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|Named Person:||Lucy Green Bakewell Audubon; Victor Audubon; John Bachman; John Woodhouse Audubon; Maria Martin|
|Document Type:||Archival Material|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
John James Audubon
|Notes:||Two of the letters have been mounted.|
The first letter was written to his wife, Lucy, in Shippingport, Ky., on May 24, 1821. It provides a description of Audubon's experiences in New Orleans while he was earning a living by making portraits in black chalk and teaching art. He was also seeking a means to begin publishing pictures of birds. He writes of his desire to join an exedition to the Pacific wilderness, his aspirations of showing his work in Europe, his family's financial difficulty, and much about his daily activities. Of particular note is a passage about his future and bird illustration: "Then my poor Birds come Next or will they ever come - I see that thou hast no faith in them. I cannot say I am much encouraged about them, but it seems my Genius (if I have any) was intended that way..." He continues on about showing his work to the public. The letter contains two cross-written passages, one of which appears to be instructions for unpacking the pictures he had shipped. The other consists of two lines, "The Captain will thee Two Leghorn Hats for thy Dear Boys." The letter is incomplete and unsigned.
The second letter was written in London on February 13, 1836. It is a brief note to Bingham, Richards, & Co. informing them that they had charged Audubon for 8 copies of "Fauna Italico..." but that he had not received the copies.
The third letter was written to his son, Victor, on April 22 and April 28, 1840 from Charleston, S.C., while Audubon was visiting his collaborating naturalist, John Bachman. The letter begins with a list of 58 subscribers, followed by Audubon's directives to Victor on family business matters, and a long discussion of sales and itineraries. When the letter was written, Audubon was handling the sale of his own work and was engaged in publication of the royal octavo, "Birds in America." John Bachman wrote a page while Audubon was resting, discussing the death of his daughter, Mrs. John Woodhouse (Maria) Audubon, his grandchildren, and John Woodhouse Audubon's painting. He chides Victor regarding errors in the text of his pet project, "The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America," and is complimentary on John's forte in the painting of animals. The balance of the letter contains more notes on business from Audubon and a friendly note from Maria Martin, Bachman's sister-in-law, who was employed by Audubon as a background colorist. The letter provides insight into the Audubon-Bachman relationship.
- Audubon, Lucy Green Bakewell, -- 1788-1874,
- Audubon, Victor, -- 1826-1845.
- Bachman, John, -- 1790-1874.
- Audubon, John Woodhouse, -- 1812-1862.
- Martin, Maria.
- Art, American -- United States.
- Ornithologists -- United States.
- Artists -- Economic conditions.
- Birds in art.
- Animals in art.
- Artists' books.
- Publishers and publishing.
- Booksellers and bookselling -- Cortage, subscription trade, etc.
- Artists as authors.
- New Orleans (La.) -- Description and travel.