Through an Unknown Country

In the winter of 1874–75, Edward Worrell Jarvis (1846 –1894) and Charles Francis Hanington (1848–1930) took part in an expedition on behalf of the Canadian Pacific Survey from Quesnel, British Columbia, to Winnipeg, Manitoba. It led them over the northern Rocky Mountains through what would come to be known as Jarvis Pass (Kakwa Provincial Park, British Columbia) and eventually onto the Canadian plains. The trip took them 116 days and covered over 3,000 kilometres, of which almost 1,500 was travelled on snowshoes.

Through an Unknown Country brings together the day-to-day reports of Jarvis and the more entertaining narrative of the epic journey by Hanington into a single volume for the first time. Recounting harrowing treks through deep mountains, densely forested valleys, open foothills and wide prairie, this highly readable adventure story can be read alongside the better-known journals of Alexander Mackenzie, Simon Fraser, David Thompson and Paul Kane.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Through an Unknown Country 1
Table of Contents 9
Foreword 11
Acknowledgements 15
Introduction 17
Chapter 1: E.W. Jarvis’s Report and Narrative 23
Chapter 2: C.F. Hanington’s Journal 53
Chapter 3: Excerpts from E.W. Jarvis’s Diaries, 1875 97
Chapter 4: Excerpts from C.F. Hanington’s Reminiscences, 1928–1929, Describing the 1875 Expedition 117
Chapter 5: The Expedition in Perspective 161
Starting Out 161
Where Is Smoky River Pass? 164
Why a Winter Expedition? 165
E.W. Jarvis and C.F. Hanington’s Accomplishments 166
Chapter 6: Biographies 171
Major Edward Worrell Jarvis 171
Major Charles Francis Hanington 178
Other Members of the Expedition 185
Sandford Fleming 188
Appendix A: The Smoky River Cache 191
Appendix B: The Jarvis Diaries 195
Appendix C: “Winter Journey” 197
Appendix D: Excerpts from Other Writers 213
Appendix E: Mal de Raquette 219
Appendix F: Geographic Names 221
Appendix G: Geographical Features 225
Notes 231
Selected Bibliography 262
Index 267