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Template:Infobox Scientist Dr. Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden (September 7, 1829 - December 22, 1887) was an American geologist noted for his pioneering surveying expeditions of the Rocky Mountains in the late 19th century.

He was born in Westfield, Massachusetts. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1850 and from the Albany Medical College in 1853, where he attracted the notice of Professor James Hall, state geologist of New York, through whose influence he was induced to join in an exploration of Nebraska. In 1856 he was engaged under the United States government, and commenced a series of investigations of the 109 Western Territories, one result of which was his Geological Report of the Exploration of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers in 1859–1860 (1869).


File:Yellowstone 1871b.jpg

F.V. Hayden's map of Yellowstone National Park, 1871.

About this time, he also became identified with the Megatherium Club at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

During the Civil War he was actively employed as an army surgeon. He rose to be chief medical officer of the Army of the Shenandoah. In 1867 he was appointed geologist-in-charge of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories. From his twelve years of labour and annual survey journeys there resulted a most valuable series of volumes in all branches of natural history and economic science; and he issued in 1877 his Geological and Geographical Atlas of Colorado.

In 1871, Hayden led a geological survey into the Yellowstone region of northwestern Wyoming. A year later, Hayden was instrumental in convincing Congress to establish Yellowstone as the first U.S. National Park, aided by the stunning large-format photographs of William Henry Jackson. The last of the annual survey journeys was in 1878. Hayden Valley in Yellowstone is named after him.

Upon the reorganization and establishment of the United States Geological Survey in 1879 he acted for seven years as one of the geologists. He died at Philadelphia on the 22nd of December 1887. The town of Hayden, Colorado, located in the Yampa River valley, is named for him. Many mountain peaks have been named after Hayden as well.

His other publications were:

  • Sun Pictures of Rocky Mountain Scenery (1870)
  • The Yellowstone National Park, illustrated by chromolithographic reproductions of water-colour sketches by Thomas Moran (1876)
  • The Great West: its Attractions and Resources (1880)

With FB Meek, he wrote (Smithsonian Institution Contributions, v. 14. Art. 4) "Palaeontology of the Upper Missouri, Pt. 1, Invertebrate." His valuable notes on Native American dialects are in The Transactions of the American Philosophical Society (1862) in The American Journal of Science (1862) and in The Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society (1869). With ARC Selwyn he wrote North America (1883) for Stanford's Compendium.

Species named after F.V. Hayden[]

  • A garter snake, Thamnophis radix haydenii was named for him by Robert Kennicott in 1860; although it was in a different genus at the time. [1]
  • A land snail, Oreohelix haydeni was named for him by William Gabb in 1869 [2]

See also[]

A.D. Wilson a member of several of Hayden's surveys.


  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

External links[]

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