Who was James Hector?

As surgeon and geologist to the Palliser Expedition from 1857 to 1860, Hector explored the country from the Red River settlement (Winnipeg) to Vancouver Island. He made many important observations regarding the geology and ethnology of the Canadian West and the Rocky Mountains and discovered the important Kicking Horse Pass (Yes, he's the one who got kicked.) which later became the route of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Appointed geologist to the New Zealand Government in 1861, he later became director of the meteorological department of the New Zealand Institute and of the colonial museum and botanical gardens in Wellington. He became one of New Zealand's leading citizens.

But following his retirement in 1903, a return trip to Canada had a tragic ending.

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Hector's Journal

Other Historic Journals by Explorers of the West

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