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Audubon, John James
John James Audubon (1785-1851)
Birth Place Les Cayes, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Death Place Carmansville, New York
Born Apr. 26, 1785
Died Jan. 27, 1851
General Notes John James Audubon lived an extraordinary life. Although he claimed to have been the Bourbon Dauphin, he was in fact born to a French naval captain and his paramour in Santo Domingo (now Haiti). Raised in Nantes by his father, Audubon was only eighteen when he was sent to America in 1803 to manage a family farm in Pennsylvania. After he married and left the farm, he failed at various occupations-merchant, taxidermist, drawing instructor--always moving about on the western frontier. Sometime around 1820 he formulated his plan to document for publication all the birds of America. This enterprise took him down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to Louisiana, across the South, through the Northeast, and into Labrador. He published an account of his adventures, along with his scientific notes, as an Ornithological Biography, completed in 1839. Audubon never surpassed The Birds of America, but he did produce a compendium of mammals, The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, completed in 1848. He died at his home just north of New York City in 1851. The first Audubon Society was founded thirty-five years later.
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