The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons Summary & Study Guide

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The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons Summary & Study Guide Description

The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons by John Wesley Powell.

The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons by John Wesley Powell is a true story of exploration and adventure. The time is in the 1860s and it was an exciting period in the history of the United States, as the last frontiers were being surveyed and mapped. This was the purpose of the Powell expedition.

Powell was a Civil War veteran who had an interest in the Colorado River and the canyons. Powell was the secretary of the Illinois Natural History Society and was extremely interested in the last of the unmapped territory in America. There were no official sanctions for his expedition. He did not have the backing of Congress or any official financing. He used his own money and whatever he received from the Illinois Natural History Society and the Illinois Industrial University. Aside from this, all there was officially was some instruments from the Smithsonian and the permissions for rations for ten men from the Secretary of War. He managed to complete the memory of this unchartered area on these meager finances and supplies.

Even though Powell worked as a professor of geology at Illinois Wesleyan College in Bloomington, Illinois, he had no formal training. He was a self-taught former soldier. Powell had no formal publications and had done nothing to distinguish himself in the field. No one in his party of nine had formal training or was considered an expert in the field. Most were experienced hunters and trappers with a sense of adventure and were willing to take part in the dangerous expedition into uncharted areas.

The ten men began the three-month expedition with four wooden boats, traveling one thousand miles along the Green, Grand and Colorado Rivers. They explored the different areas, keeping detailed records along the way of the altitude and composition of the rocks and formations. Along the way, they name different formations, canyons and flows of water, this completing the mapping of the uncharted areas. Six men completed the expedition. Powell returned the following year to explore the area on foot, using Indian guides.

The Exploration for the Colorado River and Its Canyons is interesting reading, although a little slow and dry at times. Powell provides a day-by-day description of the findings and describes the places visited. He also provides a description of the geologic composition of the rocks and the Grand Canyon.

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This section contains 396 words
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