Ornithological Biography, Volume 2 (of 5) An Account of the Habits of the Birds of the United States of America
Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.
The following inconsistencies were noted and retained:
- subterminal and sub-terminal
- College Yard and College-yard
- Jer falcon and Jerfalcon
- foreneck and fore-neck
- acknowledgement and acknowledgment
- Hackmatack, Hackmetack, hackmitack
- Piercey and Piercy
- gray and grey
- Magdalene, Magdeleine, Magdaleine Islands
- Pittsburg and Pittsburgh
- Schuylkil and Schuylkill
- vermilion and vermillion
- grouse and grous
- aerial and ærial
- teasing and teazing
- sunrise and sun-rise
- characterised, characterized
- Huckleberry and Huckle-berry
- cupshaped and cup-shaped
- Bunting and Buntling
- pokeweed and poke-weed
- Red-wing and Redwing
- Charleston and Charlestown
- Linnæan and Linnean
- north-eastern and northeastern
- dog wood and dog-wood.
The following are possible errors, but retained:
In the entry for the Pinnated Grous, a page number is missing.
In the entry for the Great American Shrike, the volume number for Amer. Ornith. is missing.
Headings are missing for a number of the plant sections.
The Errata on page 580 have been corrected in the text.
Links are provided to Volume 1 of this work.The links are designed to work when the book is read on line. If you want todownload that volume and use the links, you will need to change the links topoint to the file name on your own device.
- Download Volume 1 at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/56989.
OR AN ACCOUNT OF THE HABITS OF THE
BIRDS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA;
ACCOMPANIED BY DESCRIPTIONS OF THE OBJECTS REPRESENTEDIN THE WORK ENTITLED
THE BIRDS OF AMERICA,
AND INTERSPERSED WITH DELINEATIONS OF AMERICANSCENERY AND MANNERS.
BY JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, F.R.S.S.L. & E.
FELLOW OF THE LINNEAN AND ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETIES OF LONDON; MEMBER OF THE LYCEUMOF NEW YORK, OF THE NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY OF PARIS, THE WERNERIAN NATURALHISTORY SOCIETY OF EDINBURGH; HONORARY MEMBER OF THE SOCIETY OF NATURALHISTORY OF MANCHESTER, AND OF THE SCOTTISH ACADEMY OF PAINTING, SCULPTURE,AND ARCHITECTURE; MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY, OF THEACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES AT PHILADELPHIA, OF THE NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETIESOF BOSTON, OF CHARLESTON IN SOUTH CAROLINA, &C. &C.
ADAM & CHARLES BLACK, EDINBURGH;
LONGMAN, REES, BROWN, GREEN, & LONGMAN, LONDON; R. HAVELL,ENGRAVER, 77. OXFORD STREET, LONDON; THOMAS SOWLER,MANCHESTER; MRS ROBINSON, LEEDS; ALEXANDER HILL, EDINBURGH;BEILBY, KNOTT & BEILBY, BIRMINGHAM; E. CHARNLEY,NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE; AND GEORGE SMITH, LIVERPOOL.
PRINTED BY NEILL & CO.Old Fishmarket, Edinburgh.
When, for the first time, I left my father, and all the dearfriends of my youth, to cross the great ocean that separates mynative shores from those of the eastern world, my heart sunkwithin me. While the breezes wafted along the great ship thatfrom La Belle France conveyed me towards the land of mybirth, the lingering hours were spent in deep sorrow or melancholymusing. Even the mighty mass of waters that heavedaround me excited little interest: my affections were with thoseI had left behind, and the world seemed to me a great wilderness.At length I reached the country in which my eyes firstopened to the light; I gazed with rapture upon its noble forests,and no sooner had I landed, than I set myself to mark everyobject that presented itself, and became imbued with an anxiousdesire to discover the purpose and import of that nature whichlay spread around me in luxuriant profusion. But ever andanon the remembrance of the kind parent, from whom I hadbeen parted by uncontrollable circumstances, filled my mind,and as I continued my researches, and penetrated deeper intothe forest, I daily became more anxious to return to him, andto lay at his feet the simple results of my multiplied exertions.vi
Reader, since I left you, I have felt towards you as towardsthat parent. When I parted from him he evinced his sorrow;when I returned he met me with an affectionate smile. If myrecollection of your kind indulgence has not deceived me, I carriedwith me to the western world your wish that I should returnto you; and the desire of gratifying that wish, ever presentwith me as I wandered amidst the deep forests, or scaled therugged rocks, in regions which I visited expressly for the purposeof studying nature and pleasing you, has again broughtme into your presence:—I have returned to present you with allthat seems most interesting in my collections. Should youaccept the offering, and again smile benignantly upon me, Ishall be content and happy.
Soon after the engraving of my work commenced, I badeadieu to my valued friends in Edinburgh, whose many kindnesseswere deeply impressed on my heart. The fair city graduallyfaded from my sight, and, as I crossed the dreary heathsof the Lammermoor, the mental prospect became clouded; butmy spirits revived as I entered the grounds of Mr Selby ofTwizel House, for in him I knew I possessed a friend. Thefew days spent under his most hospitable roof, and the manypleasures I enjoyed there, I shall ever remember with gratitude.
I was then on my way to London, which I had never yetvisited. The number of letters given me to facilitate my entryinto the metropolis of England, and to aid me in procuring subscribersto my work, accumulated during my progress. AtNewcastle-upon-Tyne I made my next halt. There the venerableBewick, the Adamsons, the Turners, the Donkins, theBuddles, the Charnleys and others, received me with greatkindness, and helped to increase my list of subscribers. Theviinoble family of the Ravensworths I also added to my friends,and from them I have since received important benefits, particularlyfrom the Honourable Thomas Liddell, whose partialityfor my pursuits induced him to evince a warm interest inmy favour, which I shall ever acknowledge with feelings of affectionand esteem.
It was there, reader, that, as my predecessor Wilson haddone in America, I for the first time in England exhibited someengravings of my work, together with the contents of my portfolios.I cannot say that the employment was a pleasant one tome, nor do I believe it was so to him; but by means of it he atthe time acquired that fame, of which I also was desirous of obtaininga portion; and, knowing that should I be successful, itwould greatly increase the happiness of my wife and children, Iwaged war against my feelings, and welcomed all, who, fromlove of science, from taste, or from generosity, manifested an interestin the "American Woodsman."
See him, reader, in a room crowded by visitors, holding atarm's length each of his large drawings, listening to the variedobservations of the lookers on, and feel, as he now and then did,the pleasure which he experienced when some one placed hissign manual on the list. This occupation was continued all theway until I reached the skirts of London; but the next placeto which I went was the city of York, where I formed acquaintancewith a congenial spirit, Mr Phillips, who is now wellknown to you as an eminent Professor of Geology. There alsoI admired the magnificent Minster, within whose sacred walls Iin silence offered up my humble prayer to heaven.
At Leeds, the Gotts, the Bankses, the Walkers, theMarshalls, the Davys, were all extremely kind to me, andviiiI found a fine museum belonging to the most interesting andamiable family of the Calverts, in whose society my eveningswere chiefly spent.
On my second visit to Manchester I obtained upwards oftwenty subscribers in one week, and became acquainted withpersons whose friendship has never failed. Of them I may particularlymention the Dyers, the Kennedys, the Darbishires,and the Sowlers.
Having once more reached the hospitable home of the Rathbonesat Liverpool, I felt my heart expand within me, and Ipoured forth my thanks to my Maker for the many favours whichI had in so short a period received. I read to my friends thenames of more than seventy subscribers to my "Birds of America."
My journey was continued through Chester, Birmingham,and Oxford, and I passed in view of the regal and magnificentCastle of Windsor. The impression made on my mind the dayI reached the very heart of London I am unable to describe.Suffice it, kind reader, to tell you that many were the alternationsof hope and fear as I traversed the vast metropolis. I cannotgive you an adequate idea of my horror or of my admiration,when on the one side I saw pallid poverty groping in filthand rags, and turning away almost in despair, beheld the hugemasses of the noblest monument ever raised to St Paul, whichreminded me of the power and grandeur of man;—and alongwith the thronging crowds I moved, like them intent on makingmy way through the world.
Eighty-two letters of introduction were contained in mybudget. Besides these I was the bearer of general letters fromHenry Clay, Speaker of the House of Congress, GeneralixAndrew Jackson, and other individuals in America, to allour diplomatists and consuls in Europe and elsewhere. Thus,reader, you will perceive that I had some foundation for thehope that I should acquire friends in the great city.
In May 1827, I reached that emporium of the productionsof all climes and nations. After gazing a day on all that Isaw of wonderful and interesting, I devoted the rest to visiting.Guided by a map, I proceeded along the crowded streets, andendeavoured to find my way through the vast labyrinth. Fromone great man's door to another I went; but judge of my surprise,reader, when, after wandering the greater part of threesuccessive days, early and late, and at all hours, I had not founda single individual at home!
Wearied and disappointed, I thought my only chance of gettingmy letters delivered was to consign them to the post, andaccordingly I handed them all over to its care, excepting one,which was addressed to "J. G. Children, Esq. British Museum."Thither I now betook myself, and was delighted to meetwith that kind and generous person, whose friendship I have enjoyedever since. He it was who pointed out to me the greaterror I had committed in having put my letters into the post-office,and the evil arising from this step is perhaps still hangingover me, for it has probably deprived me of the acquaintance ofhalf of the persons to whom they were addressed. In the courseof a week, about half a dozen of the gentlemen who had read myletters, left their cards at my rooms. By degrees I became acquaintedwith a few of them, and my good friend of the Museumintroduced me to others. I renewed my acquaintance with thebenevolent Lord Stanley, and became known to other noblemen,xliberal like himself. Soon after I was elected a Memberof the Linnæan and Zoological Societies.
About this time, the Prince of Musignano, so well knownfor his successful cultivation of Natural History, arrived in London.He found me out through the medium of the learned geologistFeatherstonhaugh, and one evening I had the pleasureof receiving a visit from him, accompanied by that gentleman,Mr Vigors, and some other persons. I felt happy inhaving once more by my side my first ornithological adviser, andthat amiable and highly talented friend, with the accomplishedgeologist, remained with me until a late hour. Their departureaffected me with grief, and since that period I have not seen thePrince. For several months I occupied myself with painting inoil, and attending to the progress of my plates. I now becameacquainted with that eminent and amiable painter, Sir ThomasLawrence, through a kindred spirit, Thomas Sully of Philadelphia;from both of whom, at different periods, I have receivedadvice with reference to their enchanting art. One morningI had the good fortune to receive a visit from Mr Swainson,whose skill as a naturalist every one knows, and who hasever since been my substantial friend. M. Temminck also called,as did other scientific individuals, among whom was my ever-valuedfriend Robert Bakewell, whose investigations havetended so much to advance the progress of geology; and