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November, 1843 

From the ijorliait by John Woodhouse Auilubon 







Volume I. 




Copyright, 1S97, 
By Charles Scribner's Sons. 

Snibersttg ^rtss: 
John Wilson and Son Cambridge, U.S.A. 

3^ti Logins: ilcmorp 








TT is customary at the close of a Preface to make some 
-*- acknowledgment of the services rendered by others 
in the preparation of a volume ; but in my case this aid 
has been so generous, so abundant, and so helpful, that 
I must reverse the order of things and begin by saying 
that my heartiest thanks are due to the many who have 
assisted me in a work which for many years has been 
my dream. 

Without the very material aid, both by pen and advice, 
of Dr. Elliott Coues, these pages would have lost more than 
I care to contemplate. All the zoological notes are his, 
and many of the geographical, besides suggestions too 
numerous to mention ; moreover, all this assistance was 
most liberally given at a time when he personally was 
more than busy ; and yet my wishes and convenience have 
always been consulted. 

Next to the memory of my father, Mr. Ruthven Deane 
has been the motive power which has caused this volume 
to be written. For many years he has urged me to at- 
tempt it, and has supplied me with some valuable mate- 
rial, especially regarding Henderson. During the months 
that I have been working on much that I have felt incom- 
petent to deal with, his encouragement has helped me 
over many a difficulty. 


To my sisters Harriet and Florence, and my cousin M. 
Eliza Audubon, I am especially indebted. The first and 
last have lent me of their choicest treasures ; letters, jour- 
nals, and other manuscripts they have placed uncondition- 
ally in my hands, besides supplying many details from 
other sources ; and my sister Florence has been my almost 
hourly assistant in more ways than I can specify. 

The arrangement of the papers and journals was sug- 
gested by the late Dr. G. Brown Goode ; and many names 
come to mind of friends who have helped me in other 
ways. Among them are those of Mr. W. H. Wetherill, 
Messrs. Richard R. and William Rathbone, my aunt, Mrs. 
James Hall, Dr. Arthur T. Lincoln, Mr. Morris F. Tyler, 
Mr. Joseph Coolidge, Rev. A. Gordon Bakewell, and Mr. 
George Bird Grinnell. 

I wish also to say that without the loving generosity of 
my friend the late Miss M. Louise Comstock, I should 
never have had the time at my command which I have 
needed for this work ; and last, but by no means least, I 
thank my mother for her many memories, and for her wise 

There came into my hands about twelve years ago some 
of these journals, — those of the Missouri and Labrador 
journeys; and since then others have been added, all of 
which had been virtually lost for years. The story of how I 
heard of some, and traced others, is too long to tell here, 
so I will only say that these journals have formed my 
chief sources of information. So far as has been possible 
I have verified and supplemented them by every means. 
Researches have been made in San Domingo, New Orleans, 
and France ; letters and journals have been consulted which 


prove this or that statement ; and from the mass of papers 
I have accumulated, I have used perhaps one fifth. 

•' The Life of Audubon the Naturahst, edited by Mr. 
Robert Buchanan from material supplied by his widow," 
covers, or is supposed to cover, the same ground I have 
gone over. That the same journals were used is obvious; 
and besides these, others, destroyed by fire in Shelbyville, 
Ky., were at my grandmother's command, and more than 
all, her own recollections and voluminous diaries. Her 
manuscript, which I never saw, was sent to the English 
publishers, and was not returned to the author by them or 
by Mr. Buchanan. How much of it was valuable, it is 
impossible to say; but the fact remains that Mr. Bu- 
chanan's book is so mixed up, so interspersed with anec- 
dotes and episodes, and so interlarded with derogatory 
remarks of his own, as to be practically useless to the 
world, and very unpleasant to the Audubon family. More- 
over, with few exceptions everything about birds has been 
left out. Many errors in dates and names are apparent, 
especially the date of the Missouri River journey, which is 
ten years later than he states. However, if Mr. Buchanan 
had done his work better, there would have been no need 
for mine; so I forgive him, even though he dwells at un- 
necessary length on Audubon's vanity and selfishness, of 
which I find no traces. 

In these journals, nine in all, and in the hundred or so 
of letters, written under many skies, and in many condi- 
tions of life, by a man whose education was wholly French, 
one of the journals dating as far back as 1822, and some of 
the letters even earlier, — there is not one sentence, one 
expression, that is other than that of a refined and cul- 


tured gentleman. More than that, there is not one utter- 
ance of " anger, hatred or malice." Mr. George Ord and 
Mr. Charles Waterton were both my grandfather's bitter 
enemies, yet one he rarely mentions, and of the latter, when 
he says, " I had a scrubby letter from Waterton," he has 
said his worst. 

But the journals will speak for themselves better than I 
can, and so I send them forth, believing that to many they 
will be of absorbing interest, as they have been to me. 

M. R. A. 

Volume I 


Introduction 3 

Audubon - 5 

The European Journals. 1826-1829 79 

The Labrador Journal. 1S33 343 

The Missouri River Journals. 1843 447 

Vol. I. 


AuDuiiON Frontispiii:* 

Kroin tlio portr.iil liy J. W. AikIuIidm. Novcinlicr, iS^^. 

Mil. I. CiKovK Mansion on tiik I'i'-kkiomkn Cukkk . . . i6 

l''ri>in .1 iilu>liij;i.i|>li fiuin W, II. WctliiTill, Hsn- 

1''ati.a.M) I'dki) Man.sion, i.o()kin<; towakd \'ai.i.i:v Kokck 20 

From .1 plioL.Ki.ipli lioiii W. 11. Wi-llicrill. Kmi. 

Aiiduison's Mii.u at Hkndkuson, Kv \\ 

Now owiird by Mr. U.iviil t'Luk. 

John J. Auduiion 4S 

Kroin lli<- Miiiiinttirc by F. CruikMli.iiik, piil>li»lir>l l>y Ki>l)crt tl.ivrll, 
JaiiiMiv ij. iSts. 


t''ri>iii tlio iiilnl.iturc liy V . Crtiiktliaiik, itlj5. 

Audubon 74 

I)ttle iiiikiiowii. Krum .a il.i):iicirrvoly|ie uwnotl by M. Kli«» Amliibdii, 

AuiH'HON MoNUMiCNT IN TuiNiTY Cnuurii Ckmktkhy, Ni:\v 

YouK 76 

Flycatchkus. {llnetolore un published.^ 114 

Krom n diawiii); \wmV bv Aiuhtboii in iSjft, mul prcxriilml to Mr^ 
K.itliboiio of (;icrii lldiik, I.iveiiHHil, Jitill in tho po«.Ho*»ion 
of the Kathboiic fainily. 

Fko.m a I'f.NCiL Sketch ok Auduuon 128 

lir.iwii by himitelf for Mr». Kathbon«. Now in tbr poMCision of 
Mr. Kich.tiil R. Kathbono, ClUn-y-Mcndi, Anulcncy. 



Audubon ix Indiax Dress 132 

From a pencil sketch drawn by himself for Miss Rathbone, 1826. 
Now in the possession of Mrs. Abraham Dixon (jiie Rathbone), 
London, England. 

Audubon 206 

From the portrait by Henry Inman. Now in the possession of the family. 

Facsimile of Entry in Journal 221 

Eagle and Lamb 342 

Painted by Audubon, London, 1828. In the possession of the family. 

Audubon 348 

From the portrait by George P. A. Healy, London, 1838. Now in 
the possession of the Boston Society of Natural History. 

Victor Gifford Audubon 384 

From the miniature by F. Cruikshank, 1838. 

John Woodhouse Audubon 412 

From the miniature by F. Cruikshank, 1838. 

Audubon 4-4 

From the portrait by Jolin Woodhouse Audubon (about 1S41). 

CoLUMBA passerina (now Columbigallina PASSERINA 


From the unpublished drawing by J. J. Audubon, 1838. 

Facsimile of a Page of the Missouri River Journal . 510 

Reduced one third. 

View on the Missouri River, above Great Bend . . 516 

From a water-color drawing by Isaac Sprague. 

Indian Hatchet Pipe 532 

Carried by Audubon during many of his journeys. 


VOL. I. — 1 


TN the brief biography of Audubon which follows, 
I have given, I believe, the only correct account 
that has been written, and as such I present it. I 
am not competent to give an opinion as to the 
merits of his work, nor is it necessary. His place 
as naturalist, woodsman, artist, author, has long 
since been accorded him, and he himself says : " My 
enemies have been few, and my friends numerous." 
I have tried only to put Audubon the man before 
my readers, and in his own words so far as possible, 
that they may know what he was, not what others 

thought he was. 

M. R. A. 


THE village of Mandeville in the parish of St. Tam- 
many, Louisiana, is about twenty miles from New 
Orleans on the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain. Here, 
on the plantation of the same name, owned by the Mar- 
quis de Mandeville de Marigny, John James Laforest 
Audubon^ was born, the Marquis having lent his home, 
in the generous southern fashion, to his friend Admiral 
Jean Audubon, who, with his Spanish Creole wife, lived 
here some months. In the same house, towards the close 
of the last century, Louis Philippe found refuge for a 
time with the ever hospitable Marigny family, and he 
named the beautiful plantation home " Fontainebleau." 
Since then changes innumerable have come, the estate has 
other owners, the house has gone, those who once dwelt 
there are long dead, their descendants scattered, the old 
landmarks obliterated. 

Audubon has given a sketch of his father in his own 
words in " Myself," which appears in the pages following; 
but of his mother little indeed is known. Only within the 
year, have papers come into the hands of her great-grand- 
children, which prove her surname to have been Rabin. 
Audubon himself tells of her tragic death, which was not, 
however, in the St. Domingo insurrection of 1793, but in 
one of the local uprisings of the slaves which were of 

1 " My name is John James Laforest Audubon. The name Laforest I 
never sign except when writing to my wife, and she is the only being, since 
my father's death, who calls me by it." (Letter of Audubon to Mrs. Rath- 
bone, 1827.) All Mrs. Audubon's letters to her husband address him as 


frequent occurrence in that beautiful island, whose history 
is too dark to dwell upon. Beyond this nothing can be 
found relating to the mother, whom Audubon lost before 
he was old enough to remember her, except that in 1822 
one of the family Marigny told my father, John Woodhouse 
Audubon, then a boy of ten, who with his parents was living 
in New Orleans, that she was " une dame d'une beaut^ 
incomparable et avec beaucoup de ficrte." It may seem 
strange that nothing more can be found regarding this 
lady, but it is to be remembered these were troublous 
days, when stormy changes were the rule ; and the roving 
and adventurous sailor did not, I presume, encumber 
himself with papers. To these circumstances also it is 
probably due that the date of Audubon's birth is not 
known, and must always remain an open question. In 
his journals and letters various allusions are made to his 
age, and many passages bearing on the matter are found, 
but with one exception no two agree ; he may have been 
born anywhere between 1772 and 1783, and in the face of 
this uncertainty the date usually given, May 5, 1780, 
may be accepted, though the true one is no doubt 

The attachment between Audubon and his father was of 
the strongest description, as the long and affectionate, if 
somewhat infrequent letters, still in the possession of the 
family, fully demonstrate. When the Admiral was retired 
from active service, he lived at La Gerbeti6re in France 
with his second wife, Anne Moynette, until his death, on 
February 19, 181 8, at the great age of ninety-five. 

In this home near the Loire, Audubon spent his happy 
boyhood and youth, dearly beloved and loving, and receiv- 
ing the best education time and place afforded. As the 
boy grew older and more advantages were desired for 
him, came absences when he was at school in La Rochelle 
and Paris ; but La Gerb6tiere was his home till in early 
manhood he returned to America, the land he loved above 


all others, as his journals show repeatedly. The impress 
of the years in France was never lost; he always had a 
strong French accent, he possessed in a marked degree 
the adaptability to circumstances which is a trait of that 
nation, and his disposition inherited from both parents 
was elated or depressed by a trifle. He was quick-tem- 
pered, enthusiastic, and romantic, yet affectionate, forgiv- 
ing, and with unlimited industry and perseverance; he was 
generous to every one with time, money, and possessions ; 
nothing was too good for others, but his own personal 
requirements were of the simplest character. His life 
shows all this and more, better than words of mine can 
tell ; and as the only account of his years till he left 
Henderson, Ky., in 1819, is in his own journal, it is given 
here in full.^ 


The precise period of my birth is yet an enigma to me, and I 
can only say what I have often heard my father repeat to me on 
this subject, which is as follows : It seems that my father had 
large properties in Santo Domingo, and was in the habit of visit- 
ing frequently that portion of our Southern States called, and 
known by the name of, Louisiana, then owned by the French 

During one of these excursions he married a lady of Spanish 
extraction, whom I have been led to understand was as beautiful 
as she was wealthy, and othenvise attractive, and who bore my 
father three sons and a daughter, — I being the youngest of the 
sons and the only one who survived extreme youth. My mother, 
soon after my birth, accompanied my father to the estate of Aux 
Cayes, on the island of Santo Domingo, and she was one of the 
victims during the ever-to-be-lamented period of the negro 
insurrection of that island. 

1 This manuscript was found in an old book which had been in a barn on 
Staten Island for years. 

2 Reprinted from Scribner's Magazine, March, 1893, p. 267. A few errors 
in names and dates are now corrected. 


My father, through the intervention of some faithful servants, 
escaped from Aux Cayes with a good portion of his plate and 
money, and with me and these humble friends reached New 
Orleans in safety. From this place he took me to France, where, 
having married the only mother I have ever known, he left me 
under her charge and returned to the United States in the employ 
of the French Government, acting as an officer under Admiral 
Rochambeau. Shortly afterward, however, he landed in the 
United States and became attached to the army under La Fayette. 

The first of my recollective powers placed me in the central 
portion of the city of Nantes, on the Loire River, in France, 
where I still recollect particularly that I was much cherished by 
my dear stepmother, who had no children of her own, and that I 
was constantly attended by one or two black servants, who had 
followed my father from Santo Domingo to New Orleans and 
afterward to Nantes. 

One incident which is as perfect in my memory as if it had 
occurred this very day, I have thought of thousands of times 
since, and will now put on paper as one of the curious things 
which perhaps did lead me in after times to love birds, and to 
finally study them with pleasure infinite. My mother had several 
beautiful parrots and some monkeys ; one of the latter was a full- 
grown male of a very large species. One morning, while the ser- 
vants were engaged in arranging the room I was in, "Pretty 
Polly" asking for her breakfast as usual, '' Du pain au lait pour le 
perroquet Mignotine," the man of the woods probably thought the 
bird presuming upon his rights in the scale of nature ; be this as 
it may, he certainly showed his supremacy in strength over the 
denizen of the air, for, walking deliberately and uprightly toward 
the poor bird, he at once killed it, with unnatural composure. 
The sensations of my infant heart at this cruel sight were agony to 
me. I prayed the ser\'ant to beat the monkey, but he, who for 
some reason preferred the monkey to the parrot, refused. I 
uttered long and piercing cries, my mother rushed into the 
room, I was tranquillized, the monkey was forever afterward 
chained, and Mignonne buried with all the pomp of a cherished 
lost one. 


This made, as I have said, a very deep impression on my 
youthful mind. But now, my dear children, I must tell you some- 
what of my father, and of his parentage. 

John Audubon, my grandfather, was born and lived at the 
small village of Sable d'Olhonne, and was by trade a very humble 
fisherman. He appears to have made up for the want of wealth 
by the number of his children, twenty-one of whom he actually 
raised to man and womanhood. All were sons, with one excep- 
tion ; my aunt, one uncle, and my father, who was the twentieth 
son, being the only members of that extraordinary numerous 
family who lived to old age. In subsequent years, when I visited 
Sable d'Olhonne, the old residents assured me that they had seen 
the whole family, including both parents, at church many times. 

When my father had reached the age of twelve years, his father 
presented him with a shirt, a dress of coarse material, a stick, and 
his blessing, and urged him to go and seek means for his future 
support and sustenance. 

Some ki7id whaler or cod-fisherman took him on board as a 
" Boy." Of his life during his early voyages it would be useless 
to trouble you ; let it suffice for me to say that they were of the 
usual most uncomfortable nature. How many trips he made I 
cannot say, but he told me that by the time he was seventeen he 
had become an able seaman before the mast ; when twenty-one 
he commanded a fishing-smack, and went to the great Newfound- 
land Banks; at twenty-five he owned several small crafts, all 
fishermen, and at twenty-eight sailed for Santo Domingo with his 
little flotilla heavily loaded with the produce of the deep. " For- 
tune," said he to me one day, " now began to smile upon me. I 
did well in this enterprise, and after a few more voyages of the 
same sort gave up the sea, and purchased a small estate on the 
Isle a Vaches ; ^ the prosperity of Santo Domingo was at its zenith, 
and in the course of ten years I had realized something very con- 
siderable. The then Governor gave me an appointment which 
called me to France, and having received some favors there, I 
became once more a seafaring man, the government having 
granted me the command of a small vessel of war." ^ 

1 Isle \ Vache, eight miles south of Aux Cayes. 

2 This vessel was the " Annelle." 


How long my father remained in the service, it is impos- 
sible for me to say. The different changes occurring at the 
time of the American Revolution, and afterward during that in 
France, seem to have sent him from one place to another as if 
a foot-ball ; his property in Santo Domingo augmenting, how- 
ever, the while, and indeed till the liberation of the black slaves 

During a visit he paid to Pennsylvania when suffering from the 
effects of a sunstroke, he purchased the beautiful farm of Mill 
Grove, on the Schuylkill and Perkiomen streams. At this place, 
and a few days only before the memorable battle {sic) of Valley 
Forge, General Washington presented him with his portrait, now 
in my possession ; and highly do I value it as a memento of that 
noble man and the glories of those days.^ At the conclusion of 
the war between England and her child of the West, my father 
returned to France and continued in the employ of the naval de- 
partment of that country, being at one time sent to Plymouth, 
England, in a seventy-five-gun ship to exchange prisoners. This 
was, I think, in the short peace that took place between Eng- 
land and France in 1801. He returned to Rochefort, where 
he lived for several years, still in the employ of government. 
He finally sent in his resignation and returned to Nantes and La 
Gerb^ti^re. He had many severe trials and afflictions before his 
death, having lost my two older brothers early in the French 
Revolution ; both were officers in the army. His only sister was 
killed by the Chouans of La Vendue,* and the only brother he 
had was not on good terms with him. This brother resided at 

^ The family still own this portrait, of which Victor G. Audubon writes: 
" This portrait is probably the first one taken of that great and good man, 
and although the drawing is hard, the coloring and costume are correct, I 
have no doubt. It was copied by Greenhow, the sculptor, when he was 
preparing to model his ' Washington ' for the Capitol, and he considered 
it as a valuable addition to the material already obtained. This por- 
trait was painted by an artist named Polk, but who or what he was, I 
know not." 

2 There still remain those who recall how Audubon would walk up and 
down, snapping his fingers, a habit he had when excited, when relating how 
he had seen his aunt tied to a wagon and dragged through the streets of 
Nantes in the time of Carrier. 


Bayonne, and, I believe, had a large family, none of whom I have 
ever seen or known. ^ 

In personal appearance my father and I were of the same 
height and stature, say about five feet ten inches, erect, and with 
muscles of steel ; his manners were those of a most polished 
gentleman, for those and his natural understanding had been care- 
fully improved both by observation and by self- education. In tem- 
per we much resembled each other also, being warm, irascible, and 
at times violent ; but it was Hke the blast of a hurricane, dreadful for 
a time, when calm almost instantly returned. He greatly approved 
of the change in France during the time of Napoleon, whom he 
almost idolized. My father died in 1818, regretted most de- 
servedly on account of his simplicity, truth, and perfect sense of 
honesty. Now I must return to myself. 

My stepmother, who was devotedly attached to me, far too 
much so for my good, was desirous that I should be brought up to 
hve and die " like a gentleman," thinking that fine clothes and 
filled pockets were the only requisites needful to attain this end. 
She therefore completely spoiled me, hid my faults, boasted to 
every one of my youthful merits, and, worse than all, said fre- 
quently in my presence that I was the handsomest boy in France. 
All my wishes and idle notions were at once gratified ; she went 
so far as actually to grant me carte blanche at all the confection- 
ery shops in the town, and also of the village of Cou^ron, where 
during the summer we lived, as it were, in the country. 

My father was quite of another, and much more valuable 
description of mind as regarded my future welfare ; he believed 
not in the power of gold coins as efficient means to render a man 
happy. He spoke of the stores of the mind, and having suffered 
much himself through the want of education, he ordered that I 
should be put to school, and have teachers at home. " Revolu- 
tions," he was wont to say, " too often take place in the lives of 
individuals, and they are apt to lose in one day the fortune they 
before possessed ; but talents and knowledge, added to sound 
mental training, assisted by honest industry, can never fail, nor be 

1 This brother left three daughters ; only one married, and her descen- 
dants, if any, cannot be traced. 


taken from any one once the possessor of such valuable means." 
Therefore, notwithstanding all my mother's entreaties and her 
tears, off to a school I was sent. Excepting only, perhaps, mili- 
tary schools, none were good in France at this period ; the thun- 
ders of the Revolution still roared over the land, the Revolutionists 
covered the earth with the blood of man, woman, and child. But 
let me forever drop the curtain over the frightful aspect of this 
dire picture. To think of these dreadful days is too terrible, and 
would be too horrible and painful for me to relate to you, my 
dear sons. 

The school I went to was none of the best ; my private teachers 
were the only means through which I acquired the least benefit. 
My father, who had been for so long a seaman, and w^ho was then 
in the French navy, wished me to follow in his steps, or else to 
become an engineer. For this reason I studied drawing, geog- 
raphy, mathematics, fencing, etc., as well as music, for which I 
had considerable talent. I had a good fencing-master, and a 
first-rate teacher of the violin ; mathematics was hard, dull work, 
I thought ; geography pleased me more. For my other studies, 
as well as for dancing, I was quite enthusiastic ; and I well recol- 
lect how anxious I was then to become the commander of a corps 
of dragoons. 

My father being mostly absent on duty, my mother suffered me 
to do much as I pleased ; it was therefore not to be wondered at 
that, instead of applying closely to my studies, I preferred asso- 
ciating with boys of my own age and disposition, who were more 
fond of going in search of birds' nests, fishing, or shooting, than 
of better studies. Thus almost every day, instead of going to 
school when I ought to have gone, I usually made for the fields, 
where I spent the day ; my little basket went with me, filled with 
good eatables, and when I returned home, during either winter or 
summer, it was replenished with what I called curiosities, such as 
birds' nests, birds' eggs, curious lichens, flowers of all sorts, and 
even pebbles gathered along the shore of some rivulet. 

The first time my father returned from sea after this my room 
exhibited quite a show, and on entering it he was so pleased to 
see my various collections that he complimented me on my taste 


for such things : but when he inquired what else I had done, and 
I, like a culprit, hung my head, he left me without saying another 
word. Dinner over he asked my sister for some music, and, on 
her playing for him, he was so pleased with her improvement that 
he presented her with a beautiful book. I was next asked to play 
on my violin, but alas ! for nearly a month I had not touched it, 
it was stringless ; not a word was said on that subject. " Had I 
any drawings to show?" Only a few, and those not good. 
My good father looked at his wife, kissed my sister, and humming 
a tune left the room. The next morning at dawn of day my 
father and I were under way in a private carriage ; my trunk, etc., 
were fastened to it, my violin-case was under my feet, the pos- 
tilion was ordered to proceed, my father took a book from his 
pocket, and while he silently read I was left entirely to my own 

After some days' travelling we entered the gates of Rochefort. 
My father had scarcely spoken to me, yet there was no anger ex- 
hibited in his countenance ; nay, as we reached the house where 
we alighted, and approached the door, near which a sentinel 
stopped his walk and presented arms, I saw him smile as he raised 
his hat and said a few words to the man, but so low that not a 
syllable reached my ears. 

The house was furnished with servants, and everything seemed 
to go on as if the owner had not left it. My father bade me sit 
by his side, and taking one of my hands calmly said to me : " My 
beloved boy, thou art now safe. I have brought thee here that I 
may be able to pay constant attention to thy studies ; thou shalt 
have ample time for pleasures, but the remainder must be em- 
ployed with industry and care. This day is entirely thine own, 
and as I must attend to my duties, if thou wishest to see the docks, 
the fine ships-of-war, and walk round the wall, thou may'st accom- 
pany me." I accepted, and off together we went ; I was pre- 
sented to every officer we met, and they noticing me more or 
less, I saw much that day, yet still I perceived that I was like a 
prisoner-of-war on parole in the city of Rochefort. 

My best and most amiable companion was the son of Admiral, 
or Vice-Admiral (I do not precisely recollect his rank) Vivien, 


who lived nearly opposite to the house where my father and I 
then resided ; his company I much enjoyed, and with him all 
my leisure hours were spent. About this time my father was sent 
to England in a corvette with a view to exchange prisoners, and 
he sailed on board the man-of-war " L'Institution " for Plymouth. 
Previous to his sailing he placed me under the charge of his 
secretary, Gabriel Loyen Dupuy Gaudeau, the son of a fallen 
nobleman. Now this gentleman was of no pleasing nature to me; 
he was, in fact, more than too strict and severe in all his pre- 
scriptions to me, and well do I recollect that one morning, after 
having been set to a very arduous task in mathematical problems, 
I gave him the slip, jumped from the window, and ran off through 
the gardens attached to the Marine Secretariat. The unfledged 
bird may stand for a while on the border of its nest, and perhaps 
open its winglets and attempt to soar away, but his youthful im- 
prudence may, and indeed often does, prove inimical to his 
prowess, as some more wary and older bird, that has kept an eye 
toward him, pounces relentlessly upon the young adventurer and 
secures him within the grasp of his more powerful talons. This 
was the case with me in this instance. I had leaped from the 
door of my cage and thought myself quite safe, while I rambled 
thoughtlessly beneath the shadow of the trees in the garden and 
grounds in which I found myself; but the secretary, with a side 
glance, had watched my escape, and, ere many minutes had elapsed, 
I saw coming toward me a corporal with whom, in fact, I was 
well acquainted. On nearing me, and I did not attempt to escape, 
our past familiarity was, I found, quite evaporated ; he bid me, 
in a severe voice, to follow him, and on my being presented to 
my father's secretary I was at once ordered on board the pontoon 
in port. All remonstrances proved fruitless, and on board the 
pontoon I was conducted, and there left amid such a medley of 
culprits as I cannot describe, and of whom, indeed, I have but 
little recollection, save that I felt vile myself in their vile com- 
pany. My father returned in due course, and released me from 
these floating and most disagreeable lodgings, but not without a 
rather severe reprimand. 

Shortly after this we returned to Nantes, and later to La 


Gerb^ti^re. My stay here was short, and I went to Nantes to 
study mathematics anew, and there spent about one year, the 
remembrance of which has flown from my memory, with the ex- 
ception of one incident, of which, when I happen to pass my 
hand over the left side of my head, I am ever and anon reminded. 
'T is this : one morning, while playing with boys of my own age, a 
quarrel arose among us, a battle ensued, in the course of which I 
was knocked down by a round stone, that brought the blood from 
that part of my skull, and for a time I lay on the ground uncon- 
scious, but soon rallying, experienced no lasting effects but the 

During all these years there existed within me a tendency to 
follow Nature in her walks. Perhaps not an hour of leisure was 
spent elsewhere than in woods and fields, and to examine either 
the eggs, nest, young, or parents of any species of birds consti- 
tuted my delight. It was about this period that I commenced a 
series of drawings of the birds of France, which I continued until 
I had upward of two hundred drawings, all bad enough, my dear 
sons, yet they were representations of birds, and I felt pleased 
with them. Hundreds of anecdotes respecting my life at this 
time might prove interesting to you, but as they are not in my 
mind at this moment I will leave them, though you may find some 
of them in the course of the following pages. 

I was within a few months of being seventeen years old, when 
my stepmother, who was an earnest Catholic, took into her head 
that I should be confirmed ; my father agreed. I was surprised 
and indifferent, but yet as I loved her as if she had been my own 
mother, — and well did she merit my deepest affection, — I took to 
the catechism, studied it and other matters pertaining to the cere- 
mony, and all was performed to her hking. Not long after this, 
my father, anxious as he was that I should be enrolled in 
Napoleon's army as a Frenchman, found it necessary to send me 
back to my own beloved country, the United States of America, 
and I came with intense and indescribable pleasure. 

On landing at New York I caught the yellow fever by walking 
to the bank at Greenwich to get the money to which my father's 
letter of credit entitled me. The kind man who commanded the 


ship that brought me from France, whose name was a common 
one, John Smith, took particular charge of me, removed me to 
Morristown, N, J., and placed me under the carf^ of two Quaker 
ladies who kept a boarding-house. To their sk.lful and untiring 
ministrations I may safely say I owe the prolongation of my life. 
Letters were forwarded by them to my father's agent, Miers Fisher 
of Philadelphia, of whom I have more to say hereafter. He came 
for me in his carriage and removed me to his villa, at a short dis- 
tance from Philadelphia and on the road toward Trenton. There 
I would have found myself quite comfortable had not incidents 
taken place which are so connected with the change in my life as 
to call immediate attention to them. 

Miers Fisher had been my father's trusted agent for about 
eighteen years, and the old gentlemen entertained great mutual 
friendship ; indeed it would seem that Mr. Fisher was actually 
desirous that I should become a member of his family, and this 
was evinced within a few days by the manner in which the good 
Quaker presented me to a daughter of no mean appearance, but 
toward whom I happened to take an unconquerable dislike. Then 
he was opposed to music of all descriptions, as well as to dancing, 
could not bear me to carry a gun, or fishing-rod, and, indeed, 
condemned most of my amusements. All these things were diffi- 
culties toward accomplishing a plan which, for aught I know to 
the contrary, had been premeditated between him and my father, 
and rankled the heart of the kindly, if somewhat strict Quaker. 
They troubled me much also ; at times I wished myself anywhere 
but under the roof of Mr. Fisher, and at last I reminded him 
that it was his duty to install me on the estate to which my father 
had sent me. 

One morning, therefore, I was told that the carriage was ready 
to carry me there, and toward my future home he and I went. 
You are too well acquainted with the position of Mill Grove for 
me to allude to that now ; suffice it to say that we reached the 
former abode of my father about sunset. I was presented to 
our tenant, William Thomas, who also was a Quaker, and took 
possession under certain restrictions, which amounted to my 
not receiving more than enough money per quarter than was 



considered sufficient for the expenditure of a young gentle- 

Miers Fisher left me the next morning, and after him went 
my blessings, for I thought his departure a true deliverance ; yet 
this was only because our tastes and educations were so different, 
for he certainly was a good and learned man. Mill Grove was 
ever to me a blessed spot ; in my daily walks I thought I per- 
ceived the traces left by my father as I looked on the even fences 
round the fields, or on the regular manner with which avenues of 
trees, as well as the orchards, had been planted by his hand. 
The mill was also a source of joy to me, and in the cave, which 
you too remember, where the Pewees were wont to build, I never 
failed to find quietude and delight. 

Hunting, fishing, drawing, and music occupied my every 
moment ; cares I knew not, and cared naught about them.. I 
purchased excellent and beautiful horses, visited all such neigh- 
bors as I found congenial spirits, and was as happy as happy 
could be. A few months after my arrival at Mill Grove, I was 
informed one day that an English family had purchased the 
plantation next to mine, that the name of the owner was Bake- 
well, and moreover that he had several very handsome and in- 
teresting daughters, and beautiful pointer dogs. I listened, but 
cared not a jot about them at the time. The place was with- 
in sight of Mill Grove, and Fatland Ford, as it was called, 
was merely divided from my estate by a road leading to the 
Schuylkill River. Mr. William Bakewell, the father of the family, 
had called on me one day, but, finding I was rambling in 
the woods in search of birds, left a card and an invitation to 
go shooting with him. Now this gentleman was an Englishman, 
and I such a foolish boy that, entertaining the greatest prejudices 
against all of his nationality, I did not return his visit for many 
weeks, which was as absurd as it was ungentlemanly and impolite. 

Mrs. Thomas, good soul, more than once spoke to me on the 
subject, as well as her worthy husband, but all to no import; 
English was English with me, my poor childish mind was settled 
on that, and as I wished to know none of the race the call re- 
mained unacknowledged. 
VOL. I. — 2 


Frosty weather, however, came, and anon was the ground 
covered with the deep snow. Grouse were abundant along the 
fir-covered ground near the creek, and as I was in pursuit of 
game one frosty morning I chanced to meet Mr. Bakewell in the 
woods. I was struck with the kind politeness of his manner, and 
found him an expert marksman. Entering into conversation, I 
admired the beauty of his well-trained dogs, and, apologizing for 
my discourtesy, finally promised to call upon him and his 

Well do I recollect the morning, and may it please God that I 
may never forget it, when for the first time I entered Mr. Bake- 
well's dwelling. It happened that he was absent from home, 
and I was shown into a parlor where only one young lady was 
snugly seated at her work by the fire. She rose on my entrance, 
offered me a seat, and assured me of the gratification her father 
would feel on his return, which, she added, would be in a few 
moments, as she would despatch a servant for him. Other 
ruddy cheeks and bright eyes made their transient appearance, 
but, like spirits gay, soon vanished from my sight ; and there I sat, 
my gaze riveted, as it were, on the young girl before me, who, 
half working, half talking, essayed to make the time pleasant to 
me. Oh ! may God bless her ! It was she, my dear sons, who 
afterward became my beloved wife, and your mother. Mr. Bake- 
well soon made his appearance, and received me with the 
manner and hospitality of a true English gentleman. The other 
members of the family were soon introduced to me, and " Lucy " 
was told to have luncheon produced. She now arose from her 
seat a second time, and her form, to which I had previously paid 
but partial attention, showed both grace and beauty ; and my 
heart followed every one of her steps. The repast over, guns 
and dogs were made ready. 

Lucy, I was pleased to believe, looked upon me with some 
favor, and I turned more especially to her on leaving. I felt 
that certain "y^ 7ie sais qiioi " which intimated that, at least, she 
was not indifferent to me. 

To speak of the many shooting parties that took place with 
Mr. Bakewell would be quite useless, and I shall merely say that 


he was a most excellent man, a great shot, and possessed of ex- 
traordinary learning — aye, far beyond my comprehension. A 
few days after this first interview with the family the Perkiomen 
chanced to be bound with ice, and many a one from the neighbor- 
hood was playing pranks on the glassy surface of that lovely stream. 
Being somewhat of a skater myself, I sent a note to the inhabi- 
tants of Fatland Ford, inviting them to come and partake of the 
simple hospitality of Mill Grove farm, and the invitation was 
kindly received and accepted. My own landlady bestirred her- 
self to the utmost in the procuring of as many pheasants and 
partridges as her group of sons could entrap, and now under my 
own roof was seen the whole of the Bakewell family, seated round 
the table which has never ceased to be one of simplicity and 

After dinner we all repaired to the ice on the creek, and there 
in comfortable sledges, each fair one was propelled by an ardent 
skater. Tales of love may be extremely stupid to the majority, 
so that I will not expatiate on these days, but to me, my dear 
sons, and under such circumstances as then, and, thank God, now 
exist, every moment was to me one of delight. 

But let me interrupt my tale to tell you somewhat of other 
companions whom I have heretofore neglected to mention. 
These are two Frenchmen, by name Da Costa and Colmesnil. 
A lead mine had been discovered by my tenant, William Thomas, 
to which, besides the raising of fowls, I paid considerable atten- 
tion ; but I knew nothing of mineralogy or mining, and my 
father, to whom I communicated the discovery of the mine, sent 
Mr. Da Costa as a partner and partial guardian from France. 
This fellow was intended to teach me mineralogy and mining 
engineering, but, in fact, knew nothing of either ; besides which 
he was a covetous wretch, who did all he could to ruin my father, 
and indeed swindled both of us to a large amount. I had to go 
to France and expose him to my father to get rid of him, which 
I fortunately accomplished at first sight of my kind parent. A 
greater scoundrel than Da Costa never probably existed, but 
peace be with his soul. 

The other, Colmesnil, was a very interesting young Frenchman 


with whom I became acquainted. He was very poor, and I 
invited him to come and reside under my roof. This he did, 
remaining for many months, much to my delight. His appear- 
ance was typical of what he was, a perfect gentleman ; he was 
handsome in form, and possessed of talents far above my own. 
When introduced to your mother's family he was much thought 
of, and at one time he thought himself welcome to my Lucy ; 
but it was only a dream, and when once undeceived by her whom 
I too loved, he told me he must part with me. This we did with 
mutual regret, and he returned to France, where, though I have 
lost sight of him, I believe he is still living. 

During the winter connected with this event your uncle 
Thomas Bakewell, now residing in Cincinnati, was one morning 
skating with me on the Perkiomen, when he challenged me to 
shoot at his hat as he tossed it in the air, which challenge I ac- 
cepted with great pleasure. I was to pass by at full speed, within 
about twenty-five feet of where he stood, and to shoot only when 
he gave the word. Off I went like lightning, up and down, as if 
anxious to boast of my own prowess while on the glittering sur- 
face beneath my feet ; coming, however, within the agreed 
distance the signal was given, the trigger pulled, off went the 
load, and down on the ice came the hat of my future brother-in- 
law, as completely perforated as if a sieve. He repented, alas ! too 
late, and was afterward severely reprimanded by Mr. Bakewell. 

Another anecdote I must relate to you on paper, which I have 
probably too often repeated in words, concerning my skating in 
those early days of happiness ; but, as the world knows nothing 
of it, I shall give it to you at some length. It was arranged one 
morning between your young uncle, myself, and several other 
friends of the same age, that we should proceed on a duck- 
shooting excursion up the creek, and, accordingly, off we went 
after an early breakfast. The ice was in capital order wherever 
no air-holes existed, but of these a great number interrupted our 
course, all of which were, however, avoided as we proceeded up- 
ward along the glittering, frozen bosom of the stream. The day 
was spent in much pleasure, and the game collected was not 


On our return, in the early dusk of the evening, 1 was bid to 
lead the way ; I fastened a white handkerchief to a stick, held it 
up, and we all proceeded toward home as a flock of wild ducks 
to their roosting-grounds. Many a mile had already been passed, 
and, as gayly as ever, we were skating swiftly along when dark- 
ness came on, and now our speed was increased. Uncon- 
sciously I happened to draw so very near a large air-hole that 
to check my headway became quite impossible, and down it I 
went, and soon felt the power of a most chilling bath. My senses 
must, for aught I know, have left me for a while ; be this as it 
may, I must have glided with the stream some thirty or forty 
yards, when, as God would have it, up I popped at another air- 
hole, and here I did, in some way or another, manage to crawl 
out. My companions, who in the gloom had seen my form so 
suddenly disappear, escaped the danger, and were around me 
when I emerged from the greatest peril I have ever encountered, 
not excepting my escape from being murdered on the prairie, or 

by the hands of that wretch S B , of Henderson. I was 

helped to a shirt from one, a pair of dry breeches from another, 
and completely dressed anew in a few minutes, if in motley and 
ill-fitting garments ; our line of march was continued, with, how- 
ever, much more circumspection. Let the reader, whoever he 
may be, think as he may like on this singular and, in truth, most 
extraordinary escape from death ; it is the truth, and as such I 
have written it down as a wonderful act of Providence. 

Mr. Da Costa, my tutor, took it into his head that my affection 
for your mother was rash and inconsiderate. He spoke trifiingly 
of her and of her parents, and one day said to me that for a man 
of my rank and expectations to marry Lucy Bakewell was out of 
the question. If I laughed at him or not I cannot tell you, but 
of this I am certain, that my answers to his talks on this subject 
so exasperated him that he immediately afterward curtailed my 
usual income, made some arrangements to send me to India, and 
wrote to my father accordingly. Understanding from many of 
my friends that his plans were fixed, and finally hearing from 
Philadelphia, whither Da Costa had gone, that he had taken my 
passage from Philadelphia to Canton, I walked to Philadelphia, 


entered his room quite unexpectedly, and asked him for such an 
amount of money as would enable me at once to sail for France 
and there see my father. 

The cunning wretch, for I cannot call him by any other name, 
smiled, and said : " Certainly, my dear sir," and afterward gave 
me a letter of credit on a Mr. Kauman, a half-agent, half-banker, 
then residing at New York. I returned to Mill Grove, made all 
preparatory plans for my departure, bid a sad adieu to my Lucy 
and her family, and walked to New York. But never mind the 
journey ; it was winter, the country lay under a covering of snow, 
but withal I reached New York on the third day, late in the 

Once there, I made for the house of a Mrs. Palmer, a lady of 
excellent qualities, who received me with the utmost kindness, 
and later on the same evening I went to the house of your 
grand-uncle, Benjamin Bakewell, then a rich merchant of New 
York, managing the concerns of the house of Guelt, bankers, of 
London. I was the bearer of a letter from Mr. Bakewell, of Fat- 
land Ford, to this brother of his, and there I was again most 
kindly received and housed. 

The next day I called on Mr. Kauman ; he read Da Costa's 
letter, smiled, and after a while told me he had nothing to give 
me, and in plain terms said that instead of a letter of credit. Da 
Costa — that rascal ! — had written and advised him to have me 
arrested and shipped to Canton. The blood rose to my temples, 
and well it was that I had no weapon about me, for I feel even 
now quite assured that his heart must have received the result of 
my wrath. I left him half bewildered, half mad, and went to 
Mrs. Palmer, and spoke to her of my purpose of returning at once 
to Philadelphia and there certainly murdering Da Costa. Women 
have great power over me at any time, and perhaps under all cir- 
cumstances. Mrs. Palmer quieted me, spoke religiously of the 
cruel sin I thought of committing, and, at last, persuaded me to 
relinquish the direful plan. I returned to Mr. Bakewell's low- 
spirited and mournful, but said not a word about all that had 
passed. The next morning my sad visage showed something was 
wrong, and I at last gave vent to my outraged feelings. 


Benjamin Bakewell was a friend of his brother (may you ever 
be so toward each other). He comforted me much, went with 
me to the docks to seek a vessel bound to France, and offered 
me any sum of money I might require to convey me to my father's 
house. My passage was taken on board the brig " Hope," 
of New Bedford, and I sailed in her, leaving Da Costa and 
Kauman in a most exasperated state of mind. The fact is, these 
rascals intended to cheat both me and my father. The brig 
was bound direct for Nantes. We left the Hook under a very 
fair breeze, and proceeded at a good rate till we reached the 
latitude of New Bedford, in Massachusetts, when my captain 
came to me as if in despair, and said he must run into port, as 
the vessel was so leaky as to force him to have her unloaded and 
repaired before he proceeded across the Atlantic. Now this was 
only a trick ; my captain was newly married, and was merely 
anxious to land at New Bedford to spend a few days with his 
bride, and had actually caused several holes to be bored below 
water- mark, which leaked enough to keep the men at the pumps. 
We came to anchor close to the town of New Bedford ; the cap- 
tain went on shore, entered a protest, the vessel was unloaded, 
the apertures bunged up, and after a week, which I spent in 
being rowed about the beautiful harbor, we sailed for La Belle 
France. A few days after having lost sight of land we were 
overtaken by a violent gale, coming fairly on our quarter, and 
before it we scudded at an extraordinary rate, and during the 
dark night had the misfortune to lose a fine young sailor over- 
board. At one part of the sea we passed through an immensity 
of dead fish floating on the surface of the water, and, after nine- 
teen days from New Bedford, we had entered the Loire, and 
anchored off Painboeuf, the lower harbor of Nantes. 

On sending my name to the principal officer of the customs, 
he came on board, and afterward sent me to my father's villa, 
La Gerbetiere, in his barge, and with his own men, and late that 
evening I was in the arms of my beloved parents. Although I 
had written to them previous to leaving America, the rapidity of 
my voyage had prevented them hearing of my intentions, and to 
them my appearance was sudden and unexpected. Most wel- 


come, however, I was ; I found my father hale and hearty, and 
chere maman as fair and good as ever. Adored maman, peace 
be with thee ! 

I cannot trouble you with minute accounts of my life in France 
for the following two years, but will merely tell you that my first 
object being that of having Da Costa disposed of, this was 
first effected ; the next was my father's consent to my marriage, 
and this was acceded to as soon as my good father had received 
answers to letters written to your grandfather, William Bakewell. 
In the very lap of comfort my time was happily spent ; I went 
out shooting and hunting, drew every bird I procured, as well as 
many other objects of natural history and zoology, though these 
were not the subjects I had studied under the instruction of the 
celebrated David. 

It was during this visit that my sister Rosa was married to 
Gabriel Dupuy Gaudeau, and I now also became acquainted with 
Ferdinand Rozier, whom you well know. Between Rozier and 
myself my father formed a partnership to stand good for nine 
years in America. 

France was at that time in a great state of convulsion ; the re- 
public had, as it were, dwindled into a half monarchical, half 
democratic era. Bonaparte was at the height of success, over- 
flowing the country as the mountain torrent overflows the plains 
in its course. Levies, or conscriptions, were the order of the 
day, and my name being French my father felt uneasy lest I 
should be forced to take part in the political strife of those 

I underwent a mockery of an examination, and was received as 
midshipman in the navy, went to Rochefort, was placed on 
board a man-of-war, and ran a short cruise. On my return, my 
father had, in some way, obtained passports for Rozier and me, 
and we sailed for New York. Never can I forget the day when, 
at St. Nazaire, an ofiicer came on board to examine the papers of 
the many passengers. On looking at mine he said : " My dear 
Mr. Audubon, I wish you joy; would to God that I had such 
papers ; how thankful I should be to leave unhappy France under 
the same passport." 


About a fortnight after leaving France a vessel gave us chase. 
We were running before the wind under all sail, but the unknown 
gained on us at a great rate, and after a while stood to the wind- 
ward of our ship, about half a mile off. She fired a gun, the ball 
passed within a few yards of our bows ; our captain heeded not, 
but kept on his course, with the United States flag displayed and 
floating in the breeze. Another and another shot was fired at us ; 
the enemy closed upon us ; all the passengers expected to receive 
her broadside. Our commander hove to : a boat was almost 
instantaneously lowered and alongside our vessel ; ^ two officers 
leaped on board, with about a dozen mariners ; the first asked 
for the captain's papers, while the latter with his men kept guard 
over the whole. 

The vessel which had pursued us was the " Rattlesnake " and 
was what I believe is generally called a privateer, which means 
nothing but a pirate ; every one of the papers proved to be in perfect 
accordance with the laws existing between England and America, 
therefore we were not touched nor molested, but the English 
officers who had come on board robbed the ship of almost every- 
thing that was nice in the way of provisions, took our pigs and 
sheep, coffee and wines, and carried off our two best sailors 
despite all the remonstrances made by one of our members of 
Congress, I think from Virginia, who was accompanied by a 
charming young daughter. The " Rattlesnake " kept us under her 
lee, and almost within pistol-shot, for a whole day and night, 
ransacking thje ship for money, of which we had a good deal in 
the run beneath a ballast of stone. Although this was partially 
removed they did not find the treasure. I may here tell you 
that I placed the gold belonging to Rozier and myself, wrapped 
in some clothing, under a cable in the bow of the ship, and there 
it remained snug till the "Rattlesnake" had given us leave to 
depart, which you may be sure we did without thanks to her 
commander or crew ; we were afterward told the former had 
his wife with him. 

After this rencontre we sailed on till we came to within about 
thirty miles of the entrance to the bay of New York,^ when we 
^ " The Polly," Captain Sammis commander. ^ M^y 26, 1S06. 


passed a fishing- boat, from which we were hailed and told that two 
British frigates lay off the entrance of the Hook, had fired an Amer- 
ican ship, shot a man, and impressed so many of our seamen that 
to attempt reaching New York might prove to be both unsafe and 
unsuccessful. Our captain, on hearing this, put about immedi- 
ately, and sailed for the east end of Long Island Sound, which we 
entered uninterrupted by any other enemy than a dreadful gale, 
which drove us on a sand-bar in the Sound, but from which we 
made off unhurt during the height of the tide and finally reached 
New York. 

I at once called on your uncle Benjamin Bakewell, stayed with 
him a day, and proceeded at as swift a rate as possible to Fat- 
land Ford, accompanied by Ferdinand Rozier. Mr. Da Costa 
was at once dismissed from his charge. I saw my dear Lucy, 
and was again my own master. 

Perhaps it would be well for me to give you some slight in- 
formation respecting my mode of life in those days of my youth, 
and I shall do so without gloves. I was what in plain terms 
may be called extremely extravagant. I had no vices, it is true, 
neither had I any high aims. I was ever fond of shooting, fish- 
ing, and riding on horseback ; the raising of fowls of every sort 
was one of my hobbies, and to reach the maximum of my desires 
in those different things filled every one of my thoughts. I was 
ridiculously fond of dress. To have seen me going shooting in 
black satin smallclothes, or breeches, with silk stockings, and 
the finest niffled shirt Philadelphia could afford, was, as I now 
realize, an absurd spectacle, but it was one of my many foibles, and 
I shall not conceal it. I purchased the best horses in the country, 
and rode well, and felt proud of it ; my guns and fishing-tackle 
were equally good, always expensive and richly ornamented, 
often with silver. Indeed, though in America, I cut as many 
foolish pranks as a young dandy in Bond Street or Piccadilly. 

I was extremely fond of music, dancing, and drawing ; in all I 
had been well instructed, and not an opportunity was lost to con- 
firm my propensities in those accomplishments. I was, like most 
young men, filled with the love of amusement, and not a ball, a 
skating-match, a house or riding party took place without me. 


Withal, and fortunately for me, I was not addicted to gambling ; 
cards I disliked, and I had no other evil practices, I was, be- 
sides, temperate to an intemperate degree. I lived, until the day of 
my union with your mother, on milk, fruits, and vegetables, with 
the addition of game and fish at times, but never had I swallowed 
a single glass of wine or spirits until the day of my wedding. The 
result has been my uncommon, indeed iron, constitution. This 
was my constant mode of life ever since my earliest recollection, 
and while in France it was extremely annoying to all those round 
me. Indeed, so much did it influence me that I never went to 
dinners, merely because when so situated my peculiarities in my 
choice of food occasioned comment, and also because often not a 
single dish was to my taste or fancy, and I could eat nothing from 
the sumptuous tables before me. Pies, puddings, eggs, milk, or 
cream was all I cared for in the way of food, and many a time 
have I robbed my tenant's wife, Mrs. Thomas, of the cream in- 
tended to make butter for the Philadelphia market. All this 
time I was as fair and as rosy as a girl, though as strong, indeed 
stronger than most young men, and as active as a buck. And 
why, have I thought a thousand times, should I not have kept to 
that delicious mode of living? and why should not mankind in 
general be more abstemious than mankind is? 

Before I sailed for France I had begun a series of drawings of 
the birds of America, and had also begun a study of their habits. 
I at first drew my subjects dead, by which I mean to say that, 
after procuring a specimen, I hung it up either by the head, wing, 
or foot, and copied it as closely as I possibly could. 

In my drawing of birds only did I interest Mr. Da Costa. He 
always commended my efforts, nay he even went farther, for one 
morning, while I was drawing a figure of the Ardea herodias^ he 
assured me the time might come when I should be a great Amer- 
ican naturalist. However curious it may seem to the scientific 
world that these sayings from the lips of such a man should affect 
me, I assure you they had great weight with me, and I felt a 
certain degree of pride in these words even then. 

Too young and too useless to be married, your grandfather 
1 Great Blue Heron. 


William Bakewell advised me to study the mercantile business; 
my father approved, and to insure this training under the best 
auspices I went to New York, where I entered as a clerk for your 
great-uncle Benjamin Bakewell, while Rozier went to a French 
house at Philadelphia. 

The mercantile business did not suit me. The very first ven- 
ture which I undertook was in indigo ; it cost me several hundred 
pounds, the whole of which was lost. Rozier was no more fortu- 
nate than I, for he shipped a cargo of hams to the West Indies, 
and not more than one-fifth of the cost was returned. Yet I 
suppose we both obtained a smattering of business. 

Time passed, and at last, on April 8th, 1808, your mother and 
I were married by the Rev. Dr. Latimer, of Philadelphia, and the 
next morning left Fatland Ford and Mill Grove for Louisville, Ky. 
For some two years previous to this, Rozier and I had visited the 
country from time to time as merchants, had thought well of it, 
and liked it exceedingly. Its fertility and abundance, the hospi- 
tality and kindness of the people were sufficiently winning things 
to entice any one to go there with a view to comfort and happiness. 

We had marked Louisville as a spot designed by nature to be- 
come a place of great importance, and, had we been as wise as we 
now are, I might never have published the " Birds of America ; " 
for a few hundred dollars laid out at that period, in lands or town 
lots near Louisville, would, if left to grow over with grass to a 
date ten years past (this being 1835), have become an immense 
fortune. But young heads are on young shoulders ; it was not to 
be, and who cares? 

On our way to Pittsburg, we met with a sad accident, that 
nearly cost the life of your mother. The coach upset on the 
mountains, and she was severely, but fortunately not fatally hurt. 
We floated down the Ohio in a flatboat, in company with several 
other young families ; we had many goods, and opened a large 
store at Louisville, which went on prosperously when I attended to 
it ; but birds were birds then as now, and my thoughts were ever 
and anon turning toward them as the objects of my greatest delight. 
I shot, I drew, I looked on nature only ; my days were happy 
beyond human conception, and beyond this I really cared not. 


Victor was born June 12, 1809, at Gwathway's Hotel of the 
Indian Queen. We had by this time formed the acquaintance of 
many persons in and about Louisville ; the country was settled 
by planters and farmers of the most benevolent and hospitable 
nature ; and my young wife, who possessed talents far above par, 
was regarded as a gem, and received by them all with the great- 
est pleasure. All the sportsmen and hunters were fond of me, 
and I became their companion ; my fondness for fine horses was 
well kept up, and I had as good as the country — and the coun- 
try was Kentucky — could afford. Our most intimate friends 
were the Tarascons and the Berthouds, at Louisville and Shipping- 
port. The simplicity and whole-heartedness of those days I 
cannot describe ; man was man, and each, one to another, a 

I seldom passed a day without drawing a bird, or noting 
something respecting its habits, Rozier meantime attending the 
counter. I could relate many curious anecdotes about him, but 
never mind them ; he made out to grow rich, and what more 
could he wish for ? 

In 1 8 1 o Alexander Wilson the naturalist — not the American 
naturalist — called upon me.^ About 181 2 your uncle Thomas 
W. Bakewell sailed from New York or Philadelphia, as a partner 
of mine, and took with him all the disposable money which I had 
at that time, and there [New Orleans] opened a mercantile 
house under the name of " Audubon & Bakewell." 

Merchants crowded to Louisville from all our Eastern cities. 
None of them were, as I was, intent on the study of birds, but all 
were deeply impressed with the value of dollars. Louisville did 
not give us up, but we gave up Louisville. I could not bear to 
give the attention required by my business, and which, indeed, 
every business calls for, and, therefore, my business abandoned 
me. Indeed, I never thought of it beyond the ever-engaging 
journeys which I was in the habit of taking to Philadelphia or 
New York to purchase goods ; these journeys I greatly enjoyed, 

1 This visit passed into history in the published works of each of the 
great ornithologists, who were never friends. See " Behind the Veil," by 
Dr. Coues in Bulletin of Nuttall Ornithological Club, Oct., 18S0, p. 200. 


as they afforded me ample means to study birds and their habits 
as I travelled through the beautiful, the darling forests of Ohio, 
Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. 

Were I here to tell you that once, when travelling, and driving 
several horses before me laden with goods and dollars, I lost 
sight of the pack-saddles, and the cash they bore, to watch the 
motions of a warbler, I should only repeat occurrences that hap- 
pened a hundred times and more in those days. To an ordinary 
reader this may appear very odd, but it is as true, my dear sons, as 
it is that I am now scratching this poor book of mine with a 
miserable iron pen. Rozier and myself still had some business 
together, but we became discouraged at Louisville, and I longed 
to have a wilder range \ this made us remove to Henderson, one 
hundred and twenty-five miles farther down the fair Ohio. We 
took there the remainder of our stock on hand, but found the 
country so very new, and so thinly populated that the commonest 
goods only were called for. I may say our guns and fishing-lines 
were the principal means of our support, as regards food. 

John Pope, our clerk, who was a Kentuckian, was a good shot 
and an excellent fisherman, and he and I attended to the pro- 
curing of game and fish, while Rozier again stood behind the 

Your beloved mother and I were as happy as possible, the 
people round loved us, and we them in return ; our profits were 
enormous, but our sales small, and my partner, who spoke English 
but badly, suggested that we remove to St. Genevieve, on the 
the Mississippi River. I acceded to his request to go there, but 
determined to leave your mother and Victor at Henderson, not 
being quite sure that our adventure would succeed as we hoped. 
I therefore placed her and the children under the care of Dr. 
Rankin and his wife, who had a fine farm about three miles from 
Henderson, and having arranged our goods on board a large 
flatboat, my partner and I left Henderson in the month of De- 
cember, 1810, in a heavy snow-storm. This change in my plans 
prevented me from going, as I had intended, on a long expedi- 
tion. In Louisville we had formed the acquaintance of Major 
Croghan(an old friend of my father's), and of General Jonathan 


Clark, the brother of General William Clark, the first white man 
who ever crossed the Rocky Mountains. I had engaged to go 
with him, but was, as I have said, unfortunately prevented. To 
return to our journey. When we reached Cash Creek we were 
bound by ice for a few weeks ; we then attempted to ascend the 
Mississippi, but were again stopped in the great bend called 
Tawapatee Bottom, where we again planted our camp till a thaw 
broke the ice.-' In less than six weeks, however, we reached the 
village of St. Genevieve. I found at once it was not the place 
for me ; its population was then composed of low French Cana- 
dians, uneducated and uncouth, and the ever-longing wish to be 
with my beloved wife and children drew my thoughts to Hender- 
son, to which I decided to return almost immediately. Scarcely 
any communication existed between the two places, and I felt cut 
off from all dearest to me. Rozier, on the contrary, liked it ; he 
found plenty of French with whom to converse. I proposed 
selling out to him, a bargain was made, he paid me a certain 
amount in cash, and gave me bills for the residue. This accom- 
plished, I purchased a beauty of a horse, for which I paid dear 
enough, and bid Rozier farewell. On my return trip to Hender- 
son I was obliged to stop at a humble cabin, where I so nearly 
ran the chance of losing my life, at the hands of a woman and 
her two desperate sons, that I have thought fit since to introduce 
this passage in a sketch called " The Prairie," which is to be 
found in the first volume of my " Ornithological Biography." 

Winter was just bursting into spring when I left the land of lead 
mines. Nature leaped with joy, as it were, at her own new-born 
marvels, the prairies began to be dotted with beauteous flowers, 
abounded with deer, and my own heart was filled with happiness 
at the sights before me. I must not forget to tell you that I 
crossed those prairies on foot at another time, for the purpose of 
collecting the money due to me from Rozier, and that I walked 
one hundred and sixty-five miles in a little over three days, much 
of the time nearly ankle deep in mud and water, from which I suf- 
fered much afterward by swollen feet. I reached Henderson in 
early March, and a few weeks later the lower portions of Kentucky 

^ Episode "Breaking of the Ice." 


and the shores of the Mississippi suffered severely by earthquakes. 
I felt their effects between Louisville and Henderson, and also at 
Dr. Rankin's. I have omitted to say that my second son, John 
Woodhouse, was born under Dr. Rankin's roof on November 30, 
181 2 ; he was an extremely delicate boy till about a twelvemonth 
old, when he suddenly acquired strength and grew to be a lusty 

Your uncle, Thomas W. Bakewell, had been all this time in New 
Orleans, and thither I had sent him almost all the money I could 
raise ; but notwithstanding this, the firm could not stand, and one 
day, while I was making a drawing of an otter, he suddenly ap- 
peared. He remained at Dr. Rankin's a few days, talked much 
to me about our misfortunes in trade, and left us for Fatland 

IMy pecuniary means were now much reduced. I continued 
to draw birds and quadrupeds, it is true, but only now and then 
thought of making any money. I bought a wild horse, and on 
its back travelled over Tennessee and a portion of Georgia, and 
so round till I finally reached Philadelphia, and then to your 
grandfather's at Fatland Ford. He had sold my plantation of 
Mill Grove to Samuel Wetherell, of Philadelphia, for a good 
round sum, and with this I returned through Kentucky and at 
last reached Henderson once more. Your mother was well, both 
of you were lovely darlings of our hearts, and the effects of pov- 
erty troubled us not. Your uncle T. W. Bakewell was again in 
New Orleans and doing rather better, but this was a mere tran- 
sient clearing of that sky which had been obscured for many a 
long day. 

Determined to do something for myself, I took to horse, rode 
to Louisville with a few hundred dollars in my pockets, and there 
purchased, half cash, half credit, a small stock, which I brought 
to Henderson. Chemin faisatit, I came in contact with, and 
was accompanied by, General Toledo, then on his way as a re- 
volutionist to South America. As our flatboats were floating one 
clear moonshiny night lashed together, this individual opened 
his views to me, promising me wonders of wealth should I decide 
to accompany him, and he went so far as to offer me a colonelcy 


on what he was pleased to call " his Safe Guard." I listened, it 
is true, but looked more at the heavens than on his face, and in 
the former found so much more of peace than of war that I con- 
cluded not to accompany him. 

When our boats arrived at Henderson, he landed with me, 
purchased many horses, hired some men, and coaxed others, to 
accompany him, purchased a young negro from me, presented 
me with a splendid Spanish dagger and my wife with a ring, and 
went off overland toward Natchez, with a view of there gathering 

I now purchased a ground lot of four acres, and a meadow of 
four more at the back of the first. On the latter stood several 
buildings, an excellent orchard, etc., lately the property of an 
English doctor, who had died on the premises, and left the 
whole to a servant woman as a gift, from whom it came to me as 
a freehold. The pleasures which I have felt at Henderson, and 
under the roof of that log cabin, can never be effaced from my 
heart until after death. The little stock of goods brought from 
Louisville answered perfectly, and in less than twelve months I 
had again risen in the world. I purchased adjoining land, and 
was doing extremely well when Thomas Bakewell came once 
more on the tapis, and joined me in commerce. We prospered 
at a round rate for a while, but unfortunately for me, he took it 
into his brain to persuade me to erect a steam-mill at Henderson, 
and to join to our partnership an Englishman of the name of 
Thomas Pears, now dead. 

Well, up went the steam-mill at an enormous expense, in a 
country then as unfit for such a thing as it would be now for me 
to attempt to settle in the moon. Thomas Pears came to Hender- 
son with his wife and family of children, the mill was raised, and 
worked very badly. Thomas Pears lost his money and we lost 

It was now our misfortune to add other partners and petty 
agents to our concern ; suffice it for me to tell you, nay, to assure 
you, that I was gulled by all these men. The new-born Kentucky 
banks nearly all broke in quick succession ; and again we started 
with a new set of partners ; these were your present uncle N. Ber- 

TOL. I. — 3 


thoud and Benjamin Page of Pittsburg. Matters, however, grew 
worse every day ; the times were what men called " bad," but I 
am fully persuaded the great fault was ours, and the building 
of that accursed steam-mill was, of all the follies of man, one of 
the greatest, and to your uncle and me the worst of all our pe- 
cuniary misfortunes. How I labored at that infernal mill ! from 
dawn to dark, nay, at times all night. But it is over now ; I am 
old, and try to forget as fast as possible all the different trials of 
those sad days. We also took it into our heads to have a steam- 
boat, in partnership with the engineer who had come from 
Philadelphia to fix the engine of that mill. This also proved an 
entire failure, and misfortune after misfortune came down upon 
us like so many avalanches, both fearful and destructive. 

About this time I went to New Orleans, at the suggestion of 

your uncle, to arrest T B , who had purchased a steamer 

from us, but whose bills were worthless, and who owed us for the 
whole amount. I travelled down to New Orleans in an open 
skiff, accompanied by two negroes of mine ; I reached New 

Orleans one day too late ; Mr. B had been compelled to 

surrender the steamer to a prior claimant. I returned to Hender- 
son, travelling part way on the steamer " Paragon," walked from 
the mouth of the Ohio to Shawnee, and rode the rest of the 
distance. On my arrival old Mr. Berthoud told me that Mr. 

B had arrived before me, and had sworn to kill me. My 

affrighted Lucy forced me to wear a dagger. Mr. B walked 

about the streets and before my house as if watching for me, and 
the continued reports of our neighbors prepared me for an en- 
counter with this man, whose violent and ungovernable temper 
was only too well known. As I was walking toward the steam- 
mill one morning, I heard myself hailed from behind ; on turning, 

I obsen^ed Mr. B marching toward me with a heavy club in 

his hand. I stood still, and he soon reached me. He com- 
plained of my conduct to him at New Orleans, and suddenly 
raising his bludgeon laid it about me. Though white with 
wrath, I spoke nor moved not till he had given me twelve severe 
blows, then, drawing my dagger with my left hand (unfortunately 
my right was disabled and in a sling, having been caught and 



much injured in the wheels of the steam-engine), I stabbed him 
and he instantly fell. Old Mr. Berthoud and others, who were 
hastening to the spot, now came up, and carried him home on a 
plank. Thank God, his wound was not mortal, but his friends 
were all up in arms and as hot-headed as himself. Some walked 
through my premises aimed with guns; my dagger was once 
more at my side, Mr. Berthoud had his gun, our servants were 
variously armed, and our carpenter took my gun " Long Tom." 
Thus protected, I walked into the Judiciary Court, that was then 
sitting, and was blamed, 07ily, — for not having killed the scoundrel 
who attacked me. 

The "bad establishment," as I called the steam-mill, worked 
worse and worse every day. Thomas Bakewell, who possessed 
more brains than I, sold his town lots and removed to Cincinnati, 
where he has made a large fortune, and glad I am of it. 

From this date my pecuniary difificulties daily increased ; I had 
heavy bills to pay which I could not meet or take up. The 
moment this became known to the world around me, that moment 
I was assailed with thousands of invectives ; the once wealthy 
man was now nothing. I parted with every particle of property 
I held to my creditors, keeping only the clothes I wore on that 
day, my original drawings, and my gun. 

Your mother held in her arms your baby sister Rosa, named 
thus on account of her extreme loveliness, and after my own sister 
Rosa. She felt the pangs of our misfortunes perhaps more 
heavily than I, but never for an hour lost her courage ; her brave 
and cheerful spirit accepted all, and no reproaches from her 
beloved lips ever wounded my heart. With her was I not always 
rich ? 

Finally I paid every bill, and at last left Henderson, probably 
forever, without a dollar in my pocket, walked to Louisville alone, 
by no means comfortable in mind, there went to Mr. Berthoud's, 
where I was kindly received ; they were indeed good friends. 

My plantation in Pennsylvania had been sold, and, in a word, 
nothing was left to me but my humble talents. Were those 
talents to remain dormant under such exigencies? Was I to see 
my beloved Lucy and children suffer and want bread, in the 


abundant State of Kentucky? Was I to repine because I had 
acted like an honest man? Was I inclined to cut my throat in 
foolish despair? No ! ! I had talents, and to them I instantly 

To be a good draughtsman in those days was to me a blessing ; 
to any other man, be it a thousand years hence, it will be a bless- 
ing also. I at once undertook to take portraits of the human 
" head divine," in black chalk, and, thanks to my master, David, 
succeeded admirably. I commenced at exceedingly low prices, 
but raised these prices as I became more known in this capacity. 
Your mother and yourselves were sent up from Henderson to our 
friend Isham Talbot, then Senator for Kentucky ; this was done 
without a cent of expense to me, and I can never be grateful 
enough for his kind generosity. 

In the course of a few weeks I had as much work to do as I 
could possibly wish, so much that I was able to rent a house in 
a retired part of Louisville. I was sent for four miles in the 
country, to take likenesses of persons on their death-beds, and so 
high did my reputation suddenly rise, as the best delineator of 
heads in that vicinity, that a clergyman residing at Louisville (I 
would give much now to recall and write down his name) had 
his dead child disinterred, to procure a fac-simile of his face, 
which, by the way, I gave to the parents as if still alive, to their 
intense satisfaction. 

My drawings of birds were not neglected meantime ; in this 
particular there seemed to hover round me almost a mania, and I 
would even give up doing a head, the profits of which would have 
supplied our wants for a week or more, to represent a litde citizen 
of the feathered tribe. Nay, my dear sons, I thought that I now 
drew birds far better than I had ever done before misfortune in- 
tensified, or at least developed, my abilities. I received an in- 
vitation to go to Cincinnati,^ a flourishing place, and which you 
now well know to be a thriving town in the State of Ohio. I was 
presented to the president of the Cincinnati College, Dr. Drake, 
and immediately formed an engagement to stuff birds for the 
museum there, in concert with Mr. Robert Best, an Englishman 

1 1S19. 


of great talent. My salary was large, and I at once sent for your 
mother to come to me, and bring you. Your dearly beloved 
sister Rosa died shortly afterward. I now established a large 
drawing-school at Cincinnati, to which I attended thrice per week, 
and at good prices. 

The expedition of Major Long ^ passed through the city soon 
after, and well do I recollect how he, Messrs. T. Peale,^ Thomas 
Say,^ and others stared at my drawings of birds at that time. 

So industrious were Mr. Best and I that in about six months we 
had augmented, arranged, and finished all we could do for the 
museum. I returned to my portraits, and made a great number 
of them, without which we must have once more been on the 
starving list, as Mr. Best and I found, sadly too late, that the 
members of the College museum were splendid promisers and 
very bad paymasters. 

In October of 1S20 I left your mother and yourselves at Cin- 
cinnati, and went to New Orleans on board a flat-boat commanded 
and owned by a Mr. Haromack. From this date my journals 
are kept with fair regularity, and if you read them you will easily 
find all that followed afterward. 

In glancing over these pages, I see that in my hurried and 
broken manner of laying before you this very imperfect (but per- 
fectly correct) account of my early life I have omitted to tell you 
that, before the birth of your sister Rosa, a daughter was born at 
Henderson, who was called, of course, Lucy. Alas ! the poor, 
dear little one was unkindly born, she was always ill and suffering ; 
two years did your kind and unwearied mother nurse her with all 
imaginable care, but notwithstanding this loving devotion she 
died, in the arms which had held her so long, and so tenderly. 

1 Stephen Harriman Long, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, who was 
then on his way to explore the region of the upper Mississippi and Minne- 
sota Rivers. 

2 Titian R. Peale, afterward naturalist of the U. S. Exploring Expedi- 
tion, under Commodore Wilkes. Later in life he was for many years an 
examiner in the Patent Office at Washington, and died at a very advanced 
age. He was a member of the eminent Peale family of artists, one of 
whom established Peale's Museum in Philadelphia. — E. C. 

8 The distinguished naturalist of that name. — E. C. 


This infant daughter we buried in our garden at Henderson, 
but after removed her to the Holly burying-ground in the same 

Hundreds of anecdotes I could relate to you, my dear sons, 
about those times, and it may happen that the pages that I am 
now scribbling over may hereafter, through your own medium, or 
that of some one else be published. I shall Xry, should God 
Almighty grant me life, to return to these less important portions 
of my history, and delineate them all with the same faithfulness 
with which I have written the ornithological biographies of the 
birds of my beloved country. 

Only one event, however, which possesses in itself a lesson 
to mankind, I will here relate. After our dismal removal from 
Henderson to Louisville, one morning, while all of us were sadly 
desponding, I took you both, Victor and John, from Shippingport 
to Louisville. I had purchased a loaf of bread and some apples ; 
before we reached Louisville you were all hungry, and by the 
river side we sat down and ate our scanty meal. On that day the 
world was with me as a blank, and my heart was sorely heavy, for 
scarcely had I enough to keep my dear ones alive ; and yet through 
these dark ways I was being led to the development of the talents 
I loved, and which have brought so much enjoyment to us alt, 
for it is with deep thankfulness that I record that you, my sons, 
have passed your lives almost continuously with your dear mother 
and myself. But I will here stop with one remark. 

One of the most extraordinary things among all these adverse 
circumstances was that I never for a day gave up listening to the 
songs of our birds, or watching their peculiar habits, or delineat- 
ing them in the best way that I could ; nay, during my deepest 
troubles I frequently would wrench myself from the persons 
around me, and retire to some secluded part of our noble forests ; 
and many a time, at the sound of the wood-thrush's melodies 
have I fallen on my knees, and there prayed earnestly to our God. 

This never failed to bring me the most valuable of thoughts and 
always comfort, and, strange as it may seem to you, it was often 
necessary for me to exert my will, and compel myself to return to 
my fellow-beings. 


To speak more fully on some of the incidents which 
Audubon here relates, I turn to one of the two journals 
which are all that fire has spared of the many volumes 
which were filled with his fine, rather illegible handwriting 
previous to 1826. In the earlier of these journals I read: 
" I went to France not only to escape Da Costa, but even 
more to obtain my father's consent to my marriage with 
my Lucy, and this simply because I thought it my moral 
and religious duty to do so. But although my request 
was immediately granted, I remained in France nearly two 
years. As I told you, Mr. Bakewell considered my Lucy 
too young (she was then but seventeen), and me too un- 
business-like to marry; so my father decided that I should 
remain some months with him, and on returning to 
America it was his plan to associate me with some one 
whose commercial knowledge would be of value to me. 

" My father's beautiful country seat, situated within 
sight of the Loire, about mid-distance between Nantes 
and the sea, I found quite delightful to my taste, notwith- 
standing the frightful cruelties I had witnessed in that 
vicinity, not many years previously. The gardens, green- 
houses, and all appertaining to it appeared to me then 
as if of a superior cast; and my father's physician was 
above all a young man precisely after my own heart; his 
name was D'Orbigny, and with his young wife and infant 
son he lived not far distant. The doctor was a good 
fisherman, a good hunter, and fond of all objects in nature. 
Together we searched the woods, the fields, and the banks 
of the Loire, procuring every bird we could, and I made 
drawings of every one of them — very bad, to be sure, 
but still they were of assistance to me. The lessons which 
I had received from the great David ^ now proved all- 
important to me, but what I wanted, and what I had the 
good fortune to stumble upon a few years later, was the* 

^ Jacques Louis David {174S-1S25), court painter to Louis XVL and 
afterwards to Napoleon I. 


knowledge of putting up my models, in true and good 
positions according to the ways and habits of my beauti- 
ful feathered subjects. During these happy years I man- 
aged to make drawings of about two hundred species of 
birds, all of which I brought to America and gave to 
my Lucy/ 

•' At last my father associated me with Ferdinand Ro- 
zier, as you already know, and we were fairly smuggled 
out of France ; for he was actually an officer attached to 
the navy of that country, and though I had a passport 
stating I was born at New Orleans, my French name would 
have swept that aside very speedily. Rozier's passport 
was a Dutch one, though he did not understand a single 
word in that language. Indeed, our passengers were a 
medley crowd ; two days out two monks appeared among 
us from the hold, where our captain had concealed 

This same " medley crowd " appears to have comprised 
many refugees from the rule of Napoleon, this being about 
1806, and the amusements were varied, including both 
gaming and dancing. To quote again : " Among the 
passengers was a handsome Virginian girl, young and 
graceful. She was constantly honored by the attentions 
of two Frenchmen who belonged to the nobility; both 
were fine young fellows, travelling, as was not uncommon 
then, under assumed names. One lovely day the bon- 
net of the fair lady was struck by a rope and knocked 
overboard. One of the French chevaliers at once leaped 

1 In 1S36, Audubon wrote to Dr. John Bachman : "Some of my early 
drawings of European birds are still in our possession, but many have been 
given away, and the greatest number were destroyed, not by the rats that 
gnawed my collection of the " Birds of America," but by the great fire in New 
York, as these drawings were considered my wife's special property and 
seldom out of her sight. Would that the others had been under her 
especial care also I Yet, after all, who can say that it was not a material 
advantage, both to myself and to the world, that the Norway rats destroyed 
those drawings.'" 


into the ocean, captured the bonnet, and had the good 
fortune to be picked up himself by the yawl. On reach- 
ing the deck he presented the bonnet with a graceful 
obeisance and perfect sa7ig froid, while the rival looked at 
him as black as a raven. No more was heard of the 
matter till dawn, when reports of firearms were heard ; 
the alarm was general, as we feared pirates. On gaining 
the deck it was found that a challenge had been given 
and accepted, a duel had positively taken place, ending, 
alas ! in the death of the rescuer of the bonnet. The 
young lady felt this deeply, and indeed it rendered us all 
very uncomfortable." 

The voyage ended, Audubon returned to Mill Grove, 
where he remained some little time before his marriage 
to Lucy Bakevvell. It was a home he always loved, and 
never spoke of without deep feeling. His sensitive nature, 
romantic if you will, was always more or less affected by 
environment, and Mill Grove was a most congenial spot 
to him. 

This beautiful estate in Montgomery Co., Pa., lies in a 
lovely part of the country. The house, on a gentle emi- 
nence, almost a natural terrace, overlooks, towards the 
west, the rapid waters of Perkiomen Creek, which just 
below empties into the Schuylkill river, across which to 
the south is the historic ground of Valley Forge. The 
property has remained in the Wetherill family nearly ever 
since Audubon sold it to Samuel Wetherill in 18 13. The 
present owner ^ delights to treasure every trace of the 
bird lover, and not only makes no changes in anything 
that he can in the least degree associate with him, but has 
added many photographs and engravings of Audubon 
which adorn his walls. 

The house, of the usual type of those days, with a hall 
passing through the centre and rooms on either side, was 
built of rubble-stone by Roland Evans in 1762, and in 
1 Mr. W. H. Wetherill, of Philadelphia. 


1774 was sold to Admiral Audubon, who in the year 
following built an addition, also of rubble-stone. This 
addition is lower than the main house, which consists of 
two full stories and an attic with dormer windows, where, 
it is said, Audubon kept his collections. The same Frank- 
lin stove is in the parlor which stood there giving out its 
warmth and cheer when the young man came in from the 
hunting and skating expeditions on which he loved to dwell. 
The dense woods which once covered the ground are 
largely cut down, but sufficient forest growth remains to 
give the needed shade and beauty ; the hemlocks in par- 
ticular are noticeable, so large and of such perfect form. 

Going down a foot-path to Perkiomen Creek, a few 
steps lead to the old mill which gave the place its name. 
Built of stone and shaded by cottonwood trees, the stream 
rushing past as in days long gone, the mill-wheel still re- 
volves, though little work is done there now. 

When I saw Mill Grove ^ the spring flowers were abun- 
dant; the soft, pale blossom of the May-apple (^Podophyl- 
lH7n pcltatum) held its head above the blue of many violets, 
the fingers of the potentilla with their yellow stars crept 
in and out among the tangled grass and early under- 
growth ; the trilliums, both red and white, were in pro- 
fusion ; in the shade the wood anemones, with their shell 
pink cups grew everywhere, while in damp spots by the 
brook yet remained a few adder's-tongues, and under the 
hemlocks in the clefts of the rocks the delicate foliage of the 
Dutchmen's breeches {Dicentra cucidlarid) with a few late 
blossoms ; all these and m'any more which I do not now 
recall, Audubon has pictured with the birds found in the 
same regions, as his imperishable tribute to the home he 
loved — Mill-Grove Farm on the Perkiomen Creek. 

Fatland Ford, to the south of Mill Grove, is a far larger 
and grander mansion than that of the modest Quaker 
Evans; as one approaches, the white columns of the 
1 April 28, 1S93. 


imposing entrance are seen for some distance before enter- 
ing the avenue which leads to the front of the mansion. 
Like Mill Grove it stands on a natural terrace, and has an 
extensive outlook over the Schuylkill and Valley Forge. 
This house was built by James Vaux in 1760. He was a 
member of the Society of Friends and an Englishman, but 
in sympathy with the colonists. One end of Sullivan's 
Bridge was not far from the house ; the spot where it once 
stood is now marked by the remains of a red-sandstone 
monument.^ Washington spent a night in the mansion 
house with Mr. Vaux, and left only twelve hours in 
advance of the arrival of Howe, who lodged there the 
following night.^ The old walled garden still remains, and 
the stable with accommodation for many horses. A little 
withdrawn from all these and on the edge of a wood are 
" the graves of a household," not neglected, as is so often 
the case, but preserved and cared for by those who own 
Fatland Farm^ as well as Mill Grove, 

Dear as Mill Grove was to Audubon, he left it with his 
young bride the day following their wedding, which took 
place at Fatland Ford on April 8, 1808, and departed 
for Louisville, Ky., where he and Rozier, his partner, had 
previously done some business. Though they had both lost 
money they liked the place, which reason seemed quite suffi- 
cient to decide them to return and lose more money, as 
they promptly did. They remained at Louisville till 18 10, 

^ " I have often seen the red-sandstone monument placed to mark the 
terminal of the Sullivan Bridge on our side of the river, but the curiosity 
hunters have so marred it that only ' livans ' and part of the date remain." 
(Extract from letter of Mr. W. H. Wetherill, Aug. 12, 1893.) 

2 This statement is from the " Pennsylvania Magazine of History and 
Biography," vol. xiv., No. 2, page 21S, July, 1890. 

3 " Under the will of Col. Jno. Macomb Wetherill, late owner of Fatland 
Farm, 40 feet square were deeded out of the farm, and placed in trust, and 
$1000 trusteed to keep the grove and lot in order. A granite curb and 
heavy iron rail surround this plot ; Col. Wetherill was buried there and his 
remains lie with those of your ancestors," (Extract from letter of W. H. 
Wetherill, May 10, 1S97.) 


when they moved to Henderson, where Rozier did what 
business was done, and Audubon drew, fished, hunted, and 
rambled in the woods to his heart's content, but his purse's 
depletion. He describes this life in the episode "Fishing 
in the Ohio," and in these rushing times such an Arcadian 
existence seems impossible. Small wonder that his wife's 
relatives, with their English thrift, lost patience with him, 
could not believe he was aught but idle, because he did 
not work their way. I doubt not many would think, as 
they did, that he wasted his days, when in truth he was 
laying up stores of knowledge which later in life brought 
him a rich harvest. Waiting times are always long, long- 
est to those who do not understand the silent inner growth 
which goes on and on, yet makes no outward sign for 
months and even years, as in the case of Audubon. 

Henderson was then a tiny place, and gains being small 
if any, Rozier and Audubon, in December, 1810, started 
for St. Genevieve, spent their winter in camp, and reached 
their destination when the ice broke up. On April 11, 
181 1, they dissolved partnership, and wrote each as they 
felt, Audubon saying: "Rozier cared only for money and 
liked St. Genevieve; " Rozier writing: "Audubon had no 
taste for commerce, and was continually in the forest." 

Once more, however, he went to St. Genevieve to try 
to get money Rozier owed him, and returned to Hender- 
son on foot, still unpaid, in February or March of 18 12. 
He had gone with a party of Osage Indians, but his jour- 
ney back was made alone. He writes in his journal, simply 
with date of April, 1812 : — 

" Bidding Rozier good-bye, I whistled to my dog, 
crossed the Mississippi and went off alone and on foot, 
bent on reaching Shawanee Town as soon as possible ; 
but little had I foreseen the task before me, for soon as I had 
left the river lands and reached the prairies, I found them 
covered with water, like large lakes; still nothing would 
have made me retrace my steps, and the thoughts of my 


Lucy and my boy made me care little what my journey 
might be. Unfortunately I had no shoes, and my mocca- 
sins constantly slipping made the wading extremely irksome ; 
notwithstanding, I walked forty-five miles and swam the 
Muddy River. I only saw tw^o cabins that day, but I had 
great pleasure in viewing herds ofDeer crossing the prairie, 
like myself ankle deep in water. Their beautiful move- 
ments, their tails spread to the breeze, were perceivable 
for many miles. A mound covered with trees through 
which a light shone, gave me an appetite, and I made for 
it. I w^as welcomed kindly by the woman of the house, 
and while the lads inspected my fine double-barrelled gun, 
the daughters bustled about, ground coffee, fried venison, 
boiled some eggs, and made me feel at once at home. 

" Such hospitality is from the heart, and when the squat- 
ter came in, his welcome was not less genuine than that of 
his family. Night fell ; I slept soundly on some bear- 
skins, but long before day was ready to march. My host- 
ess was on the alert; after some breakfast she gave me a 
small loaf and some venison in a clean rag, and as no 
money would be received, I gave the lads a flask of gun- 
powder, a valuable article in those days to a squatter. 

" My way lay through woods, and many small cross- 
roads now puzzled me, but I walked on, and must have 
travelled another forty-five miles. I met a party of Osage 
Indians encamped, and asked in French to stay with them. 
They understood me, and before long I had my supper of 
boiled bear's-fat and pecan-nuts, of which I ate heartily, 
then lay down with my feet to the fire, and slept so soundly 
that when I awoke my astonishment was great to find 
all the Indians had gone hunting, and only left two dogs 
to keep the camp free from wolves. 

" I walked off gayly, my dog full of life, but met no one 
till four o'clock when I passed the first salt well, and 
thirty minutes more brought me to Shawanee Town. As 
I entered the inn I was welcomed by several whom I 


knew, who had come to purchase salt. I felt no fatigue, 
ate heartily, slept soundly without being rocked, and 
having come forty miles had only forty-seven more to 
walk to reach my home. Early next morning I pursued 
my way ; the ferry boat took me from Illinois to Kentucky, 
and as night came I found myself with my wife beside me, 
my child on my knee." 

The time from now till 1819 was the most disastrous 
period of Audubon's life, as regarded his finances. With 
his brother-in-law, Thomas VV. Bakewell, he engaged in 
various ventures in which, whatever others did, he lost 
money at every turn. The financial affairs of Kentucky 
were, it is true, not on a very sound basis, but Audubon 
frankly acknowledges the fault in many cases was his own. 
Thomas W. Bakewell was often in New Orleans, where they 
had a mercantile establishment, and Audubon spent not 
only days, but weeks and months, at his favorite pursuits. 
On his journeys to Philadelphia to procure goods he wan- 
dered miles in all directions from the main route; when 
in Henderson he worked, at times, very hard in the mill, 
for, indeed, he never did anything except intensely ; but the 
cry of the wild geese overhead, the sound of the chatter- 
ing squirrel, the song of the thrush, the flash of the hum- 
ming-bird with its jewelled throat, were each and all enough 
to take him from work he hated as he never hated any- 
thing else. 

When first in Henderson he bought land, and evidently 
had some idea of remaining there permanently; for, " on 
March 16, 18 16, he and Mr. Bakewell took a ninety- 
five years' lease of a part of the river front between First 
and Second Sts., intending to erect a grist and saw mill, 
which mill was completed in 18 17, and yet stands, though 
now incorporated in the factory of Mr. David Clark. The 
weather-boarding whip-sawed out of yellow poplar is still 
intact on three sides, the joists are of unhewn logs, and 
the foundation walls of pieces of flat broken rock are four 


and a half feet thick. For those days it was built on a 
large scale, and did the sawing for the entire country." ^ 

It has been said that the inside walls had many draw- 
ings of birds on them, but this, while quite likely, has 
never been proved ; what was proved conclusively is 
that, from his woodcutters, whose labors were performed 
on a tract of forest land of about 1200 acres, which Au- 
dubon purchased from the government, to those who were 
his partners, by far the greater number had the advantage 
of him. The New Orleans venture has a similar record; 
money left him by his father was lost by the failure of the 
merchant who held it until Audubon could prove his 
right to it, and finally he left Henderson absolutely pen- 
niless. He writes : " Without a dollar in the world, be- 
reft of all revenues beyond my own personal talents and 
acquirements, I left my dear log house, my delightful 
garden and orchards with that heaviest of burdens, a heavy 
heart, and turned my face toward Louisville. This was 
the saddest of all my journeys, — the only time in my life 
when the Wild Turkeys that so often crossed my path, 
and the thousands of lesser birds that enlivened the woods 
and the prairies, all looked like enemies, and I turned my 
eyes from them, as if I could have wished that they had 
never existed." 

From Louisville Audubon went almost at once to 
Shippingport, where he was kindly received by his friends 
Nicholas Berthoud, who was also his brother-in-law, and 
the Tarascon family. Here he was joined by his wife and 
two sons, Victor Gififord and John Woodhouse, and again 
I quote from Audubon's own words: "As we were 
straitened to the very utmost, I undertook to draw 
portraits at the low price of five dollars per head, in black 
chalk. I drew a few gratis, and succeeded so well that 
ere many days had elapsed I had an abundance of work ; 

1 From " History of Henderson County, Kentucky," by E. L. Starling, 
page 794. 


and being industrious both by nature and habit I pro- 
duced a great number of those black-chalk sketches." ^ 
This carried him on for some months, but the curse, or 
blessing, of the "wandering foot" was his, and as soon 
as money matters were a little ahead, off he went again 
to the forests. It was during these years, that is from i8i i 
to 1 8 19, that many months were passed hunting with the 
Indians, the Osage tribe being the one whose language 
Audubon spoke. Late in life he wrote: "Of all the 
Indian tribes I know, the Osage are by far the superior." 
With them he delighted to track the birds and quadrupeds 
as only an Indian or one of like gifts, can ; from them he 
learned much woodcraft ; with them he strengthened his 
already iron constitution ; and in fearlessness, endurance, 
patience, and marvellously keen vision, no Indian sur- 
passed him. 

He had a wonderful gift of making and retaining friends, 
and even in these days of poverty and depression he 
never seemed too poor to help others ; and certainly from 
others he received much kindness, which he never ceased 
to remember and acknowledge. Through one of these 
friends — I believe a member of the Tarascon family — 
he was offered a position in the Museum at Cincinnati. 
Without delay, or any written agreement, Audubon and 
his family were again (18 18) in new surroundings, and 
the work being congenial, he entered heartily into it with 
Mr. Robert Best. The promised salary was large, but 
being never paid Audubon began drawing classes to sup- 
port his modest household. In Cincinnati he first met 
Mr. Daniel Mallory (whose second daughter afterwards 
married Victor G. Audubon) and Captain Samuel Cum- 
mings. This latter gentleman had many tastes similar to 
Audubon's, and later went with him to New Orleans. 

The life at Cincinnati was one of strict economy. Mrs. 
Audubon was a woman of great ability and many re- 
1 Of these many sketches few can be traced, and none purchased. 


January 12, 1835. 


sources, and with one less gifted her unpractical husband 
would have fared far worse than he did. To quote again: 
"Our living here [Cincinnati] is extremely moderate; 
the markets are well supplied and cheap, beef only two 
and a half cents a pound, and I am able to provide a good 
deal myself; Partridges are frequently in the streets, and 
I can shoot Wild Turkeys within a mile or so ; Squirrels 
and Woodcock are very abundant in the season, and fish 
always easily caught." 

Even with these advantages, Audubon, receiving no 
money ^ from Dr. Drake, president of the Museum, de- 
cided on going to New Orleans. He had now a great 
number of drawings and the idea of publishing these had 
suggested itself both to him and his wife. To perfect 
his collection he planned going through many of the 
Southern States, then pushing farther west, and thence 
returning to Cincinnati. On Oct. 12, 1820, he left Cin- 
cinnati with Captain Samuel Cummings for New Orleans, 
but with a long pause at Natchez, did not reach that city 
before mid-winter, where he remained with varying suc- 
cess until the summer of 1821, when he took a position 
as tutor in the family of Mrs. Charles Percy of Bayou 
Sara. Here, in the beloved Louisiana whose praises he 
never wearied of singing, whose magnolia woods were 
more to him than palaces, whose swamps were store- 
houses of treasures, he stayed till autumn, when, all fear 
of yellow fever being over, he sent for his wife and sons. 
Many new drawings had been made in this year of separa- 
tion from them, and these were by far the greater part of 
the furniture in the little house in Dauphine St., to which 
he took his family on their arrival in December, 1821. 

The life of drawing portraits, giving lessons, 
painting birds, and wandering through the country, began 
again, though there was less of this last, Audubon realizing 

1 Mrs. Audubon afterwards received four hundred dollars, of the twelve 
hundred dollars due ; the remainder was never paid. 

VOL. I. 4 


that he must make money. He had had to use strong 
persuasions to induce Mrs. Audubon to join him in New 
Orleans. She had relatives in Cincinnati, as well as many- 
friends, and several pupils brought her a small income. 
Who, recalling her early married life, can wonder that she 
hesitated before leaving this home for the vicissitudes of 
an unknown city? She and her husband were devotedly 
attached to each other, but she thought more of the un- 
certainty for her sons than for herself. They were now 
boys of twelve and nine years old, and their mother, whose 
own education was far beyond the average, realized how 
unwise a thing for them the constant change was. Aud- 
ubon was most anxious also that his " Kentucky lads," as 
he often called them, should be given every advantage, 
but he had the rare quality of being able to work 
equally well in any surroundings, in doors or out, and he 
failed to understand why others could not, just as he failed 
to see why his wife should ever doubt the desirability of 
going anywhere, at an}' time, under any conditions. He 
thus writes to her in a letter, dated New Orleans, May 3, 
1821 : "Thou art not, it seems, as daring as I am about 
leaving one place to go to another, without the means. I 
am sorry for that. I never will fear want as long as I am 
well ; and if God will grant me health with the little talents 
I have received from Nature, I would dare go to England 
or anywhere, without one cent, one single letter of intro- 
duction to any one." 

This, as we know, was no empty boast, but the principle 
on which Audubon proceeded numberless times in his life. 
His own courage, or persuasions, brought his wife, as has 
been said, to join him in the Crescent City, and here as 
elsewhere that noble woman proved her courage and en- 
durance fully equal to his, although perhaps in another 

Under the date of January i, 1822, Audubon writes: 
" Two months and five days have elapsed before I could 


venture to dispose of one hundred and twenty-five cents 
to pay for this book, that probably, Hke all other things in 
the world, is ashamed to find me so poor," On March 
5th of the same year: " During January my time was prin- 
cipally spent in giving lessons in painting and drawing, to 
supply my family and pay for the schooling of Victor and 
Johnny at a Mr. Branards', where they received notions of 
geography, arithmetic, grammar, and writing, for six dollars 
per month each. Every moment I had to spare I drew 
birds for my ornithology, in which my Lucy and myself 
alone have faith. February was spent in drawing birds 
strenuously, and I thought I had improved much by ap- 
plying coats of water-color under the pastels, thereby 
preventing the appearance of the paper, that in some in- 
stances marred my best productions. I discovered also 
many imperfections in my earlier drawings, and formed 
the resolution to redraw the whole of them ; consequently 
I hired two French hunters, who swept off every dollar 
that I could raise for specimens. I have few acquaint- 
ances; my wife and sons are more congenial to me than all 
others in the world, and we have no desire to force our- 
selves into a society where every day I receive fewer bows." 
This winter (1821-1822) in New Orleans, proved to 
Audubon that his wife's judgment was correct ; it was not 
the place for them to make either a permanent income or 
home. True, they had been able to live with extreme 
simplicity, and to send the boys to school ; they had had 
their own pleasures, as the worn, brown volume, the journal 
of 1822-24, with its faded entries, bears witness. There 
are accounts of walks and of musical evenings when they 
were joined by one or two friends of like tastes and talents. 
Both played well, she on the piano, and he on a variety of 
instruments, principally the violin, flute, and flageolet. 
For over two months a fifth inmate was added to the home 
circle in Mr. Matabon, a former friend, whom Audubon 
found one morning in the market, in a state of great 


poverty. He at once took him to his house and kept him 
as a guest, till, like Micawber, " something turned up " for 
him to do. When this gentleman left, this entry is made : 
" Mr. Matabon's departure is regretted by us all, and we 
shall sorely miss his beautiful music on the flute." 

Summer approaching, when those who purchased pic- 
tures and took drawing-lessons were about to leave the 
city, Audubon accepted a position as tutor in the house- 
hold of a Mr. Quaglas near Natchez. Mrs. Audubon, who 
had for some time been teaching in the family of Mr. 
Brand, removed to that gentleman's house with her sons; 
they, however, were almost immediately sent to school at 
Washington, nine miles from Natchez, Audubon's salary 
enabling him to do this, and in September he was joined 
by his wife. 

While at Natchez, the long summer da)'s permitted the 
drawing of birds as well as the teaching, which was con- 
scientiously performed, and the hope of eventually pub- 
lishing grew stronger. In the autumn of this year (1822), 
Audubon met a portrait painter named John Steen or 
Stein, from Washington, Pa., and thus writes, December, 
1822 : " He gave me the first lesson in painting in oils 
I ever took in my life ; it was a copy of an Otter from 
one of my water-colors. Together we painted a full length 
portrait of Pere Antonio, which was sent to Havana." 

January, 1823, brought fresh changes. Mrs. Audubon, 
with her son John, went to Mrs. Percy's plantation. Beech- 
woods, to teach not only Marguerite Percy, but also the 
daughters of the owners of the neighboring plantations, 
and Audubon, with Victor and Mr. Steen, started on a tour 
of the Southern States in a dearborn, intending to paint 
for their support. The journal says, March, 1823 ; " I re- 
gretted deeply leaving my Natchez friends, especially 
Charles Carr^ and Dr. Provan. The many birds I had 
collected to take to France I made free ; some of the 
doves had become so fond of me that I was obliged to 


chase them to the woods, fearing the wickedness of the 
boys, who would, no doubt, have with pleasure destroyed 
them." So it would seem boys then were much the 
same as now. Jackson and other places were visited, and 
finally New Orleans, whence Audubon started for Louis- 
ville with Victor, May i. The whole of this summer 
(1823) was one of enjoyment in many ways to the natural- 
ist. He felt his wife was in a delightful home (where she 
remained many years), beloved by those around her; 
Victor now was nearly fourteen, handsome, strong, and 
very companionable, old for his years, and as his father was 
always young for his, they were good comrades, and till 
both were attacked by yellow fever, the days passed 
smoothly on. Nursed through this malady by the ever 
devoted wife and mother, who had come to them at once 
on hearing they were ill, some time was spent at the Beech- 
woods to recuperate, and on October i, 1823, Audubon 
with Victor departed for Kentucky by boat. The water 
being low, their progress was greatly delayed ; he became 
impatient and at Trinity left the boat with his son and two 
gentlemen, and walked to Louisville. This walk, of which 
we have a full published account ^ began on October 1 5, and 
on the 2 1st they reached Green River, when Victor becom- 
ing weary, the remaining distance was performed in a 
wagon. It was on this journey, which Audubon under- 
took fearing, so he says, that he should not have enough 
money to provide for himself and Victor in Louisville 
beyond a few weeks, that he relates this incident: "The 
squatter had a Black Wolf, perfectly gentle, and completely 
under the control of his master ; I put my hand in my 
pocket and took out a hundred-dollar bill, which I offered 
for it, but it was refused. I respected the man for his 
attachment to the wolf, for I doubted if he had ever seen 
a hundred dollars before." 

Louisville was speedily quitted for Shippingport, where 

1 See Episode : " A Tough Walk for a Youth." 


Audubon engaged a room for Victor and himself, and 
painted all winter (1823-24) at birds, landscapes, por- 
traits, and even signs. 

Shippingport was then a small village with mills, and 
was largely owned by the Tarascons and Berthouds, the 
latter living in the mansion of the place, and possessed of 
a very beautiful garden. Steamers and boats for the river 
traffic were built here, and it was a stirring place for its 
size, situated on the Falls of the Ohio, about two miles 
from Louisville then, but now part of that city. With 
forests and river to solace his anxieties, another season was 
passed by the man whose whole energies were now bent 
on placing his work before the best judges in Europe. 
This winter too, he lost one of his best and dearest friends, 
Madame Berthoud ; how he felt this parting his own words 
best tell: "January 20, 1824. I arose this morning by 
that transparent light which is the effect of the moon be- 
fore dawn, and saw Dr. Middleton passing at full gallop 
towards the white house; I followed — alas! my old friend 
was dead ! What a void in the world for me ! I was 
silent ; many tears fell from my eyes, accustomed to sor- 
row. It was impossible for me to work ; my heart, restless, 
moved from point to point all round the compass of my 
life. Ah, Lucy ! what have I felt to-day ! how can I bear 
the loss of our truest friend? This has been a sad day, 
most truly; I h^ve spent it thinking, thinking, learning, 
weighing my thoughts, and quite sick of life. I wished I 
had been as quiet as my venerable friend, as she lay for 
the last time in her room." 

As I turn over the pages of this volume^ from which 
only a few extracts have been taken, well do I understand 
the mental suffering of which it tells so constant!}'. Pov- 
erty for himself, Audubon did not mind, but for those he 
loved it was a great and bitter trial to him. His keenly 
sensitive nature was wounded on every hand ; no one but 
1 The before-mentioned journal, 1S22-24. 


his wife, from whom he was now absent, had any faith in 
him or his genius. He never became indifferent, as most 
of us do, to the coldness of those wlio had in earlier days 
sought him, not for what he was, but for what he Jiad. 
Chivalrous, generous, and courteous to his heart's core, he 
could not believe others less so, till painful experiences 
taught him ; then he was grieved, hurt, but never imbit- 
tered ; and more marvellous yet, with his faith in his 
fellows as strong as ever, again and again he subjected 
himself to the same treatment. This was not stupidity, 
nor dulness of perception ; it was that always, even to the 
end, Audubon kept the freshness of childhood ; he was one 
of those who had " the secret of youth ; " he was " old in 
years only, his heart was young. The earth was fair; 
plants still bloomed, and birds still sang for him," ^ It has 
been hard for me to keep from copying much from this 
journal, but I have felt it too sacred. Some would see in 
it the very heart of the man who wrote it, but to others — 
and the greater number — it would be, as I have decided 
to leave it, a sealed book. 

Early in March, 1824, Audubon left Shippingport for 
Philadelphia, Victor remaining in the counting-house of 
Mr. Berthoud. He had some money, with which he de- 
cided to take lessons in painting either from Rembrandt 
Peale or Thomas Sully. He much preferred the latter 
both as artist and friend, and he remained in Philadelphia 
from April until August of the same year. This visit was 
marked by his introduction to Charles Lucien Bonaparte ^ 

1 (With slight alterations) from "Bird Life," by F. M. Chapman, 1897, 

P- 13- 

2 Prince of Musignano, and subsequently a distinguished ornithologist. 
In March, 1S24, Bonaparte was just publishing his " Observations on the 
Nomenclature of Wilson's Ornithology," which ran through the " Journal of 
the Academy of Natural Sciences," of Philadelphia, from April 5, 1824, to 
Aug. 25, 1825, in five parts. This was preliminary to Bonaparte's "Ameri- 
can Ornithology," which appeared in four quarto vols., 1825-33, to his 
"Synopsis," of 1828, and to his "Comparative List," of 1838. — E. C. 


and Edward Harris, both of whom became Hfe-long friends, 
especially Mr. Harris, with whom he corresponded fre- 
quently when they were separated, and with whom he 
made many journeys, the most prolonged and important 
being that to the Yellowstone in 1843. To copy again: 
"April 10, 1824. I was introduced to the son of Lucien 
Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon, a great ornithologist, I 
was told. He remained two hours, went out, and returned 
with two Italian gentlemen, and their comments made me 
very contented." That evening he was taken to the Phil- 
osophical Academy^ where the drawings were greatly 
admired, and their author says: " /do not think much of 
them except when in the very act of drawing them." At 
this meeting Mr. George Ord met Audubon and objected 
strongly to the birds and plants being drawn together, 
*' but spoke well of them otherwise." Mr. Ord was one of 
those (of the very few, I might say) who disliked the 
naturalist from first to last,^ who was perhaps, his bitterest 
enemy. In later years Dr. John Bachman resented his 
conduct, and wrote a very trenchant reply ^ to one of Mr. 
Ord's published articles about Audubon ; but there is no 
word of anger anywhere in the letters or journals, only of 
regret or pain* 

Of Mr. Harris we find this: "July 12, 1824. I drew for 
Mr. Fairman a small grouse to be put on a bank-note be- 
longing to the State of New-Jersey ; this procured me the 
acquaintance of a young man named Edward Harris of 
Moorestown, an ornithologist, who told me he had seen 

1 Probably the Academy of Natural Sciences. 

2 Orel had edited the posthumous vols. viii. and ix. of " Wilson's Orni- 
thology," which appeared in 1814; and in 1S24 was engaged upon that edition 
of Wilson which was published in 3 vols. 8vo, in 1828-29, with a folio atlas 
of 76 plates. This is probably enough to account for his attitude toward 
Audubon. — E. C. 

8 " Defence of Audubon," by John Bachman. " Bucks Co. Intelligencer," 
1835, and other papers. 

* Almost the only other enemy Audubon appears to have ever had in 
public print was Charles Waterton, who vehemently assailed him in " Lou- 


some English Snipes ^ within a few days, and that they bred 
in the marshes about him." And also: "July 19th. 
Young Harris, God bless him, looked at the drawings I 
had for sale, and said he would take them all, at my prices. 
I would have kissed him, but that it is not the custom in 
this icy city." 

Other friends were made here, almost as valuable as Mr. 
Harris, though not as well loved, for these two were truly 
congenial souls, who never wearied of each other, and 
between whom there was never a shadow of difference. 
Thomas Sully, the artist. Dr. Richard Harlan,- Reuben 

don's Magazine of Natural History," vi. 1833, pp. 215-218, and vii., 1S34, 
pp. 66-74. Audubon was warmly defended by his son Victor in the same 
magazine, vi. 1S33, p. 369, and at greater length by " R. B.," ibid., pp. 369- 
372. Dr. Coues characterizes Waterton's attack as "flippant and super- 
cilious animadversion," in " Birds of the Colorado Valley," 1878, p. 622. 

The present is hardly the occasion to bring up the countless reviews and 
notices of Audubon's published life-work ; but a few references I have at 
hand may be given. One of the earliest, if not the first, appeared in the 
" Edinburgh Journal of Science," vi. p. 184 (1827). In 1828, Audubon him- 
self published " An Account of the Method of Drawing Birds," etc., in the 
same Journal, viii., pp. 48-54. The " Report of a Committee appointed 
by the Lyceum of Natural History of New York to examine the splendid 
work of Mr. Audubon," etc., appeared in " Silliman's Journal," xvi., 1829, pp. 
353, 354. His friend William Swainson published some highly commendatory 
and justly appreciative articleson the same subject in " Loudon's Magazine," 
i., 1S29, pp. 43-52, and in the " Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal," x., 
1831, pp. 317-332, under the pseudonym " Ornithophilus." Another anony- 
mous review, highly laudatory, appeared in the same Journal, xviii., 1S34, pp. 
131-144. Dr. John Bachman defended the truthfulness of Audubon's draw- 
ings in the "Journal of the Boston Society of Natural History," i. 1834, pp. 
15-31. One of the most extended notices appeared anonymously in the 
•" North American Review," July, 1835, pp. 194-231 ; and another signed " B," 
in "Loudon's Magazine," viii., 1835, pp. 184-190. In Germany, " Isis von 
Oken" contained others, xxx., 1837, pp. 922-928, xxxv., 1842, pp. 157, 158; 
and xxxvii., 1844, pp. 713-718. " Silliman's Journal " again reviewed the 
work in xlii., 1842, pp. 130-136. — E. C. 

^ That is the spacies now known as Wilson's Snipe, Gallinago delicaia. 

2 Dr. Richard Harlan is the author of the well-known " Fauna Americana," 
Svo, Philadelphia, 1825, and of many scientific papers. Audubon dedicated 
to him the Black Warrior, Falco harlatii, a large, dark hawk of the genus 
Bjiteo, shot at St. Francisville, La., Nov. 18, 1829. 


Haines, Le Sueur/ Dr. Mease, and many another honored 
name might be given. 

In August Philadelphia was quitted, and another period 
of travel in search of birds was begun. Of this next year, 
1825, no record whatever can be found besides the episodes 
of " Niagara" and " Meadville," and two detached pages 
of journal. Audubon went to New York, up the Hudson, 
along the Great Lakes, then to Pittsburg, and finally to 
Bayou Sara, where, having decided to go to England, he 
made up his mind to resume at once his classes in drawing, 
music, and dancing, to make money for the European jour- 
ney, for which he never ceased to accumulate pictures of his 
beloved birds. Reaching Bayou Sara in December, 1825, 
this work at once began by giving lessons in dancing to 
the young ladies under my grandmother's care; and Judge 
Randolph, a near neighbor, had his sons take lessons in 
fencing. In these branches Audubon was so successful 
that the residents of the village of W'oodville, fifteen miles 
distant, engaged him for Friday and Saturday of each 
week, and here he had over sixty pupils. From the ac- 
count of this class I take the following: "I marched to 
the hall with my violin under my arm, bowed to the com- 
pany assembled, tuned my violin ; played a cotillon, and 
began my lesson by placing the gentlemen in a line. Oh ! 
patience support me ! how I labored before I could pro- 
mote the first appearance of elegance or ease of motion; 
in doing this I first broke my bow, and then my violin ; I 
then took the ladies and made them take steps, as I sang 
in time to accompany their movements." 

These lessons continued three months, and were in 
every sense a success, Audubon realizing about $2000 

' Charles Alexandre Le Sueur, 177S-1S46, distinguished French natu- 
ralist. Best biography in Youman's " Pioneers of Science in America," 
8vo, N. Y., 1S96, pp. 12S-139, with portrait. The same volume contains a 
biographical .sketch of Audubon, pp. 1 52-166, with portrait after the oil 
painting by George P. A. Healy, belonging to the Boston Society of Natural 
History. — E. C. 


from his winter's work. With this, and the greater part 
of the savings of his wife, which she had hoarded to for- 
ward this journey, so long the goal of their hopes, an- 
other farewell was taken, the many valued drawings 
packed up, and on April 26, 1826, the vessel with the 
naturalist and his precious freight left New Orleans for 

The journals from this date, until May i, 1829, are kept 
with the usual regularity, and fortunately have escaped the 
destruction which has befallen earlier volumes. They tell 
of one of the most interesting periods of Audubon's life, 
and are given beyond, — not entire, yet so fully that I 
pass on at once to the last date they contain, which marks 
Audubon's return to America, May 5, 1829. 

His time abroad had seen the publication of the " Birds 
of America " ^ successfully begun, had procured him sub- 

1 Of the great folios, parts i.-v., containing plates 1-25, were originally 
published at successive dates (not ascertained) in 1827 ; parts vi.-x., plates 
26-50, appeared in the course of 1828, — all in London. The whole work 
was completed in 1838 ; it is supposed to have been issued in 87 parts of 
5 plates each, making the actual total of 435 plates, giving 1065 figures of 
birds. On the completion of the series, the plates were to be bound 
in 4 vols. Vol. i., pll. i-ioo, 1827-30; vol. ii., pll. 101-200, 1831-34; 
vol. iii., pll. 201-300, 1S34-35; vol. iv., pll. 301-435, 1835-38 (com- 
pleted June 30). These folios had no text except the title-leaf of each 
volume. The original price was two guineas a part ; a complete copy is now 
worth $1,500 to $2,000, according to condition of binding, etc., and is scarce 
at any price. The text to the plates appeared under the different title of 
"Ornithological Biography," in 5 large 8vo volumes, Edinburgh, 1831-39; 
vol. i., 1831 ; vol. ii., 1S34 ; vol. iii., 1835; '^'°1- i^-' 1^3^; vol. v., 1839. In 
i840--44, the work reappeared in octavo, text and plates together, under 
the original title of "Birds of America;" the text somewhat modified 
by the omission of the " Delineations of American Scenery and Manners," 
the addition of some new matter acquired after 1839, and change in the 
names of many species to agree with the nomenclature of Audubon's 
Synopsis of 1S39 ; the plates reduced by the camera lucida, rearranged and 
renumbered, making 500 in all. The two original works, thus put together 
and modified, became the first octavo edition called " Birds of America," 
issued in 100 parts, to be bound in 7 volumes, 1840-44. There have been 
various subsequent issues, partial or complete, upon which I cannot here 
enlarge. For full bibliographical data see Dr. Coues' " Birds of the 


scribers enough to warrant his continuing the vast under- 
taking, and had given him many friends. His object now 
was to make drawings of birds which he had not yet figured 
for the completion of his work, and then to take his wife, 
and possibly his sons with him to England. During these 
years Mrs. Audubon was latterly alone, as John had taken 
a position with Victor and was in Louisville, Victor, 
meantime, had worked steadily and faithfully, and had 
earned for himself a position and a salary far beyond that 
of most young men of his age. Both parents relied on 
him to an extent that is proof in itself of his unusual 
ability; these words in a letter from his father, dated 
London, Dec. 23, 1828, "Victor's letters to me are highly 
interesting, full of candor, sentiment, and sound judgment, 
and I am very proud of him," are certainly testimony 
worth having. As the years went on both sons assisted 
their father in every way, and to an extent that the 
world has never recognized. 

Great as was Audubon's wish to proceed without delay 
to Louisiana, he felt it due to his subscribers to get to 
work at once, and wrote to his wife under date of New 
York, May 10, 1829: "I have landed here from on board 
the packet ship Columbia after an agreeable passage of 
thirty-five days from Portsmouth. I have come to America 
to remain as long as consistent with the safety of the 
continuation of my publication in London without my 
personal presence. According to future circumstances 
I shall return to England on the ist of October next, or, 
if possible, not until April, 1830. I wish to employ and 
devote every moment of my sojourn in America to draw- 
ing such birds and plants as I think necessary to enable 
me to give my publication throughout the degree of per- 
fection that I am told exists in that portion already pub- 
lished. I have left my business going on quite well; my 

Colorado Valley," Appendix, 1S7S, pp. 612, 61S, 625, 629, 644, 661, 666, 669 
and 6S6. — E. C. 


engraver ^ has in his hands all the drawings wanted to 
complete this present year, and those necessary to form 
the first number of next year. I have finished the two 
first years of publication, the two most difficult years to 
be encountered." To Victor he writes from Camden, 
N. J., July lO, 1829: "I shall this year have issued ten 
numbers, each containing five plates, making in all fifty .^ 
I cannot publish more than five numbers annually, be- 
cause it would make too heavy an expense to my sub- 
scribers, and indeed require more workmen than I could 
find in London. The work when finished will contain 
eighty numbers,^ therefore I have seventy to issue, which 
will take fourteen years more. It is a long time to look 
forward to, but it cannot be helped. I think I am 
doing well; I have now one hundred and forty-four 

All this summer and early fall, until October loth, 
Audubon spent in the neighborhood of New Jersey and 
Pennsylvania, working as few can work, four hours con- 
tinuing to be his allowance for sleep. Six weeks in 
September and October were spent in the Great Pine 
Swamp, or Forest,^ as he called it, his permanent lodgings 
being at Camden, N.J. Here he writes, October 11, 1829: 
" I am at work and have done much, but I wish I had 
eight pairs of hands, and another body to shoot the speci- 
mens ; still I am delighted at what I have accumulated 

1 Referring to Mr. Robert Havell, of No. 77 Oxford St., London. His 
name will be recalled in connection with Sterna havelUi, the Tern which 
Audubon shot at New Orleans in 1820, and dedicated to his engraver in 
" Orn. Biogr." v., 1839, p. 122, " B. Amer.," 8vo, vii., 1844, p. 103, pi. 434. It 
is the winter plumage of the bird Nuttall called S.forsteri in his " Manual," 
ii., 1834, p. 274. See Coues, " Proceedings of the Philadelphia Academy 
of Science," 1862, p. 543. — E. C. 

2 See previous note on p. 59, where it is said that plates 1-25 appeared 
In 1827, and plates 26-50 in 1828 — in attestation of which the above words to 
Victor Audubon become important. — E. C. 

3 It actually ran to 87 numbers, as stated in a previous note. 

* See Episodes "Great Egg Harbor" and "Great Pine Swamp." 


in drawings this season. Forty-two drawings in four 
months, eleven large, eleven middle size, and twenty-two 
small, comprising ninety-five birds, from Eagles down- 
wards, with plants, nests, flowers, and sixty different kinds 
of eggs. I live alone, see scarcely any one, besides those 
belonging to the house where I lodge. I rise long before 
day and work till nightfall, when I take a walk, and to bed. 

" I returned yesterday from Mauch Chunk ; after all, there 
is nothing perfect but primitivencss, and my efforts at copy- 
ing nature, like all other things attempted by us poor mor- 
tals, fall far short of the originals. Few better than myself 
can appreciate this with more despondency than I do." 

Very shortly after this date Audubon left for Louisiana, 
crossed the Allcghanies to Pittsburg, down the Ohio by 
boat to Louisville, where he saw Victor and John. " Dear 
boys!" he says; "I had not seen Victor for nearly five 
years, and so much had he changed I hardly knew him, but 
he recognized me at once. Johnny too had much grown 
and improved." Remaining with his sons a few days, he 
again took the boat for Bayou Sara, where he landed in 
the middle of the night. The journal says: " It was dark, 
sultry, and I was quite alone. I was aware yellow fever 
was still raging at St. Francisville, but walked thither 
to procure a horse. Being only a mile distant, I soon 
reached it, and entered the open door of a house I knew 
to be an inn ; all was dark and silent. I called and 
knocked in vain, it was the abode of Death alone ! The 
air was putrid ; I went to another house, another, and 
another ; everywhere the same state of things existed ; 
doors and windows were all open, but the living had 
fled. Finally I reached the home of Mr. Nubling, whom 
I knew. He welcomed me, and lent me his horse, and 
I went off at a gallop. It was so dark that I soon lost 
my way, but I cared not, I was about to rejoin my wife, 
I was in the woods, the woods of Louisiana, my heart was 
bursting with joy! The first glimpse of dawn set me on 


my road, at six o'clock I was at Mr. Johnson's house ; ^ 
a servant took the horse, I went at once to my wife's 
apartment; her door was ajar, already she was dressed 
and sitting by her piano, on which a young lady was 
playing. I pronounced her name gently, she saw me, 
and the next moment I held her in my arms. Her emotion 
was so great I feared I had acted rashly, but tears relieved 
our hearts, once more we were together." 

Audubon remained in Louisiana with his wife till Janu- 
ary, 1830, when together they went to Louisville, Wash- 
ington, Philadelphia, and New York, whence they sailed 
for England in April. All his former friends welcomed 
them on their arrival, and the kindness the naturalist had 
received on his first visit was continued to his wife as well 
as himself. Finding many subscribers had not paid, and 
others had lapsed, he again painted numerous pictures for 
sale, and journeyed hither and yon for new subscribers 
as well as to make collections. 

Mrs. Audubon, meanwhile, had taken lodgings in Lon- 
don, but that city being no more to her taste than to her 
husband's, she joined him, and they travelled together 
till October, when to Audubon's joy he found himself 
at his old lodgings at 26 George St., Edinburgh, where 
he felt truly at home with Mrs. Dickie ; and here he began 
the " Ornithological Biography," with many misgivings, 
as the journal bears witness: "Oct. 16, 1830. I know 
that I am a poor writer, that I scarcely can manage to 
scribble a tolerable English letter, and not a much better 
one in French, though that is easier to me. I know I am 
not a scholar, but meantime I am aware that no man 
living knows better than I do the habits of our birds ; no 
man living has studied them as much as I have done, and 
with the assistance of my old journals and memorandum- 
books which were written on the spot, I can at least put 
down plain truths, which may be useful and perhaps 
^ Mr. Garrett Johnson, where Mrs. Audubon was then teaching. 


interesting, so I shall set to at once. I cannot, how- 
ever, give scientific descriptions, and here must have 

His choice of an assistant would have been his friend 
Mr. William Swainson, but this could not be arranged, 
and Mr. James Wilson recommended Mr. William Mac- 
Gillivray.^ Of this gentleman Mr. D. G. Elliot says : ^ 
" No better or more fortunate choice could have been 
made. Audubon worked incessantly, MacGillivray keep- 
ing abreast of him, and Mrs. Audubon re-wrote the entire 
manuscript to send to America, and secure the copyright 
there." The happy result of this association of two great 
men, so different in most respects as Audubon and Mac- 
Gillivray, is characterized by Dr. Coues in the following 
terms ("Key to North American Birds," 2d ed., 1884, 
p. xxii) : " Vivid and ardent was his genius, matchless he 
was both with pen and pencil in giving life and spirit to 
the beautiful objects he delineated with passionate love; 
but there was a strong and patient worker by his side, — 
William MacGillivray, the countr}-man of Wilson, destined 
to lend the sturdy Scotch fibre to an Audubonian cpoch.^ 
The brilliant French-American Naturalist was little of a 
' scientist.' Of his work the magical beauties of form and 
color and movement are all his ; his page is redolent of 
Nature's fragrance ; but MacGillivray's are the bone and 
sinew, the hidden anatomical parts beneath the lovely 
face, the nomenclature, the classification, — in a word, the 
technicalities of the science." 

1 There has been much question as to the spelling of MacGillivray's 
name, Professor Newton and most others writing it Macgillivray, but in the 
autograph letters we own the capital " G " is always used. 

- Address at the special meeting of the Xew York Academy of Sciences, 
April 26, 1S93. 

' Referring to one of the six "epochs" into which, in the same work, 
Dr. Coues divided the progress of American Ornithology. His "Audubon 
epoch" extends from 1S24 to 1853, and one of the four periods into which 
this epoch is divided is the " Audubonian period," 1834-1S53. 




Though somewhat discouraged at finding that no less 
than three editions of Alexander Wilson's " American 
Ornithology" were about to be published, Audubon went 
bravely on. My grandmother wrote to her sons: "Noth- 
ing is heard, but the steady movement of the pen ; your 
father is up and at work before dawn, and writes without 
ceasing all day. Mr. MacGillivray breakfasts at nine each 
morning, attends the Museum four days in the week, has 
several works on hand besides ours, and is moreover 
engaged as a lecturer in a new seminary on botany and 
natural history. His own work ^ progresses slowly, but 
surely, for he writes until far into the night." 

The first volume of " Ornithological Biography " was fin- 
ished, but no publisher could be found to take it, so 
Audubon published it himself in March, 1831.^ During 
this winter an agreement had been made with Mr. J. B. 
Kidd to copy some of the birds, put in backgrounds, sell 
them, and divide the proceeds. Eight were finished and 
sold immediately, and the agreement continued till May, 
I, 1 83 1, when Audubon was so annoyed by Mr. Kidd's 
lack of industry that the copying was discontinued. Per- 
sonally, I have no doubt that many of the paintings which 
are said to be by Audubon are these copies. They are 
all on mill-board, — a material, however, which grandfather 

^ Descriptions of the Rapacious Birds of Great Britain. By William 
MacGillivray, A. M., Edinburgh, 1S36, i vol. small 8vo. This valuable treatise 
is dedicated "To John James Audubon, in admiration of his talents as an 
ornithologist, and in gratitude for many acts of friendship." Mr. Mac- 
Gillivray also had then in preparation or contemplation his larger " History 
of British Birds," 3 volumes of which appeared in 1S37-40, but the 4th and 
5th volumes not till 1S52. — E. C. 

2 The completed volume bears date of MDCCCXXXI. on the titlepage 
and the publisher's imprint of " Adam Black, 55, North Bridge, Edinburgh." 
The collation is pp. i-xxiv, 1-512, + 15 pp. of Prospectus, etc. This is 
the text to plates I.-C. (i-ioc) of the elephant folios. Other copies 
are said to bear the imprint of " Philadelphia, E. L. Carey and A. Hart, 

Audubon wrote to Dr. Richard Harlan on March 13, 1831, " I have sent 
a copy of the first volume to you to-day." 
VOL. I. — 5 


used himself, so that, as he rarely signed an oil painting,^ 
the mill-board is no proof of identity one way or the 

On April 15, 1831, Mr. and Mrs. Audubon left Edin- 
burgh for London, then went on to Paris, where there 
were fourteen subscribers. They were in France from 
May until the end of July, when London again received 
them. On August 2d they sailed for America, and 
landed on September 4th. They went to Louisville at 
once, where Mrs. Audubon remained with her sons, and 
the naturalist went south, his wish being to visit Florida 
and the adjacent islands. It was on this trip that, stopping 
at Charleston, S. C, he made the acquaintance of the 
Rev. John Bachman^ in October, 1831. The two soon 
became the closest friends, and this friendship was only 
severed by death. Never were men more dissimilar 
in character, but both were enthusiastic and devoted 
naturalists ; and herein was the bond, which later was 
strengthened by the marriages of Victor and John to Dr. 
Bachman's two eldest daughters.^ 

The return from Florida in the spring of 1832 was 
followed by a journey to New Brunswick and Maine, when, 
for the first time in many years, the whole family travelled 
together. They journeyed in the most leisurely manner, 
stopping where there were birds, going on when they 
found none, everywhere welcomed, everywhere finding 
those willing to render assistance to the " American back- 
woodsman" in his researches, Audubon had the simpli- 
city and charm of manner which interested others at once, 
and his old friend Dr. Bachman understood this when he 

* We only possess one oil painting signed " Audubon." 

2 John Bachman, D. D., LL. D., Ph. D., Feb. 4, 1790-April 24, 1874. 

Author of many works, scientific, zoological, and religious. For sixty 

years he was pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church, Charleston, S. C. 

8 Both these daughters died young, — Maria, the eldest, who married 

John, before she was twenty-four ; Eliza, who married Victor, still younger, 

during the first year of her wedded life. 


wrote : " Audubon has given to him what nobody else can 
buy." On this Maine journey, the friendship between the 
Lincolns at Dennysville, begun in the wanderer's earher 
years, was renewed, and with this hospitable family Mrs. 
Audubon remained while her husband and sons made 
their woodland researches. 

In October of 1832, Victor sailed for England, to super- 
intend the publishing of the work ; his father remained 
in America drawing and re-drawing, much of the time 
in Boston, where, as everywhere, many friends were made, 
and where he had a short, but severe illness — an unusual 
experience with him. In the spring of 1833, the long 
proposed trip to Labrador was planned and undertaken. 

The schooner " Ripley," Captain Emery commanding, 
was chartered. Audubon was accompanied by five young 
men, all under twenty-four years of age, namely : Joseph 
Coolidge, George C. Shattuck, William Ingalls, Thomas Lin- 
coln and John VVoodhouse, the naturalist's younger son. 
On June 6 they sailed for the rocky coasts and storm-beaten 
islands, which are so fully described in the Labrador Jour- 
nal, now first published entire in the present work. 

Victor was still in England, and to him his father wrote, 
on May 16, 1833, a long letter filled with careful direc- 
tions as to the completion of the work now so far accom- 
plished, and which was so dear — as it is to-day — to all 
the family. The entire letter is too long and too personal 
to give beyond a few extracts: " Should the Author of all 
things deprive us of our lives, work for and comfort the 
dear being who gave you birth. Work for her, my son, 
as long as it may be the pleasure of God to grant her life ; 
never neglect her a moment; in a word, prove to her that 
you are truly a son ! Continue the publication of our 
work to the last ; you have in my journals all necessary 
facts, and in yourself sufficient ability to finish the letter- 
press, with the assistance of our worthy friend John Bach- 
man, as well as MacGillivray. If you should deem it wise 


to remove the publication of the work to this country, I 
advise you to settle in Boston ; / have faitJi in tlie Bos- 
tonians. I entreat you to be careful, industrious, and per- 
severing; pay every one most punctually, and never permit 
your means to be over-reached. May the blessings of 
those who love you be always with you, supported by 
those of Almighty God." 

During the Labrador voyage, which was both arduous 
and expensive, many bird-skins (seventy-three) were pre- 
pared and brought back, besides the drawings made, a large 
collection of plants, and other curiosities. Rough as the 
experience was, it was greatly enjoyed, especially by the 
young men. Only one of these ^ is now living (1897), 
and he bears this testimony to the character of the 
naturalist, with whom he spent three months in the closest 
companionship. In a letter to me dated Oct. 9, 1896, he 
says: " You had only to meet him to love him ; and when 
you had conversed with him for a moment, you looked 
upon him as an old friend, rather than a stranger. ... To 
this day I can see him, a magnificent gray-haired man, 
childlike in his simplicity, kind-hearted, noblc-soulcd, lover 
of nature and lover of youth, friend of humanity, and one 
whose religion was the golden rule." 

The Labrador expedition ended with summer, and Mr. 
and Mrs. Audubon went southward by land, John going 
by water to meet them at Charleston, S. C, — Victor 
meanwhile remaining in London. In the ever hospitable 
home of the Bachmans part of the winter of 1833-34 was 
spent, and many a tale is told of hunting parties, of camp- 
ing in the Southern forests, while the drawings steadily 
increased in number. Leaving Charleston, the travels 
were continued through North and South Carolina and 

1 Mr. Joseph Coolidge, formerly of Maine, now of San Francisco, Cal. 
Two others are known by name to every ornithologist through Audu- 
bon's Einberiza shattuckii and Fringilla limolnii ; for these birds see notes 
beyond. — E. C. 


northward to New York, when the three sailed for Liver- 
pool April 16, and joined Victor in London, in May, 


It has been erroneously stated that Audubon kept no 
journals during this second visit to England and Scotland, 
for the reasons that his family — for whom he wrote — 
was with him, and also that he worked so continuously for 
the "Ornithological Biography; " but this is a mistake. 
Many allusions to the diaries of these two years from 
April, 1834, until August, 1836, are found, and conclusive 
proof is that Victor writes: "On the 19th of July last, 
1845, the copper-plates from which the " Birds of America " 
had been printed were ruined by fire,^ though not entirely 
destroyed, as were many of my father's journals, — most 
unfortunately those which he had written during his 
residence in London and Edinburgh while writing and 
publishing the letter-press." 

It was at this time that Victor and John went to the 
Continent for five months, being with their parents the 
remainder of the time, both studying painting in their 
respective branches, Victor working at landscapes, John 
at portraits and birds. 

In July, 1836, Audubon and John returned to America, 
to find that nearly everything in the way of books, papers, 
the valuable and curious things collected both at home 
and abroad, had been destroyed in New York in the fire 
of 1835, Mr, Berthoud's warehouse being one of those 
blown up with gunpowder to stay the spread of the fire. 
Mrs. Audubon and Victor remained in London, in the 
house where they had lived some time, 4 Wimpole St., 
Cavendish Square. After a few weeks in New York, 
father and son went by land to Charleston, pausing at 
Washington and other cities ; and being joined by Mr. 
Edward Harris in the spring of 1837, they left Dr. Bach- 
man's where they had spent the winter, for the purpose 

1 The offices 34 Liberty St., New York, were burned at this time. 


of exploring part of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. 
This expedition they were assisted in making by Col. John 
Abert,^ who procured them the Revenue cutter " Camp- 
bell." Fire having afterward (in 1845) destroyed the jour- 
nals of this period, only a few letters remain to tell us of 
the coasting voyage to Galveston Bay, Texas, though the 
ornithological results of this journey are all in the " Birds 
of America." It was during this visit to Charleston that 
the plans were begun which led to the " Quadrupeds of 
North America," under the joint authorship of Audubon 
and Bachman.^ 

In the late summer of 1837, Audubon, with John and 
his wife, — for he had married Maria, Dr. Bachman's 
eldest daughter, — returned to England, his last voyage 
there, and remained abroad until the autumn of 1839, 
when the family, with the addition of the first grandchild,^ 
once more landed in America, and settled, if such wander- 
ers can ever be said to settle, in New York, in the then 
uptown region of 86 White St. 

The great ornithological work had been finished, abso- 

1 John James Abert, who was in 1837 brevet lieutenant-colonel of Top- 
ographical Engineers, U. S. Army, and afterward chief of his corps. 
Abert's Squirrel, Sciurus aberti, forms the subject of plate 153, fig. i, of 
Audubon and Bachman's " Quadrupeds." 

2 This important and standard work on American Mammalogy was not, 
however, finished till many years afterward, nor did Audubon live to see 
its completion. Publication of the colored plates in oblong folio, with- 
out text, began at least as early as 1840, and with few exceptions they first 
appeared in this form. They were subsequently reduced to large octavo 
size, and issued in parts with the text, then first published. The whole, 
text and plates, were then gathered in 3 volumes : vol. i., 1846 ; vol. ii., 
1851 ; vol. iii., to page 254 and pi. 150, 1853 ; vol. iii., p. 255 to end, 1854. 

.There are in all 155 plates; 50 in vol. i., 50 in vol. ii., 55 in vol. iii. ; 
about half of them are from Andubon's brush, the rest by John Wood- 
house. The exact character of the joint authorship does not appear; 
but no doubt the technical descriptions are by Dr. Bachman. Publication 
was made in New York by Victor Audubon ; and there was a reissue 
of some parts of the work at least, as vol. i. is found with copyright of 1849, 
and date 1851 on the title. — E. C. 

' Lucy, now Mrs. Delancey B. Williams. 


lutely completed,^ in the face of incredible delays and diffi- 
culties, and representing an amount of work which in these 
days of easy travel it is hard to comprehend. The " Syn- 
opsis " also was published in this year, and the indefatigable 
worker began at once the octavo edition of the " Birds," and 
the drawings of the quadrupeds. For this edition of the 
" Birds " Victor attended almost wholly to the printing and 
publishing, and John reduced every drawing to the required 
size with the aid of the camera lucida, Audubon devoting 
his time to the coloring and obtaining of subscribers. 

Having fully decided to settle in New York City, and 
advised their friends to that effect, Audubon found he 
could not live in any city, except, as he writes, " perhaps 
fair Edinburgh;" so in the spring of 1842, the town 
house was sold, and the family moved to " Minniesland," 
now known as Audubon Park, in the present limits of New 
York City. The name came from the fact that my father 
and uncle always used the Scotch name " Minnie " for 
mother. The land when bought was deeded to her, and 
always spoken of as Minnie's land, and this became the 
name which the Audubons gave it, by which to day those 
of us who are left recall the lovely home where their 
happy childhood was spent ; for here were born all but 
three of the fourteen grandchildren. 

No railroad then separated the lawn from the beach 
where Audubon so often hauled the seine; the dense 

1 Victor Audubon wrote in reply to a question as to how many copies 
of the " Birds " were in existence : " About 175 copies ; of these I should 
say 80 were in our own country. The length of time over which the work 
extended brought many changes to original subscribers, and this accounts 
for the odd volumes which are sometimes offered for sale." 

In stating that the work had been " absolutely completed " in 1838, 1 must 
not omit to add that when the octavo reissue appeared it contained a few 
additional birds chiefly derived from Audubon's fruitful voyage up the 
Missouri in 1843, which also yielded much material for the work on the 
Quadrupeds. The appearance of the " Synopsis " in 1839 marks the interval 
between the completion of the original undertaking and the beginning 
of plans for its reduction to octavo. — E. C. 


woods all around resounded to the songs of the birds he 
so loved; many animals (deer, elk, moose, bears, vvolv^es, 
foxes, and smaller quadrupeds) were kept in enclosures 
— never in cages — mostly about a quarter of a mile 
distant from the river, near the little building known 
as the " painting house." What joyous memories are 
those of the rush out of doors, lessons being over, to the 
little brook, following which one gathered the early blos- 
soms in their season, or in the autumn cleared out leaves, 
that its waters might flow unimpeded, and in winter found 
icicles of wondrous shape and beauty ; and just beyond its 
source stood the painting house, where every child was 
always welcome,^ where the wild flowers from hot little 
hands were painted in the pictures of what we called " the 
animals," to the everlasting pride and glory of their 

It was hoped that only shorter trips would now be 
taken, and a visit to Canada as far as Quebec was made 
in August and September of 1842. 

But even in this home after his own tastes, where hospi- 
tality and simplicity ruled, Audubon could not stay, for 
his heart had always been set on going farther west, and 
though both family and friends thought him growing too 
old for such a journey, he started in March, 1843, ^o^ St. 
Louis, and thence up the Missouri on the steamboat 
" Omega " of the American Fur Company, which left on its 
annual trip April 25, 1843, taking up supplies of all 
sorts, and returning with thousands of skins and furs. 
Here again Audubon speaks for himself, and I shall not 
now anticipate his account with words of mine, as the 
Missouri journal follows in full. He was accompanied 
on this trip by Mr. Edward Harris, his faithful friend of 
many years, John G. Bell as taxidermist, Isaac Sprague 

• " These little folk, of all sizes, sit and play in my room and do not 
touch the specimens." (Letter of Dr. Bachman, May 11, 1848, to his family 
in Charleston.) 


as artist, and Lewis Squires as secretary and general 
assistant. With the exception of Mr. Harris, all were 
engaged by Audubon, who felt his time was short, his 
duties many, while the man of seventy (?) had no longer 
the strength of youth. 

November of 1843 saw him once more at Minniesland, 
and the long journeys were forever over; but work 
on the " Quadrupeds " was continued with the usual 
energy. The next few years were those of great happi- 
ness. His valued friend Dr. Thomas M. Brewer, of 
Boston, visited him in 1846. Writing of him Dr. Brewer 
says : ^ " The patriarch had greatly changed since I had 
last seen him. He wore his hair longer, and it now hung 
down in locks of snowy whiteness on his shoulders. His 
once piercing gray eyes, though still bright, had already 
begun to fail him. He could no longer paint with his 
wonted accuracy, and had at last, most reluctantly, been 
forced to surrender to his sons the task of completing the 
illustrations to the " Quadrupeds of North America." 
Surrounded by his large family, including his devoted wife, 
his two sons with their wives,^ and quite a troop of grand- 
children, his enjoyments of life seemed to leave him little 
to desire. ... A pleasanter scene, or a more interesting 
household it has never been the writer's good fortune to 

Of this period one of his daughters-in-law ^speaks 
in her journal as follows : " Mr. Audubon was of a most 
kindly nature; he never passed a workman or a stranger 
of either sex without a salutation, such as, ' Good-day, 
friend,' 'Well, my good man, how do you do?' If a 
boy, it was, ' Well, my little man,' or a little girl, ' Good 
morning, lassie, how are you to-day?' All were noticed, 

1 Harper's Monthly Magazine, October, 18S0, p. 665. 
- Both sons had married a second time. Victor had married Georgiana 
R. Mallory of New York, and John, Caroline Hall of England. 
3 Mrs. V. G. Audubon. 


and his pleasant smile was so cordial that all the villagers 
and work-people far and near, knew and liked him. He 
painted a little after his return from the Yellowstone 
River, but as he looked at his son John's animals, he said : 
* Ah, Johnny, no need for the old man to paint any more 
when you can do work like that.' He was most affection- 
ate in his disposition, very fond of his grandchildren, and 
it was a pleasant sight to see him sit with one on his 
knee, and others about him, singing French songs in his 
lively way. It was sweet too, to see him with his wife ; 
he was always her lover, and invariably used the pro- 
nouns ' thee ' and ' thou ' in his speech to her. Often have 
I heard him say, ' Well, sweetheart ! always busy ; come 
sit thee down a few minutes and rest.' " 

My mother has told me that when the picture of the 
Cougars came from Texas, where my father had painted it, 
my grandfather's delight knew no bounds. He was be- 
side himself with joy that " his boy Johnny " could paint 
a picture he considered so fine ; he looked at it from every 
point, and could not keep quiet, but walked up and down 
filled with delight. 

Of these years much might be said, but much has 
already been written of them, so I will not repeat.^ Many 
characteristics Audubon kept to the last; his enthusiasm, 
freshness, and keenness of enjoyment and pain were never 
blunted. His ease and grace of speech and movement 
were as noticeable in the aged man as they had been in 
the happy youth of Mill Grove. His courteous manners 
to all, high and low, were always the same ; his chivalry, 
generosity, and honor were never dimmed, and his great 
personal beauty never failed to attract attention; always 
he was handsome. His stepmother writes from Nantes 
to her husband in Virginia : " He is the handsomest boy 
in Nantes, but perhaps not the most studious." At Mill 

* Reminiscences of Audubon, Scribner's Monthly, July, 1S76, p. 333; 
Turf, Field, and Farm, Nov. iS, iSSl. 




Grove Mr. David Pawling wrote in January, 1805: "To- 
day I saw the swiftest skater I ever beheld ; backwards 
and forwards he went like the wind, even leaping over 
large air-holes fifteen or more feet across, and continuing 
to skate without an instant's delay. I was told he was 
a young Frenchman, and this evening I met him at a 
ball, where I found his dancing exceeded his skating; 
all the ladies wished him as partner; moreover, a hand- 
somer man I never saw, his eyes alone command atten- 
tion; his name, Audubon, is strange to me." 

Abroad it was the same ; Mr. Rathbone speaks of " his 
beautiful expressive face," as did Christopher North, and 
so on until the beauty of youth and manhood passed into 
the " magnificent gray-haired man." 

But " the gay young Frenchman who danced with all 
the girls," was an old man now, not so much as the years 
go, but in the intensity of his life. He had never done 
anything by halves ; he had played and worked, enjoyed 
and sorrowed, been depressed and elated, each and all 
with his highly strung nature at fever heat, and the end 
was not far. He had seen the accomplishment of his 
hopes in the " Birds," and the " Quadrupeds " he was 
content to leave largely to other hands; and surely no man 
ever had better helpers. From first to last his wife had 
worked, in more ways than one, to further the aim of his 
life; Victor had done the weary mechanical business 
work; John had hunted, and preserved specimens, taken 
long journeys — notably to Texas and California — and 
been his father's travelling companion on more than one 
occasion. Now the time had come when he no longer 
led; Victor had full charge of the publication of the 
" Quadrupeds," besides putting in many of the back- 
grounds, and John painted a large proportion of the 
animals. But I think that none of them regarded their 
work as individual, — it was always ours, for father and 
sons were comrades and friends ; and with Dr. Bachman's 


invaluable aid this last work was finished, but not during 
Audubon's life. He travelled more or less in the inter- 
ests of his publications during these years, largely in New 
England and in the Middle States. 

In 1847 the brilliant intellect began to be dimmed; at 
first it was only the difficulty of finding the right word to 
express an idea, the gradual lessening of interest, and this 
increased till in May, 1848, Dr. Bachman tells the pa- 
thetic close of the enthusiastic and active life : " Alas, 
my poor friend Audubon ! The outlines of his beautiful 
face and form are there, but his noble mind is all in ruins. 
It is indescribably sad." 

Through these last years the devotion of the entire 
household was his. He still loved to wander in the 
woods, he liked to hear his wife read to him, and music 
was ever a delight. To the very last his daughter-in-law, 
Mrs. Victor G. Audubon, sang a little Spanish song to 
him every evening, rarely permitting anything to interfere 
with what gave him so much pleasure, and evening by 
evening he listened to the Bucnas Noclies, which was so 
soon to be his in reality. 

His grandchildren, also, were a constant source of en- 
joyment to him, and he to them, for children always found 
a friend in him; and thus quietly did he pass through that 
valley which had no shadows for him. 

I wish to wholly correct the statement that Audubon 
became blind. His sight became impaired by old age, 
as is usually the case ; he abhorred spectacles or glasses 
of any kind, would not wear them except occasionally, 
and therefore did not get the right focus for objects near 
by; but his far-sight was hardly impaired. That won- 
derful vision which surprised even the keen-eyed Indian 
never failed him. 

Well do I remember the tall figure with snow-white 
hair, wandering peacefully along the banks of the beautiful 
Hudson. Already he was resting in that border land 


The reverse of the base bears the inscription — 

Erected to the Memory' of 


In the year 1893, by subscriptions raised by the 

New York Academy of Science. 


which none can fathom, and it could not have been far to 
go, no long and weary journey, when, after a few days of 
increasing feebleness, for there was no illness, just as sun- 
set was flooding the pure, snow-covered landscape with 
golden light, at five o'clock on Monday, January 27, 185 1, 
the " pard-like spirit, beautiful and swift, . . . outsoared 
the shadow of our night." 

In a quiet spot in Trinity Church Cemetery, not far from 
the home where Audubon spent his last years, the remains 
of the naturalist were laid with all honor and respect, on 
the Thursday following his death. Time brought changes 
which demanded the removal of the first burial-place, and 
a second one was chosen in the same cemetery, which is 
now marked by the beautiful monument erected by the 
New York Academy of Sciences.^ 

Now wife and sons have joined him ; together they rest 
undisturbed by winter storms or summer heat; the river 
they loved so well flows past their silent home as in 
days long gone when its beauties won their hearts. 

Truly the place where they dwelt shall know them no 
more, but " while the melody of the mocking-bird is heard 
in the cypress forests of Louisiana, and the squirrel leaps 
from its leafy curtain like a thing of beauty, the name of 
Audubon will live in the hearts of coming generations." 

* Unveiled April 26, 1893, °" which occasion eulogies were pronounced by 
Mr. D. G. Elliot, ex-president of the American Ornithologists' Union, and 
Prof. Thomas Egleston of Columbia College. 





ON the 26th April, 1826, I left my beloved wife Lucy 
Audubon, and my son John Woodhouse with our 
friends the Percys at Bayou Sara. I remained at Doctor 
Pope's at St. Francisville till Wednesday at four o'clock 
P. M., when I took the steamboat " Red River," Captain 
Kemble, for New Orleans, which city I reached at noon 
on Wednesday, 27th, Visited many vessels for my pas- 
sage to England, and concluded to go in the ship " Delos " 
of Kennebunk, Captain Joseph Hatch, bound to Liverpool, 
and loaded entirely with cotton. During my stay in New 
Orleans, I lived at G. L. Sapinot's, and saw many of my 
old friends and acquaintances, but the whole time of wait- 
ing was dull and heavy. I generally walked from morning 
till dusk. New Orleans, to a man who does not trade in 
dollars or other such stuff, is a miserable spot. Finally, 
discovering that the ship would not be ready for sea for 
several days longer, I ascended the Mississippi again in 
the " Red River," and arrived at Mrs. Percy's at three 
o'clock in the morning, having had a dark ride through 
the Magnolia woods. I remained two days, left at sunrise, 
and breakfasted with my good friend Augustin Bourgeat. 
Arrived at New Orleans, I called on the governor, who 
gave me a letter bearing the seal of the State, obviating 
the necessity of a passport. I received many letters of 
introduction from different persons which will be of use to 
me. Also I wrote to Charles Bonaparte, apprising him of 
the box of bird skins forwarded to him. 

VOL. I. — 6 


On the 17t]i of May, my baggage was put on board, I 
following, and the steamboat " Hercules " came alongside 
at seven P. M., and in ten hours put the " Delos " to sea. I 
was immediately affected with sea-sickness, which, however, 
lasted but a short time ; I remained on deck constantly, 
forcing myself to exercise. We calculated our day of 
departure to be May i8, 1826, at noon, when we first 
made an observation. It is now the 28th ; the weather 
has been generally fair with light winds. The first objects 
which diverted my thoughts from the dear ones left behind 
me, were the beautiful Dolphins that glided by the vessel 
like burnished gold by day, and bright meteors by night. 
Our captain and mate proved experts at alluring them with 
baited hooks, and dexterous at piercing them with a five- 
pronged instrument, generally called by seamen " grain." 
If hooked, the Dolphin flounces desperately, glides off 
with all its natural swiftness, rises perpendicularly out of 
the water several feet, and often shakes off the hook and 
escapes; if, however, he is well hooked, he is played about 
for a while, soon exhausted, and hauled into the ship. 
Their flesh is firm, dry, yet quite acceptable at sea. 
They differ much in their sizes, being, according to age, 
smaller or larger; I saw some four and a half feet long, 
but a fair average is three feet. The paunch of all we 
caught contained more or less small fishes of different 
varieties, amongst which the flying-fish is most prevalent. 
Dolphins move in companies of from four or five to 
twenty or more. They chase the flying-fish, that with 
astonishing rapidity, after having escaped their sharp 
pursuer a while in the water, emerge, and go through 
the air with the swiftness of an arrow, sometimes in a 
straight course, sometimes forming part of a circle; yet 
frequently the whole is unavailing, for the Dolphin bounds 
from the sea in leaps of fifteen or twenty feet, and so 
moves rapidly towards his prey, and the little fish falls, to 
be swallowed by his antagonist. You must not suppose, 


however, that the Dolphin moves through the seas without 
risk or danger; he, as well as others has vigilant and 
powerful enemies. One is the Barracouta, in shape much 
like a Pike, growing sometimes to a large size ; one of 
these cut off upwards of a foot of a Dolphin's tail, as if done 
with an axe, as the Dolphin made for a baited hook; and I 
may say we about divided the bounty. There is a degree 
of sympathy existing between Dolphins quite remarkable; 
the moment one of them is hooked or grained, all those in 
company immediately make towards him, and remain close 
to him till the unfortunate is hauled on board, then they 
move off and will rarely bite. The skin of the fish is a tis- 
sue of small scales, softer in their substance than is generally 
the case in scaley fishes of such size; the skin is tough. 

We also caught a Porpoise about seven feet in length. 
This was accomplished during the night, when the moon 
gave me a full view of all that happened. The fish, con- 
trary to custom, was grained instead of harpooned, but 
grained in such a way and so effectually, through the fore- 
head, that it was then held and suffered to flounce and 
beat about the bow of the ship, until the man who had first 
speared it gave the line holding the grain to our captain, 
slid along the bobstay with a rope, then, after some little 
time and perhaps some difficulty, the fish was secured im- 
mediately about its tail, and hoisted with that part up- 
wards. Arrived at the deck it gave a deep groan, much 
like the last from a dying hog, flapped heavily once or 
twice, and died. I had never before examined one of 
these closely, and the duck-bill-like snout, and the curious 
disposition of the tail, with the body, were new and interest- 
ing matters of observation to me. The large, sleek, black 
body, the quantity of warm, black blood issuing from 
the wound, the blowing apertures placed over the fore- 
head, — all attracted my attention. I requested it might 
be untouched till the next morning, and my wish was 
granted. On opening it the intestines were still warm 


(say eight hours after death), and resembled very much 
those of a hog. The paunch contained several cuttle-fish 
partly decayed. The flesh was removed from the skeleton 
and left the central bone supported on its sides by two 
horizontal, and one perpendicular bone, giving it the ap- 
pearance of a four-edged cutting instrument; the lower 
jaw, or as I would prefer writing it, mandible, exceeds the 
upper about three-fourths of an inch. Both were furnished 
with single rows of divided conical teeth, about one-half 
an inch in length, so parted as to admit those of the upper 
jaw between each of those of the lower. The fish might 
weigh about two hundred pounds. The eyes were small 
in proportion to the size of the animal, and having a breath- 
ing aperture above, of course it had no gills. Porpoises 
move in large companies, and generally during spring and 
early summer go in pairs. I have seen a parcel of them 
leap perpendicularly about twenty feet, and fall with a 
heavy dash in the sea. Our captain told us that there 
were instances when small boats had been sunk by one of 
these heavy fish falling into them. Whilst I am engaged 
with the finny tribe (of which, however, I know little or 
nothing), I may as well tell you that one morning when 
moving gently, two miles per hour, the captain called me 
to show me some pretty little fishes just caught from the 
cabin window. These measured about three inches, were 
broad, and moved very quickly through the water. We 
had pin-hooks, and with these, in about two hours, 
three hundred and seventy were caught ; they were sweet 
and good as food. They are known ordinarily as Rudder- 
fish, and always keep on the lee side of the rudder, as it 
affords them a strong eddy to support them, and enable 
them to follow the vessel in that situation ; when calm they 
disperse about the bow and sides, and then will not bite. 
The least breeze brings them all astern again in a compact 
body, when they seize the baited hook the moment it 
reaches the water. 


We have also caught two Sharks, one a female about 
seven feet long, that had ten young, alive, and able to 
swim well ; one of them was thrown overboard and made 
off as if well accustomed to take care of himself. Another 
was cut in two, and the head half swam off out of our 
sight. The remainder, as well as the parent, were cut in 
pieces for bait for Dolphins, which arc extremely partial to 
that meat. The weather being calm and pleasant, I felt 
desirous to have a view of the ship from a distance and 
Captain Hatch politely took me in the yawl and had it 
rowed all round the " Delos." This was a sight I had not 
enjoyed for twenty years, and I was much pleased with it ; 
afterwards having occasion to go out to try the bearings of 
the current, I again accompanied him, and bathed in the 
sea, not however without some fears as to Sharks. To try 
the bearings of the current we took an iron pot fastened 
to a line of one hundred and twenty fathoms, and made a 
log-board out of a barrel's head leaded on one side to make 
it sink perpendicularly on its edge, and tried the velocity 
of the current with it fixed to a line by the help of a second 
glass} whilst our iron pot acted as an anchor. 

Let me change my theme, and speak of birds awhile. 
Mother Carey's Chickens {Proccllaria) came about us, 
and I longed to have at least one in my possession. I had 
watched their evolutions, their gentle patting of the sea 
when on the wing, with the legs hanging and the web 
extended, seen them take large and long ranges in search 
of food, and return for bits of fat thrown overboard for 
them, I had often looked at different figures given by 
scientific men ; but all this could not diminish for a moment 
the long-wished for pleasure of possessing one in the flesh. 
I fired, and dropped the first one that came alongside, and 
the captain most courteously sent for it with the yawl. 
I made two drawings of it; it proved to be a female with 
eggs, numerous, but not larger than grains of fine powder, 
1 This sounds involved, but is copied verbatim. 


inducing me to think that these birds must either breed 
earher, or much later, than any in our southern latitude. 
I should be inclined to think that the specimen I inspected 
had not laid this season, though I am well satisfied that it 
was an old bird. During many succeeding weeks I dis- 
covered that numbers flew mated side by side, and occa- 
sionally, particularly on calm, pleasant days caressed each 
other as Ducks are known to do. 

May 27, 182G. Five days ago we saw a small vessel 
with all sails set coming toward us ; we were becalmed and 
the unknown had a light breeze. It approached gradually; 
suspicions were entertained that it might be a pirate, as 
we had heard that same day reports, which came undoubt- 
edly from cannon, and from the very direction from wliich 
this vessel was coming. We were well manned, toler- 
ably armed, and were all bent on resistance, knowing 
well that these gentry gave no quarter, to purses at least, 
and more or less uneasiness was perceptible on every face. 
Night arrived, a squally breeze struck us, and off we 
moved, and lost sight of the pursuing vessel in a short 
time. The next day a brig that had been in our wake 
came near us, was hailed, and found to be the " Gleaner," 
of Portland, commanded by an acquaintance of our com- 
mander, and bound also to Liverpool. This vessel had 
left New Orleans five days before us. We kept close 
together, and the next day Captain Hatch and myself 
boarded her, and were kindly received ; after a short stay 
her captain, named Jefferson, came with us and remained 
the day. I opened my drawings and showed a few of 
them. Mr. Swift was anxious to see some, and I wanted 
to examine in what state they kept, and the weather being 
dry and clear I feared nothing. It was agreed the vessels 
should keep company until through the Gulf Stream, for 
security against pirates. So fine has the weather been 
so far, that all belonging to the cabin have constantly 
slept on deck; an awning has been extended to protect 


from the sun by day and the dampness by night. When 
full a hundred leagues at sea, a female Rice Bunting came 
on board, and remained with us one night, and part of a 
day. A Warbler also came, but remained only a few 
minutes, and then made for the land we had left. It 
moved while on board with great activity and sprightli- 
ness ; the Bunting, on the contrary, was exhausted, panted, 
and I have no doubt died of inanition. 

Many Sooty Terns were in sight during several days. 
I saw one Frigate Pelican high in air, and could only judge 
it to be such through the help of a telescope. Flocks of 
unknown birds were also about the ship during a whole 
day. They swam well, and preferred the water to the 
air. They resembled large Phalaropes, but I could not 
be certain. A small Alligator, that I had purchased for 
a dollar in New Orleans, died at the end of nine days, 
through my want of knowledge, or thought, that salt 
matter was poisonous to him. In two days he swelled to 
nearly double his natural size, breathed hard, and, as I 
have said, died. 

In latitude 24°, 27', a Green Heron came on board, and 
remained until, becoming frightened, it flew towards the 
brig "Gleaner;" it did not appear in the least fatigued. 
The captain of the brig told me that on a former voyage 
from Europe to New Orleans, when about fifty leagues 
from the Balize, a fully grown Whooping Crane came on 
board his vessel during the night, passing over the length 
of his deck, close over his head, over the helmsman, and 
fell in the yawl ; the next morning the bird was found 
there completely exhausted, when every one on board 
supposed it had passed on. A cage was made for it, but 
it refused food, lingered a few days, and then died. It 
was plucked and found free from any wound, and in good 
condition; a very singular case in birds of the kind, that 
are inured to extensive journeys, and, of course liable to 
spend much time without the assistance of food. 


June 4- ^^ ^^^ ^ f'S^v miles south of the Line, for 
the second time in my life. Since I wrote last we have 
parted from our companion the " Gleaner," and are yet 
in the Gulf of Mexico. I have been at sea three Sundays, 
and yet we have not made the shores of Cuba. Since 
my last date I have seen a large Sword-fish, but only saw 
it, two Gannets, caught a live Warbler, and killed a 
Great-footed Hawk. This bird, after having alighted sev- 
eral times on our yards, made a dash at a Warbler which 
was feeding on the flies about the vessel, seized it, and 
ate it in our sight, on the wingy much like a Mississippi 
Kite devouring the Red-throated Lizards. The warbler 
we caught was a nondescript, which I named " The Cape 
Florida Songster." Wc also saw two Frigate Pelicans at a 
great height, and a large species of Petrel, entirely un- 
known to me. I have read Byron's " Corsair " with much 

Jnne 17. A brig bound to Boston, called the " An- 
dromache," came alongside, and my heart rejoiced at 
the idea that letters could be carried by her to America. 
I set to, and wrote to my wife and to Nicholas Bcrthoud. 
A sudden squall separated us till quite late, but we boarded 
her, I going with the captain ; the sea ran high, and the 
tossing of our light yawl was extremely disagreeable to 
my feelings. The brig was loaded with cotton, extremely 
filthy, and I was glad to discover that with all onr dis- 
agreeables we were comparatively comfortable on the 
" Dclos." We have been in sight of Cuba four days; the 
heat excessive. I saw three beautiful White-headed 
Pigeons, or Doves, flying about our ship, but after sev- 
eral rounds they shaped their course towards the Floridas 
and disappeared. The Dolphins we catch here are said 
to be poisonous ; to ascertain whether they are or not, a 
piece of fish is boiled with a silver dollar till quite cooked, 
when if the coin is not tarnished or green, the fish is safe 
eating. I find bathing in the sea water extremely refresh- 


ing, and enjoy this luxury every night and morning. 
Several vessels are in sight. 

yinie 26. We have been becalmed many days, and 
I should be dull indeed were it not for the fishes and 
birds, and my pen and pencil. I have been much in- 
terested in the Dusky Petrels ; the mate killed four at 
one shot, so plentiful were they about our vessel, and 
I have made several drawings from these, which were 
brought on board for that purpose. They skim over the 
sea in search of what is here called Gulf Weed, of which 
there are large patches, perhaps half an acre in extent. 
They flap the wings six or seven times, then soar for 
three or four seconds, the tail spread, the wings extended. 
Four or five of these birds, indeed sometimes as many as 
fifteen or twenty, will alight on this weed, dive, flutter, and 
swim with all the gayety of ducks on a pond, which they 
have reached after a weary journey. I heard no note 
from any of them. No sooner have the Petrels eaten or 
dispersed the fish than they rise and extend their wings 
for flight, in search of more. At times, probably to rest 
themselves, they alighted, swam lightly, dipping their bills 
frequently in the water as Mergansers and fishy Ducks do 
when trying, by tasting, if the water contains much fish. 
On inspection of the body, I found the wings powerfully 
muscular and strong for the size of the bird, a natural 
requisite for individuals that have such an extent of water 
to traverse, and frequently heavy squalls to encounter 
and fight against. The stomach, or pouch, resembled a 
leather purse of four inches in length and was much dis- 
tended by the contents, which were a compound of fishes 
of different kinds, some almost entire, others more or less 
digested. The gullet was capable of great extension. 
Fishes two and a half inches by one inch were found 
nearly fresh. The flesh of these Petrels smelt strong, and 
was tough and not fit to eat. I tasted some, and found 
it to resemble the flesh of the Porpoise. There was no 


difference in the sexes, either in size or color; they are 
sooty black above, and snowy white below. The exact 
measurements are in my memorandum-book. 

June 20. This morning we came up with the ship 
"Thalia," of Philadelphia, Captain John R. Butler, from 
Havana to Minorca up the Mediterranean, with many 
passengers, Spaniards, on board. The captain very 
politely offered us some fruit, which was gladly accepted, 
and in return we sent them a large Dolphin, they having 
caught none. I sent a Petrel, stuffed some days previ- 
ously, as the captain asked for it for the Philadelphia 
Society of Sciences. 

jfune 30. Whilst sailing under a gentle breeze last 
night, the bird commonly called by seamen "Noddy" 
alighted on the boom of the vessel, and was very soon 
caught by the mate. It then uttered a rough cry, not 
unlike that of a young crow when taken from the nest. 
It bit severely and with quickly renewed movement of 
the bill, which, when it missed the object in view, snapped 
like that of our larger Flycatchers. I found it one of the 
same species that hovered over the seaweeds in company 
with the large Petrel. Having kept it alive during the 
night, when I took it in hand to draw it it was dull look- 
ing and silent. I know nothing of this bird more than 
what our sailors say, that it is a Noddy, and that they 
often alight on vessels in this latitude, particularly in the 
neighborhood of the Florida Keys. The bird was in 
beautiful plumage, but poor. The gullet was capable of 
great extension, the paunch was empty, the heart large for 
the bird, and the liver uncommonly so. 

A short time before the capture of the above bird, a 
vessel of war, a ship that we all supposed to be a South 
American Republican, or Columbian, came between us 
and the " Thalia," then distant from us about one and a 
half miles astern, fired a gun, and detained her for some 
time, the reason probably being that the passengers were 


Spaniards, and the cargo Spanish property ; however, this 
morning both vessels were in view making different routes. 
The man-of-war deigned not to come to us, and none of 
us were much vexed at this mark of inattention. This 
day has been calm ; my drawing finished, I caught four 
Dolphins ; how much I have gazed at these beautiful creat- 
ures, watching their last moments of life, as they changed 
their hue in twenty varieties of richest arrangement of tints, 
from burnished gold to silver bright, mixed with touches 
of ultramarine, rose, green, bronze, royal purple, quiver- 
ing to death on our hard, broiling deck. As I stood and 
watched them, I longed to restore them to their native 
element in all their original strength and vitality, and yet 
I felt but a few moments before a peculiar sense of pleas- 
ure in catching them with a hook to which they were 
allured by false pretences. 

We have at last entered the Atlantic Ocean this morn- 
ing and with a propitious breeze ; the land birds have left 
us, and I — I leave my beloved America, my wife, my 
children, my friends. The purpose of this voyage is to 
visit not only England, but the continent of Europe, with 
the intention of publishing my work on the " Birds of 
America." If not sadly disappointed my return to these 
shores, these happy shores, will be the brightest day I 
have ever enjoyed. Oh ! wife, children, friends, America, 
farewell ! farewell ! 

July 9. At sea. My leaving America had for some 
time the feelings of a dream ; I could scarce make up 
my mind fixedly on the subject. I thought continually 
I still saw my beloved friends, and my dear wife and chil- 
dren. I still felt every morning when I awoke that the land 
of America was beneath me, and that I would in a short 
time throw myself on the ground in her shady woods, 
and watch for, and listen to the many lovely warblers. 
But now that I have positively been at sea since fifty-one 
days, tossing to and fro, without the sight or the touch of 


those dear to me, I feel fully convinced, and look forward 
with an anxiety such as I never felt before, when I 
calculate that not less than four months, the third of a 
year, must elapse before my wife and children can receive 
any tidings of my arrival on the distant shores to which I 
am bound. When I think that many more months must 
run from the Life's sand-glass allotted to my existence 
before I can think of returning, and that my re-union with 
my friends and country is yet an unfolded and unknown 
event, I am filled with sudden apprehensions which I can- 
not describe nor dispel. 

Our fourth of July was passed near the Grand Banks, 
and how differently from any that I can recollect. The 
weather was thick, foggy, and as dull as m}-sclf; not a 
sound of rejoicing reached my ears, not once did I hear 
"Hail Columbia! Happy land." My companion pas- 
sengers lay about the deck and on the cotton-bales, bask- 
ing like Crocodiles, while the sun occasionally peeped 
out of the smoky haze that surrounded us; yet the breeze 
was strong, the waves moved majestically, and thousands 
of large Petrels displayed their elegant, aerial movements. 
How much I envied their power of flight to enable me to 
be here, there, and all over the globe comparatively speak- 
ing, in a few moments, throwing themselves edgeways 
against the breeze, as if a well sharpened arrow shot with 
the strength and grace of one sprung from the bow of an 
Apollo. I had remarked a regular increase in the number 
of these Petrels ever since the capes of Florida were 
passed ; but here they were so numerous, and for part of 
a day flew in such succession towards the west and 
southwest, that I concluded they were migrating to some 
well known shore to deposit their eggs, or perhaps leading 
their young. These very seldom alighted; they were full 
the size of a common gull, and as they flew they showed 
in quick alternations the whole upper and under part of 
their bodies, sometimes skimming low, sometimes taking 


immense curves, then dashing along the deep trough of 
the sea, going round our vessel (always out of gun-reach) 
as if she had been at anchor. Their lower parts are 
w^iite, the head all white, and the upper part of the body 
and wings above sooty brown. I would imagine that one 
of these Petrels flies over as much distance in one hour, as 
one of the little black Petrels in our wake does in twelve. 
Since we have left the neighborhood of the Banks, these 
birds have gradually disappeared, and now in latitude 44°, 
53' I see none. Our captain and sailors speak of them 
as companions in storms, as much as their little relations 
Mother Carey's chickens. 

As suddenly as if we had just turned the summit of a 
mountain dividing a country south of the equator from 
Iceland, the weather altered in the present latitude and 
longitude. My light summer clothing was not sufficient, 
and the dews that fell at night rendered the deck, where I 
always slept, too damp to be comfortable. This, however, 
of two evils I preferred, for I could not endure the more 
disagreeable odors of the cabin, where now the captain, 
officers, and Mr. Swift, eat their meals daily. The length 
of the days has increased astonishingly; at nine o'clock 

1 can easily read large print. Dawn comes shortly after 

2 A. M., and a long day is before us. 

At Sea— July y 1826. We had several days a stiff 
breeze that wafted us over the deep fully nine miles an 
hour. This was congenial to my wishes, but not to my 
feelings. The motion of the vessel caused violent head- 
aches, far more distressing than any seasickness I had ever 
experienced. Now, for the third or fourth time, I read 
Thomson's " Seasons," and I believe enjoyed them better 
than ever. 

Among our live stock on board, we had a large hen. 
This bird was very tame and quite familiar with the ins 
and outs of the vessel, and was allowed all the privileges 
of the deck. She had been hatched on board, and our 


cook, who claimed her as his property, was much attached 
to her, as was also the mate. One morning she im- 
prudently flew ov^erboard, while we were running three 
miles an hour. The yawl was immediately lowered, four 
men rowed her swiftly towards the floating bird that 
anxiously looked at her place of abode gliding from her; 
she was picked up, and her return on board seemed to 
please every one, and I was gratified to see such kind 
treatment to a bird ; it assured me, had I needed that 
assurance, that the love of animals develops the better 
side of all natures. Our hen, however, ended her life most 
distressingly not long after this narrow escape ; she again 
flew over the side, and the ship moving at nine knots, 
the sea very high and rough, the weather rainy and 
squally, the captain thought it imprudent to risk the men 
for the fowl ; so, notwithstanding the pleadings of the cook, 
we lost sight of the adventurous bird in a few moments. 
We have our long boat as usual lashed to the deck; but 
instead of being filled with lumber as is usually the case, it 
now contained three passengers, all bound to Europe to 
visit friends, with the intention of returning to America in 
the autumn. One has a number of books which he 
politely ofifcrcd me ; he plays most sweetly on the flute, 
and is a man superior to his apparent situation. We have 
a tailor also ; this personage is called a deck hand, but 
the fact is, that two thirds of his time is spent sleeping on 
the windlass. This man, however, like all others in the 
world, is useful in his way. He works whenever called 
on, and will most cheerfully put a button or a patch on 
any one's clothing; his name is Crow, and during the entire 
voyage, thus far, he has lived solely on biscuit and raw 
bacon. We now see no fish except now and then a shoal 
of porpoises. I frequently long for the beautiful Dolphins 
in the Gulf of Mexico; Whales have been seen by the 
sailors, but not by me. During this tedious voyage I 
frequently sit and watch our captain at his w^ork; I do 


not remember ever to have seen a man more industrious 
or more apt at doing nearly everything he needs himself. 
He is a skilful carpenter and turner, cooper, tin and black 
smith, and an excellent tailor; I saw him making a pair 
of pantaloons of fine cloth with all the neatness that a city 
brother of the cross-legged faculty could have used. He 
made a handsome patent swift for his wife, and a beautiful 
plane for his own use, manufactured out of a piece of beech- 
wood that probably grew on the banks of the Ohio, as I 
perceived it had been part of a flat-boat, and brought on 
board to be used for fuel. He can plait straw in all 
sorts of ways, and make excellent bearded fishhooks out of 
common needles. He is an excellent sailor, and the more 
stormy it becomes, the gayer he is, even when drenched to 
the skin. I was desirous of understanding the means of 
ascertaining the latitude on land, and also to find the 
true rising of the sun whilst travelling in the uninhabited 
parts of America; this he showed me with pleasure, and I 
calculated our latitude and longitude from this time, 
though not usually fond of mathematics. To keep busy 
I go often about the deck pencil in hand, sketching the 
different attitudes of the sailors, and many a laugh is 
caused by these rough drawings. Both the mates have 
shown a kindness towards me that I cannot forget. The 
first mate is S. L. Bragdon from Wells, the second Wm. 
Hobart from Kennebunk. 

To-day we came in with a new set and species of Petrels, 
resembling those in the Gulf of Mexico, but considerably 
larger; between fifty and sixty were at one time close to 
the vessel, catching small fish that we guessed to be her- 
rings; the birds swam swiftly over the water, their wings 
raised, and now and then diving and dipping after the 
small fry; they flew heavily, and with apparent reluctance, 
and alighted as soon as we passed them. I was satisfied 
that several in our wake had followed us from the Gulf of 
Mexico ; the sudden change in the weather must have 
been seriously felt by them. 


July 12. I had a beautiful view of a Whale about five 
hundred yards from the vessel when we first perceived it; 
the water thrown from his spiracles had the appearance of 
a small, thick cloud, twelve or fourteen feet wide. Never 
have I felt the weather so cold in July. \Vc are well 
wrapped up, and yet feel chilly in the drizzling rain. 

July 16. Yesterday-night ended the ninth Sunday 
passed at sea; the weather continues cold, but the wind is 
propitious. We are approaching land, and indeed I 
thought I smelt the " land smell." We have had many 
Whales near us during the day, and an immense number of 
Porpoises ; our captain, who prefers their flesh to the best 
of veal, beef, or mutton, said he would give five dollars for 
one ; but our harpoon is broken, and although several 
handles were fastened for a while to the grain, the weapon 
proved too light, and the fish invariably made their escape 
after a few bounces, probably to go and die in misery. 
European Hawks were seen, and two Curlews; these 
gave me hope that we might see the long desired land 

July IS, 1836. The sun is shining clear over Ireland ; 
that land was seen at three o'clock this morning by the 
man at the helm, and the mate, with a stentorian voice, 
announced the news. As we approached the coast a 
small boat ncared us, and came close under our lee; the 
boat looked somewhat like those employed in bringing in 
heavy loads to New Orleans, but her sails were more 
tattered, her men more fair in complexion. They hailed 
us and offered for sale fresh fish, new potatoes, fresh eggs. 
All were acceptable, I assure thee. They threw a light 
line to us most dexterously. Fish, potatoes, and eggs were 
passed to us, in exchange for whiskey, salt pork, and to- 
bacco, which were, I trust, as acceptable to them as their 
wares were to us. I thought the exchange a fair one, but 
no ! — they called for rum, brandy, whiskey, more of every- 
thing. Their expressions struck me with wonder ; it was 


" Here 's to your Honor," — " Long life to your Honor," 
— "God bless your Honor," — Honors followed with 
such rapidity that I turned away in disgust. The breeze 
freshened and we proceeded fast on our way. Perhaps 
to-morrow may see me safe on land again — perhaps to- 
morrow may see us all stranded, perishing where the 
beautiful " Albion " went ashore. 

St. George's Cluninel, Thursday, July 20. lam approach- 
ing very fast the shores of England, indeed Wales is 
abreast of our ship, and we can plainly distinguish the 
hedges that divide the fields of grain ; but what nakedness 
the country exhibits, scarce a patch of timber to be seen ; 
our fine forests of pine, of oak, of heavy walnut-trees, of 
magnificent magnolias, of hickories or ash or maple, are 
represented here by a diminutive growth called " furze." 
But I must not criticise so soon ! I have not seen the 
country, I have not visited any of the historic castles, or 
the renowned parks, for never have I been in England nor 
Scotland, that land made famous by the entrancing works 
of Walter Scott. We passed yesterday morning the 
Tuskar, a handsome light on a bare rock. This morning 
we saw Holyhead, and we are now not more than twenty- 
five miles from Liverpool; but I feel no pleasure, and 
were it not for the sake of my Lucy and my children, I 
would readily embark to-morrow to return to America's 
shores and all they hold for me. . . . The pilot boat that 
came to us this morning contained several men all dressed 
in blue, with overcoats of oiled linen, — all good, hearty, 
healthy-looking men. ... I have been on deck, and from 
the bow the land of England is plainly distinguishable ; 
the sight around us is a beautiful one, I have counted 
fifty-six vessels with spreading sails, and on our right are 
mountains fading into the horizon; my dull thoughts 
have all abandoned me, I am elated, my heart is filled 
with hope. To-morrow we shall land at the city of Liver- 
pool, but when I think of Custom House officials, accep- 

VOL. I. — 7 


tancy of Bills, hunting up lodgings, — again my heart fails 
me; I must on deck, 

Mersey River opposite Liverpool, 9.30 P.M. The night 
is cloudy, and we are at anchor ! The lights of the city 
show brightly, for we arc not more than two hundred 
yards distant from them. 

Liverpool, July 21. This morning when I landed it 
was raining, yet the appearance of the city was agree- 
able ; but no sooner had I entered it than the smoke 
became so oppressive to my lungs that I could hardly 
breathe ; it affected my eyes also. All was new to me. 
After a breakfast at an inn with Mr. Swift for 26, we went 
to the Exchange Buildings, to the counting-house of Gor- 
don and Forstall, as I was anxious to deliver my letters 
to Mr. Gordon from Mr. Briggs. I also presented during 
the morning my bill of exchange. The rest of the day 
was spent in going to the Museum, gazing about, and 
clearing my brains as much as possible ; but how lonely I 
feel, — not a soul to speak to freely when Mr. Swift leaves 
me for Ireland. We took lodgings at the Commercial Inn 
not far from the Exchange Buildings; we are well fed, and 
well attended to, although, to my surprise, altogether by 
women, neatly dressed and modest. I found the persons 
of whom I enquired for different directions, remarkably 
kind and polite ; I had been told this would not be the 
case, but I have met with only real politeness from all. 

Liverpool, July 22. The Lark that sings so sweetly, 
and that now awakened me from happy dreams, is nearly 
opposite my table, prisoner in a cage hanging by a win- 
dow where from time to time a young person comes to 
look on the world below ; I think of the world of the 
West and — but the Lark, delightful creature, sings sweetly, 
yet in a cage ! 

The Custom House suddenly entered my head, and 
after considerable delay there, my drawings went through 
a regular, strict, and complete examination. The officers 


were all of opinion that they were free of duty, but the 
law was looked at and I was obliged to pay two pence on 
each drawing, as they were water-colored. My books 
being American, I paid four "pence, per pound, and when all 
was settled, I took my baggage and drawings, and went 
to my lodgings. The noise of pattens on the sidewalk 
startles me very frequently; if the sound is behind me I 
often turn my head expecting to see a horse, but instead 
I observe a neat, plump-looking maid, tripping as briskly 
as a Killdeer. I received a polite note from Mr. Rath- 
bone ^ this morning, inviting me to dine next Wednesday 
with him and Mr. Roscoc.^ I shall not forget the appoint- 

Sunday, Jidy 23. Being Sunday I must expect a 
long and lonely day; I woke at dawn and lay for a few 
moments only, listening to the sweet-voiced Lark ; the day 
was beautiful; thermometer in the sun 65°, in the shade 
41° ; I might say 40°, but I love odd numbers, — it is a fool- 
ish superstition with me. I spent my forenoon with Mr. 
Swift and a friend of his, Mr. R. Lyons, who was after- 
wards kind enough to introduce us to the Commercial 
Reading Room at the Exchange Buildings. In the after- 
noon we went across the Mersey. The country is some- 
what dull; we returned to supper, sat chatting in the coffee 
room, and the day ended. 

July 24, Monday. As early as I thought proper I 

1 Mr. Wm. Rathbone, of the firm of Rathbone Bros. & Co., to whom 
Audubon had a letter from Mr. Vincent Nolte. To Messrs. Wm. and 
Richard Rathbone, and their father Wm. Rathbone, Sr., Audubon was more 
deeply indebted than to any other of his many kind friends in England. 
Their hospitality was only equalled by their constant and valuable assist- 
ance in preparing for the publication of the " Birds," and when this was an 
assured fact, they were unresting in their efforts to aid Audubon in pro- 
curing subscribers. It is with pleasure that Audubon's descendants to-day 
acknowledge this indebtedness to the "family Rathbone," which is ever 
held in grateful remembrance. 

2 William Roscoe, historical, botanical, and miscellaneous writer, 1753- 


turned my steps to No. 87 Duke Street, where the poHte 
English gentleman, Mr. Richard Rathbone,^ resides. My 
locks blew freely from under my hat in the breeze, and 
nearly every lady I met looked at them with curiosity. 
Mr. Rathbone was not in, but was at his counting-house, 
where I soon found myself. A full dozen of clerks were 
at their separate desks, work was going on apace, letters 
were being thrown into an immense bag belonging to a 
packet that sailed this day for the shores where I hope my 
Lucy is happy — dearest friend ! My name was taken 
to the special room of Mr. Rathbone, and in a moment I 
was met by one who acted towards me as a brother. He 
did not give his card to poor Audubon, he gave his hand, 
and a most cordial invitation to be at his house at two 
o'clock, which hour found me there. I was ushered into a 
handsome dining-room, and Mr. Rathbone almost imme- 
diately entered the same, with a most hearty greeting. 
I dined with this hospitable man, his charming wife and 
children, Mrs. Rathbone is not only an amiable woman, 

1 In a charming letter written to me by Mr. Richard R. Rathbone, son of 
this gentleman, dated Glan y Menai, Anglesey, May 14, 1897, he says: 
"To us there was a halo of romance about Mr. Audubon, artist, naturalist, 
quondam backwoodsman, and the author of that splendid work which I used 
to see on a table constructed to hold the copy belonging to my Uncle 
William, opening with hinges so as to raise the bird portraits as if on a 
desk. Hut still more I remember his amiable character, though tinged with 
melancholy by past sufferings ; and his beautiful, expressive face, kept alive 
in my memory by his autograph crayon sketch thereof, in profile, with the 
words written at foot, ' Audubon at Green Bank. Almost happy, 9th Sep- 
tember, 1826.' Mr. Audubon painted for my father, as a gift, an Otter (in 
oils) caught by the fore-foot in a steel trap, and after vainly gnawing at 
the foot to release himself, throwing up his head, probably with a yell of 
agony, and displaying his wide-open jaws dripping with blood. This pic- 
ture hung on our walls for years, until my mother could no longer bear the 
horror of it, and persuaded my father to part with it. We also had a full- 
length, life-sized portrait of the American Turkey, striding through the 
forest. Both pictures went to a public collection in Liverpool. I have also 
a colored sketch by Mr. Audubon of a Robin Redbreast, shot by him at 
Green Bank, which I saw him pin with long pins into a bit of board to fix 
it into position for the instruction of my mother." 


but a most intelligent and highly educated one. Mr. 
Rathbone took me to the Exchange Buildings in order to 
see the American consul, Mr. Maury, and others. Intro- 
duction followed introduction ; then I was taken through 
the entire building, the mayor's public dining-hall, etc. 
I gazed on pictures of royalty by Sir Thomas Lawrence 
and others, mounted to the dome and looked over Liver- 
pool and the harbor that Nature formed for her. It was 
past five when I went to keep my appointment with Mr. 

July 25. The day has passed quickly. In the morn- 
ing I made a crayon portrait of Mr. Swift — or rather 
began it — for his father, then took a walk, and on my 
return found a note from Mr. Richard Rathbone awaiting 
me. He desired me to come at once with one of my 
portfolios to Duke Street. I immediately took a hackney 
coach and found Mr. and Mrs. Rathbone with Mr. James 
Pyke awaiting me, to take me to the home of Mr. Rath- 
bone, Sr., who lives some miles out of Liverpool.^ Their 
youngest boy, Basil, a sweet child, took a fancy to me and 
I to him, and we made friends during our drive. The 
country opened gradually to our view, and presently pass- 
ing up an avenue of trees we entered the abode of the 
venerable pair, and I was heartily made welcome. I felt 
painfully awkward, as I always do in new company, but 
so much kindness and simplicity soon made me more at 
ease. I saw as I entered the house a full and beautiful 
collection of the birds of England, well prepared and 
arranged. What sensations I had whilst I helped to untie 
the fastenings of my portfolio ! I knew by all around me 
that these good friends were possessed of both taste' and 
judgment, and I did not know that I should please. I 
was panting like the winged Pheasant, but ah ! these kjnd 
people praised my Birds, and I felt the praise to be honest ; 
once more I breathed freely. My portfolio thoroughly 
1 At Green Bank. 


examined, we returned to Liverpool, and later the Rev, 
Wm. Goddard, rector of Liverpool, and several ladies 
called on me, and saw some drawings; all praised them. 
Oh ! what can I hope, my Lucy, for thee and for us all? 

July 26. It is very late, and I am tired, but I will not 
omit writing on that account. The morning was beautiful, 
but for some reason I was greatly depressed, and it 
appeared to me as if I could not go on with the work 
before me. However, I recollected that the venerable Mr. 
Maury must not be forgotten. I saw him; Mr. Swift left 
for Dublin with his crayon portrait ; I called at the post- 
office for news from America, but in vain. I wrote for 
some time, and then received a call from Mr. Rathbone 
with his brother William ; the latter invited me to dine on 
Friday at his house, which I promised to do, and this 
evening I dined with Mr. Rd. Rathbone. I went at half- 
past six, my heart rather failing me, entered the corridor, 
my hat was taken, and going upstairs I entered Mr. Rath- 
bone's drawing-room. I have frequently thought it strange 
that my observatory nerves never give way, no matter how 
much I am overcome by viatroaisc kontc, nor did they now. 
Many pictures embellished the walls, and helped, with Mr. 
Rathbone's lively mien, to remove the misery of the mo- 
ment. Mr. Edward Roscoe came in immediately, — tall, 
with a good eye under a well marked brow. Dinner 
announced, we descended to the room I had entered on my 
first acquaintance with this charming home, and I was 
conducted to the place of honor. Mr. Roscoe sat next, 
Mr. Barclay of London, and Mr. Melly opposite with Consul 
Maury; the dinner was enlivened with mirth and boji mots, 
and* I found in such good company infinite pleasure. 
After we left the table Mrs. Rathbone joined us in the 
parlor, and I had now again to show my drawings. Mr. 
Roscoe, who had been talking to me about them at dinner, 
would not give me any hopes, and I felt unusually gloomy 
as one by one I slipped them from their case ; but after 


looking at a few only, the great man said heartily : " Mr. 
Audubon, I am filled with surprise and admiration." On 
bidding me adieu he invited me to dine with him to-mor- 
row, and to visit the Botanical Gardens. Later Mrs. Rath- 
bone showed me some of her drawings, where talent has 
put an undeniable stamp on each touch. 

July 27 . I reached ]\Ir. Roscoe's place, about one and 
a half miles distant from Liverpool, about three o'clock, 
and was at once shown into a little drawing-room where all 
was nature. Mr. Roscoe was drawing a very handsome 
plant most beautifully. The room was ornamented with 
many flowers, receiving from his hands the care and treat- 
ment they required ; they were principally exotics from 
many distant and different climes. His three daughters 
were introduced to mc, and we then started for the Gar- 
dens. Mr. Roscoe and I rode there in what he called his 
little car, drawn by a pony so small that I was amazed to 
see it pull us both with apparent ease. Mr. Roscoe is a 
coinc-at-able person, who makes me feel at home immedi- 
ately, and we have much in common. I was shown the 
whole of the Gardens, which with the hot-house were in 
fine order. The ground is level, well laid out, and beauti- 
fully kept ; but the season was, so Mr. Roscoe said, a little 
advanced for me to see the place to the best advantage. 
On our return to the charming laboratoire of Mr. Roscoe 
the large portfolio is again in sight. I will not weary you 
with the details of this. One of the daughters draws well, 
and I saw her look closely at me very often, and she finally 
made known her wish to take a sketch of my head, to 
which I gave reluctant consent for some future time. Mr. 
Roscoe is very anxious I should do well, and says he will 
try to introduce me to Lord Stanley, and assured me noth- 
ing should be left undone to meet my wishes ; he told me 
that the honorable gentleman "is rather shy." It was nine 
o'clock when I said good-night, leaving my drawings with 
him at his request. On my return to Dale Street I found 


the following note : " Mr. Martin, of the Royal Institution 
of Liverpool, will do himself the pleasure to wait upon Mr. 
Ambro to-morrow at eleven o'clock." Why do people 
make such errors with my simple name? 

July 28. A full grown man with a scarlet vest and 
breeches, black stockings and shoes for the coloring of his 
front, and a long blue coat covering his shoulders and back 
reminds me somewhat of our summer red bird (^Tanagra 
rubra). Both man and bird attract the eye, but the scien- 
tific appellation of the man is unknown to me. At eleven 
Mr. Martin (who I expect is secretary to the Royal Insti- 
tution) called, and arranged with me a notice to the mem- 
bers of the Institution, announcing that I would exhibit 
my drawings for two hours on the mornings of Monday, 
Tuesday, and Wednesday following, at the Institution. 
Later, feeling lonely and sad, I called on Mrs. R. Rathbone, 
whom I found putting away in a little box, a dissected 
map, with which, Edgcivorth-likCy she had been transmit- 
ting knowledge with pleasure. She is so truly delightful a 
companion that had it been possible I should have made 
my call long instead of short, but I walked home by a 
roundabout way, and found a note from Mr. Wm. Rath- 
bone reminding me of my promise to dine with him, and 
adding that he wished me to meet a brother-in-law of his 
from London who may be of use to me, so will I bring a 
few drawings? At the hour named I found myself in 
Abercrombie Street and in the parlor with two little 
daughters of my host, the elder about thirteen, extremely 
handsome. Mrs. Rathbone soon entered and greeted me 
as if she had known me all my life ; her husband followed, 
and the guests, all gentlemen, collected. Mr. Hodgson, 
to whom I had a letter from Mr. Nolte^ was particularly 
kind to me, but every one seemed desirous I should suc- 
ceed in England. A Swiss gentleman urged me not to 
waste time here, but proceed at once to Paris, but he was 

^ Vincent Nolle, bom at Leghorn, 1779, traveller, merchant, adventurer. 


not allowed to continue his argument, and at ten I left 
with Mr. Pyke for my lodgings. 

July 29. To-day I visited Mr. Hunt/ the best landscape 
painter of this city. I examined much of his work and 
found some beautiful representations of the scenery of 
Wales. I went to the Royal Institution to judge of the 
light, for naturally I wish my work to have every possible 
advantage. I have not found the population of Liverpool 
as dense as I expected, and except during the evenings 
(that do not at this season commence before eight o'clock) 
I have not been at all annoyed by the elbowings of the 
crowd, as I remember to have been in my youth, in the 
large cities of France. Some shops here are beautifully 
supplied, and have many customers. The new market is 
in my opinion an object worth the attention of all travel- 
ers. It is the finest I have ever seen — it is a large, high 
and long building, divided into five spacious avenues, each 
containing its specific commodities. I saw here viands of 
all descriptions, fish, vegetables, game, fruits, — both in- 
digenous and imported from all quarters of the globe, — 
bird sellers, with even little collections of stuffed speci- 
mens, cheeses of enormous size, butter in great abun- 
dance, immense crates of hen's-eggs packed in layers of 
oats imported from Ireland, twenty-five for one shilling. 
This market is so well lighted with gas that this evening 
at ten o'clock I could plainly see the colors of the irids of 
living pigeons in cages. The whole city is lighted with 
gas ; each shop has many of these illuminating fires, and 
fine cambric can be looked at by good judges. Mr, A. 
Hodgson called on me, and I am to dine with him on 
Monday ; he has written to Lord Stanley about me. He 
very kindly asked if my time passed heavily, gave me a 
note of admittance for the Athenaeum, and told me he 
would do all in his power for me. I dined at the inn to- 
day for the second time only since my arrival. 
1 William Henry Hunt (1790-1864). 


July 30. It is Sunday again, but not a dull one; I have 
become better acquainted, and do not feel such an utter 
stranger. I went to the church of the Asylum for the Blind. 
K few steps of cut stone lead to an iron gate, and under a 
colonnade; at the inner gate you pay whatever you please 
over sixpence. Near the entrance is a large picture of 
Christ healing the blind. The general structure is a well 
proportioned oblong; ten light columns support the flat 
ceiling. A fine organ is placed over the entrance in a 
kind of upper lobby, which contains also the musicians, 
who are blind. All is silent, and the mind is filled with 
heavenly thoughts, when suddenly the sublime music glides 
into one's whole being, and the service has begun. No- 
where have I ever seen such devotion in a church. In the 
afternoon the Rev. Wm. Goddard took me to some institu- 
tions for children on the Lancastrian system ; all appeared 
well dressed, clean, and contented. I dined with Mr. and 
Mrs. Gordon;^ Anne advised me to have my hair cut, and 
to buy a fashionable coat. 

July 31. This day has been one of trial to me. At 
nine of the morning I was quite busy, arranging and dis- 
posing in sets my drawings, that they might be inspected 
by the public. The doors were thrown open at noon, and 
the ladies flocked in. I knew but one, Mrs. Richard 
Rathbonc, but I had many glances to meet and questions 
to answer. The time passed, however, and at two the 
doors were closed. At half-past four I drove with Mr. 
Adam Hodgson to his cottage, where I was introduced to 
Mrs. Hodgson, a tall young woman with the freshness of 
spring, who greeted me most kindly ; there were three 
other guests, and we passed a quiet evening after the usual 
excellent dinner. Soon after ten we retired to our rooms. 

August 1. I arose to listen to the voice of an English 
Blackbird just as the day broke. It was a little after 
three, I dressed ; and as silently as in my power moved 
1 Mrs. Alexander Gordon was Mrs. Audubon's sister Anne. 


downstairs carrying my boots in my hand, gently opened 
the door, and was off to the fields and meadows. I 
walked a good deal, went to the seashore, saw a Hare, 
and returned to breakfast, after which and many invi- 
tations to make my kind hosts frequent visits, I was 
driven back to town, and went immediately to the In- 
stitution, where I met Dr. TrailP and many other per- 
sons of distinction. Several gentlemen attached to the 
Institution, wished me to be remunerated for exhibiting 
my pictures, but though I am poor enough, God knows, 
I do not think I should do that, as the room has been 
given to me gratis. Four hundred and thirteen persons 
were admitted to see my drawings. 

August 2. I put up this day two hundred and twenty- 
five of my drawings; the coup d'a'il wdiS not bad, and the 
room was crowded. Old Mr. Roscoe did me the honor 
to present me to Mr. Jean Sismondi,^ of Geneva. Mr, 
and Mrs. Rathbone had gone to their country home, 
" Green Bank," but I sent a note telling them how many 
pictures I had added to the first day's exhibition. I have 
decided to collect what letters I can for London, and go 
there as soon as possible. I was introduced to Mr. Booth 
of Manchester, who promised me whatever aid he could 
in that city. After a call at Mr. Roscoe's, I went, with a 
gentleman from Charleston, S. C., to the theatre, as I was 
anxious to see the renowned Miss Foote. Miss Foote has 
been pretty, nay, handsome, nay, beautiful, but — she has 
been. The play was good, the playhouse bad, and the 
audience numerous and fashionable. 

August 4- I had no time to write yesterday; my morn- 
ing was spent at the Institution, the room was again 
crowded, I was wearied with bowing to the many to 

1 Thomas Stewart Traill, M. D., Scottish naturalist, born in Orkney, 
1781 ; edited the eighth edition of the " Enclyclopaedia Britannica," was asso- 
ciated with the Royal Institute at Liverpool; he died 1S62. 

2 The Swiss historian, born at Geneva, 1773, died 1S42. 


whom I was introduced. Some one was found copying 
one of the pictures, but the doorkeeper, an alert Scotch- 
man, saw his attempt, turned him out, and tore his sketch. 
Mr. A. Hodgson invited me to dine with Lord Stanley- 
to-morrow in company with Mr. VVm. Roscoe, Sr. Mr. 
Sismondi gave me a letter to Baron von Humboldt, and 
showed me a valuable collection of insects from Thibet, 
and after this I took tea with Mr. Roscoe. 

This morning I breakfasted with Mr. Hodgson, and met 
Mrs. Wm. Rathbone somewhat later at the Institution; 
never was a woman better able to please, and more dis- 
posed to do so ; a woman possessed of beauty, good sense, 
great intelligence, and rare manners, with a candor and 
sweetness not to be surpassed. Mr. William Roscoe sent 
his carriage for me, and I again went to his house, where 
quite a large company had assembled, among others two 
botanists who knew every plant and flower, and were most 
obliging in giving me much delightful information. Hav- 
ing to walk to " Green Bank," the home of Mr. William 
Rathbone, Sr., I left Mr. Roscoe's at sunset (which by the 
way was beautiful). The evening was calm and lovely, 
and I soon reached the avenue of trees leading to the 
house I sought. Almost immediately I found myself on 
the lawn with a group of archers, and was interested in 
the sport; some of the ladies shot very well. Mr. Rath- 
bone, Sr., asked me much about Indians, and American 
trees, the latter quite unknown here, and as yet I have 
seen none larger than the saplings of Louisiana. When 
the other guests had left, I was shown the new work on 
the Birds of England ; I did not like it as well as I had 
hoped ; I much prefer Thomas Bewick. Bewick is the 
Wilson of England. 

Aiigjist 5. Miss Hannah Rathbone^ drove me into 
Liverpool with great speed. Two little Welsh ponies, 
well matched, drew us beautifully in a carriage which is 

1 Daughter of Mr. William Rathbone, Sr. ; married Dr. William Reynolds. 


the young lady's special property. After she left me my 
head was full of Lord Stanley. I am a very poor fool, to 
be sure, to be troubled at the idea of meeting an English 
gentleman, when those I have met have been in kindness, 
manners, talents, all I could desire, far more than I ex- 
pected. The Misses Roscoe were at the Institution, where 
they have been every day since my pictures were ex- 
hibited. Mrs. VVm. Rathbone, with her daughter — her 
younger self — at her side, was also there, and gave me 
a packet of letters from her husband. On opening this 
packet later I found the letters were contained in a hand- 
some case, suitable for my pocket, and a card from Mr. 
Rathbone asking me to use it as a token of his affectionate 
regard. In the afternoon I drove with Mr. Hodgson to 
his cottage, and while chatting with his amiable wife the 
door opened to admit Lord Stanley.^ I have not the least 
doubt that if my head had been looked at, it would have 
been thought to be the body, globularly closed, of one of 
our largest porcupines; all my hair — and I have enough 
— stood straight on end, I am sure. He is tall, well 
formed, made for activity, simply but well dressed; he 
came to me at once, bowing to Mrs. Hodgson as he did 
so, and taking my hand in his, said : " Sir, I am glad to 
see you." Not the words only, but his manner put me at 
once at my ease. My drawings were soon brought out. 
Lord Stanley is a great naturalist, and in an instant he was 
exclaiming over my work, " Fine ! " " Beautiful ! " and 
when I saw him on his knees, having spread my drawings 
on the floor, the better to compare them, I forgot he was 
Lord Stanley, I knew only he too loved Nature. At 
dinner I looked at him closely ; his manner reminded me 
of Thomas Sully, his forehead would have suited Dr. 

1 Edward, fourteenth Earl of Derby, 1799-1869. Member of Parliament, 
Chief Secretary for Ireland, Secretary for the Colonies, First Lord of the 
Treasury, and Prime Minister. Translated Homer's Iliad into blank verse. 
His was a life of many interests : literature, art, society, public affairs, sport- 
manship, and above all " the most perfect orator of his day." 


Harlan, his brow would have assured that same old friend 
of his great mental powers. He cordially invited me to 
call on him in Grosvenor Street in town (thus he called 
London), shook hands with me again, and mounting a 
splendid hunter rode off. I called to thank Mr. Rathbone 
for his letters and gift, but did so, I know, most awk- 
wardly. Oh ! that I had been flogged out of this miser- 
able shyness and viauvaise honte when I was a youth. 

August 6, Sunday. When I arrived in this city I felt 
dejected, miserably so; the uncertainty as to my recep- 
tion, my doubts as to how my work would be received, all 
conspired to depress me. Now, how different are my sen- 
sations ! I am well received everywhere, my works praised 
and admired, and my poor heart is at last relieved from 
the great anxiety that has for so many years agitated it, 
for I know now that I have not worked in vain. This 
morning I went to church ; the sermon was not to my 
mind, but the young preacher may improve. This after- 
noon I packed up Harlan's "Fauna" for Mr. E. Roscoe, 
and went to the Institution, where Mr. Munro was to meet 
me and escort me to Mr. Wm. Roscoe, Jr., where I was to 
take tea. Mr. Munro was not on hand, so, after a weary 
waiting, I went alone to Mr. Roscoe's habitation. It was 
full of ladies and gentlemen, all his own family, and I 
knew almost every one. I was asked to imitate the calls 
of some of the wild birds, and though I did not wish to 
do so, consented to satisfy the curiosity of the company. 
I sat between Mr. \Vm. Roscoe and his son Edward, and 
answered question after question. Finally, the good old 
gentleman and I retired to talk about my plans. He 
strongly advises me not to exhibit my works without re- 
muneration. Later more guests came in, and more ques- 
tions were asked ; they appeared surprised that I have no 
wonderful tales to tell, that, for instance, I have not been 
devoured at least six times by tigers, bears, wolves, foxes; 
no, I never was troubled by any larger animals than ticks 


and mosquitoes, and that is quite enough. At last one 
after another took leave. The well bred society of England 
is the perfection of manners ; such tone of voice I never 
heard in America. Indeed, thus far, I have great reason 
to like England. My plans now are to go to Manchester, 
to Derbyshire to visit Lord Stanley (Earl of Derby), 
Birmingham, London for three weeks, Edinburgh, back to 
London, and then to France, Paris, Nantes, to see my ven- 
erable stepmother, Brussels, and return to England. I am 
advised to do this by men of learning and excellent judg- 
ment, who say this will enable me to find where my work 
may be published with greatest advantage. I have letters 
given me to Baron Humboldt, General La Fayette, Sir 
Walter Scott, Sir Humphry Davy, Miss Hannah More, 
Miss Edgeworth, Sir Thomas Lawrence, etc., etc. How I 
wish Victor could be with me; what an opportunity to see 
the best of this island; few ordinary individuals ever en- 
joyed the same reception. Many persons of distinction 
have begged drawing lessons of me at a guinea an hour. 
I am astonished at the plainness of the ladies' dress; in 
the best society there are no furbelows and fandangoes. 

August 7. I am just now from the society of the learned 
Dr. Traill, and have greatly enjoyed two hours of his in- 
teresting company ; to what perfection men like him can 
rise in this island of instruction. I dined at Mr. Edward 
Roscoe's, whose wife wished me to draw something for her 
while she watched me. I drew a flower for her, and one 
for Miss Dale, a fine artist. I am grieved I could not 
reach " Green Bank " this evening to enjoy the company 
of my good friends, the Rathbones ; they with the Roscoes 
and Hodgsons have done more for me in every way than I 
can express. I must have walked twenty miles to-day on 
these pavements ; that is equal to forty-five in the woods, 
where there is so much to see. 

Augusts. Although I am extremely fatigued and it is 
past midnight, I will write. Mr. Roscoe spoke much of 


my exhibiting my drawings for an admission fee, and he, 
as well as Dr. Traill and others, have advised me so 
strongly to do so that I finally consented, though not quite 
agreeable to me, and Mr. Roscoe drew a draft of a notice 
to be inserted in the papers, after which we passed some 
charming hours together. 

August 9. The Committee of the Royal Institution met 
to-day and requested me to exhibit my drawings by ticket 
of admission. This request must and will, I am sure, take 
off any discredit attached to the tormenting feeling of 
showing my work for money. 

A?igust 10. The morning was beautiful, and I was out 
very early; the watchmen have, however, ceased to look 
upon mc with suspicion, and think, perhaps, I am a harm- 
less lunatic. I walked to the " Mound " and saw the city 
and the country bej'ond the Mersey plainly; then I sat on 
the grass and watched four truant boys rolling marbles 
with great spirit; how much they brought before me my 
younger days. I would have liked them still better had 
they been clean ; but they were not so, and as I gave 
them some money to buy marbles, I recommended that 
some of it be spent in soap. I begin to feci most power- 
fully the want of occupation at drawing and studying the 
habits of the birds that I see about me; and the little Spar- 
rows that hop in the streets, although very sooty with coal 
smoke, attract my attention greatly ; indeed, I watched 
one of them to-day in the dust of the street, with as much 
pleasure as in far different places I have watched the play 
of finer birds. All this induced me to begin. I bought 
water colors and brushes, for which I paid dearer than in 
New Orleans. I dined with Mr. Edward Roscoe. As you 
go to Park Place the view is extensive up and down the 
Mersey; it gives no extraordinary effects, but is a calming 
vision of repose to the eyes wearied with the bustle of the 
streets. There are plenty of steam vessels, but not to be 
compared to those on the Ohio ; these look like smoky, 


dirty dungeons. Immediately opposite Mr. Roscoe's dwell- 
ing is a pond where I have not yet seen a living thing, not 
even a frog. No moccasin nor copper-headed snake is near 
its margin ; no snowy Heron, no Rose-colored Ibis ever 
is seen here, wild and charming ; no sprightly trout, nor 
waiting gar-fish, while above hovers no Vulture watching 
for the spoils of the hunt, nor Eagle perched on dreary 
cypress in a gloomy silence. No ! I am in England, and I 
cannot but long with unutterable longing for America, 
charming as England is, and there is nothing in England 
more charming than the Roscoe family. Our dinner is 
simple, therefore healthful. Two ladies and a gentleman 
came in while we were at dessert, and almost as soon as we 
left the table tea was announced. It is a singular thing 
that in England dinner, dessert, wines, and tea drinking 
follow each other so quickly that if we did not remove to 
another room to partake of the last, it would be a constant 
repast. 1 walked back to Liverpool, and more than once 
my eyes were shocked whilst crossing the fields, to see 
signs with these words : " Any person trespassing on these 
grounds will be prosecuted with the rigor of the law." 
This must be a mistake, certainly; this cannot be English 
freedom and liberty, surely. Of this I intend to know 
more hereafter ; but that I saw these words painted on 
boards there is really no doubt. 

Sunday, August 13. I am greatl}' disappointed that not 
yet have I had letters from home, though several vessels 
have arrived ; perhaps to-morrow may bring me what I 
long for inexpressibly. This morning I went again to the 
church for the blind, and spent the remainder of the day 
at my kind friend's, Mr. Wm. Roscoe. 

August 14- This day I have passed with the delightful 
Rathbone family at Green Bank; I have been drawing for 
Mrs. Rathbone,^ and after dinner we went through the 

1 Mrs. Wm. Rathbone, Sr., whom Audubon often calls " Lady Rathbone," 
and also "The Queen Bee." 
VOL. I. — 8 


greenhouse d^nd j'ardin potager. How charming is Green 
Bank and the true hospitahty of these Enghsh friends. It 
is a cold night, the wind blowing like November; it has 
been the first day of my exhibition of pictures per card, 
and one hundred and sixty-four persons were admitted. 

August 15. Green Bank^ three miles from Liverpool. I 
am now at this quiet country home ; the morning passed in 
drawing, and this afternoon I took a long walk with Miss 
Rathbone and her nephew ; we were accompanied by a 
rare dog from Kamschatka. How I did wish / could have 
conducted them towards the beech woods where we could 
move wherever fancy led us ; but no, it could not be, and 
we walked between dreary walls, without the privilege of 
advancing towards any particular object that might attract 
the eye. Is it not shocking that while in England all is 
hospitality zuithin, all is so different without ? No one dare 
trespass, as it is called. Signs of large dogs are put up ; 
steel traps and spring guns are set up, and even ryes are 
kept out by high walls. Everywhere we meet beggars, for 
England though rich, has poverty gaping every way you 
look, and the beggars ask for bread, — yes, absolutely for 
food. I can only pray. May our Heavenly Father have 
mercy on them. 

Ajigust 17. Green Bank. This morning I lay on the 
grass a long time listening to the rough voice of a Magpie; 
it is not the same bird that we have in America. I drove 
to the Institution with the Queen Bee of Green Bank, and 
this afternoon began a painting of the Otter in a trap, with 
the intention to present it (if it is good) to my friend Mr. 
Roscoe's wife. This evening dined at Mr. Wm. Rathbone's, 

and there met a Quaker lady, Mrs. Abigail , who 

talked much and well about the present condition of Eng- 
land, her poor, her institutions, etc. It is dreadful to know 
of the want of bread here ; will it not lead to the horrors of 
another revolution? The children of the very poor are 
often forced by their parents to collect daily a certain 


amount by begging, or perhaps even stealing; failing to 
obtain this they are cruelly punished on their return home, 
and the tricks they resort to, to gain their ends, are num- 
berless and curious. The newspapers abound with such 
accounts, and are besides filled with histories of murders, 
thefts, hangings, and other abominable acts ; I can scarce 
look at them. 

August 19. Dined with Mr. A. Melly in Grenville St. 
The dinner was quite a la frangaise, all gayety, witticism, 
and good cheer. The game, however, was what I call 
highly tainted, the true flavor for the lords of England. 

August 21. I painted many hours this day, finished my 
Otter; it was viewed by many and admired. I was again 
invited to remove to Green Bank, but declined until I have 
painted the Wild Turkey cock for the Royal Institution, 
say three days more. 

September 4.. Having been too busy to write for many 
days, I can only relate the principal facts that have taken 
place. I have been to two very notable suppers, one at Dr. 
Traill's in company with the French consul and two other 
French gentlemen; I was much encouraged, and urged to 
visit France at once. The other at the house of Mr. Moli- 
neux ; there indeed my ears were feasted; such entertaining 
conversation, such delightful music; Mr. Clementi^ and 
Mr. Tomlinson from London were present. Many persons 
came to my painting room, they wonder at the rapidity of 
my work and that I can paint fourteen hours without 
fatigue. My Turkeys are now framed, and hung at the 
Institution which is open daily, and paying well. I have 
made many small drawings for different friends. All my 
Sundays are alike, — breakfast with Mr. Melly, church with 
the blind, dinner with Mr. Roscoe. Every one is surprised 
at my habits of early rising, and at my rarely touching 
meat, except game. 

^ Muzio Clementi, composer and pianist, bom in Rome, 1752, died in Lon- 
don, 1S32. Head of the piano firm of that name. 


Green Bank, September G. When I reached this place 
I was told that Lady Isabella Douglass, the sister of Lord 
Selkirk, former governor of Canada, was here ; she is un- 
able to walk, and moves about in a rolling chair. At 
dinner I sat between her and Mrs, Rathbone, and I enjoyed 
the conversation of Lady Douglass much, her broad Scotch 
accent is agreeable tome; and I amused her by eating 
some tomatoes raw; neither she, nor any of the company 
had ever seen them on the table without being cooked. 

September 9. Dr. Traill has ordered all my drawings to 
be packed by the curator of the Institution, so that has 
given me no trouble whatever. It is hard to say farewell 
to all those in town and country who have been so kind, 
so hospitable to me, but to-morrow I leave for Manchester, 
where Mr. Roscoe advises me to go next. 

MancJiester, County of Lancashire, September 10, 1S2G. 
I must write something of my coming here. After 
bidding adieu to many friends, I went to Dr. Traill, who 
most kindly insisted on my taking Mr. Munro with me for 
two days to assist me, and we left by coach with my 
portfolios, my trunk to follow by a slower conveyance. I 
paid one pound for our inside seats. I felt depressed at 
leaving all my good friends, yet Mr. Munro did all in his 
power to interest me. He made me remark Lord Stanley's 
domains, and I looked on the Hares, Partridges, and other 
game with a thought of apprehension that the apparent 
freedom and security they enjoyed was very transient. I 
thought it more cruel to permit them to grow tame and 
gentle, and then suddenly to turn and murder them by 
thousands, than to give them the fair show that our game 
has in our forests, to let them be free and as wild as nature 
made them, and to let the hunter pay for them by the 
pleasure and work of pursuing them. We stopped, I 
thought frequently, to renew the horses, and wherever w^e 
stopped a neatly dressed maid offered cakes, ale, or other 
refreshments for sale. I remarked little shrubs in many 


parts of the meadows that concealed traps for moles and 
served as beacons for the persons who caught them. The 
road was good, but narrow, the country in a high degree 
of cultivation. We crossed a canal conducting from Liver- 
pool here ; the sails moving through the meadows reminded 
me of Rochester, N. Y. I am, then, now at Manchester, 
thirty-eight miles from Liverpool, and nearly six thousand 
from Louisiana. 

Manchester, September 12. Yesterday was spent in de- 
livering my letters to the different persons to whom I was 
recommended. The American consul, Mr. J. S. Brookes, 
with whom I shall dine to-morrow, received me as an Amer- 
ican gentleman receives another, most cordially. The prin- 
cipal banker here, Arthur Heywood, Esq., was equally 
kind ; indeed everywhere I meet a most amiable reception. 
I procured, through these gentlemen, a good room to 
exhibit my pictures, in the Exchange buildings, had it 
cleared, cleaned, and made ready by night. At five this 
morning Mr. Munro (the curator of the Institution at 
Liverpool and a most competent help) with several assis- 
tants and myself began putting up, and by eleven all was 
ready. Manchester, as I have seen it in my walks, seems 
a miserably laid out place, and the smokiest I ever was 
in. I think I ought not to use the words " laid out " at 
all. It is composed of an astonishing number of small, 
dirty, narrow, crooked lanes, where one cart can scarce 
pass another. It is full of noise and tumult ; I thought 
last night not one person could have enjoyed repose. 
The postilion's horns, joined to the cry of the watchmen, 
kept my eyelids asunder till daylight again gave me 
leave to issue from the King's Arms. The population 
appears denser and worse off than in Liverpool. The vast 
number of youth of both sexes, with sallow complexions, 
ragged apparel, and downcast looks, made me feel they 
were not as happy as the slaves of Louisiana. Trade is 
slowly improving, but the times are dull. I have heard 


the times abused ever since my earliest recollections. I 
saw to-day several members of the Gregg family. 

September 13, Wed7iesday. 1 have visited the Academy of 
Sciences ; my time here was largely spoiled by one of those 
busybodies who from time to time rise to the surface, — 
a dealer in stuffed specimens, and there ends his history. 
I wished him in Hanover, or Congo, or New Zealand, or 
Bombay, or in a bomb-shell en route to eternity. Mr. Munro 
left me to-day, and I removed from the hotel to the house 
of a Mrs. Edge, in King Street, who keeps a circulating 
library; here I have more quietness and a comfortable 
parlor and bedroom. I engaged a man named Crookes, 
well recommended, to attend as money receiver at the door 
of my exhibition room. I pay him fifteen shillings per 
week ; he finds himself, and copies letters for me. Two 
men came to the exhibition room and inquired if I wished 
a band of music to entertain the visitors. I thanked them, 
but do not consider it necessary in the company of so 
many songsters. My pictures here must depend on their 
real value ; in Liverpool I kiieiv I was supported by my 
particular friends. ... It is eleven o'clock, and I have 
just returned from Consul Brookes' dinner. The company 
were all gentlemen, among whom were Mr. Lloyd, the 
wealthy banker, and Mr. Garnet. Our host is from Boston, 
a most intelligent and polite man. Judge of my surprise 
when, during the third course, I saw on the table a dish of 
Indian corn, purposely for me. To see me cat it buttered 
and salted, held as if I intended gagging myself, was a 
matter of much wonder to the English gentlemen, who 
did not like the vegetable. We had an English dinner 
Americanized, and the profusion of wines, and the quan- 
tity drank was uncomfortable to me ; 1 was constantly 
obliged to say, " No." The gentleman next me was a good 
naturalist ; much, of course, was said about my work and 
that of Charles Bonaparte. The conversation turned on 
politics, and Mr. Brookes and myself, the only Americans 


present, ranged ourselves and toasted " Our enemies in 
war, but our friends in peace." I am particularly fond of 
a man who speaks well of his country, and the peculiar 
warmth of Englishmen on this subject is admirable. I 
have had a note from Lord de Tabelay, who is anxious to 
see my drawings and me, and begs me to go to his domain 
fourteen miles distant, on my way to Birmingham. I ob- 
served that many persons who visited the exhibition 
room investigated my style more closely than at Liver- 
pool. A Dr. Hulme spent several hours both yesterday 
and to-day looking at them, and I have been asked many 
times if they were for sale. I walked some four miles out 
of the town ; the country is not so verdant, nor the country 
seats so clean-looking, as Green Bank for instance. The 
funnels raised from the manufactories to carry off the 
smoke appear in hundreds in every direction, and as you 
walk the street, the whirring sound of machinery is con- 
stantly in your ears. The changes in the weather are 
remarkable ; at daylight it rained hard, at noon it was 
fair, this afternoon it rained again, at sunset was warm, 
and now looks like a severe frost. 

September IJf, Thursday. I have dined to-day at the 
home of Mr. George W. Wood, about two miles from the 
town. He drove me thither in company with four gentlemen, 
all from foreign countries, Mexico, Sumatra, Constantinople, 
and La Guayra ; all were English and had been travelling 
for business or pleasure, not for scientific or literary pur- 
poses. Mrs. Wood was much interested in her gardens, 
which are very fine, and showed me one hundred bags of 
black gauze, which she had made to protect as many 
bunches of grapes from the wasps. 

September 15. FROST. This morning the houses were 
covered with frost, and I felt uncommonly cold and shiv- 
ery. My exhibition was poorly attended, but those who 
came seemed interested. Mr. Hoyle, the eminent chemist, 
came with four very pretty little daughters, in little gray 


satin bonnets, gray silk spencers, and white petticoats, as 
befitted them, being Quakers ; also Mr. Heyvvood, the 
banker, who invited me to dine next Sunday. I spent the 
evening at the Rev. James I. Taylor's, in company with 
himself, his wife, and two gentlemen, one a Parisian. I 
cannot help expressing my surprise that the people of 
England, generally speaking, are so unacquainted with the 
customs and localities of our country. The principal con- 
versation about it always turns to Indians and their ways, 
as if the land produced nothing else. Almost every lady 
in England draws in water-colors, many of them extremely 
well, very much better than I ever will do, yet few of them 
dare to show their productions. Somehow I do not like 

September 17, Sunday. I have been thinking over my 
stay in Liverpool; surely I can never express, much less 
hope to repay, my indebtedness to my many friends there, 
especially the Roscoes, the three families of Rathbone, and 
Dr. Thomas S. Traill. My drawings were exhibited for 
four weeks without a cent of expense to me, and brought 
me ;{^ioo. I gave to the Institution a large piece, the 
wild Turkey Cock; to Mrs. Rathbone, Sr., the Otter in a 
trap, to Mr. Roscoe a Robin, and to many of my other 
friends some small drawing, as mementos of one who will 
always cherish their memories. I wrote a long letter to 
my son John Woodhouse urging him to spend much of 
his time at drawing from nature only, and to keep every 
drawing with the date, that he may trace improvement, if 
any, also to speak French constantly, that he may not for- 
get a language in which he is now perfect. I have also 
written to the Governor of New York, his Excellency De 
Witt Clinton, to whose letters I am indebted for much of 
my cordial reception here. At two I started for Cler- 
mont, Mr. Heywood's residence, where I was to dine. 
The grounds are fine, and on a much larger scale than 
Green Bank, but the style is wholly different. The 


house is immense, but I was kindly received and felt at 
ease at once. After dinner the ladies left us early. We 
soon retired to the library to drink tea, and IVIiss Hey- 
wood showed me her portfolio of drawings, and not long 
after I took my leave. 

September 18, Monday. Mr. Sergeant came for me at 
half-past three and escorted me to his house. I am de- 
lighted with him — his house — his pictures — his books 
— his guns — and his dogs, and very much so with a 
friend of his from London, who dined with us. The 
weather has been beautiful, and more persons than usual 
at my rooms. 

September 19, Tuesday. I saw Mr. Melly this morning 
at the Exchange; he had not long arrived from Liverpool. 
He had been to my door-keeper, examined the Book of 
Income, and told me he was sorry and annoyed at my want 
of success, and advised me to go at once to London or 
Paris. He depressed me terribly, so that I felt really ill. 
He invited me to dine with him, but I told him I had already 
engaged to go to Mr. Samuel Gregg ^ at Quarry Bank, four- 
teen miles distant, to pass the night. Mr. Gregg, who is the 
father of a large family, met me as if he had known me 
fifty years ; with him came his brother William and his 
daughter, the carriage was ready, and off we drove. We 
crossed a river in the course of our journey nearly fifty 
feet wide. I was told it was a stream of great importance : 
the name I have forgotten,- but I know it is seven miles 
from Manchester en route to Derbyshire. The land is 
highly improved, and grows wheat principally; the coun- 
try is pretty, and many of the buildings are really beauti- 
ful. We turn down a declivity to Quarry Bank, a most 
enchanting spot, situated on the edge of the same river 
we had crossed, — the grounds truly picturesque, and cul- 
tivated to the greatest possible extent. In the drawing- 
room I met three ladies, the daughters of Mr. Gregg, and 
1 Relative of Mr. Wm. Rathbone, Sr. 2 The Invell. 


the second daughter of Mr. Wm. Rathbone. After tea I 
drew a dog in charcoal, and rubbed it with a cork to give 
an idea of the improvement over the common stumps ordi- 
narily used. Afterwards I accompanied the two brothers 
to a debating club, instituted on their premises for the ad- 
vancement of their workmen; on the way we passed a 
chapel and a long row of cottages for the work-people, and 
finally reached the schoolroom, where about thirty men had 
assembled. The question presented was " Which was the 
more advantageous, the discovery of the compass, or that 
of the art of printing ? " I listened with interest, and later 
talked with the men on some of the wonders of my own 
country, in which they seemed to be much interested. 

Quarry Bank, September 20. Though the weather was 
cloudy and somewhat rainy, I rose early, took an immense 
walk, up and down the river, through the gardens, along 
the road, and about the woods, fields, and meadows; saw 
a flock of Partridges, and at half-past eight had done this 
and daubed in a sketch of an Esquimau in a sledge, 
drawn by four dogs. The offer was made me to join a 
shooting party in the afternoon ; all was arranged, and the 
pleasure augmented by the presence of Mr. Shaw, the 
principal game-keeper of Lord Stanford, who obligingly 
promised to show us many birds (so are Partridges called). 
Our guns are no longer than my arm, and we had two 
good dogs. Pheasants are not to be touched till the first of 
October, but an exception was made for me and one was 
shot, and I picked it up while his eye was yet all life, his 
feathers all brilliancy. We had a fine walk and saw the 
Derbyshire hills. Mr. Shaw pocketed five shillings, and 
we the game. This was my first hunting on P^nglish soil, 
on Lord Stanford's domain, where every tree — such as 
we should call saplings — was marked and numbered, and 
for all that I know pays either a tax to the government or 
a tithe to the parish. I am told that a Partridge which 
crosses the river, or a road, or a boundary, and alights on 


ground other than Lord Stanford's, is as safe from his gun 
as if in Guinea. 

September 21. I returned to town this morning with 
my Pheasant. Reached my exhibition room and received 
miserable accounts. I see plainly that my expenses in 
Manchester will not be repaid, in which case I must move 
shortly. I called on Dr. Hulme and represented the 
situation, and he went to the Academy of Natural History 
and ordered a committee to meet on Saturday, to see if the 
Academy could give me a room. Later I mounted my 
pheasant, and all is ready for work to-morrow. 

September 22. I have drawn all day and am fatigued. 
Only twenty people to see my birds ; sad work this. The 
consul, Mr. Brookes, came to see me, and advised me to 
have a subscription book for my work. I am to dine with 
him at Mr. Lloyd's at one next Sunday. 

September 23. My drawing this morning moved rapidly, 
and at eleven I walked to the Exchange and met Dr. 
Hulme and several other friends, who told me the Com- 
mittee had voted unanimously to grant me a room gratis 
to exhibit my drawings. I thanked them most heartily, 
as this greatly lessens my expenses. More people than 
usual came to my rooms, and I dined with Mr. Samuel 
Gregg, Senior, in Fountain Street. I purchased some chalk, 
for which I paid more than four times as much as in 
Philadelphia, England is so overdone with duty. I visited 
the cotton mills of George Murray, Esq., where fifteen 
hundred souls are employed. These mills consist of a 
square area of about eight acres, built round with houses 
five, six, and seven stories high, having in the centre of the 
square a large basin of water from the canal. Two engines 
of forty and forty-five horse-power are kept going from 
6 A. M. to 8 P. M. daily. Mr. Murray himself conducted 
me everywhere. This is the largest establishment owned 
by a single individual in Manchester. Some others, be- 
longing to companies, have as many as twenty-five hundred 


hands, as poor, miserable, abject-looking wretches as ever 
worked in the mines of Golconda. I was asked to spend 
Monday night at Mr. Robert Hyde Gregg's place, Higher 
Ardwick, but I have a ticket for a fine concert, and I so 
love music that it is doubtful if I go. I took tea at Mr. 
Bartley's, and promised to write on his behalf for the 
bones of an alligator of a good size. Now we shall see if 
he gets one as quickly as did Dr. Harlan. I have con- 
cluded to have a " Book of Subscriptions " open to receive 
the names of all persons inclined to have the best illustra- 
tions of American birds yet published ; but alas ! I am 
but a beginner in depicting the beautiful works of God. 

Sunday, September 2Jf. I drew at my Pheasant till near 
eleven o'clock, the weather warm and cloudy. Then I 
went to church and then walked to Mr. Lloyd's. I left 
the city and proceeded two miles along the turnpike, 
having only an imperfect view of the country; I remarked, 
however, that the foliage was deeply colored with autum- 
nal tints. I reached the home of Mr. Brookes, and together 
we proceeded to Mr. Llo}'d's. This gentleman met us 
most kindly at the entrance, and we went with him through 
his garden and hot-houses. The grounds are on a declivity 
affording a far view of agreeable landscape, the gardens 
most beautifully provided with all this wonderful island 
affords, and the hot-houses contain abundant supplies of 
exotics, flower, fruit, and shrub. The coffee-tree was bear- 
ing, the banana ripening; here were juicy grapes from 
Spain and Italy, the sensitive plant shrunk at my touch, 
and all was growth, blossom, and perfume. Art here helps 
Nature to produce hei richest treasures at will, and man in 
England, if rich, may be called the God of the present 
day. Flower after flower was plucked for me, and again 
I felt how perfectly an English gentleman makes a 
stranger feel at home. We were joined by Mr. Thomas 
Lloyd and Mr. Hindley as we moved towards the house, 
where we met Mrs. Lloyd, two daughters, and a lady 


whose name escapes me. We were, of course, surrounded 
by all that is rich, comfortable, pleasing to the eye. Three 
men servants in livery trimmed with red on a white ground 
moved quietly as Killdeers; everything was choice and 
abundant; the conversation was general and lively; but 
we sat at the table five hours, two after the ladies left us, 
and I grew restless ; unless drawing or out of doors I like 
not these long periods of repose. After joining the ladies 
in the library, tea and coffee were served, and in another 
hour we were in a coach en route for Manchester. 

September 25. Who should come to my room this 
morning about seven whilst I was busily finishing the 
ground of my Pheasant but a handsome Quaker, about 
thirty years of age and very neatly dressed, and thus he 
spoke : " My friends are going out of Manchester before 
thee opens thy exhibition rooms ; can we see thy collec- 
tion at nine o'clock ? " I answer, "Yes," and show him my 
drawing. Now were all the people here Quakers, I might 
perhaps have some encouragement, but really, my Lucy, 
my times are dull, heavy, long, painful, and my mind much 
harassed. Five minutes before nine I was standing wait- 
ing for the Quaker and his friends in the lobby of the 
Exchange, when two persons came in and held the follow- 
ing discourse. " Pray, have you seen Mr. Audubon's col- 
lections of birds? I am told it is well worth a shilling; 
suppose we go now." " Pah ! it is all a hoax ; save your 
shilling for better use. I Jiave seen them ; the fellow ought 
to be drummed out of town." I dared not raise my head 
lest I might be known, but depend upon it I wished my- 
self in America. The Quakers, however, restored my 
equilibrium, for they all praised my drawings so much that 
I blushed in spite of my old age. I took my drawing of 
the Pheasant to Mr. Fanetti's (?) shop and had it put in 
a good light. I have made arrangements to have my 
pictures in my new place in King Street, and hope to do 
better next week. At four I took down two hundred and 


forty drawings and packed them ready for removal. Now 
for the concert. It was six o'clock and raining when I left 
for Fountain Street, where already carriages had accumu- 
lated to a great number. I presented my ticket, and was 
asked to write my name and residence, for this is not 
exactly a public affair, but most select; so I am told. 
The room is full of red, white, blue, and green turbans well 
fitted to the handsome heads of the ladies. I went to one 
side where my ear and my intellect might be well satisfied, 
and where I should not be noticed ; but it would not do, 
my long hair and unfashionable garments were observed 
far more than was agreeable to me. But the music soon 
began, and I forgot all else for the time ; still between the 
various performances I felt myself gazed at through lor- 
gnettes, and was most ill at ease. I have passed many un- 
comfortable evenings in company, and this one may be 

Quarry Bank, September 26. Whilst putting up my 
pictures in my newly granted " apartment " I received a 
note from Mrs. Gregg inviting me here for the night to 
meet Professor Smyth. ^ He is a tall, fine-looking gentle- 
man from Cambridge, full of knowledge, good taste, and 
kindness. At dinner the Professor sat opposite the 
Woodsman, and America was largely the topic of conver- 
sation. One evening spent with people such as these 
is worth a hundred fashionable ones. 

Wednesday, September 27. It is a strange atmosphere, 
warm, damp, rainy, then fair again, all in less than two 
hours, which was the time consumed by my early walk. 
On my return soon after eight I found four of the ladies 
all drawing in the library ; that in this country is generally 
the sitting-room. At about ten we had breakfast, when 
we talked much of duels, and of my friend Clay ^ and 

1 William Smyth, 1766-1S49, poet, scholar, and Professor of Modern 
History at Cambridge. 

2 Henry Clay. 


crazy Randolph.^ Much is unknown about our country, 
and yet all are deeply interested in it. To-morrow I am 
off to Liverpool again; how much I shall enjoy being once 
again with the charming Rathbones. 

Green Bank, near Liverpool, September 28. At five this 
morning I left Manchester and its smoke behind me; but 
I left there the labors of about ten years of my life, fully 
one half of my collection. The ride was a wet one, heavy 
rain falling continuously. I was warmly welcomed by my 
good Liverpool friends, and though completely drenched 
I felt it not, so glad was I to be in Liv^erpool again. My 
being here is soon explained. I felt it best to see Dr. 
Traill and Mr. Roscoe, and I dined with the latter; we 
talked of Manchester and our friends there, and Mr. 
Roscoe thought well of the subscription book. From 
here to Green Bank, where I am literally at home. Mr. 
Rathbone and Mr. Roscoe will both aid me in the drawing 
up of a prospectus for my work. 

Green Bank, September 29. It rained during the night 
and all the early portion of the day. I breakfasted early, 
and at half-past nine Mr. Rathbone and I drove in the 
gig to Mrs. Wm. S. Roscoe.^ After a little conversation 
we decided nothing could be done about the prospectus 
without more definite knowledge of what the cost of pub- 
lication would be, and I was again referred to Dr. Traill. 
It happened that here I met a Mr. Bohn, from London, 
not a publisher, but a bookseller with an immense es- 
tablishment, two hundred thousand volumes as a regular 
stock. He advised me to proceed at once to London, 
meet the principal naturalists of the day, and through 
them to see the best engravers, colorists, printers, paper- 
merchants, etc., and thus form some idea of the cost; 
then to proceed to Paris, Brussels, and possibly Berlin, 

1 John Randolph of Roanoke, 1773-1833, American orator and states- 

2 William S. Roscoe, son of William Roscoe, 1781-1843. 


with proper letters, and follow the same course, thereby 
becoming able to judge of the advantages and disad- 
vantages attached to each country and to detcnniiic viyself 
wheiiy where, and hoiu the work should be undertaken; 
to be during this time, through the medium of friends, 
correspondence, and scientific societies, announced to the 
world in some of the most widely read periodical publica- 
tions. " Then, Mr. Audubon, issue a prospectus, and bring 
forth one number of your work, and I think you will 
succeed and do well ; but remember my observations on 
the size of your book, and be governed by this fact, that 
at present productions of taste are purchased with delight, 
by persons who receive much company particularly, and 
to ha\'e j'our book laid on the table as a pastime, or an 
evening's entertainment, will be the principal use made 
of it, and that if it needs so much room as to crowd out 
other things or encumber the table, it will not be pur- 
chased by the set of people who now are the very life of 
the trade. If large public institutions only and a few 
noblemen purchase, instead of a thousand copies that may 
be sold if small, not more than a hundred will find their 
way out of the shops; the size must be suitable for 
the EnglisJi market'' (such was his expression), "and 
ought not to exceed that of double Wilson." This con- 
versation took place in the presence of Dr. Traill, and 
both he and Mr. Roscoe are convinced it is my only plan. 
Mr. Bohn told Dr. Traill, as well as myself, that exhibiting 
my pictures would not do well ; that I might be in London 
a year before I should be known at all, but that through 
the scientific periodicals I should be known over Europe 
in the same time, when probably my first number would 
be published. He strongly advised me to have the work 
printed and finished in Paris, bring over to England say 
two hundred and fifty copies, to have it bound and the 
titlcpage printed, to be issued to the world of England 
as an English publication. This I will tiot do ; no work of 

c/^ - /^a^: 


Now in the possession of Mr. Richard R. Rathbone. Glan-y-Menai, Anglesey. 


mine shall be other than true metal — if copper, copper, 
if gold, gold, but not copper gilded. He admitted it 
would be a great undertaking, and immensely laborious, 
but, he added, my drawings being so superior, I might 
rest assured success would eventually be mine. This plan, 
therefore, I will pursue with the same perseverance that 
since twenty-five years has not wavered, and God's will 
be done. Having now determined on this I will return 
to Manchester after a few days, visit thy native place, 
gaze on the tombs of thy ancestors in Derby and Leicester, 
and then enter London with a head humbly bent, but 
with a heart intently determined to conquer. On return- 
ing to this abode of peace, I was overtaken by a gentleman 
in a gig, unknown to me quite, but who offered me a seat. 
I thanked him, accepted, and soon learned he was a Mr. 
Dearman. He left me at Green Bank, and the evening 
was truly delightful. 

September jo, Woodcraft. I am now at Mr. Richard 
Rathbone's ; I did not leave Green Bank this morning 
till nearly noon. The afternoon was spent with Dr. Traill, 
with whom I dined ; there was only his own family, and 
I was much entertained by Dr. Traill and his son. A man 
of such extensive and well digested knowledge as Dr. 
Traill cannot fail to be agreeable. About eight his son 
drove me to Woodcroft, where were three other guests, 
Quakers. The remainder of the evening was spent with 
a beautiful microscope and a Diamond Beetle. Mr. Rath- 
bone is enthusiastic over my publishing plans, and I will 
proceed with firm resolution to attempt the being an 
author. It is a terrible thing to me ; far better am I fitted 
to study and delineate in the forest, than to arrange 
phrases with suitable grammatical skill. For the present 
the public exhibiting of my work will be laid aside, — 
/ hope, forever. I now intend going to Matlock, and from 
there to my Lucy's native place, pass through Oxford, 

and so reach the great London, and once more become 
VOL. I. — 9 


the man of business. From there to France, but, except 
to see my venerable mother, I shall not like France, 
I am sure, as I now do England ; and I sincerely hope 
that this country may be preferred to that, on financial 
grounds, for the production of my work. Yet I love 
France most truly, and long to enter my old garden on 
the Loire and with rapid steps reach my mother, — yes, 
my mother! the only one I truly remember; and no son 
ever had a better, nor more loving one. Let no one 
sp^ak of her as my " stepmother." I was ever to her 
as a son of her own flesh and blood, and she to me a true 
mother. I have written to Louisiana to have forwarded 
from Bayou Sara six segments of magnolia, yellow-poplar, 
beech, button-wood or sycamore, sassafras, and oak, each 
about seven or eight inches in thickness of the largest 
diameter that can be procured in the woods; to have 
each segment carefully handled so as not to mar the bark, 
and to have each name neatly painted on the face, with 
the height of the tree. These are for the Liverpool Royal 

Green Bank, Oetober 1. Though the morning was bright 
it was near four before I left my room and stepped into 
the fresh air, where I could watch the timid birds fly from 
bush to bush before me. I turned towards the Mersey 
reflecting the calm, serene skies, and listened to the voice 
of the Quail, here so shy. I walked to the tide-beaten 
beach and watched the Solan Goose in search of a retreat 
from the destroyer, man. Suddenly a poorly dressed man, 
in somewhat of a sailor garb, and carrying a large bag 
dashed past me ; his movement suggested flight, and in- 
stinctively I called, " Stop thief! " and made towards him 
in a style that I am sure he had never seen used by the 
eentlemen of the customs, who at this hour are doubtless 
usually drowsy. I was not armed, but to my surprise he 
turned, fell at my feet, and with eyes starting from his head 
with apprehension, begged for mercy, said the bag only 


contained a few leaves of rotten tobacco, and it was the 
first time he had ever smuggled. This, then, was a smug- 
gler ! I told him to rise, and as he did so I perceived the 
boat that had landed him. There were five men in it, but 
instead of landing and defending their companion, they 
fled by rowing, like cowards, swiftly away. I was aston- 
ished at such conduct from Englishmen. I told the abject 
creature to bring his bag and open it; this he did. It was 
full of excellent tobacco, but the poor wretch looked ill 
and half starved, and I never saw a human being more 
terrified. He besought me to take the tobacco and let 
him go, that it was of the rarest quality. I assured him I 
never had smoked a single cigar, nor did I intend to, and 
told him to take care he did not offend a second time. 
One of my pockets was filled with the copper stuff the 
shop-keepers here give, which they call penny. I gave 
them all to him, and told him to go. He thanked me many 
times and disappeared through a thick hedge. The bag 
must have contained fifty pounds of fine tobacco and two 
pistols, which were not loaded, or so he said. I walked 
back to Green Bank thinking of the smuggler. When I 
told Mr. Rathbone of my adventure he said I had been 
extremely rash, and that I might have been shot dead on 
the spot, as these men are often desperadoes. Well ! I 
suppose I might have thought of this, but dear me ! one 
cannot always think over every action carefully before com- 
mitting it. On my way back I passed a man digging 
potatoes ; they were small and indifferently formed. The 
season has been uncommonly dry and hot — so the English 
say ; for my part I am almost freezing most of the time, 
and I have a bad cough. 

October 2. This^morning Mrs. Rathbone asked me if I 
would draw her a sketch of the Wild Turkey, about the 
size of my thumb-nail. I assured her I would with pleasure, 
but that I could perhaps do better did I know for what 
purpose. She colored slightly, and replied after a moment 


that it was for something she desired to have made ; so 
after I had reached the Institution and finished my business 
there, I sat opposite my twenty-three hours' picture and 
made the diminutive sketch in less than twenty-three 
minutes. The evening was spent at Woodcroft, and Mr. 
Rathbone sent his servant to drive me in the gig to Green 
Bank, the night being cold and damp. The man was quite 
surprised I did not make use of a great coat which had 
been placed at my disposal. How little he knew how 
often I had lain down to rest, wet, hungry, harassed and 
full of sorrow, with millions of mosquitoes buzzing round 
me as I lay awake listening to the Chuckmill's Widow, the 
Horned Owl, and the hoarse Bull-frog, impatiently awaiting 
the return of day to enable me to hunt the forests and 
feast my eyes on their beautiful inhabitants. I thought of 
all this and then moved the scene to the hunter's cabin. 
Again wet, harassed, and hungry, I felt the sudden warmth 
of the " Welcome, stranger! " saw the busy wife unhook 
dry clothes from the side of the log hut, untie my moc- 
casins, and take my deerskin coat; I saw the athletic 
husband wipe my gun, clean the locks, hang all over the 
bright fire; the eldest boy pile on more wood, whilst my 
cars were greeted with the sound of the handmill crushing 
the coffee, or the rye, for my evening drink ; I saw the lit- 
tle ones, roused by the stranger's arrival, peeping from 
under the Buffalo robe, and then turn over on the Black Bear 
skin to resume their slumbers. I saw all this, and then 
arrived at Green Bank to meet the same hearty welcome. 
The squatter is rough, true, and hospitable ; my friends 
here polished, true, and generous. Both give what they 
have, freely, and he who during the tough storms of life 
can be in such spots may well say he has known 

Green Bank, October 3. To-day I have visited the jail 
at Liverpool. The situation is fine, it is near the mouth of 
the estuary that is called the river Mersey, and from its 


From a pencil sketch drawn by himself for Miss Rathbone, 1826. Xow in the possession of Mrs. Abraham 
Dixon («« Rathbone), London, England. 


walls is an extensive view of the Irish Channel. The area 
owned by this institution is about eight acres. It is built 
almost circular in form, having gardens in the court in the 
centre, a court of sessions on one side and the main en- 
trance on the other. It contains, besides the usual cells, a 
chapel, and yards in which the prisoners take exercise, 
kitchens, store-rooms, etc., besides treadmills. The tread- 
mills I consider infamous; conceive a wild Squirrel in a 
round cage constantly moving, without progressing. The 
labor is too severe, and the true motive of correction de- 
stroyed, as there are no mental resources attached to this 
laborious engine of shame. Why should not these crimi- 
nals — if so they are — be taught different trades, enabling 
them when again thrown into the world to earn their living 
honestly? It would be more profitable to the government, 
and the principle would be more honorable. It is besides 
injurious to health ; the wheel is only six feet in diameter, 
therefore the motion is rapid, and each step must be taken 
in quick succession, and I know a quick, short step is more 
fatiguing than a long one. The emaciated bodies of the 
poor fellows proved this to my eyes, as did my powers of 
calculation. The circulation of air was much needed ; it 
was painful to me to breathe in the room where the mill 
was, and I left it saddened and depressed. The female 
department is even more lamentable, but I will say no 
more, except that my guide and companion was Miss 
Mary Hodgson, a Quakeress of great benevolence and 
solid understanding, whose labors among these poor un- 
fortunates have been of immense benefit. I dined with 
her, her sister and brother, the latter a merchant of this 
busy city. 

Manchester, October 6. This morning after four hours' 
rest I rose early. Again taking my boots in my hand, I 
turned the latch gently, and found myself alone in the 
early dawn. It was one of those mornings when not suffi- 
ciently cold for a frost ; the dew lay in large drops on each 


object, weighing down the points of every leaf, every blade 
of grass. The heavens were cloudless, all breezes hushed, 
and the only sound the twitterings of the Red-breasted 
Warbler. I saw the Blackbird mounted on the slender 
larch, waiting to salute the morning sun, the Thrush on the 
grass by the mulberry tree, and the Lark unwilling to bid 
farewell to summer. The sun rose, the Rook's voice now 
joined with that of the Magpie. I saw a Stock Pigeon fly 
over me, and I started and walked swiftly into Liverpool. 
Here, arriving before six, no one was up, but by repeated 
knockings I aroused first Mr. Pillet, and then Mr. Melly. 
On my return to tlie country I encountered Mr. Wm. 
Roscoe, also out for an early walk. For several days past 
the last Swallows have flown toward the south, frosts have 
altered the tints of the foliage, and the mornings have been 
chilly ; and I was rubbing my hands to warm them when I 
met Mr. Roscoe. " A fine, warm morning this, Mr. Audu- 
bon." " Yes," I replied, " the kind of morning I like a 
fire with half a cord of wood." He laughed and said I 
was too tropical in my tastes, but I was glad to keep warm 
by my rapid walking. At eleven I was on my way to 
Manchester, this time in a private carriage with Mrs. Rath- 
bone and Miss Hannah. We changed horses twelve miles 
from Green Bank; it was done in a moment, up went a 
new postilion, and off" we went. Our luncheon had been 
brought with us, and was really well served as we rolled 
swiftly along. After plenty of substantial, our dessert 
consisted of grapes, pears, and a melon, this last by no 
means so frequently seen here as in Louisiana. We 
reached smoky Manchester and I was left at the door of 
the Academy of Natural History, where I found the man 
I had left in charge much intoxicated. Seldom in my life 
have I felt more vexed. When he is sober I shall give him 
the opportunity of immediately finding a new situation. 

Quarry Bank, October 7, Saturday. From Green Bank 
to Quarry Bank from one pleasure to another, is not like 


the butterfly that skips from flower to flower and merely 
sees their beauties, but more, I hope, as a bee gathering 
honeyed stores for future use. My cold was still quite 
troublesome, and many remedies were ofl'ered me, but I 
never take physic, and will not, even for kind Mrs. Gregg, 

Sunday, October 8. I went to church at Mr. Gregg's 
chapel ; the sermon was good, and the service being over, 
took Miss Helen a long ramble through the gardens, in 
which even now there is much of beauty, 

October 9. As soon as possible a male Chaffinch was 
procured, and I sat to draw it to give an idea of what 
Mrs. Gregg calls " my style." The Chaffinch was outlined, 
daubed with water-colors, and nearly finished when we 
were interrupted by callers. Dr. Holland among them, with 
whom I was much pleased and interested, though I am 
neither a craniologist nor a physiognomist. Lord Stan- 
ford's gamekeeper again came for us, and we had a long 
walk, and I killed a Pheasant and a Hare, 

October 10. To-day I returned to Manchester to meet 
Mr. Bohn. We went to the Academy together, and 
examined my drawings, Mr. Bohn was at first simply 
surprised, then became enthusiastic, and finally said they 
must be published the full size of life, and he was sure 
they would pay, God grant it ! He strongly advised me 
to leave Manchester, and go to London, where he knew I 
should at once be recognized. I dined at the good 
Quaker's, Mr. Dockray, where my friends Mrs. and Miss 
Rathbone are visiting; there is a large and interesting 
family. I sketched an Egret for one, a Wild Turkey for 
another, a Wood Thrush for a third. 

Bakewcll, October 11. I am at last, my Lucy, at the 
spot which has been honored with thy ancestor's name. 
Though dark and rainy I have just returned from a walk 
in the churchyard of the village, where I went with Miss 
Hannah Rathbone, she and her mother having most kindly 
accompanied me hither. It was perhaps a strange place 


to go first, but we were attracted by the ancient Gothic 
edifice. It seemed to me a sort of illusion that made me 
doubt whether I lived or dreamed. When I think how fre- 
quently our plans have been laid to come here, and how 
frequently defeated, it is no great wonder that I find it 
hard to believe I am here at last. This morning at break- 
fast. Lady Rathbone spoke of coming to Matlock, and in 
a {q\v moments all was arranged. She, with her niece, 
Mrs. Dockray, and Miss Hannah, with several of the 
children and myself, should leave in two chaises at noon. 
I spent the time till then in going over Mr. Dockray's 
wool mill. He procures the wool rough from the sheep, 
and it is cloth when he disposes of it; he employs about 
seventy weavers, and many other people in the various 
departments. I was much interested in the dyeing appara- 
tus. I packed up a few of my drawings to take with me. 
We started, seven of us, in two chaises ; all was new, and 
therefore interesting. We reached Stockport, a manufac- 
turing town lying between two elongated hillsides, where 
we changed horses, and again at Chapel En-La-Frith, 
thirty miles from the point of departure. I saw a good 
deal of England that I admired very much. The railways 
were new to me, but the approach of the mountains damp- 
ened my spirits ; the aridity of the soil, the want of 
hedges, and of course of birds, the scarcity of cattle, and 
the superabundance of stone walls cutting the hills in all 
sorts of distorted ways, made me a very unsocial companion, 
but the comfortable inn, and our lively evening has quite 
restored my cheerfulness. 

Matlock, October 12. This morning I was out soon after 
sunrise ; again I walked round the church, remarked its 
decaying state, and that of all the thatched roofs of the 
humble cottages. I ascended the summit of the hill, cross- 
ing a bridge which spanned a winding stream, and had a 
lovely view of the country just lighted by the sun's first 
beams, and returned to the inn, the Rutland Arms, in 


time for the hour of departure, seven. The weather was 
now somewhat fitful, but the road good, and the valley- 
charming. We passed the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, 
and Matlock opened to our eyes in all its beauty, the hills 
dotted with cottages and gentlemen's seats, the autumnal 
tints diversifying the landscape and enriching beautiful 
nature ; the scenery reminds me of that part of America 
on the river called the Clear Juniata. All is remarkably- 
clean ; we rise slowly to more elevated ground, leave the 
river and approach the New Baths Hotel, where our host, 
Mr. Saxton, has breakfast ready. After this we took a 
long walk, turning many times to view the delightful 
scenery, though the weather had become quite rainy. 
We visited the celebrated cave, each carrying a lighted 
candle, and saw the different chambers containing rich 
minerals and spars ; the walls in many places shone like 
burnished steel. On our return, which was down-hill, I 
heard with much pleasure the repeated note of the Jack- 
daws that constantly flew from hole to hole along the 
rocky declivities about us. After dinner, notwithstanding 
the rain, we rowed in a boat down the stream, to a dam 
and a waterfall, where we landed, walked through the 
woods, gathered some beautiful mosses, and saw some Hares, 
heard a Kestrell just as if in America, returned to our boat 
and again rowed, but this time up-stream, and so left the 
Derwent River. 

Matlock, October 13. Still rainy, but I found a sheltered 
spot, and made this sketch. We entered part of the 
grounds of Sir Thomas Arkwright, saw his castle, his 
church, and his meadows. The Rooks and Jackdaws were 
over our heads by hundreds. The steep banks of the 
Derwent were pleasantly covered with shrubby trees; the 
castle on the left bank, on a fine elevation, is too regular 
to be called (by me) well adapted to the rich natural 
scenery about it. We passed along a canal, by a large 
manufactory, and a coal-yard to the inn, the Crumford, 


and the rest of the day was employed in drawing. The 
sketch I took was from "The Heights of Abraham," and 
I copied it for Miss Hannah. About sunset we visited 
the Rutland Cave, which surpassed all my expecta- 
tions ; the natural chambers sparkled with brilliancy, and 
lights were placed everywhere. I saw there some little 
fishes which had not seen the daylight for three years, and 
yet were quite sprightly. A certain portion of the roof 
represented a very good head of a large tiger. I imitated, 
at Mrs. Rathbone's request, the Owl's cry, and the Indian 
yell. This latter music never pleased my fancy much, 
and I well know the effects it produces previous to and 
during an attack whilst the scalping knife is at work. We 
had a pleasant walk back to the inn, for the evening was 
calm and clear, and the moon shone brightly ; so after a 
hasty tea we all made for the river, took a boat, and seated 
ourselves to contemplate the peace around us. I rowed, 
and sung many of the river songs which I learned in 
scenes far from quiet Matlock. 

Jilanc/ustcr, October I4, ^/''. Dockrays House, Hardwick. 
By five o'clock this morning I was running by the Der- 
went; cver}'thing was covered with sparkling congealed 
dew. The fog arising from the little stream only per- 
mitted us to see its waters when they made a ripple 
against some rock. The vale was all mist, and had I not 
known where I was, and heard the notes of the Jackdaws 
above my head, I might have conceived myself walking 
through a subterraneous passage. But the sun soon 
began to dispel the mist, and gradually the tops of the 
trees, the turrets of the castle, and the church pierced 
through, and stood as if suspended above all objects 
below. All was calm till a bell struck my ear, when I 
soon saw the long files of women and little girls mov- 
ing towards Arkwright's Mills. Almost immediately we 
started for Bakcwell, and breakfasted at the Rutland 
Arms. Proceeding we changed our route, and made 


for the well known watering place, Buxton, still in Derby- 
shire. The country here is barren, rocky, but so pictu- 
resque that the want of trees is almost atoned for. The 
road winds along a very narrow valley for several miles, 
bringing a vast variety of detached views before us, all 
extremely agreeable to the sight. The scantiness of 
vegetable growth forces the cattle to risk much to obtain 
food, and now and then when seeing a bull, on bent knee 
with outstretched neck, putting out his tongue to seize 
the few grasses hanging over the precipices, I was alarmed 
for his safety. The Hawk here soars in vain ; after re- 
peated rounds he is forced to abandon the dreary steep, 
having espied only a swift Kingfisher. Suddenly the view 
was closed, a high wall of rock seemed to put an end to 
our journey, yet the chaise ran swiftly down-hill, and turn- 
ing a sharp angle afforded delight to our eyes. Here we 
alighted and walked to view the beauties around at our 
leisure, and we reached the large inn, the Crescent, 
where I met the American consul, my friend Mr. Maury, 
who has visited this place regularly for twenty-five years. 
We had what my friends called a luncheon ; I considered 
it an excellent dinner, but the English eat heartily. On 
our resuming our journey a fine drizzle set in, and as we 
neared Manchester the air became thick with coal smoke, 
the carts, coaches, and horsemen gradually filled the road, 
faces became less clean and rosy, and the children had 
none of the liveliness found amongst those in the Derby- 
shire Hills. I dreaded returning to the town, yet these 
days among the beauties of England in such delightful 
society are enough to refresh one after years of labor. 

Manchester^ October 15, Sunday. I went to the Unita- 
rian Chapel to hear a sermon from the Rev. John Taylor, 
but to my regret he had gone to preach elsewhere, and I 
was obliged to content myself with another, — not quite so 
practical a sermon as I care for. I dined and spent the 
night at Mr. Bentley's ; after retiring to my room I was 


surprised at a knock; I opened my door and there stood 
Mr. Bentley, who said he thought he heard me asking for 
something as he passed by. I told him I prayed aloud 
every night, as had been my habit from a child at my 
mother's knees in Nantes. He said nothing for a moment, 
then again wished me good-night, and was gone. 

October 18. This evening I was to dine with Dr. Hulme 
and (as he said) ''a few friends ;" so when at four 
o'clock I entered his sitting-room, I was surprised to find 
it filled with ladies and gentlemen, and felt awkward for a 
moment. Some of my drawings were asked for, and at 
five we went to dinner; after the ladies had retired, wine 
and wit flowed till a late hour. 

Quarry Bank, 12 miles from Manchester, October ig. At 
five, my cane in hand, I made my way from Manchester, 
bound on foot for Quarry Bank; the morning was pleasant 
and I enjoyed my walk very much, but found myself quite 
out of the right road; therefore, instead of twelve miles, I 
measured sixteen, and was hungry enough when I reached 
my destination. I was soon put at my drawing, and drew 
the whole day; in the afternoon I began a sketch of Mr. 
Gregg, and felt quite satisfied with my work, but not so 
everybody else. Faults were found, suggestions made, 
and I enjoyed the criticisms very much, especially those 
of an Irish nephew of Mr. Gregg's, who, after several 
comments, drew me confidentially aside, and asked who 
it was intended to represent; after this, amid hearty 
laughter, I concluded to finish it next day. Later we 
took a walk and I entered a cottage where dwelt a 
silk weaver; all was clean and well arranged, and I saw 
the weaving going on for the first time since I left 

October 20. Drawing again all morning, and a walk 
later. I was taken to a cottage, where to my great surprise 
I saw t^vo cases of well stuffed birds, the work of the 
weaver who lived in the cottage. I was taken to the dairy, 


where I saw the finest cattle I have yet met with in 

October 21. This has been a busy day. On my return 
from Quarry Bank I saw Mr. Bentley, Mr. Heywood, and 
other friends, Mr. H. gave me a letter to Professor Jame- 
son, of Edinburgh. Called on Dr. Hulme; paid, in all, 
twenty visits, and dined with Mr. Bentley,^ and with his as- 
sistance packed up my birds safe and snug, though much 
fatigued; it was late when we parted; he is a brother 
Mason and has been most kind to me, I wrote down for 
Mrs. Rathbone a brief memorandum of the flight of birds, 
with a few little pencil sketches to make my figures more 
interesting: Swallows, two and a half miles a minute; 
Wild Pigeons, when travelling, two miles per minute ; Swans, 
ditto two miles, Wild Turkeys, one mile and three quarters. 

Manchester, October 23, 182G, Alonday. This day was ab- 
solutely all spent packing and making ready for my start for 
Edinburgh ; my seat in the coach taken and paid for, — 
three pounds fifteen shillings. I spent my last evening 
with Mr. Bentley and his family. As the coach leaves at 
5 A. M., I am sleeping at the inn to be ready when called. 
I am leaving Manchester much poorer than I was when I 
entered it. 

Carlisle, Tuesday, October 24-. The morning was clear 
and beautiful, and at five I left Manchester ; but as no 
dependence can be placed on the weather in this country, 
I prepared for rain later. I was alone in the coach, and 
had been regretting I had no companion, when a very tall 
gentleman entered, but after a few words, he said he was 
much fatigued and wished to sleep ; he composed himself 
therefore and soon slept soundly. How I envied him ! 
We rolled on, however, and arrived at the village of 
Preston, where we breakfasted as quickly as if we had 
been Kentuckians. The coaches were exchanged, packages 
transferred, and I entered the conveyance and met two 

^ I believe Mr. Robert Bentley, the publisher. 


new gentlemen whose appearance I liked ; we soon com- 
menced to chat, and before long were wandering all over 
America, part of India, and the Atlantic Ocean. We dis- 
cussed the emancipation of the slaves, and the starvation 
of the poor in England, the Corn Law, and many other 
topics, the while I looked frequently from the windows. 
The approach to Lancaster is beautiful ; the view of the 
well placed castle is commanding, and the sea view bounded 
by picturesque shores. VVc dined at Kendal, having passed 
through Bolton and Burton, but before this my two inter- 
esting companions had been left behind at a place where 
we stopped to change horses, and only caught up with the 
coach by running across some fields. This caused much 
altercation between them, the driver, and the guard ; one of 
the proprietors of the coach who was on board interfered, 
and being very drunk made matters worse, and a complaint 
was lodged against driver and guard. The tall gentleman 
was now wide awake; he introduced himself as a Mr. 
Walton, and knew the other gentlemen, who were father and 
son, the Messrs. Patison from Cornwall ; all were extremely 
polite to me, a stranger in their land, but so have I ever 
found the tnie English gentleman. 

Wc now entered a most dreary country, poor beyond 
description, immense rolling hills in constant succession, 
dotted here and there with miserable cots, the residences of 
poor shepherds. No game was seen, the weather was 
bleak and rainy, and I cannot say that I now enjoyed the 
ride beyond the society of my companions. We passed 
through Penrith and arrived at Carlisle at half-past nine, 
having ridden one hundred and twenty-two miles, I was 
told that in hard winters the road became impassable, so 
choked with snow, and that when not entirely obstructed 
it was customary to see posts painted black at the top, 
every hundred yards or so, to point out the road surely. 
We had a miserable supper, but good beds, and I enjoyed 
mine, for I felt very wearied, my cold and cough having 


been much increased from my having ridden outside the 
coach some thirty miles, to see the country. 

Edinburgh, Scotland, October 25, Weducsday. We 
breakfasted at Carlisle, left there at eight, but I was sadly 
vexed at having to pay twelve shillings for my trunk and 
portfolio, as I had been positively assured at Manchester 
that no further charge would be made. For perhaps ten 
miles we passed through an uncommonly flat country, 
meandering awhile along a river, passed through a village 
called Longtown, and entered Scot/and at ten minutes 
before ten. I was then just six miles from the spot where 
runaway matches are rendered lawful. The country 
changed its aspect, and became suddenly quite woody; 
we ran along, and four times crossed a beautiful little 
stream like a miniature Mohawk; many little rapids were 
seen in its windings. The foliage was about to fall, and 
looked much as it does with us about our majestic western 
streams, only much less brilliant. This scenery, however, 
lasted only one stage of perhaps twelve miles, and again we 
entered country of the same dreariness as yesterday, mere 
burnt mountains, which were not interesting. The number 
of sheep grazing on these hills was very great, and they 
all looked well, though of a very small species; many of 
them had black heads and legs, the body white, with no 
horns ; others with horns, and still others very small, 
called here " Cheviots." The shepherds were poor, 
wrapped up in a thin piece of plaid, and did not seem of 
that noble race so well painted by Sir Walter Scott. I 
saw the sea again to-day. We dined at Hawick on ex- 
cellent sea fish, and for the first time in my life, I tasted 
Scotch whiskey. It appeared very potent, so after a few 
sips I put it down, and told Mr. Patison I suspected his 
son of wishing to make me tipsy ; to which he replied that 
probably it was to try if I would in such a case be as 
good-natured as I was before. I took this as quite a com- 
pliment and forgave the son. The conversation at dinner 


was very agreeable, several Scotch gentlemen having 
joined us ; some of them drank their native whiskey pure, 
as if water, but I found it both smoky and fiery; so much 
for habit. We passed through Selkirk, having driven 
nearly the whole day through the estates of the young 

Duke of , a young fellow of twenty who passes his 

days just now shooting Black-cock ; he has something like 
two hundred thousand pounds per annum. Some of the 
shepherds on this astonishing estate have not probably more 
than two hundred pounds of oatmeal, a terrible contrast. 
We passed so near Sir Walter Scott's seat that I stood up 
and stretched my neck some inches to see it, but in vain, 
and who knows if I shall ever see the home of the man to 
whom I am indebted for so much pleasure? We passed a 
few miles from Melrose ; I had a great wish to see the old 
abbey, and the gentleman to whom Dr. Ruttcr had given 
me a letter, but the coach rolled on, and at ten o'clock I 
entered this splendid city. I have seen yet but a very 
small portion of it. and that by gaslight, yet I call it a 
splendid city ! The coach stopped at the Black Bull 
Hotel, but it was so full no room could be procured, so we 
had our baggage taken to the Star. The clerk, the guard, 
the driver, all swore at my baggage, and said that had I 
not paid at Carlisle, I would have been charged more here. 
Now it is true that my trunk is large and heavy, and so is 
the portfolio I carry with me, but to give an idea of the 
charges and impositions connected with these coaches 
(or their owners) and the attendants, remark the price I 
paid; to begin with, — 

at Manchester, .£3 15 00, 

at Carlisle, 12 oo, and during the 

two days to drivers and guards, 18 06, 

£5 5 06, 

nearly twenty-seven dollars in our money for two days' 
travellinjr from Manchester to Edinburgh. It is not so 


much the general amount, ahhougli I am sure it is quite 
enough for two hundred and twelve miles, but the beggarl}- 
manners used to obtain about one half of it; to see a fel- 
low with a decent coat on, who calls himself an independent 
free-born Englishman, open the door of the coach every 
ten or twelve miles, and beg for a shilling each time, is 
detestable, and quite an abuse ; but this is not all : they 
never are satisfied, and if you have the appearance of 
wealth about you, they hang on and ask for more. The 
porters here were porters indeed, carrying all on their 
backs, the first I have seen in this island. At the Star we 
had a good supper, and chatted a long time, and it was 
near one before the Messrs. Patison and I parted ; Mr. 
Walton had gone on another course. I thought so much 
of the multitude of learned men that abound in this place, 
that I dreaded the delivery of my letters to-morrow. 

George St., Edinburgh, Oetober 2G. It was ten o'clock 
when I breakfasted, because I wished to do so with the 
Patisons, being so much pleased with their company. I was 
much interested in the different people in the room, which 
was quite full, and the waiters were kept skipping about 
with the nimblencss of Squirrels. My companions, who 
knew Edinburgh well, offered to accompany me in search of 
lodgings, and we soon entered the second door in George 
Street, and in a few minutes made an arrangement with 
Mrs. Dickie for a fine bedroom and a well furnished sitting- 
room. I am to pay her one guinea per week, which I 
considered low, as the situation is fine, and the rooms 
clean and comfortable. I can see, from where I am now 
writing, the Frith, and the boats plying on it. I had my 
baggage brought by a man with a tremendous beard, who 
imposed on me most impudently by bringing a brass shil- 
ling, which he said he would swear I had given him. I 
gave him another, threw the counterfeit in the fire, and 
promised to myself to pay some little attention hereafter 
to what kind of money I give or receive. I walked to 
VOL. I. — 10 


Professor Jameson's^ in the Circus, — not at home; to 
James Hall, Advocate, 128 George St., — absent in the 
country. Dr. Charles Henry of the Royal Infirmary was 
sought in vain, Dr. Thompson was out also, and Professor 
Duncan 2 could not be seen until six o'clock. I only saw 
Dr. Knox in Surgeon's Square, and Professor Jameson at 
the college. This latter received me, I thought, rather 
coolly; said that Sir Walter Scott was now quite a recluse, 
and was busy with a novel and the Life of Napoleon, and 
that probably I should not see him. " Not see Walter 
Scott f thought I ; " I SHALL, if I have to crawl on all-fours 
for a mile ! " But I was a good deal surprised when he 
added it would be several da)'s before lie could pay me a 
visit, that his business was large, and must be attended to; 
but I could not complain, as I am bent on doing the same 
towards myself; and besides, why should I expect any 
other line of conduct? I have been spoiled by the ever-to- 
be-remcmbered families of Roscoes and Rathbones. Dr. 
Knox came at once to see me, dressed in an overgown 
and with bloody fingers. He bowed, washed his hands, 
read Dr. Traill's letter, and promised me at once to do 
all in his power for me and my drawings, and said he 
would bring some scientific friends to meet me, and to 
examine my drawings. Dr. Knox is a distinguished anat- 
omist, and a great student; Professor Jameson's special 
science is mineralogy. I walked a good deal and admired 
the city very much, the great breadth of the streets, the 
good pavements and footways, the beautiful buildings, 
their natural gray coloring, and wonderful cleanliness ; per- 
haps all was more powerfully felt, coming direct from dirty 

* Robert Jameson, the eminent Scotch naturalist, 1774-1854. Regius 
Professor of Natural History in the University of Edinburgh. Founder of 
the Wemerian Society of that city, and with Sir David Brewster originated 
the " Edinburgh Philosophical Review." Wrote many works on geology and 

- Andrew Duncan, M. D., 1745-1828. Lecturer in the University of 


Manchester, but the picturesqueness of the toute ensemble 
is wonderful. A high castle here, another there, on to a 
bridge whence one looks at a second city below, here a 
rugged mountain, and there beautiful public grounds, 
monuments, the sea, the landscape around, all wonderfully- 
put together indeed ; it would require fifty different views 
at least to give a true idea, but I will try from day to day 
to describe what I may see, either in the old or new part 
of the town. I unpacked my birds and looked at them 
with pleasure, and yet with a considerable degree of fear 
that they would never be published. I felt very much 
alone, and many dark thoughts came across my mind ; I 
felt one of those terrible attacks of depression to which I 
so often fall a prey overtaking me, and I forced myself to 
go out to destroy the painful gloom that I dread at all 
times, and of which I am sometimes absolutely afraid. 
After a good walk I returned more at ease, and looked at 
a pair of stuffed pheasants on a large buffet in my present 
sitting-room, at the sweetly scented geraniums opposite to 
them, the black hair-cloth sofa and chairs, the little cherubs 
on the mantelpiece, the painted landscape on my right 
hand, and the mirror on my left, in which I saw not only 
my own face, but such strong resemblance to that of my 
venerated father that I almost imagined it was he that I 
saw ; the thoughts of my mother came to me, my sister, my 
young days, — all was at hand, yet how far away. Ah ! how 
far is even the last moment, that is never to return again. 
Edinburgh, October 27, 1826. I visited the market this 
morning, but to go to it I first crossed the New Town into 
the Old, over the north bridge, went down many flights of 
winding steps, and when at the desired spot was positively 
under the bridge that has been built to save the trouble of 
descending and mounting from one side of Edinburgh to 
the other, the city being mostly built on the slopes of 
two long ranges of high, broken hills. The vegetable mar- 
ket was well arranged, and looked, as did the sections for 


meats and fruits, attractive; but the situation, and the nar- 
row booths in which the articles were exhibited, was, com- 
pared with the Liverpool market, nothing. I ascended the 
stairs leading to the New Town, and after turning to the 
right, saw before me the monument in honor of Nelson, 
to which I walked. Its elevated situation, the broken, 
rocky way along which I went, made it very picturesque ; 
but a tremendous shower of rain accompanied by a heavy 
gust of cold wind made me hurry from the spot before I 
had satisfied myself, and I returned Jiomc to breakfast. I was 
struck with the resemblance of the women of the lower 
classes to our Indian squaws. Their walk is precisely the 
same, and their mode of carrying burdens also ; they have 
a leather strap passed over the forehead attached to large 
baskets without covers, and waddle through the streets, 
just like the Shawanees, for instance. Their complexion, if 
fair, is beyond rosy, partaking, indeed, of purple —dull, and 
disagreeable. If dark, they are dark indeed. Many of 
the men wear long whiskers and beards, and are extremely 
uncouth in manners, and still more so in language. I had 
finished breakfast when Messrs. Patison came to see my 
drawings, and brought with them a Miss Ewart, who was 
said to draw beautifully. She looked at one drawing after 
another, but remained mute till I came to the doves ; she 
exclaimed at this, and then told me she knew Sir Walter 
Scott well, " and," she added, " he will be delighted to 
see your magnificent collection." Later I called again at 
Dr. Thompson's, but as he was not at home, left the letter 
and my card ; the same at Professor Duncan's. I then 
walked to the fish market, where I found Patrick Neill, Esq.,^ 
at his desk, after having passed between two long files of 
printers at their work. Mr. Neill shook hands cordially, 
gave me his home address, promised to come and see me, 
and accompanied me to the street, begging me not to visit 

1 Patrick Neill, 1776-1851, Scottish naturalist and horticulturalist. Was 
a printer in Edinburgh at this time. 


the Museum until Professor Jameson had sent me a gen- 
eral ticket of admission. I went then to the Port of Leith, 
distant not quite three miles, but missing my way, reached 
the Frith of Forth at Trinity, a small village on the bay, 
from whence I could see the waters of the German Ocean ; 
the shore opposite was distant about seven miles, and 
looked naked and hilly. During my walk I frequently 
turned to view the beautiful city behind me, rising in grad- 
ual amphitheatre, most sublimely backed by mountainous 
clouds that greatly improved the whole. The wind was 
high, the waters beat the shore violently, the vessels at an- 
chor pitched, — all was grand. On inquiry I found this 
was no longer an admiral's station, and that in a few more 
weeks the steamboats that ply between this and London, 
and other parts of the north of this island, would stop 
their voyages, the ocean being too rough during the winter 
season. I followed along the shores, and reached Leith in 
about twenty minutes. I saw a very pretty iron jetty with 
three arches, at the extremity of which vessels land pas- 
sengers and freight. Leith is a large village apparently, 
mostly connected with Hamburg and the seaports of 
Holland. Much business is going on. I saw here great 
numbers of herring-boats and the nets for capturing these 
fishes; also some curious drags for oysters, clams, and 
other shellfish. The docks are small, and contain mostly 
Dutch vessels, none of them large. An old one is fitted 
up as a chapel for mariners. I w^aited till after sunset be- 
fore returning to my lodgings, when I told my landlady I 
was going to the theatre, that I might not be locked out, 
and went off to see " Rob Roy." The theatre not opening 
till half-past six, I spent some little time in a bookseller's 
shop, reading an account of the Palace and Chapel of 
Holyrood. The pit, where I sat, was crowded with gen- 
tlemen and ladies ; for ladies of the second class go to 
the pit, the superior classes to the boxes, and those of 
neither class way above. The house is small but well 


lighted. " God save the King " was the overture, and 
every one rose uncovered. " Rob Roy " was represented 
as if positively in the Highlands; the characters were nat- 
ural, the scenery perfectly adapted, the dress and manners 
quite true to the story. I may truthfully say that I saw a 
good picture of the great outlaw, his Ellen, and the unre- 
lenting Dougal. I would, were it possible, always see 
" Rob Roy" in Edinburgh, " Le Tartuffe " in Paris, and 
*' She Stoops to Conquer " in England. ** Rob Roy," as 
exhibited in America, is a burlesque; we do not even 
know how the hardy mountaineer of this rigid country 
throws on his plaid, or wears his cap or his front piece, 
beautifully made of several tails of the red deer; neither 
can we render the shrill tone of the horn bugle that hangs 
at his side, the merry bagpipe is wanted, also the scenery. 
I would just as soon see "Le Tartuffe" in broken French, 
by a strolling company, as to see " Rob Roy" again as I 
have seen it in Kentucky. It is almost to be regretted 
that each country does not keep to its own productions; 
to do otherwise only leads to fill our minds with ideas far 
different from the truth. I did not stay to see " Rosina; " 
though I liked Miss Stephens pretty well, yet she is by no 
means equal to Miss Foote. 

Edinburgh, October 28, 1826. To-day I have visited the 
Royal Palace of Holyrood ; it is both interesting and curi- 
ous, especially the chapel and the rooms where the present 
King of France resided during his exile. I find Professor 
Jameson is engaged with Mr. Selby^and others in a large 
ornithological publication, and Mr, Ed. Roscoe has written, 
suggesting that I try to connect myself with them; but my 
independent spirit does not turn to the idea with any 
pleasure, and I think if my work deserves the attention of 
the public, it must stand on its own legs, not on the repu- 
tation of men superior in education and literary acquire- 

1 Prideaux John Selby, English ornithologist, author of "British 
Birds " and other works ; died 1S67. 


ments, but possibly not so in the actual observation of Nature 
at her best, in the wilds, as I certainly have seen her, 

October 29, Sunday. With the exception of the short 
walk to the post-office with my letters, I have been as 
busy as a bee all day, for I have written much. Yester- 
day at ten Messrs. Patison brought twelve ladies and the 
Messrs. Thomas and John Todd of this city to see my 
drawings ; they remained full two hours. Professor Dun- 
can came in and was truly a kind friend. After my com- 
pany had left, and I had been promised several letters for 
Sir Walter Scott, I took a walk, and entered a public gar- 
den, where I soon found myself a prisoner, and where, 
had I not found a pretty maid who took pity on my 
^tourderie, I certainly would have felt very awkward, as I 
had neither letter nor pocket-book to show for my identi- 
fication. I then went in search of a Scotch pebble ; one 
attracted me, but a boy in the shop said his father could 
make one still handsomer. I wanted not pebbles made by 
man, I wanted them the result of nature, but I enquired 
of the lad how they were made. Without hesitation the 
boy answered: "by fire-heat, and whilst the pores of the 
pebbles are open colored infusions are impregnated." 
Now what will not man do to deceive his brother? I 
called on Mr. Jeffrey,^ who was not in; he comes from 
his Hall, two and a half miles off, every day for two hours, 
from two to four o'clock ; therefore I entered his sanctum 
sanctorum, sealed the letter, and wrote on my card that I 
would be happy to see him. What a mass of books, 
papers, portfolios, dirt, beautiful paintings, engravings, 
casts, with such parcels of unopened packages all di- 
rected " Francis Jeffrey, Esq." Whilst I looked at this 
mass I thought. What have / done, compared with what 
this man has done, and has to do? I much long to see 
the famous critic. As I came away my thoughts reverted to 

1 Lord Francis Jeffrey, 1773-1850, the distinguished Scottish critic and 


Holyrood Palace. What a variety of causes has brought 
king after king to that spot; what horrors have been com- 
mitted there ! The general structure is not of a defensive 
nature; it lies in a valley, and has simply its walls to guard 
it. I was surprised that the narrow stairs which led to the 
small chamber where the murder was committed, com- 
municated at once with the open country, and I was also 
astonished to see that the mirrors were positively much 
superior to those of the present day in point of intrinsic 
purity of reflection ; the plates cannot be less than three- 
fourths of an inch in thickness. The furniture is all de- 
caying fast, as well as the paintings which are set into the 
walls. The great room for the King's audience contains a 
throne by no means corresponding with the ideas dc luxe 
that I had formed. The room, however, being hung in 
scarlet clotii, had a \'cry warm effect, and I remember 
it with pleasure. I also recall the view I then had from a 
high hill, of the whole city of Edinburgh and the country 
around the sea; the more I look on Edinburgh the better 
I like it. To-day, as I have said, I have been in my rooms 
constantly, and after much writing received Dr. Knox and 
a friend of his. The former pronounced my drawings the 
finest of their kind in the world. No light praise this. 
They promised to see that I was presented to the Wcr- 
nerian Society, and talked very scientifically, indeed quite 
too much so for the poor man of the woods. They as- 
sured me the ornithological work now about being pub- 
lished by Messrs, " Selby, Jameson, and Sir Somebody^ 
and Co.," was a "job book." It is both amusing and dis- 
tressing to see how inimical to each other men of science 
are ; and why are they so ? 

October 30. Mr. Neill took me to a Mr. Lizars,^ in 
St. James Square, the engraver for Mr. Selby, who came 

1 Sir William Jardine. 

2 W. H. Lizars, the engraver who made a few of the earliest plates of 
the " Birds of America." 


with us to see my work. As we walked along under an 
umbrella he talked of nothing else than the astonishing 
talent of his employer, how quickly he drew and how well, 
until we reached my lodgings. I lost hope at every step, 
and I doubt if I opened my lips. I slowly unbuckled my 
portfolio, placed a chair for him, and with my heart like a 
stone held up a drawing. Mr. Lizars rose from his seat, 
exclaiming: "My God! I never saw anything like this 
before." He continued to be delighted and astonished, 
and said Sir William Jardine ^ must see them, and that he 
would write to him ; that Mr. Selby must see them ; and 
when he left at dark he went immediately to Mr. Wm. 
Heath, an artist from London, who came at once to see 
me. I had gone out and missed him ; but he left a note. 
Not knowing who he might be, I went to see him, up three 
pairs of stairs, a V artisan ; met a brunette who was Mrs. 
Heath, and a moment after the gentleman himself We 
talked together, he showed me some of his work and will 
call on me to-morrow. 

October 31. So at last Professor Jameson has called on 
me ! That warm-hearted Mr. Lizars brought him this 
morning, just as I was finishing a letter to Victor. He 
was kind to me, very kind, and yet I do not understand 
the man clearly; he has a look quite above my reach, I 
must acknowledge, but I am to breakfast with him to- 
morrow at nine. He says he will, with my permission, 
announce my work to the world, and I doubt not I shall 
find him an excellent friend. Dr. Thompson's sons came 
in, tall, slender, and well-looking, made an apology for 
their father, and invited me to breakfast on Thursday; 
and young Dr. Henry called and also invited me to break- 
fast. Mr. Patrick Symes, a learned Scotchman, was with 
me a long time, and my morning was a very agreeable 
one within, though outside it was cold and rained. Edin- 

^ Scottish naturalist, 1S00-1S74. Published " Naturalists' Library " and 
other works. 


burgh even in the rain, for I took a walk, is surprisingly 
beautiful, picturesque, romantic; I am delighted with it. 
Mr. Lizars has invited me to call at nine to spend the 
evening with him ; now I call it much more as if going to 
spend the night. I met Mrs. Lizars when I stopped at 
his house for a moment to-day; she is the first lady to 
whom I have been introduced here, and is a very beauti- 
ful one. Eleven and a half o'clock and I have just returned 
from Mr. Lizars, where my evening has been extremely 
pleasant. I have seen some of Mr. Selby's original draw- 
ings, and some of Sir William Jardine's, and I no longer 
feel afraid. But I must to rest, for I hate late hours and 
love to be up before daylight. 

November 1. I breakfasted at Professor Jameson's. 
A most splendid house, splendid everything, breakfast to 
boot. The professor wears his hair in three distinct, dif- 
ferent courses; when he sits fronting the south, for 
instance, the hair on his forehead bends westwardly, the 
hair behind castwardl)', and the very short hair on top 
mounts directly upward, perhaps somewhat like the quills 
of the " fretful porcupine." But never mind the ornamen- 
tal, external appendages of his skull, the sense zvitJiin is 
great, and full of the nobleness which comes from a kind, 
generous heart. Professor Jameson to-day is no more 
the man I took him to be when I first met him. He 
showed me an uncommon degree of cordiality, and prom- 
ised me his powerful assistance so forcibly that I am sure 
I can depend upon him. I left him and his sister at ten, 
as we both have much to do besides talking, and drinking 
hot, well creamed coffee; but our separation was not long, 
for at noon he entered my room with several gentlemen 
to see my drawings. Till four I was occupied showing 
one picture after another, holding each one at arm's-length, 
and was very tired, and my left arm once I thought had 
an idea of revolutionizing. When my guests had gone I 
walked out, took plenty of needed exercise, often hearing 


remarks about myself such as "That's a German physi- 
cian ; " " There 's a French nobleman." I ended my walk at 
Mr. Lizars', and while with him expressed a wish to secure 
some views of beautiful Edinburgh; he went to another 
room and brought in a book of views for me to look 
at, which I did with interest. He then asked me to draw 
something for him, and as I finished a vignette he pushed 
the book of superb Edinburgh towards me; on the first 
leaf he had written, " To John J. Audubon, as a very im- 
perfect expression of the regard entertained for his abilities 
as an artist, and for his worth as a friend, by William H. 
Lizars, engraver of the ' Views of Edinburgh.' " I saw 
— though by gas-light — some of Mr. Lizars' work, print- 
ing from copper, coloring with water-color and oils, etc., 
on the same, for the first time in my life. How little I 
know ! how ignorant I am ! but I will learn. I went to 
bed after reading Sir Walter's last novel till I was so 
pleased with the book that I put it under my pillow to 
dream about, as children do at Christmas time ; but my 
dreams all went another way and I dreamed of the beech 
woods in my own dear land. 

November 2, Thursday. I drew the bell at the door of 
No. 80 George Street, where lives Dr. Thompson, just as 
the great bell of St. Andrews struck nine, and we soon sat 
down to breakfast. Dr. Thompson is a good, and good- 
looking man, and extremely kind ; at the table were also 
his wife, daughter, son, and another young gentleman; 
and just as my second cup of coffee was handed to me a 
certain Dr. Fox entered with the air of an old friend, and 
at once sat down. He had been seventeen years in 
France, and speaks the language perfectly, of course. 
After having spoken somev/hat about the scrubbiness of 
the timber here, and the lofty and majestic trees of my 
country dear, I rose to welcome Mrs. Lizars, who came in 
with her husband and some friends. Mr. Lizars had not 
seen one of my largest drawings; he had been enamoured 


with the Mocking-birds and Rattle-snake, but, Lucy, the 
Turkeys — her brood, the pose of the Cock Turkey — the 
Hawk pouncing on seventeen Partridges, the Wliooping 
Crane devouring alhgators newly born — at these he ex- 
claimed again and again. All were, he said, wonderful 
productions; he wished to engrave the Partridges; but 
when the Great-footed Hawks came with bloody rags at 
their beaks' ends, and cruel delight in the glance of their 
daring eyes, he stopped mute an instant, then said, " That 
I will engrave and publish," We were too numerous a 
party to transact business then, and the subject was ad- 
journed. Fatigued and excited by this, I wrote for some 
hours, and at four walked out and paid my respects to 
young Dr. Henry at the Infirmary, — a nice young man, — 
and at five I found myself at Mr. Lizars', who at once 
began on the topic of my drawings, and asked why I did 
not publicly exhibit them. I told him how kind and 
generous the Institution at Liverpool had been, as well as 
Mancliestcr, and that I had a letter of thanks from the 
Committees. He returned with me to my lodgings, read 
the letter, and we marched arm in arm from Mrs. Dickie's 
to Professor Jameson, who kept the letter, so he said, to 
make good use of it ; I showed Mr. Lizars other letters 
of recommendation, and as he laid down the last he said : 
" Mr. Audubon, the people here don't know who you are 
at all, but depend upon it they shall know." We then 
talked of the engraving of the Hawks, and it seems that it 
will be done. Perhaps even yet fame may be mine, and 
enable me to provide all that is needful for my Lucy and 
my children. Wealth I do not crave, but comfort ; and 
for my boys I have the most ardent desire that they may 
receive the best of education, far above any that I possess; 
and day by day science advances, new thoughts and new 
ideas crowd onward, there is always fresh food for enjoy- 
ment, study, improvement, and I must place them where 
all this may be a possession to them. 


November 3, Friday. My birds were visited by many 
persons this day, among whom were some ladies, artists, 
of both ability and taste, and with the numerous gentle- 
men came Professor James Wilson,^ a naturalist, an agree- 
able man, who invited me to dine at his cottage next 
week. Mr. Lizars, who is certainly inon ban cJicval de 
bataille, is exerting himself greatly in my behalf. At half- 
past three good Mr. Neill came, and together we walked 
towards his little hermitage, a sweet spot, quite out of 
town ; nice garden, hot-house filled with exotics, and 
house-walls peopled by thousands of sparrows secure in 
the luxuriant masses of ivy that only here and there suffer 
the eye to see that the habitat is of stone. The Heron's 
sharp lance lay on his downy breast while he balanced 
on one leg, silent and motionless ; the Kittiwakc Gull 
screamed for food ; the Cormorant greedily swallowed it; 
whilst the waddling Gannet welcomed her master by 
biting his foot, the little Bantams and the great rooster 
leaped for the bread held out, the faithful Pigeon cooed 
to his timid mate, and the huge watch-dog rubbed 
against the owner's legs with joy. We entered the house, 
other guests were there, and full of gayety we sat down to 
a sumptuous dinner. Eyes sparkled with wit, sense, 
knowledge. Mr. Combe ^ who was present has a head 
quite Hke our Henry Clay. My neighbor, Mr. Bridges, ^ is 
all life ; but after a few observations concerning the birds 
of our woods he retired to let the world know that many 
of them are arrived in Scotland. It is unanimously agreed 
that I must sit for my portrait to Mr. Syme,* and that 
friend Lizars must engrave it to be distributed abroad. 
On my return to my lodgings I was presented with some 

^ James \Yilson, brother of Professor John Wilson (Christopher North), 
naturalist and scientific writer, 1795-1S56. 

- George Combe, an eminent phrenologist and author on that subject. 
Bom and died in Edinburgh, 178S-1856. 

^ David Bridges, editor of one of the Edinburgh newspapers. 

* John Syme. His portrait of Audubon was the first one ever engraved. 


pears and apples of native growth, somewhat bigger than 
green peas ; but ah ! this is both ungrateful and discour- 
teous. To-morrow I am to meet Lord Somebody, and 
Miss Stephens; she was called "that delicious actress" 
so fervently and so frequently by my learned friends 
that I reverse my judgment, or will at least suspend it, 
until I see more of her. 

November 4., Saturday. Now had I the faculties of my 
good friend Mr. Bridges, I should be able to write all that 
I feel towards him and the good people of this romantic 
Edina's Academic Halls; I would set to, and write long 
accounts of all I haye enjoyed this day. But, alas ! poor 
me! I can only scratch a few words next to unintelligible, 
and simply say that my little room has been full all day of 
individuals good, great, and friendly, and I am very wearied 
to-night; it is now past one. I dined at Mr. Lizars', where 
were beauties, music, conviviality, and wit. I am working 
hard withal; I do with four hours' sleep, keep up a great 
correspondence, keep up my journal, and write many hours 
on the letter-press for my " Birds," which is almost done. 

November 5, Sunday. At ten o'clock my room was 
filled with visitors. Friend Bridges came, and stayed a 
long time. Miss Stephens the actress and her brother 
also paid me a visit. Mr. Bridges insisted on my going 
home to dine with him at four, and I never perceived I 
was in my slippers till I reached the port of destination. 
A Mr. Hovey dined with us. Mrs. Bridges is a stately, 
handsome lady, and the diuer en famillc pleased me 
exceedingly. I saw quite a stock of pictures and engrav- 
ings, well selected by my knowing friend. I returned 
home early and found a note from Mr. John Gregg, who 
came himself later bringing me a scrubby letter from 
Charles VVaterton,^ and a sweet little sketch from fair Ellen 
of Quarry Bank. I was delighted to see him ; it seemed 

^ Charles Waterton, English naturalist and traveller, 1782-1865, — al- 
ways an enemy of Audubon's. 


like old times to me. With all this I am by no means 
in spirits to write, I am so alone in this strange land, 
so far from those I love the best, and the future rises 
ofttimes dark before me. 

Monday, November 6. The same sad heart to-day, and 
but little work and much company. I was glad, however, 
to see those who came, among others my coach com- 
panion from Manchester, Mr. Walton, who invited me 
in a very friendly manner to see him often. It snowed 
this morning, and was quite a new sight to me, for I have 
not seen any for about five years — I think. The papers 
give such accounts of my drawings and of myself that 
I am quite ashamed to walk the streets ; but I am dis- 
pirited and melancholy. 

Sunday, November 19. I do not know when I have thus 
pitilessly put away my journal for nearly two weeks. My 
head and heart would not permit me to write, so I must 
try to incmorajiduin now all I have seen. What I have 
felt is too much for me to write down, for when these 
attacks of depression overwhelm me life is almost unen- 
durable. Every day I exhibited my drawings to those 
who came to see them. I had many noblemen, among 
whom I especially liked Sir Patrick Walker and his lady; 
but I welcomed all ladies, gentlemen, artists, and, I dare 
say, critics. At last the Committee of the Royal Institu- 
tion invited me to exhibit publicly in their rooms; I owe 
this invitation, I know, to the astonishing perseverance 
of some unknown friends. When my pictures were re- 
moved there I was no longer "At Home." I painted 
from dawn to dark, closely, and perhaps more attentively 
than I ever have done before. The picture was large, 
contained a Turkey Cock, a hen, and nine young, all the 
size of life. Mr. Lizars and his amiable wife visited me 
often ; often I spent the evenings with them. Mr. David 
Bridges, Mr. Cameron, and several others had regular 
admittance, and they all saw the regular progress of my 


work ; all, apparently, admired it. I dined at many houses, 
was always kindly received, and as far as my isolated 
condition and unfortunate melancholy permitted, enjoyed 
myself. It was settled by Mr. Lizars that he would under- 
take the publication of the first number of the " Birds of 
America," and that was enough to put all my powers 
of acting and thinking at fever heat. The papers also 
began to be more eulogistic of the merits of myself and 
my productions, and I felt bewildered with alternate uncer- 
tainties of hope and fear. I have received many letters 
from my dear Liverpool friends, and one, most precious 
of all, from the wonderful "Queen Bee" of Green Bank, 
with a most beautiful seal of the Wild Turkey and the 
motto " America, my country." ^ When my drawings 
were exhibited to the public, professors, students, artists, 
spoke well of them. I forwarded by post seventy-five 
tickets to the principal persons who had been kind to me, 
and to all the artists in Edinburgh. I sat once for my 
portrait, but my picture kept me at home ever since. 
I saw, and dined, and dined again with Sir William 
Jardinc, and like him very much. He visited me fre- 
quently, and sat and stood watching me painting during 
his stay in the city. The famous phrenologist George 
Combe visited me also; spoke much of the truth of 
his theory as exhibited and verified by my poor skill; 
begged I would allow a cast of my head to be taken, 
etc., etc., and sent me a card of admission to his lectures 
this winter. The famous Professor Wilson of " Blackwood " 
fame, I might almost say the author of " Blackwood's 
Magazine," visited me also, and was very friendly; indeed, 
every one is kind, most truly so. How proud I feel that 
in Edinburgh, the seat of learning, science, and solidity 
of judgment, I am liked, and am received so kindly. How 
much I wish my Lucy could also enjoy it, that our sons 

* This seal Audubon always used afterwards, and it is still in the posses- 
sion of the family. 


might have partaken of it, this would have rendered each 
moment an age of pleasure. I have now determined to 
remain here till my first number is published, when I shall 
go to Liverpool again, with proofs in hand. I will forward 
some of this number to the friends at home as well as 
abroad, and will continue painting here the while, and watch 
the progress of the engravers and colorists ; two drawings 
are now under the hand of the engraver, and God grant 
me success. I am going to try to find time to spend 
a week at Jardine Hall, and some days at Mrs. Fletcher's ; 
it will remove me from the pressure and excitement to 
which I am hourly subjected, and be a complete change 
for me in every way. 

November 20. Whilst my breakfast was preparing, and 
daylight improving, I sat at my little table to write a 
notice of descriptive import about my painting of the 
Wild Turkeys that now leaned against the wall of my 
room, finished. My breakfast came in, but my pen car- 
ried me along the Arkansas River, and so much did I long 
for my beloved country that not a morsel could I swallow. 
While writing, Mr. Bridges, who usually pays me a daily 
visit, happened to come in. I read my description and told 
him it was my intention to have it printed, or written out 
in a clear hand, to lay on the table of the exhibition room, 
for the use of the public. He advised me to go to Pro- 
fessor Wilson for criticism ; so I went at once to his resi- 
dence, and reached " Blackwood's " door about ten o'clock. 
I did not even ask if Professor Wilson was in; no, I simply 
told the man to say Mr. Audubon from America wished 
to speak with him. In a moment I was conducted to a 
room where I wished that all that had been written in it 
was my own to remember, to enjoy, to profit by ; but I 
had not been here many minutes before a sweet child, a 
happy daughter of this great man, asked me to go up- 
stairs, saying, " Papa will be there in a minute ; " and truly, 
almost at once the Professor came in, with freedom and 

VOL. I. 11 


kindness of manner, life in his eye, and benevolence in 
his heart. My case was soon explained ; he took my 
paper, read it, and said if I would allow him to keep it, 
he would make one or two alterations and return it in 
good time. Back to my lodgings and hungry by this 
time, and cooled off, my mind relieved, my painting 
finished, I dressed more carefully and walked to the 
Royal Institution, and was pleased at seeing there a good 
deal of company. But the disagreeable part of my day 
is yet to come. I had to dine at Professor Graham's,^ it 
was five o'clock when I reached there, a large assembly 
of ladies and gentlemen were there, and I was intro- 
duced to Mrs. Graham only, by some oversight I am sure, 
but none the less was my position awkward. There I 
stood, motionless as a Heron, and when I dared, gazed 
about mc at my surroundings, but no one came near me. 
There I stood and thought of the concert at Manchester ; 
but there was this difference : there I was looked at rudely, 
here I was with polite compan\' ; so I waited patiently for 
a change of situation, and the change came. A woman, 
aye, an angel, spoke to me in such a quiet, easy way that in 
a few moments vay mal aisc was gone; then the ringing 
of a bell summoned us to the dining-room ; I sat near the 
blue satin lady (for her name I do not know) who came 

to my rescue, and a charming young lady, Miss M , was 

my companion. But the sumptuous dinners of this coun- 
try are too much for me. They are so long, so long, that 
I recall briefer meals that I have had, with much more 
enjoyment than I eat the bountiful fare before me. This 
is not a gouter with friend Bourgeat on the Flat Lake, 
roasting the orange-fleshed Ibis, and a few sun-perch ; 
neither is it on the heated banks of Thompson's Creek, on 
the Fourth of July, swallowing the roasted eggs of a large 
Soft-shelled Turtle ; neither was I at Henderson, at good 

1 Robert Graham, Scottish physician and botanist, born at Stirling, 1786, 
died at Edinburgh, 1845. 


Dr. Rankin's, listening to the bowlings of the Wolves, 
while sitting in security, eating well roasted and jellied 
venison, — no, alas! it was far from all these dear spots, 
in Great King Street, No. 62, at Dr. Graham's, a dis- 
tinguished professor of botany, with a dinner of so many 
rich dishes that I cannot remember them. 

November 2Jf. I have just finished a long letter to Mr. 
VVm. Rathbone, telling him of my reception in beautiful 
Edinburgh, and my present plans, which are to publish 
one number at my own expense and risk, and with it 
under my arm, make my way. If I can procure three 
hundred good substantial names of persons or associa- 
tions or institutions, I cannot fail doing well for my family ; 
but, to do this, I must abandon my life to its success, and 
undergo many sad perplexities, and perhaps never again 
— certainly not for some years — see my beloved Amer- 
ica. The work, from what I have seen of Mr. Lizars' 
execution, will be equal to anything in the world at 
present, and of the rest the world must judge for itself. 
I shall superintend both engraving and coloring per- 
sonally, and I pray my courage may not fail ; my industry 
I know will not. It is true the work will be procured only 
at a great expense, but then, a number of years must 
elapse before it is completed, so that renders payment an 
easier task. This is what I shall try ; if I do not succeed 
I can return to my woods and there in peace and quiet 
live and die. I am sorry that some of my friends, particu- 
larly Dr. Traill, are against the pictures being the size of 
life, and I must acknowledge it renders the work rather 
bulky, but my heart was always bent on it, and I cannot 
refrain from attempting it. I shall publish the letter- 
press in a separate book, at the same time with the 
illustrations, and shall accompany the descriptions of the 
birds with many anecdotes and accounts of localities con- 
nected with the birds themselves, and with my travels in 
search of them. I miss my " Wild Turkeys," on which I 


worked steadily and from dawn to dark, a long time 
here, — for sixteen days. It would be impossible for me 
to write down all my feelings and thoughts about my 
work, or my life here ; it may be that in time I shall be 
reconciled or habituated to the life I now lead, but I can 
scarce believe this, and often think the woods the only 
place in which I truly live. 

November 23, 1826. I have been drawing all day at 
some Wood Pigeons, as they are emphatically called here, 
though woods there are none. The day was cold, wet, and 
snowy. Mr, Lizars, however, called with Dr. Brewster,^ 
an eminent and entertaining man. I received a note from 
Geo. Combe, Esq., the phrenologist, who wishes to plaster 
my poor head to take an impression of the bumps, ordi- 
nary and extraordinary ; he also invited me to sup with 
him on Monday next. I was to dine at Dr. Monroe's, Craig- 
lockhart, near Slateford, so I dressed and sent for a coach 
that took me two and a half vaWcs for twelve shillings, and 
I had to pay one shilling toll, — a dear dinner this. I 
arrived and entered a house richly furnished, and was pre- 
sented to three ladies, and four gentlemen. The ladies 
were Mrs. Monroe, Miss Maria Monroe, and Mrs. Murray; 
amongst the gentlemen I at once recognized the amiable 
and learned Staff-Surgeon Lyons. Mrs. Monroe I found 
a woman of most extraordinary powers, a brilliant conver- 
sationalist, highly educated, and most attractive. She sat 
by me, and entertained me most charmingly, and the rest 
of her company as well. I need not say the dinner was 
sumptuous, for I find no other kind in hospitable Edin- 
burgh. After dinner we had music from Miss Monroe, a 
skilled songstress, and her rich voice, with the pathetic 
Scotch ballads which she sang so unaffectedly, brought 
tears to my eyes. My return to my lodgings was very 
cold, for snow lies all about the hills that surround this 
enchanting city. 

* David Brewster, author, scientist, and philosopher, Edinburgh, 17S1- 


Sunday, November 26. I went to a Scotch church this 
morning, but it was cold and the services seemed to me 
cold also, but it may have been that I was unaccustomed 
to them. Snow lay thick on the ground and my lodgings 
looked cheerless, all but my picture, at which I worked on 
my return. I had put my work on the floor, and was 
standing on a chair to see the effect at a good distance, 
when Mrs. Lizars entered with her husband ; they had 
come to invite me to dine with them on roasted sheep's- 
head (a Scotch dish), and I was glad to accept, for I was 
on the verge of a fit of depression, one of those severe 
ones when I am almost afraid to be alone in my lodgings ; 
alone indeed I am, without one soul to whom I can open 
my heart. True, I have been alone before, but that was 
in beloved America, where the ocean did not roll between 
me and my wife and sons. At four, therefore, I reached 
James' Square and dined with these good people without 
pomp or ostentation ; it is the only true way to live. Found 
the sheep's-head delicious, and spent the evening most 
agreeably. I was shown many beautiful sketches, and two 
plates of my birds well advanced. Mr. Lizars walked 
home with me ; the weather was intensely cold, and the 
wind blew a gale ; on turning a corner it almost threw me 
down, and although warmly dressed I felt the chill keenly. 
This morning seems a long way off, so many things have I 
thought of this day. 

Monday, November 27 . As soon as it dawned I was up 
and at work, and quite finished my drawing before break- 
fast. Mr. Syme came to see me, and was surprised to 
find it done. I had also outlined my favorite subject, the 
Otter in a trap. At twelve I went to stand np for my 
picture, and sick enough I was of it by two ; at the request 
of Mr. Lizars I wear my wolf-skin coat, and if the head is 
not a strong likeness, perhaps the coat may be ; but this is 
discourteous of me, even to my journal. Mr. Lizars 
brought a Mr. Key, an artist, to throw a sky over my 


drawing, and the gentleman did it in handsome style, giv- 
ing me some hints about this kind of work for which I am 
grateful. I dined at home on herrings, mutton-chops, 
cabbage, and fritters. As I am now going to sup with Mr. 
George Combe, I will write to-morrow what I may hear to- 
night. A kind note from Professor Jameson, whom I have 
not seen for some time, for he is a busy man, with a card 
of admittance to the Museum. 

Tuesday, 28th. After writing thus far I left my room 
and went to watch the engravers at work on my birds. I 
was delighted to see how faithfully copied they were, and 
scarcely able to conceive the great ''adroit'' required to 
form all the lines exactly contrary to the model before 
them. I took a cup of coffee with Mr. and Mrs. Lizars, 
went home to dress, and at nine was again with Mr. Lizars, 
who was to accompany me to Mr. Combe's, and reaching 
Brovver Square we entered the dwelling of Phrenology ! 
Mr. Scot, the president of that society, Mr. D. Stewart,^ 
Mr. McNalahan, and many others were there, and also a 
German named Charles N. Weiss, a great musician. Mr. 
George Combe immediately asked this gentleman and 
m)'self if we had any objection to have our heads looked at 
by the president, who had not yet arrived. We both signi- 
fied our willingness, and were seated side by side on a 
sofa. When the president entered Mr. Combe said : " I 
have here two gentlemen of talent ; will you please tell us 
in what their natural powers consist?" Mr. Scot came up, 
bowed, looked at Mr. Weiss, felt his head carefully all 
over, and pronounced him possessed of musical faculty in 
a great degree ; I then underwent the same process, and 
he said : " There cannot exist a moment of doubt that 
this gentleman is a painter, colorist, and compositor, and 
I would add an amiable, though quick-tempered man." 
Much conversation ensued, we had supper, Miss Scot 

1 Dugald Stewart, Professor of Moral Philosophy, author, etc., Edinburgh, 


and Miss Combe were present, the only ladies. After- 
wards Mr. Weiss played most sweetly on the flute, Mr. 
Scot sang Scotch airs, glees and madrigals followed, and 
it was after one o'clock when " Music and Painting " left 
the company arm in arm. I soon reached my lodgings. 
Mr. Weiss gave me a ticket to his concert, and Mrs. Dickie, 
who kindly sat up for me, gave me a ship letter. I 
hoped it was from my Lucy, but no, it was from Governor 
DeWitt Clinton; it was dated thirty days previous to my 
receiving it. 

Tuesday, 28th. The fog was so dense this morning that 
at nine o'clock I could hardly see to write. I put the 
drawing of the Stock Pigeons in the Institution, framed 
superbly, and it looked well, I thought, even though so 
dark a day. I again stood for my picture, two dreadfully 
long hours, and I am sure I hope it may prove a good re- 
semblance to my poor self. Whilst yet in my hunting- 
dress, I received word that Sir Walter Scott was in the 
Institution and wished to see me ; you may depend I was 
not long in measuring the distance, and reached the build- 
ing quite out of breath, but to no purpose. Sir Walter 
had been compelled to go to preside at a meeting upstairs, 
and left an apology for me, and a request that unless too 
dark for him to see my work I would wait ; but it very 
soon became quite dark, and I therefore abandoned all 
thought of meeting him this time. I dined at Mr. Lizars', 
and saw the first-proof impression of one of my drawings. 
It looked pretty well, and as I had procured one sub- 
scriber. Dr. Meikleham of Trinidad, I felt well contented. 

Wednesday, 29th. The day was cloudy, and sitting for my 
portrait has become quite an arduous piece of business. I 
was positively in " durance vile " for two and a half hours. 

Just as I was finishing my dinner, Mrs. F , the cousin 

of Mr. Gregg, called ; ladies having the right to command, 
I went immediately, and found a woman whose features 
had more force and character than women generally show 


in their lineaments. Her eyes were very penetrating, and 
I was struck with the strength of all she said, though noth- 
ing seemed to be studied- She showed the effects of a 
long, well learned round of general information. She, of 
course, praised my work, but I scarce thought her candid. 
Her eyes seemed to reach my very soul ; I knew that at 
one glance she had discovered my inferiority. The group 
of children she had with her were all fine-looking, but not 
so gracefully obedient as those of the beautiful Mrs. Rath- 
bone of W'oodcroft. She invited me to her home, near 
Roslyn, and I shall, of course, accept this courtesy, though 
I felt, and feel now, that she asked me from politeness 
more than because she liked me, and I must say the more 
I realized her intelligence the more stupid did I become. 
Afterwards I went to Mr. Lizars' to meet Dr. Meiklcham, 
who wishes mc to go with him to Trinidad, where I shall 
draw, so he says, four hundred birds for him, for a publi- 
cation of" Birds of the West Indies." On Friday I go to 
Mrs. Isabella Murray's, to see her and some fine engrav- 
ings. I have omitted to say that the first impression of 
the beautiful seal sent mc b}- Mrs. Rathbone was sent to 
my beloved wife; the seal itself is much admired, and the 
workmanship highly praised. Mr. Combe has been to see 
me, and says my poor skull is a greater exemplification of 
the evidences of the truth of his system than any he has 
seen, except those of one or two whose great names only 
are familiar to me ; and positively I have been so tormented 
about the shape of my head that my brains are quite out 
of sorts. Nor is this all ; my eyes will have to be closed 
for about one hour, my face and hair oiled over, and plas- 
ter of Paris poured over my nose (a greased quill in each 
nostril), and a bust will be made. On the other hand, an 
artist quite as crazy and foolishly inclined, has said that 
my head was a perfect Vandyke's, and to establish this 
fact, my portrait is now growing under the pencil of the 
ablest artist of the science here. It is a strange-looking 


figure, with gun, strap, and buckles, and eyes that to me 
are more those of an enraged Eagle than mine. Yet it is 
to be engraved. Sir Walter Scott saw my drawings for a 
few moments yesterday, and I hope to meet him to-mor- 
row when I dine with the Antiquarian Society at the Wat- 
erloo Hotel, where an annual feast is given. My work is 
proceeding in very good style, and in a couple of days 
colored plates will be at the exhibition rooms, and at the 
different booksellers ; but with all this bustle, and my 
hopes of success, my heart is heavy, for hopes are not 
facts. The weather is dull, moist, and disagreeably cold at 
times, and just now the short duration of the daylight 
here is shocking ; the lamps are lighted in the streets at 
half-past three o'clock P. M., and are yet burning at half- 
past seven A. M. 

November 30. My portrait was finished to-day. I can- 
not say that I think it a very good resemblance, but it 
is a fine picture, and the public must judge of the rest. 
I had a bad headache this morning, which has now passed ; 
to be ill far from home would be dreadful, away from my 
Lucy, who would do more for me in a day than all the 
doctors in Christendom in a twelvemonth. I visited the 
exhibition rooms for a few minutes; I would like to go 
there oftener, but really to be gazed at by a crowd is, of 
all things, most detestable to me. Mr. Gregg called 
about four, also Mr. Bridges and an acquaintance of the 
famous " Alligator Rider," and I was told that Mr. 
Waterton said that Joseph Bonaparte imitated the man- 
ners and habits of his brother Napoleon; that is much 
more than I know or saw. But St. Andrew's Day and my 
invitation to dine with the Antiquarians was not forgotten. 
At five I was at Mr. Lizars', where I found Mr. Moule 
and we proceeded to the W^aterloo Hotel. The sitting- 
room was soon filled ; I met many that I knew, and a few 
minutes after the Earl of Elgin ^ made his entree, I was 
^ Thomas Bruce, seventh Earl of Elgin. 1777-1841. 


presented to him by Mr. Iniies of Stow; he shook hands 
with me and spoke in a very kind and truly compHmentary 
manner about my pencil's productions. At six we walked 
in couples to the dining-room ; I had the arm of my good 
friend Patrick Neill, Mr. Lizars sat on my other side, and 
there was a sumptuous dinner indeed. It at first consisted 
entirely of Scotch messes of old fashion, such as marrow- 
bones, codfish-heads stuffed with oatmeal and garlic, 
black puddings, sheep's-heads smelling of singed wool, 
and I do not know what else. Then a second dinner was 
served quite aVanglaise. I finished with a bit of grouse. 
Then came on the toasts. Lord Elgin, being president 
and provided with an auctioneer's mallet, brought all the 
company to order by rapping smartly on the table with 
the instrument. He then rose, and simply said: "The 
King! four times four ! " Every one rose to drink to the 
monarch's health, and the president saying, " Ip, ip, ip," 
sixteen cheers were loudly given. The Dukes of York, 
Argyle, and many others had their healths drunk, then 
Sir Walter Scott (who, to my great regret, was not able 
to be present), and so on and on, one and another, until 
mine was proposed by Mr. Skene,^ the first secretary of 
the society. Whilst he was engaged in a handsome pan- 
egyric the perspiration poured from me, I thought I should 
faint ; and I was seated in this wretched condition when 
everybody rose, and the Earl called out: " Mr. Audubon." 
I had seen each individual when toasted, rise, and deliver 
a speech; that being the case, could I remain speechless 
like a fool? No ! I summoned all my resolution, and for 
the first time in my life spoke to a large assembly, saying 
these few words: "Gentlemen, my command of words in 
which to reply to your kindness is almost as humble as 
that of the birds hanging on the walls of }'Our institution. 
I am truly obliged for your favors. Permit me to say, May 
God bless you all, and may this society prosper." I felt 
1 Wm. Forbes Skene, Scottish historian. 


my hands wet with perspiration. Mr. Lizars poured me 
out a glass of wine and said: " Bravo ! take this," which I 
gladly did. More toasts were given, and then a delightful 
old Scotch song was sung by Mr. Innes ; the refrain was 
" Put on thy cloak about thee," Then Air. McDonald 
sang. Wm. Allan, Esq.,^ the famous painter, told a beautiful 
story, then rose, and imitated the buzzing of a bumble-bee 
confined in a room, and followed the bee (apparently) as 
if flying from him, beating it down with his handkerchief; 
a droll performance most admirably done. At ten, the 
Earl rose, and bid us farewell, and at half-past ten I pro- 
posed to Mr. Lizars to go, and we did. I was much 
pleased at having been a guest at this entertainment, par- 
ticularly as Lord Elgin expressed a wish to see me again. 
I went to Mr. Lizars', where we sat chatting for an hour, 
when I returned to my lodgings and took myself to bed. 
December 1. My portrait was hung up in the exhi- 
bition room ; I prefer it to be gazed at rather than the 
original from which it was taken. The day was shock- 
ingly bad, wet, slippery, cold. I had to visit Lord Clan- 
carty and his lady at noon, therefore I went. I met Mrs. 

M and her children and the eldest daughter of Mr. 

Monroe. Mrs. M began a long speech, telling me of 

her father, Lord S , and his loyalty to the Stuarts ; the 

details not only of that royal family but all the kings of 
England were being poured out, and I should probably 
be there yet, merely saying " Yes" from time to time, if a 
lucky interruption had not come in the form of a message 
from Lord Elgin, to say he desired to see me at the Insti- 
tution. I soon reached that place, where I met Lord Elgin, 
in company with Secretary Skene and Mr. Hall the advo- 
cate, in the art room. Mr. Hall is nephew to Lady Doug- 
las, and this gave me an opportunity to hand him her 
letter. But the best thing to relate is my breakfast with 

1 Afterwards Sir William Allan, historical painter; in 1S33 was elected 
president of the Scottish Royal Academy, Edinburgh. 1782-1850. 


that wonderful man David Bridges. I was at his house at 
a quarter before nine ; a daughter was practising the piano, 
the son reading, his wife, well-dressed, was sewing. I 
conversed with her and looked at the pictures till the door 
opened and my friend came in, attired in his robe de 
chambrc, shook my hand warmly, and taking his handker- 
chief from his pocket, he began whisking and wiping 
chimney mantel, tables, chairs, desk, etc., to my utter 
annoyance, for I felt for the wife whose poor housewifery 
was thus exposed. After breakfast we walked to see my 
portrait and to criticise it, for both Mr. Lizars and Mr, 
Bridges arc connoisseurs. In the evening I visited Mr. 
Howe, the editor of the " Courant " and then to the theatre 
with Mr. Bridges to see Wairner (?) perform " Tyke" in 
" The School of Reform." We met at the Rainbow 
Tavern, and soon entered the theatre, which was thinly 
attended ; but I was delighted with the piece, and the per- 
formance of it, though we left before it was concluded to 
attend Mr. VVeiss's concert in the Assembly Rooms in 
George Street. The flute playing was admirable both in 
execution and tone ; Mr. Bridges supped with me. It is 
now again one o'clock, and I am quite worn out. 

December J, Satia-day. The weather was a sharp frost 
till evening, when it rained. I was busy painting all day, 
and did not put foot out of doors till I went to dine with 
Dr. Brown, the professor of theology.^ Mr. Bridges went 
with mc, and told me that Professor Wilson had prepared 
a notice for " Blackwood's Magazine" respecting myself and 
my work. I think the servant who called out my name at 
Dr. Brown's must have received a most capital lesson in 
pronunciation, for seldom in my travels did I hear my 
name so clearly and well pronounced. Several other 
guests were present, Professor Jameson among them, and 
we passed a most agreeable evening. I must not forget 

1 An eminent divine 1784-1858; father of Dr. John Brown, author of 
" Rab and his Friends," etc. 


that Sir James Hall and his brother called to receive infor- 
mation respecting the comfort that may be expected in 
travelling through my dear country. 

Sunday, December 3. My good friends, Mr. and Mrs. 
Lizars came in as usual after church ; they like the Otter 
better than the Turkeys. It was nearly finished, to the 
great astonishment of Mr. Syme and Mr. Cameron, who 
came to announce that the rooms at the Institution were 
mine till the 20th inst. Mr. Cameron looked long at the 
picture and said : " No man in either England or Scotland 
could paint that picture in so short a time." Now to me 
this is all truly wonderful ; I came to this Europe fearful, 
humble, dreading all, scarce able to hold up my head and 
meet the glance of the learned, and I am praised so highly ! 
It is quite unaccountable, and I still fear it will not last ; 
these good people certainly give me more merit than I am 
entitled to ; it can only be a glance of astonishment or sur- 
prise operating on them because my style is new, and 
somewhat different from those who have preceded me. 
Mr. Bridges, who knows everybody, and goes everywhere, 
went with me to dine with Mr. Witham of Yorkshire. 
We dined — had coffee — supped at eleven. At twelve 
the ladies left us ; I wished to leave, but it was impossible. 
Dr. Knox said he wished to propose me as an honorary 
member of the Wernerian Society ; our host said he would 
second the motion ; my health was drunk, and I finally 
retired with Dr. Knox, leaving Mr. Bridges and the other 
gentlemen making whiskey toddy from that potent Scotch 
liquor which as yet I cannot swallow. It was now half- 
past two ; what hours do I keep ! Am I to lead this 
life long? If I do I must receive from my Maker a new 
supply of strength, for even my strong constitution cannot 
stand it. 

Monday, December Jf.. I gave early orders to Mrs. 
Dickie to have a particularly good breakfast ready by nine 
o'clock because Mr. Witham had offered last night to come 


and partake of it with me ; I then took to my brushes and 
finished my Otter entirely. I had been just thirteen hours 
at it, and had I labored for thirteen weeks, I do not think 
I should have bettered it. Nine o'clock — ten o'clock — 
and no Mr. VVitham. I was to accompany him to Dr. 
Knox, whose lecture on Anatomy he was to hear. At last 
he came with many apologies, having already breakfasted, 
and giving me but ten minutes for my miorning meal. We 
then hurried off, the weather beautiful, but extremely cold. 
Wc ascended the stairs and opened the door of the lecture 
room, where were seated probably one hundred and fifty 
students; a beating of feet and clapping of hands took 
place that quite shocked me. We seated ourselves and 
each person who entered the room was saluted as we had 
been, and during the intervals a low beating was kept up 
resembling in its regularity the footsteps of a regiment on 
a flat pavement. Dr. Knox entered, and all was as hushed 
as if silence had been the principal study of all present. 
I am not an anatomist. Unfortunately, no ! I know 
almost less than nothing, but I w^as much interested in the 
lecture, which lasted three quarters of an hour, when the 
Dr. took us through the anatomical Museum, and his dis- 
secting-room. The sights were extremely disagreeable, 
many of them shocking beyond all I ever thought could 
be. I was glad to leave this charnel house and breathe 
again the salubrious atmosphere of the streets of " Fair 
Edina." I was engaged most certainly to dine out, but 
could not recollect where, and was seated trying to remem- 
ber, when the Rev. W. J. Bakewell, my wife's first cousin, 
and the son of Robert Bakewell the famous grazier and 
zoologist of Derbyshire, came in to see me. He asked 
many questions about the family in America, gave me his 
card and invited me to dine with him next Monday week, 
which is my first unengaged day. I had a letter from Mr. 
Monroe at Liverpool telling me I had been elected a mem- 
ber of the Literary and Philosophical Societies of that 


city. Not being able to recall where I was to dine, I was 
guilty of what must seem great rudeness to my intended 
hosts, and which is truly most careless on my part ; so I 
went to Mr. Lizars, where I am always happy. The wild 
Turkey-cock is to be the large bird of my first number, to 
prove the necessity of the size of the work. I am glad to 
be able to retire at an early hour. It seems to me an 
extraordinary thing, my present situation in Edinburgh ; 
looked upon with respect, receiving the attentions of the 
most distinguished people, and supported by men of 
science and learning. It is wonderful to me; ami, or is 
my work, deserving of all this? 

Tuesday, December 5. After I had put my Otter in the 
exhibition room, I met Mr. Syme and with him visited 
Mr. Wm. Nicholson,^ a portrait painter, and there saw, 
independent of his own work, a picture from the far-famed 
Snyders, intended for a Bear beset with dogs of all sorts. 
The picture had great effect, fine coloring, and still finer 
finishing, but the Bear was no Bear at all, and the dogs 
were so badly drawn, distorted caricatures that I am sure 
Snyders did not draw from specimens put in real postures, 
in my w^ay. I was quite disappointed, so much had I 
heard of this man's pictures of quadrupeds, and I thought 
of Dr. Traill, who, although well acquainted with birds 
scientifically, told me he had an engraving of birds where 
both legs of each individual were put on the same side, 
and that he never noticed the defect till it was pointed out 
to him. This made me reflect how easily man can be im- 
pressed by general effect and beauty. I returned to the 
Institution and had the pleasure of meeting Captain Basil 
Hall,2 of the Royal Navy, his wife, and Lady Hunter. 
They were extremely kind to me, and spoke of my dear 
friends the Rathbones and Greggs in terms which de- 

1 William Nicholson, First Secretary of the Scottish Academy and por- 
trait painter. 17S4-1844. 

2 Traveller and author. 17S8-1844. 


lighted me. The captain asked if I did not intend to 
exhibit by gaslight, and when I replied that the Institution 
had granted me so much favor already that I could not 
take it upon myself to speak of that, said that he should 
do so at once, and would let me know the answer from 
Mr. Skene, the secretary. I wrote the history of my pic- 
ture of the Otter, and sent with a note to Professor Wilson, 
who had asked for it, 

Wednesday, December 6. After breakfast I called on 
Professor Jameson, and as the Wild Turkey is to be in my 
first number, proposed to give him the account of the 
habits of the Turkey Buzzard instead ; he appeared anxious 
to have any I would give. I spoke to him about the pre- 
sentation of my name to the Wernerian Society ; he said 
it was desirable for me to join it as it would attach me to 
the country, and he would give his aid gladly. I visited 
Captain Basil Hall of the Royal Navy; as I ascended the 
stairs to his parlor I heard the sweet sounds of a piano, 
and found Mrs. Hall was the performer. Few women have 
ever attracted me more at first sight; her youth and her 
fair face are in unison with her manners; and her husband 
also received me most kindly, especially when I recalled 
our previous slight acquaintance. I spent here a most 
agreeable hour. They spoke of visiting the States, and I 
urged them to do so. Captain Hall, a man of extraordi- 
nary talents, a great traveller, and a rich man, has made 
the most of all, and I found him the best of company. 
From thence to friend Neill's establishment in the Old 
Town to see at what time my memoranda must be ready for 
the press ; to my astonishment I was told that to-morrow 
was my last day, and I ran home to scribble. Professor 
Monroe called on me with a friend and asked me what I 
would take to draw skulls, etc., for him; then Mr. Syme 
brought an engraver to consult with me on the subject of 
my portrait being immortalized. Young Gregg paid me a 
visit, and at last I dressed in a hurry and ran to Mr. Lizars' 


to know the way to Mr. Ritchie's, where I was to dine. 
Mr. Lizars sent a young man to show me the way, and I 
arrived at the appointed spot just one hour too late. I 
dined however, and dined well. Miss Scott was there. Miss 
Combe, Mr. Weiss, and several others ; but when dinner 
was over and we ascended to the tea room, a crowd of 
ladies and gentlemen not before seen were in waiting to 
see the " Woodsman from America." We had music and 
dancing, and I did not leave till a late hour and must now 
write more for the printers. I must tell thee that some- 
one gave a false note of one pound at my exhibition rooms, 
and therefore / paid him well to see my birds. A man 
who met me to-day at the door of the Institution asked 
me if they were very well worth seeing. Dost thou think I 
said " Yes " ? Not I ! I positively said " No ! " and off he 
went; but a few yards off I saw him stop to talk to another 
man, when he returned and went in. 

Thursday, December 7. I wrote as hard as I could 
till early this morning, and finished the paper for Professor 
Jameson, who sent me a note desiring me to put down the 
University of Edinburgh as a subscriber to my work. 
I was highly pleased with this, being a powerful leader. 
I saw in this day's paper that Charles Bonaparte had ar- 
rived at Liverpool in the " Canada " from New York. 
How I longed to see him ! Had I been sure of his remain- 
ing at Liverpool a few days, I positively would have gone 
there by the evening mail-coach. I saw to-day two of 
my drawings in proof; I was well pleased with them; 
indeed one of them I liked better than the first that were 
done. My dinner was at Mr. Howe's, the editor of the 
" Courant." Mr. Allan the artist came in at nine, when his 
lessons were just ended at the Academy of Arts, — an ex- 
tremely agreeable man, full of gayety, wit, and good sense, 
a great traveller in Russia, Greece, and Turkey. 

Friday, December 8, 1826. Men and their lives are 
very like the different growths of our woods ; the noble 
VOL. I. — 12 


magnolia, all odoriferous, has frequently the teasing nettle 
growing so near its large trunk as to sometimes be touched 
by it. Edinburgh contains a Walter Scott, a Wilson, 
a Jameson, but it contains also many nettles of the genus 
Mammalia, amongst which vieii hold a very prominent 
station. Now I have run into one of these latter gentry. 
To speak out at once, one of my drawings was gently pur- 
loined last evening from the rooms of the Institution. So 
runs the fact; perhaps a few minutes before the doors 
closed a somebody in a large cloak paid his shilling, en- 
tered the hall and made his round, and with great caution 
took a drawing from the wall, rolled it up, and walked off. 
The porter and men in attendance missed it almost im- 
mediately, and this morning I was asked if I or Mr. Lizars 
had taken it to be engraved. I immediately told Mr. 
Lizars; we went to Mr. Bridges, and by his advice to the 
court, where Captain Robeson — who, by the way, was at 
the battle of New Orleans — issued a warrant against a 

young man of the name of I , deaf and dumb, who was 

strongly suspected. Gladly would I have painted a bird for 
the poor fellow, and I certainly did not want him arrested, 
but the Institution guards were greatly annoyed at the 
occurrence. However, I induced ]\Ir. Lizars to call on 
the family of the youth, which is a very good one and well 
known in Edinburgh. I returned to my lodgings and on 
the stairs met a beggar woman with a child in her arms, 
but passed her without much notice beyond pitying her 
in her youth and poverty, reached my door, where I saw 
a roll of paper ; I picked it up, walked in, opened it, and 
found my drawing of the Black-poll Warbler ! Is not 
this a curious story? The thief — whoever he may be, 
God pardon him — had, we conceived, been terror-struck 
on hearing of the steps we had taken, and had resorted to 
this method of restoring the drawing before he was ar- 
rested. I was in time to stop the warrant, and the affair 
was silenced. Durine: the afternoon I was called on twice 


by Capt. Basil Hall, who was so polite as to present me 
with a copy of his work, two volumes, on South America, 
with a kind note, and an invitation to dine with him on 
Thursday next at eight o'clock. The weather is miserable. 

Saturday, December 0. I wrote closely all morning 
from six to twelve, only half dressed, and not stopping for 
breakfast beyond a cup of coffee, and while thus busily 
employed Mr. Hall came in and handed me a note from 
Lady Hunter, requesting the honor of my company on 
Saturday next to dine at six ; he looked at me with sur- 
prise and doubtless thought me the strangest-looking man 
in the town. I had much running about with Professor 
Jameson to the printer, and with my manuscript to Mr. 
Lizars, who took it to Professor Brewster. We visited the 
jNIuseum together, called on a Mr. Wilson, where I saw a 
most beautiful dead Pheasant that I longed to have to 
paint. Then to Dr. Lizars' lecture on anatomy, and with 
him to the dissecting-rooms, but one glance was enough 
for me, and I hastily, and I hope forever, made my escape. 
The day was extremely wet, and I was glad to be in my 
room. I hear Mr. Selby is expected next Monday night. 

December 10, Sunday. My situation in Edinburgh bor- 
ders almost on the miraculous. With scarce one of 
those qualities necessary to render a man able to pass 
through the throng of the learned people here, I am 
positively looked on by all the professors and many of the 
principal persons here as a very extraordinary man. I 
cannot comprehend this in the least. Indeed I have re- 
ceived here so much kindness and attention that I look 
forward with regret to my removal to Glasgow, fifty miles 
hence, where I expect to go the last of this month. Sir 
William Jardine has been spending a few days here pur- 
posely to see me, and I am to meet Mr. Selby, and with 
these two gentlemen discuss the question of a joint publi- 
cation, which may possibly be arranged. It is now a 
month since my work was begun by Mr. Lizars ; the paper 


is of unusual size, called " double elephant," and the 
plates are to be finished in such superb style as to eclipse 
all of the same kind in existence. The price of each 
number, which will contain five prints, is two guineas, and 
all individuals have the privilege of subscribing for the 
whole, or any portion of it. The two plates now finished 
are truly beautiful. This number consists of the Turkey- 
cock, the Cuckoos on the pawpaws, and three small draw- 
ings, which in the centre of the large sheet have a fine 
efifect, and an air of richness, that I think must ensure suc- 
cess, though I do not yet feel assured that all will go well. 
Yet on the other hand, all things bear a better aspect than 
I expected to see for many months, if ever. I think that 
if my work takes in Edinburgh, it will anywhere. I have 
strong friends here who interest themselves in me, but I 
must wait patiently till the first number is finished. Mr. 
Jameson, the first professor of this place, and the conductor 
of the " Philosophical Journal," gives a beautiful announce- 
ment of my work in the present number, with an account, 
by me, of the Turkey Buzzard. Dr. Brewster also an- 
nounces it, with the introductory letter to my work, and 
Professor Wilson also, in " Blackwood's Magazine." These 
three journals print upwards of thirty thousand copies, so 
that my name will spread quickly enough. I am to deliver 
lectures on Natural History at the Wernerian Society at 
each of the meetings while I am here, and Professor 
Jameson told me I should soon be made a member of all 
the other societies here, and that would give my work a 
good standing throughout Europe. Much as I find here 
to enjoy, the great round of company I am thrown in has 
become fatiguing to me in the extreme, nor does it agree 
with my early habits. I go out to dine at six, seven, or 
even eight o'clock in the evening, and it is often one or 
two when the party breaks up ; then painting all day, with 
my immense correspondence which increases daily, makes 
my head feel like an immense hornet's-nest, and my 


body wearied beyond all calculation ; yet it has to be 
done ; those who have my interests at heart tell me I must 
not refuse a single invitation. 

December 11, Monday. Though I awoke feeling much 
depressed, my dull feelings were soon dissipated by letters 
from my sweet wife and sons. What joy to know them well 
and happy on the 14th and 27th of September. My day 
was a busy one, and at seven I went to Mr. Lizars', having 
engaged to go with him to the Antiquarian Society, where 
I met many of my friends, saw a gun-barrel and other 
things that had belonged to the Spanish Armada, and heard 
a curious and interesting account of that vast fleet read by 
Dr. Hibbert, and saw the Scottish antiquities belonging to 
the society. 

Tuesday, December 12. This morning at ten I went to 
the house of Dr. Brewster, whom I found writing in a large 
room with several fine pictures on the walls. He re- 
ceived me very kindly, and in a few minutes I began 
reading my paper on the habits of the Carrion Crow, 
Vultur atratus. About midway my nervo'usness affected 
my respiration ; I paused a moment, and he was good 
.enough to say it was highly interesting. I resumed, and 
went on to the end, much to my relief. He who has been 
brought up an auctioneer, or on the boards of some 
theatre, with all the knowledge of the proper usage of the 
voice, and all the aplomb such a life would give, knows 
nothing of the feelings of bashfulness which agitated me, a 
man who never looked into an English grammar and who 
has forgotten most of what he learned in French and 
Spanish ones — a man who has always felt awkward and 
shy in the presence of a stranger — a man habituated to 
ramble alone, with his thoughts usually bent on the 
beauties of Nature herself — this man, me, to be seated 
opposite Dr. Brewster in Edinburgh, reading one of my 
puny efforts at describing habits of birds that none but 
an Almighty Creator can ever know, was ridiculously ab- 


surd in my estimation, during all the time ; besides, I also 
felt the penetrating looks and keen observation of the 
learned man before me, so that the cold sweat started 
from me. As I wiped my forehead on finishing my 
paper, a large black dog came in, caressed his master, and 
made a merciful diversion, and as my agitation gradually 
subsided I was able to talk with Dr. Brewster and was 
afterwards introduced to his lady, who put me soon at my 
ease, and told me I was to be introduced to Sir Walter 
Scott on Monday next at the Royal Academy. Poor 
me ! — far from Sir Walter I could talk to him ; hun- 
dreds of times have I spoken to him quite loudly in 
the woods, as I looked on the silvery streamlets, or the 
dense swamps, or the noble Ohio, or on mountains 
losing their peaks in gray mists.- How many times have I 
longed for him to come to my beloved country, that he 
might describe, as no one else ever can, the stream, the 
swamp, the river, the mountain, for the sake of future 
ages. A century hence they will not be here as I see 
them. Nature will have been robbed of many brilliant 
charms, the rivers will be tormented and turned astray 
from their primitive courses, the hills will be levelled with 
the swamps, and perhaps the swamps will have become a 
mound surmounted by a fortress of a thousand guns. 
Scarce a magnolia will Louisiana possess, the timid Deer 
will exist nowhere, fish will no longer abound in the rivers, 
the Eagle scarce ever alight, and these millions of lovely 
songsters be driven away or slain by man. Without Sir 
Walter Scott these beauties must perish unknown to the 
world. To the great and good man himself I can never 
say this, therefore he can never know it, or my feelings 
towards him — but if he did? What have I to say more 
than a world of others who all admire him, perhaps are 
better able to do so, because more enlightened. Ah ! 
Walter Scott ! when I am presented to thee my head will 
droop, my heart will swell, my limbs will tremble, my lips 


will quiver, my tongue congeal ; nevertheless I shall feel 
elevated if I am permitted to touch the hand to which the 
world owes so much. 

December IS, Wednesday. I have spent the greater 
portion of this day in the company of Mr. Selby the 
ornithologist, who, in appearance is well formed, and in 
manners clever and polite, yet plain and unassuming. 
We w^ere together some hours at the Institution, — he was 
greatly pleased with my drawings, — and we then dined at 
Mr. Lizars' in company with Dr. Lizars, and we all talked 
ornithology. I wish I possessed the scientific knowledge 
of the subject that Mr. Selby does. He wished to hear 
my paper on the " Buzzard," and after doing so, took it 
with him to read to Sir Wm. Jardine, to whom he goes 
to-morrow, but will return on Monday. Later Dr. Brewster 
came to my room with the proof of the paper on the 
" Carrion Crow." He read it, and we both corrected. 
He told me it was a question whether or no I could be 
made a member of the Royal Academy, for only tJiirty 
foreigners were allowed by law, and the number was 
already complete; still he hoped an exception would be 
made in my case. He thanked me very cordially for my 
paper, and said Sir Walter Scott wished to meet me, and 
would do so on Monday at the Royal Academy. Mr. 
Bridges gave me a very fine notice in the Scotsman, and 
has again invited me to dine with him to meet some 
distinguished Germans, and before that I must call at 
Lord Clancarty's to see Mrs. Murray. 

Thursday, December llf.. I paid my visit to Mrs. Murray 
this forenoon, but the lady was out ; so I handed my card 
to the slender youth who had opened the door and who 
stood before me looking at my hair like an ass at a fine 
thistle, and then made off quickly to Dr. Brewster. My 
business was before him in an instant ; I wished not to be 
introduced to Sir Walter in a crowd, and he promised me 
not to do so. Much relieved I went to the University to 


see Dr. Andrew Brown, Professor of Rhetoric. I found 
him a very polished man, and after some conversation he 
asked me to write him a paper on the manners and cus- 
toms of Indians. But I must promise less writing of this 
kind, for I am too busy otherwise; however, immediately 
on my return home I sat down to write a long list of mem- 
oranda for a journey in America which I had promised Cap- 
tain Basil Hall, and I wrote till my head ached. Mr. Daniel 
Lizars has invited me to dine with him on Friday at three, 
and has procured two cats, which he wishes me to paint. 
Now this suits me to a " T " — a long morning's work, 
a short meal, and some hours more of work ; very different 
from to-day, for it was five minutes of seven when I reached 
Captain Hall's. We dined delightfully with just the com- 
pany he had promised me, and I was not compelled to 
ask any one to take wine with me, a thing in my opinion 
detestable quite, a foppish art I cannot bear. I wish 
everybody was permitted to drink when he is thirsty, or at 
least only when he likes, and not when he dislikes it. 
The ladies having left us, the map of my native land was 
put on the table ; I read my notes, the Captain followed 
the course with his pencil from New York to New Orleans, 
visiting besides Niagara, St. Louis, and a hundred other 
places. We talked of nothing but his journey in my dear 
country, and Mrs. Hall is delighted at the prospect. The 
Captain wishes to write a book, and he spoke of it with as 
little concern as I should say, " I will draw a duck ; " is it 
not surprising? He said to me, " Why do not you write 
a little book telling what you have seen ? " I cannot write 
at all, but if I could how could I make a little book, when 
I have seen enough to make a dozen large books? I will 
not write at all. 

Friday, December 15. I have just returned from the the- 
atre, where I saw for the first time " The Beggars' Opera " 
and " The Lord of the Manor." They were both badly 
represented, most certainly. Only one lady could sing, or 


act her part at all well. It was most truly a Beggars' 
Opera; I went with Mr. Daniel Lizars and his wife and 
brother-in-law. They were all desirous to see a certain 
Mr. St. Clair perform ; but I truly think that the gentle- 
man in question had drank too much brandy this day, or 
was it of the smoky whiskey which these Scots relish? I 
did little work this day, but walked much to refresh myself 
after all the hard work and constant writing I have lately 
done. The weather was most inviting, and as pleasant 
as Louisiana at this season. Upwards of two hundred 
people were at my exhibition, and to-morrow it closes. 
Baron Stokoe called whilst I was absent and left word he 
wished to see me, that he had heard from a friend of mine, 
whom I suppose to be Charles Bonaparte. Baron Stokoe 
was formerly a physician of eminence in the British 
service ; when Dr. O'Meara was taken away from St. 
Helena, where he was physician to Napoleon, this gentle- 
man was put in his place, but did not suit the peculiar 
ideas of his barbarous governor, and was also dismissed, 
not only from the island, but from the service, with a 
trifling pension. He had become acceptable to Napoleon 
even in the short time they were together, and when he 
returned from that lonely rock was employed by Joseph 
Bonaparte to attend his daughters from Rome to Phila- 
delphia. I met him with Charles Bonaparte during his 
stay in America. So pleased was Joseph Bonaparte with 
his conduct that he is now one of his pcnsionnaircs, and 
his general agent in Europe. 

Saturday, December 16. I have really done much to- 
day. At half-past nine I faced the inclement weather, 
crossed the bridge, passed the college regretting such a 
curious and valuable monument was quite buried among the 
antiquated, narrow streets, and dismal houses that surround 

it, then rang the bell, and was admitted to Baron S 's 

parlor. He was still snug asleep ; so that I had enjoyed 
four and a half hours of life while he slept. He saw me 


at once in his bedroom and told me that if I wrote to 
the Prince of Musignano at London this morning, the let- 
ter would probably reach him. I returned home, wrote 
my letter, or rather began it, when I received several 
pages from my good friend Mr. Rathbone which quite 
depressed me. He feared my work would not succeed 
on account of the unusual size; and Mrs. Rathbone, Senior, 
refused me the pleasure of naming a bird after her, on 
account of the publicity, she said ; yet I longed to do so, 
for what greater compliment could I pay any lady than 
to give her name to one of the most exquisite creations 
of the Almighty? The whole made me most dismal, but 
yet not in the least discouraged or disheartened about my 
work. If Napoleon by perseverance and energy rose from 
the ranks to be an emperor, why should not Audubon with 
perseverance and energy be able to leave the woods of 
America for a time and publish and sell a book? — always 
supposing that Audubon has some knowledge of his work, 
as Napoleon had great knowledge of his. No, no, I shall 
not cease to work for this end till old age incapacitates me. 
I thought long over Mr. Rathbone's letter, then finished 
mine to Charles and put it in the post-office. I then pur- 
chased a Pigeon, killed it, packed up my wires and hammer, 
and at one o'clock took these things with my " position 
board," called a coach, and went to the meeting of the Wer- 
nerian Society at the University. Lady Morton had joined 
me, hence my need for the coach. Mr. Skene met me at 
the door, where I parted from Lady Morton, who made me 
promise to visit her at Dalmahoy. She is a small, hand- 
some woman, who speaks most excellent French. Mr. 
Lizars joined me, and we all entered the room of the Wer- 
nerian Society of Edinburgh! The room is a plain one; 
two tables, one fireplace, many long benches or seats, and a 
chair for the president were all the furniture I saw, except 
a stuffed sword-fish, which lay on one of the tables for ex- 
amination that day. Many persons were already present, 


and I unrolled the drawing of the Buzzard for them to see. 
Professor Jameson came in, and the meeting began. My 
paper on the Buzzard was the first thing, read by Patrick 
Neill, — not very well, as my writing was not easy reading 
for him. Professor Jameson then rose, and gave quite a 
eulogy upon it, my works, and lastly — myself I then had 
the thanks of the society, and showed them my manner of 
putting up my specimens for drawing birds, etc. ; this they 
thought uncommonly ingenious. Professor Jameson then 
offered me as an honorary member, when arose a great 
clapping of hands and stamping of feet, as a mark of ap- 
probation. Then Professor Jameson desired that the usual 
law requiring a delay of some months between the nomina- 
tion and the election be laid aside on this occasion ; and 
again the same acclamations took place, and it was decided 
I should be elected at the next meeting; after which the 
meeting was ended, I having promised to read a paper on 
the habits of the Alligator at the following assembly of 
the society. Then came my dinner at Lady Hunter's. 

At precisely six I found m}'self at No. 16 Hope St 
I was shown upstairs, and presented to Lady Mary Clark, 
who knew both General Wolfe and General Montgomery, 
a most amiable English lady eighty-two years of age. 
Many other interesting people were present, and I had the 
pleasure of taking Mrs. Basil Hall to dinner, and was 
seated next her mother. Lady Hunter, and almost opposite 
Lady Mary Clark. I did not feel so uncomfortable as 
usual ; all were so kind, affable, and truly well-bred. At 
nine the ladies left us, and Captain Basil Hall again 
attacked me about America, and hundreds of questions 
were put to me by all, which I answered as plainly and 
briefly as I could. 

At eleven we joined the ladies, and tea and coffee were 
handed round ; other guests had come in, card-tables were 
prepared, and we had some music. Portfolios of prints 
were ready for those interested in them. I sat watching 


all, but listening to Mrs. Hall's sweet music. This bustle 
does not suit me, I am not fitted for it, I prefer more sol- 
itude in the woods, I left at last with young Gregg, but 
I was the first to go, and we stepped out into the rainy- 
Sunday morning, for it was long, long past midnight, and 
I hastened to my lodgings to commit murder, — yes, to 
commit murder; for the cats Mr. Daniel Lizars wished me 
to paint had been sent, and good Mrs. Dickie much objected 
to them in my rooms ; her son helped me, and in two min- 
utes the poor animals were painlessly killed. I at once 
put them up in fighting attitude, ready for painting when 
daylight appeared, which would not be long. Good-night, 
or good-morning; it is now nearly three o'clock. 

Sunday, December 17. I painted all day, that is, during 
all the time I could see, and I was up at six this morning 
writing by candle-light, which I was compelled to use till 
nearly nine. Mr. Bridges called, and I dined at home on 
fried oysters and stewed Scotch herrings, then went to 
Mr. Lizars', where I nearly fell asleep; but a cup of coffee 
thoroughly awakened me, and I looked at some drawings 
of birds, which I thought miserable, by Mr. Pellctier. Mr. 
Lizars walked home with me to see my cats. 

Monday^ DeccDiher IS. My painting of two cats fight- 
ing like two devils over a dead Squirrel was finished at 
three o'clock. I had been ten hours at it, but should not 
call it by the dignified title of " painting," for it is too rap- 
idly done for the more finished work I prefer; but I can- 
not give more time to it now, and the drawing is good. I 
dressed, and took the painting — so I continue to call it — 
to Mrs. Lizars', who wished to see it, and it had rained so 
hard all day she had not been able to come to my rooms. 
At five I dined with George Combe, the conversation 
chiefly phrenology. George Combe is a delightful host, 
and had gathered a most agreeable company. At seven 
Mr. Lizars called for me, and we went to the meeting of 
the Royal Academy. Two of my plates were laid on the 


table. Dr. Brewster and Mr. Allan wished the Academy 
to subscribe for my work, and the committee retired to 
act on this and other business. The meeting was very 
numerous and no doubt very learned ; Sir William Jardine 
and Mr. Selby arrived a little before the society was 
seated. The door of the hall was thrown open and we all 
marched in and seated ourselves on most slippery hair- 
cloth seats. The room is rich and beautiful ; it is a large 
oblong, the walls covered with brilliant scarlet paper in 
imitation of morocco. The ceiling is painted to represent 
oak panels. The windows are immensely large, framed to 
correspond with the ceiling, and with green jalousies ; large 
chandeliers, with gas, light every corner brilliantly. The 
president sat in a large arm-chair lined with red morocco, 
and after the minutes of the last meeting had been read, 

Professor gave us a long, tedious, and labored lecture 

on the origin of languages, their formation, etc. It seemed 
a very poor mess to me, though that was probably be- 
cause I did not understand it. My friend Ord would have 
doubtless swallowed it whole, but I could make neither 
head nor tail of it. A few fossil bones were then ex- 
hibited, and then, thank heaven ! it was over. Sir William 
Jardine brought some birds with him from Jardine Hall, 
and to-morrow will see my style of posing them for paint- 
ing. As I had promised to go to supper with Dr. Russell, 
I left soon after ten, without knowing what decision the 
committee had reached as to subscribing to my work. I 
met several of the Academicians at Dr. Russell's, as well 
as others whom I knew ; but I am more and more sur- 
prised to find how little these men, learned as they are, 
know of America beyond the situation of her principal 
cities. We sat down to supper at eleven, — everything 
magnificent; but I was greatly fatigued, for I had been at 
work since before five this morning, either painting or 
writing or thinking hard. We left the table about one, and 
I was glad to come home and shall now soon be asleep. 


Tuesday, December 19. My writing takes me full two 
hours every morning, and soon as finished to-day, I dressed 
to go to breakfast with Sir William Jardine and Mr. Selby 
at Barry's Hotel. It was just nine, the morning fine and 
beautiful, the sun just above the line of the Old Town, the 
horizon like burnished gold, the walls of the Castle white 
in the light and almost black in the shade. All this made 
a beautiful scene, and I dwelt on the power of the great 
Creator who formed all, with a thought of all man had 
done and was doing, when a child, barefooted, ragged, and 
apparently on the verge of starvation, altered my whole 
train of ideas. The poor child complained of want, and, 
had I dared, I would have taken him to Sir William Jar- 
dine, and given him breakfast at the hotel ; but the world 
is so strange I feared this might appear odd, so I gave the 
lad a shilling, and then bid him return with me to my 
lodgings. I looked over all my garments, gave him a 
large bundle of all that were at all worn, added five shil- 
lings, and went my way feeling as if God smiled on me 
through the face of the poor boy. The hotel was soon 
reached, and I was with my friends; they had brought 
Ducks, Hawks, and small birds for me to draw. After 
breakfast we all went to my room, and I showed these 
gentlemen how I set up my specimens, squared my paper, 
and soon had them both at work drawing a Squirrel, 
They called this a lesson. It was to me like a dream, that 
I, merely a woodsman, should teach men so much my 
superiors. They worked very well indeed, although I per- 
ceived at once that Mr. Selby was more enthusiastic, and 
therefore worked faster than Sir William ; but he finished 
more closely, so that it was hard to give either the su- 
premacy. They were delighted, especially Mr. Selby, 
who exclaimed, " I will paint all our quadrupeds for my 
own house." They both remained with me till we could 
see no more. At their request I read them my letter on 
the " Carrion Crow ; " but Dr. Brewster had altered it so 


much that I was quite shocked at it, it made me quite sick. 
He had, beyond question, greatly improved the style {iox 
I have none), but he had destroyed the matter. 

I dined at Major Dodd's with a complete set of military 
gentry, generals, colonels, captains, majors, and, to my 
surprise, young Pattison, my companion in the coach from 
Manchester; he was Mrs. Dodd's cousin. I retired rather 
early, for I did not care for the blustering talk of all these 
warriors. Sir William Jardine and Mr. Lizars came to my 
lodgings and announced that I was elected by universal 
acclamation a member of the Society of Arts of the city 
of Edinburgh. 

Wednesday, December 20. Phrenology was the order of 
the morning. I was at Brown Square, at the house of 
George Combe by nine o'clock, and breakfasted most 
heartily on mutton, ham, and good coffee, after which we 
walked upstairs to his sanctum sanctornm. A beautiful 
silver box containing the instruments for measuring the 
cranium, was now opened, — the box and contents were a 
present from the ladies who have attended Mr. Combe's 
lectures during the past two years, — and I was seated front- 
ing the light. Dr. Combe acted as secretary and George 
Combe, thrusting his fingers under my hair, began search- 
ing for miraculous bumps. My skull was measured as 
minutely and accurately as I measure the bill or legs of 
a new bird, and all was duly noted by the scribe. Then 
with most exquisite touch each protuberance was found 
as numbered by phrenologists, and also put down accord- 
ing to the respective size. I was astounded when they 
both gave me the results of their labors in writing, and 
agreed in saying I was a strong and constant lover, an 
affectionate father, had great veneration for talent, would 
have made a brave general, that music did not equal 
painting in my estimation, that I was generous, quick- 
tempered, forgiving, and much else which I know to be 
true, though how they discovered these facts is quite a 


puzzle to me. They asked my permission to read the 
notes at their next meeting, to which I consented. I then 
went to court to meet Mr. Simpson the advocate, who was 
to introduce me to Francis JeftVey. I found ]\Ir. Simpson 
and a hundred others in their raven gowns, and powdered, 
curled wigs, but Mr. Jeffrey was not there. After doing 
many things and writing much, I went this evening to Mr. 
Lizars', and with him to Dr. Greville, the botanist.^ He 
rarely leaves his house in winter and suffers much from 
asthma; I found him wearing a green silk night-cap, and 
we sat and talked of plants till 2 A. M. When I entered 
my rooms 1 found Mr. Selby had sent me three most 
beautiful Pheasants, and to-morrow I begin a painting of 
these birds attacked by a Fox for the Exhibition in Lon- 
don next March. Also I had a note from the Earl of 
Morton to spend a day and night at his home at Dalma- 
hoy, saying he would send his carriage for me next 
Wednesday, one week hence. 

Thursday, December 21. To-day I received letters from 
De Witt Clinton and Thomas Sully in answer to mine in 
forty-two days ; it seems absolutely impossible the distance 
should have been covered so rapidly; yet it is so, as I 
see by my memorandum book. I have written already 
in reply to Thomas Sully, promising him a copy of my 
first number when finished, say a month hence, with the 
request that he forward it, in my name, to that Institution 
which thought me unworthy to be a member. There is 
no malice in my heart, and I wish no return or acknowl- 
edgment from them. I am now determined never to be 
a member of that Philadelphia Society, but I still think 
talents, no matter how humble, should be fostered in one's 
own country. The weather is clear, with a sharp frost. 
What a number of Wild Ducks could I shoot on a morning 
like this, with a little powder and plenty of shot ; but I had 

^ Robert Kaye Greville, author of "Plants of Edinburgh" and other 
botanical works, 1 794-1 866. 


other fish to fry. I put up a beautiful male Pheasant, and 
outlined it on coarse gray paper to pounce it in proper 
position on my canvas. Sir Wm. Jardine and Mr. Selby 
were here drawing under my direction most of the day. 
My time is so taken up, and daylight so short, that 
though four hours is all I allow for sleep, I am behind- 
hand, and have engaged an amanuensis. I go out so much 
that I frequently dress three times a day, the greatest bore 
in the world to me ; why I cannot dine in my blue coat as 
well as a black one, I cannot say, but so it seems. Mrs. 
Lizars came with a friend, Mr. Simpson, to invite me to a 
phrenological supper, Dr. Charles Fox, looking very ill, 
and two friends of Mr. Selby; the whole morning passed 
away, no canvas came for me, and I could not have left my 
guests to work, if it had. I looked often at the beautiful 
Pheasant, with longing eyes, but when the canvas came and 
my guests had gone, daylight went with them, so I had 
lost a most precious day ; that is a vast deal in a man's 
life-glass. The supper was really a phrenological party; 
my head and Mr. Selby's were compared, and at twelve 
o'clock he and I went home together. I was glad to feel 
the frosty air and to see the stars. I think Mr. Selby one 
of those rare men that are seldom met with, and when 
one is found it proves how good some of our species may 
be. Never before did I so long for a glimpse of our rich 
magnolia woods ; I never before felt the want of a glance 
at our forests as I do now ; could I be there but a moment, 
hear the mellow Mock-bird, or the Wood-thrush, to me 
always so pleasing, how happy should I be ; but alas ! I 
am far from those scenes. I seem, in a measure, to have 
gone back to my early days of society and fine dressing, 
silk stockings and pumps, and all the finery with which I 
made a popinjay of myself in my youth. 

December '22, Friday. I painted a good portion to-day 
though it was quite dark by three of the afternoon ; how 
I long for the fair days of summer. My room to-day was 

VOL. I. — 13 


a perfect levee ; it is Mr. Audubon here, and Mr. Audubon 
there ; I only hope they will not make a conceited fool 
of Mr. Audubon at last. I received every one as politely 
as I could, palette and brushes in hand, and conducted 
each in his turn to the door. I was called from my work 
twenty-five times, but I was nevertheless glad to see one 
and all. I supped with Sir William Jardine, Mr. Lizars, 
and Mr. Moule, Sir William's uncle, at Barry's Hotel ; 
we talked much of fish and fishing, for we were all sports- 
men. I left at midnight and found at my room a long 
letter from Charles Bonaparte. 

Saturday, December 23. 1 had to grind up my own 
colors this morning; I detest it, it makes me hot, fretful, 
moody, and I am convinced has a bad effect on my mind. 
However, I worked closely, but the day was shockingly 
short; I cannot see before half-past nine, and am forced 
to stop at three. . . . 

The 24th and 25th I remained closely at my work 
painting; on the 24th my drawings were all taken down 
and my paintings also. I wrote to the president of the 
Royal Institution and presented that society with my 
large painting of the " Wild Turkeys." I should have 
hesitated about offering it had I not been assured it had 
some value, as Gaily, the picture dealer, offered me a 
hundred guineas for it the previous day; and I was glad 
to return some acknowledgment of the politeness of the 
Institution in a handsome manner. My steady work 
brought on a bad headache, but I rose early, took a walk 
of many miles, and it has gone. 

December 26. My steady painting, my many thoughts, 
and my brief nights, bring on me now every evening 
a weariness that I cannot surmount on command. This 
is, I think, the first time in my life when, if needed, I could 
not rouse myself from sleepiness, shake myself and be 
ready for action in an instant; but now I cannot do that, 
and I have difficulty often in keeping awake as evening 


comes on ; this evening I had to excuse myself from 
a gathering at Lady Hunter's, and came home intending 
to go at once to bed ; but I lay down on my sofa for 
a moment, fell asleep, and did not wake till after midnight, 
when I found myself both cold and hungry. I have taken 
some food and now will rest, though no longer sleepy, 
for to-morrow I go to Earl Morton's, where I wish, at 
least, to keep awake. 

Dalmahoy, eight miles from EdinbiirgJi, December 27, 
Wednesday. I am now seated at a little table in the 
Yellow Bedchamber at Earl Morton's, and will give an 
account of my day. After my breakfast, not anxious to 
begin another Pheasant, I did some writing and paid some 
visits, returned to my lodgings and packed a box for 
America with various gifts, some mementos I had received, 
and several newspapers, when Lord Morton's carriage was 
announced. My porte-feuille and valise were carried 
down, and I followed them and entered a large carriage 
lined with purple morocco ; never was I in so comfortable 
a conveyance before ; the ship that under easy sail glides 
slowly on an even sea has a more fatiguing motion; I 
might have been in a swinging hammock. We passed 
the castle, through Charlotte Square, and out on the 
Glasgow road for eight miles, all so swiftly that my 
watch had barely changed the time from one hour to 
another when the porter pushed open the gate of Dal- 
mahoy. I now began to think of my meeting with the 
man who had been great Chamberlain to the late Queen 
Charlotte. I did not so much mind meeting the Countess, 
for I had become assured of her sweetness of disposition 
when we had met on previous occasions, but the Cham- 
berlain I could not help dreading to encounter. This, 
however, did not prevent the carriage from proceeding 
smoothly round a great circle, neither did it prevent 
me from seeing a large, square, half Gothic building with 
two turrets, ornamented with great lions, and all the signs 


of heraldry belonging to Lord Morton. The carriage 
stopped, a man in livery opened the door, and I walked 
in, giving him my hat and gloves and my American stick 
(that, by the bye, never leaves me unless I leave it). Up- 
stairs I went and into the drawing-room. The Countess 
rose at once and came to greet me, and then presented 
Lord Morton to me — yes, really not me to him ; for 
the moment I was taken aback, I had expected something 
so different. I had formed an idea that the Earl was 
a man of great physical strength and size ; instead I saw a 
small, slender man, tottering on his feet, weaker than a newly 
hatched Partridge ; he welcomed me with tears in his 
eyes, held one of my hands and attempted speaking, which 
was difficult to him, the Countess meanwhile rubbing 
his other hand. I saw at a glance his situation and 
begged he would be seated, after which I was introduced 
to the mother of the Countess, Lady Boulcar, and I took 
a seat on a sofa that I thought would swallow me up, 
so much down swelled around mc. It was a vast room, 
at least sixty feet long, and wide in proportion, let me 
say thirty feet, all hung with immense paintings on a rich 
purple ground; all was purple about me. The large 
tables were covered with books, instruments, drawing 
apparatus, and a telescope, with hundreds of ornaments.' 
As I glanced at the pictures I could sec the Queen of 
England fronting Mary of Scotland, a chamberlain here, 
a duke there, and in another place a beautiful head 
by Rembrandt. Van Dyke had not been forgotten ; 
Claude Lorraine had some landscapes here also; while 
the celebrated Titian gave a lustre to the whole. I rose 
to take a closer view, the Countess explaining all to me, 
but conceive my surprise when, looking from the middle 
window, I saw at the horizon the castle and city of Edin- 
burgh, a complete miniature eight miles off, a landscape 
of fields, water, and country between us and it. Luncheon 
was announced ; I am sure if my friends complain that 


I eat but little, they must allow that I eat often ; never 
were such lands for constant meals as England and Scot- 
land. The Countess of Boulcar rolled Lord Morton in 
his castored chair, I gave my arm to Lady Morton, we 
crossed a large antechamber, into a dining-room quite 
rich in paintings, and at present with a sumptuous re- 
past. Three gentlemen, also visitors, entered by another 
door, — Messrs. Hays, Ramsay, and a young clergyman 
whose name I forget. After luncheon my drawings were 
produced, the Earl was rolled into a good position for 
light, and my " Book of Nature " was unbuckled. I am 
not going to repeat praises again. The drawings seen, 
we adjourned to the drawing-room and the Countess 
begged me to give her a lesson to-morrow, which I shall 
most gladly do. The Countess is not exactly beautiful, 
but she is good-looking, with fine eyes, a brilliant com- 
plexion, and a good figure ; she is a woman of superior 
intellect and conversation, and I should think about forty 
years of age ; she was dressed in a rich crimson gown, 
and her mother in black satin. At six I re-entered the 
house, having taken a short walk with the gentlemen, and 
was shown to my room. " The yellow room," I heard 
the Countess say to the lackey who showed me the way. 
My valise had been unpacked, and all was most com- 
fortable, and truly yellow in this superb apartment. The 
bed was hung with yellow of some rich material, and 
ornamented with yellow crowns, and was big enough for 
four of my size ; a large sofa and large arm-chairs, all 
yellow, the curtains, dressing-table, all indeed was yellow, 
intensified by the glow of a bright wood fire. My even- 
ing toilet is never a very lengthy matter, — for in my 
opinion it is a vile loss of time to spend as many minutes 
in arranging a cravat as a hangman does in tying his 
knot, — and I was ready long before seven, when I again 
gave the Countess my arm, and Lord Morton was again 
rolled in, in his chair. The waiters, I think there were 


four, were powdered and dressed in deep red, almost 
maroon liveries, except the butler, who was in black, and 
who appeared to me to hand fresh plates continuously. 
After a dinner of somewhat more than an hour, the ladies 
retired with the Earl, and I remained with the three 
gentlemen to talk and drink wine. The conversation was 
entirely of antiquities. Mr. Hays is a deeply learned and 
interesting man, besides being quite an original. At the 
hour of ten we joined the Countess, the Earl having 
retired, and I have been much interested looking at the 
signatures of the kings of old, as well as that of Marie, 
Queen of Scots, and those of many other celebrated men 
and women, while two of the gentlemen were examining 
a cabinet of antique coins. The Countess looked very 
brilliant, being attired in white satin with a crimson turban. 
At midnight (coffee having been served about eleven), 
the ladies bid us good-night, and we sat down to talk, 
and drink, if we wished to, Madeira wine. What a life! 
I could not stand this ceremony daily, I long for the 
woods; but I hope this life will enable me to enjoy them 
more than ever at a future period, so I must bear it 
patiently. After a few moments I left the gentlemen, and 
came to my yellow room. 

Thursday, December 28. Daylight came and I opened 
all my yellow curtains, and explored my room by daylight; 
and I have forgotten to tell thee that the dressing-room, 
with its large porcelain tub and abundance of clear water, 
opened from it, and was warm with crimson of the color of 
the Countess's turban. The chimney-piece was decorated 
with choice shells, and above it a painting representing 
Queen Mary in her youth. The house seemed very still, 
but after dressing I decided to go down, for the morning 
was clear and the air delightful. As I entered the drawing- 
room I saw two housemaids busily cleaning; the younger 
saw me first, and I heard her say, " The American gentle- 
man is down already," when they both vanished. I went 


out to look about the grounds, and in about an hour was 
oined by the young clergyman, and a walk was immedi- 
ately undertaken. The Hares started before our dogs, and 
passing through various woods, we came by a turn to the 
stables, where I saw four superbly formed Abyssinian 
horses, with tails reaching to the earth, and the legs of one 
no larger than those of an Elk. The riding-room was yet 
lighted, and the animals had been exercised that morning. 
The game-keeper was unkennelling his dogs; he showed 
me a large tame Fox. 

Then through other woods we proceeded to the Manor, 
now the habitat of the great falconer JoJin Anderson and 
his Hawks. He had already received orders to come to 
the Hall at eleven to show me these birds in their full 
dress. We visited next the hot-houses, where roses were 
blooming most sweetly, and then following a brook reached 
the Hall about ten. The ladies were in the drawing-room, 
and the Earl came in, when we went to breakfast. Neither 
at this meal nor at luncheon are seen any waiters. The 
meal over, all was bustle in the drawing-room ; chalks, 
crayons, papers, all required was before me in a few 
minutes, and I began to give the Countess a most unneces- 
sary lesson, for she drew much better than I did ; but I 
taught her how to rub with cork, and prepare for water- 
color. The Earl sat by watching us, and then asked to see 
my drawings again. The falconer came, and I saw the 
Falcons ready for the chase. He held the birds on his 
gloved hands, with bells and hoods and crests ; but the 
morning was not fit for a flight, so I lost that pleasure. 
The Countess asked for my subscription book and wrote 
with a steel pen, " The Countess of Morton ; " she wished 
to pay for the first number now, but this I declined. She 
promised me letters for England, with which offer I was 
much pleased. Desiring some fresh Pheasants for my 
work, she immediately ordered some killed for me. After 
luncheon I walked out to see a herd of over a hundred 


brown Deer, that like sheep were feeding within a few 
hundred paces of the Hall. I approached quite close to 
them, and saw that many had shed their horns ; they 
scampered off when they sighted me, knowing perhaps 
what a hunter I was ! Lady Morton wished me to remain 
longer, but as I had promised to dine with Captain Hall I 
could not do so; it was therefore decided that I should 
return next week to spend another night and give another 
lesson. My ride to Edinburgh was soon over, and a letter 
and a book from Charles Bonaparte were at my lodgings. 
Captain Hall told me at dinner that he was a midshipman 
on board the Leander when Pierce was killed off New 
York, and when I was on my way from France, when our 
captain, seeing the British vessel, wore about round Long 
Island and reached New York by Hell Gate. There is a 
curious notice about me by Professor Wilson in " Black- 
wood's Magazine." 

Friday, December 29. I painted all day, and did this most 
happily and cheerfully, for I had received two long letters 
from my Lucy, of October 14 and 23. The evening was 
spent with Captain Hall, Mr. Lizars, and his brother. 

Saturday, December 30. So stormy a day that I have 
not been disturbed by visitors, nor have I been out, but 
painted all day. 

Sunday, December 31. This evening I dined at Captain 
Hall's, especially for the purpose of being introduced to 
Francis Jeffrey, the principal writer in the " Edinburgh 
Review." P'ollowing the advice given me I did not take 
my watch, lest it should be stolen from me on my return, 
for I am told this is always a turbulent night in Edinburgh. 
Captain Hall and his wife received me with their usual 
cordiality, and we were soon joined by Mr. McCulloch, a 
writer on Political Economy and a plain, agreeable man. 
Then Francis Jeffrey and his wife entered ; he is a small 
(not to say tiny) being, with a woman under one arm and 
a hat under the other. He bowed very seriously indeed, 


so much so that I conceived him to be fully aware of his 
weight in society. His looks were shrewd, but I thought 
his eyes almost cunning. He talked a great deal and very 
well, yet I did not like him ; but he may prove better than 
I think, for this is only my first impression. Mrs. Jeffrey 
was nervous and very much dressed. If I mistake not 
Jeffrey was shy of me, and I of him, for he has used me 
very cavalierly. When I came I brought a letter of intro- 
duction to him; I called on him, and, as he was absent, left 
the letter and my card. When my exhibition opened I 
enclosed a card of admittance to him, with another of my 
own cards. He never came near me, and I never went 
near him; for \{ he was Jeffrey, /was Audubon, and felt 
quite independent of all the tribe of Jeffreys in England, 
Scotland, and Ireland, put together. This evening, how- 
ever, he thanked me for my card politely. At dinner he 
sat opposite to me and the conversation was on various 
topics. America, however, was hardly alluded to, as when- 
ever Captain Hall tried to bring that country into our 
talk, Mr. Jeffrey most skilfully brought up something else. 
After coffee had been served Mr. Jeffrey made some in- 
quiries about my work, and at ten I took my leave, having 
positively seen the little man whose fame is so great both 
in Scotland and abroad. I walked home briskly ; this was 
the eve of a New Year, and in Edinburgh they tell me it 
is rather a dangerous thing to be late in the streets, for 
many vagabonds are abroad at this time, and murders and 
other fearful deeds take place. To prevent these as far as 
possible, the watch is doubled, and an unusual quantity of 
gas-lights are afforded. I reached my room, sat down and 
outlined a Pheasant, to save daylight to-morrow, and was 
about going to bed, when Mrs. Dickie came in and begged 
I would wait till twelve o'clock to take some toddy with 
her and Miss Campbell, my American boarding com- 
panion, to wish all a happy New Year. I did so, of course, 
and had I sat up all night, and written, or drawn, or sat 


thinking by my fire, I should have done as well, for the 
noise kept increasing in the streets, and the confusion was 
such that until morning I never closed my eyes. At early 
morning this first day of January, 1827, I received from 
Captain Hall three volumes of his voyages, and from the 
Countess of Morton four beautiful Pheasants and a basket 
of rare hot-house flowers. 

Edinbicrgh, January 1, 1827, Monday} A Happy New 
Year to you, my book. Bless me ! how fair you look this 
very cold day. Which way, pray, are you travelling? Trav- 
elling wherever chance or circumstance may lead you? 
Well, I will take you for my companion, and we will talk 
together on all kinds of subjects, and you will help me to 
remember, for my memory is bad, very bad. I never can 
recollect the name of an enemy, for instance ; it is only my 
friends whom I can remember, and to write down some- 
what of their kind treatment of me is a delight I love to 

Jannaij 6, Saturday. Ever since the first day of this 
month I have been most closely engaged at my painting of 
the " Pheasants Attacked by a Fox." I have, however, 
spent another day and night at Dalmahoy. I have written 
a long paper for the Wcrnerian Society on the habits of 
Alligators, and am always very weary at night. 

January 7. I keep at my painting closely, and for a 
wonder was visited by Dr. Bridges. I have labored hard, 
but my work is bad ; some inward feeling tells me when it 
is good. No one, I think, paints in my method ; I, who 
have never studied but by piecemeal, form my pictures 
according to my ways of study. For instance, I am now 
working on a Fox; I take one neatly killed, put him up 
with wires, and when satisfied of the truth of the position, 
I take my palette and work as rapidly as possible ; the 

1 This entry begins a new blank book, in shape and size like a ledger, 
every line of which is closely written. 


same with my birds. If practicable, I finish the bird at 
one sitting, — often, it is true, of fourteen hours, — so that 
I think they are correct, both in detail and composition. 

Monday, 8th. I rose this morning t^vo and a half hours 
before day, and wrote much before breakfast. Thanks to 
my good spirit not a soul called upon me this day, and I 
brushed away without losing a moment of the precious 
light of these short days. This evening I saw my plate of 
the Wild Turkey, and went to hear Captain Basil Hall lec- 
ture at the Royal Society on the Trade Winds. The prac- 
tical as well as theoretical knowledge of this learned man 
rendered this a most valuable evening to me, I was intro- 
duced to Mr. Perceval, the son of the King of England's 
Secretary of State,^ who was shamefully and barbarously 
murdered some years since. 

Tuesday, 9th. Mr. Ha}'s, the Dalmahoy antiquarian, 
called on me, and brought me a copy of Bewick's " Quadru- 
peds." At eight this evening I went to the Society of Arts, 
of which I have been elected a member. Here I saw a 
capital air-gun, and a steam-carriage in full motion ; but / 
had to operate, and showed my manner of putting up my 
birds with wires, and I positively shook so that I feared I 
should not be able to proceed to the termination ; this 
bashfulness is dreadful, how am I ever to overcome it? 

January 10. The weather has been most strange, at 
times so dark that I could not see to paint, and suddenly 
the sun shone so brightly that I was dazzled. It rained, 
it blew, it snowed ; we have had all seasons. A Mr. Bu- 
chanan from London came to see my work, and Professor 
Wilson at the same time ; both liked my painting, and 
strangely enough the two had known each other twenty 
years ago. I went to the theatre to see Miss Foote and 
Mr. Murray ; both were much applauded, and the house 
was crowded. I am very fond of the theatre ; I think it 

^ Spencer Perceval, bom 1762, assassinated in the lobby of the House 
of Commons, May 11, 1812. 


the best of all ways to spend an evening for dclassemcnt. 
I often find myself when there laughing or crying like a 

Jamiary 11. Scarce daylight at half-past seven, but I 
was up and away with a coal porter and his cart into the 
country. I wanted some large, rough stones for my fore- 
ground ; this was my reason for my excursion. I passed a 
small, dirty, and almost lost building, where the union be- 
tween Scotland and England was ratified. At one o'clock 
Professor Russell called in his carriage with Mr. Lizars, then 
we went to see a picture of the famous Hondekoeter. To 
me the picture was destitute of life ; the animals seemed 
to me to be drawn from poorly stuft"ed specimens, but the 
coloring, the finish, the manner, the effect, was most beau- 
tiful, and but for the lack of Nature in the animals was 
a picture which commanded admiration and attention. 
Would that I could paint like Hondekoeter ! At eight 
I went to the Phrenological Society, and may safely say 
that never before was I in such company; the deepest 
philosophers in this city of learning were there, and 
George Combe read an essay on the mental powers of 
man, as illustrated by phrenological researches, that as- 
tounded me; it lasted one and a half hours, and will re- 
main in my mind all my life. 

January 12. I\Iy painting has now arrived at the diffi- 
cult point. To finish highly without destroying the gen- 
eral eft"ect, or to give the general effect and care not about 
the finishing? I am quite puzzled. Sometimes I like the 
picture, then a heat rises to my face and I think it a mis- 
erable daub. This is the largest piece I have ever done ; 
as to the birds, as far as tJicy are concerned I am quite sat- 
isfied, but the ground, the foliage, the sky, the distance are 
dreadful. To-day I was so troubled about this that at two 
o'clock, when yet a good hour of daylight remained, I left 
it in disgust, and walked off to Dr. Bridges. I passed on 
my way the place where a man was murdered the night 


before last; a great multitude of people were looking at 
the spot, gazing like fools, for there was nothing to be 
seen. How is it that our sages tell us our species is much 
improved? If we murder now in cool blood, and in a most 
terrifying way, our brother, we are not a jot forward since 
the time of Cain. 

January 13. Painted five hours, and at two o'clock 
accompanied by Mr. Lizars, reached the University and 
entered the rooms of the Wernerian Society with a paper 
on the habits of Alligators in my pocket, to be read to the 
members and visitors present. This I read after the busi- 
ness of the meeting had been transacted, and, thank God, 
after the effort of once beginning, I went on unfalteringly 
to the end. In the evening I went with Air. Lizars to see 
"As You Like It." Miss Foote performed and also Mr. 
Murray, but the house was so crowded that I could scarce 

January 1^. Could not work on my picture, for I have 
no white Pheasant for a key-stone of light, but Professor 
Jameson called and said he would write for one for me to 
the Duke of Buccleugh. After receiving many callers I went 
to Mr. O'Neill's to have a cast taken of my head. My 
coat and neckcloth were taken off, my shirt collar turned 
down, I was told to close my eyes; Mr. O'Neill took a 
large brush and oiled my whole face, the almost liquid 
plaster of Paris was poured over it, as I sat uprightly till 
the whole was covered ; my nostrils only were exempt. In 
a few moments the plaster had acquired the needful con- 
sistency, when it was taken off by pulling it down gently. 
The whole operation lasted hardly five minutes; the only 
inconvenience felt was the weight of the material pulling 
downward over my sinews and flesh. On my return from 
the Antiquarian Society that evening, I found my face on 
the table, an excellent cast. 

January 17 to Sunday, 21st. John Syme, the artist, asked 
me if I did not wish to become an associate member of 


the Scottish Artists. I answered, "Yes." I have promised 
to paint a picture of Black Cock for their exhibition, and 
with that view went to market, where for fifteen shillings I 
purchased two superb males and one female. I have been 
painting pretty much all day and every day. Among my 
visitors I have had the son of Smollett, the great writer, a 
handsome young gentleman. Several noblemen came to 
see my Pheasants, and all promised me a white one. Profes- 
sor Russell called and read me a letter from Lord , 

giving me leave to see the pictures at his hall, but I, poor 
Audubon, go nowhere without an invitation. 

January 22, Monday. I was painting diligently when 
Captain Hall came in, and said: " Put on your coat, and 
come with me to Sir Walter Scott ; he wishes to see you 
now." In a moment I was ready, for I really believe my 
coat and hat came to me instead of my going to them. 
My heart trembled ; I longed for the meeting, yet wished 
it over. Had not his wondrous pen penetrated my soul 
with the consciousness that here was a genius from God's 
hand? I felt overwhelmed at the thought of meeting Sir 
Walter, the Great Unknown. We reached the house, and 
a powdered waiter was asked if Sir Walter were in.^ We 
were shown forward at once, and entering a very small 
room Captain Hall said : " Sir Walter, I have brought Mr, 
Audubon." Sir Walter came forward, pressed my hand 
warmly, and said he was " glad to have the honor of meet- 
ing me." His long, loose, silvery locks struck me ; he 
looked like Franklin at his best. He also reminded me of 

* "Jan. 22, 1827. A visit from Basil Hall with Mr. Audubon the orni- 
thologist, who has followed that pursuit by many a long wandering in the 
American forests. He is an American by naturalization, a Frenchman by 
birth, but less of a Frenchman than I have ever seen, — no dash, no glim- 
mer or shine about him, but great simplicity of manners and behaviour; 
slight in person and plainly dressed ; wears long hair which time has not 
yet tinged; his countenance acute, handsome, and interesting, but still sim- 
plicity is the predominant characteristic." ( Journal of Sir Walter Scott, 
vol. i., p. 343.) 


From the portrait by Henry Inman. Now in the possebsion of the family. 


Benjamin West ; he had the great benevolence of Wm. 
Roscoe about him, and a kindness most prepossessing. I 
could not forbear looking at him, my eyes feasted on his 
countenance. I watched his movements as I would those 
of a celestial being ; his long, heavy, white eyebrows struck 
me forcibly. His little room was tidy, though it partook a 
good deal of the character of a laboratory. He was 
wrapped in a quilted morning-gown of light purple silk ; 
he had been at work writing on the " Life of Napoleon." 
He writes close lines, rather curved as they go from left to 
right, and puts an immense deal on very little paper. 
After a few minutes had elapsed he begged Captain Hall 
to ring a bell ; a servant came and was asked to bid Miss 
Scott come to see Mr. Audubon, Miss Scott came, black- 
haired and black-dressed, not handsome but said to be 
highly accomplished, and she is the daughter of Sir Walter 
Scott. There was much conversation. I talked little, but, 
believe me, I listened and observed, careful if ignorant. I 
cannot write more now. — I have just returned from the 
Royal Society. Knowing that I was a candidate for the 
electorate of the society, I felt very uncomfortable and 
would gladly have been hunting on Tawapatee Bottom. 

Jamcary 23, Tuesday. My first visitor was Mr. Hays 
the antiquarian, who needed my assistance, or rather my 
knowledge of French in the translation of a passage re- 
lating to " le droit du seigneur." Dr. Combe called later 
and begged me to go to Mr. Joseph, the sculptor, with 
him, and through a great fall, of snow we went through 
Windsor Street, one of the handsomest in this beautiful 
city. Mr. Joseph was in, and I saw an uncommonly good 
bust of Sir Walter, one of Lord Morton, and several 
others. I have powerfully in my mind to give my picture 
of the " Trapped Otter " to Mrs. Basil Hall, and, by Wash- 
ington, I will. No one deserves it more, and I cannot 
receive so many favors without trying to make some 


January 2!{.. My second visit to Sir Walter Scott was 
much more agreeable than my first. My portfolio and its 
contents were matters on which I could speak substan- 
tially,^ and I found him so willing to level himself with me 
for a while that the time spent at his home was agreeable 
and valuable. His daughter improved in looks the mo- 
ment she spoke, having both vivacity and good sense. 

Jamiary 28. Yesterday I had so many visitors that I 
was quite fatigued ; my rooms were full all the time, yet I 
work away as if they were so many cabbages, except for a 
short time taken to show them a few drawings, give them 
chairs, and other civil attentions. In the evening I went to 
the theatre to see the " Merchant of Venice ; " the night 
was violently stormy, the worst I remember for years. I 
thought of the poor sailors, what hard lives they have. 

January 30, Tuesday. The days begin to show a val- 
uable augmentation. I could this morning begin work at 
eight, and was still at my easel at four. A man may do a 
good deal on a painting in eight hours provided he has the 
power of laying the true tints at once, and does not muddy 
his colors or need glazing afterwards. Now a query arises. 
Did the ancient artists and colorists ever glaze their work? 
I sometimes think they did not, and I am inclined to think 
thus because their work is of great strength of standing, 
and extremely solid and confirmed on the canvas — a proof 
with me that they painted clean and bright at once, but 
that this once they repeated, perhaps, as often as three 
times. Glazing certainly is a beautiful w'ay of effecting 
transparency, particularly over shadowy parts, but I fre- 

^ "Januar}- 24. Visit from Mr. Audubon, who brings some of his birds. 
The drawings are of the first order — the attitudes of the birds of the most 
animated character, and the situations appropriate. . . . This sojourner 
of the desert had been in the woods for months together. He preferred as- 
sociating with the Indians to the company of the settlers; verj' justly, I 
daresay, for a civilized man of the lower order when thrust back on the 
savage state becomes worse than a savage." ( Journal of Sir Walter Scott, 
vol. i., p. 345.) 


quently fear the coating being so thin, and that time preys 
on these parts more powerfully than on those unglazed, so 
that the work is sooner destroyed by its appHcation than 
without it. I am confident Sir Joshua Reynolds' pictures 
fade so much in consequence of his constant glazing. 
Lord Hay, who has only one arm, called this morning, and 
promised me White Pheasants by Saturday morning. So 
many people have called that I have not put a foot out 

January 31, Wednesday. I had the delight of receiv- 
ing letters from home to-day ; how every word carried me 
to my beloved America. Oh, that I could be with you 
and see those magnificent forests, and listen to sweet 
Wood Thrushes and the Mock-Birds so gay ! 

February 1. I have just finished a picture of Black 
Cock sunning and dusting themselves, with a view in the 
background of Loch Lomond, nine feet by six, for which 
I am offered two hundred guineas. It will be exhibited at 
the Ro}'al Institute rooms next week, and the picture of 
the Pheasants, the same size, at the Scottish Society of 
Artists, of which I am now an associate member. 

February 5. None of my promised White Pheasants 
have come, but I have determined the picture shall be 
finished if I have to paint in a black Crow instead. Dr. 
Brewster spoke to me of a camera lucida to enable me to 
outline birds with great rapidity. I would like such an 
instrument if merely to save time in hot weather, when 
outlining correctly is more than half the work. At eight 
o'clock I entered the rooms of the Royal Society. I opened 
my large sheets and laid them on the table ; the astonish- 
ment of every one was great, and I saw with pleasure many 
eyes look from them to me. The business of the society 
was then done behind closed doors ; but when these were 
opened and we were called into the great room. Captain 
Hall, taking my hand, led me to a seat immediately oppo- 
site to Sir Walter Scott; then, Lucy, I had a perfect view of 

VOL. I. — 14 


that great man, and I studied from Nature Nature's noblest 
work. After a lecture on the introduction of the Greek 
language into England, the president. Sir Walter, rose and 
we all followed his example. Sir Walter came to me, shook 
my hand cordially, and asked me how the cold weather of 
Edinburgh agreed with me. This mark of attention was 
observed by other members, who looked at me as if I had 
been a distinguished stranger. 

February 9. I have been, and am yet, greatly depressed, 
yet why I am so it is impossible for me to conceive, 
unless it be that slight vexations, trifling in themselves, are 
trying to me, because, alas ! I am only a very, very com- 
mon man. I dined to-night at Professor Jameson's, and 
as my note said " with a few friends," was surprised to 

find thirty besides myself. The engineer, Mr. S , was 

here, and many other noted men, including the famous 
Professor Leslie, ^ an enormous mass of flesh and an ex- 
tremely agreeable man, who had been in Virginia many 
years ago, but recollects those days well. 

February 10. I visited the Royal Institution this morn- 
ing, and saw my Black Cocks over the first of the first- 
room doors. I know well that the birds are drawn as well 
as any birds ever have been; but what a difference exists 
between drawing one bird or a dozen and amalgamating 
them with a sky, a landscape, and a well adapted foreground. 
Who has not felt a sense of fear while trying to combine 
all this? I looked at my work long, then walked round the 
room, when my eyes soon reached a picture by Landseer, 
the death of a stag. I saw much in it of the style of those 
men who know how to handle a brush and carry a good 
effect; but Nature was not there, although a Stag, three 
dogs, and a Highlander were introduced on the canvas. 
The Stag had his tongue out and his mouth shut ! The 
principal dog, a greyhound, held the Deer by one car 

1 Sir John Leslie, 1766-1832, Scottish geometer and natural philosopher 
and voluminous author on these subjects. 


just as if a loving friend ; the young hunter has laced the 
Deer by one horn very prettily, and in the attitude of a 
ballet-dancer was about to cast the noose over the head 
of the animal. To me, or to my friends Dr. Pope or Mr, 
Bourgeat such a picture is quite a farce ; not so here how- 
ever. Many other pictures drew my attention, and still 
more so the different artists who came in with brushes 
and palettes to tickle their pictures. I was to read a paper 
at the Wernerian Society on the Rattlesnake, but had not 
had time to finish it; nevertheless I went to the society 
rooms, which were crowded. I was sorry I was not pre- 
pared to read to those assembled that a Rattlesnake 
rattled his tail, not to give knowledge to man of his pres- 
ence, but because he never strikes without rattling, and 
that destitute of that appendage he cannot strike at all. 
The wind blows a doleful tune and I feel utterly alone. 

Mo7iday, February 12. Mr. Lizars insisted on my going 
to the Antiquarian Society, saying it was usual for a mem- 
ber newly elected to be present on the first occasion 
possible. I went, of course, but felt very sheepish withal. 
We had an excellent paper by Mr. Hays respecting a bell 
found in Argyle, of very ancient date. 

Tuesday, February 13. This was the grand, long prom- 
ised, and much wished-for day of the opening of the 
Exhibition at the rooms of the Royal Institution. At one 
o'clock I went, the doors were just opened, and in a few 
minutes the rooms were crowded. Sir Walter Scott was 
present; he came towards me, shook my hand cordially, 
and pointing to Landseer's picture said : " Many such 
scenes, Mr. Audubon, have I witnesssd in my younger 
days." We talked much of all about us, and I would 
gladly have joined him in a glass of wine, but my foolish 
habits prevented me, and after inquiring of his daughter's 
health, I left him, and shortly afterwards the rooms ; for I 
had a great appetite, and although there were tables 
loaded with delicacies, and I saw the ladies particularly 


eating freely, I must say to my shame / dared not lay my 
fingers on a single thing. In the evening I went to the 
theatre where I was much amused by " The Comedy of 
Errors," and afterwards " The Green Room." I admire 
Miss Neville's singing very much; and her manners also; 
there is none of the actress about her, but much of the 

Ticesday, 20th. A week has passed without writing here 
because I have done nothing else but write — many letters 
for Captain Hall, and at his request a paper to be read at 
the Natural History Society. I pitched on the " Habits of 
the Wild Pigeon." I began on Wednesday, and it took me 
until half-past three of the morning, and after a few hours' 
sleep I rose to correct it, which was needed, I can assure 
thee. Were it not for the facts it contains, I would not 
give a cent for it, nor anj'body else, I dare say. I positively 
brought myself so much among the Pigeons and in the 
woods of America that my ears were as if really filled 
with the noise of their wings; I was tired and my eyes 
ached. I dined at a Mr. Tytlcr's and met among the guests 
Mr. Cruden, brother of the compiler of the famous con- 
cordance. On Sunday I made for the seashore, and walked 
eight miles; the weather was extremely cold, my ears and 
nose I thought would drop off, yet I went on. Monday 
Captain Hall called to speak to me about my paper on 
Pigeons; he complained that I expressed the belief that 
Pigeons were possessed of affection and tcnderest love, and 
that this raised the brute species to a level with man. O 
man ! misled, self-conccitcd being, when wilt thou keep 
within the sphere of humility that, with all thy vices and 
wickedness about thee, should be thine. At the exhibi- 
tion rooms I put up my drawing of the Wild Pigeons and 
Captain Hall read my paper. I was struck with the silence 
and attention of the audience. The president invited me 
to supper with him, but I was too excited, so excused 


February 21. I wrote again nearly all day, and in the 
evening went to the theatre to see " The School for Grown 

February 23. Young Hutchinson came about the middle 
of the day, and I proposed we should have an early dinner 
and a long walk after for the sake of exercise, that I now 
find much needed. VVe proceeded towards the village of 
Portobello, distant three miles, the weather delightful, the 
shore dotted with gentlemen on horseback galloping over 
the sand in all directions. The sea calm and smooth, had 
many fishing-boats. The village is a summer resort, built 
handsomely of white stone, and all was quietness. From 
here we proceeded across country to Duddingston, about 
a mile and a half, to see the skaters on the lake, a mere 
duck puddle; but the ice was too thin, and no skaters 
were there. We gradually ascended the hill called Arthur's 
Seat, and all of a sudden came in full view of the fair city. 
We entered in the Old Town and reached my lodgings 
by the North Bridge. I was quite tired, and yet I had 
not walked more than ten miles. I thought this strange, 
and wondered if it could be the same body that travelled 
over one hundred and sixty-five miles in four days without 
a shade of fatigue. The cities do not tempt me to walk, 
and so I lose the habit. 

February 2^. To the Wernerian Society at two o'clock, 
my drawing of the Mocking-Bird with me. The room was 
completely filled, and a paper on the rhubarb of commerce 
was read ; it was short, and then Professor Jameson called my 
name. I rose, and read as distinctly as I could my paper 
on Rattlesnakes, a job of three quarters of an hour. Hav- 
ing finished I was cheered by all, and the thanks of the 
Assembly unanimously voted. My cheeks burned, and after 
a few questions had been put me by the president and some 
of the gentlemen present, I handed my manuscript to 
Professor Jameson, and was glad to be gone. Young Mur- 
ray, the son of the London publisher, accompanied me to 


the Scottish Society Exhibition, but I soon left him as so 
many eyes were directed to me that I was miserable. 

February 27. It blew and rained tremendously, and 
this morning I parted from Captain Hall, who goes to 
London. His leaving Edinburgh affects me considerably; 
he is a kind, substantial friend, and when we finally shook 
hands, I doubt not he knew the feeling in my heart. This 
evening was spent at Mr. Joseph's the sculptor. There 
were a number of guests, and music and dancing was pro- 
posed. My fame as a dancer produced, I am sure, false 
expectations ; nevertheless I found myself on the floor 
with Mrs. Joseph, a lively, agreeable little lady, much my 
junior, and about my Lucy's age. After much dancing, 
during which light refreshments were served, we sat down 
to supper at twelve o'clock, and we did not leave till 

February 28. I have been reading Captain Hall's "Voy- 
ages and Travels," and going m jch about to rest my eyes 
and head ; but these few days of idleness have completely 
sickened me, and have given me what is named the Blue 
Devils so effectually that the sooner I drive them off the 

March 1. Mr. Kidd,^ the landscape artist, breakfasted 
with me, and we talked painting a long time. I admired 
him for his talents at so early a period of life, he being 
only nineteen. What would I have been now if equally 
gifted by nature at that age? But, sad reflection, I have 
been forced constantly to hammer and stammer as if in 
opposition to God's will, and so therefore am nothing 
now but poor Audubon. I asked him to come to me 
daily to eat, drink, and give me the pleasure of his com- 
pany and advice. I told him my wish was so intense to 
improve in the delightful art of painting that I should be- 
gin a new picture to-morrow, and took down my portfolio 
to look for one of my drawings to copy in oil. He had 
1 Joseph B. Kidd, who later copied many of Audubon's birds. 


never seen my work, and his bright eyes gazed eagerly on 
what he saw with admiration. 

Alarch 2. Mr. Kidd breakfasted with me, and we 
painted the whole day, 

March 3. I painted as constantly to-day, as it snowed 
and blew hard outside my walls. I thought frequently 
that the devils must be at the handles of y^iolus' bellows, 
and turned the cold blasts into the Scotch mists to freeze 
them into snow. It is full twenty years since I saw the 
like before. I dined at Mr. Ritchie's, reaching his house 
safely through more than two feet of snow. 

March 4- The weather tolerably fair, but the snow lay 
deep. The mails from all quarters were stopped, and the 
few people that moved along the streets gave a fuller idea 
of winter in a northern clime than anything I have seen 
for many years. Mr. Hays called for me, and wc went to 
breakfast with the Rev. Mr. Newbold, immediately across 
the street. I was trundled into a sedan chair to church. 
I had never been in a sedan chair before, and I like to 
try, as well as see, all things on the face of this strange 
world of ours ; but so long as I have two legs and feet 
below them, never will I again enter one of these machines, 
with their quick, short, up-and-down, swinging motion, re- 
sembling the sensations felt during the great earthquake in 
Kentucky. But Sydney Smith preached. Oh ! what a 
soul there must be in the body of that great man. What 
sweet yet energetic thoughts, what goodness he must pos- 
sess. It was a sermon to me. He made me smile, and he 
made me think deeply. He pleased me at times by painting 
my foibles with due care, and again I felt the color come 
to my cheeks as he portrayed my sins. I left the church 
full of veneration not only towards God, but towards the 
wonderful man who so beautifully illustrates his noblest 
handiwork. After lunch Mr. Hays and I took a walk 
towards Portobello, tumbling and pitching in the deep 
snow. I saw Sky-Larks, poor things, caught in snares as 


easily — as men are caught. For a wonder I have done 
no work to-day. 

March 5, As a lad I had a great aversion to anything 
English or Scotch, and I remember when travelling with 
my father to Rochefort in January, iSoo, I mentioned this 
to him, for to him, thank God, I always told all my 
thoughts and expressed all my ideas. How well I re- 
member his reply : " Laforest, thy blood will cool in 
time, and thou wilt be surprised to see how gradually pre- 
judices are obliterated, and friendships acquired, towards 
those that at one time we held in contempt. Thou hast 
not been in England ; I have, and it is a fine country." 
What has since taken place? I have admired and esteemed 
many English and Scotch, and therefore do I feel proud 
to tell thee that I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of 
Edinburgh. My day has been rather dull, though I painted 
assiduously. This evening I went to the Society of Arts, 
where beautiful experiments were shown by the inventors 
themselves; a steam coach moved with incomprehensible 
regularity. I am undetermined whether to go to Glasgow 
on my way to Dublin, or proceed overland to Newcastle, 
Liverpool, Oxford, Cambridge, and so on to London, but 
I shall move soon. 

March 7. This evening I was introduced to Sydney 
Smith, the famous preacher of last Sunday, and his fair 
daughters, and heard them sing most sweetly. I offered 
to show them some of my drawings and they appointed 
Saturday at one o'clock. The wind is blowing as if intent 
to destroy the fair city of Edinburgh. 

March 8. The weather was dreadful last night and still 
continues so ; the snow is six feet deep in some parts of 
the great roads, and I was told at the Post Office that 
horsemen sent with the mail to London had been obliged 
to abandon their horses, and proceed on foot. Wrote a 
letter to Sir Walter Scott requesting a letter of introduc- 
tion, or shall I S2cy cndorsciiietii, and his servant brought me 


a gratifying reply at eight of the evening. At one Dr. 
Spence came with Miss Neville, the delightful singer at 
the theatre, her mother, and Miss Hamilton. They sat 
with me some time, and I was glad to see near-by the 
same Miss Neville whom I admire so much at the play. I 
found her possessed of good sense and modesty, and like 
her much; her mother asked me to spend the evening of 
next Saturday with them, and said her daughter would 
sing for me with pleasure. Had a note from Sydney 
Smith; the man should study economy; he would destroy 
more paper in a day than Franklin in a week; but all great 
men are more or less eccentric. Walter Scott writes a 
diminutive hand, very difficult to read. Napoleon a large, 
scrawling one, still more difficult, and Sydney Smith goes 
up-hill all the way with large strides. 

March 9. My first work this day was to send as a 
present to Miss Anne Scott a copy of my first number. 
Professor Wilson called and promised to come again on 

March 10. I visited Mr. James B. Fraser, ^ a great 
traveller in Asia and Africa, and saw there a large col- 
lection of drawings and views in water-colors of the 
scenery of these countries. The lecture at the Wernerian 
Society was very interesting ; it was on the uses of cotton 
in Egypt, and the origin of the name in the English lan- 
guage. I dined at Mr. Neill's ; among the guests was a Mr. 
Blair, the superintendent of the Botanical Gardens here ; 
he has been in different parts of America frequently. There 
were several other gentlemen present interested in like 
subjects, and we talked of little else than trees and exotic 
plants, birds and beasts ; in fact it was a naturalists* dinner, 
but a much better one than naturalists generally have who 
study in the woods. I was obliged to leave early, as I had 
an engagement at Miss Neville's. Tea was served, after 
which Miss Neville rose, and said she would open the 
1 James Baillie Fraser, 1783-1S56, Scottish writer of travels. 


concert. I was glad to see her simply but beautifully 
dressed in a plain white gown of fine muslin, with naught 
but her fine auburn hair loose in large curls about her neck, 
and a plain scarf of a light-rose color. She sang and 
played most sweetly ; the gentlemen present were all more 
or less musical, and we had fine glees, duets, trios. The 
young lady scarcely left off singing, for no sooner was a 
song finished than some one asked for another ; she im- 
mediately replied, " Oh, yes," and in a moment the room 
was filled with melody. I thought she must be fatigued, 
and told her so, but she replied: " Mr. Audubon, singing 
is like painting ; it never fatigues if one is fond of it, and I 
am." After a handsome supper we had more singing, and 
it was past two o'clock when I rose, shook hands with 
Miss Neville, bowed to the company, and made my exit. 

MarcJi 12. I can scarcely believe that this day, there 
is in many places six feet of snow, yet with all this no 
invitation is ever laid aside, and last evening I went to 
dinner in a coach drawn by four horses. At noon to-day 
I went with Mr. Lizars to the Assembly Rooms, to see the 
fencing. About a thousand persons, all in full dress, 
gathered in a few minutes, and a circle being formed, 
eight young men came in, and went through the first 
principles of fencing; we had fine martial music and a 
succession of fencing turns till two o'clock, when the assault 
began between the two best scholars. Five hits were 
required to win the prize — a fine sword — and it was 
presented to the conqueror, a Mr. Webster. At half-past 
six I dined at Mr. Hamilton's, where a numerous and 
agreeable party was assembled. At ten Miss Neville and 
her mother came with still others. We had dancing and 
singing, and here I am, quite wearied at half-past three ; 
but I must be up early to-morrow morning. 

March 13. The little I slept had a bad effect on me, for 
I rose cross of mind and temper. I took a long walk on 
the London road, returned and reached Brae House, and 


breakfasted with the famous Mrs. Grant,^ an old lady very- 
deaf, but very agreeable withal. Her son and daughter 
and another lady formed our party. We talked of nothing 
but America; Mrs. Grant is positively the only person I 
have met here who knows anything true about my country. 
I promised to call again soon. This evening I dined at 
Sir James Riddell's, and I do not know when I have 
spent a more uncomfortable evening; the company were 
all too high for me, though Sir James and his lady did all 
they could for me. The ton here surpassed that at the 
Earl of Morton's ; five gentlemen waited on us while at 
table, and two of these put my cloak about my shoul- 
ders, notwithstanding all I could say to the contrary. 
Several of these men were quite as well dressed as 
their master. What will that sweet lady, Mrs. Basil 
Hall think of a squatter's hut in Mississippi in contrast 
with this? No matter! whatever may be lacking, there 
is usually a hearty welcome. Oh ! my America, how 
dearly I love thy plain, simple manners. 

March 1//-. I have been drawing all day, two Cat-birds 
and some blackberries for the Countess of Morton, and 
would have finished it had I not been disturbed by visitors. 
Mr. Hays came with his son ; he asked me if it would not 
be good policy for me to cut my hair and have a fashion- 
able coat made before I reached London. I laughed, and 
he laughed, and my hair is yet as God made it. 

March 17. I had long wished to visit Roslyn Castle 
and the weather being beautiful I applied to Mrs. Dickie 
for a guide, and she sent her son with me. We passed 
over the North Bridge and followed the turnpike road, 
passing along the foot of the Pentland Hills, looking back 
frequently to view Edinburgh under its cloud of smoke, 
until we had passed a small eminence that completely hid 
it afterwards from our sight. Not an object of interest lay 

1 Mrs. Anne Grant, poetess and miscellaneous writer. Bom 1755, died 


in our way until we suddenly turned southeast and 
entered the little village of Roslyn. I say little, because 
not more than twenty houses are there, and these are all 
small except one. It is high, however, so much so that 
from it we looked down on the ruined castle, although the 
elevation of the castle above the country around is very 
great. On inquiry, we were assured that the chapel was 
the only remaining edifice worthy of attention. We 
walked down to it and entered an enclosure, when before 
us stood the remains of the once magnificent Chapel of 
Roslyn. What volumes of thoughts rushed into my mind. 
I, who had read of the place years before, who knew by 
tradition the horrors of the times subsequent to the found- 
ing of the edifice, now confronted reality. I saw the 
marks of sacrilegious outrage on objects silent themselves 
and which had been raised in adoration to God. Strange 
that times which produced such beautiful works of art 
should allow the thief and the murderer to go almost un- 
punished. This Gothic chapel is a superb relic; each 
stone is beautifully carved, and each difters from all the 
others. The ten pillars and five arches are covered with 
the finest fret-work, and all round are seen the pedestals 
that once supported the images that Knox's party were 
wont to destroy without thought or reason. I went down 
some mouldering steps into the Sacristy, but found only 
bare walls, decaying very fast; yet here a curious plant 
was growing, of a verdigris color. To reach the castle we 
went down and along a narrow ridge, on each side of 
which the ground went abruptly to the bottom of a narrow, 
steep valley, through which a small, petulant stream 
rushed with great rapidity over a rocky bed. This guards 
three sides of the promontory on which Roslyn Castle 
once was ; for now only a few masses of rubbish were to be 
seen, and a house of modern structure occupies nearly the 
original site. In its day it must have been a powerful 
structure, but now, were it existing, cannon could destroy 



'a^^^^y^^ /f^y^. 

^^ ^'S'.a 


^. ^-cr/^Z^ 



it in a few hours, if they were placed on the opposite 
hills. A large meadow lay below us, covered with bleach- 
ing linen, and the place where we stood was perfectly 
lonely, not even the reviving chirp of a single bird could 
be heard, and my heart sank low while my mind was en- 
gaged in recollections of the place. In silence we turned 
and left the Castle and the little village, and returned by 
another route to busy Edinburgh. The people were just 
coming out of church, and as I walked along I felt a tap 
on my shoulder and heard good Mr. Neill say, " Where 
are you going at the rate of six miles an hour? " and he 
took me home to dine with him, after we had been to my 
lodgings, where I put my feet in ice cold water for ten 
minutes, when I felt as fresh as ever. 

March 19, 1827. This day my hair was sacrificed, and 
the will of God usurped by the wishes of man. As the 
barber clipped my locks rapidly, it reminded me of the 
horrible times of the French Revolution when the same 
operation was performed upon all the victims murdered at 
the guillotine ; my heart sank low. 

John J. Audubon.i 

Shortly after breakfast I received a note from Captain 
Hall, and another from his brother, both filled with entrea- 
ties couched in strong terms that I should aiter my hair 
before I went to London. Good God ! if Thy works are 
hated by man it must be with Thy permission. I sent for 
a barber, and my hair was mowed off in a trice. I knew I 
was acting weakly, but rather than render my good friend 
miserable about it, I suffered the loss patiently. 

March 20. I visited Mr. Hays at his office, and had 
the pleasure of seeing all the curious ancient manuscripts, 
letters, mandates. Acts of Parliament, etc., connected with 
the oflEicial events of Scotland with England for upwards 

1 This entry is the only one on a large page, of which a facsimile is given. 
It is written in the centre, and all around the edge of the paper is a heavy 
black border, an inch in depth. 


of three hundred years past. Large volumes are written 
on parchment, by hand, and must have been works of 
immense labor. The volumes containing the mere trans- 
fers of landed estates filed within the last forty years 
amounted to almost three thousand, and the parcels of 
ancient papers filled many rooms in bundles and in bags of 
leather, covered with dust, and mouldering with age. The 
learned antiquarian, Mr. Thompson, has been at great 
pains to put in order all these valuable and curious docu- 
ments. The edifice of the Registry is immense, and the 
long, narrow passages proved a labyrinth to me. Mr. 
Hays' allotted portion of curiosities consists of Heraldry, 
and I saw the greatest display of coats of arms of all sorts, 
emblazoned in richest style on sleek vellum and parch- 

March 21. Called on Miss D , the fair American. 

To my surprise I saw the prints she had received the 
evening before quite abused and tumbled. This, how- 
ever, was not my concern, and I regretted it only on her 
account, that so little care should be taken of a book that 
in fifty years will be sold at immense prices because of its 
rarity.^ The wind blew great guns all morning. Finding 
it would be some days before my business would permit 
me to leave, I formed an agreement to go to see the 
interior of the Castle, the regalia, and other curiosities of 
the place to-morrow. I received a valuable letter of 
introduction to the Secretary of the Home Department, 
Mr. Peel, from the Lord Advocate of Scotland, given me 
at the particular request of the Countess of Morton, a most 
charming lady ; the Earl of Morton would have written 
himself but for the low state of his health. 

March 22. After lunch the Rev. VVm. Newbold and I 
proceeded to the Castle ; the wind blew furiously, and con- 

1 A distinguished ornithologist said of the book in 1895 '• " I' is one of the 
few illustrated books, if not the only one, that steadily increases in price as 
the years go on." 


sequently no smoke interfered with the objects I wished 
to see. We passed a place called the " Mound," a thrown- 
up mass of earth connecting now the New with the Old 
city of Edinburgh. We soon reached the gates of the 
Castle, and I perceived plainly that I was looked upon as 
an officer from the continent. Strange ! three days ago I 
was taken for a priest, quick transition caused only by the 
clipping of my locks. We crossed the drawbridge and 
looked attentively at the deep and immense dried ditches 
below, passed through the powerful double gates, all 
necessary securities to such a place. We ascended con- 
tinually until we reached the parapets where the King 
stood during his visit, bowing, I am told, to the gaping 
multitude below, his hat off, and proud enough, no doubt, 
of his high station. My hat was also off, but under differ- 
ent impulses ; I was afraid that the wind would rob me of 
it suddenly. I did not bow to the people, but I looked 
with reverence and admiration on the beauties of nature 
and of art that surrounded me, with a pleasure seldom felt 
before. The ocean was rugged with agitated waves as far 
as the eye could reach eastwardly; not a vessel dared 
spread its sails, so furious was the gale. The high moun- 
tains of wild Scotland now and then faintly came to our 
view as the swift-moving clouds passed, and suffered the 
sun to cast a momentary glance at them. The coast of 
the Frith of Forth exhibited handsome villas, and noble- 
men's seats, bringing at once before me the civilization of 
man, and showing how weak and insignificant we all are. 
My eyes followed the line of the horizon and stopped at a 
couple of small elevations, that I knew to be the home of 
the Countess of Morton; then I turned to the immense 
city below, where men looked like tiny dwarfs, and horses 
smaller than sheep. To the east lay the Old Town, and 
now and then came to my ears the music of a band as the 
squall for a moment abated. I could have remained here 
a whole day, but my companion called, and I followed 


him to the room where the regaHa are kept. We each 
wrote our names, paid our shilHng, and the large padlock 
was opened by a red-faced, bulky personage dressed in a 
fanciful scarlet cloth, hanging about him like mouldering 
tapestry. A small oblong room, quite dark, lay before us ; 
it was soon lighted, however, by our conductor. A high 
railing of iron, also of an oblong form, surrounded a table 
covered with scarlet cloth, on which lay an immense sword 
and its scabbard, two sceptres, a large, square, scarlet 
cushion ornamented with golden tassels, and above all 
the crown of Scotland. All the due explanations were 
cried out by our conductor, on whose face the reflection 
of all the red articles was so powerfully displayed just now 
that it looked like a large tomato, quite as glittering, but 
of a very different flavor, I assure thee. We looked at all 
till I was tired ; not long did this take, for it had not one 
thousandth portion of the beauties I had seen from the 
parapet. We left the Castle intending to proceed to the 
stone quarries three miles distant, but the wind was now so 
fierce, and the dust so troubled my eyes, that the jaunt was 
put off till another day. I paid young Kidd three guineas 
for his picture. Have just had some bread and butter and 
will go to bed. 

March 23. Young Kidd breakfasted with me, and no 
sooner had he gone than I set to and packed up. I felt very 
low-spirited ; the same wind keeps blowing, and I am now 
anxious to be off to Mr. Selby's Newcastle, and my dear 
Green Bank. My head was so full of all manner of 
thoughts that I thought it was Saturday, instead of Friday, 
and at five o'clock I dressed in a great hurry and went to 
Mr. Henry Witham's with all possible activit}'. My Lucy, 
I was not expected till to-morrow ! Mr. Witham was not 
at home, and his lady tried to induce me to remain and 
dine with her and her lovely daughter ; but I declined, and 
marched home as much ashamed of my blunder as a fox 
who has lost his tail in a trap. Once before I made a 


sad blunder; I promised to dine at three different houses 
the same day, and when it came I discovered my error, 
and wrote an apology to all, and went to none. 

Twizel House, Belford — NortJiiimberland, April 10, 
1827. Probably since ten years I have not been so long 
without recording my deeds or my thoughts ; and even 
now I feel by no means inclined to write, and for no par- 
ticular reason. From Friday the 23d of ]\Iarch till the 5th 
of April my time was busily employed, copying some of my 
drawings, from five in the morning till seven at night. I 
dined out rarely, as I found the time used by this encroached 
too much on that needed by my ardent desire to improve 
myself in oil and in perspective, which I wished to study 
with close attention. Every day brought me packets of 
letters of introduction, and I called here and there to make 
my adieux. I went often in the evening to Mr. Lizars' ; 
I felt the parting with him and his wife and sister would 
be hard, and together we attended meetings of the differ- 
ent societies. The last night I went to the Royal Society. 
Sir Wm. Hamilton ^ read a paper against phrenology, 
which would seem to quite destroy the theory of Mr. 
Combe. I left many things in the care of my landlady, 
as well as several pictures, and at six o'clock on the morn- 
ing of April 5, left Edinburgh, where I hope to go again. 
The weather was delightful. We passed Dunbar and Ber- 
wick, our road near the sea most of the time, and at half- 
past four, the coach stopped opposite the lodge of Twizel 
House. I left my baggage in the care of the woman at 
the lodge, and proceeded through some small woods 
towards the house, which I saw after a few minutes, — a 
fine house, commanding an extensive view of the country, 
the German Ocean, and Bamborough Castle. I ascended 
the great staircase with pleasure, for I knew that here 
was congeniality of feeling. Hearing the family were 

1 One of the greatest metaphysicians of modern times. Born at Glasgow 
1788, died in Edinburgh, 1856. 

VOL. I. — 15 


out and would not return for two hours, I asked to be 
shown to the library, and told my name. The man said 
not a word, went off, and about ten minutes after, whilst 
I was reading the preface of William Roscoe to his " Leo 
X.," returned and said his master would be with me in a 
moment. I understood all this. Mr. Selby came in, in 
hunting-dress, and we shook hands as hunters do. He 
took me at once out in his grounds, where Mrs. Selby, 
his three daughters, and Captain Mitford his brother-in- 
law were all engaged transplanting trees, and I felt at 
home at once. When we returned to the house Mr. Selby 
conducted me to his laboratory, where guns, birds, etc., 
were everywhere. I offered to make a drawing and Cap- 
tain Mitford went off to shoot a Chafifiinch. We had supper, 
after which the eagerness of the young ladies made me 
open my box of drawings; later we had music, and the 
evening passed delightfully. I thought much of home 
I assure thee, and of Green Bank also, and then of my 
first sight of thee at Fatland, and went to bed thanking 
God for the happy moments he has granted us. The 
next morning I felt afraid my early habits would create 
some disturbance in the repose of the family, and was 
trying to make good my outing at five, and thought I 
had already done so, when to my surprise and consterna- 
tion the opening of the hall door made such a noise as I 
doubted not must have been heard over the whole estab- 
lishment; notwithstanding, I issued into the country fresh 
air, and heard all around me the Black-birds, Thrushes, 
and Larks at their morning songs. I walked, or rather 
ran about, like a bird just escaped from a cage ; plucked 
flowers, sought for nests, watched the fishes, and came 
back to draw. All went well ; although the shooting season 
(as the English please to call it) was long since over, we 
took frequent walks with guns, and a few individuals were 
the sufferers from my anxiety to see their bills, and eyes, 
and feathers ; and many a mile did I race over the moors 


to get them. More or less company came daily to see 
my drawings, and I finished a drawing for Mr. Selby of 
three birds, a Lapwing for Mrs. Selby, who drew fully 
as well as I did, and who is now imitating my style, and 
to whom I have given some lessons. Also I finished a 
small picture in oil for the charming elder daughter 
Louise; the others are Jane and Fanny. So much at home 
did we become that the children came about me as freely 
as if I had long known them ; I was delighted at this, for 
to me to have familiar intercourse with children, the most 
interesting of beings, is one of my greatest enjoyments, 
and my time here was as happy as at Green Bank ; I can 
say no more. The estate is well situated, highly orna- 
mented, stocked with an immensity of game of the country, 
and trout abound in the little rivulets that tumble from~ 
rock to rock towards the northern ocean. To-morrow I 
leave this with Captain Mitford for his country seat. 

Mitford Castle, near Morpeth^ Northumberland, April 11, 
1827. I rose as early as usual, and not to disturb my 
kind friends, I marched down the staircase in my stock- 
ings, as I often do where the family are not quite such 
early risers ; instead of opening the hall door I sat down 
in the study, and outlined a Lapwing, in an extremely 
difficult position, for my friend Selby, and did not go 
on my walk until the servants made their appearance, 
and then I pushed off to the garden and the woods to 
collect violets. I felt quite happy, the fragrance of the 
air seemed equal to that of the little blue flowers which 
I gathered. We breakfasted, and at ten o'clock I bid 
farewell to Mrs. Selby; good, amiable lady, how often 
she repeated her invitation to me to come and spend 
a goodly time with them. Mr. Selby and the children 
walked down to the lodge with the captain and me, and 
having reached the place too early we walked about the 
woods awhile. The parting moment came at last, all too 
soon, our baggage was put on the top of the " Dart," an 


opposition coach, and away we rolled. My good com- 
panion Captain Mitford kept my spirits in better plight 
than they would otherwise have been, by his animated 
conversation about game, fishing, America, etc., and after 
a ride of about twelve miles we entered the small village 
of Alnwick, commanded by the fine castle of the Duke 
of Northumberland. Having to change horses and wait 
two hours, we took a walk, and visited the interior of that 
ancient mass of buildings, the whole being deserted at 
present, the Duke absent. I saw the armory, the dun- 
geons, the place for racking prisoners, but the grotesque 
figures of stone standing in all sorts of attitudes, defensive 
and offensive, all round the top of the turrets and bastions, 
struck me most. They looked as if about to move, or to 
take great leaps to the ground, to cut our throats. This 
castle covers five acres of ground, is elevated, and therefore 
in every direction are good views of the country. From 
it I saw the cross put up in memory of King Malcolm 
killed by Hammond. At two precisely (for in England 
and Scotland coaches start with great punctuality) we 
were again en route. We passed over the Aln River, a 
very pretty little streamlet, and reached Felton, where 
we changed horses. The whole extent of country we 
passed this day was destitute of woods, and looked to me 
very barren. We saw little game ; about five we arrived 
within two miles of Morpeth, where the captain and I 
alighted; we walked to a pretty little vale and the ruins 
of the old castle lay before us, still doomed to moulder 
more, and walking on reached the confluence of two 
small, pretty streams from which originated the name 
of my friend's ancestors, Meetingford. We reached the 
house, and having heard of his brother's indisposition, 
the captain and I entered quietly, and I was presented to 
the owner of the hall. I saw before me a thin, pale, emaci- 
ated being who begged I would go to him, as he could 
not rise. I shook his withered hand and received his 


kind welcome. During the evening I had ample oppor- 
tunity to observe how clever and scientific he was, and 
regretted the more his frail body. He was extremely 
anxious to see my drawings, and he examined them more 
closely than I can ever remember any one to have done 
before, and was so well acquainted with good drawing 
that I felt afraid to turn them over for his inspection. 
After looking at probably a hundred without saying a 
single word, he exclaimed suddenly: "They are truly 
beautiful ; our King ought to purchase them, they are too 
good to belong to a sbigle individual." We talked much 
on subjects of natural history, and he told me that he 
made it a rule that not a gun was ever fired during the 
breeding season on any part of his beautiful estate; 
he delighted to see the charming creatures enjoy life 
and pleasure without any annoyance. Rooks, Jackdaws, 
Wood-Pigeons, and Starlings were flying in hundreds 
about the ruined castle. We sat up till after twelve, when 
hot water and spirits were produced, after which we said 
good-night; but I needed nothing to make me sleep, for 
in five minutes after I lay down I was — I know not where. 
April 12. I am now at last where the famous Bewick 
produced his handsome and valuable work on the birds of 
England. It is a dirty-looking place, this Newcastle, and 
I do not know if it will prove at all pleasant. This morn- 
ing early the captain and myself took a good ramble about 
Mitford Hall grounds; saw the rookery, the ruins of the 
castle, and walked some way along the little river front. 
We breakfasted about ten with his brother, who wished to 
see my drawings by daylight. Afterwards my baggage 
was taken to Morpeth, and the captain and I walked 
thither about twelve. Our way was along a pretty little 
stream called the Wansbeck, but the weather changed and 
the rain assured me that none of the persons we expected 
to see in the village would come, on this account, and I was 
not mistaken. At half-past four I mounted the coach for 


this place, and not an object of interest presented itself in 
the journey of thirteen miles. 

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, April 13. At ten o'clock I left 
the inn, having had a very indifferent breakfast, served on 
dirty plates ; therefore I would not recommend the " Rose 
and Crown," or the hostess, to any friend of mine. Yet 
my bed was quite comfortable, and my sleep agreeably 
disturbed about one hour before day by some delightful 
music on the bugle. I often, even before this, have had a 
wish to be a performer on this instrument, so sure I am 
that our grand forests and rivers would re-echo its sonorous 
sounds with fine effect. I passed through many streets, 
but what a shabby appearance this Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
has, after a residence of nearly six months in the beautiful 
city of Edinburgh. All seems dark and smoky, indeed I 
conceive myself once more in Manchester. The cries of 
fish, milk, and vegetables, were all different, and I looked 
in vain for the rosy cheeks of the Highlanders. I had 
letters to the members of the Johnson family, given me by 
Captain Mitford, and therefore went to St. James Square, 
where I delivered them, and was at once received by a tall, 
fine-looking young gentleman, who asked me if I had 
breakfasted. On being answered in the affirmative, he 
requested me to excuse him till he had finished his, and 
I sat opposite the fire thinking about the curious pil- 
grimage I had now before me. Will the result repay the 
exertions? Alas! it is quite impossible for me to say, but 
that I shall carry the plan out in all its parts is certain 
unless life departs, and then I must hope that our Victor 
will fall into my place and accomplish my desires, with 
John's help to draw the birds, which he already does well. 
Mr. Edward Johnson soon re-entered, bringing with him 
Mr. John Adamson, secretary to the Literary and Philoso- 
phical Society of this place. I presented the letter for him 
from Mr. Selby, but I saw at once that he knew me by 
name. Soon after he very kindly aided me to find suit- 


able lodgings, which I did in Collingwood Street. We 
then walked to Mr. Bewick's, the engraver, son of the 
famous man, and happily met him. He is a curious-look- 
ing man ; his head and shoulders are both broad, but his 
keen, penetrating eyes proved that Nature had stamped 
him for some use in this world. I gave him the letters I 
had for him, and appointed a time to call on his father. I 
again suffered myself to be imposed upon when I paid my 
bill at the inn on removing to my lodgings, and thought of 
Gil Bias of Santillane. Five persons called to see my 
drawings this afternoon, and I received a note from Mr. 
Bewick inviting me to tea at six; so I shall see and talk 
with the wonderful man. I call him wonderful because I 
am sincerely of the opinion that his work on wood is 
superior to anything ever attempted in ornithology. It is 
now near eleven at night. Robert Bewick (the son) called 
for me about six, and we proceeded to his father's house. 
On our way I saw an ancient church with a remarkably 
beautiful Lanterne at top, St. Nicholas' Church I was told, 
then we passed over the Tyne, on a fine strong bridge of 
stone, with several arches, I think six or seven. This is 
distant from the sea, and I must say that the Tyne Jicre is 
the only stream I have yet seen since my landing resem- 
bling at all a river. It is about as large as Bayou Sara 
opposite the Beech Woods, when full. I saw some of the 
boats used in carrying coals down the stream ; they are 
almost of oval shape, and are managed with long, sweeping 
oars, and steerers much like our flat-boats on the Ohio. 
My companion did not talk much; he is more an acting 
man than a talker, and I did not dislike him for that. 
After ascending a long road or lane, we arrived at Bewick's 
dwelling, and I was taken at once to where he was at work, 
and saw the man himself He came to me and welcomed 
me with a hearty shake of the hand, and took off for a 
moment his half-clean cotton night-cap tinged with the 
smoke of the place. He is tall, stout, has a very large 


head, and his eyes are further apart than those of any man 
I remember just now. A complete EngHshman, full of 
life and energy though now seventy-four, very witty and 
clever, better acquainted with America than most of his 
countrymen, and an honor to England. Having shown 
me the work he was at, a small vignette cut on a block of 
box-wood not more than three by two inches, representing 
a dog frightened during the night by false appearances of 
men formed by curious roots and branches of trees, rocks, 
etc., he took me upstairs and introduced me to his three 
daughters — all tall, and two of them with extremely fine 
figures ; they were desirous to make my visit an agreeable 
one and most certainly succeeded. I met there a Mr. 
Goud, and saw from his pencil a perfect portrait of Thomas 
Bewick, a miniature, full-length, in oil, highly finished, well 
drawn and composed. The old gentleman and I stuck to 
each other; he talked of my drawings, and I of his wood- 
cuts, till we liked each other very much. Now and then 
he would take off his cotton cap, but the moment he be- 
came animated with the conversation the cap was on, yet 
almost off, for he had stuck it on as if by magic. His eyes 
sparkled, his face was very expressive, and I enjoyed him 
much more, I am sure, than he supposed. He had heard 
of my drawings and promised to call early to-morrow 
morning with his daughters and some friends. I did not 
forget dear John's wish to possess a copy of his work on 
quadrupeds, and having asked where I could procure one, 
he answered " Here." After coffee and tea had been 
served, young Bewick, to please me, brought a bagpipe 
of a new construction, called a " Durham," and played 
simple, nice Scotch and English airs with peculiar taste; 
the instrument sounded like a hautboy. Soon after ten 
the company broke up, and we walked into Newcastle. 
The streets were desolate, and their crookedness and 
narrowness made me feel the more the beauty of fair 


April llf.. The weather is now becoming tolerable and 
spring is approaching. The Swallows glide past my win- 
dows, and the Larks are heard across the Tyne. Thomas 
Bewick, his whole family, and about a hundred others have 
kept me busy exhibiting drawings. Mr. Bewick expressed 
himself as perfectly astounded at the boldness of my under- 
taking. I am to dine with him to-morrow, Mr. Adamson 
to-day, and Mr. Johnson on Wednesday if I do not go on 
to York that day. 

April 15. Mr. Adamson called for me at church time, 
and we proceeded a short distance and entered St. 
Nicholas' church. He ordered an officer to take me 
to what he called the mansion house and I was led along 
the aisles to a place enclosed by an iron railing and 
showed a seat. In looking about me I saw a large 
organ over the door I had entered, and in front of this 
were seated many children, the lasses in white, the lads 
in blue. An immense painting of the Lord's Supper 
filled the end opposite the entrance, and the large Gothic 
windows were brilliant with highly colored glass. A few 
minutes passed, when a long train of office bearers and the 
magistrates of the town, headed by the mayor, came in pro- 
cession and entered the mansion hojise also ; a gentleman 
at my elbow rose and bowed to these and I followed his 
example ; I discovered then that I was seated in the most 
honorable place. The service and sermon were long and 
tedious ; often to myself I said, " Why is not Sydney Smith 
here? " Being in church I sat patiently, but I must say I 
thought the priest uncommonly stupid. Home to lunch- 
eon and afterwards went to Heath, the painter,^ who with 
his wife received me with extreme kindness. He showed 
me many sketches, a number of which were humorous- 
He likes Newcastle better than Edinburgh, and I would 
not give an hour at Edinburgh, especiall}^ were I with 
friend Lizars, his wife, and sister, for a year here. So 

1 Possibly Charles Heath, engraver, 1784-1S48. 


much for difference of taste. — I have just returned from 
old Bewick's. We had a great deal of conversation, all 
tending towards Natural History; other guests came in as 
the evening fell, and politics and religion were touched 
upon. Whilst this was going on old Bewick sat silent 
chewing his tobacco; the son, too, remained quiet, but 
the eldest daughter, who sat next to me, was very interest- 
ing, and to my surprise resembles my kind friend Hannah 
Rathbone so much, that I frequently felt as if Miss Hannah, 
with her black eyes and slender figure, were beside me. I 
was invited to breakfast to-morrow at eight with Mr. 
Bewick to see the old gentleman at work. 

April 16. I breakfasted with old Bewick this morning 
quite saus ceremonic, and then the old man set to work to 
show me how simple it was to cut wood! But cutting wood 
as he did is no joke ; he did it with as much case as I can 
feather a bird ; he made all his tools, which are delicate 
and very beautiful, and his artist shop was clean and at- 
tractive. Later I went with Mr. Plummer, the officiating 
American consul at this place, to the court-rooms, and 
Merchant Coffee House, also to a new fish market, small 
and of a half-moon form, contiguous to the river, that I 
have forgotten to say is as dirty and muddy as an alligator 
hole. The coal boats were moving down by hundreds, 
with only one oar and a stcercr, to each of which I saw 
three men. We then went to the Literary and Philosoph- 
ical Society rooms ; the library is a fine, large room with 
many books — the museum small, but in neat order, and 
well supplied with British specimens. Since then I have 
been showing my drawings to at least two hundred persons 
who called at my lodgings. I was especially struck with 
a young lady who came with her brother. I saw from my 
window a groom walking three fine horses to and fro, and 
almost immediately the lady and gentleman entered, whip 
in hand, and spurred like fighting-cocks; the lady, with a 
beaver and black silk neckerchief, came in first and alone, 


holding up with both hands her vohiminous blue riding- 
habit, and with a ton very unbecoming her fine eyes and 
sweet face. She bowed carelessly, and said : " Compli- 
ments, sir; " and perceiving how much value she put on 
herself, I gave her the best seat in the room. For some 
time she sat without a word ; when her brother began to 
put questions, however, she did also, and so fast and so 
searchingly that I thought them Envoies Extraordinaires 
from either Temminck or Cuvier. Mr. Adamson, who sat 
by all the time, praised me, when they had gone, for my 
patience, and took me home to dine with him en faviille. 
A person (a glazier, I suppose), after seeing about a 
hundred pictures, asked me if I did not want glass and 
frames for them. How I wish I was in America's dark 
woods, admiring God's works in all their beautiful ways. 

April 17. Whilst I was lying awake this morning wait- 
ing for it to get light, I presently recollected I was in 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and recalled the name of Smollett, 
no mean man, by the bye, and remembered his eulogium 
of the extraordinary fine view he obtained when travelling 
on foot from London to this place, looking up the Tyne 
from Isbet Hill, and I said, " If Smollett admired the 
prospect, I can too," and leaped from my bed as a hare 
from his form on newly ploughed ground at the sound 
of the sportsman's bugle, or the sight of the swift grey- 
hound. I ran downstairs, out-of-doors, and over the 
Tyne, as if indeed a pack of jackals had been after me. 
Two miles is nothing to me, and I ascended the hill 
where poor Isbet, deluded by a wretched woman, for her 
sake robbed the mail, and afterwards sufi'ered death on 
a gibbet ; and saw — the sea ! Far and wide it extended ; 
the Tyne led to it, with its many boats with their coaly 
burdens. Up the river the view was indeed enchanting; 
the undulating meadows sloped gently to the water's edge 
on either side, and the Larks that sprang up before me, 
welcoming the sun's rise, animated my thoughts so much 


that I felt tears trickling down my cheeks as I gave praise 
to the God who gave life to all these in a day. There was 
a dew on the ground, the bees were gathering honey from 
the tiniest flowerets, and here and there the Blackbird so 
shy sought for a fibrous root to entwine his solid nest of 
clay. Lapwings, like butterflies of a larger size, passed 
wheeling and tumbling over me through the air, and had 
not the dense smoke from a thousand engines disturbed 
the peaceful harmony of Nature, I might have been there 
still, longing for my Lucy to partake of the pleasure with 
me. But the smoke recalled me to my work, and I turned 
towards Newcastle. So are all transient pleasures fol- 
lowed by sorrows, except those emanating from the 
adoration of the Supreme Being. It was still far from 
breakfast time ; I recrossed the Tync and ascended the 
east bank for a couple of miles before returning to my 
lodgings. The morning afterward was spent as usual. 
I mean, holding up drawings to the company that came 
in good numbers. Morning here is the time from ten to 
five, and I am told that in London it sometimes lengthens 
to eight of the evening as we term it. Among these vis- 
itors was a Mr. Donkin, who remained alone with me when 
the others had left, and we had some conversation ; he is 
an advocate, or, as I would call it, a chancellor. He 
asked me to take a bachelor's dinner with him at five ; I 
accepted, and he then proposed we should drive out and 
see a house he was building two miles in the country. I 
again found myself among the rolling hills, and we soon 
reached his place. I found a beautiful, low house of 
stone, erected in the simplest st}'lc imaginable, but so 
well arranged and so convenient that I felt satisfied he 
was a man of taste as well as wealth. Garden, grounds, 
all was in perfect harmony, and the distant views up and 
down the river, the fine woods and castle, all came in 
place, — not to satiate the eye, but to induce it to search 
for further beauties. On returning to town Mr. Donkin 


showed me the old mansion where poor Charles the First 
was deliv^ered up to be beheaded. He could have escaped 
through a conduit to the river, where a boat was waiting, 
but the conduit was all darkness and his heart failed him. 
Now I should say that he had no heart, and was very unfit 
for a king. At Mr. Donkin's house I was presented to 
his partners, and we had a good dinner; the conversation 
ran much on politics, and they supported the King and Mr, 
Canning. I left early, as I had promised to take a cup of 
tea with old Bewick. The old gentleman was seated as 
usual with his night-cap on, and his tobacco pouch in one 
hand ready to open ; his countenance beamed with pleas- 
ure as I shook hands with him. " I could not bear the 
idea of your going off without telling you in written 
words what I think of your ' Birds of America; ' here it is 
in black and white, and make whatever use you may of 
it, if it be of use at all," he said, and put an unsealed 
letter in my hand. We chatted away on natural-history 
subjects, and he would now and then exclaim : " Oh that 
I was young ^ again! I would go to America. What a 
country it will be." " It is now, Mr. Bewick," I would 
retort, and then we went on. The young ladies enjoyed 
the sight and remarked that for years their father had 
not had such a flow of spirits. 

Apj'il 19. This morning I paid a visit of farewell to Mr. 
Bewick and his family ; as we parted he held my hand 
closely and repeated three times, " God preserve you." 
I looked at him in such a manner that I am sure he under- 
stood I could not speak. I walked slowly down the hilly 
lane, and thought of the intrinsic value of this man to the 
world, and compared him with Sir Walter Scott. The 
latter will be forever the most eminent in station, being 
undoubtedly the most learned and most brilliant of the 
two ; but Thomas Bewick is a son of Nature. Nature 

1 Thomas Bewick was at this time nearly seventy-four. He died Nov. 8, 
1828, being then past seventy-five. 


alone has reared him under her peaceful care, and he in 
gratitude of heart has copied one department of her works 
that must stand unrivalled forever ; I say " forever " because 
imitators have only a share of real merit, compared with in- 
ventors, and Thomas Bewick is an inventor, and the first 
wood-ciittcr in the world ! These words, " first wood-cutter " 
would, I dare say, raise the ire of many of our hearty squat- 
ters, who, no doubt, on hearing me express myself so 
strongly, would take the axe, and fell down an enormous tree 
whilst talking about it; but the moment I would explain to 
them that each of their chips would produce under his chisel 
a mass of beauties, the good fellows would respect him quite 
as much as I do. My room was filled all day with people 
to see my works and inc, whom some one had said resem- 
bled in physiognomy Napoleon of France. Strange simile 
this, but I care not whom T resemble, if it be only in looks, 
if my heart preserves the love of the truth. 

Saturday, April 21. I am tired out holding up draw- 
ings, I may say, all day; but have been rewarded by an 
addition of five subscribers to my work. Am off to-morrow 
to York. God bless thee, my Lucy. 

York, Siuiday, April 23, 1S27. Left Newcastle at eight ; 
the weather cold and disagreeable, still I preferred a seat 
on top to view the country. Passed through Durham, a 
pretty little town with a handsome castle and cathedral, 
planted on an elevated peninsula formed by a turn of the 
river Wear, and may be seen for many miles. It is a roll- 
ing country, and the river wound about among the hills; 
we crossed it three times on stone bridges. Darlington, 
where we changed horses, is a neat, small place, supported 
by a set of very industrious Quakers ; much table linen 
is manufactured here. As we approached York the woods 
became richer and handsomer, and trees were dispersed 
all over the country ; it looked once more like England, 
and the hedges reminded me of those about " Green Bank." 
They were larger and less trimmed than in Scotland. I 


saw York Minster six or seven miles before reaching the 
town, that is entered by old gates. The streets are disgust- 
ingly crooked and narrow, and crossed like the burrows of 
a rabbit-warren. I was put down at the Black Swan. 
Though the coach was full, not a word had been spoken 
except an occasional oath at the weather, which was indeed 
very cold ; and I, with all the other passengers, went at 
once to the fires. Anxious to find lodgings not at the 
Black Swan, I went to Rev. VVm. Turner, son of a gen- 
tleman I had met at Newcastle, for information. His 
father had prepared him for my visit at my request, and I 
was soon installed at Mrs. PuUeyn's in Blake Street. My 
present landlady's weight, in ratio with that of her husband, 
is as one pound avoirdupois to one ounce apothecary! 
She looks like a round of beef, he like a farthing candle. 
Oh that I were in Louisiana, strolling about the woods, look- 
ing in the gigantic poplars for new birds and new flowers ! 

April 23, ATonday. The weather looked more like ap- 
proaching winter than spring; indeed snow fell at short 
intervals, and it rained, and was extremely cold and misty. 
Nothwithstanding the disagreeable temperature, I have 
walked a good deal. I delivered my letters as early as 
propriety would allow, but found no one in ; at least I was 
told so, for beyond that I cannot say with any degree of 
accuracy I fear. The Rev. Mr. Turner called with the 
curator of the Museum, to whom I showed some drawings. 
After my dinner, eaten sohis, I went out again ; the Minster 
is undoubtedly the finest piece of ancient architecture I 
have seen since I was in France, if my recollection serves 
me. I walked round and round it for a long time, examin- 
ing its height, form, composition, and details, until my neck 
ached. The details are wonderful indeed, — all cut of the 
same stone that forms the mass outwardly. Leaving it 
and going without caring about my course, I found myself 
in front of an ancient castle,^ standing on a mound, 
1 Probably St. Mary's Abbey. 


covered with dark ivy, fissured by time and menacing its 
neighborhood with an appearance of all tumbling down at 
no remote period. I turned east and came to a pretty 
little stream called the Ouse, over which I threw several 
pebbles by way of exercise. On the west bank I found a 
fine walk, planted with the only trees of size I have seen in 
this country; it extended about half a mile. Looking up 
the stream a bridge of fine stone is seen, and on the 
opposite shores many steam mills were in operation. I 
followed down this mighty stream till the road gave out, 
and, the grass being very wet and the rain falling heavily, 
1 returned to my rooms. York is much cleaner than 
Newcastle, and I remarked more Quakers ; but alas ! how 
far both these towns are below fair Edinburgh. The 
houses here are low, covered with tiles, and sombre-look- 
ing. No birds have I seen except Jackdaws and Rooks. 
To my surprise my host waited upon me at supper ; when 
he enters my room I think of Scroggins' ghost. I have 
spent my evening reading " Blackwood's Magazine." 

April 24. How doleful has this day been to me! It 
pleased to rain, and to snow, and to blow cold all day. 
I called on Mr. Phillips, the curator of the Museum, and 
he assured me that the society was too poor to purchase 
my work. I spent the evening by invitation at the Rev. 
Wm. Turner's in company with four other gentlemen. 
Politics and emancipation were the chief topics of conver- 
sation. How much more good would the English do by 
revising their own intricate laws, and improving the con- 
dition of their poor, than by troubling themselves and their 
distant friends with what does not concern them. I feel 
nearly determined to push off to-morrow, and yet it would 
not do ; I may be wrong, and to-morrow may be fairer to 
me in every way ; but this " hope deferred " is a very 
fatiguing science to study. I could never make up my 
mind to live and die in England whilst the sweet-scented 
jessamine and the magnolias flourish so purely in my 


native land, and the air vibrates with the songs of the 
sweet birds. 

April 25. I went out of the house pretty soon this morn- 
ing; it was cold and blowing a strong breeze. I pushed 
towards the river with an idea of following it downwards 
two hours by my watch, but as I walked along I saw a 
large flock of Starlings, at a time when I thought all birds 
were paired, and watched their motions for some time, and 
thereby drew the following conclusion, namely: that the 
bird commonly called the Meadow Lark with us is more 
nearly related to the Starling of this country than to any 
other bird. I was particularly surprised that a low note, re- 
sembling the noise made by a wheel not well greased, was 
precisely the same in both, that the style of their walk and 
gait was also precisely alike, and that in short flights the 
movement of the wings had the same tremulous action 
before they alighted. Later I had visitors to see my pict- 
ures, possibly fifty or more. It has rained and snowed 
to-day, and I feel as dull as a Martin surprised by the 
weather. It will be strange if York gives me no sub- 
scribers, when I had eight at Newcastle. Mr. P called 

and told me it would be well for me to call personally on 
the nobility and gentry in the neighborhood and take 
some drawings with me. I thanked him, but told him 
that my standing in society did not admit of such conduct, 
and that although there were lords in England, we of 
American blood think ourselves their equals. He laughed, 
and said I was not as much of a Frenchman as I looked. 

April 26. I have just returned from a long walk out of 
town, on the road toward Newcastle. The evening was 
calm, and the sunset clear. At such an hour how often have 
I walked with my Lucy along the banks of the Schuylkill, 
Perkiomen Creek, the Ohio River, or through the fra- 
grant woods of Louisiana; how often have we stopped 
short to admire the works of the Creator; how often have 
we been delighted at hearing the musical notes of the timid 

VOL. I. — 16 


Wood Thrush, that appeared to give her farewell melody 
to the disappearing day ! We have looked at the glitter- 
ing fire-fly, heard the Whip-poor-will, and seen the vigilant 
Owl preparing to search field and forest ! Here the scene 
was not quite so pleasing, though its charms brought youth 
and happiness to my recollection. One or two W^arblers 
perched on the eglantine, almost blooming, and gave 
their little powers full vent. The shrill notes of Thrushes 
(not ours) came from afar, and many Rooks with loaded 
bills were making fast their way towards the nests that 
contained their nearly half-grown offspring. The cattle 
were treading heavily towards their pens, and the sheep 
gathered to the lee of each protecting hedge. To-day 
have I had a great number of visitors, and three subscribers. 

April 27. A long walk early, and then many visitors, 
Mr. Vernon ^ among them, who subscribed for my work. 
All sorts of people come. If Matthews the comic were now 
and then to present himself at my levees, how he would act 
the scenes over. I am quite worn out; I think sometimes 
my poor arms will give up their functions before I secure 
five hundred subscribers. 

SatJirday, 2Sth. During my early walk along the Ouse 
I saw a large butterfly, quite new to me, and attempted to 
procure it with a stroke of my cane; but as I whirled it 
round, off went the scabbard into the river, more than half 
across, and I stood with a naked small sword as if waiting 
for a duel. I would have swam out for it, but that there 
were other pedestrians ; so a man in a boat brought it to 
me for sixpence. I have had a great deal of company, and 
five subscribers. Mr. Wright took me all over the Min- 
ster, and also on the roof. We had a good spy-glass, and 
I had an astonishing view of the spacious vales that sur- 
round the tile-covered city of York. I could easily follow 
the old walls of defence. It made me giddy to look di- 
rectly down, as a great height is always unpleasant to me. 

* Mr. Vemon was the president of the Philosophical Society of York. 


Now I have packed up, paid an enormous bill to my land- 
lady. I expect to be at Leeds to-morrow. 

Leeds, Sunday, April 28. The town of Leeds is much 
superior to anything I have seen since Edinburgh, and I 
have been walking till I feel quite exhausted. I break- 
fasted in York at five this morning; the coach did not 
start till six, so I took my refreshing walk along the Ouse, 
The weather was extremely pleasant ; I rode outside, but 
the scenery was little varied, almost uniformly level, well 
cultivated, but poor as to soil. I saw some " game " as 
every bird is called here. I was amused to see the great 
interest which was excited by a covey of Partridges. What 
would be said to a gang of Wild Turkeys, — several hundred 
trotting along a sand-bar of the Upper Mississippi? I 
reached Leeds at half-past nine, distant from York, I be- 
lieve, twenty-six miles. I found lodgings at once at 39 
Albion Street, and then started with my letters. 

April 30. Were I to conclude from first appearances as 
to the amount of success I may expect here, compared with 
York, by the difference of attention paid me at both places 
so soon after my arrival, I should certainly expect much 
more here ; for no sooner was breakfast over than Mr. 
Atkinson called, to be followed by Mr. George and many 
others, among them a good ornithologist,^ — not a closet 
naturalist, but a real true-blue, who goes out at night and 
watches Owls and Night-jars and Water-fowl to some pur- 
pose, and who knows more about these things than any 
other man I have met in Europe. This evening I took a 
long walk by a small stream, and as soon as out of sight 
undressed and took a dive smack across the creek ; the water 
was so extremely cold that I performed the same feat back 
again and dressed in a hurry ; my flesh was already quite 
purple. Following the stream I found some gentlemen 
catching minnows with as much anxiety as if large trout, 
playing the little things with beautiful lines and wheels. 
1 Mr. John Backhouse. 


Parallel to this stream is a canal ; the adjacent country 
is rolling, with a number of fine country-seats. I wish I 
had some one to go to in the evenings like friend Lizars. 

May 1, 1827. This is the day on which last year I left 
my Lucy and my boys with intention to sail for Europe. 
How uncertain my hopes at that time were as to the final 
results of my voyage, — about to leave a country where 
most of my life had been spent devoted to the study of 
Nature, to enter one wholly unknown to me, without a 
friend, nay, not an acquaintance in it. Until I reached 
Edinburgh I despaired of success; the publication of a 
work of enormous expense, and the length of time it must 
necessarily take ; to accomplish the whole has been suffi- 
cient to keep my spirits low, I assure thee. Now I feel like 
beginning a New Year. My work is about to be known, I 
have made a number of valuable and kind friends, I have 
been received by men of science on friendly terms, and 
now I have a hope of success if I continue to be honest, 
industrious, and consistent. My pecuniary means are 
slender, but I hope to keep afloat, for my tastes are simple; 
if only I can succeed in rendering thee and our sons happy, 
not a moment of sorrow or discomfort shall I regret 

May 2. Mr. George called very early, and said that 
his colleague, the Secretary of the Literary and Philosophi- 
cal Society, would call and subscribe, and he has done so. 
I think I must tell thee how every one stares when they 
read on the first engraving that I present for their inspec- 
tion this name : " The Bonaparte Fly-catcher," — the very 
bird I was anxious to name the " Rathbone Fly-catcher," 
in honor of my excellent friend " Lady " Rathbone, but 
who refused to accept this little mark of my gratitude. I 
afterwards meant to call it after thee, but did not, because 
the world is so strangely composed just now that I feared 
it would be thought childish; so I concluded to call it 
after my friend Charles Bonaparte. Every one is struck 
by the name, so explanations take place, and the good 


people of England will know him as a great naturalist, and 
my friend. I intend to name, one after another, every one 
of my new birds, either for some naturalist deserving this 
honor, or through a wish to return my thanks for kindness 
rendered me. Many persons have called, quite a large 

party at one time, led by Lady B . I am sorry to say 

I find it generally more difficult to please this class of per- 
sons than others, and I feel in consequence more reserved 
in their presence, I can scarcely say why. I walked out 
this evening to see Kirkstall Abbey, or better say the 
ruins of that ancient edifice. It is about three miles out 
of Leeds and is worthy the attention of every traveller. It 
is situated on the banks of the little river Ayre, the same 
I bathed in, and is extremely romantic in its appearance, 
covered with ivy, and having sizable trees about and 
amongst its walls. The entrance is defended by a board 
on which is painted : " Whoever enters these ruins, or 
damages them in the least, will be prosecuted with all the 
rigor of the law." I did not transgress, and soon became 
very cautious of my steps, for immediately after, a second 
board assured every one that spring-guns and steel-traps are 
about the gardens. However, no entreaty having been ex- 
pressed to prevent me from sketching the whole, I did so 
on the back of one of my cards for thee. From that spot 
I heard a Cuckoo cry, for I do not, like the English, call it 
singing. I attempted to approach the bird, but in vain; I 
believe I might be more successful in holding a large 
Alligator by the tail. Many people speak in raptures of the 
sweet voice of the Cuckoo, and the same people tell me in 
cold blood that we have no birds that can sing in America. 
I wish they had a chance to judge of the powers of the 
Mock-bird, the Red Thrush, the Cat-bird, the Oriole, the 
Indigo Bunting, and even the Whip-poor-will. What 
would they say of a half-million of Robins about to take 
their departure for the North, making our woods fairly 
tremble with melodious harmony? But these pleasures are 


not to be enjoyed in manufacturing towns like Leeds and 
Manchester ; neither can any one praise a bird who sings 
by tuition, hke a pupil of Mozart, as a few Linnets and 
Starlings do, and that no doubt are here taken as the 
foundation stone of the singing powers allotted to European 
birds generally. Well, is not this a long digression for thee? 
I dare say thou art fatigued enough at it, and so am L 

May a. Until two o'clock this day I had only one 
visitor, Mr. John Marshall, a member of Parliament to whom 
I had a letter ; he told mc he knew nothing at all about 
birds, but most generously subscribed, because, he told me, 
it was such a work as every one ought to possess, and to 
encourage enterprise. This evening I dined with the 
Messrs. Davy, my old friends of Mill Grove ; the father, who 
for many months has not left his bed-chamber, desired to 
see me. We had not met since 18 10, but he looked as fresh 
as when I last saw him, and is undoubtedly the handsomest 
and noblest-looking man I have ever seen in my life, ex- 
cepting the Marquis de Dupont de Nemours. I have at 
Leeds only five subscribers, — poor indeed compared with 
the little town of York. 

ATay 5. I breakfasted with young Mr. Davy, who after 
conducted mc to Mr. Marshall's mills. We crossed the 
Ayre in a ferry boat for a half-penny each, and on the 
west bank stood the great works. The first thing to see 
was the great engine, 150 horse-power, a stupendous struc- 
ture, and so beautiful in all its parts that no one could, I 
conceive, stand and look at it without praising the ingenu- 
ity of man. Twenty-five hundred persons of all ages and 
both sexes are here, yet nothing is heard but the burr of 
machinery. All is wonderfully arranged ; a good head 
indeed must be at the commander's post in such a vast 

Manchester, May 6, 1827. My journey was uneventful 
and through the rain. I reached Mr. Bentley's soon after 
noon, and we were both glad to meet. 


May 7. The rooms of the Natural History Society 
were offered to me, to show my work, but hearing acciden- 
tally that the Royal Institution of Manchester vv^as hold- 
ing an exhibition at the Messrs. Jackson's and thinking 
that place better suited to me, I saw these gentlemen and 
was soon installed there. I have had five subscribers. 
I searched for lodgings everywhere, but in vain, and was 
debating what to do, when Dr. Harlan's friend, INIr. E. W. 
Sergeant, met me, and insisted on my spending my time 
under his roof He would take no refusal, so I accepted. 
How much kindness do I meet with everywhere. I have 
had much running about and calling on different people, 
and at ten o'clock this evening was still at Mr. Bentley's, 
not knowing where Mr. Sergeant resided. Mr. Surr was 
so kind as to come with me in search of the gentleman; 
we found him at home and he gave me his groom to go 
for my portmanteau. Of course I returned to Mr. Bent- 
ley's again, and he returned with me to see mc safely 
lodged. Mr. Sergeant insisted on his coming in; we had 
coffee, and sat some time conversing ; it is now past two 
of the morning. 

May 8. I saw Mr. Gregg and the fair Helen of Quarry 
Bank this morning; they met me with great friendship. I 
have saved myself much trouble here by exhibiting no 
drawings, only the numbers of my work now ready. Mr. 
Sergeant has purchased my drawing of the Doves for 
twenty pounds. 

May 13, Sunday. My time has been so completely 
occupied during each day procuring subscribers, and all 
my evenings at the house of one or another of my friends 
and acquaintances that my hours have been late, and 
I have bidden thee good-night without writing it down.^ 
Manchester has most certainly retrieved its character, for 

^ Nearly every entry in all the journals begins and ends with a morning 
greeting, and an affectionate good-night. These have been omitted with 
occasional exceptions. 


I have had eighteen subscribers in one week, which is more 
than anywhere else. 

Liverpool, Monday, May IJf. I breakfasted with my 
good friend Bentley, and left in his care my box contain- 
ing 250 drawings, to be forwarded by the " caravan," — the 
name given to covered coaches. I cannot tell how ex- 
tremely kind Mr. Sergeant has been to me during all my 
stay. He exerted himself to procure subscribers as if the 
work had been his own, and made my time at his house 
as pleasant as I could desire. I was seated on top of the 
coach at ten o'clock, and at three was put down safely 
at Dale St. I went immediately to the Institution, where I 
found Mr. Munro. I did not like to go to Green Bank 
abruptly, therefore shall spend the night where I am, but 
sent word to the Rathbones I was here. I have called on 
Dr. Chorley and family, and Dr. Traill ; found all well and 
as kind as ever. At six Mr. Wm. Rathbone came, and 
gave me good tidings of the whole family; I wait im- 
patiently for the morrow, to see friends all so dear. 

]\Iay 19, Saturday night. I leave this to-morrow morn- 
ing for London, a little anxious to go there, as I have 
oftentimes desired to be in sight of St. Paul's Church. 
I have not been able to write because I felt great pleasure 
in letting my good friends the Rathbones know what I 
had done since I was here last; so the book has been in 
the fair hands of my friend Hannah. " Lady " Rathbone 
and Miss Hannah are not at Green Bank, but at Woodcroft, 
and there we met. While I waited in the library how 
different were my thoughts from those I felt on my first 
entry into Liverpool. As I thought, I watched the well- 
shaped Wagtails peaceably searching for food within a few 
paces of me. The door opened, and I met my good, 
kind friends, the same as ever, full of friendship, benev- 
olence, and candor. I spent most of the morning with them, 
and left my book, as I said, with them. Thy book, I 
should have written, for it is solely for thee. I was driven 


into Liverpool by Mr, Rd. Rathbone, with his mother and 
Miss Hannah, and met Mr. Chorley by appointment, that 
we might make the respectful visits I owed. First to 
Edward Roscoe's, but saw only his charming wife ; then to 
William Roscoe's. The venerable man had just returned 
from a walk, and in an instant our hands were locked. 
He asked me many questions about my publication, 
praised the engraving and the coloring. He has much 
changed. Time's violent influence has rendered his cheeks 
less rosy, his eye-brows more bushy, forced his fine eyes 
more deeply in their sockets, made his frame more bent, 
his walk weaker; but his voice had all its purity, his lan- 
guage all its brilliancy. I then went to the Botanic 
Gardens, where all was rich and beautiful ; the season 
allows it. Then to Alexander Gordon's and Mr. Hodgson. 
Both out, and no card in my pocket. Just like me. I 
found the intelligent Swiss ^ in his oflfice, and his " Ah, 
Audubon! Comment va?" was all-sufficient. I left him to 
go to Mr. Rathbone's, where I have spent every night except 
the last. As usual I escaped every morning at four for 
my walk and to write letters. I have not done much work 
since here, but I have enjoyed that which I have long 
desired, the society of my dear friends the Rathbones. 
Whilst writing this, I have often wished I could take in the 
whole at one glance, as I do a picture; this need has fre- 
quently made me think that writing a good book must be 
much more difficult than to paint a good picture. To my 
great joy, Mr. Bentley is going with me to London. With 
a heavy heart I said adieu to these dear Rathbones, and 
will proceed to London lower in spirits than I was in 
Edinburgh the first three days. 

Shrewsbury, May 20. After all sorts of difficulties with 
the coach, which left one hour and a half late, we reached 
Chester at eleven, and were detained an hour. I therefore 
took a walk under the piazzas that go all through the 

1 Mr. Melly. 


town. Where a street has to be crossed we went down 
some steps, crossed the street and re-ascended a few steps 
again. Overhead are placed the second stories of every 
house ; the whole was very new and singular to me. These 
avenues are clean, but rather low; my hat touched the top 
once or twice, and I want an inch and a half of six feet, 
English measure. At last we proceeded ; passed the vil- 
lage of Wrexham, and shortly after through another village, 
much smaller, but the sweetest, neatest, and pleasantest 
spot I have seen in all my travels in this country. It was 
composed of small, detached cottages of simple appear- 
ance, divided by gardens sufficiently large for each house, 
supplied with many kinds of vegetables and fruit trees, 
luxuriant with bloom, while round the doors and windows, 
and clambering over the roofs, were creeping plants and 
vines covered with flowers of different hues. At one spot 
were small beds of variegated tulips, the sweet-scented 
lilies at another, the hedges looked snowy white, and 
everywhere, in gentle curves, abundance of honeysuckle. 
This village was on a gentle declivity from which, far over 
the Mersey, rising grounds were seen, and the ascending 
smoke of Liverpool also. I could not learn the name of this 
little terrestrial paradise, and must wait for a map to tell 
me. We dined in a hurry at Eastham, and after passing 
through a narrow slip in Wales, and seeing what I would 
thus far call the most improved and handsomest part of 
England, we are now at Shrewsbury for five hours. Mr. 
Bentley and I had some bread and butter and pushed out 
to sec the town, and soon found ourselves on the bank of 
the Severn, a pretty little stream about sixty yards wide. 
Many men and boys were doing what they called fishing, 
but I only saw two sprats in one of the boys' hats during 
the whole walk. Some one told us that up the river we 
should find a place called the " Quarry " with beautiful 
trees, and there we proceeded. About a dozen men, too 
awkward to be sailors, were rowing a long, narrow, pleas- 


ure boat, while one in the bow gave us fine music with 
the bugle. We soon reached the Quarry, and found our- 
selves under tall, luxuriant, handsome trees forming broad 
avenues, following the course of the river, extremely agree- 
able. Indeed, being a woodsman, I think this the finest 
sight I have seen in England. How the Severn winds 
round the town, in the form of a horse-shoe ! About the 
centre of this horse-shoe, another avenue, still more beau- 
tiful, is planted, going gently up the hill towards the town. 
I enjoyed this walk more than I can tell thee, and when I 
thought of the disappointment I had felt at five hours delay 
at Shrewsbury, and the pleasure I now felt, I repeated 
for the more than one thousand and first time, " Cer- 
tainly all is for the best in this world, except our own sins." 
London, May 21, 1827. I should begin this page per- 
haps with a great exclamation mark, and express much 
pleasure, but I have not the wish to do either ; to me 
London is just like the mouth of an immense monster, 
guarded by millions of sharp-edged teeth, from which if 
I escape unhurt it must be called a miracle. I have many 
times longed to see London, and now I am here I feel a 
desire beyond words to be in my beloved woods. The 
latter part of the journey I spent closely wrapped in both 
coat and cloak, for we left Shrewsbury at ten, and the 
night was chilly ; my companions were Mr. Bentley and 
two Italians, one of whom continually sang, and very well, 
while the other wished for daylight. In this way we con- 
tinued till two of the morning, and it was then cold. From 
twelve until four I was so sleepy I could scarcely hold up 
m}' head, and I suffered much for the want of my regu- 
lar allowance of sleep which I take between these hours ; 
it is not much, yet I greatly missed it We breakfasted 
at Birmingham at five, where the worst stuff bearing the 
name of coffee that I ever tasted w^as brought to us. I 
say tasted, for I could do no more. The country con- 
stantly improved in beauty; on we drove through Strat- 


ford-on-Avon, Woodstock, and Oxford. A cleaner and 
more interesting city I never saw ; three thousand students 
are here at present. It was ten o'clock when we entered 
the turnpike gate that is designated as the line of demar- 
cation of London, but for many miles I thought the road 
forming a town of itself. We followed Oxford Street its 
whole length, and then turning about a few times came to 
the Bull and Mouth tavern where we stay the night. 

May 23. Although two full days have been spent in 
London, not a word have I written ; my heart would not 
bear me up sufficiently. Monday was positively a day of 
gloom to me. After breakfast Mr. Bentley took a walk 
with me through the City, he leading, and I following as 
if an ox to the slaughter. Finally we looked for and 
found lodgings, at 55 Great Russell Street, to which wc at 
once removed, and again I issued forth, noting nothing but 
the great dome of St. Paul's Cathedral. I delivered sev- 
eral letters and was well received by all at home. With 
Mr. Children * I went in the evening to the Linnaean Society 
and exhibited my first number. All those present pro- 
nounced my work unrivalled, and warmly wished me 

Siiuday, May 28. Ever since my last date I have been 
delivering letters, and attending the meetings of different 
societies. One evening was spent at the Royal Society, 
where, as in all Royal Societies, I heard a dull, heavy 
lecture. Yesterday my first call was on Sir Thos. Law- 
rence ; it was half-past eight, as I was assured later would 
not do. I gave my name, and in a moment the servant 
returned and led me to him. I was a little surprised to 
see him dressed as for the whole day. He rose and shook 
hands with me the moment I pronounced my good friend 
Sully's name. While he read deliberately the two letters 
I had brought, I examined his face; it did not exhibit the 

^ John George Children, 1777-1852, English physicist and naturalist, at 
this time secretary of the Royal Society. 


look of genius that one is always expecting to meet with 
in a man of his superior talents ; he looked pale and pen- 
siv^e. He wished much to see my drawings, and appointed 
Thursday at eight of the morning, when, knowing the 
value of his time, I retired. Several persons came to see 
me or my drawings, among others Mr. Gallatin, the Amer- 
ican minister. I went to Covent Garden Theatre with Mr. 
Bentley in the evening, as he had an admittance ticket. 
The theatre opens at six, and orders are not good after 
seven. I saw Madame Vestris ; she sings middling well, 
but not so well in my opinion as Miss Neville in Edin- 
burgh. The four brothers Hermann I admired very 
much; their voices sounded like four flutes. 

May 29. I have been about indeed like a post-boy, 
taking letters everywhere. In the evening I went to 
the Athenaeum at the corner of Waterloo Place, expecting 
to meet Sir Thomas Lawrence and other gentlemen ; but 
I was assured that about eleven or half-past was the fash- 
ionable time for these gentlemen to assemble ; so I re- 
turned to my rooms, being worn out ; for I must have 
walked forty miles on these hard pavements, from Idol 
Lane to Grosvenor Square, and across in many different 
directions, all equally far apart. 

Tuesday, May 30. At twelve o'clock I proceeded with 
some of my drawings to see Mr. Gallatin, our Envoy cx- 
traordmaire. He has the ease and charm of manner of a 
perfect gentleman, and addressed me in French. Seated 
by his side we soon travelled (in conversation) to Amer- 
ica; he detests the English, and spoke in no measured 
terms of London as the most disagreeable place in Europe. 
While we were talking Mrs. and Miss Gallatin came in, and 
the topic w^as changed, and my drawings were exhibited. 
The ladies knew every plant, and Mr. Gallatin nearly every 
bird. I found at home that new suit of clothes that my 
friend Basil Hall insisted upon my procuring. I looked 
this remarkable black dress well over, put it on, and thus 


attired like a mournful Raven, went to dine at Mr. Chil- 
dren's. On my return I found a note from Lord Stanley, 
asking me to put his name down as a subscriber ; this 
pleased me exceedingly, as I consider Lord Stanley a man 
eminently versed in true and real ornithological pursuits. 
Of course my spirits are better; how little does alter a 
man. A trifle raises him, a little later another casts him 
down. Mr. Bentley has come in and tells me three poor 
fellows were hanged at Newgate this morning for stealing 
sheep. My God ! how awful are the laws of this land, to 
take a human life for the theft of a miserable sheep. 

June 1. As I was walking, not caring whither, I sud- 
denly met a face well known to me ; I stopped and warmly 
greeted young Kidd of Edinburgh. His surprise was as 
great as mine, for he did not know where I had been since 
I left Edinburgh. Together we visited the exhibition at 
the British gallery. Ah ! what good work is here, but 
most of the painters of these beautiful pictures are no 
longer on this earth, and who is there to keep up their 
standing? I was invited to dine with Sir Robert Inglis,^ 
and took a seat in the Clapham coach to reach his place. 
The Epsom races arc in full activity about sixteen miles 
distant, and innumerable coaches, men on horseback, 
barouches, foot passengers, filled the road, all classes from 
the beau monde to the beggar intent on seeing men run 
the chance of breaking their necks on horses going 
like the wind, as well as losing or gaining pence, shillings, 
or guineas by the thousand. Clapham is distant from 
London five miles, and Sir Robert invited me to see the 
grounds while he dressed, as he came in almost as I did. 
How different from noisy London ! I opened a door and 
found myself on a circular lawn so beautifully ornamented 
that I was tempted to exclaim, " How beautiful are Thy 
works, O God ! " I walked through avenues of foreign 
trees and shrubs, amongst which were tulip-trees, larches, 
1 Robert Inglis, 17S6-1S55, of the East India Company. 


and cypresses from America. Many birds were here, 
some searching for food, while others gave vent to their 
happy feehngs in harmonious concerts. The house itself 
was covered with vines, the front a mass of blooming roses 
exuberant with perfume. What a delightful feast I had in 
this peaceful spot ! At dinner there were several other 
guests, among them the widow of Sir Thomas Stanford 
Raffles, governor of Java, a most superior woman, and 
her conversation with Dr. Horsfield was deeply interesting. 
The doctor is a great zoologist, and has published a fine 
work on the birds of Java. It was a true /^zw//^ dinner, 
and therefore I enjoyed it ; Sir Robert is at the head of 
the business of the Carnatic association of India. 

Friday, Jinie 2. At half-past seven I reached Sir 
Thomas Lawrence, and found him writing letters. He 
received me kindly, and at once examined some of my 
drawings, repeating frequently, " Very clever, indeed ! " 
From such a man these words mean much. During break- 


fast, which was simple enough and sans ccrimonic, he 
asked me many questions about America and about my 
work. After leaving him I met Mr. Vigors^ by appoint- 
ment, who said everything possible to encourage me, and 
told me I would be elected as a foreign member to the 
Athenaeum. Young Kidd called to see me, and I asked 
him to come and paint in my room ; his youth, simplicity, 
and cleverness have attached me to him very much. 

Jime 18. Is it not strange I should suffer whole weeks 
to pass without writing down what happens to me? But I 
have felt too dull, and too harassed. On Thursday 
morning I received a long letter from Mr. Lizars, informing 
me that his colorers had struck work, and everything was 
at a stand-still ; he requested me to try to find some persons 
here who would engage in that portion of the business, 
and he would do his best to bring all right again. This 

1 Nicholas Aylward Vigors, 1787-1840, naturalist, First Secretary of the 
Zoological Society of London. 


was quite a shock to my nerves ; but I had an appoint- 
ment at Lord Spencer's and another with Mr. Ponton ; my 
thoughts cooled, I concluded to keep my appointments. 
On my return I found a note from Mr. Vigors telling me 
Charles Bonaparte was in town. I walked as quickly as 
possible to his lodgings, but he was absent. I wrote him 
a note and came back to my lodgings, and very shortly 
was told that the Prince of Musignano was below, and in 
a moment I held him by the hand. We were pleased 
to meet each other on this distant shore. His fine head 
was not altered, his mustachios, his bearded chin, his keen 
eye, all was the same. He wished to see my drawings, 
and I, for the first time since I had been in London, had 
pleasure in showing them. Charles at once subscribed, 
and I felt really proud of this. Other gentlemen came in, 
but the moment the whole were gone my thoughts returned 
to the colorers, and my steps carried me in search of 
some; and this for three days I have been doing. I have 
been about the suburbs and dirtier parts of London, and 
more misery and poverty cannot exist without absolute 
starvation. By chance I entered a print shop, and the 
owner gave mc the name of a man to whom I went, and 
who has engaged to color more cheaply than it is done 
in Edinburgh, and j'oung Kidd has taken a letter from 
me to Mr. Lizars telling him to send me twenty-five copies. 
June 19. I paid a visit to Sir Thomas Lawrence this 
morning and after waiting a short time in his gallery he 
came to me and invited me into his painting-room. I had 
a fair opportunity of looking at some of his unfinished 
work. The piece before me represented a fat man sitting 
in an arm-chair, not only correctly outlined but beautifully 
sketched in black chalk, somewhat in the style of Raphael's 
cartoons. I cannot well conceive the advantage of all that 
trouble, as Sir Thomas paints in opaque color, and not as I 
do on asphaltum grounds, as I believe the old masters did, 
showing a glaze under the colors, instead of over, which I 


am convinced can be but of short duration. His colors 
were ground, and his enormous palette of white wood 
well set; a large table was literally covered with all sorts 
of brushes, and the room filled with unfinished pictures, 
some of which appeared of very old standing. I now had 
the pleasure of seeing this great artist at work, which I 
had long desired to do. I went five times to see Mr. 
Havell the colorer, but he was out of town. I am full 
of anxiety and greatly depressed. Oh ! how sick I am of 

June 21. I received a letter from Mr. Lizars that was 
far from allaying my troubles. I was so struck with the 
tenure of it that I cannot help thinking now that he does 
not wish to continue my work. I have painted a great 
deal to-day and called on Charles Bonaparte. 

June 22. I was particularly invited to dine at the 
Royal Society Club with Charles Bonaparte, but great 
dinners always so frighten me that I gave over the 
thought and dined peaceably at home. This evening 
Charles B. called with some gentlemen, among whom 
were Messrs. Vigors, Children, Featherstonehaugh, and 
Lord Clifton. My portfolios were opened before this set 
of learned men, and they saw many birds they had not 
dreamed of Charles offered to name them for me, and I 
felt happy that he should ; and with a pencil he actually 
christened upwards of fifty, urging me to publish them at 
once in manuscript at the Zoological Society. These 
gentlemen dropped off one by one, leaving only Charles 
and Mr. Vigors. Oh that our knowledge could be ar- 
ranged into a solid mass. I am sure the best ornithological 
publication of the birds of my beloved country might then 
be published. I cannot tell you how surprised I was when 
at Charles's lodgings to hear his man-servant call him 
" your Royal Highness." I thought this ridiculous in the 
extreme, and I cannot conceive how good Charles can 
bear it; though probably he does bear it because he is 

VOL. I. — 17 


good Charles. I have no painting to do to-morrow morn- 
ing, or going to bed at two would not do. I was up at 
three this morning, and finished the third picture since in 

June 28. I have no longer the wish to write my days. 
I am quite wearied of everything in London ; my work 
does not proceed, and I am dispirited. 

Jtcly 2. I am yet so completely out of spirits that in 
vain have I several times opened my book, held the pen, 
and tried to write. I am too dull, too mournful. I have 
finished another picture of Rabbits; that is all my conso- 
lation. I wish I was out of London. 

Leeds, September 30, 1827. I arrived here this day, just 
five months since my first visit to the place, but it is three 
long months since I tarnished one of thy cheeks, my dear 
book. I am quite ashamed of it, for I have had several 
incidents well deserving to be related even in my poor 
humble style, — a style much resembling my paintings in 
oil. Now, nevertheless, I will in as quick a manner as 
possible recapitulate the principal facts. 

First. I removed the publication of my work from 
Edinburgh to London, from the hands of Mr. Lizars into 
those of Robert Havell, No. 79 Newman St., because the 
difficulty of finding colorers made it come too slowly, and 
also because I have it done better and cheaper in London. 
I have painted much and visited little ; I hate as much as 
ever large companies. I have removed to Great Russell 

St., number 95, to a Mrs. W 's, an intelligent widow, 

with eleven children, and but little cash. 

Second. The King ! ! My dear Book ! it was presented 
to him by Sir Walter Waller, Bart., K. C. H., at the request 
of my most excellent friend J. P. Children, of the British 
Museum. His Majesty was pleased to call it fine, per- 
mitted me to publish it under his particular patronage, 
approbation, and protection, became a subscriber on the 
usual terms, not as kings generally do, but as a gentleman, 


and my friends all spoke as if a mountain of sovereigns 
had dropped in an ample purse at once, and for me. The 
Duchess of Clarence also subscribed. I attended to my 
business closely, but my agents neither attended to it nor 
to my orders to them ; and at last, nearly at bay for means 
to carry on so heavy a business, I decided to make a sortie 
for the purpose of collecting my dues, and to augment my 
subscribers, and for that reason left London this day fort- 
night past for Manchester, where I was received by my 
friends a bras oiiverts. I lived and lodged at friend Ser- 
geant's, collected all my money, had an accession of nine 
subscribers, found a box of beautiful bird-skins sent 
Bentley by my dear boy Johnny, ^ left in good spirits, and 
here I am at Leeds. On my journey hither in the coach 
a young sportsman going from London to York was my 
companion ; he was about to join a shooting expedition, 
and had two dogs with him in a basket on top of the 
coach. We spoke of game, fish, and such topics, and 
presently he said a work on ornithology was being pub- 
lished in London by an American (he told me later he 
took me for a Frenchman) named Audubon, and spoke of 
my industry and regretted he had not seen them, as his 
sisters had, and spoke in raptures of them, etc. I could 
not of course permit this, so told him my name, when he 
at once shook hands, and our conversation continued 
even more easily than before. I am in the same lodgings 
as formerly. My landlady was talking with a meagre- 
looking child, who told a sad story of want, which my good 
landlady confirmed. I never saw greater pleasure than 
sparkled in that child's face as I gave her a few pieces of 
silver for her mother. I never thought it necessary to be 
rich to help those poorer than ourselves ; I have considered 
it a duty to God, and to grow poorer in so doing is a 
blessing to me. I told the good landlady to send for one 
of the child's brothers, who was out of work, to do my 
1 Then a boy not fifteen, who was at Bayou Sara with his mother. 


errands for me. I took a walk and listened with pleasure 
to the song of the little Robin. 

October 1. I called at the Philosophical Hall and at 
the Public Library, but I am again told that Leeds, though 
wealthy, has no taste ; nevertheless I hope to establish an 
agency here. 

October S. I visited the museum of a Mr. Calvert, a 
man who, like myself, by dint of industry and perseverance 
is now the possessor of the finest collection I have seen in 
England, with the exception of the one at Manchester. 
I received a letter from Mr. Havell only one day old ; 
wonderful activity this in the post-office department. I 
have been reading good Bewick's book on quadrupeds. 
I have had no success in Leeds, and to-morrow go to 

York, October 5. Mr. Barclay, my agent here, I soon 
found had done almost nothing, had not indeed delivered 
all the numbers. I urged him to do better, and went to the 
Society Hall, where I discovered that the number which 
had been forwarded from Edinburgh after I had left there 
was miserably poor, scarcely colored at all. I felt quite 
ashamed of it, although Mr. Wright thought it good ; but 
I sent it at once to Havell for proper treatment. Being 
then too late to pay calls, I borrowed a volume of Gil Bias, 
and have been reading. 

October 6. No luck to-day, my Lucy. I am, one would 
think, generally either before or after the proper time. I 
am told that last week, when the Duke of Wellington was 
here, would have been the better moment. I shall have 
the same song given me at Newcastle, I dare foretell. I 
have again been reading Gil Bias ; how replete I always 
find it of good lessons. 

October 8. I walked this morning with Mr. Barclay to 

the house of Mr. F , a mile out of town, to ascertain if 

he had received the first number. His house was expressly 
built for Oueen Elizabeth, who, I was told, had never been 


in it after all. It resembles an old church, the whole front 
being of long, narrow windows. The inside is composed of 
large rooms, highly decorated with ancient pictures of the 
F family. The gardens are also of ancient appear- 
ance ; there were many box-trees cut in the shape of hats, 
men, birds, etc. I was assured the number had not been 
received, so I suppose it never was sent. On our return 
Mr. Barclay showed me an asylum built by Quakers for 
the benefit of lunatics, and so contrived with gardens, 
pleasure-grounds, and such other modes of recreation, that 
in consequence of these pleasant means of occupying 
themselves many had recovered. 

October 9. How often I thought during these visits of 
poor Alexander Wilson. When travelling as I am now, to 
procure subscribers, he as well as myself was received with 
rude coldness, and sometimes with that arrogance which 
belongs to parvenus. 

October 11. It has been pouring down rain during all 
last night and this day, and looks as if it would not cease 
for some time ; it is, however, not such distressing falls of 
water as we have in Louisiana ; it carries not every object 
off with the storm ; the banks of the rivers do not fall in 
with a crash, with hundreds of acres of forest along with 
them ; no houses are seen floating on the streams with 
cattle, game, and the productions of the husbandman. No, 
it rains as if Nature was in a state of despondency, and I 
am myself very dull; I have been reading Stanley's Tales. 

October 12. This morning I walked along the Ouse ; 
the water had risen several feet and was quite muddy. I 
had the pleasure of seeing a little green Kingfisher perched 
close to me for a few minutes ; but the instant his quick 
eye espied me, he dashed off with a shrill squeak, almost 
touching the water. I must say I longed for a gun to have 
stopped him, as I never saw one fresh killed. I saw 
several men fishing with a large scoop-net, fixed to a long 
pole. The fisherman laid the net gently on the water, and 


with a good degree of force he sank it, meantime drawing 
it along the bottom and grassy banks towards him. The 
fish, intent on feeding, attempted to escape, and threw 
tliemselves into the net and were hauled ashore. This 
was the first successful way of fishing I have seen in Eng- 
land. Some pikes of eight or ten pounds were taken, and 
I saw some eels. I have set my heart on having two 
hundred subscribers on my list by the first of May next; 
should I succeed I shall feel well satisfied, and able to have 
thee and our sons all together. Thou seest that castles are 
still building on hopeful foundations only; but he who 
does not try anything cannot obtain his ends. 

October lo, Newcastle. Yesterday I took the coach and 
found myself here after an uneventful journey, the route 
being now known to mc, and came to my former lodgings, 
where I was followed almost immediately by the Marquis 
of Londonderry, who subscribed at once. Then I called 
upon friend Adamson, who before I could speak invited 
me to dinner every day that I was disengaged. He 
advised me to have a notice in the papers of my being 
here for a few days, so I went to the Tyne Mcrcicry ; saw 
Mr. Donkin, who invited me to breakfast with him to-mor- 
row at half-past seven, quite my hour. 

October 17. During the day Mr. VVingate, an excellent 
practical ornithologist, came to see me, and we had much 
conversation which interested me greatly. Also came the 
mayor, who invited me to dine with him publicl)' to-morrow. 
I have writen to Mr. Sclby to ask if he will be at Alnwick 
Castle on Friday, as if so I will meet him there, and try to 
find some subscribers. Several persons have asked me 
how I came to part with Mr. Lizars, and I have felt glad 
to be able to say that it was at his desire, and that we 
continue esteemed friends. I have been pleased to find 
since I left London that all my friends cry against my 
painting in oil ; it proves to me the real taste of good 
William Rathbone ; and now I do declare to thee that I will 


not spoil any more canvas, but will draw in my usual old, 
untaught way, which is what God meant me to do. 

October 18. This morning I paid a visit to old Mr. 
Bewick. I found the good gentleman as usual at work, 
but he looked much better, as the cotton cap had been 
discarded for a fur one. He was in good spirits, and we 
met like old friends. I could not spend as much time with 
him as I wished, but saw sufficient of him and his family 
to assure me they were well and happy. I met Mr. 
Adamson, who went with me to dine at the Mansion 
House. We were received in a large room, furnished in 
the ancient style, panelled with oak all round, and very 
sombre. The company all arrived, we marched in couples 
to dinner and I was seated in the centre, the mayor at 
one end, the high sheriff at the other; we were seventy- 
two in number. As my bad luck would have it, I was 
toasted by John Clayton, Esq. ; he made a speech, and /, 
poor fellow, was obliged to return the compliment, which 
I did, as usual, most awkwardly and covered with perspira- 
tion. Miserable stupidity that never will leave me ! I had 
thousands of questions to answer about the poor aborigi- 
nes. It was dark when I left, and at my room was a 
kind letter from Mr. Selby, inviting me to meet him at 
Alnwick to-morrow. 

Twizcl House, October 19. I arrived at Alnwick about 
eleven this morning, found the little village quite in a 
bustle, and Mr. Selby at the court. How glad I was to 
see him again I cannot say, but I well know I feel the 
pleasure yet, though twelve hours have elapsed. Again 
I dined with the gentlemen of the Bar, fourteen in number. 
A great ball takes place at Alnwick Castle this night, but 
Mr. Selby took me in his carriage and has brought me 
to his family, — a thousand times more agreeable to me 
than the motley crowd at the Castle. I met again Captain 
Mitford, most cordial to me always. To my regret many 
of my subscribers have not yet received the third number, 


not even IMr. Selby. I cannot understand this apparent 
neglect on the part of Mr. Lizars. 

Sunday, October 21. Although it has been raining and 
blowing without mercy these two days, I have spent my 
time most agreeably. The sweet children showed their 
first attachment to me and scarce left me a moment during 
their pleasure hours, which were too short for us all. 
Mrs. Selby, who was away with her sick brother, returned 
yesterday. Confined to the house, reading, music, and 
painting were our means of enjoyment. Both this morn- 
ing and this evening Mr. Selby read prayers and a chapter 
in the Bible to the whole household, the storm being so 

Edinburgh, October 22. I am again in the beautiful 
Edinburgh; I reached it this afternoon, cold, uncomfor- 
table and in low spirits. Early as it was when I left this 
morning, Mrs. Selby and her lovely daughter came down 
to bid me good-bye, and whenever I leave those who show 
me such pure kindness, and especially such friends as 
these dear Sclbys, it is an absolute pain to me. I think 
that as I grow older my attachment augments for those 
who are kind to me; perhaps not a day passes without 
I visit in thought those mansions where I have been 
so hospitably received, the inmates of which I recall with 
every sense of gratitude; the family Rathbone always first, 
the Selbys next, in London Mr. Children, in Manchester 
the Greggs and Bentlcys and my good friend Sergeant, 
at Leeds Mr. Atkinson, at Newcastle dear old Bewick, 
Mr. Adamson, and the Rev. William Turner, and here Mr. 
Lizars and too many to enumerate ; but I must go back 
to Liverpool to name John Chorley, to whom I feel warmly 
attached. It rained during my whole journey here, and 
I saw the German Ocean agitated, foaming and dark in 
the distance, scarce able to discern the line of the horizon. 
I send my expense account to you, to give Victor an idea 
of what the cost of travelling will be when he takes charge 


of my business here, whilst I am procuring fresh speci- 
mens. I intend next year positively to keep a cash 
account with myself and others, — a thing I have never yet 

October 23. I visited Mr. Lizars first, and found him 
as usual at work; he received me well, and asked me 
to dine with him. I was sorry to learn that Lady Ellen 
Hall and W. H. Williams had withdrawn their subscrip- 
tions, therefore I must exert myself the more. 

October 27. Anxious to appoint an agent at Edinburgh, 
I sent for Mr. Daniel Lizars the bookseller, and made 
him an offer which he has accepted ; I urged him not 
to lose a moment in forwarding the numbers which have 
been lying too long at his brother's ; many small matters 
have had to be arranged, but now I believe all is settled. 
W. H. Lizars saw the plates of No. 3, and admired them 
much ; called his workman, and observed to them that 
the London artists beat them completely. He brought 
his account, and I paid him in full. I think he regrets 
now that he decided to give my work up ; for I was 
glad to hear him say that should I think well to intrust 
him with a portion of it, it should be done as well as 
HavcU's, and the plates delivered in London at the same 
price. If he can fall twenty-seven pounds in the engrav- 
ing of each number, and do them in superior style to 
his previous work, how enormous must his profits have 
been ; good lesson this for me in the time to come, 
though I must remember Havell is more reasonable 
owing to what has passed between us in our business 
arrangements, and the fact that he owes so much to 
me.^ I have made many calls, and been kindly wel- 
comed at every house. The " Courant " and the " Scotch- 
man " have honored me with fine encomiums on my work. 

1 When found by Audubon the Havells were in extreme poverty. He 
provided everything for them, and his publication made them compara- 
tively wealthy. 


The weather has been intolerable, raining and blowing 

October 31. Mr. W. H. Lizars has dampened my spirits 
a good deal by assuring me that I would not find Scotland 
so ready at paying for my w^ork as England, and positively 
advised me not to seek for more subscribers either here 
or at Glasgow. It is true, six of my first subscribers have 
abandoned the work without even giving me a reason ; 
so my mind has wavered. If I go to Glasgow and can 
only obtain names that in the course of a few months 
will be withdrawn, I am only increasing expenses and 
losing time, and of neither time nor money have I too great 
a portion ; but when I know that Glasgow is a place of 
wealth, and has many persons of culture, I decide to go. 

November 2. I called on Professor Wilson this morning 
who welcomed me heartily, and offered to write some- 
thing about my work in the journal called " Blackwood " ; 
he made me many questions, and asked me to breakfast 
to-morrow, and promised me some letters for Glasgow. 

November 3. My breakfast with the Professor was very 
agreeable. His fine daughter headed the table, and two 
sons were with us. The more I look at Wilson, the more 
I admire his originalities, — a man not equal to Walter 
Scott, it is true, but in many ways nearly approaching 
him ; as free from the detestable stiffness of ceremonies 
as I am when I can help myself, no cravat, no waistcoat, 
but a fine frill of his own profuse beard, his hair flowing 
uncontrolled, and in his speech dashing at once at the 
object in view, without circumlocution ; with a countenance 
beaming with intellect, and eyes that would do justice 
to the Bird of Washington. He gives me comfort, by 
being comfortable himself. With such a man I can talk 
for a whole day, and could listen for years. 

Glasgow, November 4- At eleven I entered the coach for 
my ride of forty-two miles ; three inside passengers be- 
sides myself made the entire journey without having uttered 


a single word ; we all sat like so many owls of different 
species, as if afraid of one another, and on the qui vive, 
all as dull as the barren country I travelled this day. A 
few glimpses of dwarflike yellow pines here and there 
seemed to wish to break the dreariness of this portion 
of Scotland, but the attempt was in vain, and I sat watch- 
ing the crows that flew under the dark sky foretelling 
winter's approach. I arrived here too late to see any 
portion of the town, for when the coach stopped at the 
Black Bull all was so dark that I could only see it was 
a fine, broad, long street. 

November 8. I am off" to-morrow morning, and perhaps 
forever will say farewell to Glasgow. I have been here 
four days and have obtained ojic subscriber. One sub- 
scriber in a city of 150,000 souls, rich, handsome, and with 
much learning. Think of 1400 pupils in one college! 
Glasgow is a fine city; the Clyde here is a small stream 
crossed by three bridges. The shipping consists of about 
a hundred brigs and schooners, but I counted eighteen 
steam vessels, black, ugly things as ever were built. One 
sees few carriages, but thousands of carts. 

Edinburgh, November 9. In my old lodgings, after a 
journey back from the " City of the West " which was 
agreeable enough, all the passengers being men of intellect 
and social natures. 

November 10. I left this house this morning an hour 
and a half before day, and pushed off for the sea-shore, 
or, as it is called, The Firth. It was calm and rather cold, 
but I enjoyed it, and reached Professor Jameson's a few 
minutes before breakfast. I was introduced to the " Lord 
of Ireland," an extremely intelligent person and an enthu- 
siast in zoological researches ; he had been a great travel- 
ler, and his conversation was highly interesting. In the 
afternoon I went to the summit of Arthur's Seat; the day 
was then beautiful and the extensive view cheered my 


November 13. I arrived at Twizel Hall at half-past 
four in good time for dinner, having travelled nearly eighty 
miles quite alone in the coach, not the Mail but the Union. 
Sir William Jardine met me on my arrival. I assure thee 
it was a pleasure to spend two days here, — shooting while 
it was fair, and painting when rainy. In one of our walks 
I shot five Pheasants, one Hare, one Rabbit, and one 
Partridge ; gladly would I remain here longer, but my 
work demands me elsewhere. 

York, November 18. I have been here five hours. The 
day was so-so, and my companions in the coach of the 
dormouse order ; eighty-two miles and no conversation is 
to me dreadful. Moreover our coachman, having in sight 
a coach called the " High-Flyer," felt impelled to keep up 
with that vehicle, and so lashed the horses that we kept 
close to it all the while. Each time we changed our 
animals I saw them quite exhausted, panting for breath, 
and covered with sweat and the traces of the blows they 
had received ; I assure thee my heart ached. How such 
conduct agrees with the ideas of humanity I constantly 
hear discussed, I leave thee to judge. 

Liverpool, November 22. I left Manchester at four this 
morning; it was very dark, and bitterly cold, but my 
travelling companions were pleasant, so the time passed 
quite quickly. At a small village about half-way here, 
three felons and a man to guard them mounted the coach, 
bound to Botany Bay. These poor wretches were chained 
to each other by the legs, had scarcely a rag on, and those 
they wore so dirty that no one could have helped feeling 
deep pity for them, case-hardened in vice as they seemed 
to be. They had some money, for they drank ale and 
brandy wherever we stopped. Though cold, the sun rose 
in full splendor, but the fickleness of the weather in this 
country is wonderful; before reaching here it snowed, 
rained, and cleared up again. On arriving I went at once 
to the Royal Institution, and on my way met William 


Rathbone. I recognized him as far as I could see him, but 
could easily have passed him unnoticed, as, shivering with 
cold, I was wrapped up in my large cloak. Glad was I to 
hold him once more by the hand, and to learn that all my 
friends were well. I have seen Dr. Traill, John Chorley, 
and many others who were kind to me when I was here 
before. All welcomed me warmly. 

November 22. This day after my arrival I rose before 
day and walked to Green Bank. When half my walk was 
over the sun rose, and my pleasure increased every moment 
that brought me nearer to my generous, kind " Lady " 
Rathbone and her sweet daughter. Miss Hannah. When I 
reached the house all was yet silent within, and I rambled 
over the frozen grass, watching the birds that are always 
about the place, enjoying full peace and security. The 
same Black Thrush (probably) that I have often heard 
before was percl>ed on a fir-tree announcing the beauty 
of this winter morning in his melodious voice ; the little 
Robins flitted about, making towards those windows that 
they knew would soon be opened to them. How I admired 
every portion of the work of God. I entered the hot-house 
and breathed the fragrance of each flower, yet sighed at 
the sight of some that I recognized as offsprings of my 
own beloved country. Henry Chorley, who had been 
spending the night at Green Bank, now espied me from 
his window, so I went in and soon was greeted by that 
best of friends, " Lady " Rathbone. After breakfast Miss 
Hannah opened the window and her favorite little Robin 
hopped about the carpet, quite at home. I returned to 
Liverpool with Mr. B.^ Rathbone, who, much against my 
wishes, for I can do better work now, bought my picture of 
the Hawk pouncing on the Partridges. 

November 26. Visited Dr. Traill, to consult with him 
on the best method of procuring subscribers, and we have 
decided that I am to call on Mr. W. W. Currie, the pres' 
^ Benson Rathbone. 


ident of the Athenaeum, to obtain his leave to show my 
work in the Reading Room, and for me to have notes of 
invitation printed and sent to each member, for them to 
come and inspect the work as far as it goes. I called on 
Mr. Currie and obtained his permission at once, so the 
matter is en train. 

November 30. I have spent the day at Woodcroft with 
Richard Rathbone. Mrs. Rathbone wishes me to teach 
her how to paint in oils. Now is it not too bad that I 
cannot do so, for want of talent? My birds in water-colors 
have plumage and soft colors, but in oils — alas! I 
walked into town with Richard Rathbone, who rode his 
horse. I kept by his side all the way, the horse walking. 
I do not rely as much on my activity as I did twenty years 
ago, but I still think I could kill any horse in England in 
twenty days, taking the travel over rough and level grounds. 
This might be looked upon as a boast by many, but, I am 
quite satisfied, not by those who have seen me travel at 
the rate of five miles an hour all day. Once indeed I 
recollect going from Louisville to Shippingport ^ in four- 
teen minutes, with as much case as if I had been on 

December 3. This morning I made sketches of all the 
parts of the Platypus^ for William Gregg, who is to deliver 
a lecture on this curious animal. To-day and yesterday 
have been rainy, dismal indeed ; very dismal is an English 
December. I am working very hard, writing constantly. 
The greater part of this day was spent at the Athenaeum ; 
many visitors, but no subscribers, 

December 4- Again at the library and had one sub- 
scriber. A letter from Charles Bonaparte tells me he has 
decided not to reside in America, but in Florence ; this I 
much regret. I have been reading the " Travels of the 

^ The distance between these places is about two miles. 
' The Duck-billed Platypus, Ornithorynchus paradoxus of Australia. 
— E.G. 


Marquis de Chastelleux " in our country, which contains 
very valuable and correct facts. 

December 10. Mr. Atherton, a relation of friend Selby's, 
took breakfast with me, and then conducted me to see a 
very beautiful bird (alive) of the Eagle kind, from the 
Andes.^ It is quite unknown to me; about the size of the 
Bird of Washington, much shorter in the wings, larger 
talons and longer claws, with erected feathers, in the form 
of a fan, on the head. The bill was dark blue, the crest 
yellow, upper part of the body dark brown ; so was the 
whole head and neck, as well as the tail and vent, but the 
belly and breast were white. I soon perceived that it was a 
young bird ; its cry resembled that of almost every Eagle, 
but was weaker in sound on account of its tender age, 
not exceeding ten months. Were I to give it a name, it 
would be the Imperial Crowned Eagle. It was fed on raw 
beef, and occasionally a live fowl by way of a treat to the 
by-standers, who, it seems, always take much pleasure 
in cruel acts. The moment I saw this magnificent bird I 
wished to own it, to send it as a present to the Zoological 
Gardens. I received a letter from Thomas Sully telling 
me in the most frank and generous manner that I have 
been severely handled in one of the Philadelphia news- 
papers. The editor calls all I said in my papers read 
before the different societies in Edinburgh " a pack of 
lies." Friend Sully is most heartily indignant, but with 
me my motto is : " Le temps decouvrira la v&ite'." It is, 
however, hard that a poor man like me, who has been so 
devotedly intent on bringing forth facts of curious force, 
should be brought before the world as a liar by a man 
who doubtless knows little of the inhabitants of the forests 
on the Schuylkill, much less of those elsewhere. It is 
both unjust and ungenerous, but I forgive him, I shall 
keep up a good heart, trust to my God, attend to my work 
with industry and care, and in time outlive these trifles. 
1 The Andean Eagle is undoubtedly the Harpy, Thrasaetos harpyia. — E. C. 


December 13. I went this evening to hear the Tyrolese 
Singers, three brothers and their sister. They were all 
dressed in the costume of their country, but when they 
sang I saw no more ; I know not how to express my feel- 
ings. I was in an instant transported into some wild glen 
from which arose high mountain crags, which threw back 
the melodious echoes. The wild, clear, harmonious music 
so entered into my being that for a time I was not sure 
that what I heard was a reality. Imagine the warbling of 
strong-throated Thrushes, united with the bugle-horn, a 
flute, and a hautboy, in full unison. I could have listened 
all night. 

December 1^, 1827. By the advice of our consul, Mr. 
Maury, I have presented a copy of my work to the Presi- 
dent of the United States, and another to the House of 
Congress through Henry Clay. 

December 16, Sunday. I went to the service at my favor- 
ite church, the one at the Blind Asylum ; the anthems 
were so exquisitely sung that I felt, as all persons ought 
to do when at church, full of fervent devotion. 

December 18. It was with great regret that I found my 
friend Wm. Roscoe very unwell. This noble man has had 
a paralytic attack; his mind is fully sensible of the decay 
of his body, and he meets this painful trial with patience 
and almost contentment. This only can be the case 
with those who in their past life have been upright 
and virtuous. I finished drawing a little Wren for my 
good friend Hannah, as well as artificial light would 

December 20. I have done nothing to-day ; I have had 
that sort of laziness that occasionally feeds upon my senses 
unawares ; it is a kind of constitutional disease with me 
from time to time, as if to give my body necessary rest, 
and enable me to recommence with fresh vigor and alac- 
rity whatever undertaking I have in hand. When it has 
passed, however, I always reproach myself that I have lost 


a day. I went to the theatre with John Chorley to see 
"The Hypocrite;" it is stolen from Moliere's famous 
" Tartuffe, " — cut and sHced to suit the English market. 
I finished my evening by reading the Life of Tasso. 

December 24' The whole town appears to be engaged 
in purchasing eatables for to-morrow. I saw some people 
carrying large nosegays of holly ornamented with flowers in 
imitation of white roses, carnations, and others, cut out of 
turnips and carrots; but I heard not a single gun fire, no 
fireworks going on anywhere, — a very different time to 
what we have in Louisiana. I spent my evening with Dr. 
Rutter looking at his valuable collection of prints of the 
men of the Revolution. Poor Charette,^ whom I saw shot on 
the Place de Viarme at Nantes, was peculiarly good, as were 
General Moreau, Napoleon, when Consul, and many others ; 
and Dr. Rutter knew their lives well. 

December 25. At midnight I was awakened by Dr. 
Munroe, who came with a bottle of that smoky Scotch 
whiskey which I can never like, and who insisted on my 
taking a glass with him in honor of the day. Christmas 
in my country is very different indeed from what I have 
seen here. With us it is a general merry-making, a day 
of joy. Our lads have guns, and fire almost all night, and 
dance all day and the next night. Invitations are sent to 
all friends and acquaintances, and the time passes more 
gayly than I can describe. Here, families only join to- 
gether, they go to church together, eat a very good dinner 
together, I dare say; but all is dull — silent — mournful. 
As to myself, I took a walk and dined with Mr. Munroe 
and family, and spent a quiet evening with John Chorley. 
This is my Christmas day for 1827. 

December 28. Immediately after breakfast the box came 
containing the fifth number, and three full sets for my new 
subscribers here. The work pleased me quite. 

1 Fran9ois Athanase de Charette, a leader of the Vendeans against the 
French Republic ; executed at Nantes, on May 12, I797- 
VOL. I. — 18 


December 29. This morning I walked to " Lady " Rath- 
bone's with my fifth number. It is quite impossible to 
approach Green Bank, when the weather is at all fair, with- 
out enjoying the song of some birds ; for, Lucy, that sweet 
place is sacred, and all the feathered tribe in perfect safety. 
A Redwing particularly delighted me to-day ; I found some- 
thing of the note of our famous Mock-bird in his melody. 

January 1, 1828, Manchester. How many times since 
daylight reached my eyes, I have wished thee, my Lucy, 
our sons, and our friends, a year of comfort, of peace and 
enjoyment, I cannot tell, for the day is to me always one 
on which to pray for those we love. Now, my Lucy, when 
I wished thee a happy New Year this morning I emptied 
my snufif box, locked up the box in my trunk, and will take 
no more. The habit within a few weeks has grown upon 
me, so farewell to it; it is a useless and not very clean 
habit, besides being an expensive one. Snuff! farewell to 
thee. Thou knowest, Lucy, well that when I will / ^vill. I 
came here straight to friend Sergeant's ; I need not say I 
was welcomed ; and Bentley soon came in to spend the 
evening with us. 

London, January 5, 1828. At six last evening I was in 
the coach with three companions; I slept well after we 
stopped for supper at nine o'clock, but not long enough. 
I cannot sleep in the morning, and was awake four long 
hours before day. The moon, that had shone brightly, 
sunk in the west as day dawned, the frost appeared thickly 
strewn over the earth, and not a cloud was in sight. I saw 
a few flocks of Partridges on their roost, which thou know- 
est well is on the ground, with their heads all turned to 
east, from which a gentle waft of air was felt; the cattle 
were lying here and there ; a few large flocks of Starlings 
were all that interested me. The dawn was clear, but 
before we left Northampton it rained, snowed, and blew 
as if the elements had gone mad; strange country, to be 


sure. The three gentlemen in the coach with me suggested 
cards, and asked me to take a hand ; of course I said yes, 
but only on condition that they did not play for money, a 
thing I have never done. They agreed very courteously, 
though expressing their surprise, and we played whist all 
day, till I was weary. I know little about cards, and never 
play unless obliged to by circumstances ; I feel no pleasure 
in the game, and long for other occupation. Twenty-four 
hours after leaving Manchester, we stopped at the Angel 
Inn, Islington Road. I missed my snuff all day; when- 
ever my hands went into my pockets in search of my box, 
and I discovered the strength of habit, thus acting without 
thought, I blessed myself that my mind was stronger than 
my body. I am again in London, but not dejected and 
low of spirits and disheartened as I was when I came in 
May last; no, indeed ! I have now friends in London, and 
hope to keep them. 

do Great Rtisscll St., January 6. I took a famous walk 
before day, up to Primrose Hill, and was back before any- 
one in the house was up. I have spent the whole day 
going over my drawings, and decided on the twenty-five 
that are to form the numbers for 1828. The new birds I 
have named as follows : Children,^ Vigors,^ Temminck, 
Cuvier.^ Havell came and saw the drawings ; it gave him 
an idea of the work to be performed between now and next 

January 8. I have ordered one set of my birds to be 
colored by Havell Jiimself, for Congress, and the numbers 
already out will soon be en route. My frame maker came 
in, and the poor man took it for granted that I was an 
artist, but, dear me ! what a mistake ; I can draw, but I 
shall never paint well. The weather is extremely dull and 

1 Children's Warbler. Plate xxxv. 

2 Vigors' Warbler. Plate xxx. 

3 Cuvier's Regulus. Plate Iv. No bird was named after Temminck by 


gloomy ; during the morning the Hght was of a deep 
yellow cast. 

January 9. Had a long letter from John Chorley, and 
after some talk with my good friend J. G. Children, have 
decided to write nothing more except the biographies of my 
birds. It takes too much time to write to this one and that 
one, to assure them that what I have written \s fact. When 
Nature as it is found in my beloved America is better 
understood, these things will be known generally, and 
when I have been dead twenty years, more or less, my 
statements will be accepted everywhere ; till then they may 
wait.^ I have a violent cough and sore throat that ren- 
ders me heavy and stupid ; twenty-five years ago I would 
not have paid it the least attention ; now I am told that 
at my age and in this climate (which, God knows, is indeed 
a very bad one), I may have trouble if I do not take some 
remedy. I walked out at four this morning, but the air 
was thick and I did not enjoy it. 

January 10. I am going to surprise thee. I had a 
dentist inspect my teeth, as they ached ; he thought it was 
the efiect of my cold, as all are quite perfect and I have 
never lost one. My throat continuing very sore, I remained 
in my rooms, and have had Havell, Robert Sully, and Mr. 
Children for companions. 

January I4. I feel now much better, after several fever- 
ish days, but have not moved from the house ; every one of 
my friends show me much kindness. 

January 17. A long morning with Havell settling ac- 
counts; it is difficult work for a man like me to see that I 
am neither cheating nor cheated. All is paid for 1827, and 
lam well ahead in funds. Had I made such regular settle- 

1 This decision was made in consequence of various newspaper and per- 
sonal attacks, which, then as now, came largely from people who knew 
nothing of the matter under consideration. It was a decision, however, never 
altered except in so far as regards the Episodes published in the " Ornitho- 
logical Biography." 


ments all my life, I should never have been as poor a man 
as I have been; but on the other hand I should never 
have published the " Birds of America." America ! my 
country ! Oh, to be there ! 

January 18. Spent the morning with Dr. Lambert and 
Mr. Don,^ the famous botanist; we talked much of the 
plants and trees of America and of Mr. Nuttall^ while 
opening and arranging a great parcel of dried plants from 
the Indies. This afternoon I took a cab and with my 
portfolio went to Mr. Children's, I cannot, he tells me, 
take my portfolio on my shoulder in London as I would in 
New York, or even tenacious Philadelphia. 

January 20. Oh ! how dull I feel ; how long am I to be 
confined in this immense jail? In London, amidst all the 
pleasures, I feel unhappy and dull ; the days are heavy, the 
nights worse. Shall I ever again see and enjoy the vast 
forests in their calm purity, the beauties of America? I 
wish myself anywhere but in London. Why do I dislike 
London } Is it because the constant evidence of the con- 
trast between the rich and the poor is a torment to me, or 
is it because of its size and crowd? I know not, but I long 
for sights and sounds of a different nature. Young Green 
came to ask me to go with him to see Regent's Park, and 
we went accordingly, I rather an indifferent companion, I 
fear, till we reached the bridge that crosses the waters 
there, where I looked in vain for water-fowl. Failing to 
find any I raised my eyes towards the peaceful new moon, 
and to my astonishment saw a large flock of Wild Ducks 
passing over me ; after a few minutes a second flock 
passed, which I showed my young friend. Two flocks of 
Wild Ducks, of upwards of twenty each ! Wonderful in- 
deed ! I thought of the many I have seen when bent 

1 David Don, Scottish botanist, 1800-1S40; at this time Librarian of 
Linnaean Society. 

2 Thomas Nuttall, botanist and ornithologist; bom in England 17S6, 
died at St. Helen's, England, September 10, 1859. 


on studying their habits, and grew more homesick than 

jfanuary 21. Notwithstanding this constant darkness of 
mood, my business must be attended to ; therefore soon 
after dawn I joined Havell and for many hours superin- 
tended his coloring of the plates for Congress. While I 
am not a colorist, and Havell is a very superior one, I 
know the birds ; would to God I was among them. From 
here I went to find a bookseller named Wright, but I 
passed the place twice because I looked too high for his 
sign; the same occurs to young hunters, who, when first 
they tread the woods in search of a Deer, keep looking 
high, and far in the distance, and so pass many a one of 
these cunning animals, that, squatted in a parcel of dry 
brush-wood, sees his enemy quite well, and suffers him to 
pass without bouncing from his couch. The same instinct 
that leads me through woods struck me in the Haymar- 
ket, and now I found Mr. Wright. Our interview over, I 
made for Piccadilly, the weather as mild as summer, and 
the crowd innumerable. Piccadilly was filled with car- 
riages of all sorts, men on horseback, and people every- 
where ; what a bustle ! 

January 22. I was so comfortless last night that I 
scarcely closed my eyes, and at last dressed and walked 
off in the dark to Regent's Park, led there because there 
are some objects in the shape of trees, the grass is green, 
and from time to time the sweet notes of a Blackbird strike 
my ear and revive my poor heart, as it carries my mind 
to the woods around thee, my Lucy. As daylight came a 
flock of Starlings swept over my head, and I watched their 
motions on the green turf where they had alighted, until 
I thought it time to return to breakfast, and I entered my 
lodgings quite ready for my usual bowl of bread and milk, 
which I still keep to for my morning meal; how often 
have I partaken of it in simple cabins, much more to my 
taste than all the pomp of London. Drawing all day long. 


January 23. How delighted and pleased I have been 
this day at the receiving of thy letter of the ist of Novem- 
ber last. My Lucy, thou art so good to me, and thy 
advices are so substantial, that, rest assured, I will follow 
them closely. 

Jamiary 2Jf. To my delight friend Bentley appeared 
this evening. I was glad I could give him a room while he 
is in London. He brought news of some fresh subscribers, 

and a letter from the Rev. D to ask to be excused 

from continuing the work. Query: how many amongst 
my now long list of subscribers will continue the work 

Jamiary 25. I usually leave the house two hours 
before day for a long walk ; this morning it was again to 
Regent's Park ; this gives me a long day for my work. 
After breakfast Bentley and I paid a long visit to Mr. Lead- 
beater, the great stufifer of birds. He was very cordial, and 
showed us many beautiful and rare specimens ; but they 
were all stuffed, and I cannot bear them, no matter how 
well mounted they may be. I received to-day a perpetual 
ticket of admission to Mr. Cross's exhibition of quadru- 
peds, live birds, etc., which pleased me very much, for 
there I can look upon Nature, even if confined in iron 
cages. Bentley made me a present of a curiosity, — a 
" double penny " containing a single one, a half-penny 
within that, a farthing in that, and a silver penny within 
all. Now, my Lucy, who could have thought to make a 
thing like that? 

January 26. Of course my early walk. After break- 
fast, Bentley being desirous to see Regent's Park, I accom- 
panied him thither and we walked all round it; I think it 
is rather more than a mile in diameter. We saw a squad- 
ron of horse, and as I am fond of military manoeuvres, and 
as the horses were all handsome, with full tails, well 
mounted and managed, it was a fine sight, and we both 
admired it. We then went to Mr. Cross, and I had the 


honor of riding on a very fine and gentle elephant; I say 
" honor," because the immense animal was so well trained 
and so obedient as to be an example to many human 

beings who are neither. The Duchess of A came in 

while I was there, — a large, very fat, red-faced woman, but 
with a sweet voice, who departed in a coach drawn by 
four horses with two riders, and two footmen behind; 
almost as much attendance as when she was a queen on 
the boards of theatre, thirty years ago. 

January 28. I received a letter from D. Lizars to-day 
announcing to me the loss of four subscribers; but these 
things do not damp my spirits half so much as the smoke 
of London. I am as dull as a beetle. 

January 31. I have been in my room most of this day, 
and very dull in this dark tonn. 

February 1, 1S28. Another Journal ! It has now twenty- 
six brothers ; ^ some arc of French manufacture, some from 
Gilpin's " Mills on the Brandywine," some from other parts 
of America, but you are positively a Londoner. I bought 
you yesterday from a man across the street for fourteen 
shillings; and what I write in you is for my wife, Lucy 
Audubon, a matchless woman, and for my two Kentucky 
lads, whom I do fervently long to press to my heart again. 

It has rained all day. Bcntlcy and I paid a visit to the 
great anatomist. Dr. J. Brookes,^ to see his collection of 
skeletons of divers objects. He received us with extreme 
kindness. I saw in his yard some few rare birds. He was 
called away on sudden and important business before we 
saw his museum, so we are to go on Monday. Mr. Cross, 
of the Exeter Exchange, had invited Bentley and me to 
dinner with his quadrupeds and bipeds, and at three o'clock 
we took a coach, for the rain was too heavy for Bentley, 
and drove to the Menagerie. Mr. Cross by no means 

* Of all the twenty-six only three are known to be in existence; the other 
volumes now extant are all of later date. 

2 Joshua Brookes, 1 761-1833, anatomist and surgeon. 


deserves his name, for he is a pleasant man, and we dined 
with his wife and himself and the keepers of the BEASTS 
(name given by men to quadrupeds). None of the com- 
pany were very polished, but all behaved with propriety 
and good humor, and I liked it on many accounts. Mr. 
Cross conversed very entertainingly. Bentley ^had two 
tickets for Drury Lane Theatre. It was " The Critic " 
again; immediately after, as if in spite of that good lesson, 
" The Haunted Inn " was performed, and the two gentle- 
men called JSIatthews and Litton so annoyed me with their 
low wit that I often thought that, could Shakespeare or 
Garrick be raised from their peaceful places of rest, tears of 
sorrow would have run down their cheeks to see how 
abused their darling theatre was this night. Bentley was 
more fortunate than I, he went to sleep. At my rooms I 
found a little circular piece of ivory with my name, fol- 
lowed by " and friends," and a letter stating it was a per- 
petual ticket of admission to the Zoological Gardens. This 
was sent at the request of Mr. Brookes. 

February 2. Bentley and I went to the Gardens of the 
Zoological Society, which are at the opposite end of Re- 
gent's Park from my lodgings. The Gardens are quite 
in a state of infancy; I have seen more curiosities in a 
swamp in America in one morning than is collected here 
since eighteen months ; all, however, is well planned, clean, 
and what specimens they have are fine and in good con- 
dition. As we were leaving I heard my name called, and 
turning saw Mr. Vigors with a companion to whom he in- 
troduced me ; it was the famous Captain Sabine,^ a tall, thin 
man, who at once asked me if among the Eagles they had, 
any were the young of the White-headed Eagle, or as he 
called the bird, the Falco leucocepJialus. Strange that such 
great men should ask a woodsman questions like that, 

1 Captain (Sir) Edward Sabine accompanied Parry's expedition to the 
Arctic regions, — a mathematician, traveller, and Fellow of the Royal Society, 
1S19. Born in Dublin, 1788, died in Richmond, 1883. 


which I thought could be solved by either of them at a 
glance. I answered in the affirmative, for I have seen 
enough of them to know. 

February 4- I made a present to Bentley of the first 
number of my work, and some loose prints for his brothers. 
Then we went to Mr. Brookes, the surgeon, and saw his 
immense and wonderful collection of anatomical subjects. 
The man has spent about the same number of years at this 
work as I have at my own, and now offers it for sale at 
;iCiO,000. I then called on Vigors and told him I wished 
to name my new bird in No. 6 after him, and he expressed 
himself well pleased. This evening I took my portfolio to 
Soho Square and entered the rooms of the Linna.'an So- 
ciety, where I found I was the first arrival. I examined the 
various specimens till others came in. The meeting was 
called to order, and I was shortly after elected a member; 
my drawings were examined, and more than one told me 
it was a sad thing they were so little known in London. 

February 7. Havell brought me the sets he owed me 
for 1827, and I paid him in full. Either through him or 
Mr. Lizars I have met with a loss of nearly ;^ioo, for I am 
charged for fifty numbers more than can be accounted for 
by my agents or myself. This seems strange always to me, 
that people cannot be honest, but I must bring myself to 
believe many are not, from my own experiences. My 
evening was spent in Bruton Street, at the Zoological So- 
ciety rooms, where Lord Stanley accompanied me, with 
Lord Auckland and good old General Hardwicke, and my 
portfolio was again opened and my work discussed. 

February 10. This morning I took one of my drawings 
from my portfolio and began to copy it, and intend to 
finish it in better style. It is the White-headed Eagle 
which I drow on the Mississippi some years ago, feeding 
on a Wild Goose; now I shall make it breakfast on a Cat- 
fish, the drawing of which is also with me, with the marks 
of the talons of another Eagle, which I disturbed on the 


banks of that same river, driving him from his prey. I 
worked from seven this morning till dark. 

February 11. Precisely the same as yesterday, neither 
cross nor dull, therefore, but perfectly happy. 

February 12. Still hard at it, and this evening the 
objects on my paper look more like a bird and a fish than 
like a windmill, as they have done. Three more days and 
the drawing will be finished if I have no interruptions. 

February llf. No drawing to-day ; no, indeed ! At nine 
this morning I was at the house of friend Hays, No. 21 
Queen Street, to meet the Secretary of the Colonial Depart- 
ment. Mr. Hays showed me a superb figure of a Hercules 
in brass, found in France by a peasant while ploughing, 
and for which i^300 has been refused. 

February 16. Yesterday I worked at my drawing all 
day, and began this morning at seven, and worked till half- 
past four, only ceasing my work to take a glass of milk 
brought me by my landlady. I have looked carefully at 
the effect and the finishing. Ah ! my Lucy, that I could 
paint in oils as I can in my own style ! How proud I should 
be, and what handsome pictures I should soon have on 

February 24. I heard to-day of the death of Mrs. Gregg 
of Quarry Bank. I was grieved to know that kind lady, who 
had showed me much hospitality, should have died ; I have 
hesitated to write to her son-in-law, Mr. Rathbone, fearing 
to disturb the solemnity of his sorrow. At the Linnasan 
Society this evening, my friend Selby's work lay on the 
table by mine, and very unfair comparisons were drawn 
between the two ; I am quite sure that had he had the 
same opportunities that my curious life has granted me, 
his work would have been far superior to mine ; I supported 
him to the best of my power. The fact is, / think, that no 
man yet has done anything in the way of illustrating the 
birds of England comparable to his great work; then 
besides, he is an excellent man, devoted to his science, and 


if he has committed sHght errors, it becomes men of science 
not to dwell upon these to the exclusion of all else. I was 
to-day elected an original member of the Zoological So- 
ciety. I also learned that it was Sir Thomas Lawrence 
who prevented the British Museum from subscribing to my 
work ; he considered the drawing so-so, and the engraving 
and coloring bad ; when I remember how he praised these 
same drawings in my presejicc, I wonder — that is all. 

February 2o. A most gloomy day ; had I no work what 
a miserable life I should lead in London. I receive con- 
stantly many invitations, but all is so formal, so cere- 
monious, I care not to go. Thy piano sailed to-day; with 
a favorable voyage it may reach New Orleans in sixty days. 
I have read the Grand Turk's proclamation and sighed at 
the awful thought of a war all over Europe ; but there, thou 
knowest I am no politician. A fine young man, Mr. J. F. 
Ward, a bird-stuffcr to the King, came to me this afternoon 
to study some of the positions of my birds. I told him I 
would lend him anything I had. 

Fcbruaiy 28. To-day I called by appointment on the 
Earl of Kinnoul, a small man, with a face like the cari- 
cature of an owl ; he said he had sent for me to tell me 
all my birds were alike, and he considered my work a 
swindle. He may really think this, his knowledge is 
probably small; but it is not the custom to send for a 
gentleman to abuse him in one's own house. I heard his 
words, bowed, and without speaking, left the rudest man I 
have met in this land; but he is only thirty, and let us 
hope may yet learn how to behave to a perfect stranger 
under his roof. 

February 29. A man entered my room this after- 
noon, and said: "Sir, I have some prisoners to deliver to 
you from the town of York. " " Prisoners ! " I exclaimed, 
"why, who are they.''" The good man produced a very 
small cage, and I saw two sweet little Wood Larks, full 
of vivacity, and as shy as prisoners in custody. Their 


eyes sparkled with fear, their little bodies were agitated, 
the motions of their breasts showed how their hearts pal- 
pitated ; their plumage was shabby, but they were Wood 
Larks, and I saw them with a pleasure bordering on 
frenzy. Wood Larks ! The very word carried me from 
this land into woods indeed. These sweet birds were 
sent to me from York, by my friend John Backhouse, an 
ornithologist of real merit, and with them came a cake of 
bread made of a peculiar mixture, for their food. I so 
admired the dear captives that for a while I had a strong 
desire to open their prison, and suffer them to soar over 
London towards the woodlands dearest to them ; and yet 
the selfishness belonging to man alone made me long to 
keep them. Ah ! man ! what a brute thou art ! — so often 
senseless of those sweetest feelings that ought to ornament 
our species, if indeed we are the " lords of creation." 

Cambridge, March 3. I arrived at this famous Univer- 
sity town at half-past four this afternoon, after a tedious 
ride of eight and a half hours from London, in a heavy 
coach in which I entered at the White Horse, Fetter 
Lane, and I am now at the Blue Boar, and blue enough 
am I. But never mind, I was up truly early, took a good 
walk in Regent's Park, and was back before any one in 
the house was up. Sully took breakfast with me, and 
took charge of my Larks, and saw me off. I thought we 
never would get rid of London, it took just one hour to 
get clear of the city. What a place ! Yet many persons 
live there solely because they like it. At last the re- 
freshing country air filled my lungs; I saw with pleasure 
many tender flowers peeping out of the earth, anxious to 
welcome the approaching spring. The driver held confi- 
dences with every grog shop between London and Cam- 
bridge, and his purple face gave powerful evidences that 
malt liquor is more enticing to him than water. The 
country is flat, but it was country, and T saw a few lambs 
gambolling by their timorous dams, a few Rooks digging 


the new-ploughed ground for worms, a few Finches on the 
budding hedges. On entering Cambridge I was struck 
with its cleanliness, the regular shape of the colleges, and 
the number of students with floating mantles, flat caps, 
and long tassels of silk, hanging sideways. I had a letter 
for a lodging house where I expected to stay, but no num- 
bers are affixed to any doors in Cambridge. I do not 
know if it is so in order to teach the students to better 
remember things, but I found it very inconvenient; I 
hunted and searched in vain, and as the students in their 
gay moods have been in the habit of destroying all the 
door-bells, I had to knock loudly at any door where I 
wished to make inquiries, but not finding the good lady 
to whom my letter was addressed, I am still at the inn. 

March Jj.. One of my travelling-companions, Mr. , 

an architect, offered to show me some of the Colleges, 
and put me in the way of delivering some of my letters ; so 
we walked through the different courts of Trinity, and I 
was amazed at the exquisite arrangement of the buildings, 
and when we arrived at the walks I was still more pleased. 
I saw beautiful grass-plats, fine trees, around which the 
evergreen, dark, creeping ivy, was entwined, and heard 
among the birds that enlivened these the shrill notes of 
the Variegated Woodpecker, quite enchanting. As I 
passed under these trees I tried to recollect how many 
illustrious learned men have studied within the compass 
of their shade. A little confined, but pure streamlet, 
called the Cam, moved slowly on, and the air was deli- 
cious. We went to St. John's, where my companion was 
engaged in some work, and here I left him, and contin- 
ued on my way alone, to deliver my letters. I called on 
the Rev. H. Greenwood, Professor Sedgwick,^ and Pro- 
fessor Whewell ;2 all were most kind, as were the Rev. 

1 Adam Sedgwick, geologist. 1785-1S73. 

2 William Whewell, 1795-1866, Professor of Moral Philosophy, Mineral- 
ogy, and other sciences. 


Thos. Catton, Mr. G. A. Brown, Mr. George Heath, and 
Professor Henslow,^ and I have made several engagements 
to dine, etc. 

March 5. Since I left Edinburgh, I have not had a 
day as brilliant as this in point of being surrounded by 
learned men. This morning I took a long walk among 
the Colleges, and watched many birds ; while thus em- 
ployed, a well dressed man handed me a card on which 
was written in English, " The bearer desires to meet with 
some one who speaks either French, Italian, or Spanish." 
I spoke to him in Spanish and French, both of which he 
knew well. He showed me a certificate from the consul 
of Sweden, at Leith, which affirmed his story, that he 
with three sailors had been shipwrecked, and now wished 
to return to the Continent, but they had only a few shill- 
ings, and none of them spoke English. I gave him a 
sovereign, just as I saw Professor Sedgwick approach- 
ing; he came to my room to see my birds, but could only 
give me a short time as he had a lecture to deliver. I 
returned to my rooms, and just as I was finishing lunch 
the Vice-Chancellor made his appearance, — a small old 
man, with hair as white as snow, dressed in a flowing 
gown, with two little bits of white muslin in lieu of 
cravat. He remained with me upwards of two hours; he 
admired my work, and promised to do all he could. I 
was delighted with his conversation; he is a man of wide 
knowledge, and it seemed to me of sound judgment. 
Professor Henslow invited me to dine on Friday, and 
just as I finished my note of acceptance, came in with 
three gentlemen. At four I went to Mr. Greenwood's to 
dine; as I entered I saw with dismay upwards of thirty 
gentlemen; I was introduced to one after another, and 
then we went to the " Hall," where dinner was set. This 
hall resembled the interior of a Gothic church ; a short 
prayer was said, and we sat down to a sumptuous dinner. 

1 John Stevens Henslow, botanist, 1796-1861. 


Eating was not precisely my object, it seldom is; I 
looked first at the convives. A hundred students sat apart 
from our table, and the "Fellows," twelve in number, 
with twenty guests constituted our "mess." The din- 
ner, as I said, was excellent, and I thought these learned 
" Fellows " must have read, among other studies, Dr. 
Kitchener on the "Art of Cookery." The students grad- 
ually left in parcels, as vultures leave a carcass; we 
remained. A iine gilt or gold tankard, containing a very 
strong sort of nectar, was handed to me; I handed it, 
after tasting, to the next, and so it went round. Now a 
young man came, and as we rose, he read a short prayer 
from a small board (such as butchers use to kill flies 
with). We then went to the room where we had assem- 
bled, and conversation at once began ; perhaps the wines 
went the rounds for an hour, then tea and coffee, after 
which the table was cleared, and I was requested to open 
my portfolio. I am proud now to show them, and I saw 
with pleasure these gentlemen admired them. I turned 
over twenty-five, but before I had finished received the 
subscription of the Librarian for the University, and the 
assurance of the Secretary of the Philosophical Society 
that they would take it. It was late before I was allowed 
to come away. 

Thursday, March G. A cold snowy day ; I went to the 
library of the University and the Philosophical Society 
rooms, and dined again in "Hall," with Professor Sedg- 
wick. There were four hundred students, and forty " Fel- 
lows;" quite a different scene from Corpus College. 
Each one devoured his meal in a hurry; in less than half 
an hour grace w^as read again by two students, and Pro- 
fessor Whewell took me to his own rooms with some 
eight or ten others. My book was inspected as a matter 
of courtesy. Professor Sedgwick was gay, full of wit 
and cleverness; the conversation was very animated, and 
I enjoyed it much. Oh ! my Lucy, that I also had re- 


ceived a university education ! I listened and admired 
for a long time, when suddenly Professor Whewell began 
asking me questions about the woods, the birds, the abo- 
rigines of America. The more I rove about, the more I 
find how little known the interior of America is; we sat 
till late. No subscriber to-day, but I must not despair; 
nothing can be done without patience and industry, and, 
thank God, I have both. 

AlarcJi 7. The frost was so severe last night that the 
ground was white when I took my walk; I saw ice an 
eighth of an inch thick. As most of the fruit trees are in 
blossom, the gardeners will suffer this year. Inclement 
though it was, the birds were courting, and some, such as 
Jackdaws and Rooks, forming nests. After breakfast I 
went to the library, having received a permit, and looked 
at three volumes of Le Vaillant's "Birds of Africa," 
which contain very bad figures. I was called from here 
to show my work to the son of Lord Fitzwilliam, who 
came with his tutor, Mr. Upton. The latter informed 
me the young nobleman wished to own the book. I 
showed my drawings, and he, being full of the ardor of 
youth, asked where he should write his name. I gave him 
my list; his youth, his good looks, his courtesy, his re- 
finement attracted me much, and made me wish his name 
should stand by that of some good friend. There was no 
room by Mrs. Rathbone's, so I asked that he write imme- 
diately above the Countess of Morton, and he wrote in a 
beautiful hand, which I wish I could equal, " Hon. W. C. 
Wentworth Fitzwilliam." He is a charming young man, 
and I wish him bon voyage through life. On returning to 
my lodgings this evening, my landlord asked me to join 
him in what he called "a glass of home-brewed." I ac- 
cepted, not to hurt his feelings, a thing I consider almost 
criminal; but it is muddy looking stuff, not to my taste. 

Saturday, 8th. The weather bad, but my eyes and ears 
were greeted by more birds than I have seen yet in this 

VOL. I. — 19 


country. I dined at the Vice-Chancellor's, and found my- 
self among men of deep research, learning, and knowl- 
edge, — mild in expressions, kind in attentions, and under 
whom I fervently wished it had been my lot to have re- 
ceived such an education as they possess. 

Sunday, MarcJi 9. Cambridge on a Sunday is a place 
where I would suppose the basest mind must relax, for the 
time being, from the error of denying the existence of a 
Supreme Being; all is calm — silent — solemn — almost 
sublime. The beautiful bells fill the air with melody, 
and the heart with a wish for prayer. I went to church 
with Mr. Whewell at Great St. Mary's, and heard an im- 
pressive sermon on Hope from Mr. Henslovv. After that 
I went to admire Nature, as the day was beautifully invit- 
ing. Professor Heath of King's College wished me to see 
his splendid chapel, and with a ticket of admission I re- 
sorted there at three. We had simple hymns and prayers, 
the former softly accompanied by the notes of an immense 
organ, standing nearly in the centre of that astonishing 
building; the chanters were all young boys in white sur- 
plices. I walked with Mr. Heath to Mr. WheweU's, and 
with him went to Trinity Chapel. The charm that had 
held me all day was augmented many fold as I entered 
an immense interior where were upward of four hundred 
collegians in their white robes. The small wax tapers, 
the shadowy distances, the slow footfalls of those still 
entering, threw my imagination into disorder. A kind 
of chilliness almost as of fear came to me, my lips 
quivered, my heart throbbed, I fell on my knees and 
pra^^ed to be helped and comforted. I shall remember 
this sensation forever, my Lucy. When at Liverpool, 
I always go to the church for the blind; did I reside 
at Cambridge, I would be found each Sunday at Trinity 

March 12. I was introduced to Judge , on his way 

to court, — a monstrously ugly old man, with a wig that 


might make a capital bed for an Osage Indian during the 
whole of a cold winter on the Arkansas River. 

London, March 15. The scene is quite changed, or 
better say returned, for I am again in London. I found 
my little Larks as lively as ever, but judge of my pleas- 
ure when I found three letters from thee and Victor and 
Johnny, dated Nov. 10, Dec. 19, and Jan. 20. What 
comfort would it be to see thee. Havell tells me a hun- 
dred sets of No. 6 are in hand for coloring. Mr. David 
Lyon called to see my work, and said it had been recom- 
mended to him by Sir Thos. Lawrence. This seems 
strange after what I heard before, but like all other men 
Sir Thomas has probably his enemies, and falsehoods 
have been told about him. 

March 20. Called on Havell and saw the plate of the 
Parroquets nearly finished; I think it is a beautiful piece 
of work. My landlady received a notice that if she did 
not pay her rent to-morrow an ofiticer would be put in 
possession. I perceived she was in distress when I came 
in, and asking her trouble gave her what assistance I 
could by writing a cheque for i^20, which she has prom- 
ised to repay. This evening I went to Covent Garden to 
see "Othello;" I had an excellent seat. I saw Kean, 
Young, and Kemble; the play was terrifyingly well 

Saturday, March 20. To-day I was with friend Ser- 
geant most of the time; this evening have paid Havell in 
full, and now, thank God, feel free to leave noisy, smoky 

Oxford, March 2If. I am now in Oxford the clean, and 
in comfortable lodgings. I arrived at four o'clock, shrunk 
to about one half my usual size by the coldness of the 
weather, having ridden on top of the coach, facing the 
northern blast, that caused a severe frost last night, and 
has, doubtless, nipped much fruit in the bud. As I trav- 
elled I saw Windsor Castle about two miles distant, and 


also witnessed the turning out of a Stag from a cart, be- 
fore probably a hundred hounds and as many huntsmen. 
A curious land, and a curious custom, to catch an animal, 
and set it free merely to catch again. We crossed the 
Thames twice, near its head; it does not look like the 
Ohio, I assure thee; a Sand-hill Crane could easily wade 
across it without damping its feathers. 

March 25. My feet are positively sore battering the 
pavement ; I have walked from one house and College to 
another all day, but have a new subscriber, and one not 
likely to die soon, the Anatomical School, through Dr. 
Kidd. ^ He and I ran after each other all day like the 
Red-headed Woodpeckers in the spring. I took a walk 
along two little streams, bearing of course the appellation 
of rivers, the Isis and the Charwell ; the former freezes 
I am told at the bottom, never at the top. O.xford seems 
larger than Cambridge, but is not on the whole so pleas- 
ing to me. I do not think the walks as fine, there are 
fewer trees, and the population is more mixed. I have 
had some visitors, and lunched with Dr. Williams, who 
subscribed for the Radcliffc Library, whither we both 
went to inspect the first number. When I saw it, it 
drew a sigh from my heart. Ah ! Mr. Lizars ! was this 
the way to use a man who paid you so amply and so 
punctually.^ I rolled it up and took it away with me, for 
it was hardly colored at all, and have sent a fair new set 
of five numbers. I dined at the Vice-Chancellor's at si.x; 
his niece, Miss Jenkins, did the honors of the table most 
gracefully. There were ten gentlemen and four ladies, 
and when the latter left, the conversation became more 
general. I was spoken to about Wilson and C. Bona- 
parte, and could heartily praise both. 

March 27'. Breakfasted with Mr. Hawkins, Provost of 
Oriel College, and went immediately after with him to 

1 Dr. John Kidd, 1775-1851, Professor of Chemistry and Medicine at 


the Dean of Trinity. The large salon was filled with 
ladies and gentlemen engaged with my work; my draw- 
ings followed, and I showed them, but, oh, Lucy, how 
tired I am of doing this. The Dean has, I think, the fin- 
est family of daughters I have ever seen; eight blooming, 
interesting young ladies; from here to Dr. Kidd, where 
was another room full of company to see my drawings. 
Among my visitors was Dr. Ed. Burton,^ who invited me 
to breakfast to-morrow. 

MarcJi 28. Never since I was at the delightful Green 
Bank, or at Twizel House have I had so agreeable a 
breakfast as I enjoyed this morning. I was shown into a 
neat parlor giving on a garden, and was greeted by a very 
beautiful and gracious woman; this was Mrs. Burton. Dr. 
Burton came in through the window from the garden ; in 
a moment we were at table and I felt at once at home, as 
if with my good friend " Lady " Rathbone. Dr. and Mrs. 
Burton have an astonishing collection of letters, portraits, 
etc., and I was asked to write my name and the date of 
my birth as well as the present date. The former, I 
could not do, except approximately, and Mrs. Burton was 
greatly amused that I should not know; what I do know 
is that I am no. longer a young man. A letter from Mr. 
Hawkins told me Dr. Buckland^ was expected to-morrow, 
and I was asked to meet him at dinner at his own house 
by Mrs. Buckland. I dined with the Provost of Oriel and 
nine other gentlemen, among them the son of the re- 
nowned Mr. Wilberforce. 

March 29. To-morrow, probably, I leav'e here, and 
much disappointed. There are here twenty-two colleges 
intended to promote science in all its branches; I have 
brought here samples of a work acknowledged to be at 
least good, and not one of the colleges has subscribed. I 
have been most hospitably treated, but with so little en- 

1 Edward Burton, D.D., 1794-1836, Professor of Divinity at Oxford. 

2 William Buckland, D.D., 1784-1S56, geologist. 


couragement for my work there is no reason for me to 

Lo7idon, March 30. Left Oxford at eleven this morn- 
ing, the weather still intensely cold. We had a guard 
dressed in red with sizable buttons, a good artist on the 
bugle, who played in very good style, especially fugues 
and anthems, which were harmonious but not cheerful. 
I saw a poor man and his wife trudging barefoot this 
weather, a sight which drew the rings of my purse asun- 
der. Almost as soon as I reached my lodgings a gentle- 
man, Mr. Loudon,^ called to ask me to write zoological 
papers for his journal. I declined, for I will never write 
anything to call down upon me a second volley of abuse. 
I can only write facts, and when I write those the Phila- 
delphians call me a liar. 

April 1, 1828. I have the honor to be a Fellow of the 
Linnaean Society of London, quite fresh from the mint, 
for the news reached me when the election was not much 
more than over. Mr. Vigors tells me Baron Cuvier is to 
be here this week. I had some agreeable time with a 
gentleman from Ceylon, Bennett ^ by name, who has a 
handsome collection of fish from that place. 

April 2. Called on Mr. Children, and together we 
walked to Mr. Havell's, where he saw the drawings for 
No. 7. How slowly my immense work progresses; yet 
it goes on apace, and may God grant me life to see it 
accomplished and finished. Then, indeed, will I have 
left a landmark of my existence. 

April 3. I have had many corrections to make to my 
Prospectus, which have taken much time. I also exam- 
ined many of my drawings, which I thought had suffered 
exceedingly from the damp ; this quite frightened me. 
What a misfortune it would be if they should be spoiled, 

1 John Claudius Loudon, 1783-1843, writer on horticulture and arbori- 
culture. In 1828-1836, editor of the " Magazine of Natural History." 

2 Edward Turner Bennett, 1797-1836, zoologist. 


for few men would attempt the severe task I have run 
through, I think. And as to me, alas! I am growing old, 
and although my spirits are as active as ever, my body de- 
clines, and perhaps I never could renew them all. I shall 
watch them carefully. Indeed, should I find it necessary, 
I will remove them to Edinburgh or Paris, where the 
atmosphere is less dangerous. 

April 6. I have not written a word for three days, 
because, in truth, I have little to mention. Whenever I 
am in this London all is alike indifferent to me, and I 
in turn indifferent. Ah ! my love, on a day like this in 
America I could stroll in magnificent woods, I could lis- 
ten to sounds fresh and pure, I could look at a blue sky. 
Mr. Loudon called and said he was anxious to have a 
review of my work in his magazine, and would write to 
Mr. Wm. Swainson,^ a naturalist and friend of Dr. 
Traill's, to do so. He again begged me to write an 
article for him, for which he would pay eight guineas; 
but no, I will write no more for publication except, as 
has been urged, to accompany my own pictures. 

April 10. I have now only one set on hand ; I had fif- 
teen when I went to Cambridge. I hope soon to hear 
from Liverpool; the silence of a friend sometimes terri- 
fies me; I dread to learn that my venerable, good " Lady " 
Rathbone is ill. 

April IJf. I cannot conceive why, but my spirits have 
been much too low for my own comfort. I thought 
strongly of returning to America; such a long absence 
from thee is dreadful. I sometimes fear we shall never 
meet again in this world. I called on Havell, who showed 
me the White-headed Eagle, a splendid plate indeed, and 
nearly finished. 

April 17. I did but little yesterday, I was quite un- 
well; in the afternoon I walked to Bruton St. and saw 

^ William Swainson, naturalist and writer. Born in England 17S9, emi- 
grated in 1841 to New Zealand, where he died 1855. 


Mr. Vigors, who assisted me in the nomenclature of the 
Hawk for Lord Stanley. This afternoon I received a let- 
ter from Mr. Wm. Swainson, inviting me to go to spend 
a day with him. My work continues to be well received, 
and as I have a tolerable list of subscribers I hope it will 
continue to improve. 

April 21. The same feelings still exist this year that 
I felt last, during my whole stay in London. I hate it, 
yes, I cordially hate London, and yet cannot escape from 
it. I neither can write my journal when here, nor draw 
well, and if I walk to the fields around, the very voice 
of the sweet birds I hear has no longer any charm for 
me, the pleasure being too much mingled with the idea 
that in another hour all will again be bustle, filth, and 
smoke. Last Friday, when about to answer Mr. Swain- 
son's letter, I suddenly thought that it would be best for 
me to go to see him at once. The weather was shock- 
ing; a dog would scarce have turned out to hunt the fin- 
est of game. I dined at two, and went to a coach office, 
when, after waiting a long time, the coachman assured me 
that unless I had been to Mr. Swainson's before, it 
would be madness to go that day, as his house lay 
off from the main road fully five miles, and it was a 
difficult place to find; moreover, the country, he said, 
was swimming. This is the first advice I have ever 
had from a coachman to stop me from paying my fare; 
I thanked him, and returned home, and wrote to Mr. 
Swainson; then walked twice round Kensington Gar- 
dens, most dull and melancholy. Ah ! cannot I return 
to America .-* 

April 2^. I have been so harassed in mind and body, 
since ten days, that I am glad to feel partially relieved at 
last. All the colorers abandoned the work because I 
found one of their number was doing miserable daubing, 
and wished him dismissed unless he improved; but now 
they are all replaced. 


May 1. Mr. Swainson has published a review of my 
work in Mr. Loudon's magazine, and how he has raised 
my talents. Would that I could do as well as he says I 
do; then indeed would my pencil be eager to portray the 
delicate and elegant contours of the feathered tribe, the 
softness of their plumage, and their gay movements. 
Alas, now I must remain in London overlooking engrav- 
ers, colorers, and agents. Yet when I close my eyes I 
hear the birds warbling, nay, every sound; the shriek of 
the Falcon, the coy Doves cooing; the whistling note 
of the Grackle seems to fill my ear, again I am in the 
cornfield amidst millions of these birds, and then, trans- 
ported afar, I must tread lightly and with care, to avoid 
the venomous Rattler. I sent the first proof of the 
White-headed Eagle to the Marquis of Landsdowne; he 
being the president of the Zoological Society, I thought 
it courteous to do so. 

Sunday, May Jf- Immediately after breakfast I went 
out with George Woodley,^nd walked to the pretty vil- 
lage called Hampstead. The rain that fell last night 
seemed only sufficient to revive nature's productions; the 
trees were lightly covered with foliage of a tender hue; 
the hawthorns dispersed along the thickets had opened 
their fragrant cups, the rich meadows showed promise of 
a fair crop. Here and there a shy Blackbird's note burst 
clearly, yet softly, while the modest Blackcap skipped 
across our way. I enjoyed it all, but only transiently; I 
felt as if I must return to the grand beauties of the Wes- 
tern World, so strong is the attachment impressed in man 
for his own country. I have been summing up the pros 
and cons respecting a voyage to America, with an absence 
of twelve months. The difficulties are many, but I am 
determined to arrange for it, if possible. I should like 
to renew about fifty of my drawings ; I am sure that now 
I could make better compositions, and select better plants 
than when I drew merely for amusement, and without the 


thought of ever bringing them to public view. To effect 
this wish of mine, I must find a true, devoted friend who 
will superintend my work and see to its delivery — this is 
no trifle in itself. Then I must arrange for the regular 
payments of twelve months' work, and that is no trifle; 
but when I consider the difficulties I have surmounted, 
the privations of all sorts that I have borne, the many 
hairbreadth escapes I have had, the times I have been 
near sinking under the weight of the enterprise — ah! 
such difficulties as even poor Wilson never experienced 
— what reasons have I now to suppose, or to make me 
think for a moment, that the omnipotent God who gave 
me a heart to endure and overcome all these difficulties, 
will abandon me now. No! my faith is the same — my 
desires are of a pure kind; I only wish to enjoy more of 
Him by admiring His works still more than I have ever 
done before. He will grant me life. He will support 
me in my journeys, and enable me to meet thee again in 

May 6. I walked early round the Regent's Park, and 
there purchased four beautiful little Redpolls from a 
sailor, put them in my pocket, and, when arrived at 
home, having examined them to satisfy myself of their 
identity with the one found in our country, I gave them 
all liberty to go. What pleasure they must have felt ris- 
ing, and going off over London; and I felt pleasure too, 
to know they had the freedom I so earnestly desired. 

May 10. I received a long letter from Charles Bona- 
parte, and perceived it had been dipped in vinegar to 
prevent it from introducing the plague from Italy to 

Jjinc 2. I was at Mr. Swainson's from May 28 till yes- 
terday, and my visit was of the most agreeable nature. 
Mr. and Mrs. Swainson have a charming home at Titten- 
hanger Green, near St. Albans. Mrs. Swainson plays 
well on the piano, is amiable and kind; Mr. Swainson 


a superior man indeed; and their children blooming with 
health and full of spirit. Such talks on birds we have 
had together. Why, Lucy, thou wouldst think that birds 
were all that we cared for in this world, but thou knowest 
this is not so. Whilst there I began a drawing for Mrs. 
Swainson, and showed Mr. Swainson how to put up birds 
in my style, which delighted him. 

August 9. More than two months have passed since I 
have opened my journal — not through idleness, but be- 
cause, on the contrary, I have been too busy with my 
plates, and in superintending the coloring of them, and 
with painting. I wished again to try painting in oil, and 
set to with close attention, day after day, and have now 
before me eight pictures begun, but not one entirely fin- 
ished. I have a great desire to exhibit some of these in 
this wonderful London. One of these pictures is from 
my sketch of an Eagle pouncing on a Lamb,^ dost thou 
remember it .-' They are on the top of a dreary mountain ; 
the sky is dark and stormy, and I am sure the positions 
of the bird and his prey are wholly correct. My drawing 
is good, but the picture at present shows great coldness 
and want of strength. Another is a copy of the very 
group of Black Cocks, or Grouse, for which Mr. Gaily 
paid me ;^ioo, and I copy it with his permission; if it is 
better than his, and I think it will be, he must exchange, 
for assuredly he should own the superior picture. The 
others are smaller and less important. With the excep- 
tion of such exercise as has been necessary, and my jour- 
neys (often several times a day) to Havell's, I have not 
left my room, and have labored as if not to be painting 
was a heinous crime. I have been at work from four 
every morning till dark ; I have kept up my large corre- 
spondence, my publication goes on well and regularly, 
and this very day seventy sets have been distributed ; yet 

1 This picture is still in the family, being owned by one of the grand- 


the number of my subscribers has not increased; on the 
contrary, I have lost some. 

I have met a Mr. Parker, whom I once knew in Natchez; 
he asked me to permit him to paint my portrait as a 
woodsman, and though it is very tiresome to me, I have 
agreed to his request. The return of Captain Basil Hall 
to England has rather surprised me; he called on me at 
once; he had seen our dear Victor, Mr. Sully, Dr. Har- 
lan, and many of my friends, to whom I had given him 
letters, for which he thanked me heartily. He has seen 
much of the United States, but says he is too true an 
Englishman to like things there. Time will show his 
ideas more fully, as he told me he should publish his 
voyage, journeys, and a number of anecdotes. 

August 10. My usual long walk before breakfast, after 
which meal Mr. Parker took my first sitting, which con- 
sisted merely of the outlines of the head; this was a job 
of more than three hours, much to my disgust. We then 
went for a walk and turned into the Zoological Gardens, 
where we remained over an hour. I remarked two large 
and beautiful Beavers, seated with the tail as usual under 
the body, their forelegs hanging like those of a Squirrel. 

August 13. I wrote to Mr. Swainson asking if he could 
not accompany me to France, where he said he wished to 
go when we were talking together at Tittenhanger. 

August 19. My absence from this dusty place has 
prevented my writing daily, but I can easily sum up. 
Thursday afternoon on returning from Havell's, I found 
Mr. Swainson just arrived. He had come to take me to 
Tittenhanger Green, where the pure air, the notes of the 
birds, the company of his wife and children, revived my 
drooping spirits. How very kind this was of him, espe- 
cially when I reflect on what a short time I have known 
him. We procured some powder and shot, and seated 
ourselves in the coach for the journey. Just as we were 
leaving London and its smoke, a man begged I would 


take a paper bag from him, containing a Carrier Pigeon, 
and turn it out about five miles off. The poor bird could 
have been put in no better hands, I am sure; when I 
opened the bag and launched it in the air, I wished from 
my heart I had its powers of flight ; I would have ventured 
across the ocean to Louisiana. At Tittenhanger ]\Irs. 
Swainson and her darling boy came to meet us, and we 
walked slowly to the house; its happy cheer had great in- 
fluence on my feelings. Our evening was spent in look- 
ing over Levaillant's^ work. We discovered, to the 
great satisfaction of m^f friend, two species of Chatterers, 
discovered by the famous traveller in Africa; until now 
our American species stood by itself, in the mind of the 
naturalist. My time afterwards was spent in shooting, 
painting, reading, talking, and examining specimens. 
But, my Lucy, the most agreeable part of all this is that 
we three have decided to go to Paris about the first of 
September, from there probably to Brussels, Rotterdam, 
and possibly Amsterdam. 

August 20. Messrs. Children and Gray^ of the British 
Museum called to see me this afternoon, and we talked 
much of that establishment. I was surprised when Mr, 
Gray told me ^200 per annum was all that was allowed 
for the purchase of natural curiosities. We were joined 
by Captain Basil Hall. I now feel more and more con- 
vinced that he has not remained in America long enough, 
and that his judgment of things there must be only super- 
ficial. Since these gentlemen left I have written to 
Charles Bonaparte a long letter, part of which I copy for 
thee: "My Sylvia roscoe, is, I assure you, a distinct spe- 
cies from Vieillot's; my Turdus aquaticus is very differ- 
ent from Wilson's Water Thrush, as you will see w^hen 
both birds are published. Mine never reaches further 
south than Savannah, its habits are quite different. 

1 Francois Levaillant, bom at Paramaribo, 1753; died in France, 1824. 

2 John Edward Gray, 1800-1875, zoologist. 


Troglodytes bewickii is a new and rather a rare species, 
found only in the lowlands of the Mississippi and Louis- 
iana. I have killed five or six specimens, and it differs 
greatly from Troglodytes liidovicianus ; I wish I had a spe- 
cimen to send you. I particularly thank you for your 
observations, and I hope that you will criticise my work 
at all points, as a good friend should do, for how am I to 
improve if not instructed by men of superior talents .■• I 
cannot determine at present about ' Staiileii,' because I 
never have seen the Falco you mention. My bird is 
surely another found in the south and north, but a very 
rare species in all my travels ; when you see the two fig- 
ures, size of life, then you will be able to judge and to 
inform me. My journey to the mouth of the Columbia is 
always uppermost in my mind, and I look to my return 
from that country to this as the most brilliant portion of 
my life, as I am confident many new birds and plants 
must be there, yet unknown to man. You are extremely 
kind to speak so favorably of my work, and to compare it 
with your own; it would be more worthy of that compari- 
son, perhaps, if I had had the advantages of a classical 
education; all I deserve, I think, is the degree of encour- 
agement due to my exertions and perseverance in figuring 
exactly the different birds, and the truth respecting their 
habits, which will appear in my text. However, I accept 
all your kind sayings as coming from a friend, and one 
himself devoted to that beautiful department of science, 
Ornithology." My subscribers are yet far from enough 
to pay my expenses, and my purse suffers severely for 
the want of greater patronage. The Zoological Gardens 
improve daily; they are now building winter quarters for 
the animals there. The specimens of skins from all parts 
of the world which are presented there are wonderful, but 
they have no place for them. 

August 25. I have had the pleasure of a long letter 
from our Victor, dated July 20; this letter has reached me 


more rapidly than any since I have been in England. I 
am becoming impatient to start for Paris. I do not ex- 
pect much benefit by this trip, but I shall be glad to see 
what may be done. Mr, Parker has nearly finished my 
portrait, which he considers a good one, and so do /. ^ He 
has concluded to go to Paris with us, so we shall be quite 
a party. Mr. Vigors wrote asking me to write some pa- 
pers for the "Zoological Journal," but I have refused him 
as all others. No money can pay for abuse. This after- 
noon I had a visit from a*Mr. Kirkpatrick, who bought 
my picture of the Bantams. 

August 29. I packed up my clothes early this morning 
and had my trunk weighed, as only forty pounds are al- 
lowed to each person. I also put my effects to rights, and 
was ready to start for anywhere by seven. 

August 30. While Mr. Swainson was sitting with me, 
old Bewick and his daughters called on me. Good old 
man ! how glad I was to see him again. It was, he said, 
fifty-one years since he had been in London, which is no 
more congenial to him than to me. He is now sevent}'- 
eight, and sees to engrave as well as when he was twenty 
years of age. 

Dover, September 1, 1828. Now, my dear book, pre- 
pare yourself for a good scratching with my pen, for I have 
entered on a journey that I hope will be interesting. I 
had breakfast at six with Mr. Parker; we were soon joined 
by Mr. and Mrs. Swainson and proceeded to the office in 
Piccadilly, where we took our seats in the coach. At the 
" Golden Cross " in Charing Cross we took up the rest of 
our cargo. Bless me ! what a medley ! A little, ill-look- 
ing Frenchman — who fastened a gilt balancing-pole under 
the coach, and put his wife and little daughter on top, — 
four men all foreigners, and a tall, rather good-looking 
demoiselle, with a bonnet not wanting in height or breadth 
or bows of blue ribbon, so stiff they must have been 
1 No trace of this portrait can be found. 


starched. She took her seat on top of the coach and 
soared aloft, Hke a Frigate Pehcan over the seas. We 
started at eight and were soon out of London. The pure 
air of the country animated my spirits, and all were gay. 
We passed over Black Heath, through Hartford and 
Canterbury, the first a poor, dirty-looking place, the latter 
quite the contrary. The majestic cathedral rose above 
every other object, like one of God's monuments made to 
teach us His glory. The country more hilly, on an average, 
than any part of this island I have yet seen, but the land 
very poor. We saw the Thames several times, and the sea 
at a great distance. The river Medway, which we crossed 
at Rochester, is influenced by the tides as far as that town. 
About six miles from this little seaport wc suddenly saw 
Dover Castle, which with the sea and the undulating land- 
scape made a pretty picture. As soon as we arrived we 
all went to see the cliffs that rise almost perpendicularly 
along the shore, the walks crowded with persons come to 
see the regatta to-morrow. 

Paris, September 4- I arrived here this morning at 
seven o'clock, and I assure thee, my Lucy, that I and all 
my companions were pleased to get rid of the diligence, 
and the shocking dust that tormented us during our whole 
journey. We left Dover at one, on Tuesday, 2d; the wind 
blew sharply, and I felt that before long the sea would 
have evil effects on me, as it always has. Wc proceeded 
towards Calais at a good rate, going along the shores of 
England until opposite the French port, for which we 
then made direct, and landed after three and a half hours' 
beating against wind and water. As soon as we landed 
we left our luggage and passports with a Commissionaire, 
and went to dine at Hotel Robart, where we had been 
recommended. Our still sickly bodies were glad to rest, 
and there our passports were returned to us. I was much 
tickled to read that my complexion was copper red ; as the 
Monsieur at the office had never seen me, I suppose the 


word American suggested that all the natives of our 
country were aborigines. We then entered the diligence, 
a vehicle ugly and clumsy in the extreme, but tolerably 
comfortable unless over-crowded, and it travelled from six 
to seven miles an hour, drawn generally by five horses, two 
next the coach, and three abreast before those ; the driver 
rides on the near whcel-hofse dressed precisely like the 
monkeys in shows of animals. Calais is a decaying fortified 
town ; the ditches are partly filled with earth, and I cannot 
tell why there should exist at this time a drawbridge. As 
we proceeded it did not take much time to see already 
many differences between France and England. I will 
draw no parallel between these countries, I will merely tell 
thee what I saw. The country is poorly cultivated, al- 
though the land is good. No divisions exist to the 
eye, no cleanly trimmed hedges, no gates, no fences ; all 
appeared to me like one of the old abandoned cotton 
plantations of the South. I remarked that there were more 
and taller trees than in England, and nearly the whole 
road was planted like the avenue to a gentleman's house. 
The road itself was better than I had expected, being 
broad, partly macadamized, and partly paved with square 
stones; I found it much alike during the whole journey. 
Night coming on we lost the means of observation for a 
time, and stopped soon after dark for refreshment, and had 
some excellent coffee. I assure thee, Lucy, that coffee in 
France is certainly better than anywhere else. We passed 
through St. Omer, and a little farther on saw the lights of 
the fires from an encampment of twelve thousand soldiers. 
Breakfast was had at another small village, where we were 
sadly annoyed by beggars. The country seems very poor ; 
the cottages of the peasants are wretched mud huts. We 
passed through the Departments of Artois and Picardy, 
the country giving now and then agreeable views. We 
dined at Amiens, where the cathedral externally is magnif- 
icent. After travelling all night again, we found our- 
voL. I. — 20 


selves within forty miles of Paris, and now saw patches of 
vineyards and found fruit of all kinds cheap, abundant, 
and good. We were put down at the Messagerie Royale rue 
des Victoires, and I found to my sorrow that my plates 
were not among the luggage ; so I did what I could about 
it, and we went to lodgings to which we had been recom- 
mended, with M. Percez. Mrs. Swainson's brother, Mr. 
Parkes, came to see us at once, and we all went to the 
Jardin des Plantes, or Jardin du Roi, which fronts on a 
very bad bridge, built in great haste in the days of 
Napoleon, then called Le pont d'Austerlitz, but now Le pont 
Ste. Genevieve. I thought the gardens well laid out, large, 
handsome, but not everywhere well kept. We saw every- 
thing, then walked to the entrance of the famous Mus6e; 
it was closed, but we knocked and asked for Baron 
Cuvier.^ He was in, but, we were told, too busy to be 
seen. Being determined to look at the Great Man, we 
waited, knocked again, and with a certain degree oi firm- 
ness sent our names. The messenger returned, bowed, and 
led the way upstairs, where in a minute Monsieur le Baron, 
like an excellent good man, came to us. He had heard 
much of my friend Swainson and greeted him as he deserves 
to be greeted ; he was polite and kind to me, though my 
name had never made its way to his ears. I looked at 
him, and here follows the result: age about sixty-five; 
size corpulent, five feet five, English measure ; head large ; 
face wrinkled and brownish ; eyes gray, brilliant and 
sparkling; nose aquiline, large and red; mouth large, 
with good lips ; teeth few, blunted by age, excepting one 
on the lower jaw, measuring nearly three-quarters of an 
inch square. Thus, my Lucy, have I described Cuvier 
almost as if a new species of man. He has invited us to 
dine with him next Saturday at six, and as I hope to have 

^ George Chretien Leopold Frederic Dagobert Cuvier, Baron, 1769-1832 ; 
statesman, author, philosopher, and one of the greatest naturalists of 
modern times. 


many opportunities of seeing him I will write more as I 
become acquainted with him. After dinner Mr. Parker 
and I went roving anywhere and everywhere, but as it 
grew dark, and Paris is very badly lighted, little can I 
say, more than that we saw the famous Palais Royal, and 
walked along each of its four avenues. The place was 
crowded, and filled with small shops, themselves filled with 
all sorts of bagatelles. 

September 5. After breakfast, which was late but good, 
consisting of grapes, figs, sardines, and French coffee, 
Swainson and I proceeded to Les Jardins des Plantes, by 
the side of the famous river Seine, which here, Lucy, is 
not so large as the Bayou Sara, where I have often watched 
the Alligators while bathing. Walking in Paris is disagree- 
able in the extreme; the streets are paved, but with 
scarcely a sidewalk, and a large gutter filled with dirty 
black water runs through the centre of each, and the people 
go about without any kind of order, in the centre, or near 
the houses ; the carriages, carts, etc., do the same, and I 
have wondered that so few accidents take place. We saw a 
very ugly bridge of iron called the Pont Neuf, and the 
splendid statue of Henri Ouatre. We were, however, more 
attracted by the sight of the immense numbers of birds 
offered for sale along the quays, and some were rare 
specimens. A woman took us into her house and showed 
us some hundreds from Bengal and Senegal, and I assure 
thee that we were surprised. We proceeded to our ap- 
pointment with Baron Cuvier, who gave us tickets for the 
Musee, and promised all we could wish. At the Musee 
M. Valenciennes ^ was equally kind. Having a letter for 
M. Geoffroy de St. Hilaire,^ we went to his house in the 
Jardins, and with him we were particularly pleased. He 
proved to me that he understood the difference in the ideas 
of the French and English perfectly. He repeated the 

1 Achille Valenciennes, born 1794, French naturalist. 

2 £tienne Geoffroy de St. Hilaire, 1772-1844, French naturalist. 


words of Cuvier and assured us my work had not been heard 
of in France. He promised to take us to the Academic 
des Sciences on Monday next. I left Swainson at work in 
the Musee, and went to the Louvre. There, entering the 
first open door, I was shown into the pubHc part of the 
King's Appartcjncnt, a thing I have never been able to 
accomplish in England. I saw the room where the grand 
councils arc held, and many paintings illustrating the 
horrors of the French Revolution. Then to the galleries 
of painting and sculpture, where I found Parker, and saw a 
number of artists copying in oil the best pictures. This 
evening we went to the Theatre Franqais, where I saw the 
finest drop curtain I have yet beheld, and a fine tragedy, 
Fidsque, which I enjoyed much. 

September 6. The strange things one sees in this town 
would make a mountain of volumes if closely related ; but 
I have not time, and can only speak to thee of a few. 
After our breakfast of figs and bread and butter, Swainson 
and I went down the Boulevard to the Jardins Royaux. 
These boulevards are planted with trees to shade them, 
and are filled with shops containing more objects of luxury 
and of necessity than can well be imagined. The boule- 
vard we took is a grand promenade, and the seat of great 
bargains. I mean to say that a person unacquainted with 
the ways of the French pet/t mareJiajid may be cheated 
here, with better grace, probably, than anywhere else in 
the world ; but one used to their tricks may buy cheap 
and good articles. In the afternoon we went again to the 
Louvre, and admired the paintings in the splendid gallery, 
and lunched on chicken, a bottle of good. wine, vegetables 
and bread, for thirty-five sous each. Evening coming on, 
we proceeded, after dressing, to Baron Cuvier's house to 
dine. We were announced by a servant in livery, and 
received by the Baron, who presented us to his only re- 
maining daughter, — a small, well-made, good-looking lady, 
with sparkling black eyes, and extremely amiable. As I 


seldom go anywhere without meeting some one w^ho has 
met me, I found among the guests a Fellow of the Lin- 
naean Society, who knew me well. The Baroness now 
came in — a good-looking, motherly lady, and the com- 
pany, amounting to sixteen, went to dinner. The Baron- 
ess led the way with a gentleman, and the Baron took in 
his daughter, but made friend Swainson and me precede 
them ; Swainson sat next mademoiselle, who, fortunately 
for him, speaks excellent English. I was opposite to her, 
by the side of the Baron. There was not the show of opu- 
lence at this dinner that is seen in the same rank of life in 
England, no, not by far, but it was a good dinner, served 
a la fran^aisc. All seemed happy, and went on with 
more simplicity than in London. The dinner finished, the 
Baroness rose, and we all followed her into the library. I 
liked this much ; I cannot bear the drinking matches of 
wine at the English tables. We had coffee, and the com- 
pany increased rapidly ; amongst them all I knew only 
Captain Parry, M. de CondoUeot (?), and Mr. Lesson,^ 
just returned from a voyage round the world. Cuvier 
stuck to us, and we talked ornithology ; he asked me the 
price of my work, and I gave him a prospectus. The 
company filled the room, it grew late, and we left well sat- 
isfied with the introductory step among /^.y savans franqais. 
Sunday, September 7. The traveller who visits France 
without seeing a fete, such as I have seen this day at St. 
Cloud, leaves the country unacquainted with that species 
of knowledge best adapted to show the manners of a peo- 
ple. St. Cloud is a handsome town on the Seine, about 
five miles below Paris, built in horseshoe form on the un- 
dulating hills of this part of the country. These hills are 
covered with woods, through which villas, cottages, and 
chateaux emerge, and give life to the scene. On the west 
side of the village, and on its greatest elevation, stands the 

1 Rene Primevere Lesson, a French naturalist and author, born at 
Rochefort, 1794, died 1S49. 


Palace of the Kings, the Emperors, and the people. I say 
the people, because they are allowed to see the interior 
every day. With Parker, I took a cab directly after break- 
fast to the barrihe des bons liommcSy and walked the re- 
maining distance, say three miles. We had the Seine in 
view most of the way, and crossed it on a fine iron bridge, 
one end of which forms the entrance to St. Cloud, in front 
of which the river winds. W^e reached the gates of the 
palace, and found they were not opened till twelve o'clock ; 
but a sergeant offered to show us the King's garden, — an 
offer we accepted with pleasure. The entrance is by an 
avenue of fine trees, their tops meeting over our heads, 
and presenting, through the vista they made, a frame for a 
beautiful landscape. We passed several pieces of water, 
the peaceful abode of numerous fish, basking on the sur- 
face ; swans also held their concave wings unfurled to the 
light breeze — orange trees of fair size held their golden 
fruit pendent — flowers of every hue covered the borders, 
and a hundred statues embellished all with their well- 
modelled forms. So unmolested are the birds that a Green 
Woodpecker suftered my inspection as if in the woods of 
our dear, dear America. At the right time we found our- 
selves in the King's antechamber, and then passed through 
half a dozen rooms glittering with richest ornaments, 
painted ceilings, large pictures, and lighted by immense 
windows ; all, however, too fine for my taste, and we were 
annoyed by the gens d' amies watching us as if we were 
thieves. It was near two o'clock when we left, the weather 
beautiful, and heat such as is usually felt in Baltimore 
about this season. The population of Paris appeared now 
to flock to St. Cloud ; the road was filled with convey- 
ances of all sorts, and in the principal walk before the 
Palace were hundreds of petits marchauds, opening and 
arranging their wares. Music began in different quarters, 
groups lay on the grass, enjoying their repasts ; every one 
seemed joyous and happy. One thing surprised me : we 


were at St. Cloud ten hours, — they told us fifty thou- 
sand ( ?) were there, and I saw only three women of no- 
ticeable beauty ; yet these short brunettes are animated 
and apparently thoughtless, and sing and dance as if no 
shadow could ever come over them. At four o'clock all 
was in full vigor; the sounds of horns and bugles drew us 
towards a place where we saw on a platform a party of 
musicians, three of whom were Flemish women, and so 
handsome that they were surrounded by crowds. We 
passed through a sort of turnstile, and in a few minutes an 
equestrian performance began, in which the riders showed 
great skill, jugglers followed with other shows, and then 
we left ; the same show in London would have cost three 
shillings ; here, a franc. We saw people shooting at a tar- 
get with a crossbow. When the marksman was successful 
in hitting the centre, a spring was touched, and an inflated 
silken goldfish, as large as a barrel, rose fifty yards in the 
air, — a pretty sight, I assure thee ; the fins of gauze moved 
with the breeze, he plunged and rose and turned about, 
almost as a real fish would do in his element. Shows of 
everything were there ; such a medley — such crowds — 
such seeming pleasure in all around us, I never remarked 
anywhere but in France. No word of contention did I 
hear ; all was peace and joy, and when we left not a dis- 
turbance had taken place. We had an excellent dinner, 
with a bottle of Chablis, for three francs each, and return- 
ing to the place we had left, found all the fountains were 
playing, and dancing was universal ; the musicians were 
good and numerous, but I was surprised to remark very 
few fine dancers. The woods, which were illuminated, 
looked extremely beautiful ; the people constantly crossing 
and re-crossing them made the lights appear and disap- 
pear, reminding me of fireflies in our own woods in a sum- 
mer night. As we passed out of the gates, we perceived 
as many persons coming as going, and were told the mer- 
riment would last till day. With difficulty we secured two 


seats in a cart, and returned to Paris along a road with a 
double line of vehicles of all sorts going both ways. Every 
few rods were guards on foot, z.\\(^ gens d'aruics on horse- 
back, to see that all went well ; and we at last reached our 
hotel, tired and dusty, but pleased with all we had seen, 
and at having had such an opportunity to see, to compare, 
and to judge of the habits of a people so widely different 
from either Americans or English. 

September 8. We went to pay our respects to Baron 
Cuvier and Geoffroy St. Hilaire ; ^ we saw only the first, 
who told us to be at the Academic Royale des Sciences in 
an hour. I had Jiired a portfolio, and took my work. As 
soon as we entered, Baron Cuvier very politely came to us, 
ordered a porter to put my book on a table, and gave me 
a seat of honor. The seance was opened by a tedious lec- 
ture on the vision of the Mole ; then Cuvier arose, announc- 
ing my friend Swainson and me and spoke of my work; it 
was shown and admired as usual, and Cuvier requested to 
review it for the " IMemoircs of the Academy." Poor Au- 
dubon ! here thou art, a simple woodsman, among a crowd 
of talented men, yet kindly received by all — so are the 
works of God as shown in His birds loved by them. I left 
my book, that the librarian might show it to all who wished 
to see it. 

September 9. Went to the Jardin du Roi, where I met 
young Geoffroy, who took me to a man who stuffs birds 
for the Prince d'Essling, who, I was told, had a copy of my 
work, but after much talk could not make out whether it 
was Wilson's, Selby's, or mine. I am to call on him to- 
morrow. I took a great walk round the Boulevards, look- 
ing around me and thinking how curious my life has been, 
and how wonderful my present situation is. I took Mrs. 
Swainson to the Louvre, and as we were about to pass one 
of the gates of the Tuileries, the sentinel stopped us, saying 
no one could pass with a fur cap ; so we went to another 
1 Isidore Geoffroy St. Hilaire, 1S05-1S61, zoologist. 


gate, where no such challenge was given, and reached the 
Grand Gallery. Here amongst the Raphaels, Correggios, 
Titians, Davids, and thousands of others, we feasted our 
eyes and enlarged our knowledge. Taking Mrs. Swainson 
home, I then made for LTnstitut de France by appoint- 
ment, and gave my prospectus to the secretary of the 
library. Young Geoffroy, an aimable and learned young 
man, paid me every attention, and gave me a room for 
Swainson and myself to write in and for the inspection of 
specimens. How very different from the public societies 
in England, where instead of being bowed to, you have to 
bow to every one. Now, my Lucy, I have certainly run the 
gauntlet of England and Paris, and may feel proud of t^vo 
things, that I am considered the first ornithological painter, 
and the first practical naturalist of America; may God 
grant me life to accomplish my serious and gigantic work. 
September 10. Breakfast over, I made for the Boule- 
vards to present the letters from good friends Rathbone 

and Melly. I saw ]\Ir. B , the banker, who read the 

letter I gave him, and was most polite, but as to ornithol- 
ogy, all he knew about it was that large feathers were 
called quills, and were useful in posting ledgers. From 
there to the Jardin du Roi, where I called on Monsieur L. 
C. Kiener, bird stufifer to the Prince of Massena (or Ess- 
ling),^ who wished me to call on the Prince with him at 
two, the Prince being too ill to leave the house. Mr. and 
Mrs. Swainson were to go with me to see the collection he 
had made, of many curious and beautiful things, and when 
we reached the house we were shown at once to the 
museum, which surpasses in magnificence and number of 
rare specimens of birds, shells, and books, all I have yet 
seen. This for a while, when I was told the Prince would 
receive me. I took my pamphlet in my arms and entered 
a fine room, where he was lying on a sofa ; he rose at once, 

1 Son of Andre, Prince d'Essling and Due de Rivoli, one of the marshals 
of Napoleon. 


bowed, and presented his beautiful wife. As soon as I had 
untied my portfolio, and a print was seen, both exclaimed, 
" Ah ! c'est bien beau ! " I was asked if I did not know 
Charles Bonaparte, and when I said yes, they again both 
exclaimed, " Ah ! c'est lui, the gentleman of whom we have 
heard so much, the man of the woods, who has made so 
many and such wonderful drawings." The Prince regretted 
very much there were so few persons in France able to 
subscribe to such a work, and said I must not expect more 
than six or eight names in Paris. He named all whom he 
and his lady knevv% and then said it would give him pleas- 
ure to add his name to my list; he wrote it himself, next 
under that of the Duke of Rutland. This prince, son of 
the famous marshal, is about thirty years of age, appar- 
ently delicate, pale, slender, and yet good-looking, entirely 
devoted to Natural History ; his wife a beautiful young 
woman, not more than twenty, extremely graceful and 
polite. They both complimented me on the purity of my 
French, and wished me all success. My room at the hotel 
being very cramped, I have taken one at L'Hotel de France, 
large, clean, and comfortable, for which I pay twenty-five 
sous a day. We are within gun-shot of Les Jardins des 
Tuilcrics. The rctraitc is just now beating. This means 
that a few drummers go through the streets at eight o'clock 
in the evening, beating their drums, to give notice to all 
soldiers to make for their quarters. 

September 12. I went early to Rue Richelieu to see the 
librarian of the King, Mr. Van Praet, a small, white-haired 
gentleman, who assured me in the politest manner imagin- 
able that it was out of the question to subscribe for such a 
work ; he, however, gave me a card of introduction to M. 
Barbier, a second librarian, belonging to the King's private 
library at the Louvre. On my way I posted my letters for 
London ; the inland postage of a single letter from Paris 
to London is twenty-four sous, and the mail for London 
leaves four days in the week. M. Barbier was out, but 


when I saw him later he advised me to write to the Baron 
de la Bouillerie, intendant of the King's household. So go 
my days. — This evening we went to the Italian Opera ; it 
was not open when we arrived, so we put ourselves in the 
line of people desirous to enter, and at seven followed 
regularly, with no pushing or crowding (so different from 
England), as the arrangements are so perfect. We received 
our tickets, the change was counted at leisure, and we were 
shown into the pit, which contains three divisions ; that 
nearest the orchestra contains the most expensive seats. 
The theatre is much less in extent than either Drury Lane 
or Covent Garden, but is handsome, and splendidly deco- 
rated and lighted. The orchestra contains more than 
double the number of musicians, and when the music began, 
not another sound was heard, all was silence and attention. 
Never having been at the opera since my youth, the music 
astounded me. The opera was Semiramis, and well exe- 
cuted, but I was not much pleased with it ; it was too 
clamorous, a harmonious storm, and I would have preferred 
something more tranquil. I remarked that persons who 
left their seats intending to return laid on their seats a hat, 
glove, or card, which w-as quite sufficient to keep the place 
for them. In London what a treat for the thieves, who are 
everywhere. I walked home ; the pure atmosphere of Paris, 
the clear sky, the temperature, almost like that of America, 
make me light-hearted indeed, yet would that I were again 
in the far distant, peaceful retreats of my happiest days. 
Europe might whistle for me ; I, like a free bird, would sing, 
" Never — no, never, will I leave America." 

September 13. I had to take my portfolio to Baron 
Cuvier, and I went first to Geoffroy de St. Hilaire, who 
liked it much, and retracted his first opinion of the work 
being too large. Monsieur Dumesnil, a first-rate engraver, 
came to see me, sent by Prince de Massena, and we talked 
of the work, which he told me honestly could not be pub- 
lished in France to be delivered in England as cheaply as 


if the work were done in London, and probably not so well. 
This has ended with me all thoughts of ever removing it 
from Havell's hands, unless he should discontinue the 
present excellent state of its execution. Copper is dearer 
here than in England, and good colorers much scarcer. 
I saw Cuvier, who invited us to spend the evening, and 
then returned to the Pont des Arts to look for bird-skins. 
I found none, but purchased an engraved portrait of Cuvier, 
and another of " Phidias and the Thorn." I have just 
returned with Swainson from Baron Cuvier's, who gives 
public receptions to scientific men every Saturday. My 
book was on the tabic ; Cuvier received me with special 
kindness, and put me at my ease. Mademoiselle Cuvier 
I found remarkably agreeable, as also Monsieur de Condil- 
lot. The first very willingly said he would sit to Parker 
for his portrait, and the other told me that if I went to 
Italy, I must make his house my home. My work was 
seen by man}', and Cuvier pronounced it the finest of its 
kind in existence. 

September 1^, Sunday. Versailles, where we have spent 
our day, is truly a magnificent place ; how long since I have 
been here, and how many changes in my life since those 
days ! We first saw the orangerie, of about two hundred 
trees, that to Frenchmen who have never left Paris look 
well, but to me far from it, being martyrized by the hand 
of man, who has clipped them into stiff ovals. One is 
407 years ^old. They produce no golden fruit, as their 
boxes are far too small to supply sufficient nourishment, 
and their fragrant blossoms are plucked to make orange- 
flower water. From this spot the woods, the hunting- 
grounds of the King, are seen circling the gardens, and are 
(we are told) filled with all kinds of game. The King's 
apartments, through which we afterwards went, are too full 
of gilding for my eyes, and I frequently resorted to the 
large windows to glance at the green trees. Amongst the 
paintings I admired most little Virginia and Paul standing 


under a palm-tree with their mothers ; Paul inviting the 
lovely child to cross a brook. In the stables are a hundred 
beautiful horses, the choice of Arabia, Australasia, Nor- 
mandy, Limousin, etc., each the model of his race, with 
fiery eyes, legs sinewy and slender, tails to the ground, and 
manes never curtailed. Among them still remain several 
that have borne the great Napoleon. From here we 
walked again through woods and gardens ; thus, my Lucy, 
once more have I been at Versailles, and much have I 
enjoyed it. 

September 15. France, my dearest friend, is indeed 
poor ! This day I have attended at the Royal Academy of 
Sciences, and had all my plates spread over the different 
large tables, and they were viewed by about one hundred 
persons. " Beau ! bien beau ! " issued from every mouth, 
but, " Quel ouvrage ! " " Quel prix ! " as well. I said 
that I had thirty subscribers at Manchester; they seemed 
surprised, but acknowledged that England, the little isle 
of England, alone was able to support poor Audubon. 
Poor France ! thy fine climate, thy rich vineyards, and the 
wishes of the learned avail nothing; thou art a destitute 
beggar, and not the powerful friend thou wast represented 
to be. Now I see plainly how happy, or lucky, or pru- 
dent I was, not to follow friend Melly's enthusiastic love 
of country. Had I come first to France my work never 
would have had even a beginning; it would have perished 
like a flower in October. It happened that a gentleman 
who saw me at Versailles yesterday remembered my face, 
and spoke to me ; he is the under secretary of this famous 
society, and he wrote for me a note to be presented to the 
Minister of the Interior, who has, I am told, the power to 
subscribe to anything, and for as many copies of any work 
as the farmers of France can well pay for through the 
enormous levies imposed on them. Cuvier, St. Hilaire, 
and many others spoke to me most kindly. I had been 
to Cuvier in the morning to talk with him and Parker 


about the portrait the latter is to paint, and I beHeve I 
will describe Cuvier's house to thee. The footman asked 
us to follow him upstairs, and in the first room we caught 
a glimpse of a slight figure dressed all in black, that 
glided across the floor like a sylph ; it was Mile. Cuvier, 
not quite ready to see gentlemen : ofif she flew like a Dove 
before Falcons. We followed our man, who continually 
turned, saying, " This way, gentlemen." Eight rooms we 
passed filled with books, and each with a recessed bed, 
and at last reached a sort of laboratory, the sanctum scuic- 
toniin of CuvMcr ; there was nothing in it but books and 
skeletons of animals, reptiles, etc. Our conductor, sur- 
prised, bid us sit down, and left us to seek the Baron. My 
eyes were fully employed, and I contemplated in imagina- 
tion the extent of the great man's knowledge. His books 
were in great disorder, and I concluded that he read and 
Studied them, and owned them for other purposes than 
for show. Our man returned and led us back through the 
same av^enue of bed-chambers, lined with books instead of 
satin, and we were conducted through the kitchen to 
another laboratory, where the Baron was found. Polite- 
ness in great men is shown differently from the same qual- 
ity in fashionable society: a smile suffices to show you 
are welcome, without many words, and the work in hand 
is continued as if you were one of the family. Ah! how 
I delight in this ! and how pleased I was to be thus wel- 
comed by this learned man. Cuvier was looking at a 
small lizard in a tiny vial filled with spirit. I see now his 
sparkling eye half closed, as if quizzing its qualities, and 
as he put it down he wrote its name on a label. He made 
an appointment with Mr. Parker, and went on quizzing 
lizards. Being desirous of seeing a gambling house, young 
Geofifroy took me to one in the Palais Royal, a very noto- 
rious one, containing several roulette tables, and there we 
saw a little of the tactics of the gentlemen of the trade. 
The play, however, was not on this occasion high. The 


banquiers, or head thieves, better call them, are lank and 
pale, their countenances as unmoved as their hearts. 
From here we went to the establishment of Franconi, 
where I saw wonderful feats of horsemanship. 

September 17. There is absolutely nothing to be done 
here to advance my subscription list, and at two o'clock I 
went with Swainson to a marchand naturaliste to see some 
drawings of birds of which I had heard. They were not 
as well drawn as mine, but much better painted. 

September 18. I went to install Parker at Baron Cu- 
vier's. He had his canvas, etc., all ready and we arrived 
at half-past nine, too early quite. At ten, having spent 
our time in the apartment of the Giraffe, Parker went in 
to take a second breakfast, and I to converse with Mile. 
Cuvier. The Baron came in, and after a few minutes to 
arrange about the light, sat down in a comfortable arm- 
chair, quite ready. Great men as well as great women 
have their share of vanity, and I soon discovered that the 
Baron thinks himself a fine-looking man. His daughter 
seemed to know this, and remarked more than once that 
her father's under lip was swelled more than usual, and 
she added that the line of his nose was extremely fine. 
I passed my fingers over mine, and, lo ! I thought just the 
same. I see the Baron now, quite as plainly as I did this 
morning; an old green surtout about him, a neck-cloth, 
that might well surround his body if unfolded, loosely tied 
about his chin, and his silver locks like those of a man 
more bent on studying books than on visiting barbers. 
His fine eyes shot fire from under his bushy eyebrows, 
and he smiled as he conversed with me. Mile. Cuvier, 
asked to read to us, and opening a book, read in a clear, 
well accentuated manner a comic play, well arranged to 
amuse us for a time, for sitting for a portrait is certainly 
a great bore. The Baroness joined us ; I thought her 
looks not those of a happy person, and her melancholy 
affected me. The Baron soon said he was fatigued, rose 


and went out, but soon returned, and I advised Parker not 
to keep him too long. The time was adjourned to Sun- 
day next. In Connecticut this would be thought horrible, 
in England it would be difficult to effect it, and in Paris it is 
considered the best day for such things. Again I went to 
the Louvre, and this evening went with young Geoffroy to 
the celebrated Frascati. This house is a handsome hotel, 
and we were introduced by two servants in fine livery into 
a large wainscoted room, where a roulette table was at 
work. Now none hwt gentlemen gamble here. We saw, 
and saw only ! In another room roicge et noir was going 
on, and the double as well as the single Napoleons easily 
changed hands, yet all was smiling and serene. Some 
wealthy personage drew gold in handsful from his pock- 
ets, laid it on a favorite spot, and lost it calmly, more than 
once. Ladies also resort to this house, and good order is 
always preserved ; without a white cravat, shoes instead 
of boots, etc., no one is admitted. I soon became tired 
of watching this and we left. 

September Id. Friend Swainson requested me to go 
with him this morning to complete a purchase of skins, 
and this accomplished I called on M. Milbert, to whom I 
had a letter from my old friend Le Sueur,^ but he was 
absent. I now went to the Jardin du Roi, and at the 

library saw the so-called fine drawings of Mr. H . 

Lucy, they were just such drawings as our boy Johnny 
made before I left home, stiff and dry as a well-seasoned 
fiddle-stick. The weather and the sky are most charm- 
ing. This evening M. Cainard, whom I have met several 
times, asked me to play billiards with him, but the want 
of practice was such that I felt as if I never had played 
before. Where is the time gone when I was considered 
one of the best of players? To-morrow I will try to see 
M. Redoute.2 

1 Charles Alexandre Le Sueur, French naturalist. 1778-1S46. 

2 Pierre Joseph Redoute, French painter of flowers. 1759-1840. 


September 20. I had the pleasure of seeing old Redoute 
this morning, the ^owQr-^diint&v par excellejice. After read- 
ing Le Sueur's note to him, dated five years ago, he looked 
at me fixedly, and said, " Well, sir, I am truly glad to be- 
come acquainted with you," and without further ceremony 
showed me his best works. His flowers are grouped with 
peculiar taste, well drawn and precise in the outlines, and 
colored with a pure brilliancy that depicts nature incom- 
parably better than I ever saw it before. Old Redoute dis- 
likes all that is not nature alone ; he cannot bear either the 
drawings of stufifed birds or of quadrupeds, and evinced a 
strong desire to see a work wherein nature was delineated 
in an animated manner. He said that as he dined every 
Friday at the Duke of Orleans', he would take my work 
there next week, and procure his subscription, if not also 
that of the Duchess, and requested me to give him a pro- 
spectus. I looked over hundreds of his drawings, and found 
out that he sold them well ; he showed me some worth 
two hundred and fifty guineas. On my way to the Comte 
de Lasterie, I met the under secretary of the King's private 
library, who told me that the Baron de la Bouillerie had 
given orders to have my work inspected and if approved of 
to subscribe to it. I reached the Comte de Lasterie's 
house, found him half dressed, very dirty, and not very 
civil. He was at breakfast with several gentlemen, and 
told me to call again, which I will take into consideration. 
I must not forget that in crossing the city this morning I 
passed through the flower market, a beautiful exhibition to 
me at all times. This market is abundantly supplied twice 
a week with exotics and flowers of all sorts, which are sold 
at a cheap rate. 

September 21. The weather is still beautiful, and Parker 
and I took the omnibus at the Pont des Arts, which vehicle, 
being Sunday, w^as crowded. I left Parker to make a 
second sitting with Cuvier, and went to the Jardin du Roi, 
already filled with pleasure-seekers. I took a seat beside 
VOL. I. — 21 


a venerable old soldier, and entered into conversation with 
him. Soldier during more than thirty years, he had much 
to relate. The Moscow campaign was spoken of, and I 
heard from the lips of this veteran the sufferings to which 
Napoleon's armies had been exposed. He had been taken 
prisoner, sent to the interior for t^vo years, fed on musty 
bread by the Cossacks, who forced them to march all day. 
He had lost his toes and one ear b}' the frost, and sighed, 
as he said, "And to lose the campaign after all this! " I 
offered him a franc, and to my surprise he refused it, saying 
he had his pension, and was well fed. The garden was 
now crowded, children were scrambling for horse-chestnuts, 
which were beginning to fall, ladies playing battledore 
and shuttlecock, venders of fruit and lemonade were call- 
ing their wares, and I was interested and amused by all. 
Now to Baron Cuvier again. I found him sitting in his 
arm-chair; a gentleman was translating the dedication of 
Linne (Linnaeus) to him, as he was an.xious that the Latin 
should not be misconstrued ; he often looked in some 
book or other, and I dare say often entirely forgot Parker, 
who notwithstanding has laid in a good likeness. The 
Baron wishes me to be at the Institute to-morrow at half- 
past one. 

September 22. I was at the Institute at half-past one — 
no Baron there. I sat opposite the clock and counted 
minutes one after another; the clock ticked on as if I did 
not exist; I began the counting of the numerous volumes 
around me, and as my eyes reached the centre of the hall 
they rested on the statue of Voltaire ; he too had his share 
of troubles. Savants entered one after another ; many 
bowed to me, and passed to their seats. My thoughts 
journeyed to America; I passed from the Missouri to the 
Roanoke, to the Hudson, to the Great Lakes — then 
floated down the gentle Ohio, and met the swift Mississippi 
which would carry me to thee. The clock vibrated in my 
ears, it struck two, and I saw again that I was in an immense 


library, where the number of savants continually increased, 
but no Cuvier; I tried to read, but could not; now it was 
half-past two ; I was asked several times if I was waiting for 
the Baron, and was advised to go to his house, but like a 
sentinel true to his post I sat firm and waited. All at once 
I heard his voice, and saw him advancing, very warm and 
apparently fatigued. He met me with many apologies, 
and said, " Come with me ; " and we w^alked along, he ex- 
plaining all the time why he had been late, while his hand 
drove a pencil with great rapidity, and he told me that he 
was actually now writing the report on my work ! ! I 
thought of La Fontaine's fable of the Turtle and the Hare ; 
I was surprised that so great a man should leave till the 
last moment the writing of a report to every word of which 
the forty critics of France would lend an attentive ear. 
For being on such an eminence he has to take more care 
of his actions than a common individual, to prevent his fall, 
being surrounded, as all great men are more or less, by 
envy and malice. My enormous book lay before him, and 
I shifted as swift as lightning the different plates that he had 
marked for examination. His pencil moved as constantly 
and as rapidly. He turned and returned the sheets of his 
manuscript with amazing accuracy, and noted as quickly 
as he saw, and he saw all. We were both wet with per- 
spiration. It wanted but a few minutes of three when we 
went off to the Council room, Cuvier still writing, and 
bowing to every one he met. I left him, and was glad to 
get into the pure air. At my lodgings I found a card ask- 
ing me to go to the Messageries Royales, and I went at once, 
thinking perhaps it was my numbers from London ; but no 
such thing. My name was asked, and I was told that 
orders had been received to remit me ten francs, the coach 
having charged me for a seat better than the one I had 
had. This is indeed honesty. When I asked the gentle- 
man how he had found out my lodgings, he smiled, and 
answered that he knew every stranger in Paris that had 


arrived for the last three months, through his Hne of em- 
ployees, and that any police-officer was able to say how I 
spent my time. 

September Ho. The great Gerard, the pupil of my old 
master, David, has written saying he wishes to see my work, 
and myself also, and 1 have promised to go to-morrow 
evening at nine. To-day I have been to the King's library, 
a fine suite of twelve rooms, filled with elegant and most 
valuable copies of all the finest works. I should suppose 
that a hundred thousand volumes are contained here, as 
well as portfolios filled with valuable originals of the first 
masters. The King seldom reads, but he shoots well. 
Napoleon read, or was read to, constantly, and hardly knew 
how to hold a gun. I was surprised when I spoke of 
Charles Bonaparte to notice that no response was made, 
and the conversation was abruptly turned from ornithol- 
ogists to engraving. I have now been nearly three weeks 
in Paris and have two subscribers — almost as bad as Glas- 
gow. I am curious to see the Baron's report, and should 
like to have it in his own handwriting. This is hardly pos- 
sible ; he seldom writes, Mile. Cuvicr does his writing for 

Septcvihcr 2If. To hav^e seen me trot about from pillar 
to post, across this great town, from back of the Palais 
Royal to the Jardin du Luxembourg, in search of M. Le 
Medccin Bcrtrand and a copy of Cuvier's report, would 
have amused any one, and yet I did it with great activity. 
Such frailty docs exist in man, all of whom are by nature 
avaricious of praise. Three times did I go in vain to 
each place, i. c, to the house in the Rue d' Enfans, and 
the Globe Office, three miles asunder. Fatigue at last 
brought me to bay, and I gave up the chase. I pro- 
ceeded to the King's library. My work had had the 
honor to have been inspected by the Committee, who had 
passed a favorable judgment on its merits. I was in- 
formed that should the King subscribe, I must leave in 


France a man authorized by act of attorney to receive my 
dues, without which I might never have a sol. The 
hbrarian, a perfect gentleman, told me this in friendship, 
and would have added (had he dared^ that Kings are 
rarely expected to pay. I, however, cut the matter short, 
knowing within myself that, should I not receive my 
money, I was quite able to keep the work. In the even- 
ing I dressed to go to M. Gerard's with M. Valenciennes; 
but he did not come, so there must have been some 
mistake — probably mine. 

September 25. Went with Swainson to the Pantheon, 
to see if the interior corresponds with the magnificence 
of the exterior; it is fine, but still unfinished. All, or 
almost all, the public edifices of Paris far surpass those 
of London. Then to see Cuvier, who was sitting for his 
portrait, while the Baroness was reading to him the life 
of Garrick. He had known Mrs. Garrick, and his obser- 
vations were interesting. The likeness is good, and Cuvier 
is much pleased with it; he gave me a note for M. Vallery 
the King's librarian. Parker had received a note from 
M. Valenciennes, saying he had forgot my address, and 
had spent the evening going from place to place searching 
for me, and requested I would go with him to Gerard next 
Thursday. Did he forget to question the all-knowing police, 
or did the gentleman at the Messageries exaggerate? 

September 26. I spent some time in the Louvre exam- 
ining very closely the most celebrated pictures of animals, 
birds, fruits, and flowers. Afterwards we all went to the 
French Opera, or, as it is called here, L'Ecole de Musique 
Royale, The play was " La Muette," a wonderful piece, 
and the whole arrangement of the performance still more 
so. There were at one time two hundred persons on the 
stage. The scenery was the finest I have ever beheld, — at 
the last, Mount Vesuvius in full and terrific eruption ; the 
lava seemed absolutely to roll in a burning stream down 
the sides of the volcano, and the stones which were appar- 


ently cast up from the earth added to the grand represen- 
tation. The whole house resounded with the most vocifer- 
ous applause, and we enjoyed our evening, I assure thee. 

September 27. Found old Redoute at his painting. 
The size of my portfolio surprised him, and when I 
opened the work, he examined it most carefully, and 
spoke highly of it, and wished he could afford it. I pro- 
posed, at last, that we should exchange works, to which 
he agreed gladly, and gave me at once nine numbers of 
his "Belles fleurs" and promised to send " Les Roses." 
Now, my Lucy, this will be a grand treat for thee, fond 
of flowers as thou art; when thou seest these, thy eyes 
will feast on the finest thou canst imagine. From here 
to the Globe office, where I saw the rt'dacteiir, who was 
glad to have me correct the proof sheets as regarded the 
technical names. I did so, and he gave me, to my delight, 
the original copy of Cuvier himself It is a great eulo- 
gium certainly, but not so feelingly written as the one by 
Swainson, nevertheless it will give the French an idea of 
my work. 

September 2S. I have lived many years, and have only 
seen one horse race. Perhaps I should not have seen 
that, which took place to-day at the Champ de Mars, 
had I nut gone out of curiosity with M. Vallery. The 
Champ de Mars is on the south side of the Seine, about 
one and one half miles below Paris ; we passed through 
Les Jardins dcs Tuilcries, followed the river, and crossed the 
Pont de Jena opposite the entrance to I'l^cole Militaire, 
situated at the farther end of the oval that forms the 
Champ de Mars. This is a fine area, and perfectly level, 
surrounded by a levee of earth, of which I should suppose 
the material was taken from the plain on which the course 
is formed. Arriving early, we walked round it; saw with 
pleasure the trees that shaded the walks ; the booths 
erected for the royal family, the prefect, the gentry, and the 
canaille, varying greatly in elegance, as you may suppose. 


Chairs and benches were to be hired in abundance, and 
we each took one. At one o'clock squadrons of gens 
d' amies and whole regiments of infantry made their 
appearance from different points, and in a few minutes the 
whole ground was well protected. The King was ex- 
pected, but I saw nothing of him, nor, indeed, of any of 
the royal family, and cannot even assert that they came. 
At two every seat was filled, and several hundreds of men 
on horseback had taken the centre of the plain divided 
from the race track by a line of ropes. The horses for 
the course made their appearance, — long-legged, slender- 
bodied, necks straight, light of foot, and fiery-eyed. They 
were soon mounted, and started, but I saw none that 
I considered swift ; not one could have run half as fast 
as a buck in our woods. Five different sets were run, one 
after another, but I must say I paid much greater attention 
to a Mameluke on a dark Arab steed, which with wonder- 
ful ease leaped over the ground like a Squirrel ; going at 
times like the wind, then, being suddenly checked by his 
rider, almost sat on his haunches, wheeled on his hind legs, 
and cut all sorts of mad tricks at a word from his skilful 
master. I would rather see Jiivi again than all the races 
in the world ; horse racing, like gambling, can only amuse 
people who have nothing better to attend to ; however, I 
have seen a race ! 

September 30. I saw Constant, the great engraver. Rue 
Percie, No. 12 ; he was at work, and I thought he worked 
well. I told him the purpose of my visit, and he dropped 
his work at once to see mine. How he stared ! how often 
he exclaimed, " Oh, mon Dieu, quel ouvrage ! " I showed 
him all, and he began calculating, but did so, far too largely 
for me, and we concluded no bargain. Old Redoute visited 
me and brought me a letter from the Due d'Orleans, whom 
I was to call upon at one o'clock. Now, dearest friend, as 
I do not see Dukes every day I will give thee a circum- 
stantial account of my visit. The Palais of the Due 


d'Orleans is actually the entrance of the Palais-Royal, 
where we often go in the evening, and is watched by many 
a sentinel. On the right, I saw a large, fat, red-coated 
man through the ground window, whom I supposed the 
porter of his Royal Highness. I entered and took off my 
fur cap, and went on in an unconcerned way towards the 
stairs, when he stopped me, and asked my wishes. I told 
him I had an engagement with his master at one, and gave 
him my card to take up. He said Monseigneur was not 
in (a downright lie), but that I might go to the ante- 
chamber. I ordered the fat fellow to have my portfolio 
taken upstairs, and proceeded to mount the finest staircase 
my feet have ever trod. The stairs parted at bottom in 
rounding form of about twenty-four feet in breadth, to 
meet on the second floor, on a landing lighted by a sky- 
light, which permitted me to see the beauties of the sur- 
rounding walls, and on this landing opened three doors, 
two of which I tried in vain to open. The third, however, 
gave way, and 1 found myself in the antechamber, with 
about twelve servants, who all rose and stood, until I had 
seated myself on a soft, red-vclvet-covered bench. Not a 
word was said to me, and I gazed at all of them with a 
strange sensation of awkwardness mingled with my original 
pride. This room had bare walls, and a floor of black 
and white square marble flags. A man I call a sergeant 
d'armes, not knowing whether I am right or wrong, wore 
a sword fastened to a belt of embroidered silk, very wide ; 
and he alone retained his hat. In a few minutes a tall, 
thin gentleman made his entrance from another direction 
from that by which I had come. The servants were again 
all up in a moment, the sergeant took ofi" his hat, and the 
gentleman disappeared as if he had not seen me, though I 
had risen and bowed. A few minutes elapsed, when the 
same thing occurred again. Not knowing how long this 
might continue, I accosted the sergeant, told him I came 
at the request of the Duke, and wished to see him. A 


profound bow was the answer, and I was conducted to 
another room, where several gentlemen were seated writing. 
I let one of them know my errand, and in a moment was 
shown into an immense and superbly furnished apartment, 
and my book was ordered to be brought up. In this room 
I bowed to t^vo gentlemen whom I knew to be members of 
the Leoiion d'Honneur, and walked about admiring the 
fine marble statues and the paintings. A gentleman 
soon came to me, and asked if perchance my name 
was Audubon? I bowed, and he replied: "Bless me, we 
thought that you had gone and left your portfolio ; my 
uncle has been waiting for you twenty minutes; pray, 
sir, follow me." We passed through a file of bowing 
domestics, and a door being opened I saw the Duke 
coming towards me, to whom I was introduced by the 
nephew. Lucy, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama have 
furnished the finest men in the world, as regards physical 
beauty ; I have also seen many a noble-looking Osage 
chief; but I do not recollect a finer-looking man, in form, 
deportment, and manners, than this Due d'Orleans. He 
had my book brought up, and helped me to untie the 
strings and arrange the table, and began by saying that he 
felt a great pleasure in subscribing to the work of an 
American, for that he had been most kindly treated in the 
United States, and should never forget it. The portfolio 
was at last opened, and when I held up the plate of the 
Baltimore Orioles, with a nest swinging amongst the tender 
twigs of the yellow poplar, he said: "This surpasses all I 
have seen, and I am not astonished now at the eulogiums 
of M. Redoute." He spoke partly English, and partly 
French ; spoke much of America, of Pittsburgh, the Ohio, 
New Orleans, the Mississippi, steamboats, etc., etc., and 
added: "You are a great nation, a wonderful nation." 

The Duke promised me to write to the Emperor of 
Austria, King of Sweden, and other crowned heads, and 
asked me to write to-day to the Minister of the Interior. I 


remained talking with him more than an hour ; I showed 
him my hst of Enghsh subscribers, many of whom he knew. 
I asked him for his own signature ; he took my Hst and with 
a smile wrote, in very large and legible characters, " Le Due 
d'Orleans." I now felt to remain longer would be an in- 
trusion, and thanking him respectfully I bowed, shook 
hands with him, and retired. He wished to keep the set I 
had shown him, but it was soiled, and to such a good man 
a good set must go. At the door I asked the fat porter 
if he would tell me again his master was out. He tried in 
vain to blush. 

October 1. Received to-day the note from the Minister 
of the Interior asking me to call to-morrow at two. At 
eight in the evening I was ready for M. Valenciennes to 
call for me to go with him to Gerard. I waited till ten, 
when my gentleman came, and off we went ; what a time 
to pay a visit ! But I was told Gerard ^ keeps late hours, 
rarely goes to bed before two, but is up and at work by 
ten or eleven. When I entered I found the rooms filled 
with both sexes, and my name being announced, a small, 
well-formed man came to me, took my hand, and said, 
" Welcome, Brother in Arts." I liked this much, and was 
gratified to have the ice broken so easily. Gerard was all 
curiosity to see my drawings, and old Redoutc, who was 
present, spoke so highly of them before the book was 
opened, that I feared to discover Gerard's disappointment. 
The book opened accidentally at the plate of the Parrots, 
and Gerard, taking it up without speaking, looked at it, I 
assure thee, with as keen an eye as my own, for several 
minutes; put it down, took up the one of the Mocking- 
Birds, and, offering me his hand, said: "Mr. Audubon, 
you are the king of ornithological painters; we are all 
children in France and in Europe. Who would have ex- 
pected such things from the woods of America?" My 

1 Fran9ois Gerard, born at Rome 1770, died 1837 ; the best French 
portrait painter of his time, distinguished also for historical pictures. 


heart thrilled with pride at his words. Are not we of 
America men? Have we not the same nerves, sinews, and 
mental faculties which other nations possess? By Wash- 
ington ! we have, and may God grant us the peaceable use 
of them forever. I received compliments from all around 
me ; Gerard spoke of nothing but my work, and requested 
some prospectuses for Italy. He repeated what Baron 
Cuvier had said in the morning, and hoped that the Minis- 
ter would order a good, round set of copies for the Govern- 
ment. I closed the book, and rambled around the rooms 
which were all ornamented with superb prints, mostly of 
Gerard's own paintings. The ladies were all engaged at 
cards, and money did not appear to be scarce in this 
portion of Paris. 

October 2. Well, my Lucy, this day found me, about 
two o'clock, in contemplation of a picture by Gerard in 
the salon of the Minister of the Interior. Very different, 
is it not, from looking up a large decaying tree, watching 
the movements of a Woodpecker? I was one of several 
who were w^aiting, but only one person was there when I 
arrived, who entered into conversation with me, — a most 
agreeable man and the King's physician, possessed of fine 
address and much learning, being also a good botanist. 
Half an hour elapsed, when the physician was called ; he 
was absent only a few minutes, and returning bowed to me 
and smiled as my name was called. I found the Minister a 
man about my own age, apparently worn out with business ; 
he wore a long, loose, gray surtout, and said, " Well, sir, 
I am glad to see you ; where is your great work?" I had 
the portfolio brought in, and the plates were exhibited. 
" Really, monsieur, it is a very fine thing; " and after some 
questions and a little conversation he asked me to write to 
him again, and put my terms in writing, and he would 
reply as soon as possible. He looked at me very fixedly, 
but so courteously I did not mind it. I tied up my 
portfolio and soon departed, having taken as much of 


the time of M. de Marignac as I felt I could do at this 

October 4- Went with Swainson to the Jardin du Roi 
to interpret for him, and afterwards spent some time with 
Geoffroy de St. Hilaire, hearing from him some curious 
facts respecting the habits and conformation of the Mole. 
He gave me a ticket to the distribution of the Grand Prix 
at the Institut. I then ascended four of the longest stair- 
cases I know, to reach the cabinet of M. Pascale, the 
director of the expenses of S. A. R. the Due d'Orleans. 
What order was here ! Different bookcases contained the 
papers belonging to the forests — horses — furniture — fine 
arts — libraries — fisheries — personal expenses, and so on. 
M. Pascale took out M. Rcdoute's letter, and I perceived 
the day of subscription, number of plates per annum, all, 
was noted on the margin. M. Pascale sent me to the 
private apartments of the Duchesse. Judge of my aston- 
ishment when I found this house connected with the Palais- 
Royal. I went through a long train of corridors, and 
reached the cabinet of M. Goutard. He took my name 
and heard my request and promised to make an appoint- 
ment for me through M. Redovjtc, who is the drawing- 
master of the daughters of the Duchesse. With Parker I 
went to see the distribution of prizes at L'Institut Franqais. 
The entrance was crowded, and, as in France pushing and 
scrambling to get forward is out of the question, and very 
properly so, I think, we reached the amphitheatre when it 
was already well filled with a brilliant assemblage, but 
secured places where all could be seen. The members 
dress in black trimmed with rich green laces. The youths 
aspiring to rewards were seated round a table, facing the 
audience. The reports read, the prizes w^ere given, those 
thus favored receiving a crown of laurel with either a gold 
or silver medal. We remained here from two till five. 

Sunday, October 5. After a wonderful service at Notre 
Dame I wandered through Les Jardins des Plantcs, and 


on to Cuvier's, who had promised me a letter to some one 
who would, he thought, subscribe to my book; but with 
his usual procrastination it was not ready, and he said he 
would write it to-morrow. Oh, cursed to-morrow ! Do men 
forget, or do they not know how swiftly time moves on? 

October 6. Scarce anything to write. No letter yet 
from the Minister of the Interior, and I fear he too is a 
"To-morrow man." I went to Cuvier for his letter; when 
he saw me he laughed, and told me to sit down and see 
his specimens for a little while ; he was surrounded by 
reptiles of all sorts, arranging and labelling them. In half 
an hour he rose and wrote the letter for me to the Duke 
of Levis, but it was too late to deliver it to-day. 

October 7. While with M. Lesson to-day, he spoke of 
a Monsieur d'Orbigny ^ of La Rochelle ; and on my making 
some inquiries I discovered he was the friend of my early 
days, my intimate companion during my last voyage from 
France to America ; that he was still fond of natural 
history, and had the management of the Musee at La 
Rochelle. His son Charles, now twenty-one, I had held in 
my arms many times, and as M. Lesson said he was in 
Paris, I went at once to find him ; he was out, but shortly 
after I had a note from him saying he would call to-morrow 

October 8. This morning I had the great pleasure of 
receiving my god-son Charles d'Orbigny. Oh! what past 
times were brought to my mind. He told me he had often 
heard of me from his father, and appeared delighted to 
meet me. He, too, like the rest of his family, is a naturalist, 
and I showed him my work with unusual pleasure. His 
father was the most intimate friend I have ever had, except 
thee, my Lucy, and my father. I think I must have asked 
a dozen times to-day if no letter had come for me. Oh, 
Ministers ! what patience you do teach artists ! 

1 Charles d'Orbigny, son of Audubon's early friend, M. le docteur 


October 11. This afternoon, as I was despairing about 
the ministers, I received a note from Vicomte Simeon,^ 
desiring I should call on Monday. I may then finish 
with these high dignitaries. I saw the King and royal 
family get out of their carriages at the Tuileries; bless 
us! what a show! Carriages fairly glittering — eight 
horses in each, and two hundred hussars and outriders. 
A fine band of music announced their arrival. Dined at 
Baron Cuvier's, who subscribed to my work; he being the 
father of all naturalists, I felt great pleasure at this. I 
left at eleven, the streets dark and greasy, and made for 
the shortest way to my hotel, which, as Paris is a small 
town compared to London, I found no difficulty in doing. 
I am astonished to see how early all the shops close here. 

October 13. At twelve o'clock I was seated in the 
antechamber of the Vicomte Simeon ; when the sergeant 
perceived me he came to me and said that M. Simeon 
desired me to have the first interview. I followed him 
and saw a man of ordinary stature, about forty, fresh-look- 
ing, and so used to the courtesy of the great world that 
before I had opened my lips he had paid me a very hand- 
some compliment, which I have forgot. The size of my 
work astonished him, as it does every one who sees it for 
the first time. He told me that the work had been under 
discussion, and that he advised me to see Baron de la 
Brouillerie and Baron Vacher, the secretary of the Dau- 
phin. I told him I wished to return to England to super- 
intend my work there, and he promised I should have the 
decision to-morrow (hated word!) or the next day. I 
thought him kind and complaisant. He gave the signal 
for my departure by bowing, and I lifted my book, as if 
made of feathers, and passed out with swiftness and alac- 
rity. I ordered the cab at once to the Tuileries, and 
after some trouble found the Cabinet of the Baron de 
Vacher; there, Lucy, I really waited like a Blue Heron 

1 Count Joseph Jerome Simeon, French Minister of State. 1781-1846. 


on the edge of a deep lake, the bottom of which the bird 
cannot find, nor even know whether it may turn out to 
be good fishing. Many had their turns before me, but I 
had my interview. The Baron, a fine young man about 
twenty-eight, promised me to do all he could, but that his 
master was allowed so much (how much I do not know), 
and his expenses swallowed all. 

October 14- Accompanied Parker while he was paint- 
ing Redoute's portrait, and during the outlining of that 
fine head I was looking over the original drawings of the 
great man; never have I seen drawings more beautifully 
wrought up, and so true to nature. The washy, slack, 
imperfect messes of the British artists are nothing- in 
comparison. I remained here three hours, which I en- 
joyed much. 

October 15. Not a word from the minister, and the 
time goes faster than I like, I assure thee. Could the 
minister know how painful it is for an individual like me 
to wait nearly a month for a decision that might just as 
well have been concluded in one minute, I am sure things 
would be different. 

October 18. I have seen two ministers this day, but 
from both had only promises. But this day has consider- 
ably altered my ideas of ministers. I have had a fair 
opportunity of seeing how much trouble they have, and 
how necessary it is to be patient with them. I arrived at 
Baron de la Brouillerie's at half-past eleven. A soldier 
took my portfolio, that weighs nearly a hundred pounds, 
and showed me the entrance to a magnificent antecham- 
ber. Four gentlemen and a lady were there, and after 
they had been admitted and dismissed, my name was 
called. The Baron is about sixty years old; tall, thin, 
not handsome, red in the face, and stiff in his manners. 
I opened my book, of which he said he had read much in 
the papers, and asked me why I had not applied to him 
before. I told him I had written some weeks ago. This 


he had forgot, but now remembered, somewhat to his 
embarrassment. He examined every sheet very closely, 
said he would speak to the King, and I must send him a 
written and exact memorandum of everything. He ex- 
pressed surprise the Due d' Orleans had taken only one 
copy. I walked from here to Vicomte Simeon. It was 
his audience day, and in the antechamber twenty-six 
were already waiting. My seat was close to the door of 
his cabinet, and I could not help hearing some words 
during my penance, which lasted one hour and a half. 
The Vicomte received every one with the same words, 
" Monsieur (or Madame), j'ai I'honneur de vous saluer;" 
and when each retired, "Monsieur, je suis votre tr6s 
humble serviteur. " Conceive, my Lucy, the situation of 
this unfortunate being, in his cabinet since eleven, re- 
peating these sentences to upwards of one hundred per- 
sons, answering questions on as many different subjects. 
What brains he must have, and — how long can he keep 
them ? As soon as I entered he said : " Your business is 
being attended to, and I give you vjy ivord you shall have 
your answer on Tuesday. Have you seen Barons Vacher 
and La Brouillerie.'' " I told him I had, and he wished 
me success as I retired. 

October 19. About twelve walked to the plains dTssy 
to see the review of the troops by the King in person. It 
is about eight miles from that portion of Paris where I 
was, and I walked it with extreme swiftness, say five and 
a half miles per hour. The plain is on the south bank of 
the Seine, and almost level. Some thousands of soldiers 
were already ranged in long lines, handsomely dressed, 
and armed as if about to be in action. I made for the top 
of a high wall, which I reached at the risk of breaking my 
neck, and there, like an Eagle on a rock, I surveyed all 
around me. The carriage of the Due d' Orleans came 
first at full gallop, all the men in crimson liveries, and 
the music struck up like the thunder of war. Then the 


King, all his men in white liveries, came driving at full 
speed, and followed by other grandees. The King and 
these gentry descended from their carriages and mounted 
fine horses, which were in readiness for them ; they were 
immediately surrounded by a brilliant staff, and the re- 
view began, the Duchesses d' Orleans and de Berry hav- 
ing now arrived in open carriages; from my perch I saw 
all. The Swiss troops began, and the manoeuvres were 
finely gone through ; three times I was within twenty- 
five yards of the King and his staff, and, as a Kentuckian 
would say, "could have closed his eye with a rifle bullet." 
He is a man of small stature, pale, not at all handsome, 
and rode so bent over his horse that his appearance was 
neither kingly nor prepossessing. He wore a three-cor- 
nered hat, trimmed with white feathers, and had a broad 
blue sash from the left shoulder under his right arm. 
The Due d' Orleans looked uncommonly well in a hussar 
uniform, and is a fine rider; he sat his horse like a 
Turk. The staff was too gaudy; I like not so much gold 
and silver. None of the ladies were connections of Venus, 
except most distantly; few Frenchwomen are handsome. 
The review over, the King and his train rode off. I saw 
a lady in a carriage point at me on the wall; she doubt- 
less took me for a large black Crow. The music was un- 
commonly fine, especially that by the band belonging to 
the Cuirassiers, which was largely composed of trumpets 
of various kinds, and aroused my warlike feelings. The 
King and staff being now posted at some little distance, a 
new movement began, the cannon roared, the horses gal- 
loped madly, the men were enveloped in clouds of dust and 
smoke; this was a sham battle. No place of retreat was 
here, no cover of dark woods, no deep swamp ; there would 
have been no escape here. This was no battle of New 
Orleans, nor Tippecanoe. I came down from my perch, 
leaving behind me about thirty thousand idlers like myself, 
and the soldiers, who must have been hot and dusty enough. 
VOL. I. — 22 


October 20. Nothing to do, and tired of sight-seeing. 
Four subscriptions in seven weeks. Slow work indeed. 
I took a long walk, and watched the Stock Pigeons or 
Cushats in the trees of Le Jardin des Tuileries, where they 
roost in considerable numbers, arriving about sunset. 
They settle at first on the highest trees, and driest, naked 
branches, then gradually lower themselves, approach the 
trunks of the trees, and thickest parts, remain for the 
night, leave at day-break, and fly northerly. Blackbirds 
do the same, and are always extremely noisy before dark; 
a few Rooks are seen, and two or three Magpies. In the 
Jardin, and in the walks of the Palais-Royal, the common 
Sparrow is prodigiously plenty, very tame, fed by ladies 
and children, killed or missed with blow-guns by mis- 
chievous boys. The Mountain Finch passes in scattered 
numbers over Paris at this season, going northerly, and 
is caught in nets. Now, my love, wouldst thou not be- 
lieve me once more in the woods, hard at it.-* Alas ! I 
wish I was ; what precious time I am wasting in Europe. 

October 21. Redout^ told me the young Duchesse 
d'Orleans had subscribed, and I would receive a letter to 
that effect. Cuvier sent me one hundred printed copies 
of his Proch verbal. 

October 22. The second day of promise is over, and 
not a word from either of the ministers. Now, do those 
good gentlemen expect me to remain in Paris all my life.-' 
They are mistaken. Saturday I pack; on Tuesday morn- 
ing farewell to Paris. Redoute sent me three volumes of 
his beautiful roses, which thou wilt so enjoy, and a com- 
pliment which is beyond all truth, so I will not repeat it. 

October 26. I received a letter from Baron de la 
Brouillerie announcing that the King had subscribed to 
my work for his private library. I was visited by the 
secretary of the Due d'Orleans, who sat with me some time, 
a clever and entertaining man with whom I felt quite at 
ease. He told me that I might now expect the subscrip- 


tions of most of the royal family, because none of them 
liked to be outdone or surpassed by any of the others.-^ 
Good God ! what a spirit is this; what a world we live in ! 
I also received a M. Pitois, who came to look at my book, 
with a view to becoming my agent here; Baron Cuvier 
recommended him strongly, and I have concluded a bar- 
gain with him. He thinks he can procure a good number 
of names. His manners are plain, and I hope he will 
prove an honest man. He had hardly gone, when I re- 
ceived a letter from M. Simeon, telling me the Minister 
of the Interior would take six copies for various French 
towns and universities, and he regretted it was not 
twelve. So did I, but I am well contented. I have 
now thirteen subscribers in Paris ; I have been here two 
months, and have expended forty pounds. My adieux 
will now be made, and I shall be en route for London 
before long. 

London, November ^. I travelled from Paris to Bou- 
logne with two nuns, that might as well be struck off the 
calendar of animated beings. They stirred not, they 
spoke not, they saw not; they replied neither by word 
nor gesture to the few remarks I made. In the woods of 
America I have never been in such silence; for in the 
most retired places I have had the gentle murmuring 
streamlet, or the sound of the Woodpecker tapping, or the 
sweet melodious strains of that lovely recluse, my great- 
est favorite, the Wood Thrush. The great poverty of 
the country struck me everywhere ; the peasantry are beg- 
garly and ignorant, few know the name of the Dcpartenient 
in which they live ; their hovels are dirty and uncomfort- 
able, and appear wretched indeed after Paris. In Paris 
alone can the refinements of society, education, and the 
fine arts be found. To Paris, or to the large cities, the 
country gentleman must go, or have nothing; how unlike 
the beautiful country homes of the English. I doubt not 

1 The words of the secretary were fully verified within a few months. 


the "New Monthly" would cry out : "Here is Audubon 
again, in all his extravagance." This may be true, but I 
write as I think I see, and that is enough to render me 
contented with my words. The passage from Calais was 
short, and I was free from my usual seasickness, and 
London was soon reached, where I have been busy with 
many letters, many friends, and my work. I have pre- 
sented a copy of my birds to the Linnsean Society, and 
sold a little picture for ten guineas. And now I must to 
work on the pictures that have been ordered in France. 

November 7. To-day is of some account, as Mr. Havell 
has taken the drawings that are to form the eleventh 
number of my work. It will be the first number for the 
year 1829. I have as yet had no answer from the Lin- 
naean Society, but thou knowcst how impatient my poor 
nature always is. 

November 10. I have been painting as much as the 
short days will allow, but it is very hard for me to do so, 
as my Southern constitution suffers so keenly from the 
cold that I am freezing on the side farthest from the fire 
at this very instant. I have finished the two pictures for 
the Due d'Orl^ans; that of the Grouse I regret much to 
part with, without a copy; however, I may at some future 
time group another still more naturally. 

November 15. We have had such dismal fog in this 
London that I could scarcely see to write at twelve 
o'clock; however, I did write nearly all day. It has been 
extremely cold besides, and in the streets in the middle 
of the day I saw men carrying torches, so dark it was. 

November 17. I anticipated this day sending all my 
copies for Paris, but am sadly disappointed. One of the 
colorers employed brought a number so shamefully done 
that I would not think of forwarding it. It has gone to 
be washed, hot pressed, and done over again. Depend 
upon it, my work will not fail for the want of my own 
very particular attention. 


December's. After so long neglecting thee, my dear 
book, it would be difficult to enter a connected account of 
my time, but I will trace the prominent parts of the lapse. 
Painting every day, and I may well add constantly, has 
been the main occupation. I have (what I call) finished 
my two large pictures of the Eagle and the Lamb, and 
the Dog and the Pheasants, and now, as usual, can scarce 
bear to look at either. My friends the Swainsons have 
often been to see me, and good Bentley came and lived 
with me for a month as a brother would. I parted from 
him yesterday with pain and regret. Several artists have 
called upon me, and have given vaQ false praises, as I have 
heard afterwards, and I hope they will keep aloof. It is 
charity to speak the truth to a man who knows the pov- 
erty of his talents and wishes to improve ; it is villa- 
nous to mislead him, by praising him to his face, and 
laughing at his work as they go down the stairs of his 
house. I have, however, applied to one whom I kjiow to 
be candid, and who has promised to see them, and to give 
his opinion with truth and simplicity; this is no other, 
my Lucy, than the president of the Royal Academy, Sir 
Thomas Lawrence. The steady work and want of exer- 
cise has reduced me almost to a skeleton ; I have not 
allowed myself the time even to go to the Zoological 

December 26. I dined yesterday (another Christmas 
day away from my dear country) at a Mr. Goddard's; our 
company was formed of Americans, principally sea-cap- 
tains. During my absence Sir Thomas Lawrence came 
to see my paintings, which were shown to him by Mr. 
Havell, who reported as follows. On seeing the Eagle 
and Lamb he said, "That is a fine picture." He exam- 
ined it closely, and was shown that of the Pheasants, 
which I call " Sauve qui peuV He approached it, looked 
at it sideways, up and down, and put his face close to the 
canvas, had it moved from one situation to two others in 


different lights, but gave no opinion. The Otter came 
next, and he said that the "animal" was very fine, and 
told Havell he would come again to see them in a few 
days. I paid him my respects the next morning, and 
thought him kinder than usual. He said he would cer- 
tainly come to make a choice for me of one to be exhib- 
ited at Somerset House, and would speak to the Council 
about it. 

The remaining three months before Audubon sailed for 
America, April i, 1829, were passed in preparations for 
his absence from his book, and many pages of his fine, 
close writing are filled with memoranda for Mr. Havell, 
Mr. J. G. Children, and Mr. Pitois. Audubon writes: 
" I have made up my mind to go to America, and with 
much labor and some trouble have made ready. My busi- 
ness is as well arranged for as possible; I have given the 
agency of my work to my excellent friend Children, of 
the British Museum, who kindly offered to see to it dur- 
ing my absence. I have collected some rhoney, paid all 
my debts, and taken my passage in the packet-ship 
' Columbia,' Captain Delano. I chose the ship on ac- 
count of her name, and paid thirty pounds for my passage. 
I am about to leave this smoky city for Portsmouth, and 
shall sail on April i." The voyage was uneventful, and 
America was reached on May i. Almost immediately 
began the search for new birds, and those not delineated 
already, for the continuation and completion of the " Birds 
of America." 




nPHE Labrador trip, long contemplated, was 
made with the usual object, that of procur- 
ing birds and making the drawings of them for the 
continuation of the " Birds of America," the pub- 
lication of which was being carried on by the 
Havells, under the supervision of Victor, the elder 
son, who was in London at this time. To him 
Audubon writes from Eastport, Maine, under date 
of May 31, 1833: — 

"We are on the eve of our departure for the 
coast of Labrador. Our party consists of young Dr. 
George Shattuck of Boston, Thomas Lincoln of 
Dennysville, William Ingalls, son of Dr. Ingalls of 
Boston, Joseph Coolidge, John, and myself. I have 
chartered a schooner called the ' Ripley,' com- 
manded by Captain Emery, who was at school with 
my friend Lincoln; he is reputed to be a gentleman, 
as well as a good sailor. Coolidge, too, has been 
bred to the sea, and is a fine, active youth of twenty- 
one. The schooner is a new vessel, only a year 
old, of 106 tons, for which we pay three hundred 
and fifty dollars per month for the entire use of 
the vessel with the men, but we supply ourselves 


with provisions.^ The hold of the vessel has been 
floored, and our great table solidly fixed in a toler- 
ably good light under the main hatch ; it is my 
intention to draw whenever possible, and that will 
be many hours, for the daylight is with us nearly 
all the time in those latitudes, and the fishermen 
say you can do with little sleep, the air is so pure. 
I have been working hard at the birds from the 
Grand Menan, as well as John, who is overcoming 
his habit of sleeping late, as I call him every morn- 
ing at four, and we have famous long days. We 
are well provided as to clothes, and strange figures 
indeed do we cut in our dresses, I promise you : 
fishermen's boots, the soles of which are all nailed 
to enable us to keep our footing on the sea-weeds, 
trousers oi fcarnougJit so coarse that our legs look 
like bears' legs, oiled jackets and over-trousers for 
rainy weather, and round, white, wool hats with a 
piece of oil cloth dangling on our shoulders to pre- 
vent the rain from running down our necks. A 
coarse bag is strapped on the back to carry pro- 
visions on inland journeys, with our guns and hunt- 
ing-knives ; you can form an idea of us from this. 
Edward Harris is not to be with us; this I regret 
more than I can say. This day seven vessels sailed 
for the fishing-grounds, some of them not more 
than thirty tons' burden, for these hardy fishermen 

1 These terms were not, however, held to by the owners of the vessel, 
and the provisioning was left also to them, the whole outlay being about 
$1500 for the entire trip. 


care not in what they go; but / do, and, indeed, 
such a boat would be too small for us." 

The 1st of June was the day appointed for the 
start, but various delays occurred which retarded 
this until the 6th, when the journal which follows 
tells its own tale. 

Of all the members of the party Mr. Joseph 

Coolidge, now (1897) living in San Francisco, is the 

sole survivor. 

M. R. A. 


From the portrait by George P. A. Hcaly, London, 1838. Now in the possession of the Boston Society 
of Natural History. 



Easfport, Maine, June 4- Our vessel is being pre- 
pared for our reception and departure, and we have con- 
cluded to hire two extra sailors and a lad ; the latter to be 
a kind of major-domo, to clean our guns, etc., search for 
nests, and assist in skinning birds. Whilst rambling in 
the woods this morning, I found a Crow's nest, with five 
young, yet small. As I ascended the tree, the parents 
came to their offspring crying loudly, and with such per- 
severance that in less than fifteen minutes upwards of 
fifty pairs of these birds had joined in their vociferations; 
yet when first the parents began to cry I would have 
supposed them the only pair in the neighborhood. 

Wednesday, June 5. This afternoon, when I had con- 
cluded that everything relating to the charter of the 
"Ripley" was arranged, some difficulty arose between my- 
self and Mr. Buck, which nearly put a stop to our having 
his vessel. Pressed, however, as I was, by the lateness of 
the season, I gave way and suffered myself to be imposed 
upon as usual, with a full knowledge that I was so. The 
charter was signed, and we hoped to have sailed, but 
to-morrow is now the day appointed. Our promised 
Hampton boat is not come. 

Thursday, June 6. We left the wharf of Eastport about 
one o'clock P. M. Everyone of the male population came 
to see the show, just as if no schooner the size of the 


" Ripley " had ever gone from this mighty port to Labrador. 
Our numerous friends came with the throng, and we all 
shook hands as if never to meet again. The batteries of 
the garrison, and the cannon of the revenue cutter, saluted 
us, each firing four loud, oft-echoing reports. Captain 
Coolidge accompanied us, and indeed was our pilot, until 
we had passed Lubec. The wind was light and ahead, 
and yet with the assistance of the tide w^e drifted twenty- 
five miles, down to Little River, during the night, and on 
rising on the morning of June 7 we were at anchor near 
some ugly rocks, the sight of which was not pleasing to 
our good captain. 

y^itne 7. The whole morning was spent trying to enter 
Little River, but in vain; the men were unable to tow us 
in. We landed for a few minutes, and shot a Hermit 
Thrush, but the appearance of a breeze brought us back, 
and we attempted to put to sea. Our position now be- 
came rather dangerous, as we were drawn by the current 
nearly upon the rocks ; but the wind rose at last, and we 
cleared for sea. At three o'clock it became suddenly so 
foggy that wc could not see the bowsprit. The night was 
spent in direful appiK;hcnsions of ill luck; at midnight a 
smart squall decided in our favor, and when day broke on 
the morning of June 8 the wind was from the northeast, 
blowing fresh, and we were dancing on the waters, all 
shockingly sea-sick, crossing that worst of all dreadful bays, 
the Bay of Fundw We passed between the Seal Islands 
and the Mud Islands; in the latter Proccllaria luilsonii, 
the Stormy Petrel, breeds abundantly ; their nests are 
dug out of the sand in an oblique direction to the depth 
of two, or two and a half feet. At the bottom of these 
holes, and on the sand, the birds deposit their pure white 
eggs. The holes are perforated, not in the banks like the 
Bank Swallow, but are like rat holes over the whole of 
the islands. On Seal Islands Lams argcntatns, the Her- 
ring Gull, breeds as abundantly as on Grand Menan, but 


altogether on trees. As we passed Cape Sable, so called 
on account of its being truly a sand-point of some caved-in 
elevation, we saw a wrecked ship with many small crafts 
about it. I saw there Uria iroile, the Foolish Guillemot, 
and some Gannets. The sea was dreadful, and scarcely 
one of us was able to eat or drink this day. We came 
up with the schooner " Caledonia," from Boston for Lab- 
rador; her captain wished to keep in our company, 
and we were pretty much together all night and also on 

Jtme 9. We now had a splendid breeze, but a horrid 
sea, and were scarce able to keep our feet, or sleep. The 
" Caledonia " was very near to us for some time, but when 
the breeze increased to a gale, and both vessels had to 
reef, we showed ourselves superior in point of sailing. So 
good was our run that on the next morning, June 10, we 
found ourselves not more than thirty miles from Cape 
Canseau, ordinarily called Cape Cancer. The wind was 
so fair for proceeding directly to Labrador that our cap- 
tain spoke of doing so, provided it suited my views ; but, 
anxious as I am not to suffer any opportunity to escape 
of doing all I can to fulfil my engagements, I desired that 
we should pass through what is called "The Gut of Can- 
seau," and we came into the harbor of that name ^ at 
three of the afternoon. Here we found twenty vessels, all 
bound to Labrador, and, of course, all fishermen. We 
had been in view of the southeastern coast of Nova Scotia 
all day, a dreary, poor, and inhospitable-looking country. 
As we dropped our anchor we had a snowfall, and the sky 
had an appearance such as I never before recollect hav- 
ing seen. Going on shore we found not a tree in blossom, 
though the low plants near the ground were all in bloom ; 
I saw azaleas, white and blue violets, etc., and in some 
situations the grass really looked well. The Robins were 
in full song ; one nest of that bird was found ; the White- 
1 Now commonly spelled Canso — not Canseau. 


throated Sparrow and Savannah Finch were also in full 
song. The Fringilla nivalis ^ was seen, and we were told 
that Tetrao canadoisis'^ was very abundant, but saw none. 
About a dozen houses form this settlement ; there was no 
Custom House officer, and not an individual who could 
give an answer of any value to our many questions. We 
returned on board and supped on a fine codfish. The 
remainder of our day was spent in catching lobsters, of 
which we procured forty. They were secured simply by 
striking them in shallow water with a gaff-hook. It snowed 
and rained at intervals, and to my surprise we did not 
observe a single seabird. 

June 11. Lanes mariims (the Great Black-backed 
Gull) is so superior both in strength and courage to Ful- 
mars, Lestris, or even Gannets, to say nothing of Gulls of all 
sorts, that at its approach they all give way, and until it 
has quite satiated itself, none venture to approach the 
precious morsel on which it is feeding. In this respect, it 
is as the Eagle to the Vultures or Carrion Crows. I 
omitted saying that last night, before we retired to rest, 
after much cold, snow, rain, and hail, the frogs were piping 
in all the pools on the shore, and we all could hear them 
clearly, from the deck of the " Ripley." The weather to-day 
is beautiful, the wind fair, and when I reached the deck at 
four A. M. we were under way in the wake of the whole of 
the fleet which last evening graced the Harbor of Canseau, 
but which now gave life to the grand bay across which all 
were gliding under easy pressure of sail. The land locked 
us in, the water was smooth, the sky pure, and the ther- 
mometer was only 46°, quite cold; indeed, it was more 
grateful to see the sunshine whilst on deck this morning, 
and to feel its warmth, than I can recollect before at this 
season. After sailing for twenty-one miles, and passing 
one after another every vessel of the fleet, we entered the 

^ Plcctrof'henax nivalis, the Snow Bunting. — E. C. 
^ Canachites canadensis, the Canada Grouse. — E. C. 


Gut of Canseau, so named by the Spanish on account of 
the innumerable Wild Geese which, in years long past and 
forgotten, resorted to this famed passage. The land rises 
on each side in the form of an amphitheatre, and on the 
Nova Scotia side, to a considerable height. Many appear- 
ances of dwellings exist, but the country is too poor for 
comfort; the timber is small, and the land, very stony. 
Here and there a small patch of ploughed land, planted, or 
to be planted, with potatoes, was all we could see evincing 
cultivation. Near one house we saw a few apple-trees, yet 
without leaves. The general appearance of this passage 
reminded me of some parts of the Hudson River, and ac- 
companied as we were by thirty smaller vessels, the time 
passed agreeably. Vegetation about as forward as at East- 
port; saw a Chimney Swallow, heard some Blue Jays, saw 
some Indians in a bark canoe, passed Cape Porcupine, a 
high, rounding hill, and Cape George, after which we entered 
the Gulf of St. Lawrence. From this place, on the 20th of 
May last year, the sea was a complete sheet of ice as far 
as a spy-glass could inform. As we advanced, running 
parallel with the western coast of Cape Breton Island, the 
country looked well, at the distance we were from it; the 
large, undulating hills were scattered with many hamlets, 
and here and there a bit of cultivated land was seen. It 
being calm when we reached Jestico Island, distant from 
Cape Breton about three miles, we left the vessel and made 
for it. On landing we found it covered with well grown 
grass sprinkled everywhere with the blossoms of the wild 
strawberry; the sun shone bright, and the weather was 
quite pleasant. Robins, Savannah Finches, Song Spar- 
rows, Tawny Thrushes, and the American Redstart were 
found. The Spotted Sand-piper, Totanns maculariiis, was 
breeding in the grass, and flew slowly with the common 
tremor of their wings, uttering their " wheet-wheet-wheet" 
note, to invite me to follow them. A Raven had a nest 
and three young in it, one standing near it, the old birds 

VOL. I. — 23 


not seen. Uria troile'^ and U.grylle'^ were breeding in the 
rocks, and John saw several Ardea herodias ^ flying in pairs, 
also a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers that had glutted 
themselves with fish so that they were obliged to disgorge 
before they could fly off. Amongst the plants the wild 
gooseberry, nearly the size of a green pea, was plentiful, 
and the black currant, I think of a different species from 
the one found in Maine. The wind rose and we returned 
on board. John and the sailors almost killed a Seal with 
their oars. 

Jiiiie 12. At four this morning we were in sight of the 
Magdalene Islands, or, as they are called on the chart, 
Amherst Islands ; they appeared to be distant about twenty 
miles. The weather was dull and quite calm, and I thought 
the prospect of reaching these isles this day very doubtful, 
and returned to my berth sadly disappointed. After break- 
fast a thick fog covered the horizon on our bow, the islands 
disappeared from sight, and the wind rose sluggishl}-, and 
dead ahead. Several brigs and ships loaded with lumber 
out from Miramichi came near us, beating their way 
towards the Atlantic. We are still in a great degree land- 
locked by Cape Breton Island, the highlands of which look 
dreary and forbidding; it is now nine A. M., and wc are 
at anchor in four fathoms of water, and within a quarter of 
a mile of an island, one of the general group; for our pilot, 
who has been here for ten successive years, informs us that 
all these islands are connected by dry sand-bars, with- 
out any other ship channel between them than the one 
which we have taken, and which is called Entree Bay, 
formed by Entree Island and a long, sandy, projecting reef 
connected with the main island. This latter measures forty- 
eight miles in length, by an average of about three in 
breadth ; Entree Island contains about fifteen hundred 
acres of land, such as it is, of a red, rough, sandy formation, 
the northwest side constantly falling into the sea, and ex- 
1 Foolish Guillemot. * Black Guillemot. ' Great Blue Heron. 


hibiting a very interesting sight. Guillemots were seen 
seated upright along the projecting shelvings in regular 
order, resembling so many sentinels on the look-out. 
Many Gannets also were seen about the extreme point of 
this island. On Amherst Island we saw many houses, a 
small church, and on the highest land a large cross, indi- 
cating the Catholic tendency of the inhabitants. Several 
small schooners lay in the little harbor called Pleasant 
Bay, and we intend to pay them an early visit to-morrow. 
The wind is so cold that it feels to us all like the middle 
of December at Boston. 

Magdalene Islands, June 13. This day week we were 
at Eastport, and I am sure not one of our party thought 
of being here this day. At four this morning we were 
seated at breakfast around our great drawing-table; the 
thermometer was at 44° ; we blew our fingers and drank 
our coffee, feeling as if in the very heart of winter, and 
when we landed I felt so chilled that it would have been 
quite out of the question to use my hands for any delicate 
work. We landed betAveen two great bluffs, that looked 
down upon us with apparent anger, the resort of many a 
Black Guillemot and noble Raven, and following a tortuous 
path, suddenly came plump upon one of God's best finished 
jewels, a woman. She saw us first, for women are always 
keenest in sight and sympathy, in perseverance and 
patience, in fortitude, and love, and sorrow, and faith, and, 
for aught I know, much more. At the instant that my 
eyes espied her, she was in full run towards her cottage, 
holding to her bosom a fine babe, simply covered with a 
very short shirt, the very appearance of which set me 
shivering. The woman was dressed in coarse French 
homespun, a close white cotton cap which entirely sur- 
rounded her face tied under her chin, and I thought her the 
wildest-looking woman, both in form and face, I had seen 
for many a day. At a venture, I addressed her in French, 
and it answered well, for she responded in a wonderful 


jargon, about one third of which I understood, and aban- 
doned the rest to a better Hnguist, should one ever come 
to the island. She was a plain, good woman, I doubt not, 
and the wife of an industrious fisherman. We walked 
through the woods, and followed the road to the church. 
Who would have thought that on these wild islands, among 
these impoverished people, we should have found a church ; 
that we should have been suddenly confronted with a 
handsome, youthful, vigorous, black-haired, black-bearded 
fellow, in a soutane as black as the Raven's wedding-dress, 
and with a heart as light as a bird on the wing? Yet we 
met with both church and priest, and our ears were saluted 
by the sound of a bell which measures one foot by nine and 
a half inches in diameter, and weighs thirty pounds ; and this 
bell may be heard a full quarter of a mile. It is a festival 
day. La Petite Fete de Dieu. The chapel was illuminated 
at six o'clock, and the inhabitants, even from a distance, 
passed in ; among them were many old women, who, staff 
in hand, had trudged along the country road. Their backs 
were bent by age and toil, their eyes dimmed by time; 
they crossed their hands upon their breasts, and knelt 
before the sacred images in the church with so much 
simplicity and apparent truth of heart that I could not 
help exclaiming, " This is indeed religion ! " The priest, 
P6re Brunet, is originally from Quebec. These islands 
belong, or are attached, to Lower Canada; he, however, is 
under the orders of the Bishop of Halifax. He is a shrewd- 
looking fellow, and, if I mistake not, has a dash of the devil 
in him. He told me there were no reptiles on the island, 
but this was an error; for, while rambling about, Tom 
Lincoln, Ingalls, and John saw a snake, and I heard Frogs 
a-piping. He also told me that Black and Red Foxes, 
and the changeable Hare, with Rats lately imported, were 
the only quadrupeds to be found, except cows, horses, and 
mules, of which some had been brought over many years 
ago, and which had multiplied, but to no great extent. The 


land, he assured us, was poor in every respect, — soil, 
woods, game ; that the Seal fisheries had been less pro- 
ductive these last years than formerly. On these islands, 
about a dozen in number, live one hundred and sixty 
families, all of whom make their livelihood by the Cod, 
Herring, and Mackerel fisheries. One or two vessels from 
Quebec come yearly to collect this produce of the ocean. 
Not a bird to be found larger than a Robin, but certainly 
thousands of those. Pere Brunet said he lived the life of a 
recluse, and invited us to accompany him to the house 
where he boarded, and take a glass of good French wine. 
During our ramble on the island we found the temperature 
quite agreeable ; indeed, in some situations the sun was 
pleasant and warm. Strawberry blossoms were under our 
feet at every step, and here and there the grass looked well. 
I was surprised to find the woods (by woods I mean land 
covered with any sort of trees, from the noblest magnolia 
down to dwarf cedars) rich in Warblers, Thrushes, Finches, 
Buntings, etc. The Fox-tailed Sparrow breeds here, the 
Siskin also. The Hermit and Tawny Thrushes crossed 
our path every few yards, the Black-capped Warbler flashed 
over the pools, the Winter Wren abounded everywhere. 
Among the water-birds we found the Great Tern (^Sterna 
hirimdo) very abundant, and shot four of them on the sand- 
ridges. The Piping Plover breeds here — shot two males 
and one female ; so plaintive is the note of this interesting 
species that I feel great aversion to killing them. These 
birds certainly are the swiftest of foot of any water-birds 
which I know, of their size. We found many land-snails, 
and collected some fine specimens of gypsum. This after- 
noon, being informed that across the bay where we are 
anchored we might, perhaps, purchase some Black Fox 
skins, we went there, and found Messieurs Muncey keen 
fellows; they asked £^ for Black Fox and $1.50 for Red. 
No purchase on our part. Being told that Geese, Brents, 
Mergansers, etc., breed eighteen miles from here, at the 


eastern extremity of these islands, we go off there to- 
morrow in boats. Saw Bank Swallows and House Swal- 
lows. The woods altogether small evergreens, extremely 
scrubby, almost impenetrable, and swampy beneath. At 
seven this evening the thermometer is at 52°. This morn- 
ing it was 44°. After our return to the " Ripley," our 
captain, John, Tom Lincoln, and Coolidge went off to 
the cliffs opposite our anchorage, in search of Black Guille- 
mots' eggs. This was found to be quite an undertaking; 
these birds, instead of having to jump or hop from one 
place to another on the rocks, to find a spot suitable 
to deposit their spotted Q^'g, as has been stated, are on 
the contrary excellent walkers, at least upon the rocks, and 
they can fly from the water to the very entrance of the 
holes in the fissures, where the egg is laid. Sometimes 
this egg is deposited not more than eight or ten feet above 
high-water mark, at other times the fissure in the rock 
which has been chosen stands at an elevation of a hun- 
dred feet or more. The egg is laid on the bare rock with- 
out any preparation, but when the formation is sandy, a 
certain scoop is indicated on the surface. In one instance, 
I found two feathers with the egg; this C'g'g is about the 
size of a hen's, and looks extravagantly large, splashed 
with black or deep umber, apparently at random, the 
markings larger and more frequent towards the great end. 
At the barking of a dog from any place where these birds 
breed, they immediately fly towards the animal, and will 
pass within a few feet of the observer, as if in defiance. 
At other times they leave the nest and fall in the water, 
diving to an extraordinary distance before they rise again. 
John shot a Gannet on the wing; the flesh was black and 
unpleasant. The Piping Plover, when missed by the shot, 
rises almost perpendicularly, and passes sometimes out of 
sight; this is, I am convinced by the many opportunities I 
have had to witness the occurrence, a habit of the species. 
These islands are well watered by large springs, and rivulets 


intersect the country in many directions. We saw large 
flocks of Velvet Ducks feeding close to the shores ; these 
did not appear to be in pairs. The Gannet dives quite 
under the water after its prey, and when empty of food 
rises easily off the water. 

June 14, off the Gannett Rocks. We rose at two 
o'clock with a view to proceed to the eastern extremity of 
these islands in search of certain ponds, wherein, so we 
were told, Wild Geese and Ducks of different kinds are 
in the habit of resorting annually to breed. Our informer 
added that formerly Brents bred there in abundance, but 
that since the erection of several buildings owned by 
Nova Scotians, and in the immediate vicinity of these 
ponds or lakes, the birds have become gradually very shy, 
and most of them now proceed farther north. Some of 
these lakes are several miles in circumference, with shal- 
low, sandy bottoms; most of them are fresh water, the 
shores thickly overgrown with rank sedges and grasses, 
and on the surface are many water-lilies. It is among 
these that the wild fowl, when hid from the sight of man, 
deposit their eggs. Our way to these ponds would have 
been through a long and narrow bay, formed by what sea- 
men call sea-walls. In this place these walls are en- 
tirely of light-colored sand, and form connecting points 
from one island to another, thus uniting nearly the whole 
archipelago. Our journey was abandoned just as we were 
about to start, in consequence of the wind changing, and 
being fair for our passage to Labrador, the ultimatum of 
our desires. Our anchor was raised, and we bid adieu to 
the Magdalenes. Our pilot, a Mr. Godwin from Nova 
Scotia, put the vessel towards what he called "The Bird 
Rocks," where he told us that Gannets {Sula bassana) 
bred in great numbers. For several days past we have 
met with an increased number of Gannets, and as we 
sailed this morning we observed long and numerous files, 
all flying in the direction of the rocks. Their flight now 


was low above the water, forming easy undulations, flap- 
ping thirty or forty times, and sailing about the same 
distance; these were all returning from fishing, and were 
gorged with food for their mates or young. About ten 
a speck rose on the horizon, which I was told was the 
Rock; we sailed well, the breeze increased fast, and we 
neared this object apace. At eleven I could distinguish 
its top plainly from the deck, and thought it covered with 
snow to the depth of several feet; this appearance existed 
on every portion of the flat, projecting shelves. Godwin 
said, with the coolness of a man who had visited this 
Rock for ten successive seasons, that what we saw was 
not snow — but Gannets ! I rubbed my eyes, took my 
spy-glass, and in an instant the strangest picture stood 
before me. They were birds we saw, — a mass of birds of 
such a size as I never before cast my eyes on. The whole 
of my party stood astounded and amazed, and all came to 
the conclusion that such a sight was of itself suflficicnt to 
invite any one to come across the Gulf to view it at this 
season. The nearer we approached, the greater our sur- 
prise at the enormous number of these birds, all calmly 
seated on their eggs or newly hatched brood, their heads 
all turned to windward, and towards us. The air above 
for a hundred yards, and for some distance around the 
whole rock, was filled with Gannets on the wing, which 
from our position made it appear as if a heavy fall of 
snow was directly above us. Our pilot told us the wind 
was too high to permit us to land, and I felt sadly grieved 
at this unwelcome news. Anxious as we all were, we de- 
cided to make the attempt ; our whale-boat was overboard, 
the pilot, two sailors, Tom Lincoln, and John pushed off 
with guns and clubs. Our vessel was brought to, but at 
that instant the wind increased, and heavy rain began to 
fall. Our boat neared the rock, and went to the lee of it, 
and was absent nearly an hour, but could not land. The 
air was filled with Gannets, but no difference could we 


perceive on the surface of the rock. The birds, which we 
now could distinctly see, sat almost touching each other 
and in regular lines, seated on their nests quite uncon- 
cerned. The discharge of the guns had no effect on those 
that were not touched by the shot, for the noise of the 
Gulls, Guillemots, etc., deadened the sound of the gun; 
but where the shot took effect, the birds scrambled and 
flew off in such multitudes, and in such confusion, that 
whilst some eight or ten were falling into the water either 
dead or wounded, others pushed off their eggs, and these 
fell into the sea by hundreds in all directions. The sea 
now becoming very rough, the boat was obliged to return, 
with some birds and some eggs ; but the crew had not 
climbed the rock, a great disappointment to me. God- 
win tells me the top of the rock is about a quarter of a 
mile wide, north and south, and a little narrower east and 
west; its elevation above the sea between three and four 
hundred feet. The sea beats round it with great vio- 
lence, except after long calms, and it is extremely diffi- 
cult to land upon it, and much more so to climb to the 
top of it, which is a platform ; it is only on the southeast 
shore that a landing can be made, and the moment a boat 
touches, it must be hauled up on the rocks. The whole 
surface is perfectly covered with nests, placed about two 
feet apart, in such regular order that you may look 
through the lines as you would look through those of a 
planted patch of sweet potatoes or cabbages. The fisher- 
men who kill these birds, to get their flesh for codfish 
bait, ascend in parties of six or eight, armed with clubs; 
sometimes, indeed, the party comprises the crews of sev- 
eral vessels. As they reach the top, the birds, alarmed, 
rise with a noise like thunder, and fly off in such hurried, 
fearful confusion as to throw each other down, often fall- 
ing on each other till there is a bank of them many feet 
high. The men strike them down and kill them until 
fatigued or satisfied. Five hundred and forty have been 


thus murdered in one hour by six men. The birds are 
skinned with little care, and the flesh cut off in chunks; 
it will keep fresh about a fortnight. The nests are made 
by scratching down a few inches, and the edges sur- 
rounded with sea-weeds. The eggs are pure white, and 
as large as those of a Goose. By the 20th of May the 
rock is already covered with birds and eggs; about the 
20th of June they begin to hatch. So great is the de- 
struction of these birds annually that their flesh supplies 
the bait for upwards of forty fishing-boats, which lie close 
to the Byron Island each season. When the young are 
hatched they are black, and for a fortnight or more the 
skin looks like that of the dog-fish. They become grad- 
ually downy and white, and when two months old look 
much like young lambs. Even while shooting at these 
birds, hundreds passed us carrying great masses of weeds 
to their nests. The birds were thick above our heads, 
and I shot at one to judge of the effect of the report of the 
gun ; it had none. A great number of Kittiwake Gulls 
breed on this rock, with thousands of Foolish Guillemots. 
The Kittiwake makes its nest of eel-weeds, several inches 
in thickness, and in places too small for a Gannet or a 
Guillemot to place itself; in some instances these nests 
projected some inches over the edge of the rock. We 
could not see any of their eggs. The breeze was now so 
stiff that the waves ran high; so much so that the boat 
was perched on the comb of the wave one minute, the 
next in the trough. John steered, and he told me after- 
wards he was nearly exhausted. The boat was very 
cleverly hauled on deck by a single effort. The stench 
from the rock is insufferable, as it is covered with the 
remains of putrid fish, rotten eggs, and dead birds, old and 
young. No man who has not seen what we have this day 
can form the least idea of the impression the sight made 
on our minds. By dark it blew a gale and we are now 
most of us rather shaky; rain is falling in torrents, and 


the sailors are reefing. I forgot to say that when a man 
walks towards the Gannets, they will now and then stand 
still, merely opening and shutting their bills; the Gulls 
remained on their nests with more confidence than the 
Guillemots, all of which flew as we approached. The 
feathering of the Gannet is curious, ditfering from that of 
most other birds, inasmuch as each feather is concave, and 
divided in its contour from the next. Under the roof of 
the mouth and attached to the upper mandible, are two 
fleshy appendages like two small wattles. 

June 15. All our party except Cooiidge were deadly 
sick. The thermometer was down to 43°, and every 
sailor complained of the cold. It has rained almost all 
day. I felt so very sick this morning that I removed 
from my berth to a hammock, where I soon felt rather 
more easy. We lay to all this time, and at daylight were 
in sight of the Island of Anticosti, distant about twenty 
miles; but the fog soon after became so thick that nothing 
could be observed. At about two we saw the sun, the 
wind hauled dead ahead, and we ran under one sail only. 

June 16, Sunday. The weather clear, beautiful, and 
much warmer; but it was calm, so we fished for cod, of 
which we caught a good many; most of them contained 
crabs of a curious sort, and some were filled with shrimps. 
One cod measured three feet six and a half inches, and 
weighed twenty-one pounds. Found two curious insects 
fastened to the skin of a cod, which we saved. At about 
six o'clock the wind sprang up fair, and we made all sail 
for Labrador. 

June 17. I was on deck at three this morning; the 
sun, although not above the horizon, indicated to the mar- 
iner at the helm one of those doubtful days the result 
of which seldom can be truly ascertained until sunset. 
The sea was literally covered with Foolish Guillemots, 
playing in the very spray of the bow of our vessel, plung- 
ing under it, as if in fun, and rising like spirits close 


under our rudder. The breeze was fav^orable, although 
we were hauled to the wind within a point or so. The 
helmsman said he saw land from aloft, but the captain 
pronounced his assertion must be a mistake, by true cal- 
culation. We breakfasted on the best of fresh codfish, 
and I never relished a breakfast more. I looked on our 
landing on the coast of Labrador as a matter of great 
importance. My thoughts were filled, not with airy 
castles, but with expectations of the new knowledge of 
birds and quadrupeds which I hoped to acquire. The 
"Ripley" ploughed the deep, and proceeded swiftly on 
her way; she always sails well, but I thought that now as 
the land was expected to appear every moment, she fairly 
skipped over the waters. At five o'clock the cry of land 
rang in our ears, and my heart bounded with joy; so much 
for anticipation. We sailed on, and in less than an hour 
the land was in full sight from the deck. We approached, 
and saw, as we supposed, many sails, and felt delighted at 
having hit the point in view so very closely; but, after 
all, the sails proved to be large snow-banks. We pro- 
ceeded, however, the wind being so very favorable that we 
could either luff or bear away. The air was now filled 
with Velvet Ducks ; millions of these birds were flying 
from the northwest towards the southeast. The Fool- 
ish Guillemots and the Alca torda^ were in immense 
numbers, flying in long files a few yards above the water, 
with rather undulating motions, and passing within good 
gunshot of the vessel, and now and then rounding to us, 
as if about to alight on the very deck. We now saw a 
schooner at anchor, and the country looked well at this 
distance, and as we neared the shore the thermometer, 
which had been standing at 44°, now rose up to nearly 
60° ; yet the appearance of the great snow-drifts was for- 
bidding. The shores appeared to be margined with a 
broad and handsome sand-beach; our imaginations now 
^ Razor-billed Auk. 


saw Bears, Wolves, and Devils of all sorts scampering away 
on the rugged shore. When we reached the schooner we 
saw beyond some thirty fishing-boats, fishing for cod, and 
to our great pleasure found Captain Billings of Eastport 
standing in the bow of his vessel ; he bid us welcome, and 
we saw the codfish thrown on his deck by thousands. We 
were now opposite to the mouth of the Natasquan River, 
where the Hudson's Bay Company have a fishing estab- 
lishment, but where no American vessels are allowed to 
come in. The shore was lined with bark-covered huts, 
and some vessels were within the bight, or long point of 
land which pushes out from the extreme eastern side of 
the entrance of the river. We went on to an American 
Harbor, four or five miles distant to the westward, and 
after a while came to anchor in a small bay, perfectly se- 
cure from any winds. And now we are positively on the 
Labrador coast, latitude 50° and a little more, — farther 
north than I ever was before. But what a country ! When 
we landed and passed the beach, we sank nearly up to our 
knees in mosses of various sorts, producing as we moved 
through them a curious sensation. These mosses, which 
at a distance look like hard rocks, are, under foot, like a 
velvet cushion. We scrambled about, and with anxiety 
stretched our necks and looked over the country far and 
near, but not a square foot of earth could we see. A 
poor, rugged, miserable country; the trees like so many 
mops of wiry composition, and where the soil is not 
rocky it is boggy up to a man's waist. We searched 
and searched ; but, after all, only shot an adult Pigeon- 
Hawk, a summer-plumage Tell-tale Godwit, and an Alca 
torda. We visited all the islands about the harbor; they 
were all rocky, nothing but rocks. The Lams mari?2us 
was sailing magnificently all about us. The Great Tern 
was plunging after shrimps in every pool, and we found 
four eggs of the Totajttis macidarius ; ^ the nest was situ- 
1 Spotted Sandpiper, now Actitis maciilaria. — E. C. 


ated under a rock in the grass, and made of a quantity 
of dried grass, forming a very decided nest, at least much 
more so than in our Middle States, where the species 
breed so very abundantly. Wild Geese were seen by 
our party, and these birds also breed here; we saw 
Loons and Eider Ducks, Anas obscura ^ and the Fidigula 
\CEdemia\ amcricana.'^ We came to our anchorage at 
twenty minutes past twelve. Tom Lincoln and John 
heard a Ptarmigan. Toads were abundant. We saw 
some rare plants, which we preserved, and butterflies and 
small bees were among the flowers which we gathered. 
We also saw Red-breasted Mergansers. The male and 
female Eider Ducks separate as soon as the latter begin 
to lay; after this they are seen flying in large flocks, each 
sex separately. We found a dead Basking Shark, six 
and a half feet long; this fish had been wounded by 
a harpoon and ran ashore, or was washed there by the 
waves. At Eastport fish of this kind have been killed 
thirty feet long. 

June IS. I remained on board all day, drawing; our 
boats went off to some islands eight or ten miles distant, 
after birds and eggs, but the day, although very beauti- 
ful, did not prove valuable to us, as some cggers from 
Halifax had robbed the places ere the boats arrived. 
We, however, procured about a dozen of AIca tarda, Uria 
troi/e, a female Eider Duck, a male Surf Duck, and a Sand- 
piper, or Tringa, — which, I cannot ascertain, although 
the li-ast^ I ever saw, not the Pusilla of Bonaparte's 
Synopsis. Many nests of the Eider Duck were seen, 
some at the edge of the woods, placed under the rampant 
boughs of the fir-trees, which in this latitude grow only a 
few inches above the surface of the ground, and to find 
the nest, these boughs had to be raised. The nests were 
scooped a few inches deep in the mossy, rotten substance 

1 Dusky Duck. ^ Scoter Duck. 

* The Least or Wilson's Sandpiper, Tringa (Actodromas) minutilla. — E. C 


that forms here what must be called earth ; the eggs are 
deposited on a bed of down and covered with the same 
material ; and so warm are these nests that, although not 
a parent bird was seen near them, the eggs were quite 
warm to the touch, and the chicks in some actually hatch- 
ing in the absence of the mother. Some of the nests had 
the eggs uncovered; six eggs was the greatest number 
found in a nest. The nests found on grassy islands are 
fashioned in the same manner, and generally placed at the 
foot of a large tussock of grass. Two female Ducks had 
about twelve young on the water, and these they protected 
by flapping about the water in such a way as to raise a 
spray, whilst the little ones dove off in various directions. 
Flocks of thirty to forty males were on the wing without 
a single female among them. The 3'oung birds procured 
were about one week old, of a dark mouse-color, thickly 
covered with a soft and warm down, and their feet ap- 
peared to be more perfect, for their age, than any other 
portion, because more necessary to secure their safety, 
and to enable them to procure food. John found many 
nests of the Lams marimis, of which he brought both 
eggs and young. The nest of this fine bird is made of 
mosses and grasses, raised on the solid rock, and hand- 
somely formed within; a few feathers are in this lining. 
Three eggs, large, hard-shelled, with ground color of 
dirty yellowish, splashed and spotted with dark umber and 
black. The young, although small, were away from the 
nest a few feet, placing themselves to the lee of the near- 
est sheltering rock. They did not attempt to escape, but 
when taken uttered a cry not unlike that of a young 
chicken under the same circumstances. The parents were 
so shy and so wary that none could be shot. At the 
approach of the boats to the rocks where they breed, a 
few standing as sentinels gave the alarm, and the whole 
rose immediately in the air to a great elevation. On 
another rock, not far distant, a number of Gulls of the 


same size, white, and with the same hoarse note, were 
to be seen, but they had no nests; these, I am inclined 
to think (at present) the bird called Larus argentatus 
(Herring Gull), which is simply the immature bird of 
Lams mariniis.^ lam the more led to believe this be- 
cause, knowing the tyrannical disposition of the L. mar- 
iiiHS, I am sure they would not suffer a species almost as 
powerful as themselves in their immediate neighborhood. 
They fly altogether, but the white ones do not alight on 
the rocks where the Marimts has its nests. John watched 
their motion and their cry very closely, and gave me this 
information. Two eggs of a Tern,^ resembling the Cay- 
enne Tern, were found in a nest on the rocks, made of 
moss also, but the birds, although the eggs were nearly 
ready to hatch, kept out of gunshot. These eggs meas- 
ured one and a half inches in length, very oval, whitish, 
spotted and dotted irregularly with brown and black all 
over. The cry of those Terns which /saw this afternoon 
resembles that of the Cayenne Tern that I met with in 
the Floridas, and I could see a large orange bill, but 
could not discern the black feet. Many nests of the 
Great Tern {StcrJia hirundo) were found — two eggs in 
each, laid on the short grass scratched out, but no nest. 
One Tringa ptisilla [ininutilla], the smallest I ever saw, 
was procured; these small gentry are puzzles indeed; I 
do not mean to say in nature, but in Charles's^ Synopsis. 
We went ashore this afternoon and made a Bear trap with 
a gun, baited with heads and entrails of codfish, Bruin 
having been seen within a few hundred yards of where the 
lure now lies in wait. It is truly interesting to see the 
activity of the cod-fishermen about us, but I will write of 
this when I know more of their filthy business. 

1 A mistake, which Audubon later corrected. The Herring Gull is of 
course quite distinct from the Black-backed. The former is of tlie variety 
called bv me Larus an^cutattis smithsoniauus, as it differs in some respects 
from the common Herring Gull of Europe. — E. C. 

2 Pel haps Forster's Tern, Sterna forsteri, — E. C. 
' Charles Lucien Bonaparte. 


June 19. Drawing as much as the disagreeable motion 
of the vessel would allow me to do; and although at 
anchor and in a good harbor, I could scarcely steady my 
pencil, the wind being high from southwest. At three 
A. M. I had all the young men up, and they left by four for 
some islands where the Lanes mariiuis breeds. The cap- 
tain went up the little Natasquan River. When John 
returned he brought eight Alca torda and four of their 
eggs identified; these eggs measure three inches in 
length, one and seven-eighths in breadth, dirty-white 
ground, broadly splashed with deep brown and black, 
more so towards the greater end. This Alca feeds on 
fish of a small size, flies swiftly with a quick beat of the 
wings, rounding to and fro at the distance of fifty or more 
yards, exhibiting, as it turns, the pure white of its lower 
parts, or the jet black of its upper. These birds sit on 
the nest in an almost upright position; they are shy and 
wary, diving into the water, or taking flight at the least 
appearance of danger; if wounded slightly they dive, and 
we generally lost them, but if unable to do this, they 
throw themselves on their back and defend themselves 
fiercely, biting severely whoever attempts to seize them. 
They run over and about the rocks with ease, and not 
awkwardly, as some have stated. The flesh of this bird 
when stewed in a particular manner is good eating, much 
better than would be expected from birds of its class and 
species. The Icarus argentatns breeds on the same islands, 
and we found many eggs; the nests were all on the rocks, 
made of moss and grasses, and rather neat inwardly. The 
Arctic Tern was found breeding abundantly; we took 
some of their eggs ; there were two in each nest, one and 
a quarter inches long, five-eighths broad, rather sharp at 
the little end. The ground is light olive, splashed with 
dark umber irregularly, and more largely at the greater 
end ; these were deposited two or three on the rocks, 
wherever a little grass grew, no nest of any kind appar- 

TOL. I. — 24 


ent. In habits this bird resembles the 5. hirundo, and 
has nearly the same harsh note; it feeds principally on 
shrimps, which abound in these waters. Five young L. 
mariuHs were brought alive, small and beautifully spotted 
yet over the head and back, somewhat like a Leopard; 
they walked well about the deck, and managed to pick up 
the food given them; their cry was a "hac, hac, hac, 
wheet, wheet, wheet. " Frequently, when one was about 
to swallow a piece of flesh, a brother or sister would jump 
at it, tug, and finally deprive its relative of the morsel in 
an instant. John assured me that the old birds were too 
shy to be approached at all. John shot a fine male of the 
Scoter Duck, which is scarce here. Saw some Wild 
Geese {Anser canadensis), which breed here, though they 
have not yet formed their nests. The Red-breasted Mer- 
ganser {Mergus scrrator) breeds also here, but is extremely 
shy and wary, flying off as far as they can see us, which 
to me in this wonderfully wild country is surprising; in- 
deed, thus far all the sea-fowl are much wilder than those 
of the Floridas. Twenty nests of a species of Cormo- 
rant,^ not yet ascertained, were found on a small detached, 
rocky island; these were built of sticks, sea-weeds, and 
grasses, on the naked rock, and about two feet high, as 
filthy as those of their relations the Floridians.'^ Three 
eggs were found in one nest, which is the complement, 
but not a bird could be shot — too shy and vigilant. This 
afternoon the captain and I walked to the Little Natas- 
quan River, and proceeded up it about four miles to the 
falls or rapids — a small river, dark, irony waters, sandy 
shores, and impenetrable woods along these, except here 
and there is a small space overgrown with short wiry 
grass unfit for cattle; a thing of little consequence, as no 

1 No doubt the common species, Phalacrocorax carbo, as Audubon after- 
ward identified it. See beyond, date of June 30. — E. C. 

2 That is, the species which Audubon named the Florida Cormorant, 
Phalacrocorax floridanus, now known to be a small southern form of the 
Double-crested Cormorant, P. dilophus. — E. C. 


cattle are to be found here. Returning this evening the 
tide had so fallen that we waded a mile and a half to an 
island close to our anchorage; the sailors were obliged to 
haul the boat that distance in a few inches of water. We 
have removed the "Ripley" closer in shore, where I hope 
she will be steady enough for my work to-morrow. 

June 20. Thermometer 60° at noon. Calm and beauti- 
ful. Drew all day, and finished two Uria troile. I rose 
at two this morning, for we have scarcely any darkness 
now; about four a man came from Captain Billings to 
accompany some of our party to Partridge Bay on a shoot- 
ing excursion. John and his party went off by land, or 
rather by rock and moss, to some ponds three or four 
miles from the sea; they returned at four this afternoon, 
and brought only one Scoter Duck, male; saw four, but 
could not discover the nests, although they breed here; 
saw also about twenty Wild Geese, one pair Red-necked 
Divers, one Anas ftcsca, one Three-toed Woodpecker, 
and Tell-tale Godwits. The ponds, although several 
miles long, and of good proportion and depth, had no fish 
in them that could be discovered, and on the beach no 
shells nor grasses ; the margins are reddish sand. A few 
toads were seen, which John described as "pale-looking 
and poor." The country a barren rock as far as the eye 
extended ; mosses more than a foot deep on the average, 
of different varieties but principally the white kind, hard 
and crisp. Saw not a quadruped. Our Bear trap was dis- 
charged, but we could not find the animal for want of a 
dog. An Eider Duck's nest was found fully one hundred 
yards from the water, unsheltered on the rocks, with five 
eggs and clean down. In no instance, though I have 
tried with all my powers, have I approached nearer than 
eight or ten yards of the sitting birds ; they fly at the least 
appearance of danger. We concluded that the absence of 
fish in these ponds was on account of their freezing sol- 
idly every winter, when fish must die. Captain Billings 


paid me a visit, and very generously offered to change our 
whale-boat for a large one, and his pilot boat for ours; 
the industry of this man is extraordinary. The specimen 
of Uria troile drawn with a white line round the eye ^ was 
a female; the one without this line was a young bird. I 
have drawn seventeen and a half hours this day, and my 
poor head aches badly enough. One of Captain Billings' 
mates told me of the Procellarias breeding in great num- 
bers in and about Mount Desert Island rocks, in the 
months of June and July; there they deposit their one 
white ^^z in the deepest fissures of the rocks, and sit 
upon it only during the night. When approached whilst 
on the Q-^g^ they open their wings and bill, and offer to 
defend themselves from the approach of intruders. The 
Eider Ducks are seen leaving the islands on which they 
breed, at daybreak every fair morning, in congregated 
flocks of males or females separately, and proceed to cer- 
tain fishing grounds where the water is only a few fath- 
oms deep, and remain till towards evening, when the 
females sit on their eggs for the night, and the males 
group on the rocks by themselves. This valuable bird is 
extremely abundant here; we find their nests without any 
effort every time we go out. So sonorous is the song of 
the Fox-colored Sparrow that I can hear it for hours, 
most distinctly, from the cabin where I am drawing, and 
yet it is distant more than a quarter of a mile. This bird 
is in this country what the Towhee Bunting is in the 
Middle States. 

June 22. I drew all day at an adult Gannet which we 
brought from the great rock of which I have spoken ; it 
was still in good order. Many eggs of the Arctic Tern 
were collected to-day, two or three in a nest; these birds 
are as shy here as all others, and the moment John and 

1 This is the so-called Bridled Guillemot, Uria rirtQvia. The white mark 
is not characteristic of sex, age, or season. The bird is not specifically 
distinct from Uria troile, — E. C. 


Coolidge landed, or indeed approached the islands on 
which they breed, they all rose in the air, passed high 
overhead, screaming and scolding all the time the young 
men were on the land. When one is shot the rest 
plunge towards it, and can then be easily shot. Some- 
times when wounded in the body, they sail off to extraor- 
dinary distances, and are lost. The same is the case 
with the Lanes inamuis. When our captain returned he 
brought about a dozen female Eider Ducks, a great num- 
ber of their eggs, and a bag of down; also a fine Wild 
Goose, but nothing new for the pencil. In one nest of 
the Eider ten eggs were found ; this is the most we have 
seen as yet in any one nest. The female draws the down 
from her abdomen as far towards her breast as her bill 
will allow her to do, but the feathers are not pulled, and 
on examination of several specimens I found these well 
and regularly planted, and cleaned from their original 
down, as a forest of trees is cleared of its undergrowth. 
In this state the female is still well clothed, and little or 
no difference can be seen in the plumage unless exam- 
ined. These birds have now nearly all hatched in this 
latitude, but we are told that we shall over-reach them in 
that, and meet with nests and eggs as we go northeast 
until August. So abundant were the nests of these birds 
on the islands of Partridge Bay, about forty miles west of 
this place, that a boat load of their eggs might have been 
collected if they had been fresh ; they are then excellent 
eating. Our captain called on a half-breed Indian in the 
employ of the Northeast Fur and Fish Co., living with 
his squaw and two daughters. A potato patch of about 
an acre was planted in sanel, for not a foot of soil is there 
to be found hereabouts. The man told him his potatoes 
grew well and were good, ripening in a few weeks, which 
he called the summer. The mosquitoes and black gnats 
are bad enough on shore. I heard a Wood Pevvee. The 
Wild Goose is an excellent diver, and when with its 


young uses many beautiful stratagems to save its brood, 
and elude the hunter. They will dive and lead their 
young under the surface of the water, and always in a 
contrary direction to the one expected ; thus if you row 
a boat after one it will dive under it, and now and then 
remain under it several minutes, when the hunter with 
outstretched neck, is looking, all in vain, in the distance 
for the stupid Goose ! Every time I read or hear of a stu- 
pid animal in a wild state, I cannot help wishing that the 
stupid animal who speaks thus, was half as wise as the 
brute he despises, so that he might be able to thank his 
Maker for what knowledge he may possess. I found 
many small flowers open this day, where none appeared 
last evening. All vegetable life here is of the pygmy 
order, and so ephemeral that it shoots out of the tangled 
mass of ages, blooms, fructifies, and dies, in a few weeks. 
We ascertained to-day that a party of four men from Hal- 
ifax took last spring nearly forty thousand eggs, which 
they sold at Halifax and other towns at twenty-five cents 
per dozen, making over $800; this was done in about two 
months. Last year upwards of twenty sail were engaged 
in "egging;" so some idea may be formed of the birds 
that are destroyed in this rascally way. The eggers de- 
stroy all the eggs that are sat upon, to force the birds to 
lay again, and by robbing them regularly, they lay till 
nature is exhausted, and few young are raised. In less 
than half a century these wonderful nurseries will be en- 
tirely destroyed, unless some kind government will in- 
terfere to stop the shameful destruction. 

Jimc 22. It was very rainy, and thermometer 54°. 
After breakfast dressed in my oilskins and went with the 
captain in the whale-boat to the settlement at the entrance 
of the true Natasquan, five miles east. On our way we 
saw numerous Seals; these rise to the surface of the 
water, erect the head to the full length of the neck, snuff 
the air, and you also, and sink back to avoid any further 


acquaintance with man. We saw a great number of Gulls 
of various kinds, but mostly L. marinns and L. tridac- 
tylus ; these were on the extreme points of sand-bars, but 
could not be approached, and certainly the more numer- 
ous they are, the more wild and wary. On entering the 
river we saw several nets set across a portion of the 
stream for the purpose of catching salmon ; these seines 
were fastened in the stream about sixty yards from either 
shore, supported by buoys; the net is fastened to the 
shore by stakes that hold it perpendicular to the water; 
the fish enter these, and entangle themselves until re- 
moved by the fishermen. On going to a house on the 
shore, we found it a tolerably good cabin, floored, con- 
taining a good stove, a chimney, and an oven at the bot- 
tom of this, like the ovens of the French peasants, three 
beds, and a table whereon the breakfast of the family was 
served. This consisted of coffee in large bowls, good 
bread, and fried salmon. Three Labrador dogs came and 
sniffed about us, and then returned under the table 
whence they had issued, with no appearance of anger. 
Two men, two women, and a babe formed the group, which 
I addressed in French. They were French Canadians 
and had been here several years, winter and summer, and 
are agents for the Fur and Fish Co., who give them food, 
clothes, and about $80 per annum. They have a cow and 
an ox, about an acre of potatoes planted in sand, seven 
feet of snow in winter, and two-thirds less salmon than 
was caught here ten years since. Then three hundred 
barrels was a fair season ; now one hundred is the maxi- 
mum ; this is because they will catch the fish both ascend- 
ing and descending the river. During winter the men 
hunt Foxes, Martens, and Sables, and kill some Bear of 
the black kind, but neither Deer nor other game is to be 
found without going a great distance in the interior, 
where Reindeer are now and then procured. One spe- 
cies of Grouse and one of Ptarmigan, the latter white 


at all seasons; the former I suppose to be the Willow 
Grouse. The men would neither sell nor give us a sin- 
gle salmon, saying that so strict were their orders that, 
should they sell one, the place might be taken from them. 
If this should prove the case everywhere, I shall not pur- 
chase many for my friends. The furs which they collect 
are sent off to Quebec at the first opening of the waters 
in spring, and not a skin of any sort was here for us to 
look at. We met here two large boats containing about 
twenty Montagnais Indians, old and young, men and 
women. They carried canoes lashed to the sides, like 
whale-ships, for the Seal fishery. The men were stout and 
good-looking, spoke tolerable French, the skin redder 
than any Indians I have ever seen, and more clear ; the 
women appeared cleaner than usual, their hair braided 
and hanging down, jet black, but short. All were dressed 
in European costume except the feet, on which coarse 
moccasins of sealskin took the place of shoes. I made a 
bargain with them for some Grouse, and three young men 
were despatched at once. On leaving the harbor this 
morning wc saw a black man-of-war-like looking vessel 
entering it with the French flag; she anchored near us, 
and on our return we were told it was the Quebec cutter. 
I wrote a note to the officer commanding, enclosing my 
card, and requesting an interview. The commander 
replied he would receive me in two hours. His name 
was Captain Bayfield, the vessel the "Gulnare. " The 
sailor who had taken my note was asked if I had pro- 
cured many birds, and how far I intended to proceed. 
After dinner, which consisted of hashed Eider Ducks, 
which were very good, the females always being fat when 
sitting, I cut off my three weeks' beard, put on clean 
linen, and with my credentials in my pocket went to the 
"Gulnare. " I was received politely, and after talking on 
deck for a while, was invited into the cabin, and was 
introduced to the doctor, who appeared to be a man of 


talents, a student of botany and conchology. Thus men 
of the same tastes meet everywhere, yet surely I did not 
expect to meet a naturalist on the Labrador coast. The 
vessel is on a surveying cruise, and we are likely to be in 
company the whole summer. The first lieutenant studies 
ornithology and collects. After a while I gave my letter 
from the Duke of Sussex to the captain, who read and 
returned it without comment. As I was leaving, the rain 
poured down, and I was invited to remain, but declined; 
the captain promised to do anything for me in his power. 
Saw many Siskins, but cannot get a shot at one. 

June 23. It was our intention to have left this morn- 
ing for another harbor, about fifty miles east, but the 
wind being dead ahead we are here still. I have drawn 
all day, at the background of the Gannets. John and 
party went off about six miles, and returned with half a 
dozen Guillemots, and ten or twelve dozen eggs. Cool- 
idge brought in Arctic Terns and L. viariniis ; two young 
of the latter about three weeks old, having the same voice 
and notes as the old ones. When on board they ran about 
the deck, and fed themselves with pieces of fish thrown 
to them. These young Gulls, as well as young Herons 
of every kind, sit on the tarsus when fatigued, with their 
feet extended before them in a very awkward-looking 
position, but one which to them is no doubt comfortable. 
Shattuck and I took a walk over the dreary hills about 
noon; the sun shone pleasantly, and we found several 
flowers in full bloom, amongst which the Kalmia glatica^ 
a beautiful small species, was noticeable. The captain 
and surgeon from the "Gulnare" called and invited me 
to dine with them to-morrow. This evening we have 
been visiting the Montagnais Indians' camp, half a mile 
from us, and found them skinning Seals, and preparing 
the flesh for use. Saw a robe the size of a good blanket 
made of seal-skins tanned so soft and beautiful, with the 
hair on, that it was as pliant as a kid glove; they would 


not sell it. The chief of the party proves to be well in- 
formed, and speaks French so as to be understood. He is 
a fine-looking fellow of about forty; has a good-looking 
wife and fine babe. His brother is also married, and has 
several sons from fourteen to twenty years old. When 
we landed the men came to us, and after the first saluta- 
tions, to my astonishment offered us some excellent rum. 
The women were all seated apart outside of the camp, 
engaged in closing up sundry packages of provisions and 
accoutrements. We entered a tent, and seated ourselves 
round a cheerful fire, the smoke of which escaped through 
the summit of the apartment, and over the fire two ket- 
tles boiled. I put many questions to the chief and his 
brother, and gained this information. The country from 
here to the first settlement of the Hudson's Bay Co. is as 
barren and rocky as that about us. Very large lakes of 
great depth are met with about two hundred miles from 
this seashore; these lakes abound in very large trout, carp, 
and white fish, and many mussels, unfit to eat, which they 
describe as black outside and purple within, and are no 
doubt unios. Not a bush is to be met with, and the 
Indians who now and then go across are obliged to carry 
their tent poles with them, as well as their canoes; they 
burn moss for fuel. So tedious is the travelling said 
to be that not more than ten miles on an average per 
day can be made, and when the journey is made in two 
months it is considered a good one. Wolves and Black 
Bear are frequent, no Deer, and not many Caribous ; not 
a bird of any kind except Wild Geese and Brent about 
the lakes, where they breed in perfect peace. When the 
journey is undertaken in the winter, which is very seldom 
the case, it is performed on snow-shoes, and no canoes 
are taken. Fur animals are scarce, yet some few Beavers 
and Otters are caught, a few Martens and Sables, and 
some Foxes and Lynx, but every year diminishes their 
numbers. The Fur Company may be called the exter- 


minating medium of these wild and almost uninhabitable 
climes, where cupidity and the love of gold can alone in- 
duce man to reside for a while. Where can I go now, 
and visit nature undisturbed? The Ttirdus jnigraiorius^ 
must be the hardiest of the whole genus. I hear it at 
this moment, eight o'clock at night, singing most joy- 
ously its " Good-night ! " and " All 's well ! " to the equally 
hardy Labradorians. The common Crow and the Raven 
are also here, but the Magdalene Islands appear to be the 
last outpost of the Warblers, for here the Black-poll 
Warbler, the only one we see, is scarce. The White- 
throated and the White-crowned Sparrows are the only 
tolerably abundant land birds. The Indians brought in 
no Grouse. A fine adult specimen of the Lams viaritms 
killed this day has already changed full half of its pri- 
mary feathers next the body ; this bird had two young ones, 
and was shot as it dove through the air towards John, who 
was near the nest; this is the first instance we have seen 
of so much attachment being shown to the progeny with 
danger at hand. Two male Eider Ducks were shot and 
found very much advanced in the moult. No doubt exists 
in my mind that male birds are much in advance of 
female in their moults; this is very slow, and indeed is 
not completed until late in winter, after which the bril- 
liancy of the bills and the richness of the coloring of the 
legs and feet only improve as they depart from the south 
for the north. 

Jime 2!f. Drawing most of this day, no birds procured, 
but some few plants. I dined on board the " Gulnare " at 
five o'clock, and was obliged to shave and dress — quite 
a bore on the coast of Labrador, believe me. I found the 
captain, surgeon, and three officers formed our party; the 
conversation ranged from botany to politics, from the 
Established Church of England to the hatching of eggs 
by steam. I saw the maps being made of this coast, and 

1 Merula migratoria, the American Robin. 


was struck with the great accuracy of the shape of our 
present harbor, which I now know full well. I returned 
to our vessel at ten, and am longing to be farther north; 
but the wind is so contrary it would be a loss of time to 
attempt it now. The weather is growing warmer, and 
mosquitoes are abundant and hungry. Coolidge shot a 
White-crowned Sparrow, a male, while in the act of car- 
rying some materials to build a nest with; so they must 
breed here. 

June 25. Made a drawing of the Arctic Tern, of which 
a great number breed here. I am of Temminck's opin- 
ion that the upper plumage of this species is much darker 
than that of 5. kirundo. The young men, who are always 
ready for sport, caught a hundred codfish in half an hour, 
and somewhere secured three fine salmon, one of which 
we sent to the " Gulnare " with some cod. Our harbor is 
called " American Harbor," and also " Little Natasquan ; " 
it is in latitude 50° 12' north, longitude 23° east of Que- 
bec and 61° 53 west of Greenwich. The waters of all the 
streams which we have seen are of a rusty color, probably 
on account of the decomposed mosses, which appear to be 
quite of a peaty nature. The rivers appear to be formed 
by the drainage of swamps, fed apparently by rain and the 
melting snows, and in time of freshets the sand is sifted 
out, and carried to the mouth of every stream, where sand- 
bars are consequently met with. Below the mouth of 
each stream proves to be the best station for cod-fishing, 
as there the fish accumulate to feed on the fry which runs 
into the river to deposit spawn, and which they follow to 
sea after this, as soon as the fry make off from the riv- 
ers to deep water. It is to be remarked that so shy of 
strangers are the agents of the Fur and Fish Company 
that they will evade all questions respecting the interior 
of the country, and indeed will willingly tell you such 
untruths as at once disgust and shock you. All this 
through the fear that strangers should attempt to settle 


here, and divide with them the profits which they enjoy. 
Bank Swallows in sight this moment, with the weather 
thick, foggy, and an east wind ; where are these delicate 
pilgrims bound ? The Black-poll Warbler is more abun- 
dant, and forever singing, if the noise it makes can be 
called a song; it resembles the clicking of small pebbles 
together five or six times, and is renewed every few 

June 26. We have been waiting five days for wind, 
and so has the "Gulnare. " The fishing fleet of six 
or seven sails has made out to beat four miles to other 
fishing grounds. It has rained nearly all day, but 
we have all been on shore, to be beaten back by the 
rain and the mosquitoes. John brought a female White- 
crowned Sparrow; the black and white of the head 
was as pure as in the male, which is not common. It 
rains hard, and is now calm. God send us a fair wind 
to-morrow morning, and morning here is about half -past 

Jtme 27. It rained quite hard when I awoke this 
morning; the fog was so thick the very shores of our har- 
bor, not distant more than a hundred yards, were enveloped 
in gloom. After breakfast we went ashore ; the weather 
cleared up and the wind blew fresh. We rambled about 
the brushwoods till dinner time, shot two Canada Jays, 
one old and one young, the former much darker than 
those of Maine; the young one was full fledged, but had 
no white about its head; the whole of the body and head 
was of a deep, very deep blue. It must have been about 
three weeks old, and the egg from which it was hatched 
must have been laid about the loth of May, when the 
thermometer was below the freezing-point. We shot also 
a Ruby-crowned Wren ; ^ no person who has not heard 
it would believe that the song of this bird is louder, 
stronger, and far more melodious than that of the Canary 

^ Kin^Qt, Regulus calendula. — E. C. 


bird. It sang for a long time ere it was shot, and perched 
on the tops of the tallest fir-trees removing from one to 
another as we approached. So strange, so beautiful was 
that song that I pronounced the musician, ere it was 
shot, a new species of Warbler. John shot it ; it fell to 
the ground, and though the six of us looked for it we 
could not find it, and went elsewhere; in the course of 
the afternoon we passed by the spot again, and John found 
it and gave it to me. We shot a new species of Finch, 
which I have named Fringilla lincolnii ; it is allied to the 
Swamp Sparrow in general appearance, but is considera- 
bly smaller, and may be known at once from all others 
thus far described, by the light buff streak which runs 
from the base of the lower mandible, until it melts into 
the duller buff of the breast, and by the bright ash-streak 
over the eye. The note of this bird attracted me at once; 
it was loud and sonorous ; the bird flew low and forward, 
perching on the firs, very shy, and cunningly eluding our 
pursuit; we, however, shot three, but lost one. I shall 
draw it to-morrow.^ 

June 28. The weather shocking — rainy, foggy, dark 
and cold. I began drawing at daylight, and finished one 
of my new Finches and outlined another. At noon the 
wind suddenly changed and blew hard from the north- 
west, with heavy rain, and such a swell that I was almost 
sea-sick, and had to abandon drawing. We dined, and 
immediately afterward the wind came round to southwest; 
all was bustle with us and with the "Gulnare," for we 
both were preparing our sails and raising our anchors ere 
proceeding to sea. We sailed, and managed so well that 
we cleared the outer cape east of our harbor, and went 
out to sea in good style. The " Gulnare " was not so for- 
tunate; she attempted to beat out in vain, and returned to 

1 An interesting note of this new species figured in B. of Am , folio pi. 
193, and described in Orn. Biogr. ii., 1834, p. 539. It is now known as 
Melospiza lincohii. — E. C. 


her anchorage. The sea was so high in consequence of 
the late gales that we all took to our berths, and I am 
only now able to write. 

June 29. At three this morning we were off the land 
about fifteen miles, and about fifty from American Har- 
bor. Wind favorable, but light; at about ten it fresh- 
ened. We neared the shore, but as before our would-be 
pilot could not recognize the land, and our captain had 
to search for the harbor where we now are, himself. W'e 
passed near an island covered with Foolish Guillemots, 
and came to, for the purpose of landing; we did so 
through a heavy surf, and found two eggers just landed, 
and running over the rocks for eggs. We did the same, 
and soon collected about a hundred. These men told me 
they visited every island in the vicinity every day, and 
that, in consequence they had fresh eggs every day. They 
had collected eight hundred dozen, and expect to get two 
thousand dozen. The number of broken eggs created a 
fetid smell on this island, scarcely to be borne. The L. 
mariJtuswQrQ here in hundreds, and destroying the eggs of 
the Guillemots by thousands. From this island we went 
to another, and there found the Mormon arcticus ^ breed- 
ing in great numbers. We caught many in their burrows, 
killed some, and collected some of the eersrs. On this 
island their burrows were dug in the light black loam 
formed of decayed moss, three to six feet deep, yet not 
more than about a foot under the surface. The burrows 
ran in all directions, and in some instances connected; 
the end of the burrow is rounded, and there is the pure 
white ^gg. Those caught at the holes bit most furiously 
and scratched shockingly with the inner claw, making a 
mournful noise all the time. The whole island was per- 
forated with their burrows. No young were yet hatched, 
and the eggers do not collect these eggs, finding them 
indifferent. They say the same of the eggs of the Alca 

1 The Common Puffin, now called Fraterciila arctica. — E. C. 


tarda, which they call "Tinkers. "^ The Monnon, they 
call "Sea Parrots." Each species seems to have its own 
island except the Alca tarda, which admits the Guillemots. 
As we advanced, we passed by a rock literally covered 
with Cormorants, of what species I know not yet; their 
effluvia could be perceived more than a mile off. We 
made the fine anchorage where we now are about four 
o'clock. We found some difficulty in entering on account 
of our pilot being an ignorant ass ; twice did we see the 
rocks under our vessel. The appearance of the country 
around is quite different from that near American Har- 
bor; nothing in view here as far as eye can reach, but 
bare, high, rugged rocks, grand indeed, but not a shrub 
a foot above the ground. The moss is shorter and more 
compact, the flowers are fewer, and every plant more 
diminutive. No matter which way you glance, the pros- 
pect is cold and forbidding; deep banks of snow appear 
here and there, and yet I have found the Shore Lark 
{Alauda alpcslris-) in beautiful summer plumage. I found 
the nest of the Brown Lark {Anthus spinalctta ^) with five 
eggs in it ; the nest was planted at the foot of a rock, 
buried in dark mould, and beautifully made of fine grass, 
well and neatly worked in circularly, without any hair or 
other lining. We shot a White-crowned Sparrow, two 
Savannah Finches, and saw more, and a Red-bellied 
Nuthatch; this last bird must have been blown here acci- 
dentally, as not a bush is there for it to alight upon. I 
found the tail of an unknown Owl, and a dead Snow-bird 
which from its appearance must have died from cold and 
famine. John brought a young Cormorant alive from the 
nest, but I cannot ascertain its species without the adult, 
which we hope to secure to-morrow. At dusk the " Gul- 

1 This is the usual sailors' name of the Razor-billed Auk in Labrador and 
Newfoundland, and was the only one heard by me in Labrador in i860 
(see Proc. Acad Nat. Sci., 1861, p. 249). — E. C. 

"^ Now Otocorys alpestris. — E. C. 

" Now Anthus pennsylvanictis. — E. C. 




nare " passed us. All my young men are engaged in 
skinning the Mormon arcticiis. 

Jime 30. I have drawn three birds this day since eight 
o'clock, one Fringilla lincolnii, one Ruby-crowned Wren, 
and a male White-winged Crossbill. Found a nest of the 
Savannah Finch with two eggs; it was planted in the 
moss, and covered by a rampant branch ; it was made of 
fine grass, neither hair nor feathers in its composition. 
Shot the L. marimis in fine order, all with the wings ex- 
tending nearly two inches beyond the tail, and all in the 
same state of moult, merely showing in the middle pri- 
maries. These birds suck other birds' eggs like Crows, 
Jays, and Ravens. Shot six Phalacrocorax carbo^ in full 
plumage, species well ascertained by their white throat; 
found abundance of their eggs and young. 

July 1. The weather was so cold that it was painful 
for me to draw almost the whole day, yet I have drawn a 
White-winged Crossbill ^ and a Mormon arcticiis. We 
have had three of these latter on board, alive, these three 
days past; it is amusing to see them running about the 
cabin and the hold with a surprising quickness, watch- 
ing our motions, and particularly our eyes. A Pigeon 
Hawk's^ nest was found to-day; it was on the top of a fir- 
tree about ten feet high, made of sticks and lined with 
moss, and as large as a Crow's nest; it contained two 

^ Common Cormorant. See note on page 370. 

2 Loxia leucoptera. 

8 Le petit caporal, Falco tcmerariuSy AuD. Ornith. Biog. i., 1831, p. 381, pi. 
85. Falco colnmbarius, AuD. Ornith. Biog. i., 1831, p. 466, pi. 92 ; v., 1838, 
p. 368. Synopsis, 1839, p. 16. B. Amer. 8vo, ed. r., 1S40, p. 88, pi. 21. Falco 
auduboni, Bl.ickw.a.ll, Zool. Researches, 1834. — E. C. 

In vol. v., p. 36S, Audubon says : " The bird represented in the last 
mentioned plate, and described under the name of Falco temerarius, was 
merely a beautiful adult of the Pigeon Plawk, F. cohimbarms. The great 
inferiority in size of the individual represented as F. temararius was the 
cause of my mistaking it for a distinct species, and I have pleasure in stating 
that the Prince of Musignano [Charles Bonaparte] was the first person who 
pointed out my error to me soon after the publication of my first volume." 

Bonaparte alludes to this in his edition of Wilson, vol. iii. p. 252. 
VOL. I. — 25 


birds just hatched, and three eggs, which the young inside 
had just cracked. The parent birds were anxious about 
their newly born ones, and flew close to us. The little 
ones were pure white, soft and downy. We found also 
three young of the Charadrius semipalmatiis,^ and several 
old ones; these birds breed on the margin of a small 
lake among the low grasses. Traces have been seen of 
Hares or Rabbits, and one island is perforated throughout 
its shallow substratum of moss by a species of Rat, but in 
such burrows search for them is vain. The " Gulnare " 
came in this evening; our captain brought her in as 
pilot. We have had an almost complete eclipse of the 
moon this evening at half-past seven. The air very 

July 2. A beautiful day for Labrador. Drew another 
M. arcticus. Went on shore, and was most pleased with 
what I saw. The country, so wild and grand, is of itself 
enough to interest any one in its wonderful dreariness. 
Its mossy, gray-clothed rocks, heaped and thrown together 
as if by chance, in the most fantastical groups imagina- 
ble, huge masses hanging on minor ones as if about to 
roll themselves down from their doubtful-looking situa- 
tions, into the depths of the sea beneath. Bays without 
end, sprinkled with rocky islands of all shapes and sizes, 
where in every fissure a Guillemot, a Cormorant, or 
some other wild bird retreats to secure its &gg, and 
raise its young, or save itself from the hunter's pursuit. 
The peculiar cast of the sky, which never seems to be cer- 
tain, butterflies flitting over snow-banks, probing beauti- 
ful dwarf flowerets of many hues pushing their tender 
stems from the thick bed of moss which everywhere cov- 
ers the granite rocks. Then the morasses, wherein you 
plunge up tc your knees, or the walking over the stub- 
born, dwarfish shrubbery, making one think that as he 
goes he treads down the forests of Labrador. The unex- 

1 American Ring Plover, now known as yEgialitis semipalmata. — E. C. 


pected Bunting, or perhaps Sylvia, which perchance, and 
indeed as if by chance alone, you now and then see flying 
before you, or hear singing from the creeping plants on 
the ground. The beautiful fresh-water lakes, on the 
rugged crests of greatly elevated islands, wherein the Red 
and Black-necked Divers swim as proudly as swans do in 
other latitudes, and where the fish appear to have been 
cast as strayed beings from the surplus food of the ocean. 
All — all is wonderfully grand, wild — aye, and terrific. 
And yet how beautiful it is now, when one sees the wild 
bee, moving from one flower to another in search of food, 
which doubtless is as sweet to it, as the essence of the 
magnolia is to those of favored Louisiana. The little 
Ring Plover rearing its delicate and tender young, the 
Eider Duck swimming man-of-war-like amid her floating 
brood, like the guardship of a most valuable convoy; the 
White-crowned Bunting's sonorous note reaching the ear 
ever and anon ; the crowds of sea-birds in search of places 
wherein to repose or to feed — how beautiful is all this in 
this wonderful rocky desert at this season, the beginning 
of July, compared with the horrid blasts of winter which 
here predominate by the will of God, when every rock is 
rendered smooth with snows so deep that every step the 
traveller takes is as if entering into his grave; for even 
should he escape an avalanche, his eye dreads to search 
the horizon, for full well does he know that snow — snow 
— is all that can be seen. I watched the Ring Plover for 
some time ; the parents were so intent on saving their 
young that they both lay on the rocks as if shot, quiver- 
ing their wings and dragging their bodies as if quite 
disabled. We left them and their young to the care of 
the Creator. I would not have shot one of the old ones, 
or taken one of the young for any consideration, and I 
was glad my young men were as forbearing. The L. 
marimis is extremely abundant here ; they are forever har- 
assing every other bird, sucking their eggs, and devouring 


their young; they take here the place of Eagles and 
Hawks ; not an Eagle have we seen yet, and only two or 
three small Hawks, and one small Owl; yet what a har- 
vest they would have here, were there trees for them to 
rest upon. 

July 3. We had a regular stiff gale from the eastward 
the whole day, accompanied with rain and cold weather, 
and the water so rough that I could not go ashore to get 
plants to draw. This afternoon, however, the wind and 
waves abated, and we landed for a short time. The view 
from the topmost rock overlooking the agitated sea was 
grand ; the small islets were covered with the angry foam. 
Thank God ! we were not at sea. I had the pleasure of 
coming immediately upon a Cormorant's nest, that lay in 
a declivity not more than four or five yards below me; 
the mother bird was on her nest with three young; I was 
unobserved by her for some minutes, and was delighted 
to see how kindly attentive she was to her dear brood; 
suddenly her keen eye saw me, and she flew off as if to 
dive in the sea. 

ynlj 4- At four this morning I sent Tom Lincoln on 
shore after four plants and a Cormorant's nest for me to 
draw. The nest was literally /'(7j/'t'^ to the rock's edge, 
so thick was the decomposed, putrid matter below it, and 
to which the upper part of the nest was attached. It was 
formed of such sticks as the country affords, sea-moss and 
other garbage, and weighed over fifteen pounds. I have 
drawn all day, and have finished the plate of the Friiigilla 
lincolnii, to which I have put three plants of the country, 
all new to me and probably never before figured ; to us 
they are very fitting for the purpose, as Lincoln gathered 
them. Our party divided as usual into three bands : John 
and Lincoln off after Divers; Coolidge, Shattuck, and 
Ingalls to the main land, and our captain and four men 
to a pond after fish, which they will catch with a seine. 
Captain Bayfield sent us a quarter of mutton, a rarity, I 


will venture to say, on this coast even on the Fourth of 
July. John and Lincoln returned with a Red-necked 
Diver, or Scapegrace, Coolidge and party with the nest 
and two eggs of the Colyvibus glacialis.'^ This nest was 
found on the margin of a pond, and was made of short 
grasses, weeds, etc. ; well fashioned and fifteen inches in 
diameter. After dinner John and I went on shore to re- 
lease a Uria grylle that we had confined in the fissure of 
a rock; the poor thing was sadly weak, but will soon re- 
cover from this trial of ours. 

July 5. John and Lincoln returned at sunset with a 
Red-necked Diver, and one egg of that bird; they also 
found Uria grylle, whose pebbled nests were placed be- 
neath large rolling stones on the earth, and not in fis- 
sures; Lincoln thought them a different species, but John 
did not. They brought some curious Eels, and an Arctic 
Tern, and saw the tracks of Deer and Caribou, also Otter 
paths from one pond to another. They saw several Loons 
and tolled them by running towards them hallooing and 
waving a handkerchief, at which sight and cry the Loon 
immediately swam towards them, until within twenty 
yards. This "tolling" is curious and wonderful. Many 
other species of water-fowl are deceived by these manoeu- 
vres, but none so completely as the Loon. Coolidge's 
party was fortunate enough to kill a pair of Ptarmigans, 
and to secure seven of the young birds, hatched yesterday 
at furthest. They met with these on the dreary, mossy 
tops of the hills, over which we tread daily in search of 
knowledge. This is the species of Grouse of which we 
heard so much at Dennysville last autumn, and glad I am 
that it is a resident bird with us. The Larus marinus 
was observed trying to catch the young of the Eiders. I 
drew from four o'clock this morning till three this after- 

^ Great Northern Diver or Loon, now called Urinator, or Gavia, imber. 
The other Diver above mentioned as the " Scapegrace " is U., or C, lumme. 
— E. C. 


noon; finished a figure of the Colymbiis septentriofialis?- 
Feeling the want of exercise, went off with the captain a 
few miles, to a large rough island. To tread over the 
spongy moss of Labrador is a task beyond conception 
until tried; at every step the foot sinks in a deep, soft 
cushion which closes over it, and it requires a good deal 
of exertion to pull it up again. Where this moss hap- 
pens to be over a marsh, then you sink a couple of feet 
deep every step you take; to reach a bare rock is delight- 
ful, and quite a relief. This afternoon I thought the 
country looked more terrifyingly wild than ever; the dark 
clouds, casting their shadows on the stupendous masses of 
rugged rock, lead the imagination into regions impossible 
to describe. The Scoter Ducks, of which I have seen 
many this day, were partially moulted, and could fly only 
a short distance, and must be either barren or the young 
bachelors, as I find parents in full plumage, convincing 
me that these former moult earlier than the breeding 
Ducks. I have observed this strange fact so often now 
that I shall say no more about it ; I have found it in 
nearly all the species of the birds here. I do not know 
of any writer on the history of birds having observed this 
curious fact before. I have now my hands full of work, 
and go to bed delighted that to-morrow I shall draw a 
Ptarmigan which I can swear to, as being a United States 
species. I am much fatigued and wet to the very skin, 
but, oh ! we found the nest of a Peregrine Falcon on a 
tremendous cliff, with a young one about a week old, 
quite white with down; the parents flew fiercely at our 

July 6. By dint of hard work and rising at three, I 
have drawn a Colymbiis scptcntrionalis and a young one, 
and nearly finished a Ptarmigan ; this afternoon, however, 
at half-past five, my fingers could no longer hold my 
pencil, and I was forced to abandon my work and go 

^ Red-.throated Diver, now Urinator, or Gavia, lutnme. — E. C 


ashore for exercise. The fact is that I am growing old too 
fast; alas! I feel it — and yet work I will, and may God 
grant me life to see the last plate of my mammoth work 
finished. I have heard the Brown Lark {AntJiiis spiiiolctta) 
sing many a time this day, both on the wing and whilst 
sitting on the ground. When on the wing it sings while 
flying very irregularly in zigzags, up and down, etc. ; when 
on a rock (which it prefers) it stands erect, and sings, I 
think, more clearly. John found the nest of a White- 
crowned Bunting with five eggs ; he was creeping through 
some low bushes after a Red-necked Diver, and accident- 
ally coming upon it, startled the female, which made much 
noise and complaint. The nest was like the one Lincoln 
found placed in the moss, under a low bough, and formed 
of beautiful moss outwardly, dried, fine grass next inside, 
and exquisitely lined with fibrous roots of a rich yellow 
color; the eggs are light greenish, slightly sprinkled with 
reddish-brown, in size about the same as eggs of the Song 
Sparrow. This Fringilla'^ is the most abundant in this 
part of Labrador. We have seen two Swamp Sparrows 
only. We have found two nests of the Peregrine Falcon, 
placed high on rocky declivities. Coolidge and party 
shot two Oyster Catchers ; these are becoming plentiful. 
Lieutenant Bowen of the " Gulnare " brought me a Pere- 
grine Falcon, and two young of the Alca torda, the first 
hatched we have seen, and only two or three days old. 

July 7. Drawing all day; finished the female Grouse 
and five young, and prepared the male bird. The captain, 
John, and Lincoln, went off" this afternoon with a view to 
camp on a bay about ten miles distant. Soon after, we had 
a change of weather, and, for a wonder, bright lightning 
and something like summer clouds. When fatigued with 
drawing I went on shore for exercise, and saw many pretty 
flowers, amongst them a flowering Sea-pea, quite rich in 

1 The White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows are now placed in 
the genus Zonotrichia. — E. C. 


color. Dr. Kelly from the " Gulnare " went with me. 
Captain Bayfield and Lieutenant Bowen went off this 
morning on a three weeks' expedition in open boats, but 
with tents and more comforts than I have ever enjoyed in 
hunting excursions. The mosquitoes quite as numerous 
as in Louisiana. 

July 8. Rainy, dirty weather, wind east. Was at work 
at half-past three, but disagreeable indeed is my situation 
during bad weather. The rain falls on my drawing-paper, 
despite all I can do, and even the fog collects and falls in 
large drops from the rigging on my table ; now and then 
I am obliged to close my skylight, and then may be said 
to work almost in darkness. Notwithstanding, I finished 
my cock Ptarmigan, and three more young, and now con- 
sider it a handsome large plate. John and party returned, 
cold, wet, and hungry. Shot nothing, camp disagreeable, 
and nothing to relate but that they heard a Wolf, and found 
an island with thousands of the Mormon arcticus breeding 
on it. To-morrow I shall draw the beautiful Colyvibiis 
glacialis in most perfect plumage. 

July 9. The wind east, of course disagreeable; wet and 
foggy besides. The most wonderful climate in the world. 
Cold as it is, mosquitoes in profusion, plants blooming by 
millions, and at every step you tread on such as would 
be looked upon with pleasure in more temperate climes. 
I wish I were a better botanist, that I might describe them 
as I do birds. Dr. Wm. Kelly has given me the list of 
such plants as he has observed on the coast as far as 
Macatine Island. I have drawn all day at the Loon, a 
most difficult bird to imitate. For my part, I cannot help 
smiling at the presumption of some of our authors, who 
modestly assert that their figures are " up to nature." 
May God forgive them, and teach me to copy His works; 
glad and happy shall I then be. Lincoln and Shattuck 
brought some fresh-water shells from a large pond inland ; 
they saw a large bird which they took for an Owl, but 


which they could not approach ; they also caught a frog, 
but lost it out of their game bag. 

July 10. Could I describe one of these dismal gales 
which blow ever and anon over this desolate country, it 
would in all probability be of interest to one unacquainted 
with the inclemency of the climate. Nowhere else is the 
power of the northeast gale, which blows every week on the 
coast of Labrador, so keenly felt as here. I cannot describe 
it ; all I can say is that whilst we are in as fine and safe a 
harbor as could be wished for, and completely land-locked 
all round, so strong does the wind blow, and so great its 
influence on our vessel, that her motion will not allow me 
to draw, and indeed once this day forced me to my berth, 
as well as some others of our party. One would imagine 
all the powers of Boreas had been put to work to give us a 
true idea of what his energies can produce, even in so snug a 
harbor. What is felt outside I cannot imagine, but greatly 
fear that few vessels could ride safely before these horrid 
blasts, that now and then seem strong enough to rend the 
very rocks asunder. The rain is driven in sheets which 
seem scarcely to fall on sea or land ; I can hardly call it 
rain, it is rather a mass of water, so thick that all objects 
at any distance from us are lost to sight every three or 
four minutes, and the waters comb up and beat about us 
in our rock-bound harbor as a newly caged bird does 
against its imprisoning walls. The Great Black-backed 
Gull alone is seen floating through the storm, screaming 
loudly and mournfully as it seeks its prey; not another 
bird is to be seen abroad ; the Cormorants are all settled 
in the rocks close to us, the Guillemots are deep in the 
fissures, every Eider Duck lays under the lee of some 
point, her brood snugly beneath her opened wings, the 
Loon and the Diver have crawled among the rankest 
weeds, and are patiently waiting for a return of fair weather, 
the Grouse is quite hid under the creeping willow, the 
Great Gray Owl is perched on the southern declivity of 


some stupendous rock, and the gale continues as if it would 
never stop. On rambling about the shores of the numer- 
ous bays and inlets of this coast, you cannot but observe 
immense beds of round stone of all sizes, some of very large 
dimensions rolled side by side and piled one upon another 
many deep, cast there by some great force of nature. I 
have seen many such places, and never without astonish- 
ment and awe. If those great boulders are brought from 
the bottom of the sea, and cast hundreds of yards on 
shore, this will give some idea of what a gale on the coast 
of Labrador can be, and what the force of the waves. I 
tried to finish my drawing of the Loon, but in vain; I 
covered my paper to protect it from the rain, with the 
exception only of the few inches where I wished to work, 
and yet that small space was not spared by the drops that 
fell from the rigging on my table; there is no window, and 
the only light is admitted through hatches. 

July 11. The gale, or hurricane, or whatever else the 
weather of yesterday was, subsided about midnight, and at 
sunrise this morning it was quite calm, and the horizon 
fiery red. It soon became cloudy, and the wind has been 
all round the compass. I wished to go a hundred miles 
farther north, but the captain says I must be contented 
here, so I shall proceed with my drawings. I began a Cor- 
morant and two young, having sent John and Lincoln for 
them before three this morning ; and they procured them in 
less than half an hour. Many of the young are nearly as 
large as their parents, and yet have scarcely a feather, but 
are covered with woolly down, of a sooty black. The ex- 
cursions brought in nothing new. The Shore Lark has 
become abundant, but the nest remains still unknown. A 
tail feather of the Red-tailed Hawk, young, was found; 
therefore that species exists here. We are the more 
surprised that not a Hawk nor an Owl is seen, as 
we find hundreds of sea-birds devoured, the wings only 


July 12. At this very moment it is blowing another 
gale from the east, and it has been raining hard ever since 
the middle of the day. Of course it has been very difficult 
to draw, but I have finished the Cormorant. John and 
Lincoln brought in nothing new, except the nest and ten 
eggs of a Red-breasted Merganser. The nest was placed 
near the edge of a very small fresh-water pond, under the 
creeping branches of one of this country's fir-trees, the top 
of which would be about a foot above ground; it is like 
the Eider's nest, but smaller and better fashioned, of weeds 
and mosses, and warmly lined with down. The eggs are 
dirty yellow, very smooth shelled, and look like hen's- 
eggs, only rather stouter. John lay in wait for the parent 
over two hours, but though he saw her glide off the nest, 
she was too wary to return. I saw a Black-backed Gull 
plunge on a Crab as big as my two fists, in about two feet 
of water, seize it and haul it ashore, where it ate it while I 
watched it; I could see the Crab torn piece by piece, till 
the shell and legs alone remained. The Gull then flew in 
a direct line towards her nest, distant about a mile, probably 
to disgorge her food in favor of her young. Our two young 
Gulls, which we now have had for nearly a month, act 
just as Vultures would. We throw them a dead Duck or 
even a dead Gull, and they tear it to pieces, drinking the 
blood and swallowing the flesh, each constantly trying to 
rob the other of the piece of flesh which he has torn from 
the carcass. They do not drink water, but frequently 
wash the blood off their bills by plunging them in water, 
and then violently shaking their heads. They are now 
half fledged. 

July 13. When I rose this morning at half-past three, 
the wind was northeast, and but little of it. The weather 
was cloudy and looked bad, as it always does here after a 
storm. I thought I would spend the day on board the 
" Gulnare," and draw at the ground of my Grouse, which I 
had promised to Dr. Kelly. However, at seven the wind 


was west, and we immediately prepared to leave our fine 
harbor. By eight we passed the " Gulnare," bid her officers 
and crew farewell, beat out of the narrow passage beauti- 
fully, and proceeded to sea with the hope of reaching the 
harbor of Little Macatine, distant forty-three miles; but 
ere the middle of the day it became calm, then rain, then 
the wind to the east again, and all were sea-sick as much 
as ever. I saw a Lcstris ^ near the vessel, but of what kind 
I could not tell, — it flew like a Pigeon Hawk, alighting on 
the water like a Gull, and fed on some codfish liver which 
was thrown overboard for it, — and some Tlialassidrouia} 
but none came within shot, and the sea was too rough to 
go after them. About a dozen common Crossbills, and as 
many Redpolls {Friugilla \_Acanthis\ linaria) came and 
perched on our top-yards, but I would not have them shot, 
and none were caught. Our young men have been fishing 
to pass the time, and have caught a number of cod. 

July IJi.. The wind blew cold and sharp from the north- 
east this morning, and we found ourselves within twenty miles 
of" Little Macatine," the sea beating heavily on our bows, 
as we beat to the windward, tack after tack. At noon it 
was quite calm, and the wished-for island in sight, but our 
captain despairs of reaching it to-day. It looks high and 
horribly rugged, the highest land we have yet seen. At 
four o'clock, being about a mile and a half distant, we took 
the green boat, and went off. As we approached, I was 
surprised to see how small some Ducks looked which flew 
between us and the rocks, so stupendously high were the 
rough shores under which our little bark moved along. 
We doubled the cape and came to the entrance of the 
Little Macatine harbor, but so small did it appear to me 
that I doubted if it was the harbor; the shores were terri- 
bly wild, fearfully high and rugged, and nothing was heard 
but the croaking of a pair of Ravens and their half-grown 
brood, mingling with the roar of the surf against the rocky 

1 Jager. ^ Petrels, most probably Cytnochorea leucorrhoa. — E. C. 


ledges which projected everywhere, and sent the angry- 
waters foaming into the air. The wind now freshened, the 
" Ripley's " sails swelled, and she was gently propelled 
through the water and came within sight of the harbor, 
on the rocks of which we stood waiting for her, when all of 
a sudden she veered, and we saw her topsails hauled in 
and bent in a moment; we thought she must have seen a 
sunken rock, and had thus wheeled to avoid it, but soon 
saw her coming up again and learned that it was merely 
because she had nearly passed the entrance of the harbor 
ere aware of it. Our harbor is the very representation of 
the bottom of a large bowl, in the centre of which our vessel 
is now safely at anchor, surrounded by rocks fully a thou- 
sand feet high, and the wildest-looking place I ever was in. 
After supper we all went ashore ; some scampered up the 
steepest hills next to us, but John, Shattuck, and myself 
went up the harbor, and after climbing to the top of a 
mountain (for I cannot call it a hill) went down a steep 
incline, up another hill, and so on till we reached the crest 
of the island, and surveyed all beneath us. Nothing but 
rocks — barren rocks — wild as the wildest of the Apen- 
nines everywhere; the moss only a few inches deep, and 
the soil or decomposed matter beneath it so moist that, 
wherever there was an incline, the whole slipped from 
under our feet like an avalanche, and down we slid for feet 
or yards. The labor was excessive ; at the bottom of each 
dividing ravine the scrub bushes intercepted our way for 
twenty or thirty paces, over which we had to scramble 
with great exertion, and on our return we slid down fifty 
feet or more into an unknown pit of moss and mire, more 
or less deep. We started a female Black-cap Warbler 
from her nest, and I found it with four eggs, placed in the 
fork of a bush about three feet from the ground ; a beauti- 
ful little mansion, and I will describe it to-morrow. I am 
wet through, and find the mosquitoes as troublesome as in 
the Floridas. 


July 15. Our fine weather of yesterday was lost some- 
time in the night. As every one was keen to go off and 
see the country, we breakfasted at three o'clock this 
morning. The weather dubious, wind east. Two boats 
with the young men moved off in different directions. I 
sat to finishing the ground of my Grouse, and by nine had 
to shift my quarters, as it rained hard. By ten John and 
Lincoln had returned ; these two always go together, being 
the strongest and most active, as well as the most experi- 
enced shots, though Coolidge and Ingalls are not far be- 
hind them in this. They brought a Red-necked Diver and 
one egg of that bird; the nest was placed on the edge of 
a very small pond, not more than ten square yards. Our 
harbor had many Larus zonorhyjichus^ {Common Gull); 
the captain shot one. I have never seen them so abundant 
as here. Their flight is graceful and elevated ; when they 
descend for food the legs and feet generally drop below 
the body. They appear to know gunshot distance with 
wonderful precision, and it is seldom indeed that one comes 
near enough to be secured. They alight on the water 
with great delicacy, and swim beautifully, Coolidge's 
party brought a nest of the White-crowned Bunting {Frin- 
gilla Iciicophyrs) and three specimens of the bird, also two 
Charadrius scmipalinatus. They found an island with 
many nests of the Phalacrocorax dilophus^ but only one 
egg, and thought the nests were old and abandoned. One 
of the young Ravens from the nest flew off at the sight of 
one of our men, and fell into the water; it was caught and 
brought to me ; it was nearly fledged. I trimmed one of 
its wings, and turned it loose on the deck, but in attempt- 
ing to rejoin its mother, who called most loudly from on 
high on the wing, the young one walked to the end of the 
bowsprit, jumped into the water, and was drowned ; and 
soon after I saw the poor mother chased by a Peregrine 

^ Now L. dela'cvarensis, also called Ring-billed Gull. — E. C. 
2 Double-crested Cormorant. 


Falcon with great fury ; she made for her nest, and when 
the Falcon saw her alight on the margin of her ledge, it 
flew off. I never thought that such a Hawk could chase 
with effect so large and so powerful a bird as the Raven. 
Some of our men who have been eggers and fishermen 
have seen these Ravens here every season for the last 
eight or nine years. 

July 16. Another day of dirty weather, and all obliged 
to remain on board the greater portion of the time. I 
managed to draw at my Grouse and put in some handsome 
wild peas, Labrador tea-plant, and also one other plant, un- 
known to me. This afternoon the young men went off, and 
the result has been three White-crowned Buntings, and a 
female Black-capped Warbler. Our captain did much 
better for me, for in less than an hour he returned on 
board with thirty fine codfish, some of which we relished 
well at our supper. This evening the fog is so thick that 
we cannot see the summit of the rocks around us. The 
harbor has been full of Gulls the whole day. The captain 
brought me what he called an Esquimau codfish, which 
perhaps has never been described, and we have spirited 
him. We found a new species of floweret of the genus 
Silcne} but unknown to us. We have now lost four days 
in succession. 

July 17. The mosquitoes so annoyed me last night 
that I did not even close my eyes. I tried the deck of the 
vessel, and though the fog was as thick as fine rain, these 
insects attacked me by thousands, and I returned below, 
where I continued fighting them till daylight, when I had 
a roaring fire made and got rid of them. The fog has 
been as thick as ever, and rain has fallen heavily, though 
the wind is southwest. I have drawn five eggs of land- 
birds : that of Falco columbarius,- Fringilla leucophyrs^ An- 
thus spinoletta,^ Sylvia striata^ and Fringilla savatina.^ I 

1 The Catchfly. ^ pigeon Hawk. ^ \Vhite<row'ned Sparrow. 

* Brown Titlark. ^ Black-poll Warbler. ^ Savannah Finch. 


also outlined in the mountainous hills near our vessel, as 
a background to my Willow Grouse. John and Coolidge 
with their companions brought in several specimens, but 
nothing new. Coolidge brought two young of the Red- 
necked Diver, which he caught at the bottom of a small 
pond by putting his gun rod on them, — the little things 
diving most admirably, and going about the bottom with 
as much apparent ease as fishes would. The captain and 
I went to an island where the Phalacrocorax dilophus ^ 
were abundant; thousands of young of all sizes, from just 
hatched to nearly full-grown, all opening their bills and 
squawking most vociferously; the noise was shocking and 
the stench intolerable. No doubt exists with us now that 
the Shore Lark breeds here ; we meet with them very fre- 
quently. A beautiful species of violet was found, and I 
have transplanted several for Lucy, but it is doubtful if 
they will survive the voyage. 

July 18. We all, with the exception of the cook, left 
the " Ripley" in three boats immediately after our early 
breakfast, and went to the main land, distant some five 
miles. The fog was thick enough, but the wind promised 
fair weather, and we have had it. As soon as we landed 
the captain and I went off over a large extent of marsh 
ground, the first we have yet met with in this country; 
the earth was wet, our feet sank far in the soil, and 
walking was extremely irksome. In crossing what is here 
called a wood, we found a nest of Parus /ijidsotiicns'^ con- 
taining four young, able to fly; we procured the parents 
also, and I shall have the pleasure of drawing them to- 
morrow; this bird has never been figured that I know. 
Their manners resemble those of the Black-headed Tit- 
mouse, or Chickadee, and their notes are fully as strong, 
and clamorous, and constant as those of either of our own 
species. Few birds do I know that possess more active 
powers. The nest was dug by the bird out of a dead and 
1 Double-crested Cormorant. ^ Hudson's Bay Titmouse. 


rotten stump, about five feet from the ground ; the aper- 
ture, one and a quarter inches in diameter, was as round as 
if made by a small Woodpecker, or a Flying-squirrel. The 
hole inside was four by six inches ; at the bottom a bed 
of chips was found, but the nest itself resembled a purse 
formed of the most beautiful and softest hair imaginable, 
— of Sables, Ermines, Martens, Hares, etc.; a warmer and 
snugger apartment no bird could desire, even in this cold 
country. On leaving the wood we shot a Spruce Par- 
tridge leading her young. On seeing us she ruffled her 
feathers like a barnyard hen, and rounded within a few feet 
of us to defend her brood; her very looks claimed our 
forbearance and clemency, but the enthusiastic desire to 
study nature prompted me to destroy her, and she was 
shot, and her brood secured in a few moments; the young 
very pretty and able to fly. This bird was so very gray 
that she might almost have been pronounced a different 
species from those at Dennysville, Me., last autumn ; but 
this difference is occasioned by its being born so much 
farther north ; the difference is no greater than in Tetrao 
wnbellus ^ in Maine, and the same bird in western Pennsyl- 
vania. We crossed a savannah of many miles in extent; 
in many places the soil appeared to wave under us, and 
we expected at each step to go through the superficial 
moss carpet up to our middles in the mire ; so wet and so 
spongy was it that I think I never labored harder in a 
walk of the same extent. In travelling through this quag- 
mire we met with a small grove of good-sized, fine white- 
birch trees, and a few pines full forty feet high, quite a 
novelty to us at this juncture. On returning to our boats 
the trudging through the great bog was so fatiguing 
that we frequently lay down to rest; our sinews became 
cramped, and for my part, more than once I thought I 
should give up from weariness. One man killed a Falco 
columbariiis, in the finest plumage I have ever seen. I 

1 The Ruffed Grouse, Bonasa umbellus. — E. C. 
VOL. I. — 26 


heard the delightful song of the Ruby-crowned Wren 
again and again ; what would I give to find the nest of this 
northern Humming-Bird ? We found the Fox-colored 
Sparrow in full song, and had our captain been up to 
birds' ways, he would have found its nest; for one started 
from his feet, and doubtless from the eggs, as she flut- 
tered off with drooping wings, and led him away from the 
spot, which could not again be found. John and Co. 
found an island with upwards of two hundred nests of the 
Lams camis} all with eggs, but not a young one hatched. 
The nests were placed on the bare rock; formed of sea- 
weed, about six inches in diameter within, and a foot 
without; some were much thicker and larger than others; 
in many instances only a foot apart, in others a greater 
distance was found. The eggs are much smaller than 
those oi Lanes marinus. The eggs of the Cayenne Tern,^ 

1 Common Gull. This record raises an interesting question, which can 
hardly be settled satisfactorily. Larus ainus, the common Gull of Europe, 
is given by various authors in Audubon's time, besides himself, as a bird of 
the Atlantic coast of North America, from Labrador southward. But it is 
not known as such to ornithologists of the present day. The American 
Ornithologists' Union catalogues Z. canus as merely a straggler in North 
America, with the query, "accidental in Labrador?" In his Notes on the 
Ornithology of Labrador, in Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci., Phila. 1861, p. 246, Dr. 
Coues gives L. delawarensis, the Ring-billed Gull, three specimens of which 
he procured at Henley Harbor, Aug. 21, i860. These were birds of the 
year, and one of them, afterward sent to England, was identified by Mr. 
Howard Saunders as L. canus (P. Z. S. 1877, p. 178; Cat. B. Brit. Mus., 
x.xv. 1S96, p. 281). This would seem to bear out Audubon's Journal; 
but the "Common American Gull" of his published works is the one he 
calls L. zonorhynchiis (;. e., L. delawaretisis), and on p. 155 of the Birds of 
Am., 8vo ed., he gives the very incident here narrated in his Journal, as 
pertaining to the latter species. The probabilities are that, notwithstand- 
ing Dr. Coues' finding of the supposed L. canus in Labrador, the whole 
Audubonian record really belongs to L. delawarensis. — E. C. 

2 This appears to be an error, reflected in all of Audubon's published 
works. The Cayenne Tern of .\udubon, as described and figured by him, is 
Sterna regia, which has never been known to occur in Labrador. Audubon 
never knew the Caspian Tern, 5". tschegrava, and it is believed that this is 
the species which he saw in Labrador, and mistook for the Cayenne Tern 
— as he might easily do. See Coues, Birds of the Northwest, 1874, p. 
669, where the case is noted. — E. C. 


were also found, and a single pair of those remarkable 
birds, which could not be approached. Two Ptarmigans 
were killed ; these birds have no whirring of the wings, 
even when surprised; they flew at the gunners in defence 
of the young, and one was killed with a gun-rod. The 
instant they perceive they are observed, when at a dis- 
tance, they squat or lie flat on the moss, when it is almost 
impossible to see them unless right under your feet. From 
the top of a high rock I had fine view of the most exten- 
sive and the dreariest wilderness I have ever beheld. It 
chilled the heart to gaze on these barren lands of Labra- 
dor. Indeed I now dread every change of harbor, so horri- 
bly rugged and dangerous is the whole coast and country, 
especially to the inexperienced man either of sea or land. 
The mosquitoes, many species of horse-fly, small bees, 
and black gnats filled the air; the frogs croaked; and yet 
the thermometer was not high, not above 55°. This is 
one of the wonders of this extraordinary country. We 
have returned to our vessel, wet, shivering with cold, tired, 
and very hungry. During our absence the cook caught 
some fine lobsters; but fourteen men, each with a gun, six 
of which were double-barrelled, searched all day for game, 
and have not averaged two birds apiece, nineteen being all 
that were shot to-day. We all conclude that no one man 
could provide food for himself without extreme difficulty. 
Some animal was seen at a great distance, so far indeed 
that we could not tell whether it was a Wolf or a Caribou. 
July 19. So cold, rainy, and foggy has this day been 
that no one went out shooting, and only a ramble on shore 
was taken by way of escaping the motion of the vessel, 
which pitched very disagreeably, the wind blowing almost 
directly in our harbor; and I would not recommend this 
anchorage to a painter naturalist, as Charles Bonaparte 
calls me. I have drawn two Parus hndsonicus, and this 
evening went on shore with the captain for exercise, and 
enough have I had. We climbed the rocks and followed 


from one to another, crossing fissures, holding to the moss 
hand and foot and with difficulty, for about a mile, when 
suddenly we came upon the deserted mansion of a 
Labrador sealer. It looked snug outside, and we entered 
it. It was formed of short slabs, all very well greased with 
seal oil; an oven without a pipe, a salt-box hung on a 
wooden peg, a three-legged stool, and a wooden box of a 
bedstead, with a flour-barrel containing some hundreds of 
seine-floats, and an old Seal seine, completed the list of 
goods and chattels. Three small windows, with four panes 
of glass each, were still in pretty good order, and so was 
the low door, which moved on wooden hinges, for which 
the maker has received no patent, I '11 be bound. This 
cabin made of hewn logs, brought from the main, was well 
put together, about twelve feet square, well roofed with 
bark of birch and spruce, thatched with moss, and every 
aperture rendered air-tight with oakum. But it was 
deserted and abandoned ; the Seals are all caught, and the 
sealers have nought to do here now-a-days. We found a 
pile of good hard wood close to this abode, which we will 
have removed on board our vessel to-morrow. I dis- 
covered that this cabin had been the abode of two French 
Canadians ; first, because their almanac, written with chalk 
on one of the logs, was in French ; and next, the writing 
was in two very difi"erent styles. As we returned to our 
vessel I paused several times to contemplate the raging 
waves breaking on the stubborn, precipitous rocks beneath 
us, and thought how dreadful they would prove to any one 
who should be wrecked on so inhospitable a shore. No 
vessel, the captain assured me, could stand the sea we 
gazed upon at that moment, and I fully believed him, for 
the surge dashed forty feet or more high against the 
precipitous rocks. The Ravens flew above us, and a few 
Gulls beat to windward by dint of superior sailing; the 
horizon was hid by fog, so thick there, and on the crest of 
the island, that it looked like dense smoke. Though I 


wore thick mittens and very heavy clothing, I felt chilly 
with the cold. John's violin notes carry my thoughts far, 
far from Labrador, I assure thee. 

July 20. Labrador deserves credit for one fine day ! 
To-day has been calm, warm, and actually such a day as 
one might expect in the Middle States about the month of 
May. I drew from half-past three till ten this morning. 
The young men went off early, and the captain and myself 
went to the island next to us, but saw few birds : a Brown 
Lark, some Gulls, and the two White-crowned Buntings. 
In some small bays which we passed we found the stones 
thrown up by the sea in immense numbers, and of enormous 
size. These stones I now think are probably brought on 
shore in the masses of ice during the winter storms. These 
icebergs, then melting and breaking up, leave these enor- 
mous pebble-shaped stones, from ten to one hundred feet 
deep. When I returned to my drawing the captain went 
fishing, and caught thirty-seven cod in less than an hour. 
The wind rose towards evening, and the boats did not get 
in till nine o'clock, and much anxiety did I feel about 
them. Coolidge is an excellent sailor, and John too, for 
that matter, but very venturesome; and Lincoln equally so. 
The chase, as usual, poor; two Canadian Grouse in moult, 
— these do moult earlier than the Willow Grouse,^ — 
some White-throated Sparrows, Yellow-rump Warblers, the 
Green Black-cap Flycatcher, the small Wood Pewee (?). 
I think this a new species, but cannot swear to it^ The 

1 Or Willow Ptarmigan, Lagopus albus — the same that Audubon has 
already spoken of procuring and drawing ; but this is the first mention he 
makes which enables us to judge which of two species occurring in Labrador 
he had. The other is the Rock Grouse, or Ptarmigan, L. ritpestris. — E. C. 

2 This is the bird which Audubon afterward identified with Tyrannula 
richardsonii of Swainson, Fn., Bor.-Am., ii., iS3i,p. 146, pi. 46, lower fig., and 
published under the name of the Short-legged Pewee or Pewit Fly-catcher, 
Lliiscicapa pka-be, in Om. Biogr., v. p. 299, pi. 434 ; B. Am., 8vo ed., i. p. 
219, pi. 61. The species is now well known as the Western Wood Pewee, 
Contopiis richardsoni ; but it has never since Audubon's time been authen- 
ticated as a bird of Labrador. Audubon was of course perfectly familiar 


young of the Tawny Thrush were seen with the mother, 
ahiiost full-grown. All the party are very tired, especially 
Ingalls, who was swamped up to his arm-pits and was 
pulled out by his two companions ; tired as they are, they 
have yet energy to eat tremendously. 

July 21. I write now from a harbor which has no name, 
for we have mistaken it for the right one, which lies two 
miles east of this ; but it matters little, for the coast of 
Labrador is all alike comfortless, cold and foggy, yet 
grand. We left Little Macatine at five this morning, 
with a stiff southwest breeze, and by ten our anchor was 
dropped here. We passed Captain Bayfield and his two 
boats engaged in the survey of the coast. We have been 
on shore; no birds but about a hundred Eider Ducks and 
Red-breasted Mergansers in the inner bay, with their broods 
all affrighted as our boats approached. Returning on 
board, found Captain Bayfield and his lieutenants, who 
remained to dine with us. They were short of provisions* 
and we gave them a barrel of ship-bread, and seventy 
pounds of beef. I presented the captain with a ham, 
with which he went off to their camp on some rocks not 
far distant. This evening we paid him a visit; he and his 
men are encamped in great comfort. The tea-things were 
yet arranged on the iron-bound bed, the trunks served as 
seats, and the sail-cloth clothes-bags as pillows. The moss 
was covered with a large tarred cloth, and neither wind 
nor damp was admitted. I gazed on the camp with much 
pleasure, and it was a great enjoyment to be with men of 
education and refined manners, such as arc these oflliccrs of 
the Royal Navy ; it was indeed a treat. We talked of the 
country where we were, of the beings best fitted to live and 
prosper here, not only of our species, but of all species, 

with the common Wood Pewee, Contop7is virens, and with the Pewit Fly- 
catcher, Sayornis phabe. We can hardly imagine him mistaken regarding 
the identity of either of these familiar birds ; yet there is something about 
this Labrador record of supposed C. richardsoni which has never been 
satisfactorily explained. — E. C 


and also of the enormous destruction of everything here, 
except the rocks ; the aborigines themselves melting away 
before the encroachments of the white man, who looks 
without pity upon the decrease of the devoted Indian, from 
whom he rifles home, food, clothing, and life. For as the 
Deer, the Caribou, and all other game is killed for the 
dollar which its skin brings in, the Indian must search in 
vain over the devastated country for that on which he is 
accustomed to feed, till, worn out by sorrow, despair, and 
want, he either goes far from his early haunts to "others, 
which in time will be similarly invaded, or he lies on the 
rocky seashore and dies. We are often told rum kills the 
Indian ; I think not ; it is oftener the want of food, the loss of 
hope as he loses sight of all that was once abundant, before 
the white man intruded on his land and killed off the wild 
quadrupeds and birds with which he has fed and clothed 
himself since his creation. Nature herself seems perish- 
ing. Labrador must shortly be depeopled, not only of 
aboriginal man, but of all else having life, owing to man's 
cupidity. When no more fish, no more game, no more 
birds exist on her hills, along her coasts, and in her rivers, 
then she will be abandoned and deserted like a worn-out 

jfjily 22. At six this morning, Captain Bayfield and 
Lieutenant Bowen came alongside in their respective boats 
to bid us farewell, being bound westward to the " Gulnare." 
We embarked in three boats and proceeded to examine a 
small harbor about a mile east, where we found a whaling 
schooner of fifty-five tons from Cape Gaspe in New Bruns- 
wick. When we reached it we found the men employed 
at boiling blubber in what, to me, resembled sugar boilers. 
The blubber lay heaped on the shore in chunks of six 
to twenty pounds, and looked filthy enough. The cap- 
tain, or owner, of the vessel appeared to be a good, sensi- 
ble man of that class, and cut off for me some strips of 
the skin of the whale from under the throat, with large 


and curious barnacles attached to it. Tiiey had struck 
four whales, of which three had sunk and were lost ; this, 
I was told, was a very rare occurrence. We found at this 
place a French Canadian, a Seal-catcher, who gave me 
the following information. This portion of Labrador is 
free to any one to settle on, and he and another man had 
erected a small cabin, have Seal-nets, and traps to catch 
Foxes, and guns to shoot Bears and Wolves. They carry 
their quarry to Quebec, receive fifty cents per gallon for 
Seal oil, and from three to five guineas for Black and 
Silver-Fox skins, and other furs in proportion. From 
November till spring they kill Seals in great numbers. 
Two thousand five hundred were killed by seventeen men 
in three days ; this great feat was done with short sticks, 
each Seal being killed with a single blow on the snout, 
while resting on the edges of the field ice. The Seals are 
carried to the camp on sledges drawn by Esquimaux dogs, 
that arc so well trained that on reaching home they push 
the Seals off the sledge with their noses, and return to the 
hunters with despatch. (Remember, my Lucy, this is 
hearsay.) At other times the Seals are driven into nets 
one after another, until the poor animals become so ham- 
pered and confined that, the gun being used, they are 
easily and quickly despatched. He showed me a spot 
within a few yards of his cabin where, last winter, he caught 
six Silver-gray Foxes ; these had gone to Quebec with his 
partner, who was daily expected. Bears and Caribous 
abound during winter, as well as Wolves, Hares, and Porcu- 
pines. The Hare (I suppose the Northern one) is brown 
at this season, and white in winter ; the Wolves are mostly 
of a dun color, very ferocious and daring. A pack of 
about thirty followed a man to his cabin, and have more 
than once killed his dogs at his very door. I was the 
more surprised at this, as the dogs he had were as large 
as any Wolves I have ever seen. These dogs are extremely 
tractable ; so much so that, when harnessed to a sledge, the 


leader starts at the word of command, and the whole pack 
gallops off swiftly enough to convey a man sixty miles in 
the course of seven or eight hours. They howl like 
Wolves, and are not at all like our common dogs. They 
were extremely gentle, came to us, jumped on us, and 
caressed us, as if we were old acquaintances. They do 
not take to the water, and are only fitted for drawing 
sledges and chasing Caribou. They are the only dogs 
which at all equal the Caribou in speed. As soon as 
winter's storms and thick ice close the harbors and the 
spaces between the mainland and the islands, the Caribous 
are seen moving in great gangs, first to the islands, where, 
the snow being more likely to be drifted, the animal finds 
places where the snow has blown away, and he can more 
easily reach the moss, which at this season is its only 
food. As the season increases in severity, the Caribous 
follow a due northwestern direction, and gradually reach 
a comparatively milder climate; but nevertheless, on their 
return in March and April, which return is as regular as 
the migration of birds, they are so poor and emaciated 
that the white man himself takes pity on them, and does 
not kill them. (Merciful beings, who spare life when the 
flesh is off the bones, and no market for the bones is 
at hand.) The Otter is tolerably abundant; these are 
principally trapped at the foot of the waterfalls to which 
they resort, these places being the latest to freeze, and the 
first to thaw. The Marten and the Sable are caught, but 
are by no means abundant, and every winter makes a 
deep impression on beast as well as on man. These 
Frenchmen receive their supplies from Quebec, where they 
send their furs and oil. At this time, which the man here 
calls " the idle time," he lolls about his cabin, lies in the 
sunshine like a Seal, eats, drinks, and sleeps his life away, 
careless of all the world, and the world, no doubt, careless 
of him. His dogs are his only companions until his part- 
ner's return, who, for all I know, is not himself better 


company than a dog. They have placed their very small 
cabin in a delightful situation, under the protection of an 
island, on the southwestern side of the main shore, where I 
was surprised to find the atmosphere quite warm, and the 
vegetation actually rank ; for I saw plants with leaves fully 
a foot in breadth, and grasses three feet high. The birds 
had observed the natural advantages of this little paradise, 
for here we found the musical Winter Wren in full song, 
the first time in Labrador, the White-crowned Sparrow, 
or Bunting, singing melodiously from every bush, the Fox- 
tail Sparrow, the Black-cap Warbler, the Shore Lark nest- 
ing, but too cunning for us ; the White-throated Sparrow 
and a Peregrine Falcon, besides about half a dozen of 
Lincoln's Finch. This afternoon the wind has been blow- 
ing a tremendous gale ; our anchors have dragged with 
sixty fathoms of chain out. Yet one of tlie whaler's boats 
came to us with six men, who wished to see my drawings, 
and I gratified them willingly ; they, in return, have prom- 
ised to let me see a whale before cut up, if they should 
catch one ere we leave this place for Bras d'Or. Crows 
are not abundant here ; the Ravens equal them in number, 
and Peregrine Falcons are more numerous. The horse- 
flies are so bad that they drove our young men on board. 

Jtily 23. We visited to-day the Seal establishment of 
a Scotchman, Samuel Robertson, situated on what he calls 
Sparr Point, about six miles east of our anchorage. He 
received us politely, addressed me by name, and told me 
that he had received intimation of my being on a vessel 
bound to this country, through the English and Canadian 
newspapers. This man has resided here twenty years, 
married a Labrador lady, daughter of a Monsieur Cheva- 
lier of Bras d'Or, a good-looking woman, and has six 
children. His house is comfortable, and in a little garden 
he raises a few potatoes, turnips, and other vegetables. 
He appears to be lord of these parts and quite contented 
with his lot. He told me his profits last year amounted 


to X600. He will not trade with the Indians, of whom we 
saw about twenty, of the Montagnais tribes, and employs 
only white serving-men. His Seal-oil tubs were full, and 
he was then engaged in loading two schooners for Quebec 
with that article. I bought from him the skin of a Cross 
Fox for three dollars. He complained of the American 
fishermen very much, told us they often acted as badly as 
pirates towards the Indians, the white settlers, and the 
eggers, all of whom have been more than once obliged to 
retaliate, when bloody encounters have been the result. 
He assured me he had seen a fisherman's crew kill thou- 
sands of Guillemots in the course of a day, pluck the 
feathers from the breasts, and throw the bodies into the 
sea. He also told me that during mild winters his little 
harbor is covered with pure white Gulls (the Silvery), but 
that all leave at the first appearance of spring. The 
travelling here is effected altogether on the snow-covered 
ice, by means of sledges and Esquimaux dogs, of which 
Mr. Robertson keeps a famous pack. With them, at the 
rate of about six miles an hour, he proceeds to Bras d'Or 
seventy-five miles, with his wife and six children, in one 
sledge drawn by ten dogs. Fifteen miles north of this 
place, he says, begins a lake represented by the Indians 
as four hundred miles long by one hundred broad. This 
sea-like lake is at times as rough as the ocean in a storm ; 
it abounds with Wild Geese, and the water- fowl breed 
on its margins by millions. We have had a fine day, but 
very windy; Mr. R. says this July has been a remarkable 
one for rough weather. The Caribou flies have driven 
the hunters on board ; Tom Lincoln, who is especially 
attacked by them, was actually covered with blood, and 
looked as if he had had a gouging fight with some rough 
Kentuckians. Mr. R.'s newspapers tell of the ravages of 
cholera in the south and west, of the indisposition of 
General Jackson at the Tremont House, Boston, etc. ; thus 
even here the news circulates now and then. The mos- 


quitoes trouble me so much that in driving them away I 
bespatter my paper with ink, as thou seest, God bless 
thee ! Good-night. 

July ^4- The Charadrius semipalmatns breeds on the 
tops or sides of the high hills, and amid the moss of this 
country. I have not found the nest, but have been so 
very near the spot where it undoubtedly was, that the 
female has moved before me, trailing her wings and 
spreading her tail to draw me away; uttering a plaintive 
note, the purpose of which I easily conceive. The Shore 
Lark has served us the same way ; that nest must also be 
placed amid the deep mosses, over which these beautiful 
birds run as nimbly as can be imagined. They have the 
power of giving two notes, so very different from each 
other that a person not seeing the bird would be inclined 
to believe that two birds of different species were at hand. 
Often after these notes comes a sweet trill; all these I 
have thought were in intimation of danger, and with the 
wish to induce the sitting mate to lie quiet and silent. 
Tom Lincoln, John, and I went on shore after two Bears, 
which I heard distinctly, but they eluded our pursuit by 
swimming from an island to the main land. Coolidge's 
party went to the Murre Rocks, where the Guillemots 
breed, and brought about fifteen hundred eggs. Shat- 
tuck killed two Gannets with a stick ; they could have 
done the same with thousands of Guillemots when they 
landed ; the birds scrambled off in such a hurried, con- 
fused, and frightened manner as to render them what 
Charles Bonaparte calls stupid, and they were so terri- 
fied they could scarcely take to wing. The island was 
literally covered with eggs, dung, and feathers, and smelt 
so shockingly that Ingalls and Coolidge were quite sick. 
Coolidge killed a White-winged Crossbill on these Murre 
rocks; for several weeks we have seen these birds pass 
over us, but have found none anywhere on shore. We 
have had a beautiful day, and would have sailed for Bras 




d'Or, but our anchor stuck into a rock, and just as we 
might have sailed, a heavy fog came on, so here we are. 
July 26. I did not write last night because we were at 
sea and the motion was too disagreeable, and my mind 
was as troubled as the ocean. We left Bale de Portage 
before five in the morning, with a good breeze, intending 
to come to at Chevalier's settlement, forty-seven miles; 
but after sailing thirty, the wind failed us, it rained and 
blew, with a tremendous sea which almost shook the masts 
out of our good vessel, and about eight we were abreast 
of Bonne Esperance; but as our pilot knew as much of 
this harbor as he did of the others, which means nothing 
at all, our captain thought prudent to stand off and pro- 
ceed to Bras d'Or. The coast we have followed is like 
that we have hitherto seen, crowded with islands of all 
sizes and forms, against which the raging waves break in 
a frightful manner. We saw few birds, with the excep- 
tion of Gannets, which were soaring about us most of the 
day feeding on capelings, of which there were myriads. I 
had three Una troile thrown overboard alive to observe 
their actions. Two fluttered on top of the water for 
twenty yards or so, then dove, and did not rise again for 
fully a hundred yards from the vessel. The third went 
in head-foremost, like a man diving, and swam under the 
surface so smoothly and so rapidly that it looked like a 
fish with wings. At daylight we found ourselves at the 
mouth of Bras d'Or harbor, where we are snugly moored. 
Our pilot not knowing a foot of the ground, we hoisted 
our ensign, and Captain Billings came to us in his Hamp- 
ton boat and piloted us in. Bras d'Or is the grand ren- 
dezvous of almost all the fishermen that resort to this 
coast for codfish. We found here a flotilla of about one 
hundred and fifty sail, principally fore-and-aft schooners, 
a few pickaxes, etc., mostly from Halifax and the eastern 
portions of the United States. There was a life and stir 
about this harbor which surprised us after so many weeks 


of wilderness and loneliness — the boats moving to and 
fro, going after fish, and returning loaded to the gun- 
wales, others with seines, others with capelings for bait. 
A hundred or more were anchored out about a mile from 
us, hauling the poor codfish by thousands; hundreds of 
men engaged at cleaning and salting, their low jokes and 
songs resembling those of the Billingsgate gentry. On 
entering the port I observed a large flock of small Gulls, 
which species I could not ascertain, also Lcstris of two 
species, one small and one large. As soon as breakfast 
was over, the young men went ashore to visit Mr. Jones, 
the owner of the Seal-fishing establishment here. He re- 
ceived them well — a rough, brown Nova Scotia man, the 
lord of this portion of Labrador — and he gave John and 
the others a good deal of information. Four or five spe- 
cies of Grouse, the Velvet Duck, the Alias glacialis,^ and 
Fuligula histrionicaP' the Wild Goose, and others breed in 
the swampy deserts at the head waters of the rivers, and 
around the edges of the lakes and ponds which everywhere 
abound. He also knew of my coming. John and Cool- 
idge joined parties and brought me eight Red-polls, Friti- 
gilla linaria, old and young, which I will draw to-morrow. 
Query, is it the same which is found in Europe .-• Their 
note resembles that of the Siskin; their flight that of the 
Siskin and Linnet combined. The young were as large as 
the old, and could fly a mile at a stretch; they resort to 
low bushes along the edges of ponds and brooks; the hunt- 
ers saw more than they shot. They brought also Savannah 
Finches, and White-crowned Sparrows. They saw a fine 
female Tetrao canadensis, not quite so gray as the last ; 
the young flew well and alighted on trees and bushes, and 
John would not allow any of them to be shot, they were so 
trusting. They saw a Willow Grouse, which at sight of 
them, though at some distance, flew off and flew far; on 

1 Harelda hiemalis, the Old Squaw or Long- Tailed Duck. — E. C. 

2 Histrionicus histriouicus, the Harlequin Duck. -^E. C. 


being started again, flew again to a great distance with 
a loud, cackling note, but no whirr of the wings. They 
were within three hundred yards of an Eagle, which, from 
its dark color and enormous size and extent of wings, they 
took to be a female Washington Eagle. ^ I have made 
many inquiries, but every one tells me Eagles are most 
rare. It sailed away over the hills slowly and like a Vul- 
ture. After drawing two figures of the female White- 
winged Crossbill, I paid a visit to the country seat of Mr. 
Jones.2 The snow is still to be seen in patches on every 
hill around us; the borders of the water courses are edged 
with grasses and weeds as rank of growth as may be seen 
in the Middle States in like situations. I saw a small 
brook filled with fine trout; but what pleased me best, I 
found a nest of the Shore Lark; it was embedded in moss 
so much the color of the birds, that when these sit on it, 
it is next to impossible to observe them ; it was buried to 
its full depth, about seven inches, — composed outwardly 
of mosses of different sorts; within, fine grass circularly 
arranged, and mixed with many large, soft Duck feathers. 
These birds breed on high table-lands, one pair to a cer- 
tain district. The place where I found the nest was so 
arid, poor and rocky that nothing grew there. We see the 
high mountains of Newfoundland, the summits, at present, 
far above the clouds. Two weeks since, the ice filled the 
very harbor where we now are, and not a vessel could 
approach ; since then the ice has sunk, and none is to be 
seen far or near. 

July 27. It has blown a tremendous gale the whole 
day; fortunately I had two Fringilla linaria to draw. 
The adult male alone possesses those rich colors on the 
breast ; the female has only the front head crimson. They 

1 The Washington Eagle, or " Bird of Washington," of Audubon's works, 
is based upon the young Bald Eagle, HaliaiUis lettcocephahiis. The bird 
here noted may have been either this species, or the Aquila chrysaetus. 
— E. C. 

2 See Episode " A Labrador Squatter." 


resemble the Cross-bills, notwithstanding Bonaparte, Nut- 
tall, and others to the contrary. John kept me company 
and skinned fourteen small birds. Mr. Jones dined with 
us, after which the captain and the rest of our party went 
off through the storm to Blanc Sablons, four miles dis- 
tant. This name is turned into "Nancy Belong" by the 
fishermen, who certainly tell very strange tales respect- 
ing this country. Mr. Jones entertained us by his account 
of travelling with dogs during winter. They are har- 
nessed, he says, with a leather collar, a belly and back 
band, through the upper part of which passes the line of 
sealskin, which is attached to the sledge, and acts for a 
rein as well as a trace. An odd number of dogs always 
form the gang, from seven up, according to the distance of 
the journey, or the weight of the load ; each dog is esti- 
mated to draw two hundred pounds, at a rate of five or six 
miles an hour. The leader is always a well-broken dog, 
and is placed ahead of the pack with a draught-line of from 
six to ten fathoms' length, and the rest with gradually 
shorter ones, to the last, which is about eight feet from 
the sledge ; they are not, however, coupled, as often repre- 
sented in engravings, but are each attached separately, so 
that when in motion they are more like a flock of Par- 
tridges, all flying loosely and yet in the same course. 
They always travel at a gallop, no matter what the state 
of the country may be, and to go down-hill is both diffi- 
cult and dangerous ; and at times it is necessary for the 
driver to guide the sledge with his feet, or with a strong 
staff planted in the snow as the sledge proceeds ; and when 
heavily laden, and the descent great, the dogs are often 
taken off, and the sledge glides down alone, the man steer- 
ing with his toes, and lying flat on his face, thus descend- 
ing head-foremost like boys on their sleds. The dogs 
are so well acquainted with the courses and places in the 
neighborhood, that they never fail to take their master and 
his sledge to their destination, even should a tremendous 


snow-storm occur whilst underway; and it is always safer 
to leave one's fate to the instinct which these fine animals 
possess than to trust to human judgment, for it has been 
proved more than once that men who have made their 
dogs change their course have been lost, and sometimes 
died, in consequence. When travellers meet, both parties 
come circuitously, and as slowly as possible towards each 
other, which gives the separate packs the opportunity of 
observing that their masters are acquainted, when they 
meet without fighting, a thing which almost always occurs 
if the dogs meet unexpectedly. Mr. Jones lost a son of 
fourteen, a few years ago, in a snow-storm, owing to the 
servant in whose care he was, imprudently turning the 
dogs from their course; the dogs obeyed the command 
and struck towards Hudson's Bay; when the weather 
cleared the servant perceived his mistake, but alas! too 
late; the food was exhausted, and the lad gradually sank, 
and died in the arms of the man. 

July 2S. At daylight this morning the storm had 
abated, and although it was almost calm, the sea was 
high, and the "Ripley" tossed and rolled in a way which 
was extremely unpleasant to me. Breakfast over, we all 
proceeded to Mr. Jones' establishment with a view to pro- 
curing more information, and to try to have some of his 
men make Esquimaux boots and garments for us. We 
received little information, and were told no work could 
be done for us; on asking if his son, a youth of about 
twenty-three, could be hired to guide some of us into 
the interior some forty miles, Mr. Jones said the boy's 
mother had become so fearful of accidents since the loss 
of the other son that he could not say without asking her 
permission, which she would not grant. We proceeded 
over the table-lands towards some ponds. I found three 
young Shore Larks just out of the nest, and not yet able 
to fly; they hopped pretty briskly over the moss, uttering 
a soft peep, to which the parent bird responded at every 
VOL. I. — 27 


call. I am glad that it is in my power to make a figure 
of these birds in summer, winter, and young plumage. 
We also found the breeding-place of the Fuligida Jiistri- 
onica in the corner of a small pond in some low bushes. 
By another pond we found the nest of the Velvet Duck, 
called here the White-winged Coot; it was placed on the 
moss among the grass, close to the water; it contained 
feathers, but no down as others. The female had six 
young, five of which we procured. They were about a 
week old, and I could readily recognize the male birds; 
they all had the white spot under the eye. Four were 
killed with one shot; one went on shore and squatted in 
the grass, where Lincoln caught it ; but I begged for its 
life, and we left it to the care of its mother, and of its 
Maker. We also found the breeding-place of Fuligiila 
glacialis by a very large pond; these breed in companies 
and are sh3'er than in the States. The Pied Duck ^ breeds 
here on the top of the low bushes, but the season is so far 
advanced we have not found its nest. Mr, Jones tells me 
the King Duck passes here northwards in the early part 
of March, returning in October, flying high, and in lines 
like the Canada Goose. The Snow Goose is never seen 
here; none, indeed, but oceanic species are seen here. 
(I look on Anas fusca'^Tui, an oceanic species.) Mr. Jones 
has never been more than a mile in the interior, and 
knows nothing of it. There are two species of Wood- 
pecker here, and only two, the Three-toed and the Downy. 
When I began writing it was calm, now it blows a hurri- 
cane, rains hard, and the sea is as high as ever. 

July 29. Another horrid, stormy day. The very fish- 
ermen complain. Five or six vessels left for further east, 
but I wish and long to go west. The young men, except 

1 Or Labrador Duck, Ciimptoltrmtis labradorius. This is a notable record, 
considering that the species became extinct about 1S75. — ^- ^• 

2 This is the White-winged Coot or Scoter just mentioned above, CEdemia 
deglandi. — E. C. 


Coolidge, went off this morning after an early breakfast 
to a place called Port Eau, eighteen miles distant, to try 
to procure some Esquimaux dresses, particularly mocca- 
sins. I felt glad when the boat which took them across 
the bay returned, as it assured me they were at least on 
terra firma. I do not expect them till to-morrow night, 
and I greatly miss them. When all our party is present, 
music, anecdotes, and jokes, journalizing and comparing 
notes, make the time pass merrily; but this evening the 
captain is on deck, Coolidge is skinning a bird, and I am 
writing that which is scarcely worth recording, with a 
horridly bad patent pen. I have to-day drawn three young 
Shore Larks, Alauda alpestris, the first ever portrayed by 
man. I did wish to draw an adult male, in full summer 
plumage, but could not get a handsome one. In one 
month all these birds must leave this coast, or begin to 
suffer. The young of many birds are full-fledged, and 
scamper over the rocks ; the Ducks alone seem backward, 
but being more hardy can stay till October, when deep 
snows drive them off, ready or not for their laborious 
journey. I saw this afternoon two, or a pair, of the 
Phalaropiis hypcrboreiis ; ^ they were swimming in a small 
fresh- water pond, feeding on insects, and no doubt had 
their nest close by, as they evinced great anxiety at my 
approach. I did not shoot at them, and hope to find the 
nest or young; but to find nests in the moss is a difficult 
job, for the whole country looks alike. "The Curlews 
are coming;" this is as much of a saying here as that 
about the Wild Pigeons in Kentucky. What species of 
Curlew, I know not yet, for none have been killed, but 
one of our men, who started with John and party, broke 
down, and was sent back ; he assured me that he had seen 
some with bills about four inches long, and the body the 
size of a Wild Pigeon. The accounts given of these Cur- 
lews border on the miraculous, and I shall say nothing 
1 Brown or Northern Phalarope. 


about them till I have tested the fishermen's stories. ^ It is 
now calm, for a wonder, but as cold as vengeance, on deck; 
we have a good fire in the stove, and I am roasting on one 
side and freezing on the other. The water of our harbor 
is actually coated with oil, and the bottom fairly cov- 
ered with the refuse of the codfish; the very air I breathe 
and smell is impregnated with essence of codfish. 

Jiily SO. It was a beautiful morning when I arose, and 
such a thing as a beautiful morning in this mournful 
country almost amounts to a phenomenon. The captain 
and myself went off to an island and searched for an 
Alauda alpestris, and found a good number of old and 
young, associated, both equally wild. The young were 
led off with great care by the adults, and urged to squat 
quietly till nearly within gunshot, when at a "tweet" 
from the parent they took to the wing and were off. 
These birds are very pugnacious, and attack a rival at 
once, when both come to the scratch with courage and 
tenacity. I saw one beautiful male in full summer dress, 
which I secured, and have drawn, with a portion of moss. 
I intend to add two drawn in winter plumage. This after- 
noon we visited Mr. Jones and his wife, a good motherly 
woman, who talked well. Our young men returned from 
Port Eau fatigued, and, as usual, hungry; complained, as 
I expected, of the country, the climate, and the scarcity 
of birds and plants, and not a pair of moccasins to be 
bought ; so Lincoln and Shattuck are now barefooted. 
They brought a Lestris pomarimis p- female, a full-grown 
young Raven, and some Finches. Coolidge's party had 
some Lesser Red-polls, several Swamp Sparrows, three 

^ The Curlew which occurs in almost incredible numbers in Labrador is 
the Eskimo, Ahimeuiiis borealis ; the one with the bill about four inches 
long, also found in that country, but less commonly, is the Hudsonian, 
N. hudsonicus. See Coues, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci., Philada., iS6i, p. 236. 

— E. C. 

2 Pomarine Jager, or Gull-hunter, now called Stercorarius pomarinus. 

— E. C. 


small Black-cap Green Flycatchers, Black-cap Warblers, 
old and young, the last fully grown, a Fringilla lincolnii, 
and a Pine Grosbeak. They saw many Gulls of various 
species, and also an iceberg of immense size. There is 
at Port Eau a large fishing establishment belonging to 
fishermen who come annually from the Island of Jersey, 
and have a large store with general supplies. Ere I go 
to rest let me tell thee that it is now blowing a young 
hurricane, and the prospect for to-morrow is a bad one. 
A few moments ago the report of a cannon came to our 
ears from the sea, and it is supposed that it was from 
the "Gulnare. " I wish she was at our side and snugly 
moored as we are. 

July 31. Another horrid hurricane, accompanied with 
heavy rain. I could not go on with my drawing either in 
the cabin or the hold, though everything was done that 
could be thought of, to assist me in the attempt; not a 
thing to relate, as not one of us could go on shore. 

August 1. Bras d'Or, Coast of Labrador. ^ I have 
drawn my Lestns pomarimis, but under difficulties; the 
weather has quite changed; instead of a hurricane from 
the east, we have had one all day from the southwest, but 
no rain. At noon we were visited by an iceberg, which 
has been drifting within three miles of us, and is now 
grounded at the entrance of the bay; it looks like a large 
man-of-war dressed in light green muslin, instead of can- 
vas, and when the sun strikes it, it glitters with intense 
brilliancy. When these transient monuments of the sea 
happen to tumble or roll over, the fall is tremendous, and 
the sound produced resembles that of loud, distant thun- 
der; these icebergs are common here all summer, being 
wafted south with every gale that blows; as the winds are 
usually easterly, the coast of Newfoundland is more free 
from them than that of Labrador. I have determined to 

1 A small village on the coast of Labrador, latitude 51°; tiot the Bras 
D'Or of Cape Breton Island. 


make a last thorough search of the mountain tops, plains 
and ponds, and if no success ensues, to raise anchor and 
sail towards the United States once more; and blessed 
will the day be when I land on those dear shores, where 
all I long for in the world exists and lives, I hope. We 
have been on shore for an hour for exercise, but the wind 
blew so fiercely we are glad to return. 

August 2. Noon. The thermometer has risen to 58°, 
but it has rained hard all day; about dinner time a very 
handsome schooner from Boston, the size of ours, called 
the "Wizard," commanded by Captain Wilcomb of Ips- 
wich, arrived, only nine days from Boston; but to our sor- 
row and disappointment, not a letter or paper did she 
bring, but we learned with pleasure that our great cities 
are all healthy, and for this intelligence I thank God. 
The "Wizard " brought two young Italian clerks as super- 
cargo, who are going to purchase fish ; they visited us and 
complained bitterly of the cold and the general appear- 
ance of the country. The retrograde migration of many 
birds has already commenced, more especially that of the 
lesser species both of land and water birds. 

Augusts. I was suddenly awakened last night about 
one o'clock by the shock which our vessel received from 
the "Wizard," which had broken her stern chain in the 
gale, which at that time was raging most furiously. Our 
captain was up in a moment, the vessels were parted and 
tranquillity was restored, but to John's sorrow, and my 
vexation, our beautiful and most comfortable gig had been 
struck by the "Wizard," and her bows stove in; at day- 
light it rained hard and the gale continued. Lincoln 
went on shore and shot some birds, but nothing of impor- 
tance. This afternoon we all went ashore, through a 
high and frightful sea which drenched us to the skin, 
and went to the table-lands; there we found the true 
Esquimau Curlew, Numatius borcalis, so carelessly de- 
scribed in Bonaparte's Synopsis. This species here takes 


the place of the Migratory Pigeon; it has now arrived; I 
have seen many hundreds this afternoon, and shot seven. 
They fly in compact bodies, with beautiful evolutions, 
overlooking a great extent of country ere they make 
choice of a spot on which to alight; this is done wher- 
ever a certain berry, called here " Curlew berry," ^ proves 
to be abundant. Here they balance themselves, call, 
whistle, and of common accord come to the ground, as 
the top of the country here must be called. They devour 
every berry, and if pursued squat in the manner of Par- 
tridges. A single shot starts the whole flock; off they fly, 
ramble overhead for a great distance ere they again alight. 
This rambling is caused by the scarcity of berries. This 
is the same bird of which three specimens were sent to 
me by William Oakes, of Ipswich, Mass. The iceberg has 
been broken into thousands of pieces by the gale. 

August Ji-. Still raining as steadily as ever ; the morning 
was calm, and on shore the mosquitoes were shockingly 
bad, though the thermometer indicates only 49°. I have 
been drawing at the Numeniiis borcalis; I find them diffl- 
cult birds to represent. The young men went on shore 
and brought me four more ; every one of the lads observed 
to-day the great tendency these birds have, in squatting to 
elude the eye, to turn the tail towards their pursuer, and 
to lay the head flat. This habit is common to many of 
the Tringas, and some of the Charadriits. This species of 
Curlew, the smallest I ever saw, feeds on the berries it 
procures, with a rapidity equalled only by that of the 
Passenger Pigeon; in an instant all the ripe berries on 
the plant are plucked and swallowed, and the whole coun- 
try is cleared of these berries as our Western woods are 
of the mast. In their evolutions they resemble Pigeons 
also, sweeping over the ground, cutting backward and for- 
ward in the most interesting manner, and now and then 
poising in the air like a Hawk in sight of quarry. There 

1 Evipetrum nigrum. 


is scarcely any difference in the appearance of the adult 
and the young. The Alauda alpestris of this season has 
now made such progress in its growth that the first 
moulting is so forward that the small wing-coverts and 
secondaries are already come, and have assumed the beau- 
tiful rosy tints of the adults in patches at these parts ; a 
most interesting state of their plumage, probably never 
seen by any naturalist before. It is quite surprising to 
see how quickly the growth is attained of every living 
thing in this country, either animal or vegetable. In 
six weeks I have seen the eggs laid, the birds hatched, 
their first moult half over, their association in flocks, 
and preparations begun for their leaving the country. 
That the Creator should have commanded millions of 
delicate, diminutive, tender creatures to cross immense 
spaces of country to all appearance a thousand times more 
congenial to them than this, to cause them to people, as 
it were, this desolate land for a time, to enliven it by the 
songs of the sweet feathered musicians for two months at 
most, and by the same command induce them to abandon 
it almost suddenly, is as wonderful as it is beautiful. 
The fruits are now ripe, yet si.\ weeks ago the whole 
country was a sheet of snow, the bays locked in ice, the 
air a constant storm. Now the grass is rich in growth, 
at every step flowers are met with, insects fill the air, the 
snow-banks are melting ; now and then an appearance as 
of summer does exist, but in thirty days all is over; the 
dark northern clouds will enwrap the mountain summits; 
the rivulets, the ponds, the rivers, the bays themselves 
will begin to freeze; heavy snowfalls will coverall these 
shores, and nature will resume her sleeping state, nay, 
more than that, one of desolation and death. Wonderful ! 
Wonderful! But this marvellous country must be left to 
an abler pen than mine to describe. The Tringa maritima ^ 

^ The Purple or Rock Sandpiper, Tringa {ArqtMtella) maritima. — E. C. 


and Tringa pitsilla'^ were both shot in numbers this day; 
the young are now as large as the old, and we see little 
flocks everywhere. We heard the " Gulnare " was at 
Bonne Esperance, twenty miles west of us; I wish she 
was here, I should much like to see her officers again. 

August 5. This has been a fine day, no hurricane. I 
have finished two Labrador Curlews, but not the ground. 
A few Curlews were shot, and a Black-breasted Plover. 
John shot a Shore Lark that had almost completed its 
moult ; it appears to me that northern birds come to 
maturity sooner than southern ones, yet the reverse is the 
case in our own species. Birds of the Tringa kind are 
constantly passing over our heads in small bodies bound 
westward, some of the same species which I observed in 
the Floridas in October. The migration of birds is per- 
haps much more wonderful than that of fishes, almost all 
of which go feeling their way along the shores and return 
to the very same river, creek, or even hole to deposit 
their spawn, as birds do to their former nest ; but the 
latter do not feel their way, but launching high in air go 
at once and correctly too, across vast tracts of country, 
yet at once stopping in portions heretofore their own, and 
of which they know by previous experiences the comforts 
and advantages. We have had several arrivals of ves- 
sels, some so heavily loaded with fish that the water runs 
over their decks ; others, in ballast, have come to purchase 

August 10. I now sit down to post my poor book, 
while a heavy gale is raging furiously around our vessel. 
My reason for not writing at night is that I have been 
drawing so constantly, often seventeen hours a day, that 
the weariness of my body at night has been unprecedented, 
by such work at least. At times I felt as if my physical 
powers would abandon me; my neck, my shoulders, and, 

^ Not Ereunetes fusillns, but the Least Sandpiper, Tringa (Actodromas) 
minutilla, which appears as Tringa pusilla in Audubon's works. — E. C. 


more than all, my fingers, were almost useless through 
actual fatigue at drawing. Who would believe this ? — yet 
nothing is more true. When at the return of dawn my 
spirits called me out of my berth, my body seemed to beg 
my mind to suffer it to rest a while longer; and as dark 
forced me to lay aside my brushes I immediately went to 
rest as if I had walked sixty-five miles that day, as I have 
done a few times in my stronger days. Yesternight, when 
I rose from my little seat to contemplate my work and to 
judge of the effect of it compared with the nature which 
I had been attempting to copy, it was the affair of a 
moment; and instead of waiting, as I always like to do, 
until that hazy darkness which is to me the best time to 
judge of the strength of light and shade, I went at once 
to rest as if delivered from the heaviest task I ever per- 
formed. The young men think my fatigue is added to 
by the fact that I often work in wet clothes, but I have 
done that all my life with no ill effects. No! no! it is 
that I am no longer young. But I thank God that I did 
accomplish my task; my drawings arc finished to the best 
of my ability, the skins well prepared by John. We have 
been to Paroket Island to procure the young of the llor- 
vion arcticus. As we approached the breeding-place, the 
air was filled with these birds, and the water around abso- 
lutely covered with them, while on the rocks were thou- 
sands, like sentinels on the watch. I took a stand, loaded 
and shot twenty-seven times, and killed twenty-seven 
birds, singly and on the wing, without missing a shot; as 
friend Bachman would say, " Pretty fair, Old Jostle ! " The 
young men laughed, and said the birds were so thick no 
one could miss if he tried; however, none of them did 
so well. We had more than we wanted, but the young 
were all too small to draw with effect. Nearly every bird 
I killed had a fish in its beak, closely held by the head, 
and the body dangling obliquely in the air. These fish 
were all of the kind called here Lints, a long slender fish 


now in shoals of millions. How many must the multi- 
tude of Mormons inhabiting this island destroy daily? 
Whilst flying they all issue a rough croak, but none 
dropped the fish, nor indeed did they let it go when 
brought to the earth. The Lams viarinus have now 
almost all gone south with their young; indeed, very few 
Gulls of any sort are now to be seen. Whilst on the 
island we saw a Hawk pounce on a Puffin and carry it off. 
Curlews have increased in numbers, but during two fair 
days we had they could not be approached ; indeed, they 
appear to be so intent on their passage south that when- 
ever the weather permits they are seen to strike high in 
the air across the harbor. The gale is so severe that our 
anchors have dragged forty or fifty yards, but by letting 
out still more chain we are now safe. It blows and rains 
so hard that it is impossible to stand in the bow of our 
vessel. But this is not all, — who, now, will deny the 
existence of the Labrador Falcon .^'^ Yes, my Lucy, one 
more new species is on the list of the "Birds of Amer- 
ica," and may we have the comfort of seeing its beautiful 
figure multiplied by Havell's engraver. This bird (both 
male and female) was shot by John whilst on an excur- 
sion with all our party, and on the 6th inst., when I sat 
till after twelve o'clock that night to outline one of them 
to save daylight the next day to color it, as I have done 
hundreds of times before. John shot them on the wing, 
whilst they were in company with their two young ones. 
The birds, one would be tempted to believe, had never 
seen a man before, for these affectionate parents dashed 
towards the gunners with fierce velocity, and almost in- 
stantly died from the effects of two well-directed shots. 
All efforts to procure the young birds were ineffectual; 

1 This is the bird figured by Audubon as Falco labradora on folio pi. 196, 
8vo pi. 19, but which he afterward considered to be the same as his F. islandi- 
cus. It is now held, however, to represent a dark variety of Gyrfalcon, 
known as F. gyrfalco obsolefus, confined to Labrador and thence south- 
ward in winter to New England and New York. — E. C. 


they were full grown, and as well as could be seen, exactly 
resembled the dead ones. The whole group flew much 
like the Peregrine Falcon, which indeed resembles them 
much in form, but neither in size nor color. Sometimes 
they hover almost high in air like a small Sparrow Hawk 
when watching some object fit for prey on the ground, and 
now and then cry much like the latter, but louder in pro- 
portion with the difference of size in the two species. 
Several times they alighted on stakes in the sandbar at 
the entrance of Bras d'Or River, and stood not as Hawks 
generally do, uprightly, but horizontally and much like a 
Lestris or a Tern. Beneath their nest we found the re- 
mains oi Alca tarda, Uria troile, and Mormon arcticiis — all 
of which are within their reach on an island here called 
Parocket Island — also the remains of Curlews and Ptarmi- 
gans. The nest was so situated that it could not be 
reached, only seen into. Both birds were brought to me 
in excellent order. No more is known of this bird, I 

My evening has been enlivened by the two Italians 
from the "Wizard," who have been singing many songs 
to the accompaniment of John's violin. 

August 11. At sea. Gulf of St. Laivrcncc. We are 
now, seven of the evening, fully fifty miles from the coast 
of Labrador. We left our harbor at eleven o'clock with 
a fair breeze; the storm of last night had died away and 
everything looked promising. The boats were sent ashore 
for a supply of fresh water; John and Coolidge went after 
Curlews; the rest of the crew, assisted by that of the 
"Wizard," raised the anchors, and all was soon in readi- 
ness. The bottom of our vessel had been previously 
scraped and cleaned from the thousands of barnacles, 
which, with a growth of seaweeds, seemed to feed upon 
her as they do on the throat of a whale. The two Italians 
and Captain Wilcomb came on board to bid us adieu; we 
hoisted sail, and came out of the Labrador harbor. Sel- 


dom in my life have I left a country with as little regret 
as I do this; the next nearest to this was East Florida, 
after my excursions up the St. John's River. As we sailed 
away, and I saw, probably for the last time, the high 
rugged hills partly immersed in masses of the thick fog 
that usually hovers over them, and knew that now the bow 
of our truly fine vessel was turned towards the place 
where thou, my Lucy, art waiting for me, I felt rejoiced, 
although yet far away. Now we are sailing in full sight 
of the northwestern coast of Newfoundland, the moun- 
tains of which are high, with drifted snow-banks dotted 
over them, and cut horizontally with floating strata of 
fogs reaching along the land as far as the eye can see. 
The sea is quite smooth ; at least I think so, or have be- 
come a better seaman through habit. John and Lincoln 
are playing airs on the violin and flute; the other young 
men are on deck. It is worth saying that during the two 
months we have been on the coast of Labrador, moving 
from one harbor to another, or from one rocky isle to 
another, only three nights have we spent at sea. Twenty- 
three drawings have been executed, or commenced and 
nearly completed. Whether this voyage will prove a 
fruitful one remains to be proved ; but I am content, and 
hope the Creator will permit us to reach our country and 
find our friends well and happy. 

Ajigttst 13. Harbor of St. George, St. George' s Bay, 
Nezvfotindland. We have been running, as the sailors 
say, till five this evening, when we anchored here. Our 
way here was all in sight of land along the northwest 
shores of Newfoundland, the highest land we have yet 
seen; in some places the scenery was highly picturesque 
and agreeable to the eye, though little more vegetation 
appeared than in Labrador. Last night was a boisterous 
one, and we were all uncomfortable. This morning we 
entered the mouth of St. George's Bay, about thirteen 
leagues broad and fully eighteen deep. A more beauti- 


ful and ample basin cannot easily be found; not an ob- 
struction is within it. The northeast shores are high and 
rocky, but the southern ones are sandy, low, and flat. It 
took us till five o'clock to ascend it and come to our 
present anchorage, in sight of a small village, the only 
one we have seen these two months, and on a harbor 
wherein more than fifty line-of-battle ships could safely 
ride, the bottom being of clay. The village is built on 
an elongated point of sand, or natural sea-wall, under 
which we now are, and is perfectly secure from every 
wind but the northeast. The country as we ascended the 
bay became more woody and less rough. The temper- 
ature changed quite suddenly, and this afternoon the 
weather was so mild that it was agreeable on deck, and 
congenial even to a southerner like myself. We find 
here several small vessels engaged in the fisheries, and 
an old hulk from Hull, England, called " Charles Tenni- 
son " ; she was lost near this on her way from Quebec to 
Hull some years ago. As we came up the bay, a small 
boat with two men approached and boarded us, assisting 
as pilots. They had a barrel of fine salmon, which I 
bought for ten dollars. As soon as our anchors touched 
bottom, our young men went on shore to try to purchase 
some fresh provisions, but returned with nothing but two 
bottles of milk, though the village is said to contain two 
hundred inhabitants. Mackerel are caught all round us, 
and sharks of the man-eating kind are said to be abundant 
just now, and are extremely troublesome to the fishers' 
nets. Some signs of cultivation are to be seen across the 
harbor, and many huts of Mic-Mac Indians adorn the 
shores. We learn the winter here is not nearly as severe 
as at Quebec; the latitude of this place and the low, well- 
guarded situation of the little village, at once account for 
this; yet not far off I see patches of snow remaining from 
last winter. Some tell us birds are abundant, others that 
there are none ; but we shall soon ascertain which report 


is true. I have not slept a minute since we left Labra- 
dor. The ice here did not break up so that the bay could 
be navigated till the 17th of May, and I feel confident no 
one could enter the harbors of Labrador before the loth 
of June, or possibly even later. 

August 14- All ashore in search of birds, plants, 
shells, and all the usual et ceteras attached to our voca- 
tions; but we all were driven on board soon, by a severe 
storm of wind and rain, showing that Newfoundland has 
its share of bad weather. Whilst on shore we found the 
country quite rich compared with Labrador, all the vege- 
table productions being much larger, more abundant, and 
finer. We saw a flock of House Swallows that had bred 
about the little village, now on their passage southwest, 
and all gay and singing. I forgot to say that two days 
since, when about forty miles out at sea, we saw a flock of 
the Republican Swallow. I saw here the Blue yellow- 
eyed Warbler, the Fish-Hawk, several species of Spar- 
rows, among them the Lincoln's Finch, the Canada Tit- 
mouse, Black-headed ditto, White-winged Crossbill, Pine 
Grosbeak, Maryland Yellow-throat, Pigeon Hawk, Hairy 
Woodpecker, Bank Swallow, Tell-tale Godwit, Golden- 
eyed Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, three Loons, — of 
which two were young and almost able to fly; the Spotted 
Sandpiper, and a flock of Tringas, the species of which 
could not be ascertained. We spoke to some of the na- 
tive Indians to try to engage them to show us the way to 
the interior, where we are told the Small, or True Ptarmi- 
gan abounds, but they were too lazy even to earn money. 
Among the plants we found two varieties of rose, and the 
narrow-leaved kalmia. Few supplies can be obtained, and 
a couple of small clearings are all the cultivated land we 
have seen since we left the Magdalene Islands. On re- 
turning to our vessel, I was rowed on the roughest sea I 
have ever before encountered in an open boat, but our 
captain was at the helm and we reached the deck safely 


but drenched to the skin. The wind has now abated, and 
I hope to draw plants all day. This evening a flock of 
Terns, twenty or thirty with their young, travelled due 
south; they were very clamorous and beat against the 
gale most beautifully. Several Indians came on board 
and promised to go to-morrow after Hares. 

August 15. We have had a beautiful day; this morning 
some Indians came alongside ; they had half a Reindeer or 
Caribou, and a Hare which I had never seen before. We 
took the forty-four pounds of fresh meat and gave in ex- 
change twenty-one of pork and thirty-three of ship-biscuit, 
and paid a quarter of a dollar for the Hare, which plainly 
shows that these Indians know full well the value of the 
game which they procure. I spent a portion of the day in 
adding a plant to my drawing of the Red-necked Diver, after 
which we all went on shore to the Indians' camp across the 
bay. We found them, as I expected, all lying down pell- 
mell in their wigwams. A strong mixture of blood was 
apparent in their skins, shape, and deportment; some 
indeed were nearly white, and sorry I am to say that the 
nearer to our own noble selves, the filthier and lazier they 
are ; the women and children were particularly disgusting. 
Some of the former, from whom I purchased some rough 
baskets, were frightfully so. Other women had been out 
collecting the fruit called here " baked apple " \Rubus 
c]iama;niorus\. When a little roasted it tastes exactly like 
baked apple. The children were engaged in catching 
lobsters and eels, of which there are numbers in all the 
bays here ; at Labrador, lobsters are rare. The young Indi- 
ans simply waded out up to their knees, turned the eel grass 
over, and secured their prey. After much parley, we en- 
gaged two hunters to go as guides into the interior to pro- 
cure Caribou and Hares, for which they were to receive a 
dollar a day each. Our men caught ninety-nine lobsters, 
all of good size; the shores truly abound in this valuable 
shell-fish. The Indians roast them in a fire of brushwood, 


and devour them without salt or any other et ccteras. The 
Caribous are now " in velvet," and their skins light gray, 
the flesh tender, but the animal poor. The average weight 
when in good condition, four hundred pounds. In the 
early part of March the Caribou leave the hills and come 
to the sea-shore to feed on kelp and sea-grasses cut off by 
the ice and cast on the shore. Groups of many hundreds 
may be seen thus feeding. The flesh here is held in low 
estimation ; it tastes like poor venison. I saw to-day several 
pairs of Cayenne Terns on their way south ; they flew high, 
and were very noisy. The Great Terns passed also in vast 
multitudes. When the weather is stormy, they skim close 
over the water ; if fair, they rise very high and fly more at 
leisure. The Tell-tale Godwit is now extremely fat, ex- 
tremely juicy, extremely tender, and extremely good. 
The Panes hudsonicus is very abundant ; so is the Pine 
Grosbeak, but in a shocking state of moult. The Kalmia 
angiistifolia} the natives say, is an antidote for cramp and 
rheumatism. I was on the point of bidding thee good- 
night, when we all were invited to a ball ^ on shore. I am 
going with the rest out of curiosity. 

Aiigust 16. The people seemed to enjoy themselves well 
at the ball, and John played the violin for them till half-past 
two, I returned on board before eleven, and slept soundly 
till the young men hailed for a boat. This morning has been 
spent drawing a kalmia to a bird. The young men went 
oft" with the Indians this morning, but returned this evening 
driven back by flies and mosquitoes. Lincoln is really in 
great pain. They brought a pair of Willow Grouse, old and 
young; the latter had no hairy feathers yet on the legs. 
They saw Canada Jays, Crossbills, Pine Grosbeaks, Robins, 
one Golden-winged Woodpecker, many Canadian Titmice, 
a Martin Swallow, a Kingfisher (none in Labrador) heard 
a Squirrel which sounded like the Red Squirrel. The 
country was described as being " up and down the whole 

1 Sheep laurel. 2 gee Episode, " A Ball in Newfoundland." 

VOL. I. — 28 


way." The moss almost as deep as in Labrador, the 
morasses quite as much so; no tall wood, and no hard 
wood. The lads were all so fatigued that they are now 
sound asleep. 

August 17. We would now be "ploughing the deep" 
had the wind been fair ; but as it was not, here we still are in 
statu quo. I have drawn a curious species of alder to my 
White-winged Crossbill, and finished it. I had a visit from 
an old Frenchman who has resided on this famous island 
for fifty years; he assured me that no Red Indians were 
now to be found : the last he heard of were seen twenty- 
two years ago. These native Indians give no quarter to 
anybody; usually, after killing their foes, they cut the 
heads off the latter, and leave the body to the wild beasts 
of the country. Several flocks of Golden Plovers passed 
over the bay this forenoon ; two Lcstris pomarina came in 
this evening. Ravens abound here, but no Crows have 
been seen. The Great Tern is passing south by thousands, 
and a small flock of Canada Geese was seen. A young 
of the Golden-crested Wren was shot, full grown and 
fledged, but not a sign of yellow on the head. A Mus- 
cicapa (Flycatcher) was killed which probably is new; 
to-morrow will tell. I bought seven Newfoundland dogs 
for seventeen dollars ; now I shall be able to fulfil my 
promises to friends. The American Bittern breeds here, 
and leaves in about two weeks hence. 

August 18. At daylight the wind was fair, and though 
cloudy, we broke our anchorage, and at five were under 
way. We coasted Newfoundland till evening, when the 
wind blew a gale from the southwest, and a regular 
tempest set in. Our vessel was brought to at dusk, and 
we danced and kicked over the waves all evening, and will 
do so all night. 

August 19. The storm still continues, without any sign 
of abating ; we are still at anchor, tossed hither and thither, 
and withal sea-sick. 


August 21. To-day the storm ceased, but the wind 
is still so adverse that we could make no port of New- 
foundland ; towards this island we steered, for none of 
us wished to return to Labrador. We tried to enter 
the Strait of Canseau, but the wind failed us; while the 
vessel lay becalmed we decided to try to reach Pictou 
in Nova Scotia and travel by land. We are now beating 
about towards that port and hope to reach it early to- 
morrow morning. The great desire we all have to see Pic- 
tou, Halifax, and the country between them and Eastport, 
is our inducement. 

August 22. After in vain attempting to reach Pictou, 
we concluded, after dinner, that myself and party should be 
put ashore anywhere, and the "Ripley" should sail back 
towards the Straits of Canseau, the wind and tide being 
favorable. We drank a glass of wine to our wives and 
our friends, and our excellent little captain took us to 
the shore, while the vessel stood still, with all sails up, 
awaiting his return. We happened to land on an island 
called Ruy's Island, where, fortunately for us, we found some 
men making hay. Two of these we engaged to carry our 
trunks and two of the party to this place, Pictou, for two 
dollars — truly cheap. Our effects, or rather those we 
needed, were soon put up, we all shook hands most heartily 
with the captain — to whom we now feel really attached — 
said farewell to the crew, and parted, giving three hearty 
cheers. We were now, thanks to God, positively on the 
mainland of our native country, and after four days' con- 
finement in our berths, and sick of sea-sickness, the sea 
and all its appurtenances, we felt so refreshed that the 
thought of walking nine miles seemed like nothing more 
than dancing a quadrille. The air felt deliciously warm, 
the country, compared with those we have so lately left, 
appeared perfectly beautiful, and the smell of the new- 
mown grass was the sweetest that ever existed. Even the 
music of the crickets was delightful to mine ears, for no 


such insect does either Labrador or Newfoundland afiford. 
The voice of a Blue Jay was melody to me, and the sight 
of a Humming-bird quite filled my heart with dehght. 
We were conveyed a short distance from the island to the 
main ; Ingalls and Coolidge remained in the boat, and the 
rest of us took the road, along which we moved as lightly 
as if boys just out of school. The roads were good, or 
seemed to be so ; the woods were all of tall timber, and the 
air that circulated freely was filled with perfume. Almost 
every plant we saw brought to mind some portion of the 
United States; in a word, all of us felt quite happy. Now 
and then, as we crossed a hill and looked back over the 
sea, we saw our beautiful vessel sailing freely before the 
wind, and as she gradually ncared the horizon, she looked 
like a white speck, or an Eagle high in air. We wished 
our captain a most safe voyage to Ouoddy. We arrived 
opposite Pictou in two hours and a half, and lay down on 
the grass to await the arrival of the boat, enjoying the 
scenery around us. A number of American vessels were 
in the harbor, loading with coal; the village, placed at 
the upper end of a fine bay, looked well, though small. 
Three churches rose above the rest of the buildings, all of 
which are of wood, and several vessels were on the stocks. 
The whole country appeared in a high state of cultivation, 
and looked well ; the population is about two thousand. 
Our boat came, we crossed the bay, and put up at the 
" Royal Oak," the best house, and have had what seemed 
to be, after our recent fare, a most excellent supper. The 
very treading on a carpeted floor was quite wonderful. 
This evening we called on Professor McCullough, who 
received us very kindly, gave us a glass of wine, showed 
his fine collection of well-preserved birds and other things, 
and invited us to breakfast to-morrow at eight, when we 
are again to inspect his curiosities. The Professor's 
mansion is a quarter of a mile out of town, and looks much 
like a small English villa. 


August 23. We had an excellent Scotch breakfast at 
Professor McCullough's. His whole family were present, 
four sons and a daughter, besides his wife and her sister. 
I became more pleased with the professor the more he 
talked. I showed a few Labrador drawings, after which 
we went in a body to the University, once more to examine 
his fine collection. I found there half a dozen specimens 
of birds which I longed for and said so ; the Professor had 
the cases opened, the specimens taken out, and he offered 
them to me with so much apparent good will that I took 
them. He then asked me to look around and not to leave 
any object which might be of assistance in my publica- 
tion; but so generous had he already proved himself that 
I remained mute ; I saw several I would have liked to have, 
but I could not mention them. He offered me all his fresh- 
water shells, and any minerals I might choose. I took a 
few specimens of iron and copper. I am much surprised 
that this valuable collection is not purchased by the 
government of the Province; he offered it for ;^500. I 
think it well worth ;;^i,ooo. Thou wilt say I am an 
enthusiast; to this I will reply — True, but there are many 
more in the world, particularly in Europe. On our return 
to the " Royal Oak " we were called on by Mr. Blanchard, 
the deputy consul for the United States, an agreeable man, 
who offered to do whatever he could for us; but the coach 
was almost ready, our birds were packed, our bill paid, and 
the coach rolled off. I walked on ahead with Mr. Blan- 
chard for about a mile ; he spoke much of England, and 
knew John Adamson of Newcastle and other friends there. 
The coach came up, and we said farewell. The wind had 
commenced to blow, and soon rain fell heavily; we went 
on smoothly, the road being as good as any in England, 
and broader. We passed through a fine tract of country, 
well wooded, well cultivated, and a wonderful relief to our 
eyes after the barren and desolate regions of rocks, snow, 
tempests, and storms. We stopped to dine at four in the 


afternoon at a wayside house. The rain poured down; two 
ladies and a gentleman — the husband of one of them — 
had arrived before us in an open cart, or " jersey," and I, 
with all the gallantry of my nature, at once offered to 
change vehicles with them. They accepted the exchange 
at once, but did not even thank us in return. Shattuck, 
Ingalls, and I jumped into the open cart when dinner was 
ended. I was seated by a very so-so Irish dame named 
Katy ; her husband was our driver. Our exchange proved 
a most excellent one : the weather cleared up ; we saw the 
country much better than we could have done in the coach. 
To our surprise we were suddenly passed by Professor 
McCullough, who said he would see us at Truro. Towards 
sunset we arrived in view of this pretty, scattered vil- 
lage, in sight of the head waters of the Bay of Fundy. 
What a delightful sensation at that moment ran through 
my frame, as I realized that I was within a few days of 
home ! We reached the tavern, or hotel, or whatever 
else the house of stoppage might be called, but as only 
three of us could be accommodated there we went across 
the street to another. Professor McCullough came in and 
introduced us to several members of the Assembly of this 
Province, and I was handed several pinches of snuff by the 
Professor, who loves it. We tried in vain to obtain a con- 
veyance for ourselves to-morrow morning instead of going 
by coach to-night; it could not be done. Professor McCul- 
lough then took me to the house of Samuel George Archi- 
bald, Esq., Speaker of the Assembly, who introduced me 
to his wife and handsome young daughter. I showed 
them a few drawings, and received a letter from Mr. 
Archibald to the Chief Justice of Halifax, and now we are 
waiting for the mail coach to proceed to that place. 
The village of Truro demands a few words. It is situated 
in the middle of a most beautiful valley, of great extent 
and well cultivated ; several brooks water this valle}', and 
empty into the Bay of Fundy, the broad expanse of which 


we see to the westward. The buildings, though principally 
of wood, are good-looking, and as cleanly as those in our 
pretty eastern villages, white, with green shutters. The 
style of the people, be it loyal or otherwise, is extremely 
genteel, and I was more than pleased with all those whom 
I saw. The coach is at the door, the cover of my trunk is 
gaping to receive this poor book, and therefore once more, 

August 24. Wind due east, hauling to the northeast, 
good for the " Ripley." We are now at Halifax in Nova 
Scotia, but let me tell thee how and in what manner we 
reached it. It was eleven last night when we seated our- 
selves in the coach ; the night was beautiful, and the moon 
shone brightly. We could only partially observe the 
country until the morning broke; but the road we can 
swear was hilly, and our horses lazy, or more probably 
very poor. After riding twenty miles, we stopped a good 
hour to change horses and warm ourselves. John went to 
sleep, but the rest of us had gome supper, served by a 
very handsome country girl. At the call, " Coach ready! " 
we jumped in, and had advanced perhaps a mile and a half 
when the linch-pin broke, and there we were at a stand- 
still. Ingalls took charge of the horses, and responded 
with great energy to the calls of the owls that came from 
the depths of the woods, where they were engaged either 
at praying to Diana or at calling to their parents, friends, 
and distant relations. John, Lincoln, and Shattuck, always 
ready for a nap, made this night no exception ; Coolidge 
and I, not trusting altogether to Ingalls' wakefulness, kept 
awake and prayed to be shortly delivered from this most 
disagreeable of travelling experiences, detention — at all 
times to be avoided if possible, and certainly to be dreaded 
on a chilly night in this latitude. Looking up the road, the 
vacillating glimmer of the flame intended to assist the coach- 
man in the recovery of the lost linch-pin was all that could 
be distinguished, for by this the time was what is called 


" wolfy." The man returned, put out the pine-knot — the 
linch-pin could not be found — and another quarter of 
an hour was spent in repairing with all sorts of odds and 
ends. How much longer Ingalls could, or would, have 
held the horses, we never asked him, as from different 
exclamations we heard him utter we thought it well to be 
silent on that subject. The day dawned fair and beautiful. 
I ran a mile or so ahead of the coach to warm my feet, and 
afterwards sat by the driver to obtain, if possible, some 
information about the country, which became poorer and 
poorer as our journey proceeded. We were all very 
hungry, and were told the " stand" stood twenty-five miles 
from the lost linch-pin. I asked our driver to stop wher- 
ever he thought we could procure a dozen or so of hard- 
boiled eggs and some coffee, or indeed anything eatable ; 
so he drew up at a house where the owner looked us over, 
and said it would be quite impossible to provide a break- 
fast for six persons of our appearance. We passed on and 
soon came on the track of a tolerably large bear, /;/ the 
road, and at last reached the breakfast ground at a house 
on the margin of Green Lake, a place where fish and game, 
in the season, abound. This lake forms part of the channel 
which was intended to be cut for connecting by canal the 
Atlantic, the Baie of Fundy, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 
at Bay Verte. Ninety thousand pounds have been ex- 
pended, but the canal is not finished, and probably never 
will be; for we are told the government will not assist the 
company by which it was undertaken, and private spirit is 
slumbering. We had an excellent breakfast at this house, 
seventeen miles from Halifax ; this place would be a most 
delightful summer residence. The road was now level, but 
narrow ; the flag of the Halifax garrison was seen when two 
miles distant. Suddenh- we turned short, and stopped at a 
gate fronting a wharf, where was a small ferry-boat. Here 
we were detained nearly an hour; how would this work in 
the States? Why did Mrs. Trollope not visit Halifax? 


The number of beggarly-looking negroes and negresses 
would have afforded her ample scope for contemplation 
and description. We crossed the harbor, in which rode a 
sixty-four-gun flag-ship, and arrived at the house of one 
Mr. Paul. This was the best hotel in Halifax, yet with 
great difficulty we obtained one room with four beds, but 
no private parlor — which we thought necessary. With a 
population of eighteen thousand souls, and just now two 
thousand soldiers added to these, Halifax has not one 
good hotel, for here the attendance is miserable, and the 
table far from good. We have walked about to see the 
town, and all have aching feet and leg-bones in con- 
sequence of walking on hard ground after tramping only 
on the softest, deepest mosses for two months. 

August 25. I rose at four and wrote to thee and Dr. 
Parkman ; ^ Shattuck wrote to his father, and he and I took 
these letters to an English schooner bound to Boston. I 
was surprised to find every wharf gated, the gates locked 
and barred, and sentinels at every point. I searched every- 
where for a barber; they do not here shave on Sunday; 
finally, by dint of begging, and assuring the man that I 
was utterly unacquainted with the laws of Halifax, being a 
stranger, my long beard was cut at last. Four of us went 
to church where the Bishop read and preached ; the soldiers 
are divided up among the different churches and attend in 
full uniform. This afternoon we saw a military burial ; this 
was a grand sight. The soldiers walked far apart, with 
arms reversed ; an excellent band executed the most solemn 
marches and a fine anthem. I gave my letters from Boston 
to Mr. Tremaine, an amiable gentleman. 

August 26. This day has been spent in writing letters 
to thyself, Nicholas Berthoud, John Bachman, and Edward 
Harris ; to the last I have written a long letter describing 
all our voyage. I took the letters to the " Cordelia " packet, 

1 Dr. George Parkman, of Boston, who was murdered by Professor J. W. 
Webster in Boston, November 23, 1849. 


which sails on Wednesday, and may reach Boston before 
we do. I delivered my letters to Bishop Inglis and the 
Chief-Justice, but were assured both were out. John and 
Ingalls spent their evening very agreeably with Commissary 

August 27. Breakfast eaten and bill paid, we entered 
the coach at nine o'clock, which would only contain five, so 
though it rained one of us sat with the driver. The road 
between Halifax and Windsor, where we now are, is mac- 
adamized and good, over hills and through valleys, and 
though the distance is forty-five miles, wc had only one 
pair of horses, which nevertheless travelled about six and 
a half miles an hour. Nine miles of our road lay along 
the Bay of Halifax, and was very pleasant. Here and there 
a country home came in sight. Our driver told us that a 
French squadron was pursued by an English fleet to the 
head of this bay, and the seven French vessels were com- 
pelled to strike their colors ; but the French commodore or 
admiral sunk all his vessels, preferring this to surrendering 
them to the British. So deep was the water that the very 
tops of the masts sank far out of sight, and once only 
since that time, twenty years ago, have they been seen ; 
this was on an unusually calm, clear day seven years past. 
Wc saw en passant the abandoned lodge of Prince Edward, 
who spent a million pounds on the building, grounds, etc. 
The whole now is in the greatest state of ruin ; thirty years 
have gone by since it was in its splendor. On leaving the 
bay, we followed the Salmon River, a small rivulet of swift 
water, which abounds in salmon, trout, and other fish. The 
whole country is miserably poor, yet much cultivation is 
seen all the way. Much game and good fishing was to be 
had round the inn where we dined ; the landlord said his 
terms were five dollars a week, and it would be a pleasant 
summer residence. We passed the seat of Mr. Jeffries, 
President of the Assembly, now Acting Governor. The 
house is large and the grounds in fine order. It is between 


two handsome fresh-water lakes ; indeed, the country is 
covered with lakes, all of which are well supplied with trout. 
We saw the college and the common school, built of free- 
stone, both handsome buildings. We crossed the head of 
the St. Croix River, which rolls its impetuous waters into 
the Bay of Fundy. From here to Windsor the country im- 
proved rapidly and the crops looked well. Windsor is a 
neat, pretty village ; the vast banks of plaster of Paris all 
about it give employment to the inhabitants and bring 
wealth to the place ; it is shipped from here in large quan- 
tities. Our coach stopped at the best boarding-house here, 
for nowhere in the Provinces have we heard of hotels ; the 
house was full and we were conveyed to another, where, 
after more than two hours' delay, we had a very indifferent 
supper. Meantime we walked to see the Windsor River, 
on the east bank of which the village is situated. The 
view was indeed novel ; the bed of the river, nearly a 
mile wide and quite bare as far as eye could reach, — ■ 
about ten miles. Scarcely any water to be seen, and yet 
the spot where we stood, sixty-five feet above the river bed, 
showed that at high tide this wonderful basin must be filled 
to the brim. Opposite to us, indeed, the country is diked 
in, and vessels left dry at the wharves had a strange appear- 
ance. We are told that there have been instances when 
vessels have slid sidewise from the top of the bank to the 
level of the gravelly bed of the river. The shores are 
covered for a hundred yards with mud of a reddish color. 
This conveys more the idea of a flood or great freshet 
than the result of tide, and I long to see the waters of the 
ocean advancing at the rate of four knots an hour to 
fill this extraordinary basin; this sight I hope to enjoy 

August 28. I can now say that I have seen the tide 
waters of the Bay of Fundy rise sixty-five feet.^ We were 
1 See Episode, " The Bay of Fundy. 



seated on one of the wharves and saw the mass of water 
accumulating with a rapidity I cannot describe. At half- 
flow the water rose three feet in ten minutes, but it is even 
more rapid than this. A few minutes after its greatest 
height is attained it begins to recede, and in a few hours 
the whole bed of the river is again emptied. We rambled 
over the beautiful meadows and fields, and John shot two 
Marsh Hawks, one of each sex, and we saw many more. 
These birds here are much darker above and much deeper 
rufous below, than any I ever procured in the Middle 
States or farther south. Indeed, it may be said that the 
farther north I have been, the deeper in tint have I found 
the birds. The steamboat has just arrived, and the young 
men have been on board to secure our passage. No news 
from the States. 

Eastport, Maine, August 31. We arrived here yesterday 
afternoon in the steamer " Maid of the Mist." We left 
Windsor shortly before twelve noon, and reached St. 
John's, New Brunswick, at two o'clock at night. Passed 
" Cape Blow-me-down," " Cape Split," and " Cape d'Or." 
We were very comfortable, as there were few passengers, 
but the price was sufficient for all we had, and more. We 
perambulated the streets of St. John's by moonlight, and 
when the shops opened I purchased two suits of excellent 
stuff for shooting garments. At the wharf, just as the 
steamer was about to leave, I had the great pleasure of 
meeting my most excellent friend Edward Harris, who gave 
me a letter from thee, and the first intelligence from the 
big world we have left for two months. Here we were 
kindly received by all our acquaintance ; our trunks were 
not opened, and the new clothes paid no duties ; this ought 
to be the case with poor students of nature all over the 
world. We gave up the " Ripley " to Messrs. Buck and 
Tinkham, took up our quarters with good Mr. Weston, and 
all began packing immediately. 


We reached New York on Saturday morning, the 7th of 
September, and, thank God, found all well. Whilst at 
Boston I wrote several letters, one very long one to 
Thomas Nuttall, in which I gave him some account of 
the habits of water-birds with which he was unacquainted ; 
he sent me an extremely kind letter in answer. 



" I "HIS journey, which occupied within a few days 
of eight months, — from March ii, 1843, to 
November 6 of the same year, — was undertaken in 
the interest of the " Quadrupeds of North America," 
in which the three Audubons and Dr. Bachman 
were then deeply engaged. The journey has been 
only briefly touched upon in former publications, 
and the entire record from August 16 until the 
return home was lost in the back of an old secretary 
from the time of Audubon's return in November, 
1843, until August, 1896, when two of his grand- 
daughters found it. Mrs. Audubon states in her 
narrative that no record of this part of the trip 
was known to exist, and none of the family now 
living had ever seen it until the date mentioned. 
Not only is the diary most valuable from the 
point of view of the naturalist, but also from that 
of the historian interested in the frontier Hfe of 
those days. 

M. R. A. 

VOL. I. — 29 


As the only account of the journey from New 
York to St. Louis which can now be found is 
contained in a letter to my uncle Mr. James Hall, 
dated St. Louis, March 29, 1843, the following 
extract is given : — 

" The weather has been bad ever since we left Baltimore. 
There we encountered a snow-storm that accompanied us 
all the way to this very spot, and at this moment tiie 
country is whitened with this precious, semi-congealed, 
heavenly dew. As to ice ! — I wish it were all in your ice- 
house when summer does come, should summer show her 
bright features in the year of our Lord 1843. We first 
encountered ice at Wheeling, and it has floated down the 
Ohio all around us, as well as up the Mississippi to pleas- 
ant St. Louis. And such a steamer as we have come in 
from Louisville here! — the very filthiest of all filthy old 
rat-traps I ever travelled in ; and the fare worse, certainly 
much worse, and so scanty withal that our worthy com- 
mander could not have given us another meal had we been 
detained a night longer. I wrote a famous long letter to 
my Lucy on the subject, and as I know you will hear it, 
will not repeat the account of our situation on board the 
'Gallant' — a pretty name, too, but alas! her name, like 
mine, is only a shadow, for as she struck a sawyer ^ one 
night we all ran like mad to make ready to leap overboard ; 
but as God would have it, our lives and the 'Gallant,' 
were spared — she from sinking, and we from swim- 
ming amid rolling and crashing hard ice. THE LADIES 
screamed, the babies squalled, the dogs yelled, the steam 
roared, the captain (who, by the way, is a very gallant 

^ A fallen tree that rests on the root end at the bottom of a stream 
or river, and sways up or down with the current. 


man) swore — not like an angel, but like the very devil 
— and all was confusion and uproar, just as if Miller's 
prophecy had actually been nigh. Luckily, we had had 
our supper, as the thing was called on board the ' Gallant,' 
and every man appeared to feel resolute, if not resolved 
to die. 

" I would have given much at that moment for a picture 
of the whole. Our compagfioiis de voyage, about one hun- 
dred and fifty, were composed of Buckeyes, Wolverines, 
Suckers, Hoosiers, and gamblers, with drunkards of each 
and every denomination, their ladies and babies of the 
same nature, and specifically the dirtiest of the dirty. We 
had to dip the water for washing from the river in tin 
basins, soap ourselves all from the same cake, and wipe 
the one hundred and fifty with the same solitary one towel 
rolling over a pin, until it would have been difficult to say, 
even with your keen eyes, whether it was manufactured of 
hemp, tow, flax, or cotton. My bed had two sheets, of 
course, measuring seven-eighths of a yard wide ; my pillow 
was filled with corn-shucks. Harris fared even worse than 
I, and our ' state-room ' was evidently better fitted for the 
smoking of hams than the smoking of Christians. When 
it rained outside, it rained also within, and on one partic- 
ular morning, when the snow melted on the upper deck, 
or roof, it was a lively scene to see each person seeking 
for a spot free from the many spouts overhead. 

" We are at the Glasgow Hotel, and will leave it the day 
after to-morrow, as it is too good for our purses. We in- 
tended to have gone twenty miles in Illinois to Edwards- 
ville, but have changed our plans, and will go northwest 
sixteen miles to Florissant, where we are assured game is 
plenty, and the living quite cheap. We do not expect to 
leave this till the 20th or 22d of April, and should you feel 


inclined to write to me, do so by return of mail, if pos- 
sible, and I may get your letter before I leave this for the 

" The markets here abound with all the good things of 
the land, and of nature's creation. To give you an idea 
of this, read the following items : Grouse, two for a York 
shilling ; three chickens for the same ; Turkeys, wild or 
tame, 25 cents ; flour $2.00 a barrel ; butter, sixpence for 
the best — fresh, and really good. Beef, 3 to 4 cents; 
veal, the same; pork, 2 cents; venison hams, large and 
dried, 15 cents each; potatoes, 10 cents a bushel; Ducks, 
three for a shilling; Wild Geese, 10 cents each; Canvas- 
back Ducks, a shilling a pair ; vegetables for the asking, 
as it were ; and only think, in the midst of this abundance 
and cheapness, we are paying at the rate of $9.00 per 
week at our hotel, the Glasgow, and at the Planters we 
were asked $10.00. 

" I have been extremely kindly received and treated by 
Mr. Chouteau and partners. Mr. Sire, the gentleman who 
will command the steamer we go in, is one of the finest- 
looking men I have seen for many a day, and the accounts 
I hear of him correspond with his noble face and general 



I LEFT home at ten o'clock of the morning, on Satur- 
day the nth of March, 1843, accompanied by my son 
Victor. I left all well, and I trust in God for the privilege 
and happiness of rejoining them all some time next autumn, 
when I hope to return from the Yellowstone River, an 
expedition undertaken solely for the sake of our work on 
the Quadrupeds of North America. The day was cold, but 
the sun was shining, and after having visited a few friends 
in the city of New York, we departed for Philadelphia in 
the cars, and reached that place at eleven of the night. 
As I was about landing, I was touched on the shoulder by 
a tall, robust-looking man, whom I knew not to be a sheriff, 
but in fact my good friend Jediah Irish, ^ of the Great 
Pine Swamp. I also met my friend Edward Harris, who, 
with old John G. Bell,^ Isaac Sprague, and young Lewis 
Squires, are to be my companions for this campaign. We 
all put up at Mr. Sanderson's. Sunday was spent in 
visits to Mr. Bowen,^ Dr. Morton,* and others, and we had 
many calls made upon us at the hotel. On Monday morn- 
ing we took the cars for Baltimore, and Victor returned 
home to Minniesland. The weather was rainy, blustery, 
cold, but we reached Baltimore in time to eat our dinner 
there, and we there spent the afternoon and the night. 

^ See Episode " Great Pine Swamp." 

2 The celebrated taxidermist. Bom Sparkhill, New York, July 12, 1812, 
died at the same place, October, 1879. 

8 J. T. Bowen, Lithographer of the Quad, of N. A. 
* Samuel G. Morton, the eminent craniologist. 


I saw Gideon B. Smith and a few other friends, and on the 
next morning we entered the cars for Cumberland, which 
we reached the same evening about six. Here we had all 
our effects weighed, and were charged thirty dollars addi- 
tional weight — a first-rate piece of robbery. We went on 
now by coaches, entering the gap, and ascending the Alle- 
ghanies amid a storm of snow, which kept us company for 
about forty hours, when we reached Wheeling, which we 
left on the i6th of March, and went on board the steamer, 
that brought us to Cincinnati all safe. 

We saw much game on our way, such as Geese, Ducks, 
etc., but no Turkeys as in times of yore. We left for 
Louisville in the U. S. mail steamer, and arrived there be- 
fore daylight on the 19th inst. My companions went to 
the Scott House, and I to William G. Bakewell's, whose 
home I reached before the family were up. I remained 
there four days, and was, of course, most kindly treated ; 
and, indeed, during my whole stay in this city of my youth 
I did enjoy myself famously well, with dancing, dinner- 
parties, etc. We left for St. Louis on board the ever- 
to-be-remembcrcd steamer " Gallant," and after having 
been struck by a log which did not send us to the bottom, 
arrived on the 28th of March. 

On the 4th of April, Harris went off to Edwardsville, 
with the rest of my companions, and I went to Nicholas 
Berthoud, who began housekeeping here that day, though 
Eliza was not yet arrived from Pittsburgh. My time at 
St. Louis would have been agreeable to any one fond of 
company, dinners, and parties; but of these matters I am 
not, though I did dine at three different houses, bon gr^y 
mal gr^. In fact, my time was spent procuring, arranging, 
and superintending the necessary objects for the comfort 
and utility of the party attached to my undertaking. The 
Chouteaux supplied us with most things, and, let it be said 
to their honor, at little or no profit. Captain Sire took me 
in a light wagon to see old Mr. Chouteau one afternoon, 




and I found the worthy old gentleman so kind and so full 
of information about the countries of the Indians that I 
returned to him a few days afterwards, not only for the 
sake of the pleasure I enjoyed in his conversation, but also 
with the view to procure, both dead and alive, a species of 
Pouched Rat (^Psendo stoma btcrsaruisy wonderfully abun- 
dant in this section of country. One day our friend Har- 
ris came back, and brought with him the prepared skins 
of birds and quadrupeds they had collected, and informed 

me that they had removed their quarters to B 's. He 

left the next day, after we had made an arrangement for 
the party to return the Friday following, which they did. 
I drew four figures of Pouched Rats, and outlined two fig- 
ures of Scitiriis capistratus? which is here called " Fox 

The 25th of April at last made its appearance, the rivers 
were now opened, the weather was growing warm, and 
every object in nature proved to us that at last the singu- 
larly lingering winter of 1842 and 1843 was over. Having 
conveyed the whole of our eff'ects on board the steamer, 
and being supplied with excellent letters, we left St. Louis 
at 1 1.30 A. M., with Mr. Sarpy on board, and a hundred and 
one trappers of all descriptions and nearly a dozen differ- 
ent nationalities, though the greater number were French 
Canadians, or Creoles of this State. Some were drunk, 
and many in that stupid mood which follows a state of ner- 
vousness produced by drinking and over-excitement. Here 
is the scene that took place on board the " Omega " at our 
departure, and what followed when the roll was called. 

First the general embarkation, when the men came in 

1 Described and figured under this name by Aud. and Bach., Quad. N. 
Am. i., 1849, p. 332, pi. 44. This is the commonest Pocket Gopher of the 
Mississippi basin, now known as Geomys htrsarhis. — E. C. 

2 Aud. and Bach., Quad. N. Am. ii., 1851, p. 132, pi. 68. The plate has 
three figures. This is the Fox Squirrel with white nose and ears, now com- 
monly called Sciurus ni^er, after Linnaeus, 1758, as based on Catesby's Black 
Squirrel. S. capistratus is Bosc's name, bestowed in 1802. — E. C. 


pushing and squeezing each other, so as to make the 
boards they walked upon fairly tremble. The Indians, 
poor souls, were more quiet, and had already seated or 
squatted themselves on the highest parts of the steamer, 
and were tranquil lookers-on. After about three quarters 
of an hour, the crew and all the trappers (these are called 
engages)^ were on board, and we at once pushed off and 
up the stream, thick and muddy as it was. The whole of 
the effects and the baggage of the engages was arranged in 
the main cabin, and presently was seen Mr. Sarpy, book in 
hand, with the list before him, wherefrom he gave the 
names of these attach^. The men whose names were 
called nearly filled the fore part of the cabin, where stood 
Mr. Sarpy, our captain, and one of the clerks. All awaited 
orders from Mr. Sarpy. As each man was called, and 
answered to his name, a blanket containing the apparel for 
the trip was handed to him, and he was ordered at once 
to retire and make room for the next. The outfit, by the 
way, was somewhat scanty, and of indifferent quality. 
Four men were missing, and some appeared rather reluc- 
tant; however, the roll was ended, and one hundred and 
one were found. In many instances their bundles were 
thrown to them, and they were ordered off as if slaves. I 
forgot to say that as the boat pushed off from the shore, 
where stood a crowd of loafers, the men on board had 
congregated upon the hurricane deck with their rifles and 
guns of various sorts, all loaded, and began to fire what I 
should call a vcy disorganized sort of a salute, which 
lasted for something like an hour, and which has been 
renewed at intervals, though in a more desultory manner, 

1 The EngagSs of the South and Southwest corresponded to the Coureun 
de Bois, of whom Irving says, in his "Astoria," p. 36: " Originally men who 
had accompanied the Indians in their hunting expeditions, and made them- 
selves acquainted with remote tracts and tribes. . . . Many became so 
accustomed to the Indian mode of living that they lost all relish for civili- 
zation, and identified themselves with the savages among whom they 
dwelt. . . . They may be said to have sprung up put of the fur trade." 


at every village we have passed. However, we now find 
them passably good, quiet, and regularly sobered men. 
We have of course a motley set, even to Italians. We 
passed the mouth of the Missouri, and moved very slowly 
against the current, for it was not less than twenty minutes 
after four the next morning, when we reached St. Charles,^ 
distant forty-two miles. Here we stopped till half-past 
five, when Mr. Sarpy, to whom I gave my letters home, 
left us in a wagon. 

April 26. A rainy day, and the heat we had experi- 
enced yesterday was now all gone. We saw a Wild Goose 
running on the shore, and it was killed by Bell ; but our 
captain did not stop to pick it up, and I was sorry to see 
the poor bird dead, uselessly. We now had found out 
that our berths were too thickly inhabited for us to sleep 
in ; so I rolled myself in my blanket, lay down on deck, 
and slept very sound. 

27th. A fine clear day, cool this morning. Cleaned 
our boilers last night, landing where the " Emily Christian " 
is sunk, for a few moments ; saw a few Gray Squirrels, and 
an abundance of our common Partridges in flocks of fif- 
teen to twenty, very gentle indeed. About four this after- 
noon we passed the mouth of the Gasconade River, a 
stream coming from the westward, valuable for its yellow- 
pine lumber. At a woodyard above us we saw a White 
Pelican 2 that had been captured there, and which, had it 
been clean, I should have bought. I saw that its legs and 

i One of the oldest settlements in Missouri, on the left bank of the river, 
still known by the same name, and giving name to St. Charles County, Mo. 
It was once called Petite Cote, from the range of small hills at the foot of 
which it is situated. When Lewis and Clark were here, in May, 1804, the 
town had nearly 100 small wooden houses, including a chapel, and a popu- 
lation of about 450, chiefly of Canadian French origin. See " Lewis and 
Clark," Coues' ed., 1893, p. 5. — E. C. 

2 The species which Audubon described and figured as new under the 
name of Pelecanus amerkamis : Ornith. Biogr. iv., 1838, p. 88, pi. 311 ; Birds 
of Amer. vii., 1844, p. 20, pi. 422. This is P. erythrorhynchus of Gmelin, 
17S8, and P. trachyrhynchus of Latham, 1790. — E. C. 


feet were red, and not yellow, as they are during autumn 
and winter. Marmots are quite abundant, and here they 
perforate their holes in the loose, sandy soil of the river 
banks, as well as the same soil wherever it is somewhat 
elevated. We do not know yet if it is Arctomys monax, or 
a new species.^ The weather being fine, and the night 
clear, we ran all night and on the morning of the 28th, 
thermometer 69° to 78° at sunrise, we were in sight of 
the seat of government, Jefferson. The State House 
stands prominent, with a view from it up and down the 
stream of about ten miles ; but, with the exception of the 
State House and the Penitentiary, Jefferson is a poor place, 
the land round being sterile and broken. This is said to be 
160 or 170 miles above St. Louis.^ We saw many Gray 
Squirrels this morning. Yesterday we passed under long 
lines of elevated shore, surmounted by stupendous rocks 
of limestone, with many curious holes in them, where we 
saw Vultures and Eagles^ enter towards dusk Harris saw 
a Peregrine Falcon ; the whole of these rocky shores are 
ornamented with a species of white cedar quite satisfac- 
torily known to us. We took wood at several places ; at 
one I was told that Wild Turkeys were abundant and 
Squirrels also, but as the squatter observed, " Game is very 
scarce, especially Bears." Wolves begin to be trouble- 
some to the settlers who have sheep ; they are obliged 
to drive the latter home, and herd them each night. 

This evening the weather became cloudy and looked 
like rain ; the weather has been very warm, the thermom- 
eter being at 78° at three this afternoon. We saw a 
pair of Peregrine Falcons, one of them with a bird in its 

1 No other species of Marmot than the common Woodchuck, Arctomys 
monax, is known to occur in this locality. — E. C. 

2 The actual distance of Jefferson City above the mouth of the river is 
given on the Missouri River Commission map as 145^5 miles. The name 
of the place was once Missouriopolis. — E. C. 

^ Turkey-buzzards [Cathartes aura) and Bald Eagles {^Haliacttis latco- 
cephalus). — E. C. 


talons ; also a few White-fronted Geese, some Blue-winged 
Teal, and some Cormorants/ but none with the head, 
neck, and breast pure white, as the one I saw two days ago. 
The strength of the current seemed to increase ; in some 
places our boat merely kept her own, and in one in- 
stance fell back nearly half a mile to where we had 
taken in wood. At about ten this evening we came 
into such strong water that nothing could be done 
against it ; we laid up for the night at the lower end of a 
willow island, and then cleaned the boilers and took in 
200 fence-rails, which the French Canadians call " perches." 
Now a. perchc in French means a pole; therefore this must 
be patois. 

29th. We were off at five this rainy morning, and at 9 
A. M, reached Booneville,^ distant from St. Louis about 204 
miles. We bought at this place an axe, a saw, three files, 
and some wafers ; also some chickens, at one dollar a 
dozen. We found here some of the Santa Fe traders with 
whom we had crossed the Alleghanies. They were await- 
ing the arrival of their goods, and then would immedi- 
ately start. I saw a Rabbit sitting under the shelf of a 
rock, and also a Gray Squirrel. It appears to me that 
Sciunis macrourus ^ of Say relishes the bottom lands in 

1 What Cormorants these were is somewhat uncertain, as more than one 
species answering to the indications given may be found in this locality. 
Probably they were Phalacrocorax dilophus Jloridanus, first described and 
figured by Audubon as the Florida Cormorant, P. floridanus : Om. Biog. 
iii., 1835, p. 387, pi. 251 ; B. of Amer. vi., 1843, P- 43°' P'- 4i7- The alterna- 
tive identification in this case is P. mexicanus of Brandt. — E. C 

2 In present Cooper County, Mo., near the mouth of Mine River. It was 
named for the celebrated Daniel Boone, who owned an extensive grant of 
land in this vicinity. Booneville followed upon the earlier settlement at 
Boone's Lick, or Boone's Salt Works, and in 1819 consisted of eight houses. 
According to the Missouri River Commission charts, the distance from the 
mouth of the Missouri River is 197 miles. — E. C. 

3 Say, in Long's Exped. i., 1823, p. 115, described from what is now 
Kansas. This is the well-known Western Fox Squirrel, S. hidovicianus of 
Custis, in Barton's Med. and Phys. Joum. ii., 1806, p. 43. It has been re- 
peatedly described and figured under other names, as follows : S. subauratus^ 


preference to the hilly or rocky portions which alternately 
present themselves along these shores. On looking along 
the banks of the river, one cannot help observing the half- 
drowned young willows, and cotton trees of the same age, 
trembling and shaking sideways against the current; and 
methought, as I gazed upon them, of the danger they were 
in of being immersed over their very tops and thus dying, 
not through the influence of fire, the natural enemy of 
wood, but from the force of the mighty stream on the 
margin of which they grew, and which appeared as if in 
its wrath it was determined to over\vhelm, and undo all 
that the Creator in His bountifulness had granted us to 
enjoy. The banks themselves, along with perhaps millions 
of trees, are ever tumbling, falling, and washing away from 
the spots where they may have stood and grown for cen- 
turies past. If this be not an awful exemplification of the 
real course of Nature's intention, that all should and must 
live and die, then, indeed, the philosophy of our learned 
men cannot be much relied upon ! 

This afternoon the steamer " John Auld " came up near 
us, but stopped to put off passengers. She had troops on 
board and a good number of travellers. We passed the 
city of Glasgow^ without stopping there, and the black- 
guards on shore were so greatly disappointed that they 
actually fired at us with rifles; but whether with balls or 
not, they did us no harm, for the current proved so strong 
that we had to make over to the opposite side of the river. 

Aud. and Bach, ii., 1851, p. 67, pi. 58; .S". rubicaudatus, Aud. and Bach, ii., 
1851, p. 30, pi. 55; 6". audtiboni. Bach. P. Z. S. 1838, p. 97 (dusky variety) ; 
Aud. and Bach, iii., 1854, p. 260, pi. 152, fig. 2; S. occidentalis, Aud. and 
Bach., Journ. Philada. Acad, viii., 1842, p. 317 (dusky variety) ; S. sayii, Aud. 
and Bach, ii., 1S51, p. 274, pi. 89. The last is ostensibly based on the species 
described by Say, whose name macroura was preoccupied for a Ceylonese 
species. The Western Fox Squirrel has also been called S. rufivcntcr and 
S. magnkatidattts, both of which names appear in Harlan's Fauna Ameri- 
cana, 1825, p. 176 and p. 17S. — E. C. 

1 Audubon underscores " city " as a bit of satire, Glasgow being at that 
time a mere village or hamlet. — E. C. 


We did not run far; the weather was still bad, raining 
hard, and at ten o'clock, with wood nearly exhausted, we 
stopped on the west shore, and there remained all the 
night, cleaning boilers, etc. 

Sunday SOtJi. This morning was cold, and it blew a 
gale from the north. We started, however, for a wooding- 
place, but the " John Auld " had the advantage of us, and 
took what there was ; the wind increased so much that 
the waves were actually running pretty high down-stream, 
and we stopped until one o'clock. You may depend 
my party was not sorry for this ; and as I had had no 
exercise since we left St. Louis, as soon as breakfast was 
over we started — Bell, Harris, Squires, and myself, with 
our guns— and had quite a frolic of it, for we killed a 
good deal of game, and lost some. Unfortunately we 
landed at a place where the water had overflowed the 
country between the shores and the hills, which are distant 
about one mile and a half We started a couple of Deer, 
which Bell and I shot at, and a female Turkey flying fast; 
at my shot it extended its legs downwards as if badly 
wounded, but it sailed on, and must have fallen across 
the muddy waters. Bell, Harris, and myself shot running 
exactly twenty-eight Rabbits, Lepiis sylvaticus, and two 
Bachmans, two Sciuriis macrourtis of Say, two Arctomys 
mojiax, and a pair of Tetrao \_Bonasa\ innbcllus. The 
woods were alive with the Rabbits, but they were very 
wild; the Ground-hogs, Marmots, or Arctomys, were in 
great numbers, judging from the innumerable burrows we 
saw, and had the weather been calm, I have no doubt we 
would have seen many more. Bell wounded a Turkey hen 
so badly that the poor thing could not fly ; but Harris 
frightened it, and it was off, and was lost. Harris shot an 
Arctomys without pouches, that had been forced out of its 
burrow by the water entering it; it stood motionless until 
he was within ten paces of it ; when, ascertaining what it 
was, he retired a few yards, and shot it with No. 10 shot, 


and it fell dead on the spot. We found the woods filled 
with birds — -all known, however, to us: Golden-crowned 
Thrush, Cerulean Warblers, Woodpeckers of various kinds, 
etc.; but not a Duck in the bayou, to my surprise. At 
one the wind lulled somewhat, and as we had taken all 
the fence-rails and a quantity of dry stuff of all sorts, we 
were ready to attempt our ascent, and did so. It was 
curious to see sixty or seventy men carrying logs forty or 
fifty feet long, some well dried and some green, on their 
shoulders, all of which were wanted by our captain, for 
some purpose or other. In a great number of instances 
the squatters, farmers, or planters, as they may be called, 
are found to abandon their dwellings or make towards 
higher grounds, which fortunately are here no farther off 
than from one to three miles. After we left, we met with 
the strength of the current, but with our stakes, fence-rails, 
and our dry wood, we made good headway. At one 
place we passed a couple of houses, with women and chil- 
dren, perfectly surrounded by the flood ; these houses 
stood apparently on the margin of a river ^ coming in from 
the eastward. The whole farm was under water, and all 
around was the very perfection of disaster and misfortune. 
It appeared to us as if the men had gone to procure as- 
sistance, and I was grieved that we could not offer them 
any. We saw several trees falling in, and beautiful, though 
painful, was the sight. As they fell, the spray which rose 
along their whole length was exquisite ; but alas ! these 
magnificent trees had reached the day of oblivion. 

A few miles above New Brunswick we stopped to take 
in wood, and landed three of our Indians, who, belonging 
to the Iowa tribe, had to travel up La Grande Riviere. 
The wind lulled away, and we ran all night, touching, for 
a few minutes, on a bar in the middle of the river. 

^ This is the stream then as now known as Grand River, which at its 
mouth separates Chariton from Carroll County, Mo. Here is the site of 
Brunswick, or New Brunswick, which Audubon presently mentions. — E. C. 


May 1. This morning was a beautiful one ; our run 
last night was about thirty miles, but as we have just 
begun this fine day, I will copy here the habits of the 
Pouched Rats, from my notes on the spot at old Mr. 
Chouteau's, and again at St. Louis, where I kept several 
alive for four or five days : — 

Plantation of Pierre Chouteau, Sen., four miles west of 
St. Louis, April 13, 1843. I came here last evening in 
the company of Mr. Sarpy, for the express purpose of pro- 
curing some Pouched Rats, and as I have been fortunate 
enough to secure several of these strange creatures, and 
also to have seen and heard much connected with their 
habits and habitats, I write on the spot, with the wish 
that no recollection of facts be passed over. The present 
species is uncommonly abundant throughout this neighbor- 
hood, and is even found in the gardens of the city of St. 
Louis, upon the outskirts. They are extremely pernicious 
animals to the planter and to the gardener, as they devour 
every root, grass, or vegetable within their reach, and 
burrow both day and night in every direction imaginable, 
wherever they know their insatiable appetites can be 
recompensed for their labor. They bring forth from five 
to seven young, about the 25th of March, and these are 
rather large at birth. The nest, or place of deposit, is 
usually rounded, and about eight inches in diameter, being 
globular, and well lined with the hair of the female. This 
nest is not placed at the end of a burrow, or in any par- 
ticular one of their long galleries, but oftentimes in the 
road that may lead to hundreds of yards distant. From 
immediately around the nest, however, many galleries 
branch off in divers directions, all tending towards such 
spots as are well known to the parents to afford an abun- 
dance of food. I cannot ascertain how long the young 
remain under the care of the mother. Having observed 
several freshly thrown-up mounds in Mr. Chouteau's gar- 
den, this excellent gentleman called to some negroes to 


bring spades, and to dig for the animals with the hope I 
might procure one alive. All hands went to work with 
alacrity, in the presence of Dr. Trudeau of St. Louis, my 
friends the father and son Chouteau, and myself. We 
observed that the " Muloe " ^ (the name given these animals 
by the Creoles of this country) had worked in two or more 
opposite directions, and that the main gallery was about a 
foot beneath the surface of the ground, except where it 
had crossed the walks, when the burrow was sunk a few 
inches deeper. The work led the negroes across a large 
square and two of the walks, on one side of which we 
found large bunches of carnations, from which the roots 
had been cut off obliquely, close to the surface of the 
ground, thereby killing the plants. The roots measured 
1^ of an inch, and immediately next to them was a rose- 
bush, where ended the burrow. The other side was now 
followed, and ended amidst the roots of a fine large peach- 
tree ; these roots were more or less gashed and lacerated, 
but no animal was there, and on returning on our tracks, 
we found that several galleries, probably leading outside 
the garden, existed, and wc gave up the chase. 

This species throws up the earth in mounds rarely higher 
than twelve to fifteen inches, and these mounds are thrown 
up at extremely irregular distances, being at times near 
to each other, and elsewhere ten to twenty, or even thirty, 
paces apart, yet generally leading to particular spots, well 
covered with grapes or vegetables of different kinds. 
This species remains under ground during the whole 
winter, inactive, and probably dormant, as they never 
raise or work the earth at this time. The earth thrown 
up is as if pulverized, and as soon as the animal has 
finished his labors, which are for no other purpose than to 
convey him securely from one spot to another, he closes 
the aperture, which is sometimes on the top, though more 
usually on the side towards the sun, leaving a kind of ring 
1 From the French "Mulots," field-mice. 


nearly one inch in breadth, and about the diameter of the 
body of the animal. Possessed of an exquisite sense of 
hearing and of feeling the external pressure of objects 
travelling on the ground, they stop their labors instantane- 
ously on the least alarm ; but if you retire from fifteen to 
twenty paces to the windward of the hole, and wait for a 
quarter of an hour or so, you see the " Gopher " (the name 
given to it by the Missourians — Amej'icans) raising the 
earth with its back and shoulders, and forcing it out for- 
ward, leaving the aperture open during the process, and 
from which it at times issues a few steps, cuts the grasses 
around, with which it fills its pouches, and then retires to 
its hole to feed upon its spoils; or it sometimes sits up on 
its haunches and enjoys the sun, and it may then be shot, 
provided you are quick. If missed you see it no more, 
as it will prefer altering the course of its burrow and 
continuing its labors in quite a different direction. They 
may be caught in common steel-traps, and two of them 
were thus procured to-day ; but they then injure the foot, 
the hind one. They are also not uncommonly thrown 
up by the plough, and one was caught in this manner. 
They have been known to destroy the roots of hundreds 
of young fruit-trees in the course of a few days and nights, 
and will cut roots of grown trees of the most valued kinds, 
such as apple, pear, peach, plum, etc. They differ greatly 
in their size and also in their colors, according to age, but 
not in the sexes. The young are usually gray, the old of 
a dark chestnut, glossy and shining brown, very difficult 
to represent in a drawing. The opinion commonly re- 
ceived and entertained, that these Pouched Rats fill their 
pouches with the earth of their burrows, and empty them 
when at the entrance, is, I think, quite erroneous ; about 
a dozen which were shot in the act of raising their mounds, 
and killed at the very mouth of their burrows, had no 
earth in any of these sacs ; the fore feet, teeth, nose, and 
the anterior portion of the head were found covered with 

VOL. I. — 30 


adhesive earth, and most of them had their pouches filled 
either with blades of grass or roots of different sizes ; and 
I think their being hairy rather corroborates the fact that 
these pouches are only used for food. In a word, they 
appear to me to raise the earth precisely in the manner 
employed by the Mole. 

When travelling the tail drags on the ground, and they 
hobble along with their long front claws drawn underneath ; 
at other times, they move by slow leaping mov^ements, 
and can travel backwards almost as fast as forwards. 
When turned over they have much difficulty in replacing 
themselves in their natural position, and you may see 
them kicking with their legs and claws for a minute or 
two before they are right. They bite severch', and do not 
hesitate to make towards their enemies or assailants with 
open mouth, squealing like a rat. When they fight among 
themselves they make great use of the nose in the manner 
of hogs. They cannot travel faster than the slow walk of a 
man. They feed frequently while seated on the rump, using 
their fore paws and long claws somewhat like a squirrel. 
When sleeping they place the head beneath the breast, and 
become round, and look like a ball of earth. They clean 
their whiskers and body in the manner of Rats, Squirrels, etc. 

The four which I kept alive never drank anything, 
though water was given to them. I fed them on potatoes, 
cabbages, carrots, etc. They tried constantly to make 
their escape by gnawing at the floor, but in vain. They 
slept wherever they found clothing, etc., and the rascals 
cut the lining of my hunting-coat all to bits, so that I was 
obliged to have it patched and mended. In one instance 
I had some clothes rolled up for the washerwoman, and, 
on opening the bundle to count the pieces, one of the 
fellows caught hold of my right thumb, with fortunately 
a single one of its upper incisors, and hung on till I shook 
it off, violently throwing it on the floor, where it lay as if 
dead ; but it recovered, and was as well as ever in less 


than' half an hour. They gnawed the leather straps of my 
trunks during the night, and although I rose frequently to 
stop their work, they would begin anew as soon as I was 
in bed again. I wrote and sent most of the above to 
John Bachman from St. Louis, after I had finished my 
drawing of four figures of these most strange and most 
interesting creatures. 

And now to return to this day: When we reached 
Glasgow, we came in under the stern of the "John Auld." 
As I saw several officers of the United States army I 
bowed to them, and as they all knew that I was bound 
towards the mighty Rocky Mountains, they not only re- 
turned my salutations, but came on board, as well as 
Father de Smet.^ They all of them came to my room 
and saw specimens and skins. Among them was Captain 
Clark,^ who married the sister of Major Sandford, whom 
you all know. They had lost a soldier overboard, two 
had deserted, and a fourth was missing. We proceeded 
on until about ten o'clock, and it was not until the 2d of 
May that we actually reached Independence. 

May 2. It stopped raining in the night while I was 
sound asleep, and at about one o'clock we did arrive at 
Independence, distant about 379 miles from St. Louis. ^ 
Here again was the "John Auld," putting out freight for 
the Santa F6 traders, and we saw many of their wagons. 

^ P. J. de Smet, the Jesuit priest, well known for his missionary labors 
among various tribes of Indians in the Rocky Mountains, on the Columbia 
River, and in other parts of the West. His work entitled " Oregon Missions 
and Travels over the Rocky Mountains in 1845-46 " was published in New 
York by Edward Dunigan in 1847. Oi^ P- 39 of this book will be found 
mention of the journey Father de Smet was taking in 1843, when met by 
Audubon.— E. C. 

2 Captain Clark of the U. S. A. 

3 The distance of Independence from the mouth of the Missouri is abont 
376 miles by the Commission charts. In 1S43 this town was still, as it 
long had been, the principal point of departure from the river on the 
Santa Fe caravan route. Trains starting hence went through Westport, 
Mo., and so on into the " Indian Territory." — E. C. 


Of course I exchanged a hand-shake with Father de 
Smet and many of the officers I had seen yesterday. 
Mr. Meeks, the agent of Colonel Veras, had 148 pounds 
of tow in readiness for us, and I drew on the Chouteaux 
for ^30.20, for we were charged no less than \2\ to 25 
cts. per pound; but this tow might have passed for fine 
flax, and I was well contented. We left the "Auld," 
proceeded on our way, and stopped at Madame Chouteau's 
plantation, where we put out some freight for Sir William 
Stuart. The water had been two feet deep in her house, 
but the river has now suddenly fallen about six feet. At 
Madame Chouteau's I saw a brother of our friend Pierre 
Chouteau, Senr., now at New York, and he gave me some 
news respecting the murder of Mr. Jarvis. About twenty 
picked men of the neighborhood had left in pursuit of the 
remainder of the marauders, and had sent one of their 
number back, with the information that they had remained 
not two miles from the rascally thieves and murderers. 
I hope they will overtake them all, and shoot them on 
the .spot. We saw a few Squirrels, and Bell killed two 

May 3. We ran all last night and reached Fort Leav- 
enworth at six this morning. We had an early break- 
fast, as we had intended to walk across the Bend ; but 
we found that the ground was overflowed, and that the 
bridges across two creeks had been carried away, and 
reluctantly we gave up our trip. I saw two officers who 
came on board, also a Mr. Ritchie. The situation of the 
fort is elevated and fine, and one has a view of the river 
up and down for some distance. Seeing a great number 
of Parrakeets, we went after them ; Bell killed one. Un- 
fortunately my gun snapped twice, or I should have killed 
several more. We saw several Turkeys on the ground 
and in the trees early this morning. On our reaching 
the landing, a sentinel dragoon came to watch that no 
one tried to escape. 


After leaving this place we fairly entered the Indian 
country on the west side of the river, for the State of Mis- 
souri, by the purchase of the Platte River country, contin- 
ues for about 250 miles further on the east side, where 
now we see the only settlements. We saw a good num- 
ber of Indians in the woods and on the banks, gazing at us 
as we passed; these are, however, partly civilized, and are 
miserable enough. Major Mason, who commands here at 
present, is ill, and I could not see him. We saw several 
fine horses belonging to different officers. We soon passed 
Watson, which is considered the head of steam navigation. 

In attempting to pass over a shallow, but a short, cut, 
we grounded on a bar at five o'clock; got off, tried again, 
and again grounded broadside ; and now that it is past six 
o'clock all hands are busily engaged in trying to get the 
boat off, but with what success I cannot say. To me the 
situation is a bad one, as I conceive that as we remain 
here, the washings of the muddy sands as they float down 
a powerful current will augment the bar on the weather 
side (if I may so express myself) of the boat. We have 
seen another Turkey and many Parrakeets, as well as a 
great number of burrows formed by the "Siffleurs, " as 
our French Canadians call all and every species of Mar- 
mots ; Bell and I have concluded that there must be not 
less than twenty to thirty of these animals for one in any 
portion of the Atlantic States. We saw them even around 
the open grounds immediately about Fort Leavenworth. 

About half-past seven we fortunately removed our boat 
into somewhat deeper water, by straightening her bows 
against the stream, and this was effected by fastening our 
very long cable to a snag above us, about 200 yards ; and 
now, if we can go backwards and reach the deep waters 
along shore a few hundred yards below, we shall be able 
to make fast there for the night. Unfortunately it is now 
raining hard, the lightning is vivid, and the appearance 
of the nisfht forbidding. 


Thursday, May ^. We had constant rain, lightning 
and thunder last night. This morning, at the dawn of 
day, the captain and all hands were at work, and suc- 
ceeded in removing the boat several hundred yards below 
where she had struck ; but unfortunately we got fast again 
before we could reach deep water, and all the exertions to 
get off were renewed, and at this moment, almost nine, 
we have a line fastened to the shore and expect to be 
afloat in a short time. But I fear that we shall lose most 
of the day before we leave this shallow, intricate, and 
dangerous channel. 

At ten o'clock we found ourselves in deep water, near 
the shore on the west side. We at once had the men at 
work cutting wood, which was principally that of ash- 
trees of moderate size, which wood was brought on board 
in great quantities and lengths. Thank Heaven, we are 
off in a few minutes, and I hope will have better luck. I 
saw on the shore many "Gopher" hills, in all probability 
the same as I have drawn. Bell shot a Gray Squirrel 
which I believe to be the same as our Sciurus cafoliucnsis. 
Friend Harris shot two or three birds, which we have not 
yet fully established, and Bell shot one Lincoln's Finch ^ 
— strange place for it, when it breeds so very far north 
as Labrador. Caught a Woodpecker, and killed a Cat- 
bird, Water-thrush, seventeen Parrakccts, a Yellow Chat, a 
new Finch, 2 and very curious, two White-throated Finches, 
one White-crown, a Yellow-rump Warbler, a Gray Squir- 

1 This is the bird which Audubon first discovered in Labrador, in 1833, 
and named Friiigilla lincoluii in honor of his young companion, Thomas 
Lincoln. It is described and figured under that name in Orn. Biogr. ii., 
1834, p. 539, pi. 193, and as Pciiccca lincoluii in B. of Am. iii., 1841, p. 116, 
pi. 177, but is now known as Alelospiza lincolni. It ranges throughout the 
greater part of North America. — E. C. 

2 Apparently the very first intimation we have of the beautiful Finch 
which Audubon dedicated to Mr. Harris as Friiigilla hanisii, as will be seen 
further on in his journal. 

The other birds mentioned in the above text were all well-known species 
in 1843. — E. C. 


rel, a Loon, and two Rough-winged Swallows. We saw 
Cerulean Warblers, Hooded Flycatchers, Kentucky War- 
blers, Nashville ditto, Blue-winged ditto. Red-eyed 
and White-eyed Flycatchers, Great-crested and Com- 
mon Pewees, Redstarts, Towhee Buntings, Ferruginous 
Thrushes, Wood Thrush, Golden-crowned Thrush, Blue- 
gray Flycatcher, Blue-eyed Warbler, Blue Yellow-back, 
Chestnut-sided, Black-and-White Creepers, Nuthatch, 
Kingbirds, Red Tanagers, Cardinal Grosbeaks, common 
House Wren, Blue-winged Teals, Swans, large Blue Her- 
ons, Crows, Turkey-buzzards, and a Peregrine Falcon, 
Red-tailed Hawks, Red-headed, Red-bellied, and Golden- 
winged Woodpeckers, and Partridges. Also, innumer- 
able " Gopher " hills, one Ground-hog, one Rabbit, two 
Wild Turkeys, one Whippoorwill, one Maryland Yellow- 
throat, and Swifts. We left the shore with a strong gale 
of wind, and after having returned to our proper channel, 
and rounded the island below our troublesome situation 
of last night, we were forced to come to under the main 
shore. Here we killed and saw all that is enumerated 
above, as well as two nests of the White-headed Eagle. 
We are now for the night at a wooding-place, where we 
expect to purchase some fresh provisions, if any there are; 
and as it is nine o'clock I am off to bed. 

Friday, May 5. The appearance of the weather this 
morning was rather bad; it was cloudy and lowering, but 
instead of rain we have had a strong southwesterly wind 
to contend with, and on this account our day's work does 
not amount to much. At this moment, not eight o'clock, 
we have stopped through its influence. 

At half-past twelve we reached the Black Snake Hills ^ 

1 Black Snake Hills (in the vicinity of St. Joseph, Mo.). "On the 
24th we saw the chain of the Blacksnake Hills, but we met with so many 
obstacles in the river that we did not reach them till towards evening. 
They are moderate eminences, with many singular forms, with an alterna- 
tion of open green and wooded spots." (Maximilian, Prince of Wied, 
"Travels in North America," p. 123.) 


settlement, and I was delighted to see this truly beautiful 
site for a town or city, as will be no doubt some fifty 
years hence. The hills themselves are about 200 feet 
above the river, and slope down gently into the beautiful 
prairie that extends over some thousands of acres, of the 
richest land imaginable. Five of our trappers did not 
come on board at the ringing of the bell, and had to walk 
several miles across a bend to join us and be taken on 
again. We have not seen much game this day, probably 
on account of the high wind. We saw, however, a large 
flock of Willets, two Gulls, one Grebe, many Blue-winged 
Teals, Wood Ducks, and Coots, and one pair of mated 
Wild Geese. This afternoon a Black Squirrel was seen. 
This morning I saw a Marmot; and Sprague, a Sciunis 
inacrourus oi Say. On examination of the Finch killed by 
Harris yesterday, I found it to be a new species, and I have 
taken its measurements across this sheet of paper. ^ It 
was first seen on the ground, then on low bushes, then on 
large trees; no note was heard. Two others, that were 
females to all appearance, could not be procured on ac- 
count of their extreme shyness. We saw the Indigo-bird, 
Barn Swallows, Purple Martin, and Greenbacks ;2 also, a 
Rabbit at the Black Snake Hills. The general aspect of 
the river is materially altered for the worse; it has be- 
come much more crooked or tortuous, in some places very 
wide with sand-banks naked and dried, so that the wind 
blows the sand quite high. In one place we came to a 
narrow and swift chute, four miles above the Black Snake 

^ The measurements in pen and ink are marked over the writing of 
the journal. As already stated, this bird is Friugilla harrisii : Aud. B. of 
Am. vii., 1844, p. 331, pi. 484. It had previously been discovered by Mr. 
Thomas Nuttall, who ascended the Missouri with Mr. J. K. Townsend in 
1834, and named by him F. qiierula in his Man. Orn. 2d ed. i., 1S40, p. 555. 
Its modern technical name is Zoiiotrichia querula, though it continues to 
bear the English designation of Harris's Finch. — E. C. 

- That is, the Green-backed or White-bellied Swallow, Hirundo bicohr 
of Vieillot, Tachychieta bicolor of Cabanis, and Iridoprocne bicolor of Coues. 
— E.G. 


Hills, that in time of extreme high water must be very 
difificult of ascent. During these high winds it is very 
hard to steer the boat, and also to land her. The settlers 
on the Missouri side of the river appear to relish the 
sight of a steamer greatly, for they all come to look at 
this one as we pass the different settlements. The ther- 
mometer has fallen sixteen degrees since two o'clock, 
and it feels now very chilly. 

Saturday, May 6. High wind all night and cold this 
morning, with the wind still blowing so hard that at half- 
past seven we stopped on the western shore, under a range 
of high hills, but on the weather side of them. We took 
our guns and went off, but the wind was so high we saw 
but little; I shot a Wild Pigeon and a Whippoorwill, 
female, that gave me great trouble, as I never saw one so 
remarkably wild before. Bell shot two Gray Squirrels 
and several Vireos, and Sprague, a Kentucky Warbler. 
Traces of Turkeys and of Deer were seen. We also saw 
three White Pelicans, but no birds to be added to our 
previous lot, and I have no wish to keep a strict account 
of the number of the same species we daily see. It is 
now half-past twelve; the wind is still very high, but our 
captain is anxious to try to proceed. We have cut some 
green wood, and a considerable quantity of hickory for axe- 
handles. In cutting down a tree we caught two young 
Gray Squirrels. A Pewee Flycatcher, of some species or 
other, was caught by the steward, who ran down the poor 
thing, which was starved on account of the cold and 
windy weather. Harris shot another of the new Finches, 
a male also, and I saw what I believe is the female, but 
it flew upwards of 200 yards without stopping. Bell also 
shot a small Vireo, which is in all probability a new spe- 
cies^ (to me at least). We saw a Goshawk, a Marsh 

^ The surmise proved to be correct ; for this is the now well-known 
Bell's Vireo, Vif-eo bellii of Audubon : B. of Am. vii., 1S44, p. 333, pi. 485. 
— E. C. 


Hawk, and a great number of Blackbirds, but could not 
ascertain the species.^ The wind was still high when we 
left our stopping place, but we progressed, and this after- 
noon came alongside of a beautiful prairie of some thou- 
sands of acres, reaching to the hills. Here we stopped 
to put out our Iowa Indians, and also to land the goods 
we had for Mr. Richardson, the Indian agent. The goods 
were landed, but at the wrong place, as the Agent's agent 
would not receive them there, on account of a creek above, 
which cannot at present be crossed with wagons. Our 
Sac Indian chief started at once across the prairie towards 
the hills, on his way to his wigwam, and we saw Indians 
on their way towards us, running on foot, and many on 
horseback, generally riding double on skins or on Spanish 
saddles. Even the squaws rode, and rode well too ! We 
counted about eighty, amongst whom were a great num- 
ber of youths of different ages. I was heartily glad that 
our own squad of them left us here. I observed that 
though they had been absent from their friends and rela- 
tives, they never shook hands, or paid any attention to 
them. When the freight was taken in we proceeded, and 
the whole of the Indians followed along the shore at a 
good round run ; those on horseback at times struck into 
a gallop. I saw more of these poor beings when we ap- 
proached the landing, perched and seated on the promon- 
tories about, and many followed the boat to the landing. 
Here the goods were received, and Major Richardson 
came on board, and paid freight. He told us we were 
now in the country of the Fox Indians as well as that of 
the lowas, that the number about him is over 1200, and 
that his district extends about seventy miles up the river. 
He appears to be a pleasant man; told us that Hares ^ 

1 No doubt the species named Brewer's Blackbird, Quiscalus brewerii of 
Audubon, B. of Am. vii., 1844, p. 345, pi. 492, now known as Scolccophagui 
Cyanocepkahts. — E. C. 

2 The Prairie Hare, Lepus virginianus of Richardson, Fauna Boreali- 
Americana, i., 1S29, p. 229, later described as L. campestris by Bachman, 


(Now Colurabigallina passenna terrestri.) 


were very abundant — by the way, Harris saw one to-day. 
We are now landed on the Missouri side of the river, and 
taking in wood. We saw a Pigeon Hawk, found Par- 
tridges paired, and some also in flocks. When we landed 
during the high wind we saw a fine sugar camp belonging 
to Indians. I was pleased to see that many of the troughs 
they make are formed of bark, and that both ends are 
puckered and tied so as to resemble a sort of basket or 
canoe. They had killed many Wild Turkeys, Geese, and 
Crows, all of which they eat. We also procured a White- 
eyed and a Warbling Vireo, and shot a male Wild Pigeon. 
Saw a Gopher throwing out the dirt with his fore feet 
and not from his pouches. I was within four or five feet 
of it. Shot a Humming-bird, saw a Mourning Warbler, 
and Cedar-birds. 

May 7, Simday. Fine weather, but cool. Saw several 
Gray Squirrels and one Black. I am told by one of our 
pilots, who has killed seven or eight, that they are much 
larger than Sciurus viacrourus, that the hair is coarse, 
that they are clumsy in their motions, and that they are 
found from the Black Snake Hills to some distance 
above the Council Bluffs. 

We landed to cut wood at eleven, and we went ashore. 
Harris killed another of the new Finches, a male also ; the 
scarcity of the females goes on, proving how much earlier 
the males sally forth on their migrations towards the 
breeding grounds. We saw five Sand-hill Cranes, some 
Goldfinches, Yellowshanks, Tell-tale Godwits, Solitary 
Snipes, and the v/oods were filled with House Wrens 
singing their merry songs. The place, however, was a 
bad one, for it was a piece of bottom land that had over- 
flowed, and was sadly muddy and sticky. At twelve the 

Journ. Philad. Acad, vii., 1S37, p. 349, and then described and figured as 
Z. toTvnsendii by Aud. and Bach., Quad. N. A. i., 1849, P- 25, pi. 3. This is 
the characteristic species of the Great Plains, where it is commonly called 
" Jack-rabbit." — E. C. 


bell rang for Harris, Bell, and me to return, which we did 
at once, as dinner was preparing for the table. Talking 
of dinner makes me think of giving you the hours, usu- 
ally, of our meals. Breakfast at half-past six, dinner at 
half-past twelve, tea or supper at seven or later as the 
case may be. We have not taken much wood here ; it is 
ash, but quite green. We saw Orchard Orioles, Blue- 
gray Flycatchers, Great-crested and Common Pewees, 
Mallards, Pileated Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, and Blue- 
birds; heard a Marsh Wren, saw a Crow, a W'ood Thrush, 
and Water Thrush. Indigo-birds and Parrakeets plenti- 
ful. This afternoon we went into the pocket of a sand 
bar, got aground, and had to back out for almost a mile. 
We saw an abundance of Ducks, some White Pelicans, 
and an animal that we guessed was a Skunk. We have 
run about fifty miles, and therefore have done a good 
day's journey. We have passed the mouths of several 
small rivers, and also some very fine prairie land, ex- 
tending miles towards the hills. It is now nine o'clock, 
a beautiful night with the moon shining. We have 
seen several Ravens, and White-headed Eagles on their 

May 8, Monday. A beautiful calm day; the country 
we saw was much the same as that we passed yesterday, 
and nothing of great importance took place except that 
at a wooding-place on the very verge of the State of 
Missouri (the northwest corner) Bell killed a Black 
Squirrel which friend Bachman has honored with the 
name of my son John, Sciurus .Audiibonii.^ We are told 
that this species is not uncommon here. It was a good- 
sized adult male, and Sprague drew an outline of it. 
Harris shot another specimen of the new Finch. We saw 
Parrakeets and many small birds, but nothing new or 
very rare. This evening I wrote a long letter to each 

1 Not a good species, but the dusky variety of the protean Western Fox 
Squirrel, Sciurus ludovicianus ; for which, see a previous note. — E. C. 


house, John Bachman, Gideon B, Smith of Baltimore, 
and J. W. H. Page of New Bedford, with the hope of 
having them forwarded from the Council Bluffs. 

May 9, Tuesday. Another fine day. After running 
until eleven o'clock we stopped to cut wood, and two 
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were shot, a common Blue-bird, 
and a common Northern Titmouse. We saw White Peli- 
cans, Geese, Ducks, etc. One of our trappers cut one of 
his feet dreadfully with his axe, and Harris, who is now 
the doctor, attended to it as best he could. This after- 
noon we reached the famous establishment of Belle Vue^ 
where resides the brother of Mr. Sarpy of St. Louis, as 
well as the Indian Agent, or, as he might be more appro- 
priately called, the Custom House officer. Neither were 
at home, both away on the Platte River, about 300 miles 
off. We had a famous pack of rascally Indians awaiting 
our landing — filthy and half -starved. We landed some 
cargo for the establishment, and I saw a trick of the trade 
which made me laugh. Eight cords of wood were paid 
for with five tin cups of sugar and three of coffee — value 
at St. Louis about twenty-five cents. We have seen a 
Fish Hawk, Savannah Finch, Green-backed Swallows, 
Rough -winged Swallows, Martins, Parrakeets, Black- 
headed Gulls, Blackbirds, and Cow-birds; I will repeat 
that the woods are fairly alive with House Wrens. 
Blue Herons, Emberiza pallida — Clay-colored Bunting 
of Swainson — Henslow's Bunting, Crow Blackbirds; 
and, more strange than all, two large cakes of ice were 
seen by our pilots and ourselves. I am very much fa- 
tigued and will fi'iish the account of this day to-morrow. 
At Belle Vue we found the brother-in-law of old Provost, 
who acts as clerk in the absence of Mr. Sarpy. The store 
is no great affair, and yet I am told that they drive a 
good trade with Indians on the Platte River, and others, 

1 Or Bellevue, in what is now Sarpy County, Neb., on the right bank of 
the Missouri, a few miles above the mouth of the Platte. — E. C. 


on this side of the Missouri. We unloaded some freight, 
and pushed off. We saw here the first ploughing of the 
ground we have observ^ed since we left the lower settle- 
ments near St. Louis. We very soon reached the post of 
Fort Croghan,^ so called after my old friend of that name 
with whom I hunted Raccoons on his father's plantation 
in Kentucky some thirty-eight years ago, and whose 
father and my own were well acquainted, and fought 
together in conjunction with George Washington and 
Lafayette, during the Revolutionary War, against " Merrie 
England." Here we found only a few soldiers, dragoons; 
their camp and officers having been forced to move across 
the prairie to the Bluffs, five miles. After we had put 
out some freight for the sutler, we proceeded on until we 
stopped for the night a few miles above, on the same side 
of .the river. The soldiers assured us that their parade 
ground, and so-called barracks, had been four feet under 
water, and we saw fair and sufficient evidence of this. At 
this place our pilot saw the first Yellow-headed Troupial 
we have met with. We landed for the night under 
trees covered by muddy deposits from the great overflow 
of this season. I slept soundly, and have this morning, 
May lo, written this. 

May 10, Wednesday. The morning was fine, and we 
were under way at daylight; but a party of dragoons, 
headed by a lieutenant, had left their camp four miles 
distant from our anchorage at the same time, and reached 
the shore before we had proceeded far; they fired a couple 
of rifle shots ahead of us, and we brought to at once. 
The young officer came on board, and presented a letter 
from his commander. Captain Burgwin, from which we 
found that we had to have our cargo examined. Our cap- 

^ Vicinity of present Omaha, Neb., and Council Bluffs, la., but somewhat 
above these places. The present Council Bluffs, in Iowa, is considerably 
below the position of the original Council Bluff of Lewis and Clark, which 
Audubon presently notices. See " Lewis and Clark," ed. of 1893, p. 66. 
— E. C. 


tain^ was glad of it, and so were we all; for, finding that 
it would take several hours, we at once ate our breakfast, 
and made ready to go ashore. I showed my credentials 
and orders from the Government, Major Mitchell of St. 
Louis, etc., and I was therefore immediately settled com- 
fortably. I desired to go to see the commanding officer, 
and the lieutenant very politely sent us there on horse- 
back, guided by an old dragoon of considerable respecta- 
bility. I was mounted on a young white horse, Spanish 
saddle with holsters, and we proceeded across the prairie 
towards the Bluffs and the camp. My guide was anx- 
ious to take a short cut, and took me across several bay- 
ous, one of which was really up to the saddle; but we 
crossed that, and coming to another we found it so miry, 
that his horse wheeled after two or three steps, whilst I 
was looking at him before starting myself; for you all 
well know that an old traveller is, and must be, prudent. 
We now had to retrace our steps till we reached the very 
tracks that the squad sent after us in the morning had 
taken, and at last we reached the foot of the Bluffs, when 
my guide asked me if I "could ride at a gallop," to which 
not answering him, but starting at once at a round run, 

1 The journals of Captain Joseph A. Sire, from 1841 to 1848, are extant, 
and at present in the possession of Captain Joseph La liarge, who has 
permitted them to be examined by Captain Chittenden. The latter informs 
us of an interesting entry at date of May 10, 1843, regarding the incident 
of the military inspection of the " Omega " for contraband liquor, of which 
Audubon speaks. But the inside history of how cleverly Captain Sire out- 
witted the military does not appear from the following innocent passage : 
" A/ercredi, 10 May. Nou.-- venons tres bien jusqu'aux cotes a Hart, ou, a 
sept heures, nous sommes sommes par un officier de dragons de mettre 
a terre. Je re^ois une note polie du Capt. Burg\vin m'informant que son 
devoir I'oblige de faire visiter le bateau. Aussitot nous nous mettons a 
I'ouvrage, et pendant ce temps M. Audubon va faire une visite au Capitaine. 
lis reviennent ensemble deux heures apr^s. Je force en quelque sorte 
I'officier a faire une recherche aussi stricte que possible, mais a la condition 
qu'il en fera de meme avec les autres traiteurs." The two precious hours 
of Audubon's visit were utilized by the clever captain in so arranging the 
cargo that no liquor should be found on board by Captain Burg^s-in. — E. C. 


I neatly passed him ere his horse was well at the pace; 
on we went, and in a few minutes we entered a beautiful 
dell or valley, and were in sight of the encampment. We 
reached this in a trice, and rode between two lines of 
pitched tents to one at the end, where I dismounted, and 
met Captain Burgwin,^ a young man, brought up at West 
Point, with whom I was on excellent and friendly terms 
in less time than it has taken me to write this account of 
our meeting. I showed him my credentials, at which he 
smiled, and politely assured me that I was too well known 
throughout our country to need any letters. While seated 
in front of his tent, I heard the note of a bird new to me, 
and as it proceeded from a tree above our heads, I looked 
up and saw the first Yellow-headed Troupial alive that 
ever came across my own migrations. The captain 
thought me probably crazy, as I thought Rafinesque when 
he was at Henderson; for I suddenly started, shot at the 
bird, and killed it. Afterwards I shot three more at one 
shot, but only one female amid hundreds of these Yel- 
low-headed Blackbirds. They are quite abundant here, 
feeding on the surplus grain that drops from the horses' 
troughs ; they walked under, and around the horses, with 
as much confidence as if anywhere else. When they rose, 
they generally flew to the very tops of the tallest trees, 
and there, swelling their throats, partially spreading their 
wings and tail, they issue their croaking note, which is a 
compound, not to be mistaken, between that of the Crow 
Blackbird and that of the Red-winged Starling. After I 
had fired at them twice they became quite shy, and all of 
them flew off to the prairies. I saw then two Magpies^ 

1 John Henry K. Burgwin, cadet at West Point in 182S; in 1843 a captain 
of the 1st Dragoons. He died Feb. 7, 1847, of wounds received three days 
before in the assault on Pueblo de Taos, New Mexico. — E. C. 

2 The question of the specific identity of the American and European 
Magpies has been much discussed. Ornithologists now generally compro- 
mise the case by considering our bird to be subspecifically distinct, under 
the name of Pica pica hiidsouica. — E. C. 


in a cage, that had been caught in nooses, by the legs ; 
and their actions, voice, and general looks, assured me 
as much as ever, that they are the very same species as 
that found in Europe. Prairie Wolves are extremely 
abundant hereabouts. They are so daring that they 
come into the camp both by day and by night; we found 
their burrows in the banks and in the prairie, and had 
I come here yesterday I should have had a superb speci- 
men killed here, but which was devoured by the hogs 
belonging to the establishment. The captain and the 
doctor — Madison 1 by name — returned with us to the 
boat, and we saw many more Yellow-headed Troupials. 
The high Bluffs back of the prairie are destitute of stones. 
On my way there I saw abundance of Gopher hills, two 
Geese paired, two Yellow-crowned Herons, Red-winged 
Starlings, Cowbirds, common Crow Blackbirds, a great 
number of Baltimore Orioles, a Swallow-tailed Hawk, 
Yellow Red-poll Warbler, P^ield Sparrow, and Chipping 
Sparrow. Sprague killed another of the beautiful Finch. 
Robins are very scarce, Parrakeets and Wild Turkeys 
plentiful. The officers came on board, and we treated 
them as hospitably as we could ; they ate their lunch 
with us, and are themselves almost destitute of provi- 
sions. Last July the captain sent twenty dragoons and 
as many Indians on a hunt for Buffaloes. During the 
hunt they killed 51 Buffaloes, 104 Deer, and 10 Elks, 
within 80 miles of the camp. The Sioux Indians are 
great enemies to the Potowatamies, and very frequently 
kill several of the latter in their predatory excursions 
against them. This kind of warfare has rendered the 
Potowatamies very cowardly, which is quite a remark- 
able change from their previous valor and daring. Bell 
collected six different species of shells, and found a large 

^ No doubt Thomas C. Madison of Virginia, appointed Assist. Surg. 
U. S. A., Feb. 27, 1840. He served as a surgeon of the Confederacy during 
our Civil War, and died Nov. 7, 1866. — E. C. 
VOL. I. — 31 


lump of pumice stone which does float on the water. We 
left our anchorage (which means tied to the shore) at 
twelve o'clock, and about sunset we did pass the real 
Council Bluffs. 1 Here, however, the bed of the river is 
utterly changed, though you may yet see that which is 
now called the Old Missouri. The Bluffs stand, truly 
speaking, on a beautiful bank almost forty feet above the 
water, and run off on a rich prairie, to the hills in the 
background in a gentle slope, that renders the whole 
place a fine and very remarkable spot. We tied up for 
the night about three miles above them, and all hands 
went ashore to cut wood, which begins to be somewhat 
scarce, of a good quality. Our captain cut and left sev- 
eral cords of green wood for his return trip, at this place; 
Harris and Bell went on shore, and saw several Bats, and 
three Turkeys. This afternoon a Deer was seen scamp- 
ering across the prairies until quite out of sight. Wild- 
gooseberry bushes are very abundant, and the fruit is said 
to be very good. 

May 11, Thursday. We had a night of rain, thunder, 
and heavy wind from the northeast, and we did not start 
this morning till seven o'clock, therefore had a late 
breakfast. There was a bright blood-red streak on the 
horizon at four o'clock that looked forbidding, but the 
weather changed as we proceeded, with, however, showers 
of rain at various intervals during the day. We have 

1 Council Bluff, so named by Lewis and Clark on Aug. 3, 1R04, on which 
day they and their followers, with a number of Indians, including six chiefs, 
held a council here, to make terms with the Ottoe and Missouri Indians. 
The account of the meeting ends thus : " The incident just related induced 
us to give to this place the name of the Council-bluff ; the situation of it is 
exceedingly favorable for a fort and trading factory, as the soil is well cal- 
culated for bricks, there is an abundance of wood in the neighborhood, and 
the air is pure and healthy." In a foot-note Dr. Coues says : " It was later 
the site of Fort Calhoun, in the present Washington Co., Neb. We must 
also remember, in attempting to fix this spot, how much the Missouri has 
altered its course since 1804." ("Expedition of Lewis and Clark," 1893, 
p. 65.) 


now come to a portion of the river more crooked than 
any we have passed ; the shores on both sides are evi- 
dently lower, the hills that curtain the distance are 
further from the shores, and the intervening space is 
mostly prairie, more or less overflowed. We have seen 
one Wolf on a sand-bar, seeking for food, perhaps dead 
fish. The actions were precisely those of a cur dog with 
a long tail, and the bellowing sound of the engine did not 
seem to disturb him. He trotted on parallel to the boat 
for about one mile, when we landed to cut drift-wood. 
Bell, Harris, and I went on shore to try to have a shot at 
him. He was what is called a brindle-colored Wolf,^ of 
the common size. One hundred trappers, however, with 
their axes at work, in a few moments rather stopped his 
progress, and when he saw us coming, he turned back on 
his track, and trotted off, but Bell shot a very small load 
in the air to see the effect it would produce. The fellow 
took two or three leaps, stopped, looked at us for a mo- 
ment, and then started on a gentle gallop. When I over 
took his tracks they appeared small, and more rounded 
than usual. I saw several tracks at the same time, there- 
fore more than one had travelled over this great sandy 
and muddy bar last night, if not this morning. I lost 
sight of him behind some large piles of drift-wood, and 
could see him no more. Turkey-buzzards were on the 
bar, and I thought that I should have found some dead 

1 This Wolf is to be distingrished from the Prairie Wolf, Canis latrans, 
which Audubon has already mentioned. It is the common large Wolf of 
North America, of which Audubon has much to say in the sequel ; and 
wherever he speaks of " Wolves " without specification, we are to under- 
stand that this is the animal meant. It occurs in several different color- 
variations, from quite blackish through different reddish and brindled 
grayish shades to nearly white. The variety above mentioned is that 
named by Dr. "^xi^zxd&ow griseo-albus, commonly known in the West as the 
Buffalo Wolf and the Timber Wolf. Mr. Thomas Say named one of 
the dark varieties Canis nubilus in 1823; and naturalists who consider 
the American Wolf to be specifically distinct from Canis lupus of Europe 
now generally name the brindled variety C. nubilus griseo-albus. — E. C. 


carcass; but on reaching the spot, nothing was there. A 
fine large Raven passed at one hundred yards from us, 
but I did not shoot. Bell found a few small shells, and 
Harris shot a Yellow-rumped Warbler. We have seen 
several White Pelicans, Geese, Black-headed Gulls, and 
Green-backed Swallows, but nothing new. The night is 
cloudy and intimates more rain. We are fast to a wil- 
lowed shore, and are preparing lines to try our luck at 
catching a Catfish or so. I was astonished to find how 
much stiffened I was this morning, from the exercise I 
took on horseback yesterday, and think that now it 
would take me a week, at least, to accustom my body to 
riding as I was wont to do twenty years ago. The tim- 
ber is becoming more scarce as we proceed, and I greatly 
fear that our only opportunities of securing wood will be 
those afforded us by that drifted on the bars. 

May 12, Friday. The morning was foggy, thick, and 
calm. We passed the river called the Sioux Pictout,^ a 
small stream formerly abounding with Beavers, Otters, 
Muskrats, etc., but now quite destitute of any of these 
creatures. On going along the banks bordering a long 
and wide prairie, thick with willows and other small 
brush-wood, we saw four Black-tailed Deer^ immediately 
on the bank ; they trotted away without appearing to be 
much alarmed ; after a few hundred yards, the two larg- 
est, probably males, raised themselves on their hind feet 
and pawed at each other, after the manner of stallions. 

1 Little Sioux River of present Keo.qraphy, in Harrison Co., Iowa: see 
"Lewis and Clark," ed. of 1893, P- 69. — E. C. 

2 Otherwise known as the Mule Deer, from the great size of the ears, 
and the peculiar shape of the tail, which is white with a black tuft at the 
tip, and suggests that of the Mule. It is a fine large species, next to the 
Elk or Wapiti in stature, and first became generally known from the expe- 
dition of Lewis and Clark. It is the Cervus macrotis of Say, figured and 
described under this name by Aud. and Bach. Quad. N. A. ii., 1851, p. 206, 
pi. 78, and commonly called by later naturalists Cariacus macrotis. But its 
first scientific designation is Damdaphus hemiontis, given by C. S. Rafinesque 
iniSi;. — E. C. 


They trotted off again, stopping often, but after a while 
disappeared ; we saw them again some hundreds of yards 
farther on, when, becoming suddenly alarmed, they 
bounded off until out of sight. They did not trot or run 
irregularly as our Virginian Deer does, and their color 
was of a brownish cast, whilst our common Deer at this 
season is red. Could we have gone ashore, we might in 
all probability have killed one or two of them. We 
stopped to cut wood on the opposite side of the river, 
where we went on shore, and there saw many tracks of 
Deer, Elk, Wolves, and Turkeys. In attempting to cross 
a muddy place to shoot at some Yellow-headed Troupials 
that were abundant, I found myself almost mired, and 
returned with difficulty. We only shot a Blackburnian 
Warbler, a Yellow-winged ditto, and a few Finches. 
We have seen more Geese than usual as well as Mal- 
lards and Wood Ducks. This afternoon the weather 
cleared up, and a while before sunset we passed under 
Wood's Bluffs,^ so called because a man of that name 
fell overboard from his boat while drunk. We saw 
there many Bank Swallows, and afterwards we came in 
view of the Blackbird Hill,^ where the famous Indian 

^ Wood's Bluff has long ceased to be known by this name, but there is no 
doubt from what Audubon next says of Blackbird Hill, that the bluff in 
question is that on the west or right bank of the river, at and near Decatur, 
Burt Co., Neb. ; the line between Burt and Blackbird counties cuts through 
the bluff, leaving most of it in the litter county. See Lewis and Clark, ed. 
of 1893, p. 71, date of Aug. 10, 1804, where " a cliff of yellow stone on the 
left" is mentioned. This is Wood's Bluff; the situation is 750 miles up 
the river by the Commission Charts. — E. C. 

2 Blackbird Hill. "Aug. Ii [1804]. . . . We halted on the south side for 
the purpose of examining a spot where one of the great chiefs of the Mahas 
[Omahas], named Blackbird, who died about four years ago, of the small- 
pox, was buried. A hill of yellow soft sandstone rises from the river in 
bluffs of various heights, till it ends in a knoll about 300 feet above the 
water; on the top of this a mound, of twelve feet diameter at the base, 
and six feet high, is raised over the body of the deceased king, a pole 
about eight feet high is fixed in the centre, on which we placed a white flag, 
bordered with red, blue, and white. Blackbird seems to have been a person 


chief of that name was buried, at his request, on his 
horse, whilst the animal was alive. We are now fast to 
the shore opposite this famed bluff. We cut good ash 
wood this day, and have made a tolerable run, say forty 

Saturday, May 13. This morning was extremely foggy, 
although I could plainly see the orb of day trying to force 
its way through the haze. While this lasted all hands 
were engaged in cutting wood, and we did not leave our 
fastening-place till seven, to the great grief of our com- 
mander. During the wood cutting. Bell walked to the 
top of the hills, and shot two Lark Buntings, males, 
and a Lincoln's Finch. After a while we passed under 
some beautiful bluffs surmounted by many cedars, and 
these bluffs were composed of fine white sandstone, of 
a soft texture, but very beautiful to the eye. In several 

of great consideration, for ever since his death he has been supplied with 
provisions, from time to time, by the superstitious regard of the Mahas." 
(" Expedition of Lewis and Clark," by Elliott Coues, 1S93, p. 71.) 

"The 7th of May (1S33) we reached the chain of hills on the left bank; 
. . . these are called Wood's Hills, and do not extend very far. On one of 
them we saw a small conical mound, which is the grave of the celebrated 
Omaha chief Washinga-Sabba (the Blackbird). In James' ' Narrative of 
Major Long's Expedition,' is a circumstantial account of this remarkable and 
powerful chief, who was a friend to the white man; he contrived, by means 
of arsenic, to make himself feared and dreaded, and passed for a magician. 
. . . An epidemical smallpox carried him off, with a great part of his nation, 
in 1800, and he was buried, sitting upright, upon a live mule, at the top of a 
green hill on Wakonda Creek. When dying he gave orders they should 
bury him on that hill, with his face turned to the country of the whites." 
(" Travels in North America," Maximilian, Prince of Wied.) 

Irving, in chap. xvi. of " Astoria," gives a long account of Blackbird, 
based on Bradbuiy and Brackenridge, but places his death in 1803, incor- 
rectly; and ends : "The Missouri washes the base of the promontory, and 
after winding and doubling in many links and mazes, returns to withm nine 
hundred yards of its starting-place; so that for thirty n»iles the voyager 
finds himself continually near to this singular promontory, as if spell bound. 
It was the dying command of Blackbird, that his tomb should be on the 
summit of this hill, in which he should be interred, seated on his favorite 
horse, that he might overlook his ancient domain, and behold the backs of 
the white men as they came up the river to trade with his people." 


places along this bluff we saw clusters of nests of Swal- 
lows, which we all looked upon as those of the Cliff 
Swallow, although I saw not one of the birds. We 
stopped again to cut wood, for our opportunities are not 
now very convenient. Went out, but only shot a fine 
large Turkey-hen, which I brought down on the wing 
at about forty yards. It ran very swiftly, however, 
and had not Harris's dog come to our assistance, we 
might have lost it. As it was, however, the dog pointed, 
and Harris shot it, with my small shot-gun, whilst I 
was squatted on the ground amid a parcel of low bushes. 
I was astonished to see how many of the large shot I 
had put into her body. This hen weighed ii-| pounds. 
She had a nest, no doubt, but we could not find it. We 
saw a good number of Geese, though fewer than yes- 
terday; Ducks also. We passed many fine prairies, and 
in one place I was surprised to see the richness of the 
bottom lands. We saw this morning eleven Indians of 
the Omaha tribe. They made signals for us to land, 
but our captain never heeded them, for he hates the 
red-skins as most men hate the devil. One of them 
fired a gun, the group had only one, and some ran along 
the shore for nearly two miles, particularly one old 
gentleman who persevered until we came to such bluff 
shores as calmed down his spirits. In another place we 
saw one seated on a log, close by the frame of a canoe; 
but he looked surly, and never altered his position as 
we passed. The frame of this boat resembled an ordi- 
nary canoe. It is formed by both sticks giving a half 
circle; the upper edges are fastened together by a long 
stick, as well as the centre of the bottom. Outside of 
this stretches a Buffalo skin without the hair on; it 
is said to make a light and safe craft to cross even the 
turbid, rapid stream — the Missouri. By simply looking 
at them, one may suppose that they are sufficiently large 
to carry two or three persons. On a sand-bar afterwards 


we saw three more Indians, also with a canoe frame, but 
we only interchanged the common yells usual on such 
occasions. They looked as destitute and as hungry as if 
they had not eaten for a week, and no doubt would have 
given much for a bottle of whiskey. At our last landing 
for wood-cutting, we also went on shore, but shot noth- 
ing, not even took aim at a bird ; and there was an In- 
dian with a flint-lock rifle, who came on board and stared 
about until we left, when he went off with a little tobacco. 
I pity these poor beings from my heart ! This evening we 
came to the burial-ground bluff of Sergeant Floyd, ^ one 
of the companions of the never-to-be-forgotten expedition 
of Lewis and Clark, over the Rocky Mountains, to the 
Pacific Ocean. A few minutes afterwards, before com- 
ing to Floyd's Creek, we started several Turkey-cocks 

1 " Aug. 20th, 1804. Here we had the misfortune to lose one of our ser- 
geants, Charles Floyd. ... He was buried on the top of the bluff with the 
honors due to a brave soldier; the place of his interment was marked by a 
cedar post, on which his name and the day of his death were inscribed." 
(" Expedition of Lewis and Clark," by Elliott Coues, p. 79.) 

" On the following day [May 8, 1S33] we came to Floyd's grave, where 
the sergeant of that name was buried by Lewis and Clark. The bank on 
either side is low. The left is covered with poplars ; on the right, behind 
the wood, rises a hill like the roof of a building, at the top of which 
Floyd is buried. A short stick marks the place where he is laid, and has 
often been renewed by travellers, when the fires in the prairie have 
destroyed it. ("Travels in North America," p. 134, Maximilian, Prince of 
Wied.) — M. R. A. 

Floyd's grave liecame a landmark for many years, and is noticed by most 
of the travellers who have written of voyaging on the Missouri. In 1857 
the river washed away the face of the bluff to such an extent that the 
remains were exposed. These were gathered and reburied about 200 yards 
further back on the same bluff. This new grave became obliterated in the 
course of time, but in 1895 it was rediscovered after careful search. The 
bones were exhumed by a committee of citizens of Sioux City ; and on 
Aug. 20 of that year, the 91st anniversary of Floyd's death, were reburied in 
the same spot with imposing ceremonies, attended by a concourse of several 
hundred persons. A large flat stone slab, with suitable inscription, now 
marks the spot, and the Floyd Memorial Association, which was formed at 
the time of the third burial, proposes to erect a monument to Floyd in a 
park to be established on the bluff. — E. C. 


from their roost, and had we been on shore could have 
accounted for more than one of them. The prairies are 
becoming more common and more elevated; we have seen 
more evergreens this day than we have done for two weeks 
at least. This evening is dark and rainy, with lightning 
and some distant thunder, and we have entered the mouth 
of the Big Sioux River, ^ where we are fastened for the 
night. This is a clear stream and abounds with fish, and 
on one of the branches of this river is found the famous 
red clay, of which the precious pipes, or calumets are 
manufactured. We will try to procure some on our re- 
turn homeward. It is late; had the weather been clear, 
and the moon, which is full, shining, it was our inten- 
tion to go ashore, to try to shoot Wild Turkeys ; but as 
it is pouring down rain, and as dark as pitch, we have 
thrown our lines overboard and perhaps may catch a fish. 
We hope to reach Vermilion River day after to-morrow. 
We saw abundance of the birds which I have before 

May llf, Simday. It rained hard and thundered dur- 
ing the night; we started at half-past three, when it had 
cleared, and the moon shone brightly. The river is 
crooked as ever, with large bars, and edged with prairies. 
Saw many Geese, and a Lonf^-billed Curlew, One poor 
Goose had been wounded in the wing; when approached, 
it dived for a long distance and came up along the 
shore. Then we saw a Black Bear, swimming across the 
river, and it caused a commotion. Some ran for their 
rifles, and several shots were fired, some of which almost 
touched Bruin; but he kept on, and swam very fast. 
Bell shot at it with large shot and must have touched 

^ Which separates Iowa from South Dakota. Here the Missouri ceases 
to separate Nebraska from Iowa, and begins to separate Nebraska from 
South Dakota. Audubon is therefore at the point where these three States 
come together. He is also just on the edge of Sioux City, Iowa, which 
extends along the left bank of the Missouri from the vicinity of Floyd's 
Bluff to the Big Sioux River. — E. C. 


it. When it reached the shore, it tried several times to 
climb up, but each time fell back. It at last succeeded, 
almost immediately started off at a gallop, and was 
soon lost to sight. We stopped to cut wood at twelve 
o'clock, in one of the vilest places we have yet come to. 
The rushes were waist-high, and the whole underbrush 
tangled by grape vines. The Deer and the Elks had 
beaten paths which we followed for a while, but we saw 
only their tracks, and those of Turkeys. Harris found a 
heronry of the common Blue Heron, composed of about 
thirty nests, but the birds were shy and he did not shoot 
at any. Early this morning a dead Buffalo floated by 
us, and after a while the body of a common cow, which 
had probably belonged to the fort above this. Mr. Sire 
told us that at this point, two years ago, he overtook 
three of the deserters of the company, who had left a 
keel-boat in which they were going down to St. Louis. 
They had a canoe when overtaken ; he took their guns 
from them, destroyed the canoe, and left them there. On 
asking him what had become of them, he said they had 
walked back to the establishment at the mouth of Vermil- 
ion River, which by land is only ten miles distant; ten 
miles, through such woods as we tried in vain to hunt in, 
is a walk that I should not like at all. We stayed cutting 
wood for about two hours, when we started again; but a 
high wind arose, so that we could not make headway, and 
had to return and make fast again, only a few hundred 
yards from the previous spot. On such occasions our cap- 
tain employs his wood-cutters in felling trees, and splitting 
and piling the wood until his return downwards, in about 
one month, perhaps, from now. In talking with our cap- 
tain he tells us that the Black Bear is rarely seen swim- 
ming this river, and that one or two of them are about all 
he observes on going up each trip. I have seen them 
swimming in great numbers on the lower parts of the 
Ohio, and on the Mississippi. It is said that at times, 


when the common Wolves are extremely hard pressed for 
food, they will eat certain roots which they dig up for the 
purpose, and the places from which they take this food 
look as if they had been spaded. When they hunt a Buf- 
falo, and have killed it, they drag it to some distance — 
about sixty yards or so — and dig a hole large enough to 
receive and conceal it ; they then cover it with earth, and 
lie down over it until hungry again, when they uncover, 
and feed upon it. Along the banks of the rivers, when the 
Buffaloes fall, or cannot ascend, and then die, the Wolves 
are seen in considerable numbers feeding upon them. 
Although cunning beyond belief in hiding at the report 
of a gun, they almost instantly show themselves from dif- 
ferent parts around, and if you wish to kill some, you have 
only to hide yourself, and you will see them, coming to the 
game you have left, when you are not distant more than 
thirty or forty yards. It is said that though they very fre- 
quently hunt their game until the latter take to the river, 
they seldom, if ever, follow after it. The wind that drove 
us ashore augmented into a severe gale, and by its present 
appearance looks as if it would last the whole night. Our 
fire was comfortable, for, as you know, the thermometer 
has been very changeable since noon. We have had rain 
also, though not continuous, but quite enough to wet our 
men, who, notwithstanding have cut and piled about twelve 
cords of wood, besides the large quantity we have on 
board for to-morrow, when we hope the weather will be 
good and calm. 

Alay 13, Monday. The wind continued an irregular 
gale the whole of the night, and the frequent logs that 
struck our weather side kept me awake until nearly day- 
break, when I slept about two hours ; it unfortunately 
happened that we were made fast upon the weather shore. 
This morning the gale kept up, and as we had nothing 
better to do, it was proposed that we should walk across 
the bottom lands, and attempt to go to the prairies, distant 


about two and a half miles. This was accordingly done ; 
Bell, Harris, Mr. La Barge ^ — the first pilot — a mulatto 
hunter named Michaux, and I, started at nine. We first 
crossed through tangled brush-wood, and high-grown 
rushes for a few hundreds of yards, and soon perceived 
that here, as well as all along the Missouri and Mississippi, 
the land is highest nearest the shore, and falls off the 
farther one goes inland. Thus we soon came to mud, and 
from mud to muddy water, as pure as it runs in the Mis- 
souri itself; at every step which we took we raised several 
pounds of mud on our boots. Friend Harris very wisely 
returned, but the remainder of us proceeded through thick 
and thin until we came in sight of the prairies. But, alas ! 
between us and them there existed a regular line of wil- 
lows—and who ever saw willows grow far from water? 
Here we were of course stopped, and after attempting in 
many places to cross the water that divided us from the 
dry land, we were forced back, and had to return as best 
we could. We were mud up to the very middle, the per- 
spiration ran down us, and at one time I was nearly ex- 
hausted ; which proves to me pretty clearly that I am no 
longer as young, or as active, as I was some thirty years 
ago. When we reached the boat I was glad of it. We 
washed, changed our clothes, dined, and felt much re- 
freshed. During our excursion out, Bell saw a Virginian 
Rail, and our sense of smell brought us to a dead Elk, 
putrid, and largely consumed by Wolves, whose tracks 
were very numerous about it. After dinner we went to 

1 This is Captain Joseph La Barge, the oldest living pilot on the Mis- 
souri, and probably now the sole survivor of the " Omega " voyage of 1S43. 
He was born Oct. i, 1815, of French parentage, his father having come to 
St. Louis, Mo., from Canada, and his mother from lower Louisiana. The 
family has been identified with the navigation of the Western rivers from 
the beginning of the century, and in 1850 there were seven licensed pilots 
of that name in the port of St. Louis. Captain Joseph La Uarge still lives 
in St. Louis, at the age of eighty-two, and has a vivid recollection of Aud- 
ubon's voyage of 1843, some incidents of which he has kindly communi- 
cated through Captain H. M. Chittenden, U. S. army. 


the heronry that Harris had seen yesterday afternoon ; 
for we had moved only one mile above the place of our 
wooding before we were again forced on shore. Here we 
killed four fine individuals, all on the wing, and some 
capital shots they were, besides a Raven. Unfortunately 
we had many followers, who destroyed our sport ; there- 
fore we returned on board, and at half-past four left 
our landing-place, having cut and piled up between forty 
and fifty cords of wood for the return of the " Omega." 
The wind has lulled down considerably, we have run seven 
or eight miles, and are again fast to the shore. It is re- 
ported that the water has risen two feet, but this is some- 
what doubtful. We saw abundance of tracks of Elk, Deer, 
Wolf, and Bear, and had it been anything like tolerably 
dry ground, we should have had a good deal of sport. 
Saw this evening another dead Buffalo floating down the 

May 16, Tuesday. At three o'clock this fair morning 
we were under way, but the water has actually risen a 
great deal, say three feet, since Sunday noon. The cur- 
rent therefore is very strong, and impedes our progress 
greatly. We found that the Herons we had killed yester- 
day had not yet laid the whole of their eggs, as we found 
one in full order, ripe, and well colored and conditioned. 
I feel assured that the Ravens destroy a great many of 
their eggs, as I saw one helping itself to two eggs, at two 
different times, on the same nest. We have seen a great 
number of Black-headed Gulls, and some Black Terns, 
some Indians on the east side of the river, and a Prairie 
Wolf, dead, hung across a prong of a tree. After a while 
we reached a spot where we saw ten or more Indians who 
had a large log cabin, and a field under fence. Then we 
came to the establishment called that of Vermilion River, ^ 
and met Mr. Cerre, called usually Pascal, the agent of the 

1 Vermilion is still the name of this river, and also of the town at its 
mouth which has replaced old Fort Vermilion, and is now the seat of Clay 


Company at this post, a handsome French gentleman, of 
good manners. He dined with us. After this we landed, 
and walked to the fort, if the place may so be called, for 
we found it only a square, strongly picketed, without port- 
holes. It stands on the immediate bank of the river, 
opposite a long and narrow island, and is backed by a 
vast prairie, all of which was inundated during the spring 
freshet. He told me that game was abundant, such as 
Elk, Deer, and Bear; but that Ducks, Geese, and Swans 
were extremely scarce this season. Hares are plenty — 
no Rabbits. We left as soon as possible, for our captain 
is a pushing man most truly. We passed some remark- 
able bluffs of blue and light limestone, towards the top of 
which we saw an abundance of Cliff-Swallows, and counted 
upwards of two hundred nests. But, alas ! we have finally 
met with an accident. A plate of one of our boilers was 
found to be burned out, and we were obliged to stop on 
the west side of the river, about ten miles below the mouth 
of the Vermilion River. Here we were told that we might 
go ashore and hunt to our hearts' content; and so I have, 
but shot at nothing. Bell, Michaux, and I, walked to the 
hills full three miles off, saw an extraordinary quantity of 
Deer, Wolf, and Elk tracks, as well as some of Wild Cats. 
Bell started a Deer, and after a while I heard him shoot. 
Michaux took to the top of the hills, Bell about midway, 
and I followed near the bottom ; all in vain, however. I 
started a Woodcock, and caught one of her young, and 
I am now sorry for this evil deed. A dead Buffalo cow 
and calf passed us a few moments ago. Squires has seen 
one other, during our absence. We took at Mr. Cerr^'s 
establishment two cngagt!s and four Sioux Indians. We 
are obliged to keep bright eyes upon them, for they arc 
singularly light-fingered. The woods are filled with wild- 
County, South Dakota. On the opposite side of the Missouri is Dixon Co., 
Nebraska. The stream was once known as Whitestone River, as given in 
"Lewis and Clark." — E. C. 


gooseberry bushes, and a kind of small locust not yet in 
bloom, and quite new to me. The honey bee was not 
found in this country twenty years ago, and now they are 
abundant. A keel-boat passed, going down, but on the 
opposite side of the river. Bell and Michaux have re- 
turned. Bell wounded a large Wolf, and also a young 
Deer, but brought none on board, though he saw several 
of the latter. Harris killed one of the large new Finches, 
and a Yellow-headed Troupial. Bell intends going hunt- 
ing to-morrow at daylight, with Michaux ; I will try my 
luck too, but do not intend going till after breakfast, 
for I find that walking eight or ten miles through the 
tangled and thorny underbrush, fatigues me considerably, 
though twenty years ago I should have thought nothing 
of it. 

May 17, Wednesday. This was a most lovely morning. 
Bell went off with Michaux at four A. M. I breakfasted at 
five, and started with Mr, La Barge. When we reached the 
hunting-grounds, about six miles distant, we saw Bell 
making signs to us to go to him, and I knew from that 
that they had some fresh meat. When we reached them, 
we found a very large Deer that Michaux had killed. 
Squires shot a Woodcock, which I ate for my dinner, in 
company with the captain. Michaux had brought the 
Deer — Indian fashion — about two miles. I was anxious 
to examine some of the intestines, and we all three started 
on the tracks of Michaux, leaving Sq