Henry Youle Hind

(1823—1908) geologist and explorer in Canada

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(1823–1908). Born and educated in England, Hind is best known for his role in an evolving Canadian nationalism. He attended Cambridge but did not graduate. Emigrating to Canada in 1846, he found that his education was sufficient for him to be appointed a professor of chemistry at Trinity College, University of Toronto. He was to be an important figure in Canadian academic life. He brought a strong enthusiasm for scientific enquiry and founded the first scientific magazine in Canada, the Canadian Journal. By the age of 29 Hind had become a leader in the Canadian scientific community. The high point of Hind's career came in 1857 when the government of the Province of Canada appointed him to undertake an expedition to assess the value of the vast territories of the Hudson's Bay Company. The resultant work, Narrative of the Canadian Red River Exploring Expedition, was influential in shaping initial Canadian thinking about the West. Specifically, the idea of a ‘fertile belt’ of land shifted perceptions of the region as a fur trader's wilderness. However, Hind was ultimately forgotten. His seemingly enthusiastic assessment would eventually be set aside for even more enthusiastic voices. He became embittered with the lack of recognition, and died in Windsor, Nova Scotia, having lived to see the West transformed into an agricultural power.

From The Oxford Companion to Canadian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: History of the Americas.

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