John Wesley Powell

(1834 - 1902)

Explorer, geologist, visionary


          A 19th Century explorer and visionary who travelled throughout the West; with particular interest in the distribution of the West's most limited resource, water.  (Click here for more on one of the great 19th century American explorers)

          His 1879 report to Congress,Report on the Lands of the Arid Region of the United States,was both bold and visionary, yet Congress, in the end, ignored Powell's recommendations and continued to apply eastern notions of homesteading to the vast arid stretches of the West, dooming many thousands of future farmers and European immigrants to misery and certain failure.