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and the valley of the St. Lawrence, followed afterwards by an examination of the steppes of Siberia and Southern Russia, and among the drifts and gravels of our own country. These results were from time to time communicated to the various learned societies and scientific periodicals. It was his intention to embody his accumulated facts and observations in this department of geological inquiry in a work on Glacial Phenomena; but this purpose of his life his early death has prevented.
“Whilst in Nova Scotia, where he sojourned for two or three years, he took an active part in the Proceedings of the Nova-Scotian Institute of Natural Science ; and the first geological paper printed in their Transactions is from his pen ; it is also in these Transactions that his paper on the Glacial Period in North America appeared.
“After his return from Nova Scotia, he was engaged for some time in examining the quartz rocks of North Wales, a project having been at that time started to seek for gold in these rocks. Whilst so engaged he examined carefully the geology and palæontology of the district of Dolgelly, where he resided, and the results of which he published in two papers in the Geological Magazine, vols. iv., V., 1867–8.
“In 1868 Mr. Belt went to Nicaragua to superintend the mining operations of the Chontales Gold-Mining Company. Here he remained until 1872, and to his residence in that district we owe the work by which his name will be best known. This work, The Naturalist in Nicaragua,' he published in 1874, and we have in it one of the most interesting volumes of travel and natural history in the English language. His observations on the various departments of zoology, botany, and geology, which came under his notice in that district, show the eye and the pen of a competent investigator, and render the book truly a classic one amongst our natural history literature. In 1873, and again in 1875 and 1876, he was in Russia, and travelled
over a large portion of that great empire. The steppes of Siberia, and also those of Southern Russia, he made his peculiar study; and the results of his observations on these vast plains he embodied in two papers, which he read before the Geological Society of London in 1874 and 1877, and which are published in their Journal.
“In the early part of the summer of 1878 he was down in his native north, revisiting his old acquaintances and the scenes of his youth ; for always, in all his wanderings, he turned lovingly to Tyneside. He at this time was in his usual health and genial spirits; and little did his friends think that it was to be his last visit to the place of his birth, and that they should see his face no more.
“He shortly afterwards left England for Colorado, to fulfil a professional engagement. Here he was struck down with fever, which terminated fatally on the 21st of September. To the last he was an earnest student, and the latest record we have of him shows him still accumulating facts in furtherance of the work on glacial phenomena to which he had devoted himself. The letter of the Denver correspondent of the Times, published in that paper September 25th, 1878, announces the discovery by Mr. Belt of a human skull that might prove to be the oldest in existence, the deposits in which it was found being in his belief of the glacial age.
“It may be said of him that his sun went down while it was yet day,' and that the work to which he had dedicated so much of his life remains unaccomplished. Yet the name of Thomas Belt will not be forgotten. Though he has passed away from us in the flower of his age, the work that he has done has gained for him a position in the scientific world to which few of greater years attain.
“He was a careful and accurate observer, and able with his pen to lay before the world the results of his observations clearly and temperately. Whatever he undertook he did it well, and in the departments of natural science to which
he applied himself his name stands as an authority, and his work is quoted as that of a master.
“Residing as he did at a distance from Tyneside, and actively engaged in the duties of his profession (a profession which at one time took him to North America, at another to South America, and to Siberia), he could not take any active part in the work of the Club, which undoubtedly he would have done had he lived among us. Yet he took a warm interest in its welfare, and was always glad to hear of its progress. Our local natural history may have lost somewhat by his long absence, but that of the world at large has the more benefited by his labours, and he adds another bright name to the roll of those who have so well upheld the natural history fame of the Newcastle district.”
LIST OF WORKS AND PAPERS, BY MR. THOMAS BELT.
An Inquiry into the Origin of Whirlwinds. Read before the Philosophical Institute, and published in the Philosophical Magazine, vol. xvii., p. 47.
Mineral Veins. An Inquiry into their Origin. Founded on a Study of the Auriferous Quartz Veins of Australia. 1861. London: John Weale.
The Naturalist in Nicaragua. A Narrative of a Residence at the Gold Mines of Chontales, and Journeys in the Savannahs and Forests. 1874. London: John Murray.
Note on the Discovery of a Human Skull in the Drift near Denver, Colorado. Read before the American Association for the Advancement of Science at St. Louis, Mo., August 1878.
Transactions of the Nova-Scotian Institute. On some Recent Movements of the Earth's Surface. Vol. i., pt. 1, p. 19.
List of Butterflies observed in the neighbourhood of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Vol. ii., pt. I, p. 97.
The Production and Preservation of Lakes by Ice Action. Vol. ii., pt. 3, p. 70.
The Glacial Period in North America. Vol. ii., pt. 4, p. 91.
On the Lingula Flags, or Festiniog Group of the Dolgelly
On the First Stages of the Glacial Period in Norfolk and Suffolk. Vol. xiv., p. 156.
Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society.
On the Drift of Devon and Cornwall : its Origin, Correlation with that of the South-West of England, and Place in the Glacial Series. Vol. xxxii., p. 80.
Quarterly Journal of Science. An Examination of the Theories that have been proposed to account for the Climate of the Glacial Period. Vol. xi., 1874, p. 421.
Niagara : Glacial and Post-Glacial Phenomena. Vol. xii., 1875, p. 135.
On the Geological Age of the Deposits containing Flint Implements at Hoxne, in Suffolk, and the relation that Palæolithic Man bore to the Glacial Period. Vol. xiii., 1876, p. 289.
On the Loess of the Rhine and the Danube. Vol. xiv., 1877, p. 67.
On the Glacial Period in the Southern Hemisphere. Vol. xiv., 1877, p. 326.
On the Discovery of Stone Implements in Glacial Drift in North America. Vol. xv., 1878, p. 55.
On the Superficial Gravels and Clays around Finchley, Ealing, and Brentford. Vol. XV., 1878, p. 316.
It needs not to add more. It would be easy for the writer, who looks back with recollections of infinite pleasure upon a journey made to Mexico with Mr. Belt in 1876, and to numerous expeditions undertaken with him in Great Britain, to dwell on many incidents of personal travel, and to say much of his pleasant and genial qualities as a companion. With a mind keenly alive to all things natural he brought to bear, on everything that came under his notice, a wide and varied knowledge. Singularly modest and even-tempered by nature, he was only roused to anger by any sense of oppression or by wanton cruelty. But, indeed, his character may be read in his book. Those who knew him, loved him. Nor was he ever happier than when assisting others in the cultivation and enjoyment of those pursuits which occupied his own leisure.
Only a few days before the fever seized him he wrote from Georgetown, Colorado :
"I am expecting to start East in about ten days' time, but shall not leave America until about the middle of September. The heat here has been very great, or rather it has been in the States eastward. Up at this height (over 8000 feet) it is never too hot. We had many astronomers at Denver to see the eclipse, which was a great success. The opinion is very general amongst them that the sun's heat has not been constant in long periods of time,