A Canyon Voyage - The Narrative of the Second Powell Expedition down the - Green-Colorado River from Wyoming, and the Explorations - on Land, in the Years 1871 and 1872
233 Pages
English

A Canyon Voyage - The Narrative of the Second Powell Expedition down the - Green-Colorado River from Wyoming, and the Explorations - on Land, in the Years 1871 and 1872

-

Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer

Description

The Project Gutenberg EBook of A Canyon Voyage, by Frederick S. Dellenbaugh This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: A Canyon Voyage The Narrative of the Second Powell Expedition down the Green-Colorado River from Wyoming, and the Explorations on Land, in the Years 1871 and 1872 Author: Frederick S. Dellenbaugh Release Date: February 25, 2007 [EBook #20667] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A CANYON VOYAGE *** Produced by Audrey Longhurst and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net By F. S. DELLENBAUGH The North-Americans of Yesterday A Comparative Study of North-American Indian Life, Customs, and Products, on the Theory of the Ethnic Unity of the Race. 8º. Fully illustrated. net, $4.00 The Romance of the Colorado River A Complete Account of the Discovery and of the Explorations from 1540 to the Present Time, with Particular Reference to the Two Voyages of Powell through the Line of the Great Canyons. 8º. Fully illustrated. net, $3.

Subjects

Informations

Published by
Published 08 December 2010
Reads 36
Language English
Document size 12 MB

The Project Gutenberg EBook of A Canyon Voyage, by Frederick S. Dellenbaugh
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: A Canyon Voyage
The Narrative of the Second Powell Expedition down the
Green-Colorado River from Wyoming, and the Explorations
on Land, in the Years 1871 and 1872
Author: Frederick S. Dellenbaugh
Release Date: February 25, 2007 [EBook #20667]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A CANYON VOYAGE ***
Produced by Audrey Longhurst and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
By F. S. DELLENBAUGH
The North-Americans of Yesterday
A Comparative Study of North-American Indian Life,
Customs, and Products, on the Theory of the Ethnic
Unity of the Race. 8º. Fully illustrated. net, $4.00
The Romance of the Colorado River
A Complete Account of the Discovery and of the
Explorations from 1540 to the Present Time, with
Particular Reference to the Two Voyages of Powell
through the Line of the Great Canyons.
8º. Fully illustrated. net, $3.50
Breaking the Wilderness
The Story of the Conquest of the Far West, from the
Wanderings of Cabeza de Vaca to the First Descent
of the Colorado by Powell, and the Completion of the
Union Pacific Railway, with Particular Account of the
Exploits of Trappers and Traders.
8º. Fully illustrated. net, $3.50
A Canyon VoyageThe Narrative of the Second Powell Expedition down
the Green-Colorado River from Wyoming, and the
Explorations on Land in the Years 1871 and 1872.
8º. Fully illustrated. net, $3.50
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
NEW YORK LONDONThe Grand Canyon
Looking south from the Kaibab Plateau, North Rim, near the head
of Bright Angel Creek, the canyon of which is seen in the
foreground. The San Francisco Mountains are in the distance. On
the South Rim to the right, out of the picture, is the location of the
Hotel Tovar. The width of the canyon at the top in this region is
about twelve miles, with a depth of near 6000 feet on the north side,
and over 5000 on the south. Total length, including Marble Canyon
division, 283 miles.
Sketch made in colour on the spot by F. S. Dellenbaugh, June 4,
1903.A Canyon Voyage
The Narrative of the Second Powell Expedition down the Green-Colorado
River from Wyoming, and the Explorations on
Land, in the Years 1871 and 1872
By
Frederick S. Dellenbaugh
Artist and Assistant Topographer of the Expedition
"Come on, sir; here's the place. Stand still. How fearful
And dizzy 't is to cast one's eyes so low!"
King Lear.
With Fifty Illustrations
G. P. Putnam's Sons
New York and London
The Knickerbocker Press
1908Copyright, 1908
by
FREDERICK S. DELLENBAUGH
The Knickerbocker Press, New YorkTO
H. O. D.
MY COMPANION
ON THE
VOYAGE OF LIFE. [Page v]
PREFACE
This volume presents the narrative, from my point of view, of an important
government expedition of nearly forty years ago: an expedition which, strangely
enough, never before has been fully treated. In fact in all these years it never
has been written about by any one besides myself, barring a few letters in 1871
from Clement Powell, through his brother, to the Chicago Tribune, and an
extremely brief mention by Major Powell, its organiser and leader, in a
pamphlet entitled Report of Explorations in 1873 of the Colorado of the West
and its Tributaries (Government Printing Office, 1874). In my history, The
Romance of the Colorado River, of which this is practically volume two, I gave
a synopsis, and in several other places I have written in condensed form
concerning it; but the present work for the first time gives the full story.
In 1869, Major Powell made his famous first descent of the Green-Colorado
River from the Union Pacific Railway in Wyoming to the mouth of the Virgin
River in Nevada, a feat of exploration unsurpassed, perhaps unequalled, on
this continent. Several of the upper canyons had been before penetrated, but a
vague mystery hung over even these, and there was no recorded, or even oral,
knowledge on the subject when Powell turned his attention to it. There was a
tale that a man named James White had previously descended through the
great canyons, but Mr. Robert Brewster Stanton has thoroughly investigated
this and definitely proven it to be incorrect. Powell's first expedition was
designed as an exploration to cover ten months, part of which was to be in
winter quarters; circumstances reduced the time to three. It was also more or
[Page vi]less of a private venture with which the Government of the United States had
nothing to do. It became necessary to supplement it then by a second
expedition, herein described, which Congress supported, with, of course, Major
Powell in charge, and nominally under the direction of the Smithsonian
Institution, of which Professor Henry was then Secretary and Professor Baird
his able coadjutor, the latter taking the deeper interest in this venture. Powell
reported through the Smithsonian; that was about all there was in the way of
control.
The material collected by this expedition was utilised in preparing the well-
known report by Major Powell, Exploration of the Colorado River of the West,
1869-1872, the second party having continued the work inaugurated by the first
and enlarged upon it, but receiving no credit in that or any other government
publication.
As pointed out in the text of this work, a vast portion of the basin of the Colorado
was a complete blank on the maps until our party accomplished its end; even
some of the most general features were before that not understood. No canyon
above the Virgin had been recorded topographically, and the physiography
was unknown. The record of the first expedition is one of heroic daring, and it
demonstrated that the river could be descended throughout in boats, but
unforeseen obstacles prevented the acquisition of scientific data which ours
was specially planned to secure in the light of the former developments. The
map, the hypsometric and hydrographic data, the geologic sections and
geologic data, the photographs, ethnography, and indeed about all the first
information concerning the drainage area in question were the results of thelabours of the second expedition. Owing, perhaps, to Major Powell's
considering our work merely in the line of routine survey, no special record, as
mentioned above, was ever made of the second expedition. We inherited from
the first a plat of the river itself down to the mouth of the Paria, which, according
to Professor Thompson, was fairly good, but we did not rely on it; from the
mouth of the Paria to Catastrophe Rapid, the point below Diamond Creek
where the Howlands and Dunn separated from the boat party, a plat that was
broken in places. This was approximately correct as far as Kanab Canyon,
[Page vii]though not so good as above the Paria. From the Kanab Canyon, where we
ended our work with the boats, to the mouth of the Virgin we received fragments
of the course owing to the mistake made in dividing the notes at the time of the
separation; a division decided on because each group thought the other
doomed to destruction. Thus Howland took out with him parts of both copies
which were destroyed by the Shewits when they killed the men. After
Howland's departure, the Major ran in the course to the mouth of the Virgin.
Professor Thompson was confident that our plat of the course, which is the
basis of all maps to-day, is accurate from the Union Pacific Railway in
Wyoming to Catastrophe Rapid, for though we left the river at the Kanab
Canyon, we were able by our previous and subsequent work on land to verify
the data of the first party and to fill in the blanks, but he felt ready to accept
corrections below Catastrophe Rapid to the Virgin.
For a list of the canyons, height of walls, etc., I must refer to the appendix in my
previous volume. While two names cover the canyon from the Paria to the
Grand Wash, the gorge is practically one with a total length of 283 miles. I have
not tried to give geological data for these are easily obtainable in the reports of
Powell, Dutton, Gilbert, Walcott, and others, and I lacked space to introduce
them properly. In fact I have endeavored to avoid a mere perfunctory record, full
of data well stated elsewhere. While trying to give our daily experiences and
actual camp life in a readable way, I have adhered to accuracy of statement. I
believe that any one who wishes to do so can use this book as a guide for
navigating the river as far as Kanab Canyon. I have not relied on memory but
have kept for continual reference at my elbow not only my own careful diary of
the journey, but also the manuscript diary of Professor Thompson, and a
typewritten copy of the diary of John F. Steward as far as the day of his
departure from our camp. I have also consulted letters that I wrote home at the
time and to the Buffalo Express, and a detailed draft of events up to the autumn
of 1871 which I prepared in 1877 when all was still vividly fresh in mind. In
addition, I possess a great many letters which Professor Thompson wrote me
[Page viii]up to within a few weeks of his death (July, 1906), often in reply to questions I
raised on various points that were not clear to me. Each member of the party I
have called by the name familiarly used on the expedition, for naturally there
was no "Mistering" on a trip of this kind. Powell was known throughout the
length and breadth of the Rocky Mountain Region as "the Major," while
Thompson was quite as widely known as "Prof." Some of the geographic terms,
like Dirty Devil River, Unknown Mountains, etc., were those employed before
permanent names were adopted. In my other books I have used the term
Amerind for American Indian, and I intend to continue its use, but in the pages
of this volume, being a narrative, and the word not having been used or known
to us at that time, it did not seem exactly appropriate.
Some readers may wish to provide themselves with full maps of the course of
the river, and I will state that the U. S. Geological Survey has published map-
sheets each 20 by 16-1/2 inches, of the whole course of the Green-Colorado.
These sheets are sent to any person desiring them who remits the price, five
cents the sheet, by post-office money order addressed: "Director U. S.
Geological Survey, Washington, D. C.," with the names of the sheets wanted.
The names of the seventeen sheets covering the canyoned part are: Green
River(?), Ashley, Yampa,(?) Price River, East Tavaputs, San Rafael, La Sal,Henry Mountains, Escalante, Echo Cliffs, San Francisco Mountains, Kaibab,
Mount Trumbull, Chino, Diamond Creek, St. Thomas, and Camp Mohave.
Several parties have tried the descent through the canyons since our voyage.
Some have been successful, some sadly disastrous. The river is always a new
problem in its details, though the general conditions remain the same.
Major Powell was a man of prompt decision, with a cool, comprehensive, far-
reaching mind. He was genial, kind, never despondent, always resolute,
resourceful, masterful, determined to overcome every obstacle. To him alone
belongs the credit for solving the problem of the great canyons, and to
Professor Thompson that for conducting most successfully the geographic side
[Page ix]of the work under difficulties that can hardly be appreciated in these days when
survey work is an accepted item of government expenditure and Congress
treats it with an open hand.
I am indebted to Mr. Robert Brewster Stanton, who completed the Brown
Expedition triumphantly, for valuable information and photographs and for
many interesting conversations comparing his experiences with ours; to the
Geological Survey for maps and for the privilege of using photographs from
negatives in the possession of the Survey; and to Mr. John K. Hillers for making
most of the prints used in illustrating this book. My thanks are due to Brigadier-
General Mackenzie, U. S. Engineers, for copies of rare early maps of the region
embraced in our operations, now nearly impossible to obtain.
In 1902 when I informed Major Powell that I was preparing my history of the
Colorado River, he said he hoped that I would put on record the second trip and
the men who were members of that expedition, which I accordingly did. He
never ceased to take a lively interest in my affairs, and the year before he wrote
me: "I always delight in your successes and your prosperity, and I ever cherish
the memory of those days when we were on the great river together." Professor
Thompson only a month before he died sent me a letter in which he said: "You
are heir to all the Colorado material and I am getting what I have together."
These sentiments cause me to feel like an authorised and rightful historian of
the expedition with which I was so intimately connected, and I sincerely hope
that I have performed my task in a way that would meet the approval of my old
leader and his colleague, as well as of my other comrades. One learns
microscopically the inner nature of his companions on a trip of this kind, and I
am happy to avow that a finer set of men could not have been selected for the
trying work which they accomplished with unremitting good-nature and
devotion, without pecuniary reward. Professor Thompson possessed
invaluable qualities for this expedition: rare balance of mind, great
cheerfulness, and a sunny way of looking on difficulties and obstacles as if they
were mere problems in chess. His foresight and resourcefulness were
phenomenal, and no threatening situation found him without some good
remedy.
[Page x]Some of the illustrations in Powell's Report are misleading, and I feel it my duty
to specially note three of them. The one opposite page 8 shows boats of the
type we used on the second voyage with a middle cabin. The boats of the first
expedition had cabins only at the bow and stern. The picture of the wreck at
Disaster Falls, opposite page 27, is nothing like the place, and the one
opposite page 82 gives boats in impossible positions, steered by rudders. A
rudder is useless on such a river. Long steering sweeps were used.
Time's changes have come to pass. You may now go by a luxurious Santa Fé
train direct to the south rim of the greatest chasm of the series, the Grand
Canyon, and stop there in a beautiful hotel surrounded by every comfort, yet
when we were making the first map no railway short of Denver existed and
there was but one line across the Rocky Mountains. Perhaps before many more