In the Name of Science


Hear the narration:

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I decided that I wanted to make a second trip down the Colorado River, but this time with better boats and better equipment. My first journey was an exploring adventure, whereas my second journey will be a scientific survey. Before embarking on my second expedition down the Colorado, I visited numerous Native American tribes in the West, accompanied by a man named Jacob Hamblin. I brought Jacob with me because he was known for his extraordinary friendship with Native American leaders. It was during this time that I really came to know such tribes as Kaibab Paiute of Utah, Ute of Colorado, Hopi and Navajo of Arizona and the Paiute of Nevada.


My second river expedition began on May 1, 1871, from Green River Station. The purpose of this second expedition was mainly for science, and it proved to be very productive. However, in August, we ran into hardships that paralleled the hardships of my first journey in 1869. So, I made the decision to bring the expedition to a halt in September 1872. My boats were crippled, my men were exhausted and all were excited to hear of the journey’s end. I reassured the men on the second expedition that they could be proud of what they had accomplished, as several of them managed to keep detailed accounts of the journey which later, unbeknownst to them, would be published. A topographic map of the Grand Canyon region was completed and hundreds of photographs were taken. Professor Thompson, who accompanied me on this second journey, was largely responsible for conducting the exploration so that I could travel on horseback, exploring canyon lands and studying Native American tribes. It was also during this time that my only daughter, Mary Dean, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah.