Macomb's San Juan Exploring Expedition (1859)

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Description

Macomb’s San Juan Exploring Expedition led by Captain John N. Macomb, had military and political origins. Its primary purposes were to locate a route for the movement of military supplies from Santa Fé, New Mexico to Utah, and to map unknown portions of the geography in the western United States. Despite these missions, as the explorers traveled the Old Spanish Trail, collectors like Botanist John S. Newberry had ample time to study the environment. While continuing travels along the San Juan River, rainy weather proved a challenged for preserving the zoological and botanical specimens collected. The party continued on and explored the mountains and tributaries of the San Juan River and the Rio Navajo tributary. Newberry took a side trip to find the junction of the Grand and Green Rivers.

Source

  • Goetzmann, W.H. Army Exploration in the American West. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959.
  • Madsen, Steven K. Exploring desert stone: John N. Macomb’s 1859 expedition to the canyonlands of the Colorado. Logan Utah: Utah State University Press, 2010.
  • Newberry, John S. Report of the exploring expedition from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to the junction of the Grand and Green Rivers of the great Colorado of the West, in 1859: under the command of Capt. J.N. Macomb, Corps of topographical engineers. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1876.

Date Range

1859 - 1859

Topic

  • Geology
  • Zoology
  • Plants
  • Paleontology
  • Botany

Place

  • United States
  • New Mexico
  • Colorado
  • Utah

Form/Genre

Expedition name