Link to Legacies Home Page Link to National Museum of American History About Legacies Tour the Exhibit Most Intriguing Objects Most Popular Objects Take the Collector Quiz A Treasure House A Shrine to the Famous A Palace of Progress A Mirror of America From Artifacts to America Exhibit Search Buy the Book Smithsonian Press--Legacies--2Shrine to the Famous--Life preserver worn by Major John Wesley Powell during exploration of the Green and Colorado Rivers, 1869

Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
You are here: Shrine to the Famous > Frontier Heroes

Life preserver worn by Major John Wesley Powell during exploration of the Green and Colorado Rivers, 1869Life preserver worn by Major John Wesley Powell during exploration of the Green and Colorado Rivers, 1869

The donation of this life preserver in 1908 came about when Powell's friends sought to settle a debate over whether the valiant major had actually worn one on the expedition. By way of an answer, William R. Hawkins, one of the last surviving members of the exploring party, presented this life preserver to the Smithsonian. The inscription reads: "I can't talk or I would tell you some queer things. I have been under the water many times and saved one Brave Man's life more times than one."

See also: Intriguing Objects

Return to the Legacies Home Page

Privacy  |  Terms of Use