Wyoming

Writings

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Hear the narration:

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Hello, my name is John Wesley Powell. It is the 24th of May 1869, and the good people of Green River City have turned out to see us start. Today we begin our expedition into the last great unknown within the continental United States. I am proud to say that I am a self-driven, self-taught man of action, and am determined to conquer these unmapped, uncharted rivers and canyons, knowing that if I should fail, sure death awaits me and my crew. The nine men making the expedition along with me are prepared to embark on what I believe will be a10-month journey throughout lands into which no one has ventured. It is my future goal to ultimately be able to guide Americans safely into the West. I seek knowledge of, and want to explore, what many believe cannot be done. Native Americans have told me that to enter the canyon is to disobey the gods and should not be done.

I have chosen a different path than that of my father, but believe that my calling lies in the depths of the canyon walls, or perhaps rushes through the rivers’ water. I see many people here today at Expedition Island in Wyoming that I shall later invite to join me on this adventurous expedition through writings I intend to note in my journal. As our expedition into the American West is about to begin, and final preparation is quickly coming to an end, I would like to take a moment to write down how I came to be here today.