SKETCH OF PROFESSOR C. F. HARTT.
|SKETCH OF PROFESSOR C. F. HARTT.|
By RICHARD RATHBUN.
CHARLES FREDERIC HARTT, whose death by yellow fever occurred at Rio de Janeiro on the 18th of last March, was born at Fredericton, New Brunswick, August 23, 1840. For three years and a half before his decease, he had successfully withstood the fatigues of exploration and the labors of organizing and carrying on the geological commission of Brazil, an undertaking beset with many trying difficulties, only to succumb at last, the victim of an epidemic which caused him but two days of suffering.
Prof. Hartt's father was the late Jarvis William Hartt, for a long time closely connected with the educational interests of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The subject of our sketch received his early education mainly in Nova Scotia, under the direct supervision of his father. Later he entered Horton Academy, Wolfville, and afterward completed the academical course at Acadia College, where he graduated with honor in 1860. His connection with natural history dates from boy-hood, and at the age of ten years he had already made a good beginning. Encouraged by Prof. Cheesman, he made rapid progress in his favorite studies, without, however, neglecting the other branches of learning. But his particular bent always lay toward natural history, language, music, and art. The former subject became his principal occupation, but the latter three, in which he made many original observations of great value, ever aided him much, especially in his studies in ethnology.
While a student at Acadia College, he undertook, under the direction of Dr. Dawson, extensive researches into the geology of Nova Scotia, which province he explored on foot from one end to the other. In 1860 he accompanied his father to St. John, there to establish a college high-school. This change of location brought him into another field for exploration, that of the geology of New Brunswick, and he commenced his new labors at once. The Devonian shales at the locality called Fern Ledges, in the vicinity of St. John, were the principal objects of his research. These shales occur on the shore of the bay of Fundy, and are situated mostly between high and low water marks, being thus very difficult of access. After a long siege of hard work, however, he was amply repaid by discovering an abundance of land plants and insects, of which the latter still remain the oldest known to science. Prof. Agassiz was attracted by this last discovery of the young Canadian naturalist, and invited him to enter his museum at Cambridge as a student. This he did in 1861, but in so doing his connection with provincial geology was not severed, for each vacation he returned,