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View Diary: DKos Special Diary: The Mythical John Wesley Powell and the 1869 Expedition, Part 6 (27 comments)

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  •  This is so fascinating. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don Enrique

    I've read accounts of other explorers whose devotion to duty, or maybe scientific obsession, seemed to raise them to a level where they didn't care about heat, cold, hunger or exhaustion. Must have been terribly hard for the ordinary (or even not so ordinary) humans who had to work for them.

    The second-to-last photograph (the Powell Second Expedition) is actually a painting, according to the identification on it.

    Wonderful, informative series; thanks, Rich!

    •  yes, a painting. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, Don Enrique

      and I wish there were more actual photos of the 1st expedition, though, of course, this ain't necessarily so, Bess. Still, the first try was always iffy, for the major, since he didn't get quite the backing he had hoped. Ergo, he used a lot of his own money to fund the project, and maybe he hatched an idea in his head he'd actually end up doing two before it was all over??? Anyway, he got the first done and knew he'd have to go back and clean up the rest. By then, of course, he got more than backing. . .he was already in the history books and bound for glory as that wonderful folk singer sang, Woody Guthie. Or was it the other guy, RiveroftheWest? I forget. Anyway, as always, thanks for posting your comments and for your support given these missives I hope will sell the community on a relaxing break from the usual politico stuff. Sometimes looking backward just feels much better than the present and the grim forecast that typically lies ahead. Si?

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 05:39:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  More photos are always nice to see. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Don Enrique

        But a good drawing is valuable too; many of those expedition artists were scientists too, and very careful to capture as much as they could with great accuracy.

        And yeah, it was Woody and Bound for Glory!

        •  Yep, Woody. . . (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Don Enrique, RiveroftheWest

          and don't you just love Egglofstein (hope I nearly spelt his name 'rite) and his Gothic art work he did on the Ives expedition, the western ramparts of the Grand Canyon. He made the canyon look closer to Dante's version of hell than the Grand Canyon. Anyway, Moran, and all those fellahs that painted and drew their artistry. . .simply enchanting. I'll try and find some portraits in color to finish up the series, especially Moran's works. Bound for Glory, indeed! Three more installments to go, RiveroftheWest. And there'll be another diary, either tomorrow or Sunday on Capitol Reef NP, if I can ever finish the darn thing and get it posted.

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:18:20 PM PST

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          •  Speaking of artists, (0+ / 0-)

            the oldest museum in Oregon is located in an 1856 army officer's house, east of the Cascades. No known photographs showing the fort during its active period have been found, but recently a watercolor was located showing all the houses plus other buildings and the surrounding area.

            It was painted by the ship's artist of a coastal survey; for some reason he came upriver, in a steamboat most likely, and preserved the scene in watercolor.

            There were more artists than cameras around back then!

            •  which is why. . . (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest

              the artist's canvas and palette is equally valuable to the art of photography, and indeed, often more engaging, inspirational, and certainly requiring more talent. Thanks for posting this bit of news and insight, RiveroftheWest. See you and others for the7th installment of the Powell story later this afternoon.

              Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

              by richholtzin on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 05:49:48 AM PST

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              •  Photography was both an art and a science (0+ / 0-)

                back then -- no "point 'n' shoot!" There was a young officer at Fort Walla Walla in the mid-1850s who is believed to have assembled the components to a camera while he was there. Went upriver with the pieces and took photographs on the way back!

                I'm looking forward to the conclusion of this exciting saga; thank you!

                •  a few more to go. . . (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RiveroftheWest

                  and even I forgot the final count, RiveroftheWest, but this afternoon's posting, followed by Sunday's, and the 9th concludes on Monday. But this community appears to have its other interests and the John Wesley Powell saga is not well received by and large. Still, it's funny in the sense we are all headed for an Armageddon showdown with Mom Nature, and in this part of the world, that showdown precisely reflects the major's ultra conservative views on available water resources, as well as a stingy climate, throughout the Southwest. What have we listened to given our aggressive development and over population of our species? Actually, not a damn thing. Thus, Powell, like Marc Reisner, and so relative few others of their ilk, are vindicated, and I think the Powell story, as told in this lengthy series, reflects on the other element of his exploration sorties of a very fragile terrain and sector of the country. Anyway, the finale to the series should explain more behind this somewhat enigmatic reply. Thanks for posting your point 'n shoot commentary. I wonder how the young officer managed to develop the photographs from his home-built camera obscura!

                  Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

                  by richholtzin on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 11:25:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, this IS a political blog (0+ / 0-)

                    and to most folks here that's the most important thing. And I agree that it's wonderful to have a progressive blog; way more informative than the MSM, for sure. But everyone needs a break from politics every so often....

                    And as you say, ignoring history doesn't help solve the political issues either. I'm looking forward to your concluding chapters.

                    I wish I could remember the details about that officer (when the old computer died I lost all that info.) I know the pioneer photographers would pack everything along in a wagon, and set up a tent to do their photo work. But if he was on a boat... I dunno!

                    •  you just reminded me. . . (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      RiveroftheWest

                      that's exactly how it was done. . .the set-up (at night) for developing photography was either done in a well-protected wagon (from light), or maybe an extra large out house. Do you think the latter? HA. Thanks for reminding me of this detail. As for a boat. . .well, there's lots of cubby hole niches to do that sort of thing, don't you think?

                      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

                      by richholtzin on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 02:57:12 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Not sure about a steamboat, loaded with passengers (0+ / 0-)

                        and freight. But maybe he traveled overland with the mounted infantry. He would have had more "photo ops!"

                        Actually, I just realized there weren't upper river boats that early; he'd have been on horseback and/or with a wagon. Hmm....

                        •  I love a mystery. . . (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          RiveroftheWest

                          now it's your turn to reveal something about this photo-shooting soldier. HA! I mean, I'm working on the Powell mystery (and admit I have no answers. . .about some of the saga). So now I await what you discover given what you just commented on. Goferit!

                          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

                          by richholtzin on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 01:31:57 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I wish! (0+ / 0-)

                            Like I said, the computer died and took the research with it. Someday I'll try to find that information again, but no time right now. I didn't even remember his name, though it was one of those  distinctive 19th century ones, sort of French.

                            Google is our friend and presto magick! Lt. Lorenzo Lorain is our man; one of these days we'll see what has been learned about this guy. I see that he is credited with being the first Army officer from Oregon to be injured in a Civil War battle, in 1861.

                          •  now I have a tack. . . (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            RiveroftheWest

                            to trace more of what you have since revealed about this officer. Thanks so much, RiveroftheWest. . .I"m on it as we speak. And, yes, what can any of us ever do with the WEB, even those who despise modernity's methods of making it easier to check facts and learn new stuff from the old. Most appreciated (your commentaries and insights).

                            Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

                            by richholtzin on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 04:41:45 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thank you! Glad you have time (0+ / 0-)

                            to check him out. I know he was associated with early photography at Fort Umpqua and Fort Klamath, probably after his brief stay at Fort Walla Walla in 1857. I recall he left an album or portfolio of some sort with photographs he had taken, but his Columbia River pics (assuming he actually took some) were not included so I guess we don't know if he really used that camera around here.

                            I'm a Luddite myself but yeah, what would we do without Google and the WEB!

                          •  let's continue. . . (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            RiveroftheWest

                            this interesting discourse via my profile's email. I want to survey this young officer's profile via web sleuthing, but I''ll need more details about his background, etc., from you. Now you have my interest in the subject matter, but I'm not sure how the rest of the DKos community feels about it. I know there is something interesting in this subject matter and I would like to see where it leads. I'm just curious about facets of American (Western) history beyond the usual.

                            Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

                            by richholtzin on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 06:39:28 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

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