By Eilean Adams
Even supposing John Wesley Powell and get together tend to be given credits for the 1st river descent throughout the Grand Canyon, the ghost of James White has haunted these claims. White was once a Colorado prospector, who, virtually years sooner than Powell's trip, washed up on a makeshift raft at Callville, Nevada. His declare to have entered the Colorado above the San Juan River with one other guy (soon drowned) as they fled from Indians was once broadly disseminated and believed for a time, yet Powell and his successors at the river publically discounted it. Colorado River runners and historians have because debated even if White's passage via Grand Canyon even can have occurred. Hell or excessive Water is the 1st complete account of White's tale and the way it turned distorted and he disparaged through the years. it's also a desirable detective tale, recounting how White's granddaughter, Eilean Adams, over many years and with the help of a number of outstanding Colorado River historians who believed he can have performed what he claimed, steadily exposed the list of James White's event and prepare a believable narrative of ways and why he ended up floating helplessly down a turbulent river, entrenched in gigantic cliffs, with not anything yet a driftwood raft to hold him via.
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Extra resources for Hell or High Water: James White's Disputed Passage through Grand Canyon, 1867
Going in later to light a lamp, Ferry found his charge awake and surprisingly alert. He immediately told White where he was and how he’d been rescued; even better, he brought him a supper consisting of a small piece of mutton, a middling-sized dumpling, and half an ear of corn. Although he was ravenous, White had to bow to this wisdom; it was a supper he remembered in every detail for the rest of his life. White was more than grateful for his rescue by the settlers and for their compassion and consideration, but he was reluctant to talk to them about his river experience that evening as Ferry suggested.
He then became the driving force and primary builder of the Mexican National Railroad during the Diaz presidency. During his western travels, he fell hopelessly in love with the Rocky Mountains, founded the city of Colorado Springs, and became its premier citizen. During the year of 1867, Palmer led extensive surveys along the thirty-second and thirty-ﬁfth parallels for the Kansas-Paciﬁc Railroad (better known as the Union Paciﬁc-Eastern Division). His activities on the survey were almost as adventurous as those he’d had during the war; he and his men were pursued and attacked by Apaches in the Little Colorado area, surviving by hairbreadth escapes and introducing his survey team to western American realities.
On his arrival at the mouth of the Rio Virgin he saw some Indians, one of whom swam off to him and pushed his raft ashore; he had two pistols; the Indians stole one of them and also his hatchet, the other he traded for the hind-quarters of a dog, one of which he ate for supper, and the other he had for breakfast on the day of his arrival at Callville. On his arrival, Mr. Ferry summoned the chiefs to appear at his house, and when they came he told them of the treatment Mr. White had met with from the Indians, and told them unless they sent and got the pistol and hatchet, he would send to Fort Mohave for one hundred soldiers.
Hell or High Water: James White's Disputed Passage through Grand Canyon, 1867 by Eilean Adams