J. W. Powell's Appointment as Director, U.S.Geological
This single-page document, signed in Washington, D.C., on 21, March 1881,
is the appointment of John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) as Director of the
United States Geological Survey (1881-1894). It is signed by President
James A. Garfield and countersigned by Interior Secretary S.J. Kirkwood.
It is blind-stamped with the seal of the Interior Department in the lower
left margin. On display in the Department of Interior Museum.
During the period between 1881 - 1894 while Powell was
the Geological Survey's director, he made the agency the
largest and most influential of its kind in the world. In
1883, he began publication of the Survey's famed Bulletins,
supplemented in 1890 by the agency's equally respected Monographs.
Powell topped his career at the Survey with the inauguration
of folio atlases, publications that made the Survey a part
of everyday life in America.