Richard Wetherill: Anasazi by Frank McNitt

By Frank McNitt

Anasazi, the Navajos’ identify for the “Ancient Ones” who preceded them into the Southwest, is the nickname of Richard Wetherill, who committed his lifestyles to a look for is still of those vanished peoples. He chanced on the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde and Kiet Siel and the Basket Maker websites at Grand Gulch, Utah, and at Chaco Canyon he initiated the excavation of Pueblo Bonito, the most important prehistoric destroy within the usa. His discoveries are one of the most vital ever made by way of an American archaeologist.

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On May 22, 1856, he and Marion Tompkins, also a Quaker, were married in the Friends meeting house at Iowa Falls. Benjamin took his wife back to Chester and there, on June 12, 1858, their eldest son, Richard, was born. Other children followed: a daughter, Anna, and then four more sonsBenjamin Alfred, John, Clayton and Winslow. A second daughter, Alice, died as a young girl. None of the children was to have any remembrance of the East for their father refused to stay long in Pennsylvania. When Richard was a year old his parents moved to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

R. " ALFRED VINCENT KIDDER. Page 5 Prologue Richard Wetherill was murdered at six o'clock in the evening of June 22, 1910. He died in an ambush in the shadows of a bend in Chaco Canyon half a mile below Pueblo Bonito where a wagon trail, now the road to Farmington, New Mexico, climbs through jumbled rock to the high mesa. Five or six Navajos had gathered there as Wetherill and the cowboy Bill Finn drove a small bunch of cattle down the canyon. The cattle were the "drags" or drifters from a large herd Sheriff Tom Talle had brought up from Texas.

H. Cooper. In September of 1874 Jackson located John Moss at his camp on the Rio La Plata. Combined with his artistry as a photographer, Jackson had a talent for observation, contributing to the 1876 publication of the Hayden Survey the first report of cliff dwellings in the Mesa Verde. This he was able to do after John Moss led his party though Mancos Canyon. Page 14 Few men surpassed Jackson for audacity in challenging the roughest trails, the most impregnable heights. But even he found the winding gorge of the Mancos hard going.

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