger (both in Marble Canyon?). Anyway, he figured if Powell and his men could do the deed, then he and his boys, who left from Green River, UTAH, not Wyoming, could easily map a railroad line, of all things, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon (again, of all things), and that way save lots of money shipping coal to the LA Basin, which was Brown's intent. Imagine: a train pulling coal cars puffing smoke and making noise through the riverine corridor and saving Frank money doing it!!! See what I mean. . .a fabulous story. And this guy was dressed to the 9s, even took his own personal cook along, who, sadly, was another victim who drowned in the rapids, and the same with Hansborough, a very competent shipwright who ended up buying his life there, too. Give me some time and I'll see what I can do for you Western history buffs that enjoy a good story. This one's even better. Incidentally, Powell had his right arm, part of it, maimed in battle, and somewhat useless, while Stanton was born with a crippled left arm. Both men are heroic and Stanton, you might recall, designed such marvels as the Devil's Loop Bridge, in Georgetown, Colorado, where I used to live for a time. Anyway, as always, wynative, I thank you and others for the support given on this Powell diaries. They were a lot of fun working up and posting.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:20:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very, very well done! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thank you.
    I have had the pleasure of rafting all canyons on the Powell expedition except Labyrinth and those that are now underwater as reservoirs (Lake Powell & Flaming Gorge).  I will travel Labyrinth sometime and complete my goal to travel all.  Thank you for the great essay and bringing forth great memories.  gcd

    "There is only one force in the nation that can be depended upon to keep the government pure and the governors honest, and that is the people themselves.-Thomas Jefferson

    by greenchiledem on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:22:33 PM PST

    •  thank you. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and you have done all the biggies given the Green/Colorado rivers. I take it you survived Cataract. Westwater is also a pretty good stretch in that area. Labyrinth is an idol in many ways. I guess Deso-Grey these days is one of the most popular after Lodore. In any event, that's quite an achievement under your oars, greenchiledem. And for those of us who run those canyons, engines or oars, it is always haunting, in a delightful way, thinking what the men of the first expedition especially thought and felt at each turn. I didn't get into too much in the series, but Powell and/or his men named so many of those places along the way. In the 'Great Unknown,' there's even Howlands Butte and something for Dunn. So, we can never forget the men who thought they had the best chance of survival, by leaving, and who likely looked forward to a meet-up with the crew somewhere around the Rio Virgin. Kind of ironic, isn't it?

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 05:44:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Truly an epic series and a fine conclusion (0+ / 0-)

    The historic photos make a fitting conclusion, tying the long journey into a cohesive story that rounds out this incredible challenge and wonderful adventure. I admire every one of these brave men, and even those clumsy boats. How amazingly tough both the men and craft had to be to survive.

    It's good to be reminded how difficult this was -- difficult even if it could be done today, but incredible back then.

    I don't think I'll venture a guess about the three men's fate; any guess has at least a little likelihood behind it.

    I have to get back and read yesterday's chapter -- couple of long workdays and just not enough time.

    Wonderful accomplishment; thanks so much, Rich!

    •  he or she who discovers. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the penultimate Grand Canyon human mystery. . .stay tuned for a lot of press coverage. Otherwise, I like that New Jorsey expression, "fergitaboutit!" Some circles want the matter closed. You know. But what irony: these three found there way out a typically rugged and neblous long-ass side canyon drainage, including scaling the massively thick Redwall, to say nothing about all the other formations of the canyon's walls, somehow made it to the rim country. . .green, wet, human settlements nearby. . .and then the rude awakening of their fate (and consequent demise). Glad you enjoyed the series, RiveroftheWest. Tomorrow, I think, I have a two-part Ancestral Puebloan cultural history digest, this time going the distance considering a similar diary weeks ago on the Colorado Plateau's human habitation. I got a lot of response from DKos community folks saying they wanted to know more about certain Native American practices and historical tidbits about this part of the country, and so I did. Saturday I am also posting another national park tour. I think you might enjoy being along on that tour, as well.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 09:37:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds great! I've noticed (0+ / 0-)

        in my museum work that there is consistently huge interest in Native American life, art and (for want of a better word!) philosophy. People all over the world are looking for knowledge -- that's a good thing.

        Looking forward to more good stuff; thank you!

  •  Puebloan cultural history digest (0+ / 0-)

    Wow - sounds like some more good reading to come. I am envious of those who have been on the Colorado as I have never made it. Got close, but not close enough. Looking forward to learning more about our beautiful West and its past inhabitants.

    •  well, before it dries up. . . (0+ / 0-)

      I mean, the extended drought out this way is just pitiful. And the over use of water resource means no matter what kind of precip we get on any given year, wynative, it's gone before you know it. TMP (too many people) is the real problem. Anyway, best get out here while there's a river to run. Meanwhile, tomorrow, I just decided, starts the first of a back-to-back complete rendition of the Ancestral Puebloans, which I didn't get a chance to relate to the community when I worked up a Colorado Plateau human history diary. Now I can (and I have). Looking forward to hearing your comments on same and the support, of course.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 06:43:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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