Francisco Garcés, a Franciscan friar, arrived in what is now Arizona in 1768. Assigned to the church at San Xavier del Bac south of present-day Tucson, he traveled widely throughout Arizona and California, charting overland routes that later travelers would follow. Near where Garcés would meet his death in 1781, an American soldier named Joseph Christmas Ives embarked on an arduous expedition up the Colorado River, one of the first Americans to see what he called the Big Canyon. A dozen years later, the river-running explorer John Wesley Powell would name it the Grand Canyon, and a hundred years after that a writer named Edward Abbey would explore the canyon country, writing classic books such as Desert Solitaire and Black Sun. In this talk, Gregory McNamee will look back on the accomplishments of these four explorers, each of whom shaped our understanding of this wild, sometimes challenging place called Arizona.
This event is cohosted by San Tan Valley Library. This is an in-person event.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Gregory McNamee is a writer, editor, photographer, and publisher. He is the author of forty-five books and of more than 7,000 articles and other publications. He is a contributing editor to the Encyclopædia Britannica and a research fellow at the Southwest Center of the University of Arizona. For more about him, visit his web page at www.gregorymcnamee.com.