Exploring Desert Stone: John N. Macomb's 1859 Expedition to the Canyonlands of the Colorado

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  • Edition: Map
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-12-15
  • Publisher: Utah State Univ Pr
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The confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers, now in Canyonlands National Park, near popular tourist destination Moab, still cannot be reached or viewed easily. Much of the surrounding region remained remote and rarely visited for decades after settlement of other parts of the West. The first U.S. government expedition to explore the canyon country and the Four Corners area was led by John Macomb of the army's topographical engineers. The soldiers and scientists followed in part the Old Spanish Trail, whose location they documented and verified. Seeking to find the confluence of the Colorado and the Green and looking for alternative routes into Utah, which was of particular interest in the wake of the Utah War, they produced a substantial documentary record, most of which is published for the first time in this volume. Theirs is also the first detailed map of the region, and it is published inExploring Desert Stone, as well.

Author Biography

Steven K. Madsen, historian of the Spanish Trail here tells the full story of Macomb's party of topographical engineers, soldiers, and one notable scientist, John S. Newberry. The explorers confirmed the route of the Old Spanish Trail, came within a few miles of the confluence, and produced the earliest accurate cartography of the region. Although the official report of the expedition has long been available in print, most of the documents party members wrote are published here for the first time, along with the illustrations and map, which include the first graphic depictions of some of the Southwest's most amazing scenery.

Table of Contents

Illustrations and Mapsp. viii
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. xv
The Story of the Macomb San Juan Exploring Expeditionp. 1
Organizing the Expeditionp. 3
The Expeditionp. 38
The Expedition's Aftermathp. 98
The Bones and the Mapp. 108
Epiloguep. 117
Selected Documents of the San Juan Exploring Expeditionp. 127
The Camps of the San Juan Exploring Expeditionp. 129
Diary of Charles H. Dimmockp. 132
Topographical Memoir of Charles H. Dimmockp. 196
Abridged Diary of John S. Newberryp. 211
1859 Letters of John N. Macomb Jr., to his Wifep. 227
Letters of John S. Newberry Spencer F. Bairdp. 237
Letters of Frederick W. von Egloffstein John N. Macomb Jr.p. 242
Bibliographyp. 256
Indexp. 265
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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