John Wesley Powell & Native American

ID: 2002-10682

Creator: Hillers, John K. 1843-1925

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: 1873

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 18, Folder: 57

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Major John Wesley Powell (1834-1902), seated on horseback and inquiring a Native American of the Paiute tribe, for the way to the water pocket at the Kaibab Plateau, near the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, in northern Arizona, while on one of his expeditions between 1871-1875. During his years as explorer and surveyor, John Wesley Powell made great efforts to gain the trust of the native Americans he came into contact. He compiled vocabularies, collected details of religion and lore of Indian peoples, and championed the rights of Native Americans. When Congress created the Bureau of Ethnology in 1879, Powell was named its first director (1879-1902), a post he held until his death.


Powell, John Wesley 1834-1902


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


The original negative number is 95-1318 and NAA 1591, but that negative has been lost. In some prints, the white horse behind Powell's dark horse has been painted out.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 18, Folder: 57

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,



Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Discovery and exploration
  • Powell Survey
  • Historians
  • Explorations and Expeditions
  • Anthropology
  • Indians of North America
  • Colorado River
  • Southwest
  • Paiute


  • America
  • Colorado River
  • Arizona
  • Grand Canyon (Ariz.)


  • Photographic print
  • Group, candid

ID Number


Physical description

Color: Black and White; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Group, candid; Medium: Photographic print

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