The Powell Expedition

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” The Powell Expedition is a thought-provoking, nuanced work that reads at times like a detective story, and it should offer much fodder for historians.” — The Wall Street Journal John Wesley Powell’s 1869 expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers and through the Grand Canyon continues to be one of the most celebrated adventures in American history, ranking with the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Apollo landings on the moon. For nearly twenty years Lago has researched the Powell expedition from new angles, traveled to thirteen states, and looked into archives and other sources no one else has searched. He has come up with many important new documents that change and expand our basic understanding of the expedition by looking into Powell’s crewmembers, some of whom have been almost entirely ignored by Powell historians. Historians tended to assume that Powell was the whole story and that his crewmembers were irrelevant. More seriously, because several crew members made critical comments about Powell and his leadership, historians who admired Powell were eager to ignore and discredit them.Lago offers a feast of new and important material about the river trip, and it will significantly rewrite the story of Powell’s famous expedition. This book is not only a major work on the Powell expedition, but on the history of American exploration of the West.

Table of contents

Cover Page
Title Page
Copyright Page
List of Illustrations
Prologue: Dreams of Rivers
Part I: The James White Mystery
1. Introduction to the James White Mystery
2. Wanted—James White
3. An Old Story
4. Rivals and Rails
5. Dawson and Teller
6. Conclusion?
Part II: The Crew
7. The Howland Connection
8. Seneca Howland: The Unsung Hero
9. Call Me No Name
10. The Howland Brothers Write Home
11. What’s Eating the Howland Brothers?
12. The Curse of Howland Island
13. Introducing William H. Dunn
14. Last Words Before the Launch
15. William Hawkins: Abducted by Alias!
16. The Promotion of Andy Hall
17. The Westering Star of Jack Sumner
18. Why Jack Sumner Stayed
19. The Madness of Jack Sumner
20. Jack Sumner Looks Back
Part III: John Wesley Powell
21. Horse Feathers
22. Major Powell, I Presume
23. The Impeachment of John Wesley Powell
Part IV: Naming Names
24. The Maid of the Cañon
25. Lodore
Part V: The End of the Adventure
26. Hats Off to Bishop Leithead
27. A Hardy Welcome
28. The Afterlife of a Boat
Part VI: The Fate of the Howland Brothers and William Dunn
29. Introduction
30. Toab
31. The Toquerville Hoax
32. Three Men Sentenced to Be Shot
33. The Aftermath
34. The Arizona Strip Massacre
35. The Afterlife of William Hawkins
36. Conclusion?
Afterword: Ten Who Bored
About the Author

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