Utah Historical Quarterly Volume 15, Number 1-4, 1947

Page 99

Letters of Major J. W . Powell to the Chicago Tribune I Green River, Wyoming Territory, May 24, [1869]. 1 Permit me, through your paper, to explain the purposes for which this expedition is made, and its organization, as statements have been made in the public press that are somewhat inaccurate. The expedition is under the auspices of the Illinois Natural History Society—its chief is the Secretary of that Society. About a year ago Congress passed a law authorizing the Secretary of W a r to issue rations to the party. I send herewith a copy of the law and the order of the General of the Army relating thereto: Headquarters of the Army, Adjutant General's Office, Washington, June 13, 1868. (Special Orders No. 140) (Extract.) It will be seen that permission is given to commute a part of the ration. This gives a fund sufficient to employ four men, who hunt and fish, and thus supply the party with meat. The principal saving is in the meat ration, and, of course, we prefer wild meat to army bacon. The Illinois Industrial University, for the two years past, has made a small appropriation [to] the enterprise—$1,100 in all. The Smithsonian Institution and the Chicago Academy of Sciences have granted us some favors. The funds of the Illinois Natural History Society devoted to this work, amount to less than $1,000 annually. The amount from all these sources will not quite furnish the instruments and supplies, the balance coming from private sources. The railroads have shown great liberality, giving transportation to the party. The hunters managed the pack train last year, and will largely man the boats this. As we float down a rapid river there is not much labor of rowing, add all help when there is need, as over rapids, portages, &, the other members of the party give their time, feeling remunerated by the opportunity for study. T Reprinted from die Chicago Tribune, May 29, 1869. [The extract from the army orders, being summarized in Mr. Darrah's introduction, pp. 10, 11, is not here reprinted.]

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