Country Never Trod: William Lewis Manly's 1849 Voyage down Utah's Green River
Born in Vermont, William Lewis Manly was drawn out west by the lure of gold. Previous scholarship claims that the Yankee frontiersman floated only 290 miles down the Green River to the Uinta Basin, but author Michael D. Kane’s research of primary source materials led him to the conclusion that Manly actually traveled 415 miles, all the way to what is now Green River, Utah. This would make Manly the first to explore much of the Green River by boat—twenty years before John Wesley Powell’s famous expedition.
Determined to prove his theory and establish Manly’s legacy as a trailblazer, Kane conducted research and then built his own wooden canoes and made the trip, tracing Manly’s footsteps and comparing notes with the earlier traveler. Country Never Trod follows Manly’s little-known expedition down the Green River and his overland trek through some of the most desolate stretches of Utah, interspersed with Kane’s journal entries and photographs documenting his own trip.