Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Featherstonhaugh, George William

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FEATHERSTONHAUGH, George William, traveller, b. in 1780; d. in Havre, France, 28 Sept., 1866. In his early life he spent many years in North America, and in 1834-'5 made for the U. S. war department a geological inspection of part of the western country. In his reports, which were printed by order of congress, he is called “United States geologist.” The government authorized these examinations to be made only in the territories of the United States; but Featherstonhaugh took notes upon all the country passed over in his journeys, for use when congress should authorize a geological map of the United States. Such a map is now projected (1887), fifty years after Featherstonhaugh's surveys. On account of his thorough knowledge of the country, he was appointed by the British government a commissioner to settle the northern boundary of the United States, under the Ashburton treaty, and for the successful execution of this task was made British consul for the departments of Calvados and Seine, France. His writings on statistical and political subjects were clear and vigorous, and his geological memoirs merited the approval of his friends Buckland and Murchison. His publications include a translation of Cicero's “Republic” (New York, 1828); “Geological Report of the Elevated Country between the Missouri and Red Rivers” (Washington, 1835); “Geological Reconnoissance in 1835 from Green Bay to Côteau de Prairie” (1836); “Observations on the Ashburton Treaty” (London, 1842); “Excursion through the Slave States” (New York, 1844); and “Canoe Voyage up the Minnay Sotor” (2 vols., London, 1847).