Alexander Wilson (1766-1813) was a poet, ornithologist, naturalist, and illustrator. He is considered to be the greatest American ornithologist before Audubon. His friend George Ord (who helped finish the final volume)called him the ‘Father of American Ornithology’.
In 1794 he left Scotland and moved to Pennsylvania, USA. Later he decided to publish a book on North America’s birds. He travelled widely studying the birds and creating illustrations for the 9 volumes. Wilson died of exhaustion and dysentery in poverty on August 23, 1813 while working on the last volume.
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