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Longs Peak

Longs Peak (14,259 feet ... 4,345 meters) from the Deer Mountain Trail - Rocky Mountain National Park

The following rather long (bad pun) bit of text is from the following sources ..
http://www.topogs.org/b_long.html
http://www.coloradovacation.com/history/stephenlong.html

Stephen Harriman Long was born on December 30, 1784, in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1809 and taught school for a time before entering the United States Army in December 1814 as a second lieutenant of engineers. He taught mathematics for two years at the United States Military Academy at West Point; in 1816 he was brevetted a major in the Corps of Topographical Engineers. His first western ventures occurred in 1817, when he surveyed the portages of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, explored the upper Mississippi, and helped establish Fort Smith, Arkansas.

In July 1819, he joined Gen. Henry Atkinson's Yellowstone Expedition bound from St. Louis to the Rockies on the steamboat Western Engineer. This was the first steamboat to travel up the Missouri River into the Louisiana Purchase territory. By September 17, the steamboat arrived at Fort Lisa, a trading fort belonging to William Clark's Missouri Fur Company. It was about five miles south of Council Bluffs. Long's group built their winter quarters nearby and called it "Engineer Cantonment."

Within a month, Long returned to the east coast, and by the following May, his orders had changed. Instead of exploring the Missouri River, President James Madison decided to have Long lead an expedition up the Platte to the mountains and back along the border with the Spanish colonies. Exploring that border was vital, since John Quincy Adams had just concluded the treaty with Spain, which drew a new U. S. border to the Pacific.

The expedition left their winter quarters June 6, 1820
Long set out west from the Missouri with nineteen men. Among those with him were: Samuel Seymour, landscape painter; Titian R. Peale, a naturalist and one of a distinguished family of artists; Thomas Say, a zoologist; and Edwin James, a physician knowledgeable in both geology and botany. The men ascended the Platte and its South Fork to the Colorado Rockies, where they discovered and named Long's Peak. On July 14 James and two others made the first successful ascent of Pike's Peak.

In his report of the 1820 expedition, Long wrote that the Plains from Nebraska to Oklahoma were "unfit for cultivation and of course uninhabitable by a people depending upon agriculture." On the map he made of his explorations, he called the area a "Great Desert."

Long felt the area labeled the "Great Desert" would be better suited as a buffer against the Spanish, British, and Russians, who shared the continent with America. He also commented that the eastern wooded portion of the country should be filled up before the republic attempted any further extension westward. He commented that sending settlers to that area was out of the question. Given the technology of the 1820s, Long was right. There was little timber for houses or fuel, minimal surface water, sandy soil, hard winters, vast herds of buffalo, hostile Indians, and no easy means of communication. It is ironic to note that native tribes and Spanish pioneers had been living there for centuries and that, by the end of the 19th century, the "Great Desert" had become the nation's breadbasket.

As an engineer he is remembered for his developments in the design of steam locomotives. As an Army officer. Longs Peak, the "crown jewel" of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is named for him.

He died in Alton, Illinois on September, 4th 1864

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Additional Photos by John McLaird (jmcl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2514 W: 131 N: 4070] (14535)
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