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Title: Audubon and his Journals, Volume I (of 2)
Author: Audubon, Maria R.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Audubon and his Journals, Volume I (of 2)" ***

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Transcriber's Note:

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  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.








     VOLUME I.


     _Copyright, 1897_,

     University Press:

     In Loving Memory
     AND OF


It 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 zoölogical 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

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 attempt it, and has supplied me with some valuable
material, especially regarding Henderson. During the months that I
have been working on much that I have felt incompetent 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, journals, and other manuscripts they have
placed unconditionally 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 suggested 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 Naturalist, 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. Buchanan's book is so
mixed up, so interspersed with anecdotes 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.
Moreover, 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
unnecessary 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 conditions 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
cultured gentleman. More than that, there is not one utterance 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.




     INTRODUCTION                             3

     AUDUBON                                  5

     THE EUROPEAN JOURNALS. 1826-1829        79

     THE LABRADOR JOURNAL. 1833             343



     VOL. I.


     AUDUBON                                     _Frontispiece_
       From the portrait by J. W. Audubon, November, 1843.

       From a photograph from W. H. Wetherill, Esq.

       From a photograph from W. H. Wetherill, Esq.

     AUDUBON'S MILL AT HENDERSON, KY.                        34
       Now owned by Mr. David Clark.

     JOHN J. AUDUBON                                         48
       From the miniature by F. Cruikshank, published by
       Robert Havell, January 12, 1835.

     MRS. AUDUBON                                            64
       From the miniature by F. Cruikshank, 1835.

     AUDUBON                                                 74
       Date unknown. From a daguerreotype owned by M.
       Eliza Audubon.


     FLYCATCHERS. (_Heretofore unpublished._)               114
       From a drawing made by Audubon in 1826, and
       presented to Mrs. Rathbone of Green Bank,
       Liverpool. Still in the possession of the Rathbone

     FROM A PENCIL SKETCH OF AUDUBON                        128
       Drawn by himself for Mrs. Rathbone. Now in the
       possession of Mr. Richard R. Rathbone,
       Glan-y-Menai, Anglesey.

     AUDUBON IN INDIAN DRESS                                132
       From a pencil sketch drawn by himself for Miss
       Rathbone, 1826. Now in the possession of Mrs.
       Abraham Dixon (née 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                                                454
       From the portrait by John Woodhouse Audubon
       (about 1841).

     TERRESTRIS), GROUND DOVE                               474
       From the unpublished drawing by J. J. Audubon, 1838.

       Reduced one third.

       From a water-color drawing by Isaac Sprague.

     INDIAN HATCHET PIPE                                    532
       Carried by Audubon during many of his journeys.



In 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. Tammany, 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
Marquis de Mandeville de Marigny, John James Laforest Audubon[1] 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-grandchildren, 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 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 beauté incomparable et avec beaucoup de fierté." 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 earlier.

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
Gerbétière in France with his second wife, Anne Moynette, until his
death, on February 19, 1818, 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 receiving 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 Gerbétière 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-tempered, enthusiastic,
and romantic, yet affectionate, forgiving, 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.[2]


   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 visiting
   frequently that portion of our Southern States called, and known
   by the name of, Louisiana, then owned by the French Government.

   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 otherwise 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.

   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
   servants were engaged in arranging the room I was in, "Pretty
   Polly" asking for her breakfast as usual, "_Du pain au lait pour
   le perroquet Mignonne_," 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 servant 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 somewhat 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 exception;
   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 _kind_ 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 Newfoundland
   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.
   "Fortune," 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 à Vaches;[4] the prosperity of Santo Domingo was at its
   zenith, and in the course of ten years I had realized something
   very considerable. 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."[5]

   How long my father remained in the service, it is impossible 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, however, the while,
   and indeed till the liberation of the black slaves there.

   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.[6] 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 department 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 England 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 Gerbétière. 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 Vendée,[7] and
   the only brother he had was not on good terms with him. This
   brother resided at Bayonne, and, I believe, had a large family,
   none of whom I have ever seen or known.[8]

   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
   carefully improved both by observation and by self-education. In
   temper we much resembled each other also, being warm, irascible,
   and at times violent; but it was like 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 deservedly 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 live
   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
   frequently 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 confectionery shops in the town, and also of the village of
   Couéron, where during the summer we lived, as it were, in the

   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.
   "Revolutions," 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 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, military schools, none were good in France at
   this period; the thunders 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 who 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,
   geography, 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 recollect 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
   associating 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 postilion was ordered to proceed, my
   father took a book from his pocket, and while he silently read I
   was left entirely to my own thoughts.

   After some days' travelling we entered the gates of Rochefort.
   My father had scarcely spoken to me, yet there was no anger
   exhibited 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
   employed 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 accompany me." I accepted, and off together we went; I
   was presented 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
   prescriptions 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 Secrétariat. 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 imprudence 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 company. My father returned in due
   course, and released me from these floating and most
   disagreeable lodgings, but not without a rather severe

   Shortly after this we returned to Nantes, and later to La
   Gerbétière. 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
   exception 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.
   'Tis 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
   unconscious, but soon rallying, experienced no lasting effects
   but the scar.

   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
   constituted 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
   ceremony, and all was performed to her liking. 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 care of two Quaker
   ladies who kept a boarding-house. To their skilful 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 distance 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
   difficulties 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


   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 perceived 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 neighbors 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 Bakewell, and moreover that
   he had several very handsome and interesting daughters, and
   beautiful pointer dogs. I listened, but cared not a jot about
   them at the time. The place was within 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
   remained unacknowledged.

   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 family.

   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.
   Bakewell'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.
   Bakewell 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 "_je ne sais quoi_" 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
   extraordinary 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
   neighborhood was playing pranks on the glassy surface of that
   lovely stream. Being somewhat of a skater myself, I sent a note
   to the inhabitants 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 herself 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 hospitality.

   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 attention; 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 appearance 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 accepted 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
   surface 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 upward along the glittering, frozen bosom of the
   stream. The day was spent in much pleasure, and the game
   collected was not inconsiderable.


   On our return, in the early dusk of the evening, I 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
   darkness came on, and now our speed was increased. Unconsciously
   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, however, 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 triflingly
   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 evening.

   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
   Fatland 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
   circumstances. 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 captain 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 overboard. At one part of the sea we passed through
   an immensity of dead fish floating on the surface of the water,
   and, after nineteen 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
   Gerbétière, 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 welcome, however,
   I was; I found my father hale and hearty, and _chère 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 zoölogy,
   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

   France was at that time in a great state of convulsion; the
   republic had, as it were, dwindled into a half monarchical, half
   democratic era. Bonaparte was at the height of success,
   overflowing 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 officer 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
   windward 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;[9]
   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
   everything 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 the 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,[10] when
   we 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 American 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
   immediately, 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
   Fatland 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
   information 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,
   fishing, 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 ruffled 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
   confirm 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, besides, 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 intended 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

   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_,[11] he assured me the time might come when I should
   be a great American 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

   Too young and too useless to be married, your grandfather
   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 venture
   which I undertook was in indigo; it cost me several hundred
   pounds, the whole of which was lost. Rozier was no more
   fortunate 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 hospitality 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 become
   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

   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
   greatest 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
   country was Kentucky--could afford. Our most intimate friends
   were the Tarascons and the Berthouds, at Louisville and
   Shippingport. 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 1810 Alexander Wilson the naturalist--not the _American_
   naturalist--called upon me.[12] About 1812 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, 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
   happened 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 procuring
   of game and fish, while Rozier again stood behind the counter.

   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. Geneviève, on 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
   December, 1810, in a heavy snow-storm. This change in my plans
   prevented me from going, as I had intended, on a long
   expedition. 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.[13] In less than six weeks, however, we reached
   the village of St. Geneviève. I found at once it was not the
   place for me; its population was then composed of low French
   Canadians, uneducated and uncouth, and the ever-longing wish to
   be with my beloved wife and children drew my thoughts to
   Henderson, 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
   accomplished, I purchased a beauty of a horse, for which I paid
   dear enough, and bid Rozier farewell. On my return trip to
   Henderson 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

   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 suffered much afterward by swollen feet. I reached
   Henderson in early March, and a few weeks later the lower
   portions of Kentucky 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, 1812; he was an extremely delicate boy till
   about a twelvemonth old, when he suddenly acquired strength and
   grew to be a lusty child.

   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
   appeared. He remained at Dr. Rankin's a few days, talked much to
   me about our misfortunes in trade, and left us for Fatland Ford.

   My 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 poverty
   troubled us not. Your uncle T. W. Bakewell was again in New
   Orleans and doing rather better, but this was a mere transient
   clearing of that sky which had been obscured for many a long

   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 faisant_, I came in contact with,
   and was accompanied by, General Toledo, then on his way as a
   revolutionist 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 concluded 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 Henderson
   with his wife and family of children, the mill was raised, and
   worked very badly. Thomas Pears lost his money and we lost ours.

   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.
   Berthoud 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
   pecuniary 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 steamboat, 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 Henderson, 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 encounter 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 observed Mr. B----
   marching toward me with a heavy club in his hand. I stood still,
   and he soon reached me. He complained 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 armed
   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,
   _only_,--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 difficulties 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

   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 resorted.

   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
   blessing 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 little 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 intensified, or at least
   developed, my abilities. I received an invitation to go to
   Cincinnati,[14] 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 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

   The expedition of Major Long[15] passed through the city soon
   after, and well do I recollect how he, Messrs. T. Peale,[16]
   Thomas Say,[17] 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

   In October of 1820 I left your mother and yourselves at
   Cincinnati, 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
   perfectly 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. This infant daughter we buried in our
   garden at Henderson, but after removed her to the Holly
   burying-ground in the same place.

   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 try, 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 _all_, 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

   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
   delineating 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
unbusiness-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, notwithstanding the frightful cruelties I had
witnessed in that vicinity, not many years previously. The gardens,
greenhouses, 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[18] 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 knowledge of
putting up my models, in true and good positions according to the ways
and habits of my beautiful feathered subjects. During these happy
years I managed to make drawings of about two hundred species of
birds, all of which I brought to America and gave to my Lucy.[19]

"At last my father associated me with Ferdinand Rozier, 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 them."

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 bonnet of the
fair lady was struck by a rope and knocked overboard. One of the
French chevaliers at once leaped into the ocean, captured the bonnet,
and had the good fortune to be picked up himself by the yawl. On
reaching the deck he presented the bonnet with a graceful obeisance
and perfect _sang 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 Bakewell. 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

This beautiful estate in Montgomery Co., Pa., lies in a lovely part of
the country. The house, on a gentle eminence, 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 1813. The present owner[20]
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 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 Franklin 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 particular 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 revolves, though little work is done there now.

When I saw Mill Grove[21] the spring flowers were abundant; the soft,
pale blossom of the May-apple (_Podophyllum peltatum_) 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
undergrowth; the trilliums, both red and white, were in profusion; 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 cucullaria_)
with a few late blossoms; all these and many 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 imposing entrance are seen for some distance
before entering 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.[22] 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.[23] 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[24] 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 sufficient to
decide them to return and lose more money, as they promptly did. They
remained at Louisville till 1810, 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, longest 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. Geneviève, spent their
winter in camp, and reached their destination when the ice broke up.
On April 11, 1811, they dissolved partnership, and wrote each as they
felt, Audubon saying: "Rozier cared only for money and liked St.
Geneviève;" Rozier writing: "Audubon had no taste for commerce, and
was continually in the forest."

Once more, however, he went to St. Geneviève to try to get money
Rozier owed him, and returned to Henderson on foot, still unpaid, in
February or March of 1812. He had gone with a party of Osage Indians,
but his journey 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 moccasins constantly slipping made the wading extremely
irksome; notwithstanding, I walked forty-five miles and swam the Muddy
River. I only saw two cabins that day, but I had great pleasure in
viewing herds of Deer crossing the prairie, like myself ankle deep in
water. Their beautiful movements, 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 was
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 squatter came in,
his welcome was not less genuine than that of his family. Night fell;
I slept soundly on some bearskins, but long before day was ready to
march. My hostess 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 gunpowder, a valuable article in
those days to a squatter.

"My way lay through woods, and many small crossroads 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 W. 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 wandered 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 chattering squirrel, the song of the
thrush, the flash of the humming-bird with its jewelled throat, were
each and all enough to take him from work he hated as he never hated
anything else.

When first in Henderson he bought land, and evidently had some idea of
remaining there permanently; for, "on March 16, 1816, 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 1817, 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

It has been said that the inside walls had many drawings 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 Audubon
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 penniless. He
writes: "Without a dollar in the world, bereft 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 Gifford 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; and being
industrious both by nature and habit I produced a great number of
those black-chalk sketches."[26] 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 1811 to 1819, 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 surpassed 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 (1818) 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 support his modest
household. In Cincinnati he first met Mr. Daniel Mallory (whose second
daughter afterwards married Victor G. Audubon) and Captain Samuel
Cummings. This latter gentleman had many tastes similar to Audubon's,
and later went with him to New Orleans.

   [Illustration: John J. Audubon
    January 12, 1835.]

The life at Cincinnati was one of strict economy. Mrs. Audubon was a
woman of great ability and many resources, 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[27] from Dr.
Drake, president of the Museum, decided 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 Cincinnati 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 success 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 storehouses 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
separation 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 former life of drawing portraits, giving lessons, painting birds,
and wandering through the country, began again, though there was less
of this last, Audubon realizing 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
uncertainty 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. Audubon 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 any 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 introduction 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 endurance fully equal to his, although perhaps in another

Under the date of January 1, 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,
like 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 principally
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 applying coats of water-color under the
pastels, thereby preventing the appearance of the paper, that in some
instances 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
acquaintances; my wife and sons are more congenial to me than all
others in the world, and we have no desire to force ourselves 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 pictures and took
drawing-lessons were about to leave the city, Audubon accepted a
position as tutor in the household 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 days permitted the drawing of birds
as well as the teaching, which was conscientiously performed, and the
hope of eventually publishing 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 Père Antonio, which was sent to Havana."

January, 1823, brought fresh changes. Mrs. Audubon, with her son John,
went to Mrs. Percy's plantation, Beechwoods, 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 regretted
deeply leaving my Natchez friends, especially Charles Carré 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
Louisville with Victor, May 1. The whole of this summer (1823) was one
of enjoyment in many ways to the naturalist. 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 Beechwoods to
recuperate, and on October 1, 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[28] began on October 15, and on the 21st
they reached Green River, when Victor becoming weary, the remaining
distance was performed in a wagon. It was on this journey, which
Audubon undertook 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 Audubon
engaged a room for Victor and himself, and painted all winter
(1823-24) at birds, landscapes, portraits, 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 before 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 sorrow.
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 have 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

As I turn over the pages of this volume[29] from which only a few
extracts have been taken, well do I understand the mental suffering of
which it tells so constantly. Poverty 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 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 who had in earlier days sought him, not for what he _was_, but
for what he _had_. 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 imbittered; 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."[30] 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 decided 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[31] and Edward Harris, both of whom became
life-long friends, especially Mr. Harris, with whom he corresponded
frequently 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 Philosophical Academy[32]
where the drawings were greatly admired, and their author says: "_I_
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,[33] who was
perhaps, his bitterest enemy. In later years Dr. John Bachman resented
his conduct, and wrote a very trenchant reply[34] 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.[35]

Of Mr. Harris we find this: "July 12, 1824. I drew for Mr. Fairman a
small grouse to be put on a bank-note belonging 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 some English Snipes[36] 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,[37]
Reuben Haines, Le Sueur,[38] 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 journey, 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
Woodville, fifteen miles distant, engaged him for Friday and Saturday
of each week, and here he had over sixty pupils. From the account of
this class I take the following: "I marched to the hall with my violin
under my arm, bowed to the company 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 promote 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 from his winter's work. With
this, and the greater part of the savings of his wife, which she had
hoarded to forward this journey, so long the goal of their hopes,
another 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 England.

The journals from this date, until May 1, 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"[39]
successfully begun, had procured him subscribers enough to warrant
his continuing the vast undertaking, 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 1st of October
next, or, if possible, not until April, 1830. I wish to employ and
devote every moment of my sojourn in America to drawing such birds and
plants as I think necessary to enable me to give my publication
throughout the degree of perfection that I am told exists in that
portion already published. I have left my business going on quite
well; my engraver[40] 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 10, 1829: "I shall this year
have issued ten numbers, each containing five plates, making in all
fifty.[41] I cannot publish more than five numbers annually, because
it would make too heavy an expense to my subscribers, and indeed
require more workmen than I could find in London. The work when
finished will contain eighty numbers,[42] 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 subscribers."

All this summer and early fall, until October 10th, Audubon spent in
the neighborhood of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, working as few can
work, four hours continuing to be his allowance for sleep. Six weeks
in September and October were spent in the Great Pine Swamp, or
Forest,[43] 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 specimens; still I am delighted at what I have accumulated 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 downwards, 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 _primitiveness_, and my efforts at copying nature, like
all other things attempted by us poor mortals, 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
Alleghanies 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. Nübling, 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;[44] 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 January, 1830, when
together they went to Louisville, Washington, 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 London, 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 interesting, so I shall set to at
once. I cannot, however, give _scientific_ descriptions, and here must
have assistance."

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 MacGillivray.[45] Of this gentleman Mr. D. G.
Elliot says:[46] "No better or more fortunate choice could have been
made. Audubon worked incessantly, MacGillivray keeping 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
MacGillivray, 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 countryman of Wilson, destined to
lend the sturdy Scotch fibre to an Audubonian epoch.[47] 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."

   [Illustration: MRS. AUDUBON.

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:
"Nothing 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[48] progresses slowly, but surely, for he writes
until far into the night."

The first volume of "Ornithological Biography" was finished, but no
publisher could be found to take it, so Audubon published it himself
in March, 1831.[49] 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, 1, 1831, when
Audubon was so annoyed by Mr. Kidd's lack of industry that the copying
was discontinued. Personally, 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 used
himself, so that, as he rarely signed an oil painting,[50] the
mill-board is no proof of identity one way or the other.

On April 15, 1831, Mr. and Mrs. Audubon left Edinburgh 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[51] 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

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 backwoodsman" in his researches.
Audubon had the simplicity and charm of manner which interested others
at once, and his old friend Dr. Bachman understood this when he
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 earlier 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 superintend 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 Lincoln and John Woodhouse, 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 Journal, 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 directions as to the
completion of the work now so far accomplished, 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 Bachman,
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; _I have faith in the Bostonians_. I entreat you to be careful,
industrious, and persevering; 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 prepared 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[53] 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, noble-souled, 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 camping in the
Southern forests, while the drawings steadily increased in number.
Leaving Charleston, the travels were continued through North and South
Carolina and northward to New York, when the three sailed for
Liverpool April 16, and joined Victor in London, in May, 1834.

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,[54]
though not entirely destroyed, as were many of my fathers
journals,--most unfortunately those which he had written during his
residence in London and Edinburgh while writing and publishing the

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. Bachman's where they had spent the
winter, for the purpose of exploring part of the coast of the Gulf of
Mexico. This expedition they were assisted in making by Col. John
Abert,[55] who procured them the Revenue cutter "Campbell." Fire
having afterward (in 1845) destroyed the journals 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.[56]

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,[57] once more landed in America, and settled, if such
wanderers 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, absolutely
completed,[58] in the face of incredible delays and difficulties, and
representing an amount of work which in these days of easy travel it
is hard to comprehend. The "Synopsis" 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 woods all around resounded to the
songs of the birds he so loved; many animals (deer, elk, moose, bears,
wolves, 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 blossoms 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,[59] 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 finder.

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 hospitality 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, for 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 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
happiness. His valued friend Dr. Thomas M. Brewer, of Boston, visited
him in 1846. Writing of him Dr. Brewer says:[60] "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,[61] and quite a troop of grandchildren,
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 witness."

Of this period one of his daughters-in-law[62] 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, 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 affectionate 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 pronouns '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 beside 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

Of these years much might be said, but much has already been written
of them, so I will not repeat.[63] 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 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 handsomer man I
never saw, his eyes alone command attention; his name, Audubon, is
strange to me."

   [Illustration: AUDUBON.

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 backgrounds, 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 interests 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 pathetic 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
_Buenas Noches_, which was so soon to be his in reality.

His grandchildren, also, were a constant source of enjoyment 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 wonderful vision
which surprised even the keen-eyed Indian never failed him.

    _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.]

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 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 sunset was
flooding the pure, snow-covered landscape with golden light, at five
o'clock on Monday, January 27, 1851, 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.[64]

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

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


[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.
Rathbone, 1827.) All Mrs. Audubon's letters to her husband address him
as Laforest.

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

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

[4] Isle à Vache, eight miles south of Aux Cayes.

[5] This vessel was the "Annelle."

[6] 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 portrait was painted by an artist named Polk,
but who or what he was, I know not."

[7] 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.

[8] This brother left three daughters; only one married, and her
descendants, if any, cannot be traced.

[9] "The Polly," Captain Sammis commander.

[10] May 26, 1806.

[11] Great Blue Heron.

[12] 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.,
1880, p. 200.

[13] Episode "Breaking of the Ice."

[14] 1819.

[15] Stephen Harriman Long, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army, who was
then on his way to explore the region of the upper Mississippi and
Minnesota Rivers.

[16] Titian R. Peale, afterward naturalist of the U.S. Exploring
Expedition, 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.

[17] The distinguished naturalist of that name.--E. C.

[18] Jacques Louis David (1748-1825), court painter to Louis XVI. and
afterwards to Napoleon I.

[19] In 1836, 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! 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?"

[20] Mr. W. H. Wetherill, of Philadelphia.

[21] April 28, 1893.

[22] "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,

[23] This statement is from the "Pennsylvania Magazine of History and
Biography," vol. xiv., No. 2, page 218, July, 1890.

[24] "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, 1897.)

[25] From "History of Henderson County, Kentucky," by E. L. Starling,
page 794.

[26] Of these many sketches few can be traced, and none purchased.

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

[28] See Episode: "A Tough Walk for a Youth."

[29] The before-mentioned journal, 1822-24.

[30] (With slight alterations) from "Bird Life," by F. M. Chapman,
1897, p. 13.

[31] Prince of Musignano, and subsequently a distinguished
ornithologist. In March, 1824, 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 "American Ornithology," which
appeared in four quarto vols., 1825-33, to his "Synopsis," of 1828,
and to his "Comparative List," of 1838.--E. C.

[32] Probably the Academy of Natural Sciences.

[33] Ord had edited the posthumous vols. viii. and ix. of "Wilson's
Ornithology," which appeared in 1814; and in 1824 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.

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

[35] Almost the only other enemy Audubon appears to have ever had in
public print was Charles Waterton, who vehemently assailed him in
"Loudon's Magazine of Natural History," vi. 1833, pp. 215-218, and
vii., 1834, pp. 66-74. Audubon was warmly defended by his son Victor
in the same magazine, vi. 1833, p. 369, and at greater length by "R.
B.," _ibid._, pp. 369-372. Dr. Coues characterizes Waterton's attack
as "flippant and supercilious 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 himself 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
articles on the same subject in "Loudon's Magazine," i., 1829, pp.
43-52, and in the "Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal," x., 1831, pp.
317-332, under the pseudonym "Ornithophilus." Another anonymous
review, highly laudatory, appeared in the same Journal, xviii., 1834,
pp. 131-144. Dr. John Bachman defended the truthfulness of Audubon's
drawings 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.

[36] That is the species now known as Wilson's Snipe, _Gallinago

[37] Dr. Richard Harlan is the author of the well-known "Fauna
Americana," 8vo, Philadelphia, 1825, and of many scientific papers.
Audubon dedicated to him the Black Warrior, _Falco harlani_, a large,
dark hawk of the genus _Buteo_, shot at St. Francisville, La., Nov.
18, 1829.

[38] Charles Alexandre Le Sueur, 1778-1846, distinguished French
naturalist. Best biography in Youman's "Pioneers of Science in
America," 8vo, N.Y., 1896, pp. 128-139, with portrait. The same volume
contains a biographical sketch of Audubon, pp. 152-166, with portrait
after the oil painting by George P. A. Healy, belonging to the Boston
Society of Natural History.--E. C.

[39] 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. 1-100,
1827-30; vol. ii., pll. 101-200, 1831-34; vol. iii., pll. 201-300,
1834-35; vol. iv., pll. 301-435, 1835-38 (completed 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., 1834; vol. iii., 1835; vol. iv.,
1838; vol. v., 1839. In 1840-44, 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 1839; 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
Colorado Valley," Appendix, 1878, pp. 612, 618, 625, 629, 644, 661,
666, 669 and 686.--E. C.

[40] Referring to Mr. Robert Havell, of No. 77 Oxford St., London. His
name will be recalled in connection with _Sterna havellii_, 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, pl. 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.

[41] 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.

[42] It actually ran to 87 numbers, as stated in a previous note.

[43] See Episodes "Great Egg Harbor" and "Great Pine Swamp."

[44] Mr. Garrett Johnson, where Mrs. Audubon was then teaching.

[45] 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.

[46] Address at the special meeting of the New York Academy of
Sciences, April 26, 1893.

[47] 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 1824 to 1853, and one of the four periods
into which this epoch is divided is the "Audubonian period,"

[48] Descriptions of the Rapacious Birds of Great Britain. By William
MacGillivray, A.M., Edinburgh, 1836, 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. MacGillivray also had then in preparation or
contemplation his larger "History of British Birds," 3 volumes of
which appeared in 1837-40, but the 4th and 5th volumes not till
1852.--E. C.

[49] 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. (1-100) of the
elephant folios. Other copies are said to bear the imprint of
"Philadelphia, E. L. Carey and A. Hart, MDCCCXXXI."--E. C.

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

[50] We only possess one oil painting signed "Audubon."

[51] John Bachman, D.D., LL.D., Ph.D., Feb. 4, 1790-April 24, 1874.
Author of many works, scientific, zoölogical, and religious. For sixty
years he was pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church, Charleston, S.C.

[52] 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.

[53] Mr. Joseph Coolidge, formerly of Maine, now of San Francisco,
Cal. Two others are known by name to every ornithologist through
Audubon's _Emberiza shattuckii_ and _Fringilla lincolnii_; for these
birds see notes beyond.--E. C.

[54] The offices 34 Liberty St., New York, were burned at this time.

[55] John James Abert, who was in 1837 brevet lieutenant-colonel of
Topographical Engineers, U.S. Army, and afterward chief of his corps.
Abert's Squirrel, _Sciurus aberti_, forms the subject of plate 153,
fig. 1, of Audubon and Bachman's "Quadrupeds."

[56] 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,
without 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 pl.
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 Audubon's brush, the rest by John Woodhouse. 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.

[57] Lucy, now Mrs. Delancey B. Williams.

[58] 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, I
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.

[59] "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.)

[60] Harper's Monthly Magazine, October, 1880, p. 665.

[61] Both sons had married a second time. Victor had married Georgiana
R. Mallory of New York, and John, Caroline Hall of England.

[62] Mrs. V. G. Audubon.

[63] Reminiscences of Audubon, Scribner's Monthly, July, 1876, p. 333;
Turf, Field, and Farm, Nov. 18, 1881.

[64] Unveiled April 26, 1893, on 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 passage 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 waiting 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.

On the _17th 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 18, 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 tissue 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, contrary to custom, was _grained_ instead
of harpooned, but grained in such a way and so effectually, through
the forehead, 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 immediately about its tail, and hoisted with that
part upwards. 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 interesting 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 forehead,--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
appearance 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 breathing 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 are 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_,[65] whilst
our iron pot acted as an anchor.

Let me change my theme, and speak of birds awhile. Mother Carey's
Chickens (_Procellaria_) 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, inducing me to think that these
birds must either breed earlier, 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 discovered that
numbers flew mated side by side, and occasionally, particularly on
calm, pleasant days caressed each other as Ducks are known to do.

_May 27, 1826._ 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
undoubtedly from cannon, and from the very direction from which this
vessel was coming. We were well manned, tolerably 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
commander, 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
sprightliness; 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,

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._ We are a few 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 several 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 wing_, much like a Mississippi Kite
devouring the Red-throated Lizards. The warbler we caught was a
nondescript, which I named "The Cape Florida Songster." We also saw
two Frigate Pelicans at a great height, and a large species of Petrel,
entirely unknown to me. I have read Byron's "Corsair" with much

_June 17._ A brig bound to Boston, called the "Andromache," 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 Berthoud. 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 _our_ disagreeables we were comparatively
comfortable on the "Delos." 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 several 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 refreshing, and enjoy this
luxury every night and morning. Several vessels are in sight.

_June 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 interested 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 distended 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

_June 29._ 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 previously, as the captain asked for it for
the Philadelphia Society of Sciences.

_June 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 looking 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 creatures,
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, quivering 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 pleasure in catching them
with a hook to which they were allured by false pretences.

We have at last entered the Atlantic Ocean this morning 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 children. 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 cannot 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 myself; not a sound of rejoicing reached my
ears, not once did I hear "Hail Columbia! Happy land." My companion
passengers lay about the deck and on the cotton-bales, basking 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 speaking, 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 white,
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 I can easily read large print. Dawn comes shortly after 2 A.
M., and a long day is before us.

_At Sea--July, 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 headaches, 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 imprudently flew overboard,
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
offered 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 work; 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 beechwood 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 herrings; 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. We
are well wrapped up, and yet feel chilly in the drizzling rain.

_July 15._ 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 shortly.

_July 18, 1826._ 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 neared 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 tobacco, 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 everything. 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 Channel, Thursday, July 20._ I am approaching 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 Liverpool, but when I
think of Custom House officials, acceptancy 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 are 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 agreeable; 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 2/6, we went to the Exchange
Buildings, to the counting-house of Gordon 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

_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 window 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. Rathbone[66] this morning, inviting me
to dine next Wednesday with him and Mr. Roscoe.[67] I shall not forget
the appointment.

_Sunday, July 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
foolish superstition with me. I spent my forenoon with Mr. Swift and a
friend of his, Mr. R. Lyons, who was afterwards kind enough to
introduce us to the Commercial Reading Room at the Exchange Buildings.
In the afternoon we went across the Mersey. The country is somewhat
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 turned my steps to
No. 87 Duke Street, where the polite English gentleman, Mr. Richard
Rathbone,[68] 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 immediately 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, 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. Introduction 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 Liverpool and the harbor that
Nature formed for her. It was past five when I went to keep my
appointment with Mr. Swift.

_July 25._ The day has passed quickly. In the morning 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. Rathbone, Sr., who lives some miles out of Liverpool.[69] 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 passing 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 kind people praised _my Birds_, and I felt the praise to be
honest; once more I breathed freely. My portfolio thoroughly
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. Rathbone's drawing-room. I have
frequently thought it strange that my _observatory nerves_ never give
way, no matter how much I am overcome by _mauvaise honte_, nor did
they now. Many pictures embellished the walls, and helped, with Mr.
Rathbone's lively mien, to remove the misery of the moment. 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 _bon 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-morrow, and to visit the
Botanical Gardens. Later Mrs. Rathbone showed me some of her drawings,
where talent has put an undeniable stamp on each touch.

_July 27._ I reached Mr. 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
treatment they required; they were principally exotics from many
distant and different climes. His three daughters were introduced to
me, and we then started for the Gardens. 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
_come-at-able_ person, who makes me feel at home immediately, 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 beautifully 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 nothing 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
scientific appellation of the _man_ is unknown to me. At eleven Mr.
Martin (who I expect is secretary to the Royal Institution) called,
and arranged with me a notice to the members 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, _Edgeworth-like_, she had been transmitting 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.
Rathbone 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. Nolté[70] was
particularly kind to me, but every one seemed desirous I should
succeed in England. A Swiss gentleman urged me not to waste time here,
but proceed at once to Paris, but he was 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,[71] 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 travelers. 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 indigenous and imported from all quarters of the
globe,--bird sellers, with even little collections of stuffed
specimens, cheeses of enormous size, butter in great abundance,
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 Athenæum, 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.

_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. A 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. Nowhere have
I ever seen such devotion in a church. In the afternoon the Rev. Wm.
Goddard took me to some institutions for children on the Lancastrian
system; all appeared well dressed, clean, and contented. I dined with
Mr. and Mrs. Gordon;[72] 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 disposing 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
Rathbone, 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 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 invitations to make my kind hosts
frequent visits, I was driven back to town, and went immediately to
the Institution, where I met Dr. Traill[73] and many other persons 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'oeil_ was not bad, and the room was crowded.
Old Mr. Roscoe did me the honor to present me to Mr. Jean
Sismondi,[74] 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 morning was spent at
the Institution, the room was again crowded, I was wearied with bowing
to the many to whom I was introduced. Some one was found copying one
of the pictures, but the doorkeeper, an alert Scotchman, 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. Wm. 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 disposed 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.
Having 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. Rathbone, 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.

_August 5._ Miss Hannah Rathbone[75] drove me into Liverpool with
great speed. Two little Welsh ponies, well matched, drew us
beautifully in a carriage which is 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 expected. The Misses
Roscoe were at the Institution, where they have been every day since
my pictures were exhibited. Mrs. Wm. 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 handsome 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.[76] 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. 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 awkwardly. Oh! that I had been flogged out of this miserable
shyness and _mauvaise 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 reception, my doubts as to how
my work would be received, all conspired to depress me. Now, how
different are my sensations! 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
afternoon 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. Wm. 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 remuneration. Later more guests came
in, and more questions 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 venerable stepmother, Brussels, and return to
England. I am advised to do this by men of learning and excellent
judgment, 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 enjoyed 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 interesting 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.

_August 8._ 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

_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.

_August 10._ The morning was beautiful, and I was out very early; the
watchmen have, however, ceased to look upon me with suspicion, and
think, perhaps, I am a harmless lunatic. I walked to the "Mound" and
saw the city and the country beyond 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 feel most powerfully the want of
occupation at drawing and studying the habits of the birds that I see
about me; and the little Sparrows 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 dwelling 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. I 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 greatly 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,[77] and
after dinner we went through the greenhouse and _jardin potager_. How
charming is Green Bank and the true hospitality of these English
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 _I_
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 _within_, 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
_eyes_ 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.

_August 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 England, 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 numberless 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

   [Illustration: FLYCATCHERS. (_Heretofore unpublished._)
    From a drawing made by Audubon in 1826, and presented to Mrs. Rathbone
    of Green Bank, Liverpool.

    Still in the possession of the Rathbone family.]

_August 19._ Dined with Mr. A. Melly in Grenville St. The dinner was
quite _à la française_, 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. Molineux;
there indeed my ears were feasted; such entertaining conversation,
such delightful music; Mr. Clementi[78] 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.

_Green Bank, September 6._ 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 unable 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 to me; 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.

_Manchester, County of Lancashire, September 10, 1826._ 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 we 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 Liverpool 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

_Manchester, September 12._ Yesterday was spent in delivering 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 American gentleman receives another, most cordially.
The principal 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 assistants 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, Wednesday._ I 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 _knew_ 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 eat 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 quantity drank was uncomfortable
to me; I 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 observed that many persons who visited the exhibition
room investigated my style more closely than at Liverpool. 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 constantly 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 14, 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
purposes. 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 shivery. 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. Heywood, 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 conversation 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 Manchester.

_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 £100. 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 forget 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 Clermont, 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 Miss Heywood 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 delighted 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[79] at Quarry Bank, fourteen 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,[80] but I
know it is seven miles from Manchester _en route_ to Derbyshire. The
land is highly improved, and grows wheat principally; the country is
pretty, and many of the buildings are really beautiful. 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
cultivated to the greatest possible extent. In the drawing-room I met
three ladies, the daughters of Mr. Gregg, and 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
ordinarily used. Afterwards I accompanied the two brothers to a
debating club, instituted on their premises for the advancement 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 English 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

_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 Committee 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, belonging 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
concluded to have a "Book of Subscriptions" open to receive the names
of all persons inclined to have the best illustrations of American
birds yet published; but alas! I am but a beginner in depicting the
beautiful works of God.

_Sunday, September 24._ 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 autumnal
tints. I reached the home of Mr. Brookes, and together we proceeded to
Mr. Lloyd'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 bearing, 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 her 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 collection 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 waiting for the Quaker and his
friends in the lobby of the Exchange, when two persons came in and
held the following discourse. "Pray, have you seen Mr. Audubon's
collections 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 _have_ 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 myself 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 accumulated 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 lorgnettes, and was most
ill at ease. I have passed many uncomfortable evenings in company, and
this one may be added.

_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.[81] He is a tall, fine-looking
gentleman from Cambridge, full of knowledge, good taste, and kindness.
At dinner the Professor sat opposite the Woodsman, and America was
largely the topic of conversation. 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[82] and crazy
Randolph.[83] 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 Liverpool 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.[84] After a
little conversation we decided nothing could be done about the
prospectus without more definite knowledge of what the cost of
publication 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 establishment, 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, with proper letters, and follow the
same course, thereby becoming able to judge of the advantages and
disadvantages attached to each country and _to determine myself when,
where, and how_ 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 publications. "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 have your 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 purchased 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 _English market_" (such was
his expression), "and ought not to exceed that of double Wilson." This
conversation 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 titlepage printed, to be issued to the world of England
as an English publication. _This I will not do_; no work of 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 returning 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.


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

_September 30, Woodcroft._ 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. Rathbone 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,--_I_ 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 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 speak 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 Institution.

_Green Bank, October 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 instinctively I called, "Stop thief!" and made towards him in a
style that I am sure he had never seen used by the gentlemen 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 smuggler! 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 astonished 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 committing 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 moccasins, 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 ears were greeted with the sound of the handmill
crushing the coffee, or the rye, for my evening drink; I saw the
little 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 happiness.

   [Illustration: AUDUBON IN INDIAN DRESS.
    From a pencil sketch drawn by himself for Miss Rathbone, 1826. Now in
    the possession of Mrs. Abraham Dixon (_née_ Rathbone), London,

_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 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
entrance 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 treadmills 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 destroyed, as there are no mental resources attached to
this laborious engine of shame. Why should not these criminals--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 unfortunates 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 sufficiently 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 the 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.
Audubon." "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.
Rathbone 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 substantials, 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 offered 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 Stanford's gamekeeper again
came for us, and we had a long walk, and I killed a Pheasant and a

_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.

_Bakewell, 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 frequently 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 breakfast, Lady Rathbone
spoke of coming to Matlock, and in a few 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 apparatus. 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 manufacturing 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 dampened 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, crossing 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 Jackdaws 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 expectations; 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.

_Manchester, October 14, Mr. Dockray's House, Hardwick._ By five
o'clock this morning I was running by the Derwent; everything was
covered with sparkling congealed dew. The fog arising from the little
stream only permitted 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 moving towards Arkwright's Mills. Almost immediately we started
for Bakewell, and breakfasted at the Rutland Arms. Proceeding we
changed our route, and made for the well known watering place,
Buxton, still in Derbyshire. The country here is barren, rocky, but so
picturesque 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 repeated 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 turning 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 Derbyshire 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

_Manchester, October 15, Sunday._ I went to the Unitarian 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 19._ 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 France.

_October 20._ Drawing again all morning, and a walk later. I was taken
to a cottage, where to my great surprise I saw two 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 England.

_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 Jameson, of Edinburgh. Called on Dr. Hulme; paid,
in all, twenty visits, and dined with Mr. Bentley,[85] and with his
assistance 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, 1826, Monday._ This day was absolutely 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 new gentlemen whose
appearance I liked; we soon commenced to chat, and before long were
wandering all over America, part of India, and the Atlantic Ocean. We
discussed 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. We dined at Kendal, having
passed through Bolton and Burton, but before this my two interesting
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 _true English gentleman_.

We 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, Wednesday._ 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 _Scotland_ 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 excellent 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 compliment 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. Rutter 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 00, and during the
     two days to drivers and guards,    18 06,
                                     £5  5 06,

nearly twenty-seven dollars in our money for two days' travelling from
Manchester to Edinburgh. It is not so much the general amount,
although I am sure it is quite enough for two hundred and twelve
miles, but the beggarly manners used to obtain about one half of it;
to see a fellow 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, October 26._ 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 nimbleness 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 shilling, 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 Professor Jameson's[86] 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[87] 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?_"
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 days
before _he_ 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-remembered
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 anatomist, 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; perhaps all was more powerfully felt,
coming direct from dirty 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

_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 market was well arranged,
and looked, as did the sections for meats and fruits, attractive; but
the situation, and the narrow booths in which the articles were
exhibited, was, compared 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 _home_ 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.,[88] 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 the Museum until Professor Jameson had sent me a general 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 gradual 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 anchor 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 passengers
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
waited till after sunset before 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 gentlemen 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 natural, 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
unrelenting 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 curious, 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[89] 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 reputation of men superior in education
and literary acquirements, 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. Yesterday 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 Duncan came in and
was truly a kind friend. After my company had left, and I had been
promised several letters for Sir Walter Scott, I took a walk, and
entered a public garden, where I soon found myself a prisoner, and
where, had I not found a pretty maid who took pity on my _étourderie_,
I certainly would have felt very awkward, as I had neither letter nor
pocket-book to show for my identification. 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,[90] 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 directed "Francis
Jeffrey, Esq." Whilst I looked at this mass I thought, What have _I_
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
Holyrood Palace. What a variety of causes has brought king after king
to that spot; what horrors have been committed 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,
communicated 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 decaying 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 _de luxe_ that I had
formed. The room, however, being hung in scarlet cloth, had a very
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
Wernerian Society, and talked very scientifically, indeed quite too
much so for the poor man of the woods. They assured me the
ornithological work now about being published by Messrs. "Selby,
Jameson, and Sir Somebody[91] and Co.," was a "job book." It is both
amusing and distressing 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,[92] in St. James
Square, the engraver for Mr. Selby, who came 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[93] 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,
_à l'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 breakfast. 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.
Edinburgh 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 beautiful 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 drawings, 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, different courses; when he sits fronting the
south, for instance, the hair on his forehead bends westwardly, the
hair behind eastwardly, and the very short hair on top mounts directly
upward, perhaps somewhat like the quills of the "fretful porcupine."
But never mind the ornamental, external appendages of his skull, the
sense _within_ 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 promised 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 physician;" "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 imperfect 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,
printing 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

_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 somewhat 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 Whooping Crane devouring alligators newly
born--at these he exclaimed 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
adjourned. 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 Manchester, 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 enjoyment,
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 gentlemen came Professor James Wilson,[94] a
naturalist, an agreeable man, who invited me to dine at his cottage
next week. Mr. Lizars, who is certainly _mon bon cheval 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
Kittiwake 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[95] who
was present has a head quite like our Henry Clay. My neighbor, Mr.
Bridges,[96] 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,[97] and that friend Lizars must engrave it to
be distributed abroad. On my return to my lodgings I was presented
with some pears and apples of native growth, somewhat bigger than
green peas; but ah! this is both ungrateful and discourteous.
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 have 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 _diner en
famille_ pleased me exceedingly. I saw quite a stock of pictures and
engravings, 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 Waterton,[98] and a sweet little
sketch from fair Ellen of Quarry Bank. I was delighted to see him; it
seemed 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 companion 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
dispirited 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 _memorandum_ 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 unendurable.
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 Institution 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 removed 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 undertake
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
uncertainties 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."[99] 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
Jardine, and like him very much. He visited me frequently, 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 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
carried 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
Professor Wilson for criticism; so I went at once to his residence,
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 upstairs, saying, "Papa will be there in a
minute;" and truly, almost at once the Professor came in, with freedom
and 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,[100] it was five o'clock when I reached there, a large
assembly of ladies and gentlemen were there, and I was introduced 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 me 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 company; 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 my _mal aise_ 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 country 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
_goûter_ 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 Dr. Rankin's, listening to the howlings 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 distinguished professor of
botany, with a dinner of so many rich dishes that I cannot remember

_November 24._ I have just finished a long letter to Mr. Wm. 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 associations 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 America. 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
personally, 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,
particularly 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 connected 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 25, 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,[101] 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, ordinary and extraordinary; he
also invited me to sup with him on Monday next. I was to dine at Dr.
Monroe's, Craiglockhart, near Slateford, so I dressed and sent for a
coach that took me _two and a half_ miles 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 presented 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 conversationalist, 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
Edinburgh. 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.

_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 breakfast. 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 up_ 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,
giving 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 Brower Square we entered the
dwelling of Phrenology! Mr. Scot, the president of that society, Mr.
D. Stewart,[102] 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 myself if we had any objection to
have our heads _looked at_ by the president, who had not yet arrived.
We both signified 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 and Miss Combe were present, the only ladies. Afterwards 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
resemblance 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 building 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 subscriber, 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 nothing 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. Rathbone of Woodcroft. 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. Meikleham, who wishes me to go with him to
Trinidad, where I shall draw, so he says, four hundred birds for him,
for a publication of "Birds of the West Indies." On Friday I go to
Mrs. Isabella Murray's, to see her and some fine engravings. I have
omitted to say that the first impression of the beautiful seal sent me
by 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 plaster
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-morrow when I dine with the Antiquarian Society at the
Waterloo 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 cannot 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 manners 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
Waterloo Hotel. The sitting-room was soon filled; I met many that I
knew, and a few minutes after the Earl of Elgin[103] made his
_entrée_, I was presented to him by Mr. Innes of Stow; he shook hands
with me and spoke in a very kind and truly complimentary 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 _à l'anglaise_. 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,[104] the first secretary of the society. Whilst he was
engaged in a handsome panegyric 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 your institution. I am truly obliged for
your favors. Permit me to say, May God bless you all, and may this
society prosper." I felt 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 Mr. McDonald sang. Wm. Allan, Esq.,[105] 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 proposed to Mr. Lizars to go, and we
did. I was much pleased at having been a guest at this entertainment,
particularly 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 exhibition room; I prefer
it to be gazed at rather than the original from which it was taken.
The day was shockingly bad, wet, slippery, cold. I had to visit Lord
Clancarty 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 Institution. I soon reached that place, where
I met Lord Elgin, in company with Secretary Skene and Mr. Hall the
advocate, in the art room. Mr. Hall is nephew to Lady Douglas, and
this gave me an opportunity to hand him her letter. But the best thing
to relate is my breakfast with 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 chambre_, shook my hand
warmly, and taking his handkerchief 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 are 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 performance of it, though we left before it was
concluded to attend Mr. Weiss'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 2, Saturday._ 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.[106] Mr. Bridges went with me, 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 that
Sir James Hall and his brother called to receive information
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 surprise 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 4._ 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. Witham.
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 morning meal. We then hurried
off, the weather beautiful, but extremely cold. We 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 was much interested in the lecture, which lasted
three quarters of an hour, when the Dr. took us through the anatomical
Museum, and his dissecting-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 remember, when the Rev. W. J. Bakewell, my wife's
first cousin, and the son of Robert Bakewell the famous grazier and
zoölogist 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
member 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; am I, 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,[107] 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 way. 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 impressed by general effect and beauty.
I returned to the Institution and had the pleasure of meeting Captain
Basil Hall,[108] 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 delighted 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 picture 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
presentation 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
extraordinary 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 someone gave a false note of one pound at my exhibition
rooms, and therefore _I_ 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
arrived at Liverpool in the "Canada" from New York. How I longed to
see him! Had I been sure of his remaining 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 extremely 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 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 _men_ 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 purloined 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, entered 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 immediately, 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 Mr. 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 arrested. I was in time to stop the warrant, and the
affair was silenced. During 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 9._ 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 surprise 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 Museum 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 borders 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 received 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 purposely to see me, and I
am to meet Mr. Selby, and with these two gentlemen discuss the
question of a joint publication, 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 drawings, which in the centre of the
large sheet have a fine effect, and an air of richness, that I think
must ensure success, 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
announcement of my work in the present number, with an account, by me,
of the Turkey Buzzard. Dr. Brewster also announces 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 received 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 nervousness 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 absurd 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; hundreds 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 13, 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 were 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 _thirty_ 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 14._ 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
customs 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 memoranda for a journey in America which
I had promised Captain 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
company 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 theatre, 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 gentleman 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
gentleman 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 Philadelphia. 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
_pensionnaires_, 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 letter 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 purchased 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 Wernerian
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,
handsome woman, who speaks most excellent French. Mr. Lizars joined
me, and we all entered the room of the Wernerian 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
examination 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 approbation. Then
Professor Jameson desired that the usual law requiring a delay of some
months between the nomination 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 myself 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
solitude 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 minutes 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. Pelletier. Mr. Lizars walked home with me
to see my cats.

_Monday, December 18._ My painting of two cats fighting 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 rapidly done for the more finished work I
prefer; but I cannot 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 because 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
exhibited, 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 painting. 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 surprised 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 Jardine, 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 shillings, 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 perceived 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 supremacy. 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 (for 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

_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 sanctorum_. 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 fronting the light. Dr. Combe acted as secretary and George
Combe, thrusting his fingers under my hair, began searching 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 according 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 Jeffrey. I found Mr. 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.[109] 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 I 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 London next March. Also I had a note from the Earl of Morton to
spend a day and night at his home at Dalmahoy, 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 acknowledgment 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 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

_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 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 sportsmen.
I left at midnight and found at my room a long letter from Charles

_Saturday, December 23._ I 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 Gally, 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

_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 Edinburgh, 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 Dalmahoy. 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 Chamberlain 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). Upstairs 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
me. 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 see
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 Edinburgh, 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 Scotland. 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 repast. 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 complexion, 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
comfortable, 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 evening
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 gentleman is
down already," when they both vanished. I went out to look about the
grounds, and in about an hour was joined by the young clergyman, and a
walk was immediately 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 _John 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 unnecessary 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 "Blackwood'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." Following 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 introduction 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 if _he_
was Jeffrey, _I_ was Audubon, and felt quite independent of all the
tribe of Jeffreys in England, Scotland, and Ireland, put together.
This evening, however, 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 whenever 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 inquiries 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 companion, 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.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Edinburgh, January 1, 1827, Monday._[110] A Happy New Year to you, my
book. Bless me! how fair you look this very cold day. Which way, pray,
are you travelling? Travelling 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 somewhat of their kind treatment of me is a delight I love
to enjoy.

_January 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 Wernerian 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 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 two 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 lecture at the
Royal Society on the Trade Winds. The practical as well as theoretical
knowledge of this learned man rendered this a most valuable evening to
me. I was introduced to Mr. Perceval, the son of the King of England's
Secretary of State,[111] who was shamefully and barbarously murdered
some years since.

_Tuesday, 9th._ Mr. Hays, the Dalmahoy antiquarian, called on me, and
brought me a copy of Bewick's "Quadrupeds." 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
_I_ 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. Buchanan 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 the best of all
ways to spend an evening for _délassement_. I often find myself when
there laughing or crying like a child.

_January 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 foreground; this was my reason for my
excursion. I passed a small, dirty, and almost lost building, where
the union between 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
stuffed specimens, but the coloring, the finish, the manner, the
effect, was most beautiful, 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 astounded me; it lasted
one and a half hours, and will remain in my mind all my life.

_January 12._ My painting has now arrived at the difficult point. To
finish highly without destroying the general effect, 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 miserable daub. This is the largest piece I have ever done; as to
the birds, as far as _they_ are concerned I am quite satisfied, 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 business 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 Mr. Lizars to see "As You Like It."
Miss Foote performed and also Mr. Murray, but the house was so crowded
that I could scarce see.

_January 14._ 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 consistency, 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. Professor 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.[112] 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
meeting me." His long, loose, silvery locks struck me; he looked like
Franklin at his best. He also reminded me of 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.

   [Illustration: AUDUBON.
    From the portrait by Henry Inman. Now in the possession of the

_January 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 relating 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 Washington, I will. No one
deserves it more, and I cannot receive so many favors without trying
to make some return.

_January 24._ 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 substantially,[113] 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 moment she
spoke, having both vivacity and good sense.

_January 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 valuable 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 way of effecting transparency,
particularly over shadowy parts, but I frequently 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
application 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 to-day.

_January 31, Wednesday._ I had the delight of receiving 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 Royal 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 astonishment 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 opposite to Sir Walter Scott; then, Lucy, I had
a perfect view of 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 common 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,[114] an
enormous mass of flesh and an extremely agreeable man, who had been in
Virginia many years ago, but recollects those days well.

_February 10._ I visited the Royal Institution this morning, 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 ear 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 however. 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 prepared to read to those assembled
that a Rattlesnake rattled his tail, not to give knowledge to man of
his presence, 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.

_Monday, February 12._ Mr. Lizars insisted on my going to the
Antiquarian Society, saying it was usual for a member 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 promised, 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
witnessed 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 _I_ 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 lady.

_Tuesday, 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
anybody 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. Tytler's and met among the guests Mr. Cruden, brother
of the compiler of the famous concordance. 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 tenderest love, and that this raised the brute species to a level
with man. O man! misled, self-conceited being, when wilt thou keep
within the sphere of humility that, with all thy vices and wickedness
about thee, should be thine. At the exhibition 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 Children."

_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. We 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 24._ 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. Having
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 Murray, 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 proposed. 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 three.

_February 28._ I have been reading Captain Hall's "Voyages and
Travels," and going much 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 better.

_March 1._ Mr. Kidd,[115] 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 company and advice. I told him my wish was so
intense to improve in the delightful art of painting that I should
begin a new picture to-morrow, and took down my portfolio to look for
one of my drawings to copy in oil. He had never seen my work, and his
bright eyes gazed eagerly on what he saw with admiration.

_March 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 Æolus' 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
we 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,
resembling 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 possess. 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, 1800, I mentioned this to him, for to him, thank God, I
always told all my thoughts and expressed all my ideas. How well I
remember his reply: "Laforest, thy blood will cool in time, and thou
wilt be surprised to see how gradually prejudices 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 introduction, or
shall I say _endorsement_, 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 Monday.

_March 10._ I visited Mr. James B. Fraser,[116] a great traveller in
Asia and Africa, and saw there a large collection 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 language. 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 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 immediately 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.

_March 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,[117] 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 shoulders, 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 14._ 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 fashionable 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 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 founding 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 unpunished. This Gothic chapel is a superb relic; each stone
is beautifully carved, and each differs 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 it in a
few hours, if they were placed on the opposite hills. A large meadow
lay below us, covered with bleaching 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 engaged
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.


Shortly after breakfast I received a note from Captain Hall, and
another from his brother, both filled with entreaties couched in
strong terms that I should _alter 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 official events of Scotland with
England for upwards 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 transfers 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 documents. 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 parchment.

_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, however, 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.[119]
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. Wm. Newbold and I proceeded to the
Castle; the wind blew furiously, and consequently 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 continually 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 different
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 mountains 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
noblemen'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 regalia are kept. We each wrote
our names, paid our shilling, 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

_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 activity. 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--Northumberland, 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 particular reason. From Friday the 23d of March 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 different societies. The last night I went to
the Royal Society. Sir Wm. Hamilton[120] 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 morning of April 5, left
Edinburgh, where I hope to go again. The weather was delightful. We
passed Dunbar and Berwick, 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 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 Captain
Mitford went off to shoot a Chaffinch. 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 consternation the opening of the hall door
made such a noise as I doubted not must have been heard over the whole
establishment; 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
ornamented, 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 stockings, 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
companion 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 dungeons, 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, emaciated 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 opportunity 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 _single_ 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 morning 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 pilgrimage 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 Philosophical
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 suitable 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-looking 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 Blas 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 _here_ is the only stream I have yet seen since my
landing resembling 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 Englishman, 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 woodcuts, till we
liked each other very much. Now and then he would take off his cotton
cap, but the moment he became 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 Edinburgh.

_April 14._ The weather is now becoming tolerable and spring is
approaching. The Swallows glide past my windows, 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
undertaking. 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 procession and entered _the mansion house_ 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
luncheon and afterwards went to Heath, the painter,[121] 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, especially were
I with friend Lizars, his wife, and sister, for a year here. So 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 interesting, 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 _sans
cérémonie_, 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 ease as I can feather a bird; he made all his tools,
which are delicate and very beautiful, and his artist shop was clean
and attractive. 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 steerer, to each of which I saw
three men. We then went to the Literary and Philosophical 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 voluminous blue riding-habit,
and with a _ton_ very unbecoming her fine eyes and sweet face. She
bowed carelessly, and said: "Compliments, 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
famille_. 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 waiting 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 greyhound. 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 suffered 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 followed by
sorrows, except those emanating from the adoration of the Supreme
Being. It was still far from breakfast time; I recrossed the Tyne 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 visitors
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 style
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 delivered 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
pleasure 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[122]
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.

_April 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 understood 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
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 inventors, and Thomas Bewick is an
inventor, and _the first wood-cutter in the world_! These words,
"first wood-cutter" would, I dare say, raise the ire of many of our
hearty squatters, 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 _me_ whom some one had
said resembled in physiognomy Napoleon of France. Strange simile this,
but I care not whom I 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 drawings, 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, Sunday, April 22, 1827._ 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
rolling 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 disgustingly 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. Wm. Turner, son of a gentleman 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. Pulleyn'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, looking in the gigantic
poplars for new birds and new flowers!

_April 23, Monday._ The weather looked more like approaching winter
than spring; indeed snow fell at short intervals, and it rained, and
was extremely cold and misty. Notwithstanding 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 _solus_, 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, examining 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,[123] standing on
a mound, 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, I 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-looking. 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 conversation. How much more good
would the English do by revising their own intricate laws, and
improving the condition 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 morning; 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, resembling 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 pictures, 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
subscribers, 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
fragrant 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 Wood Thrush, that appeared to give her
farewell melody to the disappearing day! We have looked at the
glittering 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 Warblers 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

_April 27._ A long walk early, and then many visitors, Mr. Vernon[124]
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.

_Saturday, 28th._ 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 Minster, and also on the roof. We had
a good spy-glass, and I had an astonishing view of the spacious vales
that surround the tile-covered city of York. I could easily follow the
old walls of defence. It made me giddy to look directly down, as a
great height is always unpleasant to me. Now I have packed up, paid
an enormous bill to my landlady.

_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 breakfasted 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 believe, 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,[125]--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 purpose, 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.
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
sufficient 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 Philosophical 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 inspection 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 persons 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 expressed 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, like 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 I.

_May 3._ 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 me 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
1810, 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, excepting the Marquis de Dupont de Nemours. I have at Leeds
only five subscribers,--poor indeed compared with the little town of

_May 5._ I breakfasted with young Mr. Davy, who after conducted me 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
structure, and so beautiful in all its parts that no one could, I
conceive, stand and look at it without praising the ingenuity 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 establishment.

_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 accidentally that the Royal Institution
of Manchester was holding 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, Mr. 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. Bentley's again, and he
returned with me to see me 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.[126]
Manchester has most certainly retrieved its character, for I have had
eighteen subscribers in _one week_, which is more than anywhere else.

_Liverpool, Monday, May 14._ I breakfasted with my good friend
Bentley, and left in his care my box containing 250 drawings, to be
forwarded by the "caravan,"--the name given to covered coaches. I
cannot tell how extremely 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 impatiently
for the morrow, to see friends all so dear.

_May 19, Saturday night._ I leave this to-morrow morning 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, benevolence, 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 language 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[127] in his office, 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 frequently 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 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 village 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 appearance, 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 see 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, pleasure boat, while one in the bow gave us fine music with
the bugle. We soon reached the Quarry, and found ourselves under tall,
luxuriant, handsome trees forming broad avenues, following the course
of the river, extremely agreeable. 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 beautiful, 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, "Certainly all
is for the best in this world, except our own sins."

LONDON, _May 21, 1827_. I should begin this page perhaps 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 continued till two of the morning, and it was
then cold. From twelve until four I was so sleepy I could scarcely
hold up my head, and I suffered much for the want of my regular
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 was
brought to us. I say _tasted_, for I could do no more. The country
constantly improved in beauty; on we drove through Stratford-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
demarcation 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 we at once removed, and again I issued
forth, noting nothing but the great dome of St. Paul's Cathedral. I
delivered several letters and was well received by all at home. With
Mr. Children[128] I went in the evening to the Linnæan Society and
exhibited my first number. All those present pronounced my work
_unrivalled_, and warmly wished me success.

_Sunday, 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. Lawrence; 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 look of
genius that one is always expecting to meet with in a man of his
superior talents; he looked pale and pensive. 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 American 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 Edinburgh. The four
brothers Hermann I admired very much; their voices sounded like four

_May 29._ I have been about indeed like a post-boy, taking letters
everywhere. In the evening I went to the Athenæum 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
fashionable time for these gentlemen to assemble; so I returned 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 extraordinaire_. 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
America; 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 was 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. Children'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 suddenly 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,[129] and took a seat in the Clapham coach
to reach his place. The Epsom races are 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, and cypresses from
America. Many birds were here, some searching for food, while others
gave vent to their happy feelings 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 zoölogist, and has published a fine work on the
birds of Java. It was a true _family_ dinner, and therefore I enjoyed
it; Sir Robert is at the head of the business of the Carnatic
association of India.

_Friday, June 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 breakfast,
which was simple enough and _sans cérémonie_, he asked me many
questions about America and about my work. After leaving him I met Mr.
Vigors[130] by appointment, who said everything possible to encourage
me, and told me I would be elected as a foreign member to the
Athenæum. 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.

_June 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 was quite a shock to my nerves;
but I had an appointment 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 me the name of a man
to whom I went, and who has engaged to color more cheaply than it is
done in Edinburgh, and young 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 London.

_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
Zoölogical Society. These gentlemen dropped off one by one, leaving
only Charles and Mr. Vigors. Oh that _our_ knowledge could be arranged
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_ good Charles. I
have no painting to do to-morrow morning, or going to bed at two would
not do. I was up at three this morning, and finished the third picture
since in London.

_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

_July 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 consolation. 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, permitted 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 fortnight past for
Manchester, where I was received by my friends _à bras ouverts_. I
lived and lodged at friend Sergeant'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,[131] 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 published 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 errands for
me. I took a walk and listened with pleasure to the song of the little

_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 3._ 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.

_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 Blas, 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 Blas; how replete I always find it of good

_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 Queen 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 appearance; 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

_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
themselves into the net and were hauled ashore. This was the first
successful way of fishing I have seen in England. 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 15, Newcastle._ Yesterday I took the coach and found myself
here after an uneventful journey, the route being now known to me, 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
Mercury_; saw Mr. Donkin, who invited me to breakfast with him
to-morrow at half-past seven, _quite my hour_.

_October 17._ During the day Mr. Wingate, 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 publicly to-morrow. I have written to Mr. Selby 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 _I_, poor fellow,
was obliged to return the compliment, which I did, as usual, most
awkwardly and covered with perspiration. Miserable stupidity that
never will leave me! I had thousands of questions to answer about the
poor aborigines. 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.

_Twizel 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 Mr.
Selby. I cannot understand this apparent neglect on the part of Mr.

_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 morning 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, uncomfortable 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
Selbys, 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 Bentleys 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 specimens. I intend next year _positively_ to keep
a cash account with myself and others,--a thing I have never yet done.

_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
subscriptions, 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
workmen, 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 Havell's, and the plates delivered in
London at the same price. If he can fall twenty-seven pounds in the
engraving 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.[132] I have
made many calls, and been kindly welcomed at every house. The
"Courant" and the "Scotchman" have honored me with fine encomiums on
my work. 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
work 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 something 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 besides 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 watching 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

_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
_one_ subscriber. One subscriber 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
enthusiast in zoölogical researches; he had been a great traveller,
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 spirits.

_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

_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 perched 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.[133] Rathbone, who, much against my wishes, for I can do
better work now, bought my picture of the Hawk pouncing on the

_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 president of the Athenæum, 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[134] in fourteen
minutes, with as much ease as if I had been on skates.

_December 3._ This morning I made sketches of all the parts of the
Platypus[135] 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 Athenæum;
many visitors, but no subscribers.

_December 4._ Again at the library and had one subscriber. 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 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.[136] 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 Zoölogical
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 newspapers. 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 découvrira la vérité._" 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.

_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 feelings. 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 14, 1827._ By the advice of our consul, Mr. Maury, I have
presented a copy of my work to the President of the United States, and
another to the House of Congress through Henry Clay.

_December 16, Sunday._ I went to the service at my favorite 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

_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 allow.

_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
alacrity 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 Molière's famous "Tartuffe,"--cut and sliced 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,[137] 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
together, 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.

_December 29._ This morning I walked to "Lady" Rathbone's with my
fifth number. It is quite impossible to approach Green Bank, when the
weather is at all fair, without 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
something 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 snuff
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 _I
will_. 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 knowest 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; whenever 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

_95 Great Russell St., January 6._ I took a famous walk before day, up
to Primrose Hill, and was back before anyone 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,[138] Vigors,[139] Temminck,
Cuvier.[140] Havell came and saw the drawings; it gave him an idea of
the work to be performed between now and next January.

_January 8._ I have ordered one set of my birds to be colored by
Havell _himself_, 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
gloomy; during the morning the light 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 is
_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.[141] I have a violent cough and
sore throat that renders 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 effect 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 14._ I feel now much better, after several feverish days, but
have not moved from the house; every one of my friends show me much

_January 17._ A long morning with Havell settling accounts; it is
difficult work for a man like me to see that I am neither cheating nor
cheated. All is paid for 1827, and I am well ahead in funds. Had I
made such regular settlements 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

_January 18._ Spent the morning with Dr. Lambert and Mr. Don,[142] the
famous botanist; we talked much of the plants and trees of America and
of Mr. Nuttall[143] 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 contrast 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 indeed! I thought of the
many I have seen when bent on studying their habits, and grew more
homesick than ever.

_January 21._ Notwithstanding this constant darkness of mood, my
business must be attended to; therefore soon after dawn I joined
Havell and for many hours superintended 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 Haymarket, 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 carriages of all sorts, men on
horseback, and people everywhere; 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 1st of November last. My Lucy, thou art
so good to me, and thy advices are so substantial, that, rest assured,
I will follow them closely.

_January 24._ 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 throughout?

_January 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. Leadbeater, the great stuffer 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 quadrupeds, 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 breakfast, Bentley being
desirous to see Regent's Park, I accompanied him thither and we walked
all round it; I think it is rather more than a mile in diameter. We
saw a squadron 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 town.

_February 1, 1828._ Another Journal! It has now twenty-six
brothers;[144] some are 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. Bentley and I paid a visit to the great
anatomist, Dr. J. Brookes,[145] 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 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 company 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 gentlemen called _Matthews_ 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, followed by "and friends," and a
letter stating it was a perpetual ticket of admission to the
Zoölogical Gardens. This was sent at the request of Mr. Brookes.

_February 2._ Bentley and I went to the Gardens of the Zoölogical
Society, which are at the opposite end of Regent'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 condition. As
we were leaving I heard my name called, and turning saw Mr. Vigors
with a companion to whom he introduced me; it was the famous Captain
Sabine,[146] 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 leucocephalus_. Strange that such great
men should ask a woodsman questions like that, 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
£10,000. 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 Linnæan Society, 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 £100, 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 Zoölogical Society 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 drew on the Mississippi
some years ago, feeding on a Wild Goose; now I shall make it breakfast
on a Catfish, 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 14._ 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 Department. Mr. Hays showed me a superb
figure of a Hercules in brass, found in France by a peasant while
ploughing, and for which £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 hand.

_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 Linnæan 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, _I_ 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 slight 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 Zoölogical Society. 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 presence_, I wonder--that is all.

_February 25._ A most gloomy day; had I no work what a miserable life
I should lead in London. I receive constantly many invitations, but
all is so formal, so ceremonious, 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-stuffer 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.

_February 28._ To-day I called by appointment on the Earl of Kinnoul,
a small man, with a face like the caricature 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 afternoon, 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 palpitated; 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 University 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 refreshing 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
confidences with every grog shop between London and Cambridge, 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 I 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 numbers 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 4._ 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 delicious. We went to St. John's,
where my companion was engaged in some work, and here I left him, and
continued on my way alone, to deliver my letters. I called on the Rev.
H. Greenwood, Professor Sedgwick,[147] and Professor Whewell;[148] all
were most kind, as were the Rev. Thos. Catton, Mr. G. A. Brown, Mr.
George Heath, and Professor Henslow,[149] 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 employed, 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 shillings, and none of them
spoke English. I gave him a sovereign, just as I saw Professor
Sedgwick approaching; 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. 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 dinner, 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 gradually left in parcels, as vultures leave a carcass; we
remained. A fine 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 assembled, 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 6._ A cold snowy day; I went to the library of the
University and the Philosophical Society rooms, and dined again in
"Hall," with Professor Sedgwick. There were four hundred students, and
forty "Fellows;" quite a different scene from Corpus College. Each one
devoured his meal in a hurry; in less than half an hour grace was read
again by _two_ students, and Professor 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 received 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 aborigines 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.

_March 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
refinement 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 immediately 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 accepted, 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 country. I dined at the
Vice-Chancellor's, and found myself among men of deep research,
learning, and knowledge,--mild in expressions, kind in attentions, and
under whom I fervently wished it had been my lot to have received such
an education as they possess.

_Sunday, March 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 impressive sermon on Hope
from Mr. Henslow. After that I went to admire Nature, as the day was
beautifully inviting. Professor Heath of King's College wished me to
see his splendid chapel, and with a ticket of admission I resorted
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 surplices. I walked with Mr. Heath to Mr. Whewell'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 prayed 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 Chapel.

_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

_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 pleasure 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 hundred sets of No.
6 are in hand for coloring. Mr. David Lyon called to see my work, and
said it had been recommended 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
officer 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 £20, which she has promised 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 performed.

_Saturday, March 20._ To-day I was with friend Sergeant most of the
time; this evening have paid Havell in full, and now, thank God, feel
free to leave noisy, smoky London.

_Oxford, March 24._ 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
travelled I saw Windsor Castle about two miles distant, and also
witnessed the turning out of a Stag from a cart, before 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.[150] 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. Oxford seems larger than Cambridge, but is not on the whole so
pleasing 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 Radcliffe 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 six;
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. Bonaparte, and could heartily praise both.

_March 27._ Breakfasted with Mr. Hawkins, Provost of Oriel College,
and went immediately after with him to the Dean of Trinity. The large
salon was filled with ladies and gentlemen engaged with my work; my
drawings followed, and I showed them, but, oh, Lucy, how tired I am of
doing this. The Dean has, I think, the finest 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,[151] who invited me to breakfast

_March 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[152] 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 renowned Mr. Wilberforce.

_March 29._ To-morrow, probably, I leave 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 encouragement for my work
there is no reason for me to remain.

_London, March 30._ Left Oxford at eleven this morning, 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 asunder. Almost as soon as I
reached my lodgings a gentleman, Mr. Loudon,[153] called to ask me to
write zoölogical 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 Philadelphians call me
a liar.

_April 1, 1828._ I have the honor to be a Fellow of the Linnæan
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[154] 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 examined 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, 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 declines, 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

_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
listen 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,[155] 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 fifteen when I went
to Cambridge. I hope soon to hear from Liverpool; the silence of a
friend sometimes terrifies me; I dread to learn that my venerable,
good "Lady" Rathbone is ill.

_April 14._ 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 unwell; in the
afternoon I walked to Bruton St. and saw Mr. Vigors, who assisted me
in the nomenclature of the Hawk for Lord Stanley. This afternoon I
received a letter 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. Swainson's letter, I suddenly thought that it would be best
for me to go to see him at once. The weather was shocking; a dog would
scarce have turned out to hunt the finest 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 Gardens, most dull and melancholy. Ah! cannot I return to

_April 24._ 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 engravers, 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, transported 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 Zoölogical Society, I thought it courteous to do

_Sunday, May 4._ Immediately after breakfast I went out with George
Woodley, and walked to the pretty village 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
Western 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 America.

_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 rising, 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 Bonaparte, and
perceived it had been dipped in vinegar to prevent it from introducing
the plague from Italy to England.

_June 2._ I was at Mr. Swainson's from May 28 till yesterday, and my
visit was of the most agreeable nature. Mr. and Mrs. Swainson have a
charming home at Tittenhanger 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 because, 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 finished. 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,[156] 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
£100, 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
exception of such exercise as has been necessary, and my journeys
(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
correspondence, my publication goes on well and regularly, and this
very day seventy sets have been distributed; yet 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. Harlan, 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 consisted 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 Zoölogical
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, especially 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 Mrs. Swainson and her darling boy came to
meet us, and we walked slowly to the house; its happy cheer had great
influence on my feelings. Our evening was spent in looking over
Levaillant's[157] work. We discovered, to the great satisfaction of my
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[158] 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 convinced
that he has not remained in America long enough, and that his judgment
of things there must be only superficial. 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 species
from Vieillot's; my _Turdus aquaticus_ is very different from Wilson's
Water Thrush, as you will see when both birds are published. Mine
never reaches further south than Savannah, its habits are quite
different. _Troglodytes bewickii_ is a new and rather a rare species,
found only in the lowlands of the Mississippi and Louisiana. I have
killed five or six specimens, and it differs greatly from _Troglodytes
ludovicianus_; I wish I had a specimen 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 '_Stanleii_,' 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
figures, 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 comparison, perhaps, if I had had the
advantages of a classical education; all I deserve, I think, is the
degree of encouragement 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 Zoölogical 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 expect 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 I_.[159] He has concluded to go to
Paris with us, so we shall be quite a party. Mr. Vigors wrote asking
me to write some papers for the "Zoölogical Journal," but I have
refused him as all others. No _money_ can pay for abuse. This
afternoon 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 allowed to each person. I also
put my effects to rights, and was ready to start for anywhere by

_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 seventy-eight,
and sees to engrave as well as when he was twenty years of age.

DOVER, _September 1, 1828_. Now, my dear book, prepare 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-looking 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 starched. She took her seat
on top of the coach and soared aloft, like a Frigate Pelican 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 we
suddenly saw Dover Castle, which with the sea and the undulating
landscape 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. We 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
Hôtel 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
wheel-horse 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, although 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 magnificent. After
travelling all night again, we found ourselves 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 recommended, 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. Geneviève. I thought
the gardens well laid out, large, handsome, but not everywhere well
kept. We saw everything, then walked to the entrance of the famous
Musée; it was closed, but we knocked and asked for Baron Cuvier.[160]
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 of _firmness_ 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 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
disagreeable 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 Quatre. 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 appointment with Baron
Cuvier, who gave us tickets for the Musée, and promised all we could
wish. At the Musée M. Valenciennes[161] was equally kind. Having a
letter for M. Geoffroy de St. Hilaire,[162] 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 words of Cuvier and assured us my
work had not been heard of in France. He promised to take us to the
Académie des Sciences on Monday next. I left Swainson at work in the
Musée, and went to the Louvre. There, entering the first open door, I
was shown into the public part of the King's _Appartement_, a thing I
have never been able to accomplish in England. I saw the room where
the grand councils are 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 Théâtre
Français, where I saw the finest drop curtain I have yet beheld, and a
fine tragedy, Fiésque, 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 boulevard 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 _petit marchand_ 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 remaining daughter,--a small, well-made, good-looking lady,
with sparkling black eyes, and extremely amiable. As I seldom go
anywhere without meeting some one who has met me, I found among the
guests a Fellow of the Linnæan Society, who knew me well. The Baroness
now came in--a good-looking, motherly lady, and the company, amounting
to sixteen, went to dinner. The Baroness 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 opulence 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 _à la française_. 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 company increased rapidly; amongst them all I knew
only Captain Parry, M. de Condolleot (?), and Mr. Lesson,[163] 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 satisfied with the introductory step among _les savans français_.

_Sunday, September 7._ The traveller who visits France without seeing
a fête, 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 people. St. Cloud is a handsome town on the Seine, about
five miles below Paris, built in horseshoe form on the undulating
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 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 breakfast to the
_barrière des bons hommes_, and walked the remaining 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. We 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 surface; 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 suffered my inspection as if in the woods of our dear, dear
America. At the right time we found ourselves 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'armes_ 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
conveyances of all sorts, and in the principal walk before the Palace
were hundreds of _petits marchands_, 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
thousand (?) were there, and I saw only three women of noticeable
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 target 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 disturbance had
taken place. We had an excellent dinner, with a bottle of Chablis, for
three francs each, and returning 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 disappear, reminding me of fireflies in our own
woods in a summer night. As we passed out of the gates, we perceived
as many persons coming as going, and were told the merriment 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, and _gens
d'armes_ on horseback, 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

_September 8._ We went to pay our respects to Baron Cuvier and
Geoffroy St. Hilaire;[164] we saw only the first, who told us to be at
the Académie Royale des Sciences in an hour. I had _hired_ 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 séance was opened by a tedious lecture on
the vision of the Mole; then Cuvier arose, announcing 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 "Mémoires of the
Academy." Poor Audubon! 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, looking 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 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 L'Institut de
France by appointment, and gave my prospectus to the secretary of the
library. Young Geoffroy, an amiable 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 two 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 Boulevards to present
the letters from good friends Rathbone and Melly. I saw Mr. B----, the
banker, who read the letter I gave him, and was most polite, but as to
ornithology, 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 stuffer to the
Prince of Massena (or Essling),[165] 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, 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 knew, and then said it would give him pleasure 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, apparently 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'Hôtel
de France, large, clean, and comfortable, for which I pay twenty-five
sous a day. We are within gun-shot of Les Jardins des Tuileries. The
_retraite_ 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 Praët, a small, white-haired gentleman, who assured
me in the politest manner imaginable 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 decorated 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 executed, 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 was 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 published
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 table;
Cuvier received me with special kindness, and put me at my ease.
Mademoiselle Cuvier I found remarkably agreeable, as also Monsieur de
Condillot. 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 many, and Cuvier
pronounced it the finest of its kind in existence.

_September 14, 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, Normandy, 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 prudent 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 believe 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 Mlle. Cuvier, not quite ready to see gentlemen: off 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 sanctorum_ of Cuvier; there was nothing in
it but books and skeletons of animals, reptiles, etc. Our conductor,
surprised, bid us sit down, and left us to seek the Baron. My eyes
were fully employed, and I contemplated in imagination 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 avenue of bed-chambers, lined with books instead of satin, and we
were conducted through the kitchen to another laboratory, where the
Baron was found. Politeness in great men is shown differently from the
same quality 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 welcomed 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 Geoffroy took me to one in the Palais Royal, a
very notorious 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 Cuvier'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
Mlle. 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. Mlle. 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 Sunday 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
hôtel, and we were introduced by two servants in fine livery into a
large wainscoted room, where a roulette table was at work. Now none
but _gentlemen_ gamble here. We saw, and saw only! In another room
_rouge 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 pockets, 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 19._ 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,[166] 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 charming. 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. Redouté.[167]

_September 20._ I had the pleasure of seeing old Redouté this morning,
the flower-painter _par excellence_. After reading Le Sueur's note to
him, dated five years ago, he looked at me fixedly, and said, "Well,
sir, I am truly glad to become 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 incomparably better
than I ever saw it before. Old Redouté dislikes all that is not
_nature alone_; he cannot bear either the drawings of stuffed 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 prospectus. 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, was
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 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 two
years, fed on musty bread by the Cossacks, who forced them to march
all day. He had lost his toes and one ear by 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 calling
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 Linné (Linnæus) to him, as he was
anxious 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 walked along, he explaining 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 perspiration. 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 asking 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 gentleman 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 line of
employees, and that any police-officer was able to say how I spent my

_September 23._ The great Gérard, the pupil of my old master, David,
has written saying he wishes to see my work, and myself also, and I
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 ornithologists to engraving.
I have now been nearly three weeks in Paris and have _two_
subscribers--almost as bad as Glasgow. I am curious to see the Baron's
report, and should like to have it in his own handwriting. This is
hardly possible; he seldom writes, Mlle. Cuvier does his writing for

_September 24._ To have 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 Médecin Bertrand and a copy of Cuvier's
report, would have amused any one, and yet I did it with great
activity. Such frailty does exist in man, all of whom are by nature
avaricious of praise. Three times did I go in vain to each place, _i.
e._, 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 proceeded 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 informed 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 librarian, 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 evening I dressed to
go to M. Gérard'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 Panthéon, 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 observations 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 Gérard 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 examining _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'École 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 apparently cast up from the earth added to the grand
representation. The whole house resounded with the most vociferous
applause, and we enjoyed our evening, I assure thee.

_September 27._ Found old Redouté 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 proposed, 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 _rédacteur_ 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 eulogium certainly, but not so feelingly written as the one by
Swainson, nevertheless it will give the French an idea of my work.

_September 28._ 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 not 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 des Tuileries,
followed the river, and crossed the Pont de Jéna opposite the entrance
to l'École 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'armes_ 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
expected, 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
wonderful 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 _him_
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 Redouté visited me and
brought me a letter from the Duc d'Orléans, 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 circumstantial account of my visit. The Palais of the
Duc d'Orléans 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 antechamber. 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 skylight, which permitted me to see the beauties of the
surrounding walls, and on this landing opened three doors, two of which
I tried in vain to open. The third, however, gave way, and I found
myself in the antechamber, with about twelve servants, who all rose
and stood, until I had seated myself on a soft, red-velvet-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 off 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 two gentlemen whom I knew to be
members of the Légion 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 Duc
d'Orléans. 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. Redouté." 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 list of English subscribers, many of whom he
knew. I asked him for his own signature; he took my list and with a
smile wrote, in very large and legible characters, "Le Duc d'Orléans."
I now felt to remain longer would be an intrusion, 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 Gérard.
I waited till ten, when my gentleman came, and off we went; what a
time to pay a visit! But I was told Gérard[168] 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. Gérard was all curiosity
to see my drawings, and old Redouté, who was present, spoke so highly
of them before the book was opened, that I feared to discover Gérard's
disappointment. The book opened accidentally at the plate of the
Parrots, and Gérard, 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 expected
such things from the woods of America?" My 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
Washington! we have, and may God grant us the peaceable use of them
forever. I received compliments from all around me; Gérard 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
Minister would order a good, round set of copies for the Government. I
closed the book, and rambled around the rooms which were all
ornamented with superb prints, mostly of Gérard'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 Gérard 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 waiting, 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 hour.

_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
staircases I know, to reach the cabinet of M. Pascale, the director of
the expenses of S.A.R. the Duc d'Orléans. 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. Redouté'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 astonishment 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 appointment for me through M.
Redouté, who is the drawing-master of the daughters of the Duchesse.
With Parker I went to see the distribution of prizes at L'Institut
Français. 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 were 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 Plantes, 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[169] 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 Musée 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 morning.

_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

_October 11._ This afternoon, as I was despairing about the ministers,
I received a note from Vicomte Siméon,[170] 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 Siméon; when the sergeant perceived me he came to me and said
that M. Siméon desired me to have the first interview. I followed him
and saw a man of ordinary stature, about forty, fresh-looking, and so
used to the courtesy of the great world that before I had opened my
lips he had paid me a very handsome 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 Dauphin. I told him I wished to
return to England to superintend 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 alacrity. 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 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

_October 14._ Accompanied Parker while he was painting Redouté'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 enjoyed 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 considerably 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 antechamber. 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
expressed surprise the Duc d'Orléans had taken only one copy. I walked
from here to Vicomte Siméon. 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 l'honneur de vous
saluer;" and when each retired, "Monsieur, je suis votre très humble
serviteur." Conceive, my Lucy, the situation of this unfortunate
being, in his cabinet since eleven, repeating these sentences to
upwards of one hundred persons, 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 _my word_ 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 d'Issy 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 Duc d'Orléans 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 review began, the
Duchesses d'Orléans and de Berry having 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-cornered hat, trimmed with white feathers, and had a broad blue
sash from the left shoulder under his right arm. The Duc d'Orléans
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 doubtless took me for a large black Crow. The music was
uncommonly 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 galloped 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.

_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 mischievous 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
believe me once more in the woods, hard at it? Alas! I wish I was;
what precious time I am wasting in Europe.

_October 21._ Redouté told me the young Duchesse d'Orléans had
subscribed, and I would receive a letter to that effect. Cuvier sent
me one hundred printed copies of his _Procès 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 morning farewell to Paris. Redouté sent me three volumes of
his beautiful roses, which thou wilt so enjoy, and a compliment 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 Duc d'Orléans, 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 subscriptions
of most of the royal family, because none of them liked to be outdone
or surpassed by any of the others.[171] 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 bargain 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 received a letter from M. Siméon, 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 4._ I travelled from Paris to Boulogne 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 greatest favorite, the Wood Thrush. The great poverty of
the country struck me everywhere; the peasantry are beggarly and
ignorant, few know the name of the _Département_ in which they live;
their hovels are dirty and uncomfortable, 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 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
presented a copy of my birds to the Linnæan 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 Linnæan Society, but thou knowest 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 Duc d'Orléans; 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

_December 23._ 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 me _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 poverty of his talents and wishes to
improve; it is villanous 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 _know_ 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 exercise has
reduced me almost to a skeleton; I have not allowed myself the time
even to go to the Zoölogical Gardens.

_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-captains. 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 examined it closely, and was shown that of the
Pheasants, which I call "_Sauve qui peut_." 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 certainly come to make a choice
for me of one to be exhibited at Somerset House, and would speak to
the Council about it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The remaining three months before Audubon sailed for America, April 1,
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 business 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
during my absence. I have collected some money, paid all my debts, and
taken my passage in the packet-ship 'Columbia,' Captain Delano. I
chose the ship on account 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 1." The voyage was uneventful, and America was reached
on May 1. Almost immediately began the search for new birds, and those
not delineated already, for the continuation and completion of the
"Birds of America."



[65] This sounds involved, but is copied verbatim.

[66] Mr. Wm. Rathbone, of the firm of Rathbone Bros. & Co., to whom
Audubon had a letter from Mr. Vincent Nolté. 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
assistance 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 procuring 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.

[67] William Roscoe, historical, botanical, and miscellaneous writer,

[68] 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. But 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 September, 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 picture
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."

[69] At Green Bank.

[70] Vincent Nolté, born at Leghorn, 1779, traveller, merchant,

[71] William Henry Hunt (1790-1864).

[72] Mrs. Alexander Gordon was Mrs. Audubon's sister Anne.

[73] Thomas Stewart Traill, M.D., Scottish naturalist, born in Orkney,
1781; edited the eighth edition of the "Encyclopædia Britannica," was
associated with the Royal Institute at Liverpool; he died 1862.

[74] The Swiss historian, born at Geneva, 1773, died 1842.

[75] Daughter of Mr. William Rathbone, Sr.; married Dr. William

[76] 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, sportmanship, and above all "the most
perfect orator of his day."

[77] Mrs. Wm. Rathbone, Sr., whom Audubon often calls "Lady Rathbone,"
and also "The Queen Bee."

[78] Muzio Clementi, composer and pianist, born in Rome, 1752, died in
London, 1832. Head of the piano firm of that name.

[79] Relative of Mr. Wm. Rathbone, Sr.

[80] The Irwell.

[81] William Smyth, 1766-1849, poet, scholar, and Professor of Modern
History at Cambridge.

[82] Henry Clay.

[83] John Randolph of Roanoke, 1773-1833, American orator and

[84] William S. Roscoe, son of William Roscoe, 1781-1843.

[85] I believe Mr. Robert Bentley, the publisher.

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

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

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

[89] Prideaux John Selby, English ornithologist, author of "British
Birds" and other works; died 1867.

[90] Lord Francis Jeffrey, 1773-1850, the distinguished Scottish
critic and essayist.

[91] Sir William Jardine.

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

[93] Scottish naturalist, 1800-1874. Published "Naturalists' Library"
and other works.

[94] James Wilson, brother of Professor John Wilson (Christopher
North), naturalist and scientific writer, 1795-1856.

[95] George Combe, an eminent phrenologist and author on that subject.
Born and died in Edinburgh, 1788-1856.

[96] David Bridges, editor of one of the Edinburgh newspapers.

[97] John Syme. His portrait of Audubon was the first one ever

[98] Charles Waterton, English naturalist and traveller,
1782-1865,--always an enemy of Audubon's.

[99] This seal Audubon always used afterwards, and it is still in the
possession of the family.

[100] Robert Graham, Scottish physician and botanist, born at
Stirling, 1786, died at Edinburgh, 1845.

[101] David Brewster, author, scientist, and philosopher, Edinburgh,

[102] Dugald Stewart, Professor of Moral Philosophy, author, etc.,
Edinburgh, 1753-1828.

[103] Thomas Bruce, seventh Earl of Elgin. 1777-1841.

[104] Wm. Forbes Skene, Scottish historian.

[105] Afterwards Sir William Allan, historical painter; in 1833 was
elected president of the Scottish Royal Academy, Edinburgh. 1782-1850.

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

[107] William Nicholson, First Secretary of the Scottish Academy and
portrait painter. 1784-1844.

[108] Traveller and author. 1788-1844.

[109] Robert Kaye Greville, author of "Plants of Edinburgh" and other
botanical works, 1794-1866.

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

[111] Spencer Perceval, born 1762, assassinated in the lobby of the
House of Commons, May 11, 1812.

[112] "Jan. 22, 1827. A visit from Basil Hall with Mr. Audubon the
ornithologist, 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 glimmer 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 simplicity is the predominant characteristic."
(Journal of Sir Walter Scott, vol. i., p. 343.)

[113] "January 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 associating with the Indians to the company of
the settlers; very 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.)

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

[115] Joseph B. Kidd, who later copied many of Audubon's birds.

[116] James Baillie Fraser, 1783-1856, Scottish writer of travels.

[117] Mrs. Anne Grant, poetess and miscellaneous writer. Born 1755,
died 1838.

[118] 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.

[119] A distinguished ornithologist said of the book in 1895: "It is
one of the few illustrated books, if not the only one, that steadily
increases in price as the years go on."

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

[121] Possibly Charles Heath, engraver, 1784-1848.

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

[123] Probably St. Mary's Abbey.

[124] Mr. Vernon was the president of the Philosophical Society of

[125] Mr. John Backhouse.

[126] 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.

[127] Mr. Melly.

[128] John George Children, 1777-1852, English physicist and
naturalist, at this time secretary of the Royal Society.

[129] Robert Inglis, 1786-1855, of the East India Company.

[130] Nicholas Aylward Vigors, 1787-1840, naturalist, First Secretary
of the Zoölogical Society of London.

[131] Then a boy not fifteen, who was at Bayou Sara with his mother.

[132] When found by Audubon the Havells were in extreme poverty. He
provided everything for them, and his publication made them
comparatively wealthy.

[133] Benson Rathbone.

[134] The distance between these places is about two miles.

[135] The Duck-billed Platypus, _Ornithorynchus paradoxus_ of
Australia.--E. C.

[136] The Andean Eagle is undoubtedly the Harpy, _Thrasaëtos
harpyia_.--E. C.

[137] François Athanase de Charette, a leader of the Vendéans against
the French Republic; executed at Nantes, on May 12, 1797.

[138] Children's Warbler. Plate xxxv.

[139] Vigors' Warbler. Plate xxx.

[140] Cuvier's Regulus. Plate lv. No bird was named after Temminck by

[141] This decision was made in consequence of various newspaper and
personal 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 "Ornithological Biography."

[142] David Don, Scottish botanist, 1800-1840; at this time Librarian
of Linnæan Society.

[143] Thomas Nuttall, botanist and ornithologist; born in England
1786, died at St. Helen's, England, September 10, 1859.

[144] Of all the twenty-six only three are known to be in existence;
the other volumes now extant are all of later date.

[145] Joshua Brookes, 1761-1833, anatomist and surgeon.

[146] Captain (Sir) Edward Sabine accompanied Parry's expedition to
the Arctic regions,--a mathematician, traveller, and Fellow of the
Royal Society, 1819. Born in Dublin, 1788, died in Richmond, 1883.

[147] Adam Sedgwick, geologist. 1785-1873.

[148] William Whewell, 1795-1866, Professor of Moral Philosophy,
Mineralogy, and other sciences.

[149] John Stevens Henslow, botanist, 1796-1861.

[150] Dr. John Kidd, 1775-1851, Professor of Chemistry and Medicine at

[151] Edward Burton, D.D., 1794-1836, Professor of Divinity at Oxford.

[152] William Buckland, D.D., 1784-1856, geologist.

[153] John Claudius Loudon, 1783-1843, writer on horticulture and
arboriculture. In 1828-1836, editor of the "Magazine of Natural

[154] Edward Turner Bennett, 1797-1836, zoölogist.

[155] William Swainson, naturalist and writer. Born in England 1789,
emigrated in 1841 to New Zealand, where he died 1855.

[156] This picture is still in the family, being owned by one of the

[157] François Levaillant, born at Paramaribo, 1753; died in France,

[158] John Edward Gray, 1800-1875, zoölogist.

[159] No trace of this portrait can be found.

[160] George Chrétien Léopold Frédéric Dagobert Cuvier, Baron,
1769-1832; statesman, author, philosopher, and one of the greatest
naturalists of modern times.

[161] Achille Valenciennes, born 1794, French naturalist.

[162] Étienne Geoffroy de St. Hilaire, 1772-1844, French naturalist.

[163] René Primevère Lesson, a French naturalist and author, born at
Rochefort, 1794, died 1849.

[164] Isidore Geoffroy St. Hilaire, 1805-1861, zoölogist.

[165] Son of André, Prince d'Essling and Duc de Rivoli, one of the
marshals of Napoleon.

[166] Charles Alexandre Le Sueur, French naturalist. 1778-1846.

[167] Pierre Joseph Redouté, French painter of flowers. 1759-1840.

[168] François Gérard, born at Rome 1770, died 1837; the best French
portrait painter of his time, distinguished also for historical

[169] Charles d'Orbigny, son of Audubon's early friend, M. le docteur

[170] Count Joseph Jérôme Siméon, French Minister of State. 1781-1846.

[171] The words of the secretary were fully verified within a few




The Labrador trip, long contemplated, was made with the usual object,
that of procuring birds and making the drawings of them for the
continuation of the "Birds of America," the publication 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,' commanded 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.[172] The hold of the vessel has been floored, and our
great table solidly fixed in a tolerably 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 morning 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 of _fearnought_ 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 prevent the rain from running down our necks. A coarse bag is
strapped on the back to carry provisions on inland journeys, with our
guns and hunting-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 care not in
what they go; but _I 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.

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



_Eastport, Maine, June 4._ Our vessel is being prepared for our
reception and departure, and we have concluded 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 perseverance 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 concluded that
everything relating to the charter of the "Ripley" was arranged, some
difficulty arose between myself 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. Every one 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 we 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.

_June 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
became 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 we could not see the
bowsprit. The night was spent in direful apprehensions 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 Fundy. We passed between
the Seal Islands and the Mud Islands; in the latter _Procellaria
wilsonii_, 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 _Larus argentatus_, the Herring 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 troile_, 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 Labrador; her captain wished to keep in
our company, and we were pretty much together all night and also on

_June 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 captain 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 Canseau," and we came into the
harbor of that name[173] 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 having 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-throated Sparrow and Savannah Finch
were also in full song. The _Fringilla nivalis_[174] was seen, and we
were told that _Tetrao canadensis_[175] 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._ _Larus marinus_ (the Great Black-backed Gull) is so
superior both in strength and courage to Fulmars, _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 thermometer 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 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 _appearances_ 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 accompanied
as we were by thirty smaller vessels, the time passed agreeably.
Vegetation about as forward as at Eastport; 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 Sparrows, Tawny
Thrushes, and the American Redstart were found. The Spotted
Sand-piper, _Totanus macularius_, 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 not
seen. _Uria troile_[176] and _U. grylle_[177] were breeding in the
rocks, and John saw several _Ardea herodias_[178] 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.

_June 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
breakfast a thick fog covered the horizon on our bow, the islands
disappeared from sight, and the wind rose sluggishly, 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 we 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, without any other ship channel between them than the
one which we have taken, and which is called Entrée Bay, formed by
Entrée 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; Entrée 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
exhibiting 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, indicating 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 between 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 surrounded 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 abandoned the rest to a better linguist, 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 Fête 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, Père 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
productive 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. Père 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 hirundo_) 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 afternoon, 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 £5 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 Swallows. The woods
altogether small evergreens, extremely scrubby, almost impenetrable,
and swampy beneath. At seven this evening the thermometer is at 52°.
This morning 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 Guillemots' 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 egg, 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 hundred
feet or more. The egg is laid on the bare rock without 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 egg 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 shallow, 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 seamen call
sea-walls. In this place these walls are entirely 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, flapping
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 sufficient to invite any one to come
across the Gulf to view it at this season. The nearer we approached,
the greater our surprise 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 decided 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 unconcerned. 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. Godwin 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
violence, except after long calms, and it is extremely difficult 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 fishermen 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 several
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 falling 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 surrounded 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 destruction 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 gradually 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 afterwards 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, differing 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 Coolidge 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

_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 mariner 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, plunging under it,
as if in fun, and rising like spirits close under our rudder. The
breeze was favorable, 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 calculation. 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 proceeded, 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
Foolish Guillemots and the _Alca torda_[179] 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 forbidding. The shores appeared to be margined
with a broad and handsome sand-beach; our imaginations now 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 establishment, 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
secure 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 _Larus marinus_ was sailing magnificently
all about us. The Great Tern was plunging after shrimps in every pool,
and we found four eggs of the _Totanus macularius_;[180] the nest was
situated 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_[181] and the _Fuligula [[OE]demia]
americana_.[182] 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 18._ 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 beautiful, did not prove valuable to us, as some
eggers from Halifax had robbed the places ere the boats arrived. We,
however, procured about a dozen of _Alca torda, Uria troile_, a female
Eider Duck, a male Surf Duck, and a Sandpiper, or _Tringa_,--which, I
cannot ascertain, although the _least_[183] 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 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 hatching 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 young birds procured were about one week old, of a
dark mouse-color, thickly covered with a soft and warm down, and their
feet appeared 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 _Larus marinus_, 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 handsomely
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
nearest 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 _Larus
marinus_.[184] I am the more led to believe this because, knowing the
tyrannical disposition of the _L. marinus_, 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 _Marinus_ has its nests. John watched their motion
and their cry very closely, and gave me this information. Two eggs of
a Tern,[185] resembling the Cayenne 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 measured 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 _I_ 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
(_Sterna hirundo_) were found--two eggs in each, laid on the short
grass scratched out, but no nest. One _Tringa pusilla_ [_minutilla_],
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[186]
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.

_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 _Larus marinus_ breeds. The captain 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 _Larus argentatus_ 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 apparent. In habits this bird
resembles the _S. hirundo_, and has nearly the same harsh note; it
feeds principally on shrimps, which abound in these waters. Five young
_L. marinas_ 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 Merganser
(_Mergus serrator_) 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; indeed, thus far all the sea-fowl are much
wilder than those of the Floridas. Twenty nests of a species of
Cormorant,[187] 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.[188] 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
Natasquan 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 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 beautiful. 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 shooting
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 fusca_,
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 discharged, 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 solidly 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[189] 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 numbers in and
about Mount Desert Island rocks, in the months of June and July; there
they deposit their one white egg in the deepest fissures of the rocks,
and sit upon it only during the night. When approached whilst on the
egg, 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
certain fishing grounds where the water is only a few fathoms 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
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. Sometimes when wounded
in the body, they sail off to extraordinary distances, and are lost.
The same is the case with the _Larus marinus_. When our captain
returned he brought about a dozen female Eider Ducks, a great number
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 examined.
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 _sand_, 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
Pewee. 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 stupid 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 Halifax 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 destroy 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
entirely destroyed, unless some kind government will interfere to stop
the shameful destruction.

_June 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.
marinus_ and _L. tridactylus_; these were on the extreme points of
sand-bars, but could not be approached, and certainly the more
numerous 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 removed by the fishermen.
On going to a house on the shore, we found it a tolerably good cabin,
floored, containing a good stove, a chimney, and an oven at the bottom
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
maximum; this is because they will catch the fish both ascending 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 species 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 single 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 purchase 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 we 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 procured 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 morning 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. Coolidge brought in
Arctic Terns and _L. marinus_; 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 glauca_, 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
informed, 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 salutations, 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
kettles 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
exterminating medium of these wild and almost uninhabitable climes,
where cupidity and the love of gold can alone induce man to reside for
a while. Where can I go now, and visit nature undisturbed? The _Turdus
migratorius_[190] must be the hardiest of the whole genus. I hear it
at this moment, eight o'clock at night, singing most joyously 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 _Larus
marinus_ killed this day has already changed full half of its primary
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 brilliancy of the bills and the richness of the coloring of the
legs and feet only improve as they depart from the south for the

_June 24._ 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 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 carrying 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 opinion that the upper plumage of this
species is much darker than that of _S. hirundo_. 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 Quebec 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 rivers 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 abundant, 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 minutes.

_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 two.

_June 27._ It rained quite hard when I awoke this morning; the fog was
so thick the very shores of our harbor, 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 10th of May, when the thermometer was below the
freezing-point. We shot also a Ruby-crowned Wren;[191] 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 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 considerably
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.[192]

_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
northwest, 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 fortunate; she attempted to
beat out in vain, and returned to 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 Harbor. Wind favorable, but
light; at about ten it freshened. 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. We 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. marinus_ were 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_[193] breeding in great numbers. We caught many in their
burrows, killed some, and collected some of the eggs. 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 egg. 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 perforated 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 torda_,
which they call "Tinkers."[194] The _Mormon_, they call "Sea Parrots."
Each species seems to have its own island except the _Alca torda_,
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 Harbor;
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 prospect is cold
and forbidding; deep banks of snow appear here and there, and yet I
have found the Shore Lark (_Alauda alpestris_[195]) in beautiful
summer plumage. I found the nest of the Brown Lark (_Anthus
spinoletta_[196]) 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 accidentally, 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
"Gulnare" passed us. All my young men are engaged in skinning the
_Mormon arcticus_.


_June 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.
marinus_ in fine order, all with the wings extending nearly two inches
beyond the tail, and all in the same state of moult, merely showing in
the middle primaries. These birds suck other birds' eggs like Crows,
Jays, and Ravens. Shot six _Phalacrocorax carbo_[197] 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[198]
and a _Mormon arcticus_. 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, watching our
motions, and particularly our eyes. A Pigeon Hawk's[199] 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 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
semipalmatus_,[200] 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 chilly.

_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 imaginable,
huge masses hanging on minor ones as if about to roll themselves down
from their doubtful-looking situations, 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 egg, and raise its young, or
save itself from the hunter's pursuit. The peculiar cast of the sky,
which never seems to be certain, butterflies flitting over snow-banks,
probing beautiful dwarf flowerets of many hues pushing their tender
stems from the thick bed of moss which everywhere covers the granite
rocks. Then the morasses, wherein you plunge up to your knees, or the
walking over the stubborn, dwarfish shrubbery, making one think that
as he goes he treads down the _forests_ of Labrador. The unexpected
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,
quivering 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.
marinus_ is extremely abundant here; they are forever harassing 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 harvest
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.

_July 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
_pasted_ 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 _Fringilla 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
_Colymbus glacialis_.[201] 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
release a _Uria grylle_ that we had confined in the fissure of a rock;
the poor thing was sadly weak, but will soon recover 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 beneath large rolling stones on the earth, and not
in fissures; 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 manoeuvres, 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 afternoon; finished a
figure of the _Colymbus septentrionalis_.[202] 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 happens to be over a marsh, then
you sink a couple of feet deep every step you take; to reach a bare
rock is delightful, 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 eyes.

_July 6._ By dint of hard work and rising at three, I have drawn a
_Colymbus septentrionalis_ 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 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 (_Anthus spinoletta_) 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 accidentally 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_[203] 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
Peregrine 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 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 consider 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 _Colymbus 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 numerous 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 astonishment 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 Cormorant 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 excursions 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 remaining.

_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 beautifully, 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
_Lestris_[204] 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
_Thalassidroma_,[205] but none came within shot, and the sea was too
rough to go after them. About a dozen common Crossbills, and as many
Redpolls (_Fringilla_ [_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 14._ The wind blew cold and sharp from the northeast 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 terribly 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 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
thousand 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 Apennines 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 beautiful 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 sometime 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 experienced shots, though Coolidge and Ingalls are
not far behind 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
zonorhynchus_[206] (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
(_Fringilla leucophyrs_) and three specimens of the bird, also two
_Charadrius semipalmatus_. They found an island with many nests of the
_Phalacrocorax dilophus_,[207] 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 attempting 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
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

_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, unknown 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 _Silene_,[208] but unknown to us. We have now lost four days in

_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_,[209]
_Fringilla leucophyrs_,[210] _Anthus spinoletta_,[211] _Sylvia
striata_,[212] and _Fringilla savanna_.[213] I 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_[214] 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 frequently. 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
hudsonicus_[215] containing 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 Titmouse, 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 rotten stump, about five
feet from the ground; the aperture, 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 Partridge 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 umbellus_[216] in Maine, and the same bird in western
Pennsylvania. 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
quagmire 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 columbarius_,
in the finest plumage I have ever seen. I 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 fluttered 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 _Larus
canus_,[217] 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 of _Larus
marinus_. The eggs of the Cayenne Tern,[218] 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 distance, 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 extensive and the
dreariest wilderness I have ever beheld. It chilled the heart to gaze
on these barren lands of Labrador. Indeed I now dread every change of
harbor, so horribly 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 hudsonicus_, 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'll 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 discovered 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 different 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 enormous
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,[219]--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.[220]
The young of the Tawny Thrush were seen with the mother, almost
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 are these officers 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, 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 perishing. 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 field.

_July 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 Gaspé in New
Brunswick. 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 captain, or owner, of the vessel appeared to be a
good, sensible 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. They 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 are 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 hampered 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 Porcupines. 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 partner'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 nesting, 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 blowing a
tremendous gale; our anchors have dragged with sixty fathoms of chain
out. Yet one of the whaler's boats came to us with six men, who wished
to see my drawings, and I gratified them willingly; they, in return,
have promised 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.

_July 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 Chevalier 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 £600. 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 thousands 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
mosquitoes trouble me so much that in driving them away I bespatter
my paper with ink, as thou seest, God bless thee! Good-night.

_July 24._ The _Charadrius semipalmatus_ 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.
Shattuck 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, confused, and frightened manner as to
render them what Charles Bonaparte calls _stupid_, and they were so
terrified 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 Baie 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 Espérance; 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 proceed 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 exception of Gannets, which were soaring about us most
of the day feeding on capelings, of which there were myriads. I had
three _Uria 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 Hampton boat and piloted us in. Bras d'Or is the grand rendezvous
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 gunwales, 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
_Lestris_ 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 received 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 species of Grouse, the Velvet Duck, the _Anas
glacialis_,[221] and _Fuligula histrionica_,[222] 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 Coolidge joined parties and
brought me eight Red-polls, _Fringilla 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 hunters 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 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.[223] I have made many inquiries, but every one tells me Eagles
are most rare. It sailed away over the hills slowly and like a
Vulture. After drawing two figures of the female White-winged
Crossbill, I paid a visit to the country seat of Mr. Jones.[224] 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 certain 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 resemble the Cross-bills, notwithstanding Bonaparte,
Nuttall, 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 distant. This name is turned into "Nancy Belong" by the
fishermen, who certainly tell very strange tales respecting this
country. Mr. Jones entertained us by his account of travelling with
dogs during winter. They are harnessed, 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 estimated 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 represented in engravings, but are each
attached separately, so that when in motion they are more like a flock
of Partridges, 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 difficult 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 steering with his toes,
and lying flat on his face, thus descending 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 under way; 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 28._ 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 procuring
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 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 _Fuligula histrionica_ 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 _Fuligula glacialis_ by a very large pond; these
breed in companies and are shyer than in the States. The Pied
Duck[225] 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_[226] as 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 Woodpecker here, and only two, the
Three-toed and the Downy. When I began writing it was calm, now it
blows a hurricane, rains hard, and the sea is as high as ever.

_July 29._ Another horrid, stormy day. The very fishermen complain.
Five or six vessels left for further east, but I wish and long to go
west. The young men, except 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 moccasins. 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 _Phalaropus hyperboreus_;[227]
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
Curlews border on the miraculous, and I shall say nothing about them
till I have tested the fishermen's stories.[228] 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
covered with the refuse of the codfish; the very air I breathe and
smell is impregnated with essence of codfish.

_July 30._ 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
afternoon 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 pomarinus_,[229] female, a full-grown young
Raven, and some Finches. Coolidge's party had some Lesser Red-polls,
several Swamp Sparrows, three 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

_August 1._ Bras d'Or, Coast of Labrador.[230] I have drawn my
_Lestris pomarinus_, 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 canvas, 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
thunder; 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 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
Ipswich, arrived, only nine days from Boston; but to our sorrow 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 supercargo, who are going to purchase fish; they visited us
and complained bitterly of the cold and the general appearance of the
country. The retrograde migration of many birds has already commenced,
more especially that of the lesser species both of land and water

_August 3._ 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 daylight it rained hard and the gale
continued. Lincoln went on shore and shot some birds, but nothing of
importance. 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, _Numenius
borealis_, so carelessly described 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 wherever a certain berry, called here "Curlew
berry,"[231] 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 Partridges. 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 4._ 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 _Numenius
borealis_; I find them difficult 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
_Charadrius_. 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 country 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
forward in the most interesting manner, and now and then poising in
the air like a Hawk in sight of quarry. There 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 beautiful 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 six 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 cover all 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_[232] and
_Tringa pusilla_[233] 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 Espérance, 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 perhaps
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 vessels, some so heavily loaded with
fish that the water runs over their decks; others, in ballast, have
come to purchase fish.

_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, 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
performed. 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 are 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 _Mormon arcticus_. As we approached
the breeding-place, the air was filled with these birds, and the water
around absolutely covered with them, while on the rocks were
thousands, 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 multitude 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 _Larus marinus_ 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 whenever 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?[234] Yes, my Lucy, one more new species is on
the list of the "Birds of America," 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 excursion 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 instantly died from the effects of two
well-directed shots. All efforts to procure the young birds were
ineffectual; 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
proportion 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 remains of _Alca torda_, _Uria troile_, and _Mormon
arcticus_--all of which are within their reach on an island here
called Parocket Island--also the remains of Curlews and Ptarmigans.
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 believe.

My evening has been enlivened by the two Italians from the "Wizard,"
who have been singing many songs to the accompaniment of John's

_August 11. At sea, Gulf of St. Lawrence._ 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 readiness. 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. Seldom 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 mountains 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 become
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.

_August 13. Harbor of St. George, St. George's Bay, Newfoundland._ 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 beautiful and ample
basin cannot easily be found; not an obstruction 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 temperature 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 Tennison"; 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
Labrador. 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 10th 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 vocations; 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 vegetable
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 Sparrows, among them the Lincoln's
Finch, the Canada Titmouse, 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
native Indians to try to engage them to show us the way to the
interior, where we are told the Small, or True Ptarmigan 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 returning 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 exchange 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 chamæmorus_].
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
Indians simply waded out up to their knees, turned the eel grass over,
and secured their prey. After much parley, we engaged two hunters to
go as guides into the interior to procure 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 ceteras_. 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, extremely juicy, extremely
tender, and extremely good. The _Parus hudsonicus_ is very abundant;
so is the Pine Grosbeak, but in a shocking state of moult. The _Kalmia
angustifolia_[235] 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[236] on shore. I am going with the rest out of

_August 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 off 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 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

_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 _Lestris 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 _Muscicapa_
(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

_August 21._ To-day the storm ceased, but the wind is still so adverse
that we could make no port of Newfoundland; 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
Pictou, Halifax, and the country between them and Eastport, is our

_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' confinement 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 afford. The voice of a Blue Jay was
melody to me, and the sight of a Humming-bird quite filled my heart
with delight. 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 neared the
horizon, she looked like a white speck, or an Eagle high in air. We
wished our captain a most safe voyage to Quoddy. 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

_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 publication; 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 £1,000.
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. Blanchard 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 village,
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 conveyance for ourselves to-morrow morning instead of going
by coach to-night; it could not be done. Professor McCullough then
took me to the house of Samuel George Archibald, 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 valley,
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, good-night.

_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 ourselves 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 some 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 coachman 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 wherever 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 breakfast for six persons of our appearance. We passed on and soon
came on the track of a tolerably large bear, _in 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 expended, 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. Suddenly
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 consequence of walking on hard
ground after tramping only on the softest, deepest mosses for two

_August 25._ I rose at four and wrote to thee and Dr. Parkman;[237]
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 everywhere 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, 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 Hewitson.

_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 macadamized and good, over hills and through valleys,
and though the distance is forty-five miles, we 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 compelled 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. We 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 freestone, 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 improved 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
quantities. 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
appearance. 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 to-morrow.

_August 28._ I can now say that I have seen the tide waters of the Bay
of Fundy rise sixty-five feet.[238] We were 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.


[172] 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.

[173] Now commonly spelled Canso--not Canseau.

[174] _Plectrophenax nivalis_, the Snow Bunting.--E. C.

[175] _Canachites canadensis_, the Canada Grouse.--E. C.

[176] Foolish Guillemot.

[177] Black Guillemot.

[178] Great Blue Heron.

[179] Razor-billed Auk.

[180] Spotted Sandpiper, now _Actitis macularia_.--E. C.

[181] Dusky Duck.

[182] Scoter Duck.

[183] The Least or Wilson's Sandpiper, _Tringa (Actodromas)
minutilla_.--E. C.

[184] A mistake, which Audubon later corrected. The Herring Gull is of
course quite distinct from the Black-backed. The former is of the
variety called by me _Larus argentatus smithsonianus_, as it differs
in some respects from the common Herring Gull of Europe.--E. C.

[185] Perhaps Forster's Tern, _Sterna forsteri_.--E. C.

[186] Charles Lucien Bonaparte.

[187] No doubt the common species, _Phalacrocorax carbo_, as Audubon
afterward identified it. See beyond, date of June 30.--E. C.

[188] 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.

[189] This is the so-called Bridled Guillemot, _Uria ringvia_. The
white mark is not characteristic of sex, age, or season. The bird is
not specifically distinct from _Uria troile_.--E. C.

[190] _Merula migratoria_, the American Robin.

[191] Kinglet, _Regulus calendula_.--E. C.

[192] An interesting note of this new species figured in B. of Am.,
folio pl. 193, and described in Orn. Biogr. ii., 1834, p. 539. It is
now known as _Melospiza lincolni_.--E. C.

[193] The Common Puffin, now called _Fratercula arctica_.--E. C.

[194] 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 1860 (see Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci., 1861, p. 249).--E. C.

[195] Now _Otocorys alpestris_.--E. C.

[196] Now _Anthus pennsylvanicus_.--E. C.

[197] Common Cormorant. See note on page 370.

[198] _Loxia leucoptera._

[199] _Le petit caporal, Falco temerarius_, AUD. Ornith. Biog. i.,
1831, p. 381, pl. 85. _Falco columbarius_, AUD. Ornith. Biog. i.,
1831, p. 466, pl. 92; v., 1838, p. 368. Synopsis, 1839, p. 16. B.
Amer. 8vo, ed. 1., 1840, p. 88, pl. 21. _Falco auduboni_, BLACKWALL,
Zoöl. Researches, 1834.--E. C.

In vol. v., p. 368, 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 Hawk, _F. columbarius_. 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.

[200] American Ring Plover, now known as _Ægialitis semipalmata_.--E.

[201] Great Northern Diver or Loon, now called _Urinator_, or _Gavia_,
_imber_. The other Diver above mentioned as the "Scapegrace" is _U.,
or G., lumme_.

[202] Red-throated Diver, now _Urinator_, or _Gavia_, _lumme_.--E. C.

[203] The White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows are now placed in
the genus _Zonotrichia_.--E. C.

[204] Jager.

[205] Petrels, most probably _Cymochorea leucorrhoa_.--E. C.

[206] Now _L. delawarensis_, also called Ring-billed Gull.--E. C.

[207] Double-crested Cormorant.

[208] The Catchfly.

[209] Pigeon Hawk.

[210] White-crowned Sparrow.

[211] Brown Titlark.

[212] Black-poll Warbler.

[213] Savannah Finch.

[214] Double-crested Cormorant.

[215] Hudson's Bay Titmouse.

[216] The Ruffed Grouse, _Bonasa umbellus_.--E. C.

[217] Common Gull. This record raises an interesting question, which
can hardly be settled satisfactorily. _Larus canus_, 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 _L.
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, 1860. 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., xxv. 1896, 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. zonorhynchus_ (_i. e._, _L. delawarensis_), 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, notwithstanding Dr. Coues' finding of the
supposed _L. canus_ in Labrador, the whole Audubonian record really
belongs to _L. delawarensis_.--E. C.

[218] This appears to be an error, reflected in all of Audubon's
published works. The Cayenne Tern of Audubon, as described and figured
by him, is _Sterna regia_, which has never been known to occur in
Labrador. Audubon never knew the Caspian Tern, _S. 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.

[219] 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.
rupestris_.--E. C.

[220] This is the bird which Audubon afterward identified with
_Tyrannula richardsonii_ of Swainson, Fn., Bor.-Am., ii., 1831, p.
146, pl. 46, lower fig., and published under the name of the
Short-legged Pewee or Pewit Fly-catcher, _Muscicapa phoebe_, in Orn.
Biogr., v. p. 299, pl. 434; B. Am., 8vo ed., i. p. 219, pl. 61. The
species is now well known as the Western Wood Pewee, _Contopus
richardsoni_; but it has never since Audubon's time been authenticated
as a bird of Labrador. Audubon was of course perfectly familiar with
the common Wood Pewee, _Contopus virens_, and with the Pewit
Flycatcher, _Sayornis phoebe_. 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. richardsonii_
which has never been satisfactorily explained.--E. C.

[221] _Harelda hiemalis_, the Old Squaw or Long-Tailed Duck.--E. C.

[222] _Histrionicus histrionicus_, the Harlequin Duck.--E. C.

[223] The Washington Eagle, or "Bird of Washington," of Audubon's
works, is based upon the young Bald Eagle, _Haliaëtus leucocephaluis_.
The bird here noted may have been either this species, or the _Aquila
chrysaëtus_.--E. C.

[224] See Episode "A Labrador Squatter."

[225] Or Labrador Duck, _Camptolæmus labradorius_. This is a notable
record, considering that the species became extinct about 1875.--E. C.

[226] This is the White-winged Coot or Scoter just mentioned above,
_[OE]demia deglandi_.--E. C.

[227] Brown or Northern Phalarope.

[228] The Curlew which occurs in almost incredible numbers in Labrador
is the Eskimo, _Numenius 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., 1861, p. 236.--E. C.

[229] Pomarine Jager, or Gull-hunter, now called _Stercorarius
pomarinus_.--E. C.

[230] A small village on the coast of Labrador, latitude 51°; _not_
the Bras D'Or of Cape Breton Island.

[231] _Empetrum nigrum._

[232] The Purple or Rock Sandpiper, _Tringa (Arquatella)
maritima_.--E. C.

[233] Not _Ereunetes pusillus_, but the Least Sandpiper, _Tringa
(Actodromas) minutilla_, which appears as _Tringa pusilla_ in
Audubon's works.--E. C.

[234] This is the bird figured by Audubon as _Falco labradora_ on
folio pl. 196, 8vo pl. 19, but which he afterward considered to be the
same as his _F. islandicus_. It is now held, however, to represent a
dark variety of Gyrfalcon, known as _F. gyrfalco obsoletus_, confined
to Labrador and thence southward in winter to New England and New
York.--E. C.

[235] Sheep laurel.

[236] See Episode, "A Ball in Newfoundland."

[237] Dr. George Parkman, of Boston, who was murdered by Professor J.
W. Webster in Boston, November 23, 1849.

[238] See Episode, "The Bay of Fundy."




This journey, which occupied within a few days of eight months,--from
March 11, 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 granddaughters 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 life of those days.

     M. R. A.

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 the country is whitened with this
   precious, semi-congealed, heavenly dew. As to ice!--I wish it
   were all in your icehouse 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 pleasant 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 commander 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[239] 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 swimming 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 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 _compagnons de voyage_, about one hundred 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 particular 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

   "We are at the Glasgow Hotel, and will leave it the day after
   to-morrow, as it is too good for our purses. We intended to have
   gone twenty miles in Illinois to Edwardsville, 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 possible, and I may get your letter before I leave this
   for the Yellowstone.

   "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 appearance."


[239] 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.



I left home at ten o'clock of the morning, on Saturday the 11th 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,[240] of the Great
Pine Swamp. I also met my friend Edward Harris, who, with old John G.
Bell,[241] 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,[242] Dr. Morton,[243] and others,
and we had many calls made upon us at the hotel. On Monday morning 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. 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 additional weight--a first-rate piece of
robbery. We went on now by coaches, entering the gap, and ascending
the Alleghanies amid a storm of snow, which kept us company for about
forty hours, when we reached Wheeling, which we left on the 16th 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 before 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-remembered steamer "Gallant," and after having been struck
by a log which did not send us to the bottom, arrived on the 28th of

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 gré_, _mal gré_. 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 (_Pseudostoma bursarius_)[244] wonderfully abundant in
this section of country. One day our friend Harris 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 figures of _Sciurus
capistratus_,[245] which is here called "Fox Squirrel."

   [Illustration: AUDUBON.

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 singularly lingering winter of 1842 and
1843 was over. Having conveyed the whole of our effects on board the
steamer, and being supplied with excellent letters, we left St. Louis
at 11.30 A. M., with Mr. Sarpy on board, and a hundred and one
trappers of all descriptions and nearly a dozen different
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 nervousness 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 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 _engagés_)[246] 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 _engagés_ 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
_attachés_. 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
reluctant; 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 very
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, 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,[247] 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 experienced 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 fifteen to twenty, very gentle indeed. About four this
afternoon 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[248] that had been captured there, and
which, had it been clean, I should have bought. I saw that its legs
and 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.[249] 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.[250] 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[251] enter towards dusk.
Harris saw a Peregrine Falcon; the whole of these rocky shores are
ornamented with a species of white cedar quite satisfactorily 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
troublesome 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 thermometer being at 78° at three this
afternoon. We saw a pair of Peregrine Falcons, one of them with a bird
in its talons; also a few White-fronted Geese, some Blue-winged Teal,
and some Cormorants,[252] 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 instance 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
_perche_ 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,[253] 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 Fé
traders with whom we had crossed the Alleghanies. They were awaiting
the arrival of their goods, and then would immediately start. I saw a
Rabbit sitting under the shelf of a rock, and also a Gray Squirrel. It
appears to me that _Sciurus macrourus_[254] of Say relishes the bottom
lands in 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
overwhelm, 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 centuries past. If this be not
an awful exemplification of the real course of Natures 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[255] without stopping
there, and the blackguards 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. 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 30th._ 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, _Lepus
sylvaticus_, and two Bachmans, two _Sciurus macrourus_ of Say, two
_Arctomys monax_, and a pair of _Tetrao_ [_Bonasa_] _umbellus_. 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 children, perfectly
surrounded by the flood; these houses stood apparently on the margin
of a river[256] 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
assistance, 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

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 Rivière. The wind lulled away, and we ran all night,
touching, for a few minutes, on a bar in the middle of the river.

_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 procuring 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 neighborhood, 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 particular 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 abundance 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 garden, 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 "Muloë"[257] (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 7/8 of an inch, and immediately next to them was a rosebush,
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 we 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 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
instantaneously 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--_Americans_) raising the earth with its back and
shoulders, and forcing it out forward, 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 received 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 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 movements, 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 severely, 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,

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 returned my
salutations, but came on board, as well as Father de Smet.[258] They
all of them came to my room and saw specimens and skins. Among them
was Captain Clark,[259] 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.[260] Here again was the "John Auld," putting out
freight for the Santa Fé traders, and we saw many of their wagons. 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 12½ 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 Parrakeets.

_May 3._ We ran all last night and reached Fort Leavenworth at six
this morning. We had an early breakfast, 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. Unfortunately 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 Missouri, by the purchase of
the Platte River country, continues for about 250 miles further on the
east side, where now we see the only settlements. We saw a good number
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 Marmots; 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 night forbidding.

_Thursday, May 4._ 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 succeeded 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
carolinensis_. Friend Harris shot two or three birds, which we have not
yet fully established, and Bell shot one Lincoln's Finch[261]--strange
place for it, when it breeds so very far north as Labrador. Caught a
Woodpecker, and killed a Cat-bird, Water-thrush, seventeen Parrakeets,
a Yellow Chat, a new Finch,[262] and very curious, two White-throated
Finches, one White-crown, a Yellow-rump Warbler, a Gray Squirrel, a
Loon, and two Rough-winged Swallows. We saw Cerulean Warblers, Hooded
Flycatchers, Kentucky Warblers, Nashville ditto, Blue-winged ditto,
Red-eyed and White-eyed Flycatchers, Great-crested and Common 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 Herons, Crows, Turkey-buzzards,
and a Peregrine Falcon, Red-tailed Hawks, Red-headed, Red-bellied, and
Golden-winged Woodpeckers, and Partridges. Also, innumerable "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[263] 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
_Sciurus macrourus_ of 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.[264] 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 account of their extreme shyness. We saw the Indigo-bird, Barn
Swallows, Purple Martin, and Greenbacks;[265] also, a Rabbit at the
Black Snake Hills. The general aspect of the river is materially
altered for the worse; it has become 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 Hills, that in time of
extreme high water must be very difficult 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 thermometer 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 species[266] (to me at least). We
saw a Goshawk, a Marsh Hawk, and a great number of Blackbirds, but
could not ascertain the species.[267] The wind was still high when we
left our stopping place, but we progressed, and this afternoon came
alongside of a beautiful prairie of some thousands 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 number 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 relatives, 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 approached the
landing, perched and seated on the promontories 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 Iowas,
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[268] 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 Partridges 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.

    (Now Columbigallina passerina terrestri.)


_May 7, Sunday._ 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 macrourus_, 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 woods 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 overflowed, and was sadly muddy and sticky. At twelve the
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, usually, 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 Bluebirds; heard a Marsh Wren, saw a Crow, a Wood Thrush,
and Water Thrush. Indigo-birds and Parrakeets plentiful. 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, extending 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 nests.

_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
Audubonii_.[269] 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 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
Pelicans, 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 afternoon we reached the famous
establishment of Belle Vue[270] where resides the brother of Mr. Sarpy
of St. Louis, as well as the Indian Agent, or, as he might be more
appropriately 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 fatigued
and will finish 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, on this side of the Missouri. We unloaded some freight, and
pushed off. We saw here the first ploughing of the ground we have
observed since we left the lower settlements near St. Louis. We very
soon reached the post of Fort Croghan,[271] 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 10, 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 captain[272] 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 comfortably. I desired to go to see the commanding
officer, and the lieutenant very politely sent us there on horseback,
guided by an old dragoon of considerable respectability. 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
anxious to take a short cut, and took me across several bayous, 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, 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,[273] 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 Yellow-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[274] 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
specimen killed here, but which was devoured by the hogs belonging to
the establishment. The captain and the doctor--Madison[275] 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, Field 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
provisions. 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 remarkable change from their previous valor
and daring. Bell collected six different species of shells, and found
a large 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.[276] 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 several 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
scampering 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 now come to a portion of
the river more crooked than any we have passed; the shores on both
sides are evidently 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,[277] 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 moment, and then started on a gentle gallop. When I
overtook his tracks they appeared small, and more rounded than usual.
I saw several tracks at the same time, therefore 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 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 willowed 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 timber 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_,[278] 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[279] immediately on the
bank; they trotted away without appearing to be much alarmed; after a
few hundred yards, the two largest, probably males, raised themselves
on their hind feet and pawed at each other, after the manner of
stallions. 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 Mallards and Wood Ducks.
This afternoon the weather cleared up, and a while before sunset we
passed under Wood's Bluffs,[280] 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,[281]
where the famous Indian 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 miles.

_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
commander. 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 places along
this bluff we saw clusters of nests of Swallows, 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 11¾ pounds. She
had a nest, no doubt, but we could not find it. We saw a good number
of Geese, though fewer than yesterday; 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 ordinary 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
nothing, not even took aim at a bird; and there was an Indian 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,[282] 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 coming to Floyd's
Creek, we started several Turkey-cocks 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,[283] 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 return homeward. It is late; had the
weather been clear, and the moon, which is full, shining, it was our
intention 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 enumerated.

_May 14, Sunday._ It rained hard and thundered during 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 Long-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 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
Vermilion 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 captain
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 captain he tells us that the Black Bear is
rarely seen swimming 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 Buffalo, 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
different 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 frequently 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

_May 15, 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 daybreak, 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[284]--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 Missouri 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 willows--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
perspiration ran down us, and at one time I was nearly exhausted;
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
refreshed. 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 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; therefore 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 reported that the water has risen two feet, but this
is somewhat 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 river.

_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 current therefore is very strong, and impedes
our progress greatly. We found that the Herons we had killed yesterday
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,[285] and
met Mr. Cerré, called usually Pascal, the agent of the 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
portholes. 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 remarkable 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. Cerré's establishment two _engagés_ and four Sioux
Indians. We are obliged to keep bright eyes upon them, for they are
singularly light-fingered. The woods are filled with wild-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 returned. 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
hunting 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 Squires to keep the Wolves away from the dead
Deer. We went at once towards a small stream meandering at the foot of
the hills, and as we followed it, Bell shot at a Turkey-cock about
eighty yards; his ball cut a streak of feathers from its back, but the
gobbler went off. When we approached the spot where Michaux had opened
the Deer, we did so cautiously, in the hope of then shooting a Wolf,
but none had come; we therefore made our observations, and took up the
tongue, which had been forgotten. Bell joined us, and as we were
returning to Squires we saw flocks of the Chestnut-collared Lark or
Ground-finch, whose exact measurement I have here given, and almost at
the same time saw Harris. He and Bell went off after the Finches; we
pursued our course to Squires, and waited for their return. Seeing no
men to help carry the Deer, Michaux picked it up, Squires took his
gun, etc., and we made for the river again. We had the good luck to
meet the barge coming, and we reached our boat easily in a few
minutes, with our game. I saw upwards of twelve of Harris' new Finch
(?) a Marsh Hawk, Henslow's Bunting, _Emberiza pallida_, Robins, Wood
Thrushes, Bluebirds, Ravens, the same abundance of House Wrens, and
all the birds already enumerated. We have seen floating eight
Buffaloes, one Antelope, and one Deer; how great the destruction of
these animals must be during high freshets! The cause of their being
drowned in such extraordinary numbers might not astonish one
acquainted with the habits of these animals, but to one who is not, it
may be well enough for me to describe it. Some few hundred miles above
us, the river becomes confined between high bluffs or cliffs, many of
which are nearly perpendicular, and therefore extremely difficult to
ascend. When the Buffaloes have leaped or tumbled down from either
side of the stream, they swim with ease across, but on reaching these
walls, as it were, the poor animals try in vain to climb them, and
becoming exhausted by falling back some dozens of times, give up the
ghost, and float down the turbid stream; their bodies have been known
to pass, swollen and putrid, the city of St. Louis. The most
extraordinary part of the history of these drowned Buffaloes is, that
the different tribes of Indians on the shores, are ever on the lookout
for them, and no matter how putrid their flesh may be, provided the
hump proves at all fat, they swim to them, drag them on shore, and cut
them to pieces; after which they cook and eat this loathsome and
abominable flesh, even to the marrow found in the bones. In some
instances this has been done when the whole of the hair had fallen
off, from the rottenness of the Buffalo. Ah! Mr. Catlin, I am now
sorry to see and to read your accounts of the Indians _you_
saw[286]--how very different they must have been from any that I have
seen! Whilst we were on the top of the high hills which we climbed
this morning, and looked towards the valley beneath us, including the
river, we were undetermined as to whether we saw as much land dry as
land overflowed; the immense flat prairie on the east side of the
river looked not unlike a lake of great expanse, and immediately
beneath us the last freshet had left upwards of perhaps two or three
hundred acres covered by water, with numbers of water fowl on it, but
so difficult of access as to render our wishes to kill Ducks quite out
of the question. From the tops of the hills we saw only a continual
succession of other lakes, of the same form and nature; and although
the soil was of a fair, or even good, quality, the grass grew in
tufts, separated from each other, and as it grows green in one spot,
it dies and turns brown in another. We saw here no "carpeted
prairies," no "velvety distant landscape;" and if these things are to
be seen, why, the sooner we reach them the better. This afternoon I
took the old nest of a Vireo, fully three feet above my head, filled
with dried mud; it was attached to two small prongs issuing from a
branch fully the size of my arm; this proves how high the water must
have risen. Again, we saw large trees of which the bark had been torn
off by the rubbing or cutting of the ice, as high as my shoulder. This
is accounted for as follows: during the first breaking up of the ice,
it at times accumulates, so as to form a complete dam across the
river; and when this suddenly gives way by the heat of the atmosphere,
and the great pressure of the waters above the dam, the whole rushes
on suddenly and overflows the country around, hurling the ice against
any trees in its course. Sprague has shot two _Emberiza pallida_, two
Lincoln's Finches, and a Black and Yellow Warbler, _Sylvicola
[Dendroeca] maculosa_. One of our trappers, who had gone to the
hills, brought on board two Rattlesnakes of a kind which neither
Harris nor myself had seen before. The four Indians we have on board
are three Puncas[287] and one Sioux; the Puncas were formerly attached
to the Omahas; but, having had some difficulties among themselves,
they retired further up the river, and assumed this new name. The
Omahas reside altogether on the west side of the Missouri. Three of
the Puncas have walked off to the establishment of Mr. Cerré to
procure moccasins, but will return to-night. They appear to be very
poor, and with much greater appetites than friend Catlin describes
them to have. Our men are stupid, and very superstitious; they believe
the rattles of Snakes are a perfect cure for the headache; also, that
they never die till after sunset, etc. We have discovered the female
of Harris's Finch, which, as well as in the White-crowned Finch,
resembles the male almost entirely; it is only a very little paler in
its markings. I am truly proud to name it _Fringilla Harrisii_, in
honor of one of the best friends I have in this world.

_May 18, Thursday._ Our good captain called us all up at a quarter
before four this fair morning, to tell us that four barges had arrived
from Fort Pierre, and that we might write a few letters, which Mr.
Laidlaw,[288] one of the partners, would take to St. Louis for us. I
was introduced to that gentleman and also to Major Dripps,[289] the
Indian agent. I wrote four short letters, which I put in an envelope
addressed to the Messieurs Chouteau & Co., of St. Louis, who will post
them, and we have hopes that some may reach their destination. The
names of these four boats are "War Eagle," "White Cloud," "Crow
feather," and "Red-fish." We went on board one of them, and found it
comfortable enough. They had ten thousand Buffalo robes on the four
boats; the men live entirely on Buffalo meat and pemmican. They told
us that about a hundred miles above us the Buffalo were by thousands,
that the prairies were covered with dead calves, and the shores lined
with dead of all sorts; that Antelopes were there also, and a great
number of Wolves, etc.; therefore we shall see them after a while. Mr.
Laidlaw told me that he would be back at Fort Pierre in two months,
and would see us on our return. He is a true Scot, and apparently a
clean one. We gave them six bottles of whiskey, for which they were
very thankful; they gave us dried Buffalo meat, and three pairs of
moccasins. They breakfasted with us, preferring salt meat to fresh
venison. They departed soon after six o'clock, and proceeded rapidly
down-stream in Indian file. These boats are strong and broad; the
tops, or roofs, are supported by bent branches of trees, and these are
covered by water-proof Buffalo hides; each has four oarsmen and a
steersman, who manages the boat standing on a broad board; the helm is
about ten feet long, and the rudder itself is five or six feet long.
They row constantly for sixteen hours, and stop regularly at sundown;
they, unfortunately for us, spent the night about two miles above us,
for had we known of their immediate proximity we should have had the
whole of the night granted for writing long, long letters. Our
prospect of starting to-day is somewhat doubtful, as the hammering at
the boilers still reaches my ears. The day is bright and calm. Mr.
Laidlaw told us that on the 5th of May the snow fell two feet on the
level, and destroyed thousands of Buffalo calves. We felt the same
storm whilst we were fast on the bar above Fort Leavenworth. This has
been a day of almost pure idleness; our tramps of yesterday and the
day previous had tired me, and with the exception of shooting at
marks, and Sprague killing one of Bell's Vireo, and a Least Pewee, as
well as another female of Harris's Finch, we have done nothing. Bell
this evening went off to look for Bats, but saw none.

_May 19, Friday._ This has been a beautiful, but a very dull day to us
all. We started by moonlight at three this morning, and although we
have been running constantly, we took the wrong channel twice, and
thereby lost much of our precious time; so I look upon this day's
travel as a very poor one. The river was in several places
inexpressibly wide and shallow. We saw a Deer of the common kind
swimming across the stream; but few birds were killed, although we
stopped (unfortunately) three times for wood. I forgot to say
yesterday two things which I should have related, one of which is of a
dismal and very disagreeable nature, being no less than the account
given us of the clerks of the Company having killed one of the chiefs
of the Blackfeet tribe of Indians, at the upper settlement of the
Company, at the foot of the great falls of the Missouri, and therefore
at the base of the Rocky Mountains, and Mr. Laidlaw assured us that it
would be extremely dangerous for us to go that far towards these
Indians. The other thing is that Mr. Laidlaw brought down a daughter
of his, a half-breed of course, whom he is taking to St. Louis to be
educated. We saw another Deer crossing the river, and have shot only a
few birds, of no consequence.

_May 20, Saturday._ We have not made much progress this day, for the
wind rose early, and rather ahead. We have passed to-day Jacques
River,[290] or, as I should call it, La Rivière à Jacques, named after
a man who some twenty or more years ago settled upon its banks, and
made some money by collecting Beavers, etc., but who is dead and gone.
Three White Wolves were seen this morning, and after a while we saw a
fourth, of the brindled kind, which was trotting leisurely on, about
150 yards distant from the bank, where he had probably been feeding on
some carrion or other. A shot from a rifle was quite enough to make
him turn off up the river again, but farther from us, at a full
gallop; after a time he stopped again, when the noise of our steam
pipe started him, and we soon lost sight of him in the bushes. We saw
three Deer in the flat of one of the prairies, and just before our
dinner we saw, rather indistinctly, a number of Buffaloes, making
their way across the hills about two miles distant; after which,
however, we saw their heavy tracks in a well and deep cut line across
the said hills. Therefore we are now in what is pronounced to be the
"Buffalo country," and may expect to see more of these animals
to-morrow. We have stopped for wood no less than three times this day,
and are fast for the night. Sprague killed a _Pipilo arcticus_, and
Bell three others of the same species. We procured also another Bat,
the _Vespertilio subulatus_ of Say, and this is all. The country
around us has materially changed, and we now see more naked, and to my
eyes more completely denuded, hills about us, and less of the rich
bottoms of alluvial land, than we passed below our present situation.
I will not anticipate the future by all that we hear of the country
above, but will continue steadily to accumulate in this, my poor
journal, all that may take place from day to day. Three of our Indian
rascals left us at our last wooding-ground, and have gone towards
their miserable village. We have now only one Sioux with us, who will,
the captain says, go to Fort Pierre in our company. They are, all that
we have had as yet, a thieving and dirty set, covered with vermin. We
still see a great number of Black-headed Gulls, but I think fewer
Geese and Ducks than below; this probably on account of the very
swampy prairie we have seen, and which appears to become scarce as we
are advancing in this strange wilderness.

_May 21, Sunday._ We have had a great deal that interested us all this
day. In the first place we have passed no less than five of what are
called rivers, and their names are as follows:[291] Manuel, Basil,
L'Eau qui Court, Ponca Creek, and Chouteau's River, all of which are
indifferent streams of no magnitude, except the swift-flowing L'Eau
qui Court,[292] which in some places is fully as broad as the Missouri
itself, fully as muddy, filled with quicksands, and so remarkably
shallow that in the autumn its navigation is very difficult indeed. We
have seen this day about fifty Buffaloes; two which we saw had taken
to the river, with intent to swim across it, but on the approach of
our thundering, noisy vessel, turned about and after struggling for a
few minutes, did make out to reach the top of the bank, after which
they travelled at a moderate gait for some hundreds of yards; then,
perhaps smelling or seeing the steamboat, they went off at a good
though not very fast gallop, on the prairie by our side, and were soon
somewhat ahead of us; they stopped once or twice, again resumed their
gallop, and after a few diversions in their course, made to the
hill-tops and disappeared altogether. We stopped to wood at a very
propitious place indeed, for it was no less than the fort put up some
years ago by Monsieur Le Clerc. Finding no one at the spot, we went to
work cutting the pickets off his fortifications till we were loaded
with the very best of dry wood. After we left that spot, were found
several _Pipilo arcticus_ which were shot, as well as a Say's
Flycatcher. The wind rose pretty high, and after trying our best to
stem the current under very high cliffs, we were landed on Poncas
Island, where all of us excepting Squires, who was asleep, went on
shore to hunt, and to shoot whatever we might find. It happened that
this island was well supplied with game; we saw many Deer, and Bell
killed a young Doe, which proved good as fresh meat. Some twelve or
fourteen of these animals were seen, and Bell saw three Elks which he
followed across the island, also a Wolf in its hole, but did not kill
it. Sprague saw a Forked-tailed Hawk, too far off to shoot at. We
passed several dead Buffaloes near the shore, on which the Ravens were
feeding gloriously. The _Pipilo arcticus_ is now extremely abundant,
and so is the House Wren, Yellow-breasted Chat, etc. We have seen this
day Black-headed Gulls, Sandpipers, and Ducks, and now I am going to
rest, for after my long walk through the deep mud to reach the ridge
on the islands, I feel somewhat wearied and fatigued. Three Antelopes
were seen this evening.

_May 22, Monday._ We started as early as usual, _i. e._, at half-past
three; the weather was fine. We breakfasted before six, and
immediately after saw two Wild Cats of the common kind; we saw them
running for some hundreds of yards. We also saw several large Wolves,
noticing particularly one pure white, that stood and looked at us for
some time. Their movements are precisely those of the common cur dog.
We have seen five or six this day. We began seeing Buffaloes again in
small gangs, but this afternoon and evening we have seen a goodly
number, probably more than a hundred. We also saw fifteen or twenty
Antelopes. I saw ten at once, and it was beautiful to see them running
from the top of a high hill down to its base, after which they went
round the same hill, and were lost to us. We have landed three times
to cut wood, and are now busy at it on Cedar Island.[293] At both the
previous islands we saw an immense number of Buffalo tracks, more,
indeed, than I had anticipated. The whole of the prairies as well as
the hills have been so trampled by them that I should have considered
it quite unsafe for a man to travel on horseback. The ground was
literally covered with their tracks, and also with bunches of hair,
while the bushes and the trunks of the trees, between which they had
passed, were hanging with the latter substance. I collected some, and
intend to carry a good deal home. We found here an abundance of what
is called the White Apple,[294] but which is anything else but an
apple. The fruit grows under the ground about six inches; it is about
the size of a hen's egg, covered with a woody, hard pellicle, a
sixteenth of an inch thick, from which the fruit can be drawn without
much difficulty; this is quite white; the exterior is a dirty, dark
brown. The roots are woody. The flowers were not in bloom, but I
perceived that the leaves are ovate, and attached in fives. This plant
is collected in great quantities by the Indians at this season and
during the whole summer, and put to dry, which renders it as hard as
wood; it is then pounded fine, and makes an excellent kind of mush,
upon which the Indians feed greedily. I will take some home. We found
pieces of crystallized gypsum; we saw Meadow Larks whose songs and
single notes are quite different from those of the Eastern States; we
have not yet been able to kill one to decide if new or not.[295] We
have seen the Arkansas Flycatcher, Sparrow-hawks, Geese, etc. The
country grows poorer as we ascend; the bluffs exhibit oxide of iron,
sulphur, and also magnesia. We have made a good day's run, though the
wind blew rather fresh from the northwest. Harris shot a Marsh Hawk,
Sprague a Night-hawk, and some small birds, and I saw Martins breeding
in Woodpeckers' holes in high and large cotton-trees. We passed the
"Grand Town"[296] very early this morning; I did not see it, however.
Could we have remained on shore at several places that we passed, we
should have made havoc with the Buffaloes, no doubt; but we shall have
enough of that sport ere long. They all look extremely poor and
shabby; we see them sporting among themselves, butting and tearing up
the earth, and when at a gallop they throw up the dust behind them.
We saw their tracks all along both shores; where they have landed and
are unable to get up the steep cliffs, they follow along the margin
till they reach a ravine, and then make their way to the hills, and
again to the valleys; they also have roads to return to the river to
drink. They appear at this season more on the west side of the
Missouri. The Elks, on the contrary, are found on the islands and low
bottoms, well covered with timber; the common Deer is found
indifferently everywhere. All the Antelopes we have seen were on the
west side. After we had left our first landing-place a few miles, we
observed some seven or eight Indians looking at us, and again retiring
to the woods, as if to cover themselves; when we came nearly opposite
them, however, they all came to the shore, and made signs to induce us
to land. The boat did not stop for their pleasure, and after we had
fairly passed them they began firing at us, not with blank cartridges,
but with well-directed rifle-balls, several of which struck the
"Omega" in different places. I was standing at that moment by one of
the chimneys, and saw a ball strike the water a few feet beyond our
bows; and Michaux, the hunter, heard its passing within a few inches
of his head. A Scotchman, who was asleep below, was awakened and
greatly frightened by hearing a ball pass through the partition,
cutting the lower part of his pantaloons, and deadening itself against
a trunk. Fortunately no one was hurt. Those rascals were attached to a
war party, and belong to the Santee tribes which range across the
country from the Mississippi to the Missouri. I will make no comment
upon their conduct, but I have two of the balls that struck our boat;
it seems to be a wonder that not one person was injured, standing on
deck as we were to the number of a hundred or more. We have not seen
Parrakeets or Squirrels for several days; Partridges have also
deserted us, as well as Rabbits; we have seen Barn Swallows, but no
more Rough-winged. We have yet plenty of Red-headed Woodpeckers. Our
captain has just sent out four hunters this evening, who are to hunt
early to-morrow morning, and will meet the boat some distance above;
Squires has gone with them. How I wish I were twenty-five years
younger! I should like such a tramp greatly; but I do not think it
prudent now for me to sleep on the ground when I can help it, while it
is so damp.

_May 23, Tuesday._ The wind blew from the south this morning and
rather stiffly. We rose early, and walked about this famous Cedar
Island, where we stopped to cut large red cedars [_Juniperus
virginianus_] for one and a half hours; we started at half-past five,
breakfasted rather before six, and were on the lookout for our
hunters. _Hunters!_ Only two of them had ever been on a Buffalo hunt
before. One was lost almost in sight of the river. They only walked
two or three miles, and camped. Poor Squires' first experience was a
very rough one; for, although they made a good fire at first, it never
was tended afterwards, and his pillow was formed of a buck's horn
accidentally picked up near the place. Our Sioux Indian helped himself
to another, and they all felt chilly and damp. They had forgotten to
take any spirits with them, and their condition was miserable. As the
orb of day rose as red as blood, the party started, each taking a
different direction. But the wind was unfavorable; it blew up, not
down the river, and the Buffaloes, Wolves, Antelopes, and indeed every
animal possessed of the sense of smell, had scent of them in time to
avoid them. There happened however to be attached to this party two
good and true men, that may be called hunters. One was Michaux; the
other a friend of his, whose name I do not know. It happened, by hook
or by crook, that these two managed to kill four Buffaloes; but one of
them was drowned, as it took to the river after being shot. Only a few
pieces from a young bull, and its tongue, were brought on board, most
of the men being too lazy, or too far off, to cut out even the tongues
of the others; and thus it is that thousands multiplied by thousands
of Buffaloes are murdered in senseless play, and their enormous
carcasses are suffered to be the prey of the Wolf, the Raven and the
Buzzard. However, the hunters all returned safely to the boat, and we
took them in, some tired enough, among whom was friend Squires. He had
worn out his moccasins, and his feet were sore, blistered, and
swollen; he was thirsty enough too, for in taking a drink he had gone
to a beautiful clear spring that unfortunately proved to be one of
magnesia, which is common enough in this part of our country, and this
much increased his thirst. He drank four tumblers of water first, then
a glass of grog, ate somewhat of a breakfast, and went to bed, whence
I called him a few minutes before dinner. However, he saw some
Buffaloes, and had hopes of shooting one, also about twenty Antelopes.
Michaux saw two very large White Wolves. At the place where we decided
to take the fatigued party in, we stopped to cut down a few dead
cedars, and Harris shot a common Rabbit and one Lark Finch. Bell and
Sprague saw several Meadow-larks, which I trust will prove new, as
these birds have quite different notes and songs from those of our
eastern birds. They brought a curious cactus, some handsome
well-scented dwarf peas, and several other plants unknown to me. On
the island I found abundance of dwarf wild-cherry bushes in full
blossom, and we have placed all these plants in press. We had the
misfortune to get aground whilst at dinner, and are now fast till
to-morrow morning; for all our efforts to get the boat off, and they
have been many, have proved ineffectual. It is a bad spot, for we are
nearly halfway from either shore. I continued my long letter for home,
and wrote the greatest portion of another long one to John Bachman. I
intend to write till a late hour this night, as perchance we may
reach Fort Pierre early next week.

_May 24,_[297] _Wednesday._ We remained on the said bar till four this
afternoon. The wind blew hard all day. A boat from Fort Pierre
containing two men passed us, bound for Fort Vermilion; one of them
was Mr. Charity, one of the Company's associate traders. The boat was
somewhat of a curiosity, being built in the form of a scow; but
instead of being made of wood, had only a frame, covered with Buffalo
skins with the hair on. They had been nine days coming 150 miles,
detained every day, more or less, by Indians. Mr. Charity gave me some
leather prepared for moccasins--for a consideration, of course. We
have seen Buffaloes, etc., but the most important animal to us was one
of Townsend's Hare.[298] We shot four Meadow-larks [_Sturnella
neglecta_] that have, as I said, other songs and notes than ours, but
could not establish them as new. We procured a Red-shafted Woodpecker,
two Sparrow-hawks, two Arkansas Flycatchers, a Blue Grosbeak, saw
Say's Flycatcher, etc. I went on shore with Harris's small
double-barrelled gun, and the first shot I had was pretty near killing
me; the cone blew off, and passed so near my ear that I was stunned,
and fell down as if shot, and afterwards I was obliged to lie down for
several minutes. I returned on board, glad indeed that the accident
was no greater. We passed this afternoon bluffs of sulphur, almost
pure to look at, and a patch that has burnt for two years in
succession. Alum was found strewn on the shores. A toad was brought,
supposed to be new by Harris and Bell. We landed for the night on an
island so thick with underbrush that it was no easy matter to walk
through; perhaps a hundred Buffalo calves were dead in it, and the
smell was not pleasant, as you may imagine. The boat of Mr. Charity
went off when we reached the shore, after having escaped from the bar.
We have seen more White Wolves this day, and few Antelopes. The whole
country is trodden down by the heavy Buffaloes, and this renders the
walking both fatiguing and somewhat dangerous. The garlic of this
country has a red blossom, otherwise it looks much like ours; when
Buffalo have fed for some time on this rank weed, their flesh cannot
be eaten.


_May 25, Thursday._ The weather looked cloudy, and promised much rain
when we rose this morning at five o'clock; our men kept busy cutting
and bringing wood until six, when the "Omega" got under way. It began
raining very soon afterwards and it has continued to this present
moment. The dampness brought on a chilliness that made us have fires
in each of the great cabins. Michaux brought me two specimens of
_Neotoma floridana_, so young that their eyes were not open. The nest
was found in the hollow of a tree cut down for firewood. Two or three
miles above us, we saw three Mackinaw barges on the shore, just such
as I have described before; all these belonged to the (so-called)
Opposition Company of C. Bolton, Fox, Livingstone & Co., of New York,
and therefore we passed them without stopping; but we had to follow
their example a few hundred yards above them, for we had to stop also;
and then some of the men came on board, to see and talk to their old
acquaintances among our extraordinary and motley crew of trappers and
_engagés_. On the roofs of the barges lay much Buffalo meat, and on
the island we left this morning probably some hundreds of these poor
animals, mostly young calves, were found dead at every few steps; and
since then we have passed many dead as well as many groups of living.
In one place we saw a large gang swimming across the river; they
fortunately reached a bank through which they cut their way towards
the hills, and marched slowly and steadily on, paying no attention to
our boat, as this was far to the lee of them. At another place on the
west bank, we saw eight or ten, or perhaps more, Antelopes or Deer of
some kind or other, but could not decide whether they were the one or
the other. These animals were all lying down, which would be contrary
to the general habit of our common Deer, which never lie down during
rain, that I am aware of. We have had an extremely dull day of it, as
one could hardly venture out of the cabin for pleasure. We met with
several difficulties among sand-bars. At three o'clock we passed the
entrance into the stream known as White River;[299] half an hour ago
we were obliged to land, and send the yawl to try for the channel, but
we are now again on our way, and have still the hope of reaching Great
Cedar Island[300] this evening, where we must stop to cut
wood.--_Later._ Our attempt to reach the island I fear will prove
abortive, as we are once more at a standstill for want of deeper
water, and the yawl has again gone ahead to feel for a channel. Within
the last mile or so, we must have passed upwards of a hundred drowned
young Buffalo calves, and many large ones. I will await the moment
when we must make fast somewhere, as it is now past eight o'clock. The
rain has ceased, and the weather has the appearance of a better day
to-morrow, overhead at least. Now it is after nine o'clock; we are
fastened to the shore, and I will, for the first time since I left St.
Louis, sleep in my cabin, and between sheets.

_May 26, Friday._ The weather was fine, but we moved extremely slowly,
not having made more than ten miles by twelve o'clock. The captain
arranged all his papers for Fort Pierre. Three of the best walkers,
well acquainted with the road, were picked from among our singularly
mixed crew of _engagés_, and were put ashore at Big Bend Creek, on the
banks of a high cliff on the western side; they ascended through a
ravine, and soon were out of sight. We had stopped previously to cut
wood, where our men had to lug it fully a quarter of a mile. We
ourselves landed of course, but found the prairie so completely
trodden by Buffaloes that it was next to impossible to walk.
Notwithstanding this, however, a few birds were procured. The boat
continued on with much difficulty, being often stopped for the want of
water. At one place we counted over a hundred dead Buffalo calves; we
saw a great number, however, that did reach the top of the bank, and
proceeded to feeding at once. We saw one animal, quite alone, wading
and swimming alternately, till it had nearly crossed the river, when
for reasons unknown to us, and when only about fifty yards from the
land, it suddenly turned about, and swam and waded back to the western
side, whence it had originally come; this fellow moved through the
water as represented in this very imperfect sketch, which I have
placed here, and with his tail forming nearly half a circle by its
erection during the time he swam. It was mired on several occasions
while passing from one shoal or sand-bar to another. It walked,
trotted, or galloped, while on the solid beach, and ultimately, by
swimming a few hundred yards, returned to the side from whence it had
started, though fully half a mile below the exact spot. There now was
heard on board some talk about the _Great Bend_, and the captain
asked me whether I would like to go off and camp, and await his
arrival on the other side to-morrow. I assured him that nothing would
give us more pleasure, and he gave us three stout young men to go with
us to carry our blankets, provisions, etc., and to act as guides and
hunters. All was ready by about five of the afternoon, when Harris,
Bell, Sprague, and I, as well as the three men, were put ashore; and
off we went at a brisk walk across a beautiful, level prairie, whereon
in sundry directions we could see small groups of Buffaloes, grazing
at leisure. Proceeding along, we saw a great number of Cactus, some
Bartram Sandpipers, and a Long-billed Curlew. Presently we observed a
village of prairie Marmots, _Arctomys [Cynomys] ludovicianus_, and two
or three of our party diverged at once to pay them their respects. The
mounds which I passed were very low indeed; the holes were opened, but
I saw not one of the owners. Harris, Bell, and Michaux, I believe,
shot at some of them, but killed none, and we proceeded on, being
somewhat anxious to pitch our camp for the night before dark.
Presently we reached the hills and were surprised at their
composition; the surface looked as if closely covered with small
broken particles of coal, whilst the soil was of such greasy or soapy
nature, that it was both painful and fatiguing to ascend them. Our
guides assured us that such places were never in any other condition,
or as they expressed it, were "never dry." Whilst travelling about
these remarkable hills, Sprague saw one of Townsend's Hare, and we
started the first and only Prairie Hen we have seen since our
departure from St. Louis. Gradually we rose on to the very uppermost
crest of the hills we had to cross, and whilst reposing ourselves for
some minutes we had the gratification of seeing around us one of the
great panoramas this remarkable portion of our country affords. There
was a vast extent of country beneath and around us. Westward rose the
famous Medicine Hill, and in the opposite direction were the
wanderings of the Missouri for many miles, and from the distance we
were then from it, the river appeared as if a small, very circuitous
streamlet. The Great Bend was all in full view, and its course almost
resembled that of a chemist's retort, being formed somewhat like the
scratch of my pen thus:--


The walk from our landing crossing the prairies was quite four miles,
whilst the distance by water is computed to be twenty-six. From the
pinnacle we stood on, we could see the movements of our boat quite
well, and whilst the men were employed cutting wood for her engines,
we could almost count every stroke of their axes, though fully two
miles distant, as the crow flies. As we advanced we soon found
ourselves on the ridges leading us across the Bend, and plainly saw
that we were descending towards the Missouri once more. _Chemin
faisant_, we saw four Black-tailed Deer, a shot at which Michaux or
Bell, who were in advance, might perhaps have had, had not Harris and
Sprague taken a route across the declivity before them, and being
observed by these keen-sighted animals, the whole made off at once. I
had no fair opportunity of witnessing their movements; but they looked
swiftness itself, combined with grace. They were not followed, and we
reached the river at a spot which evidently had been previously camped
on by Indians; here we made our minds up to stop at once, and arrange
for the night, which now promised to be none of the fairest. One man
remained with us to prepare the camp, whilst Michaux and the others
started in search of game, as if blood-hounds. Meantime we lighted a
large and glowing fire, and began preparing some supper. In less than
half an hour Michaux was seen to return with a load on his back, which
proved to be a fine young buck of the Black-tailed Deer. This
produced animation at once. I examined it carefully, and Harris and
Sprague returned promptly from the point to which they had gone. The
darkness of the night, contrasting with the vivid glare of our fire,
which threw a bright light on the skinning of the Deer, and was
reflected on the trunks and branches of the cottonwood trees, six of
them in one clump, almost arising from the same root, gave such superb
effect that I retired some few steps to enjoy the truly fine picture.
Some were arranging their rough couches, whilst others were engaged in
carrying wood to support our fire through the night; some brought
water from the great, muddy stream, and others were busily at work
sharpening long sticks for skewers, from which large pieces of venison
were soon seen dropping their rich juices upon the brightest of
embers. The very sight of this sharpened our appetites, and it must
have been laughable to see how all of us fell to, and ate of this
first-killed Black-tailed Deer. After a hearty meal we went to sleep,
one and all, under the protection of God, and not much afraid of
Indians, of whom we have not seen a specimen since we had the pleasure
of being fired on by the Santees. We slept very well for a while, till
it began to sprinkle rain; but it was only a very slight shower, and I
did not even attempt to shelter myself from it. Our fires were mended
several times by one or another of the party, and the short night
passed on, refreshing us all as only men can be refreshed by sleep
under the sky, breathing the purest of air, and happy as only a clear
conscience can make one.


_May 27, Saturday._ At half-past three this morning my ears were
saluted by the delightful song of the Red Thrush, who kept on with his
strains until we were all up. Harris and Bell went off, and as soon as
the two hunters had cleaned their rifles they followed. I remained in
camp with Sprague for a while; the best portions of the Deer, _i. e._,
the liver, kidneys, and tongue, were cooked for breakfast, which
all enjoyed. No Wolves had disturbed our slumbers, and we now started
in search of quadrupeds, birds, and adventures. We found several
plants, all new to me, and which are now in press. All the ravines
which we inspected were well covered by cedars of the red variety, and
whilst ascending several of the hills we found them in many parts
partially gliding down as if by the sudden effects of very heavy rain.
We saw two very beautiful Avocets [_Recurvirostra americana_] feeding
opposite our camp; we saw also a Hawk nearly resembling what is called
Cooper's Hawk, but having a white rump. Bell joined the hunters and
saw some thousands of Buffalo; and finding a very large bull within
some thirty yards of them, they put in his body three large balls. The
poor beast went off, however, and is now, in all probability, dead.
Many fossil remains have been found on the hills about us, but we saw
none. These hills are composed of limestone rocks, covered with much
shale. Harris thinks this is a different formation from that of either
St. Louis or Belle Vue--but, alas! we are not much of geologists. We
shot only one of Say's Flycatcher, and the Finch we have called
_Emberiza pallida_,[301] but of which I am by no means certain, for
want of more exact descriptions than those of a mere synopsis. Our
boat made its appearance at two o'clock; we had observed from the
hill-tops that it had been aground twice. At three our camp was broken
up, our effects removed, our fire left burning, and our boat having
landed for us, and for cutting cedar trees, we got on board, highly
pleased with our camping out, especially as we found all well on
board. We had not proceeded very far when the difficulties of
navigation increased so much that we grounded several times, and
presently saw a few Indians on the shore; our yawl was out sounding
for a passage amid the many sand-bars in view; the Indians fired, not
balls, but a salute, to call us ashore. We neared shore, and talked to
them; for, they proving to be Sioux, and our captain being a good
scholar in that tongue, there was no difficulty in so doing. He told
them to follow us, and that he would come-to. They ran to their horses
on the prairie, all of which stood still, and were good-looking,
comparatively speaking, leaped on their backs without saddles or
stirrups, and followed us with ease at a walk. They fired a second
salute as we landed; there were only four of them, and they are all at
this moment on board. They are fine-looking fellows; the captain
introduced Harris and me to the chief, and we shook hands all round.
They are a poor set of beggars after all. The captain gave them
supper, sugar and coffee, and about one pound of gunpowder, and the
chief coolly said: "What is the use of powder, without balls?" It is
quite surprising that these Indians did not see us last night, for I
have no doubt our fire could have been seen up and down the river for
nearly twenty miles. But we are told their lodges are ten miles
inland, and that may answer the question. I shall not be sorry now to
go to bed. Our camp of the _Six Trees_ is deserted and silent. The
captain is almost afraid he may be forced to leave half his cargo
somewhere near this, and proceed to Fort Pierre, now distant fifty
miles, and return for the goods. The Indians saw nothing of the three
men who were sent yesterday to announce our approach to Fort Pierre.

_Sunday, May 28._ This morning was beautiful, though cool. Our
visiting Indians left us at twelve last night, and I was glad enough
to be rid of these beggars by trade. Both shores were dotted by groups
of Buffaloes as far as the eye could reach, and although many were
near the banks they kept on feeding quietly till we nearly approached
them; those at the distance of half a mile never ceased their
avocations. A Gray Wolf was seen swimming across our bows, and some
dozens of shots were sent at the beast, which made it open its mouth
and raise its head, but it never stopped swimming away from us, as
fast as possible; after a while it reached a sand-bar, and immediately
afterwards first trotted, and then galloped off. Three Buffaloes also
crossed ahead of us, but at some distance; they all reached the shore,
and scrambled up the bank. We have run better this morning than for
three or four days, and if fortunate enough may reach Fort Pierre
sometime to-morrow. The prairies appear better now, the grass looks
green, and probably the poor Buffaloes will soon regain their flesh.
We have seen more than 2,000 this morning up to this moment--twelve

We reached Fort George[302] at about three this afternoon. This is
what is called the "Station of the Opposition line;" some Indians and
a few lodges are on the edge of the prairie. Sundry bales of Buffalo
robes were brought on board, and Major Hamilton, who is now acting
Indian agent here until the return of Major Crisp, came on board also.
I knew his father thirty-five years ago. He pointed out to us the
cabin on the opposite shore,[303] where a partner of the "Opposition
line" shot at and killed two white men and wounded two others, all of
whom were remarkable miscreants. We are about thirty miles below Fort
Pierre. Indians were seen on both sides the river, ready to trade both
here and at Fort Pierre, where I am told there are five hundred lodges
standing. The Indian dogs which I saw here so very closely resemble
wild Wolves, that I feel assured that if I was to meet with one of
them in the woods, I should most assuredly kill it as such. A few
minutes after leaving Fort George, we stopped to sound the channel,
and could not discover more than three and a half feet of water; our
captain told us we would proceed no farther this day, but would camp
here. Bell, Harris, and Sprague went off with guns; Squires and I
walked to Fort George, and soon met a young Englishman going towards
our boat on a "Buffalo Horse" at a swift gallop; but on being hailed
he reined up. His name was Illingsworth; he is the present manager of
this establishment. He welcomed us, and as he was going to see Captain
Sire, we proceeded on. Upon reaching the camp we found a strongly
built log cabin, in one end of which we met Mr. Cutting, who told me
he had known Victor [Audubon] in Cuba. This young gentleman had been
thrown from his horse in a recent Buffalo chase, and had injured one
foot so that he could not walk. A Buffalo cow had hooked the horse and
thrown the rider about twenty feet, although the animal had not been
wounded. We also met here a Mr. Taylor, who showed me the petrified
head of a Beaver, which he supposed to be that of a Wolf; but I showed
him the difference in the form at once. I saw two young Wolves about
six weeks old, of the common kind, alive. They looked well, but their
nature was already pretty apparently that of the parents. I saw an
abundance of semi-wolf Dogs, and their howlings were distressing to my
ear. We entered the lodge of a trader attached to our company, a
German, who is a clever man, has considerable knowledge of botany,
and draws well. There were about fifteen lodges, and we saw a greater
number of squaws and half-breed children than I had expected. But as
every clerk and agent belonging to the companies has "a wife," as it
is _called_, a spurious population soon exhibits itself around the
wigwams. I will not comment upon this here. We returned before dark to
our boat, and I am off to bed.

_Monday, May 29._ I was up early, and as soon as breakfast was over,
Major Hamilton and myself walked to Fort George. We found the three
gentlemen to whom I showed the plate of quadrupeds, and afterwards I
went to their store to see skins of Wolves and of the Swift Fox. I
found a tolerably good Fox skin which was at once given me; I saw what
I was assured were two distinct varieties (for I cannot call them
species) of Wolves. Both, however, considering the difference in size,
were old and young of the same variety. They both had the top of the
back dark gray, and the sides, belly, legs, and tail, nearly white.
When I have these two sorts in the flesh, I may derive further
knowledge. I looked at the Indian Dogs again with much attention, and
was assured that there is much cross breeding between these Dogs and
Wolves, and that all the varieties actually come from the same root.

Harris now joined us, and found he had met a brother of Mr. Cutting in
Europe. The gentlemen from the fort came back to the boat with us; we
gave them a luncheon, and later a good substantial dinner, the like of
which, so they told us, they had not eaten for many a day. Mr.
Illingsworth told us much about Buffaloes; he says the hunting is
usually more or less dangerous. The Porcupine is found hereabouts and
feeds on the leaves and bark as elsewhere, but not unfrequently
retires into the crevices of rocks, whenever no trees of large size
are to be found in its vicinity. Elks, at times, assemble in groups
of from fifty to two hundred, and their movements are as regular as
those of a flock of White Pelicans, so that if the oldest Elk starts
in any one direction, all the rest follow at once in his tracks. Where
he stops, they all stop, and at times all will suddenly pause, range
themselves as if a company of dragoons, ready to charge upon the
enemy; which, however, they seldom if ever attempt. After dinner Mr.
Illingsworth told me he would go and shoot a Buffalo calf for me--we
will see. Bell, Harris, Squires, and myself went off to shoot some
Prairie-dogs, as the _Arctomys ludovicianus_ is called. After walking
over the hills for about one mile, we came to the "village," and soon
after heard their cries but not their barkings. The sound they make is
simply a "chip, chip, chip," long and shrill enough, and at every cry
the animal jerks its tail, without however erecting it upright, as I
have seen them represented. Their holes are not perpendicular, but
oblique, at an angle of about forty degrees, after which they seem to
deviate; but whether sideways or upwards, I cannot yet say. I shot at
two of them, which appeared to me to be standing, not across their
holes, but in front of them. The first one I never saw after the shot;
the second I found dying at the entrance of the burrow, but at my
appearance it worked backwards. I drew my ramrod and put the end in
its mouth; this it bit hard but kept working backwards, and
notwithstanding my efforts, was soon out of sight and touch. Bell saw
two enter the same hole, and Harris three. Bell saw some standing
quite erect and leaping in the air to see and watch our movements. I
found, by lying down within twenty or thirty steps of the hole, that
they reappeared in fifteen or twenty minutes. This was the case with
me when I shot at the two I have mentioned. Harris saw one that, after
coming out of its hole, gave a long and somewhat whistling note, which
he thinks was one of invitation to its neighbors, as several came out
in a few moments. I have great doubts whether their cries are issued
at the appearance of danger or not. I am of opinion that they are a
mode of recognition as well as of amusement. I also think they feed
more at night than in the day. On my return to the boat, I rounded a
small hill and started a Prairie Wolf within a few steps of me. I was
unfortunately loaded with No. 3 shot. I pulled one trigger and then
the other, but the rascal went off as if unhurt for nearly a hundred
yards, when he stopped, shook himself rather violently, and I saw I
had hit him; but he ran off again at a very swift rate, his tail down,
stopped again, and again shook himself as before, after which he ran
out of my sight between the hills. Buffalo cows at this season
associate together, with their calves, but if pursued, leave the
latter to save themselves. The hides at present are not worth saving,
and the Indians as well as the white hunters, when they shoot a
Buffalo, tear off the hide, cut out the better portions of the flesh,
as well as the tongue, and leave the carcass to the Wolves and Ravens.
By the way, Bell saw a Magpie this day, and Harris killed two
Black-headed Grosbeaks. Bell also saw several Evening Grosbeaks
to-day; therefore there's not much need of crossing the Rocky
Mountains for the few precious birds that the talented and
truth-speaking Mr. ---- brought or sent to the well-paying Academy of
Natural Sciences of Philadelphia! The two men sent to Fort Pierre a
few days ago have returned, one this evening, in a canoe, the other
this afternoon, by land.

_May 30, Tuesday._ We had a fine morning, and indeed a very fair day.
I was called up long before five to receive a Buffalo calf, and the
head of another, which Mr. Illingsworth had the goodness to send me.
Sprague has been busy ever since breakfast drawing one of the heads,
the size of nature. The other entire calf has been skinned, and will
be in strong pickle before I go to bed. Mr. Illingsworth killed two
calves, one bull, and one cow. The calves, though not more than about
two months old, as soon as the mother was wounded, rushed towards the
horse or the man who had struck her. The one bull skinned was so
nearly putrid, though so freshly killed, that its carcass was thrown
overboard. This gentleman, as well as many others, assured us that the
hunting of Buffaloes, for persons unaccustomed to it, was very risky
indeed; and said no one should attempt it unless well initiated, even
though he may be a first-rate rider. When calves are caught alive, by
placing your hands over the eyes and blowing into the nostrils, in the
course of a few minutes they will follow the man who performs this
simple operation. Indeed if a cow perchance leaves her calf behind
during a time of danger, or in the chase, the calf will often await
the approach of man and follow him as soon as the operation mentioned
is over. Mr. Illingsworth paid us a short visit, and told us that Mr.
Cutting was writing to his post near Fort Union to expect us, and to
afford us all possible assistance. We made a start at seven, and after
laboring over the infernal sand-bars until nearly four this afternoon,
we passed them, actually cutting our own channel with the assistance
of the wheel. Whilst we were at this, we were suddenly boarded by the
yawl of the "Trapper," containing Mr. Picotte, Mr. Chardon, and
several others. They had left Fort Pierre this morning, and had come
down in one hour and a half. We were all duly presented to the whole
group, and I gave to each of these gentlemen the letters I had for
them. I found them very kind and affable. They dined after us, being
somewhat late, but ate heartily and drank the same. They brought a
first-rate hunter with them, of whom I expect to have much to say
hereafter. Mr. Picotte promised me the largest pair of Elk horns ever
seen in this country, as well as several other curiosities, all of
which I will write about when I have them. We have reached Antelope
River,[304] a very small creek on the west side. We saw two Wolves
crossing the river, and Harris shot a Lark Finch. We have now no
difficulties before us, and hope to reach Fort Pierre very early
to-morrow morning.

_Fort Pierre,_[305] _May 31, Wednesday._ After many difficulties we
reached this place at four o'clock this afternoon, having spent the
whole previous part of the day, say since half-past three this
morning, in coming against the innumerable bars--only _nine miles_! I
forgot to say last evening, that where we landed for the night our
captain caught a fine specimen of _Neotoma floridana_, a female. We
were forced to come-to about a quarter of a mile above Fort Pierre,
after having passed the steamer "Trapper" of our Company. Bell,
Squires, and myself walked to the Fort as soon as possible, and found
Mr. Picotte and Mr. Chardon there. More kindness from strangers I have
seldom received. I was presented with the largest pair of Elk horns I
ever saw, and also a skin of the animal itself, most beautifully
prepared, which I hope to give to my beloved wife. I was also
presented with two pairs of moccasins, an Indian riding-whip, one
collar of Grizzly Bear's claws, and two long strings of dried white
apples, as well as two Indian dresses. I bought the skin of a fine
young Grizzly Bear, two Wolf skins, and a parcel of fossil remains. I
saw twelve young Buffalo calves, caught a few weeks ago, and yet as
wild, apparently, as ever. Sprague will take outlines of them
to-morrow morning, and I shall draw them. We have put ashore about
one-half of our cargo and left fifty of our _engagés_, so that we
shall be able to go much faster, in less water than we have hitherto
drawn. We are all engaged in finishing our correspondence, the whole
of the letters being about to be forwarded to St. Louis by the steamer
"Trapper." I have a letter of seven pages to W. G. Bakewell, James
Hall, J. W. H. Page, and Thomas M. Brewer,[306] of Boston, besides
those to my family. We are about one and a half miles above the Teton
River, or, as it is now called, the Little Missouri,[307] a swift and
tortuous stream that finds its source about 250 miles from its union
with this great river, in what are called the Bad Lands of Teton
River, where it seems, from what we hear, that the country has been at
one period greatly convulsed, and is filled with fossil remains. I
saw the young Elk belonging to our captain, looking exceedingly
shabby, but with the most beautiful eyes I ever beheld in any animal
of the Deer kind. We have shot nothing to-day. I have heard all the
notes of the Meadow Lark found here and they are utterly different
from those of our common species. And now that I am pretty well
fatigued with writing letters and this journal, I will go to rest,
though I have matter enough in my poor head to write a book. We expect
to proceed onwards some time to-morrow.

_June 1, Thursday._ I was up at half-past three, and by four Sprague
and I walked to the Fort, for the purpose of taking sketches of young
Buffalo calves. These young beasts grunt precisely like a hog, and I
would defy any person not seeing the animals to tell one sound from
the other. The calves were not out of the stable, and while waiting I
measured the Elk horns given me by Mr. Picotte. They are as follows:
length, 4 feet 6½ inches; breadth 27 to 27½ inches; circumference at
the skull 16 inches, round the knob 12 inches; between the knobs 3
inches. This animal, one of the largest ever seen in this country, was
killed in November last. From seventeen to twenty-one poles are
necessary to put up a lodge, and the poles when the lodge is up are
six or seven feet above the top. The holes at the bottom, all round,
suffice to indicate the number of these wanted to tighten the lodge.
In time Sprague made several outline sketches of calves, and I drew
what I wished. We had breakfast very early, and I ate some good bread
and fresh butter. Mr. Picotte presented me with two pipe-stems this
morning, quite short, but handsome. At eleven we were on our way, and
having crossed the river, came alongside of the "Trapper," of which
Mr. John Durack takes the command to St. Louis. The name of our own
captain is Joseph A. Sire. Mr. Picotte gave me a letter for Fort
Union, as Mr. Culbertson will not be there when we arrive. One of
Captain Sire's daughters and her husband are going up with us. She
soled three pairs of moccasins for me, as skilfully as an Indian. Bell
and Harris shot several rare birds. Mr. Bowie promised to save for me
all the curiosities he could procure; he came on board and saw the
plates of quadrupeds, and I gave him an almanac, which he much

After we had all returned on board, I was somewhat surprised that
Sprague asked me to let him return with the "Omega" to St. Louis. Of
course I told him that he was at liberty to do so, though it will keep
me grinding about double as much as I expected. Had he said the same
at New York, I could have had any number of young and good artists,
who would have leaped for joy at the very idea of accompanying such an
expedition. Never mind, however.

We have run well this afternoon, for we left Fort Pierre at two
o'clock, and we are now more than twenty-five miles above it. We had a
rascally Indian on board, who hid himself for the purpose of murdering
Mr. Chardon; the latter gave him a thrashing last year for thieving,
and Indians never forget such things--he had sworn vengeance, and that
was enough. Mr. Chardon discovered him below, armed with a knife; he
talked to him pretty freely, and then came up to ask the captain to
put the fellow ashore. This request was granted, and he and his bundle
were dropped overboard, where the water was waist deep; the fellow
scrambled out, and we heard, afterward, made out to return to Fort
Pierre. I had a long talk with Sprague, who thought I was displeased
with him--a thing that never came into my head--and in all probability
he will remain with us. Harris shot a pair of Arkansas Flycatchers,
and Squires procured several plants, new to us all. Harris wrote a few
lines to Mr. Sarpy at St. Louis, and I have had the pleasure to send
the Elk horns, and the great balls from the stomachs of Buffalo given
me by our good captain. I am extremely fatigued, for we have been up
since before daylight. _At 12 o'clock of the night._ I have got up to
scribble this, which it is not strange that after all I saw this day,
at this curious place, I should have forgotten. Mr. Picotte took me to
the storehouse where the skins procured are kept, and showed me eight
or ten packages of White Hare skins, which I feel assured are all of
Townsend's Hare of friend Bachman, as no other species are to be met
with in this neighborhood during the winter months, when these animals
migrate southward, both in search of food and of a milder climate.

_June 2, Friday._ We made an extremely early start about three A. M.
The morning was beautiful and calm. We passed Cheyenne River at
half-past seven, and took wood a few miles above it. Saw two White
Pelicans, shot a few birds. My hunter, Alexis Bombarde, whom I have
engaged, could not go shooting last night on account of the crossing
of this river, the Cheyenne, which is quite a large stream. Mr.
Chardon gave me full control of Alexis, till we reach the Yellowstone.
He is a first-rate hunter, and powerfully built; he wears his hair
long about his head and shoulders, as I was wont to do; but being a
half-breed, his does not curl as mine did. Whilst we are engaged
cutting wood again, many of the men have gone after a Buffalo, shot
from the boat. We have seen more Wolves this day than ever previously.
We saw where carcasses of Buffaloes had been quite devoured by these
animals, and the diversity of their colors and of their size is more
wonderful than all that can be said of them. Alexis Bombarde, whom
hereafter I shall simply call _Alexis_, says that with a small-bored
rifle common size, good shot will kill any Wolf at sixty or eighty
yards' distance, as well as bullets. We passed one Wolf that, crossing
our bows, went under the wheel and yet escaped, though several shots
were fired at it. I had a specimen of _Arvicola pennsylvanicus_[308]
brought to me, and I was glad to find this species so very far from
New York. These animals in confinement eat each other up, the
strongest one remaining, often maimed and covered with blood. This I
have seen, and I was glad to have it corroborated by Bell. We are told
the Buffalo cows are generally best to eat in the month of July; the
young bulls are, however, tough at this season. Our men have just
returned with the whole of the Buffalo except its head; it is a young
bull, and may prove good. When they reached it, it was standing, and
Alexis shot at it twice, to despatch it as soon as possible. It was
skinned and cut up in a very few minutes, and the whole of the flesh
was brought on board. I am now astonished at the poverty of the bluffs
which we pass; no more of the beautiful limestone formations that we
saw below. Instead of those, we now run along banks of poor and
crumbling clay, dry and hard now, but after a rain soft and soapy.
Most of the cedars in the ravines, formerly fine and thrifty, are now,
generally speaking, dead and dried up. Whether this may be the effect
of the transitions of the weather or not, I cannot pretend to assert.
We have seen more Wolves to-day than on any previous occasions. We
have made a good day's work of it also, for I dare say that when we
stop for the night, we shall have travelled sixty miles. The water is
rising somewhat, but not to hurt our progress. We have seen young
Gadwall Ducks, and a pair of Geese that had young ones swimming out of
our sight.

_June 3, Saturday._ Alexis went off last night at eleven o'clock,
walked about fifteen miles, and returned at ten this morning; he
brought three Prairie Dogs, or, as I call them, Prairie Marmots. The
wind blew violently till we had run several miles; at one period we
were near stopping. We have had many difficulties with the sand-bars,
having six or seven times taken the wrong channel, and then having to
drop back and try our luck again. The three Marmots had been killed
with shot quite too large, and not one of them wa