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Spencer Fullerton Baird to John James Audubon, June 4, 1840

Spencer Fullerton Baird, September 29, 1840, detail
Seventeen-year-old Spencer Baird wrote John Audubon, a leading ornithologist, to ask for Audubon's advice on two specimens of fly catchers that Baird had collected in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Baird meticulously described the birds' features, so Audubon could compare Baird's measurements to the known species of fly catchers. Baird wrote of his hesitancy to approach Audubon, claiming "I am but a boy, and very inexperienced" though he would grow into a leading authority in the field of ornithology himself. (By Rebecca Solnit)


How to Cite This Page: "Spencer Fullerton Baird to John James Audubon, June 4, 1840," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,