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John Wesley Powell 1834 1902 was a U S soldier, geologist, and explorer of the American West He is famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a three month river trip down the Green and Colorado rivers that included the first passage through the Grand Canyon He studied at Illinois College, Wheaton College, and Oberlin College, acquiring a knowledge of Ancient Greek and Latin but never graduating He was elected to the Illinois Natural History Society in 1859 Due to his deep Protestant beliefs, and his social commitments, his loyalties remained with the Union, and the cause of abolishing slavery He enlisted in the Union army as a topographer and military engineer In 1881 he became the second director of the U S Geological Survey, a post he held until 1894 He was also the director of the Bureau of Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution until his death.
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- Sketch of the Mythology of the North American Indians First Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1879-80
- John Wesley Powell
- 22 October 2019 John Wesley Powell