Through an Unknown Country
The Jarvis–Hanington Winter Expedition through the Northern Rockies, 1874–1875
by Mike Murtha
by Charles Helm
Release Date: 19/10/2015
ISBN 9781771601337
6 x 9 inches
272 pages
$30.00 (CAD)


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 3000 kilometres, of which almost 1500 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 most certainly be placed alongside the better-known journals of Alexander Mackenzie, Simon Fraser, David Thompson and Paul Kane.

Through an Unknown Country: The Jarvis–Hanington Winter Expedition through the Northern Rockies, 1874–1875
by Mike Murtha
by Charles Helm
BISAC: HIS006010
BISAC: BIO023000
BISAC: HIS051000


Through an Unknown Country is suited to academic and lay readers, and both should be prepared for some initial hard work as the book opens with Jarvis’ formal report which must be read alongside extensive end notes by the editors. The reader’s early perseverance is soon rewarded, however, by Hanington’s plain-spoken letters to his brother in chapter 2.—Mike Nash, Cloudburst

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For those interested in winter travelling in extreme conditions or wanting to know more of the history and geography of this part of British Columbia and Alberta this is a must-have book.—Robert Allen, British Columbia History

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