Sir William Dawson.

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Sir William Dawson.
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Sir John William Dawson, LL. D, F.R. S., F.G.S, C.M.G, K.B., was born at Pictou , Nova Scotia, in October, 1820. He studied at the University of Edinburgh, and returned home devoted himself to the natural history and geology of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The results of these investigations are embodied in his “Acadian Geology” (3rd ED. 1980). In 1842, and again in 1852, he accompanied Sir Charles Lyell in his explorations in Nova Scotia, aiding him materially in his investigations. Ever since 1843, he has contributed largely to the “Proceedings” of the London Geological Society, and to scientific periodicals. He has also published numerous monographs on special subjects connected with geology. His two volumes on “Devonian and Carboniferous Floral of Eastern North America,” published by the Geological Survey of Canada, and illustrated from drawings by his daughter, are the most important contributions yet to be made to the Paleozoic botany of North America; and he is the discoverer of the Eozoon Canadense, of the Laurentian Limestones, the oldest known form of animal life. In 1850, he was appointed Superintendent of Education for Nova Scotia and in 1855 he became Principal of the McGill University of this city, of which he is now Vice – Chancellor. He is a member of many learner societies in Europe and America. Among his works not already mentioned are; “Archaia, or Studies of the Cosmogony and Natural History of the Hebrew Scriptures,” 1858, and “The story of the Earth and Man,” 1872, in which he combats the Darwinian theory of the origin of the species. In 1875, he published “the Dawn of Life,” – an account of the oldest known fossil remains, and of their relations to geological time and the development of the animal kingdom; in 1879 appeared “The Origin of the World,” and in the following year, “Fossil Men and their Modern Representatives.” In 1880, appeared “The Change of Life in Geological Time,” – a sketch of the origin and succession of animals and plants. He has also contributed largely to the Canadian Naturalist, and to many educational, scientific, and religious publications in Great Britain, the United States and Canada. In 1881, Dr. Dawson was created a companion of the order of St. Michael and St. George; in the following year was selected by the Marquis of Lorne, our then Governor Genera, to take the Presidency of the Royal Society of Canada, an institution founded to aid the development of literary and scientific research in our Dominion; and he has just had conferred on him the dignity of Knight Bachelor.