Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden bigraphy, stories - Geologists

Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden : biography

September 7, 1829 - December 22, 1887

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 also a physician who served with the Union Army during the Civil War.

Other publications

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.

  • 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)
  • Ferdinand Hayden: A Young Scientist in the Great West 1853-1855 (2010) by Fritiof Fryxell, Published posthumously by Augustana Historical Society

Early life

Ferdinand Hayden was born in Westfield, Massachusetts. As a young boy he was fascinated with all nature and wildlife, the likes of which led him into the field of medicine. He worked in Cleveland under J. P. Kirtland and thereafter in Albany, NY, where he worked under James Hall, of the Geological Survey of New York.

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 Territory, with Fielding B. Meek to study geology and collect fossils.

Hall sent him on his first geological venture in the summer of 1853. Being of independent mind Hayden ended his commission with Hall, and with the encouragement of S. F. Baird, and a partial sponsorship from the Smithsonian Institution, he spent the remainder of the 1850s on various exploring and collecting expeditions in the northern Missouri River areas.

In 1856 and 1857, Hayden accompanied exploration expeditions led by Lieutenant G.K. Warren and in 1859, the Raynolds Expedition of 1860 led by Captain William F. Raynolds, both of the Topographical Engineers. One result of which was his Geological Report of the Exploration of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers in 1859–1860 (1869).

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.


Hayden Valley in Yellowstone is named after him. 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. The sedge Carex haydeniana was named for him by Stephen Thayer Olney, in 1871. 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.http://ebeltz.net/herps/biogappx.html#Hayden A land snail, Oreohelix haydeni was named for him by William Gabb in 1869.http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=77675 Hayden Hall at the University of Pennsylvania which formerly housed the dental school now houses the bioengineering and earth sciences departments.

Later life

Hayden was made professor of geology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1865 with the help of Leidy. 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.

Geological surveys

After the American Civil War Hayden led geographic and geologic surveys of the Nebraska and Western Territories for the United States Government. In 1867 he was appointed geologist-in-charge of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine