By Marshall B. Davidson
As the yank frontier moved westward and natural world declined, John James Audubon drove himself to checklist his wonders. the following, during this short-form booklet, is his tale.
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Additional info for Audubon
I am growing old too fast,” he complained to his journal one evening when he was in his late forties, “. . ” As usual, he had been up at three in the morning and had been at his drawing for seventeen hours before making the entry. ” The fog might collect and fall in large drops from the ship’s rigging onto his drawing table, and occasionally the rain would force him to close the skylight; but he worked on, in wet clothes and partial darkness, if need be. If daylight was left when he finished, he went ashore for exercise.
And said that he would attend to that business at once, and indeed settle it to my satisfaction by Wednesday next. ” Three months later, Audubon received a payment on account for $100 only, but he pursued his payment as doggedly as he chased a bird of the forest. Webster must have come to dread the sight of him. In the heat of the Washington summer two years later, Audubon hunted the “godlike Dan—l” in his office, but found him engaged with Lord Ashburton, one of those private conferences, no doubt, when the two settled the long-disputed northeastern boundary of the United States.
They lacked illustration because of the costs involved. Even Parson Weems, the most active and imaginative bookseller of his day, could not have moved the number of books Audubon envisaged. For that matter, what publisher today, with all the promotion, distribution, and monetary resources available, would fund a four-volume set of 435 illustrations by a relatively unknown artist, with each book about forty by thirty inches and weighing as much as a strong man could carry and which would cost about $1,000 a set?