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A Look Back: Explorer John Wesley Powell

Painter Thomas Moran and New York Times writer J.E. Colburn in Southeastern Utah with a young Paiute child in 1873 while traveling with John Wesley Powell and his expedition. J.E. Colburn was travelling with the survey expedition to record his impressions of the southwest for a chapter in William Cullen Bryan’s Picturesque American. Thomas Moran’s vision of the Western landscape was critical to the creation of Yellowstone National Park. His artwork was presented to members of Congress by park proponents. These powerful images of Yellowstone fired the imagination and helped inspire Congress to establish the National Park System in 1916.

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Jan 17 2014 07:31AM
Updated Jul 12, 2014 04:15PM

Each Friday, The Salt Lake Tribune presents historic images in a special series called A Look Back. This week’s installment features photos of Major John Wesley Powell. Powell was a soldier who lost his arm in the Civil War, a geology professor, American Indian expert, western conservation advocate, and an explorer who's most famous expeditions were on the Green and Colorado Rivers into the Grand Canyon in 1870.

Every gallery of the series is available at Here is a sampling:

Christmas in Utah through the years

Prominent artists from early Utah

Utah firefighters at the turn of the 19th century

Historic bars and saloons in Utah

Early settlers in Idaho

The 1988 Yellowstone fire

Early Utah mansions and homesteads

Pony Express, postal service and telegraph in Utah

The mining ghost town of Mercur

Construction of the Salt Lake Tabernacle

Historic buildings in Utah

30 years of iconic rock and roll in Utah

Hunting and fishing in the early 1900s

BYU, Utah football programs

Saloons, brewing companies in Utah around 1900

Historic photos of Temple Square

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