Henry Youle Hind was a geologist and naturalist from Nottingham who emigrated to Canada in 1846, where he taught chemistry and geology at Trinity College Toronto between 1851 and 1863. In the late 1850s, Hind was hired by the Canadian government to accompany expeditions into the as yet unexplored prairies west of Ontario in order to survey methods of improving communications between Canada and the Red River Settlement (now part of the province of Manitoba).

The Red River Settlement was hitherto only reachable by canoe, and this course had been well charted by the Hudson's Bay Company who had obtained fur trapping rights and had established small trading settlements across much of present-day Canada. However, it was a treacherous journey as the route consisted of many rapids, ravines and waterfalls, making any trip extremely hazardous for all but the hardiest of travelers.

In 1858 the Canadian government hired Hind to survey a safer route from Fort William (now Thunder Bay, Ontario) to Fort Garry (Winnipeg) with the intention of constructing a road between the two settlements. As Hind was a geologist, he was also tasked with recording the quality of the terrain in order to encourage further settlements in the west. During this exploration, Mr. Hind lived almost constantly among the Crees and Chippeways, whose habits and peculiarities he was most eager to study, and prompt to record. Everything in their life had not only the charm of novelty to him, but as a man of science he was anxious to observe all the facts which ay prove stepping stones in tracing their origin and history.

The success of this expedition meant that Hind was re-hired by the government the following year to outfit a larger expedition which would travel even farther west, deep into the prairies of Saskatchewan, to survey possible routes that could connect the territory of British Columbia on the Pacific coast to the rest of Canada (and to scupper American ambitions to expand northward). The published journals, of which this two-volume set is a copy, provide some of the earliest detailed accounts of the lands that now form part of the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and were influential in encouraging settlers to migrate and establish new towns and homesteads in the prairies.

2 vols. Illus., 20 tinted plates, 8 maps, 2 fold. and profiles.

The plates (chromoxylographs) are signed: Printed by Spottiswoode and Co.; the maps are variously signed: Engraved by Edwd. Weller; John Arrowsmith litho 1860; drawn by John Arrowsmith. "The following illustrations are from photographs taken by Mr. Humphrey Lloyd Hime ... or from sketches by Mr. John Fleming ..."--P. [xix] of v. 1, and repeated on p. [xv] of v. 2.

First edition. Contemporary green boards with gold stamped decorated spines, expertly laid down, all edges marbled.


Royal Collection Trust

Graff 1892. TPL 3820. Wagner-Camp 361. Peel 221. Sabin 31934. Larner 3839. Streeter Sale 3730.

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