Joseph Christmas Ives

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Joseph Christmas Ives (25 December 1829 – 12 November 1868), soldier, botanist, explorer of the Colorado River in 1858.

Ives was born in New York City on Christmas Day, 1829 and was a graduate of the United States Military Academy in 1852. As a Second lieutenant from 1853 to 1854 he was appointed by the U.S. Army to the Topographical Engineers as assistant to Lt. Amiel Weeks Whipple in the Pacific Railroad survey along the 35th parallel.

From 1857 to 1858 Ives commanded an expedition to explore up the Colorado River from its mouth. He designed, built and tested his own stern-wheel steamboat, then shipped it to the Colorado River Delta. At Robinson's Landing he reassembled then used the 54 foot steamboat Explorer to map and survey the river. His party included Smithsonian associate John Strong Newberry as geologist. He led his party up the Colorado to the lower end of the Grand Canyon, then struck out across the desert to Fort Defiance in Colorado. Ives Reported his findings in his 1861 Report upon the Colorado river of the West[1] The Ives expedition produced one of the important early maps of the Grand Canyon drawn by Frederick W. von Egloffstein, topographer to the expedition.[2]

Ives next served as engineer and architect for the Washington National Monument from 1859 to 1860. At the beginning of American Civil War he declined a promotion to captain, and despited his Northern birth, he joined the Confederate Army in late 1861. He served in several engineering capacities, and was finally appointed aide-de-camp (with rank of colonel) to President Jefferson Davis from 1863 to 1865. After the war he settled in New York City where he died November 12, 1868.[3]

New York State Senator and Arizona Territorial Council President Eugene S. Ives (1859–1917) was his son.