11. "Scobies Almanac" (1851)
William Logan wrote the first history of the Geological Survey of Canada anonymously for a popular publication named Scobie’s Canadian Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge for the Year 1851. His authorship was confirmed by the discovery of a draft, unsigned manuscript in Logan’s hand by retired geologist Charles Smith in the late 1990s.
Robert Scobie was a prolific Toronto publisher who started a newspaper in 1838. The almanacs were first published in 1843, and they continue today as the Canadian Almanac and Directory. The 1851 almanac contained information on diverse topics about Canada, and was sold throughout the Province of Canada. Although Logan was submitting annual reports to the Legislature, he clearly felt the need to speak directly to the public. In the almanac entry he outlined the history of the Survey, the areas in Canada still unexplored, and the economic deposits discovered to date.
Central to the text was a pointed note about how ten people were employed in the geological survey for New York State as compared to just four in the Geological Survey of Canada – and how those four were responsible for an area seven times larger than their American counterparts.
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