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"Colorado" first replaced "Tizon"

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"Colorado" first replaced "Tizon"

Post by Guest on Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:59 pm

It is not clear when or why the name "Colorado" first replaced "Tizon" (Tecon/Tison), which had been the most common name on maps since 1540. Among the maps in the Library of Congress, every use of "Colorado" (or Colorade) from 1720 and before is applied to a tributary of what is now the Gila River that seems best to correspond with today's Verde River.[26] The earliest map in that collection that replaces "Tizon" with "Colorado" is a map from 1743.[27]
The map that resulted from Escalante's expedition in 1776 labels the main channel as the Colorado up to the confluence of the Nabajoo and Zaguananas rivers. The associated information leads one to conclude that the Nabajoo corresponds to the San Juan and the Zaguananas to the Colorado from there to the Dolores River. On this map the Colorado above the Dolores is called the Rafael, and the Green River (named Buenaventura River) is erroneously diverted to the southwest and to what is now called Sevier Lake. Where Escalante's journal records his crossing of the San Rafael, he notes that the Native Americans knew this river as the Colorado. He also notes that the natives said this river had it source in a distant lake, but the lake is not charted on the resulting map. It is evident from a number of maps of the period that people were not aware of the distance between the Colorado's confluence with the Dolores and the western slopes of the Front Range. On a map from 1847 by John Disturnell, the Rafael is replaced with the Green River, while the upper Colorado (or more correctly, what would be called the Grand River) is not shown at all.

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