Lead: In 1869 college professor John Wesley Powell set out on a journey never completed by a white man – the treacherous passage through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: Powell was born in 1834 in Mount Morris, New York, to a family of English immigrants, farmers and Methodist missionaries. Avid abolitionists, the family often took unpopular stands in towns where they lived on what was then known as the western frontier – Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois and Kansas. John Lewis Powell was a bright and curious boy, mostly self-educated who had a keen interest in natural history, and through reading, collecting specimens, and field experiences, learned the basics of geology, archeology and biology. At age seventeen, young Powell began a teaching career while attending classes at several colleges in the mid-west. In 1859 Powell became the Secretary of the Illinois Natural History Society and the following year the superintendent of schools in Hennepin, Illinois. He led various river and mountain expeditions to gather scientific data.