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IVES, Joseph Christmas, Col. [1829-1868] -- CSA & American Army officer, explorer, surveyor and cartographer

Relationship to me: 6C4
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Resigned his commission (1861) as Lieutenant in the USA to join the Confederacy, where he rose to the rank of Colonel, serving as an aide to Jefferson Davis. He is best known for his exploration of the Colorado River before the war. In the winter of 1857/58, as a 1st Lieutenant of Corps of Topographical Engineers, U.S. Army, he was commissioned to lead an expedition to the Colorado River to ascertain its navigability as a supply route to the several outposts in the region. He shipped a disassembled 54-foot iron-hulled steamboat up the Sea of Cortés (a/k/a Gulf of California) to the mouth of the Colorado. Assembling the steamboat, the expedition steamed up the Colorado to the rapids at Black Canyon, near present day Las Vegas, NV. They then proceeded overland to explore the floor of the Grand Canyon (the first white men to do so), and other parts of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. Ives' comments in his journal:

It [the Grand Canyon] looks like the Gates of Hell. The region ... is, of course, altogether valueless. Ours has been the first and will undoubtedly be the last, party of whites to visit the locality. It seems intended by nature that the Colorado River along the greater portion of its lonely and majestic way, shall be forever unvisited and undisturbed.

He seems to have been unaware of the priority of Garcia Lopez de Cardenas, who traveled with Francisco Vazquez de Coronado from Mexico in 1540, and he was the first European to see the Grand Canyon.  -30-
 

Milestones

1858
First white man to explore the floor of the Grand Canyon

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