69

One page autograph letter signed John J[ames] Audubon, on wove paper, to Colonel John James Abert, from New York, dated July 17, 1837

New York, July 16, 1837

My Dear Friend. -

Passing through Philadelphia, I discovered that there is deposited in the library of the American Philosophical Society of that City, the manuscript of General William Clark, written while travelling from the Atlantic to the shores of the Pacific Ocean; and found that a vast deal of the Ornithological matter was embodied in that said M/S. - Now in applying to my worthy friend, John Vaughn Esq., he told me that these papers had been deposited at the Library of which he has the care, by our Government, and that he could not lend them out.

I have thought that by writing to you on this subject, you perhaps would assist me by speaking of my wishes to the President, and Secretaries of the different Departments, and that for the sake of my work on Ornithology, you could obtain leave to have the M/S of Wm. Clark placed in my hands for a few months in London, where I would copy all such parts, as an intimately accounting with Zoology; (not a word of which has been published) and that these papers might with safety be received by me through the medium of our Minister at London to whom I vouch safe to return the whole as I receive them. - Try and if this is possible, manage this [indistinct] for me. -remember me kindly to your family - to Mr. Woodbury who is also an excellent friend of mine, to Mr. Butler and Mr. Poinsett and believe me even your most truly obliging friend and servant to Col. J. J. Abert, Washington City.

John J. Audubon
P.J. O.


Verso:

P. S. Please to write to me at London
4 Wingate Street, Cavendish Square

Or

Care of Robt. Havell, Engraver
77 Oxford Street, London

We sail this morning for Liverpool in the Packet Ship the England


  • Provenance: Provenance: By descent within a New England Family.

    This remarkable letter highlights John James Audubon's foucused desire to gather ornithological information from all manner of sources as he compiled The Birds of America. Audubon composed this letter the same day he left to travel to London to join his wife and to meet with Robert Havell, Jr., the engraver primarily responsible for the elephant folio edition of The Birds of America.

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