IVES, Joseph Christmas, Col. [1829-1868] -- CSA & American Army officer, explorer, surveyor and cartographer
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.
|First white man to explore the floor of the Grand Canyon|
Bookmarks (off-site links)
- Books by, about or relating to J.C. Ives
- Report upon the Colorado River of the West, explored in 1857 and 1858 by Joseph C. Ives. The complete text. Part of the University of Michigan's Making of America (MOA) series
- University of Arizona Press - Wild River, Timeless Canyon Balduin Möllhausen's Watercolors of the Colorado
- GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY - IVES FAMILY PAPERS: COLLECTION DESCRIPTION
- The 1853/54 Expedition Exploring the 35th parallel for the Pacific railroad study (seeking a route from the Mississippi to the Pacific), commissioned by Jefferson Davis, then Secretary of War
- The 1857/58 expedition
- Handbook of Texas Online: MOLLHAUSEN, HEINRICH BALDUIN Appointed by secretary of war Davis as "artist and collector in natural history" on the 1857/58 expedition, Möllhausen's illustrations in the Ives report are some of the first ever published of the Grand Canyon.
- Sea of Cortés to the Black Canyon
- Moabi Regional Park, Topock Gorge and Havasu Wildlife Refuge This is where JCI encountered Mojave Chief Cairook. Petroglyphs here.
- Hoover Dam Learning Packet - History
- Hoover Dam - History
- Grand Canyon and beyond
- ARIZONA'S GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
- 1987 HIKE
- Re: Lt. Joseph Christmas Ives
- Utah History Encyclopedia Using your browser, search, for "christmas"
- Utah Travelogue (1995 May) By Evelyn C. Leeper. Use your browser's search to find JCI reference, including quote re Grand Canyon being "altogether valueless" (archive)
- History Of Flagstaff, AZ -- with brief mention of Ives' 1858 survey
- CSA service
- Re: Lt. Joseph Christmas Ives Camels!