George Mercer Dawson

Picture of George Mercer Dawson

Date of Birth: 08/01/1849

Age: 51

Place of Birth: Pictou

Citizenship: Canada


He was the son of Sir John William Dawson and Margaret Mercer AI. In the eleven years he suffered spinal tuberculosis (Pott`s disease), causing bending of the back and stop its growth. It is a natural lag did not stop him from becoming one of the greatest scientists of Canada. His teachers and his father helped him with his educational needs during his long convalescence. Later, Dawson was in lyceum Montreal and McGill University (not all the time), before leaving in 1869 to London to study there geology and paleontology at the Royal School of Mines (now part of London`s Imperial College). After three years of training Dawson received a diploma and became an excellent student in the class. Doktorabyla degree he was awarded in 1890 at Queen`s University, and in 1891 - at McGill University.

Dawson successfully conducted in-depth study of Western Canada in the XIX century, beginning with studies on the border of the USA and Canada from 1872 to 1876. The result was a report in the 387 pages, titled "Geology and wealth in the area of ??the 49th parallel from Lake Forest to the Rocky Mountains with lists encountered by plants and animals and observations about fossils. " This report did Dawson respected scientist. Its topographic survey allowed to develop agricultural forestry and mining areas of activity in the Canadian West.

In 1883 and 1884 Dawson made a trip to the Canadian Rockies, the map of the main mountain, peaks and large rivers which instructed him to make the Canadian government. Among the numerous peaks of the mountains, which he opened, stand Mount Assiniboine (3618 m) and Mount Temple (3543 m). After studies in the area, in 1886 it was published a map of the Rocky Mountains from the US border to the Valley and Red Deer Pass Kicking Horse River.

In 1887 he made a trip to the Yukon, creating some of the first maps of what was to become the Northwest Territories. His report was republished ten years later, to meet the public interest in that area due to the rapid movement of the Klondike gold. Dawson City, the former capital of the Yukon, was named in his honor. Dawson Creek, British Columbia also bears his name.

In 1875 he became a member of the Geological Commission of Canada (GCC), deputy chairman of which he was elected in 1883, and by the Chairman - in 1895. He also holds a shooting area of ??British Columbia, which influenced the decision of the Canadian government on the direction of the railway to the Pacific Ocean.

In 1882 he became one of the founding members of the Royal Society of Canada.

In 1887 together with William Ogilvie and Richard McConnell he realized topographical shooting border between Alaska and the Yukon, and there studied gold deposits.

He died suddenly in Ottawa for one day from acute bronchitis. He was buried in the corner of Mont-Royal cemetery set aside for his family in Montreal.