By Dave Lewis
In January 1858, Lieutenant Joseph Ives set out from Yuma in the steamship Explorer to determine how far boats could go upriver on the mighty Colorado. While still within sight of amused spectators at Fort Yuma, his pilot ran the boat aground. This would happen many more times, usually to the delight of Indians gathered on the riverbank who knew the river and could predict the groundings.
Further detracting from the expedition’s glory, Yuma-based riverman George Alonzo Johnson beat Ives to the punch by running one of his boats upriver into Black Canyon several weeks before Ives. Johnson had offered Ives his services and the use of one of his boats. Ives rejected the offer; in a fit of competitive spirit, Johnson decided to do it first.Read More