AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851). Autograph letter signed ("John J. Audubon") to Andrew Russell of Plymouth, Massachusetts, New York, 28 July 1841. 2 pages, 4to, with integral address leaf, some bleed through.
AUDUBON SOLICITS SPECIMENS FOR HIS 'QUADRUPEDS'
Audubon acknowledges receipt of Russell's check for ninety dollars and requests Russell's assistance in securing specimens for his Quadrupeds. "The Hare found in your immediate vicinity, and I am told rather abundant, the color of which is brownish! at this present Season, but pure white in Winter." Audubon requests that two young hares be sent as soon as possible, forwarded "perfectly entire" in a keg of "good common Rum." In addition, he suggests that Russell's young woodsmen friends might produce four weasels, bats, minxes, wood rats, etc. "please to have them put in the same keg.--5 or 6 Gallons of Rum, will be sufficient to preserve what ever you can procure, and quite enough at all events for 3 or 6 Hares."
Provenance: Mrs. Grace Phillips Johnson (1877-1972, her sale Christie's New York, 26 May 1977, lot 58). Mrs. Grace Phillips Johnson of New Castle, PA obtained her copy of the elephant-folio edition of the Birds of America and a trove of Auduboniana in the late 1920s or early 1930s from Charles B. Crandall, a New Castle bookseller who was at the time an agent for Gabriel Wells. Within her volume 1 were manuscript descriptions of the 100 species found therein as well as many episodes from volumes one and three of the Ornithological Biography.