Item 0009 - Letter, 10 May 1889

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Letter, 10 May 1889

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CA MUA MG 1022-2-1-259-0009

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  • 10 May 1889 (Creation)
    Howley, James Patrick, 1847-1918
    St. John's (N.L.)

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James Patrick Howley was born on July 7, 1847, in Mount Cashel, St. John's, Newfoundland.

He was a naturalist and geologist. He was educated at Saint Bonaventure's College, St. John's, Newfoundland. In 1867, he entered the service of the Newfoundland Government as a clerk in the office of the Colonial Secretary. His work as an assistant and then as Director of the Geological and Topographical Survey of Newfoundland between 1868 and 1909 produced much of the scientific basis for understanding the geography of the island’s interior, geology, and mineral deposits. He became interested and studied the indigenous people of the island of Newfoundland Beothuk. Upon retirement in 1909, Howley lectured, wrote, and represented the colony overseas as the recognized authority on its geology, mineralogy, natural history, geography, and human history. He is regarded as the creator of the institution that became the Provincial Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador and served as its first curator. In 1915, he published the book "The Beothucks or Red Indians - The Aboriginal Inhabitants of Newfoundland" which remains an important source on the Beothuk, whose last member, Shanawdithit, had died in 1829. His never published memoirs "Reminiscences of Forty-two Years of Exploration in and about Newfoundland" have been made available as digital documents.

In 1874, he married Elizabeth Jane Firth (1851–1935). He died on January 1, 1918, in St. John's, Newfoundland.

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Letter from James P. Howley to John William Dawson, written from St. John’s, NF.

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  • Box: M-1022-14