John Wesley Powell--the man who said "Don't go West young man, you'll be sorry."

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John Wesley Powell--the man who said "Don't go West young man, you'll be sorry."

Post  pinhedz on Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:04 am

I think this first came up on the "Indians" thread (but that thread probably won't be restored).



John Wesley Powell was the first man to to survive the rapids on the Colorado River, and the first Director of the US Geological Survey.

At a time when the US gub'mint was urging people to settle the land West of the Mississippi, Powell was saying that there was not enough rainfall past the 100th meridian to support agriculture--unless water could be brought in by irrigation.

Powell's insight explains why the Sioux Indians could not survive on the reservations created for them in the Western Dakotas--and why Hollis Brown killed himself and his family--and why pinhedz gran's farm in South Dakota failed.

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Re: John Wesley Powell--the man who said "Don't go West young man, you'll be sorry."

Post  pinhedz on Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:05 am

I hear you asking "But pinz--where exactly is the 100th Meridian?"


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Re: John Wesley Powell--the man who said "Don't go West young man, you'll be sorry."

Post  pinhedz on Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:07 am

A little better detail here--I was surprised to learn that Oklahoma--the infamous "dustbowl" of John Steinbeck and Woody Guthrie fame--is actually wetter than Minnesota:


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Re: John Wesley Powell--the man who said "Don't go West young man, you'll be sorry."

Post  pinhedz on Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:22 am

Powell was a friend to the Indians:


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Re: John Wesley Powell--the man who said "Don't go West young man, you'll be sorry."

Post  pinhedz on Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:23 am

Sometimes he almost seemed to have gone native:


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Re: John Wesley Powell--the man who said "Don't go West young man, you'll be sorry."

Post  pinhedz on Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:25 am

These indians lived far beyond the 100th meridian, but they thought it was paradise, because of the abundance of tasty grasshoppers, which were both nutritious a delicious:


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Re: John Wesley Powell--the man who said "Don't go West young man, you'll be sorry."

Post  pinhedz on Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:28 am

As Powell was being swept down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, two of this men decided they couldn't take it any more, and abandoned the expedition.

Unfortunately, they encountered a band of Indians that were looking for some prospectors that had raped an Indian woman. The Indians mistook Powell's men for the prospectors, and killed them.

When the Indians learned of their mistake, they apologized to Powell (anybody can make a mistake).

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Re: John Wesley Powell--the man who said "Don't go West young man, you'll be sorry."

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