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Photographed October 8, 2017.
Early Explorers: Filling in the Blanks
Ellen Thompson, Expedition Botanist
Ellen Thompson, wife of A. H. Thompson and sister of John Wesley Powell,
served as botanist on the second Powell Expedition.
She collected hundreds of plants,
many of them new to science.
Several were named in her honor,
including Thompson's Penstemon (Penstemon thompsoniae)
and Thompson's Woolly Locoweed (Astragalus mollissimum var. thompsoniae).
Mount Ellen, in the Henry Mountains, is also named for her.
“I never felt more exultant in my life …
I was looking on the most wonderful scenery I ever beheld.”
Andrus Expedition, 1866
“… as far as the Eye can see a naked barren plain
of red and white Sandstone crossed in all directions by
innumerable gorges …”
-- Franklin B. Woolley, Andrus Expedition, 1866.
Several years before the Powell Expedition,
the Andrus military expedition patrolled the Aquarius Plateau region,
providing the first written descriptions of this area.
Mapping the Last Uncharted Lands
By 1870, the continental United States had been mapped and surveyed,
except for one area -- the vast region that surrounds you.
From the Colorado River to the Aquarius Plateau,
and from the Virgin River to the Green, this rugged landscape was
Though the Fremont Expedition passed through Capitol Reef during the
winter of 1853-54,
they were desperately low on provisions and did not linger to survey the region.
In 1872, John Wesley Powell launched his second expedition down thw
Green and Colorado Rivers to chart the Rivers and surrounding lands.
Over the next four years, his brother-in-law, Almon H. Thompson,
led the land survey of southern Utah,
during which he explored and charted Boulder Mountain
and the rest of the Aquarius Plateau.
The expedition also named and mapped the Escalante River and the Henry Mountains,
respectively the last-mapped river and mountain range in the lower 48 states.
Article records that use this photograph:
Other photos about Geography - Utah or Boulder Mountain.
Date and time this page was prepared:
1/15/2021 11:08:15 AM