Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Wilson, Alexander (Scotland-United States
from Wikipedia.org |Wilson had made only a very modest success as a poet before emigrating
to the United States in 1794, and once there he became consumed in his
spare time with amateur studies in ornithology. Slowly developing both
the talents and the contacts to live out his dream of publishing a study
of all the species of birds in then-known America, he was able to accomplish
the lion's share of this, his main life's work, by the time he died in
1813. The product of Wilson's own indefatigable fieldwork, American
Ornithology was the first work of its kind in America, and featured
his easy, attractive writing style, summary accuracy, and lovely artwork.
Wilson has sometimes been called the "father of American ornithology,"
largely in recognition of this seminal contribution.|
--born in Paisley, Scotland, on 6 July 1766.
--1779: apprenticed as a weaver
--1782-1789: works as weaver and peddler
--1790: publishes his Poems
--1792-1794: becomes involved in political causes; runs into trouble with
--1794: emigrates to Delaware
--1796-1801: works as a schoolmaster at Milestown, near Philadelphia
--1802-1806: works as a schoolmaster at Union School, near Gray's Ferry,
--1804: becomes an American citizen
--1804: executes a long walking tour through western New York State
--1806: applies unsuccessfully to President Jefferson to accompany exploration
expedition of Zebulon Pike
--1806: resigns as schoolmaster; becomes an assistant editor for Samuel
--1808: travels along much of the East Coast seeking out subscribers for
his American Ornithology
--1808-1814: publishes nine volumes of his American
--1809-1810: publishes "The Foresters," an epic poem
--1810: takes trip down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers from Pittsburgh
to New Orleans
--1812: elected to the Society of Artists of the United States
--1813: elected to the American Philosophical Society
--dies at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 23 August 1813.
--American National Biography, Vol. 23 (1999).
--Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 59 (2004).
--National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 7 (1897).
--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 14 (1976).
--Biographical Dictionary of American and Canadian Naturalists and
--Alexander Wilson: Naturalist and Pioneer, A Biography (1961).
--The Life and Letters of Alexander Wilson (1983).
Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights
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