Page:Audubon and His Journals.djvu/100

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66
AUDUBON

used himself, so that, as he rarely signed an oil painting,[1] the mill-board is no proof of identity one way or the other.

On April 15, 1831, Mr. and Mrs. Audubon left Edinburgh for London, then went on to Paris, where there were fourteen subscribers. They were in France from May until the end of July, when London again received them. On August 2d they sailed for America, and landed on September 4th. They went to Louisville at once, where Mrs. Audubon remained with her sons, and the naturalist went south, his wish being to visit Florida and the adjacent islands. It was on this trip that, stopping at Charleston, S. C, he made the acquaintance of the Rev. John Bachman[2] in October, 1831. The two soon became the closest friends, and this friendship was only severed by death. Never were men more dissimilar in character, but both were enthusiastic and devoted naturalists; and herein was the bond, which later was strengthened by the marriages of Victor and John to Dr. Bachman's two eldest daughters.[3]

The return from Florida in the spring of 1832 was followed by a journey to New Brunswick and Maine, when, for the first time in many years, the whole family travelled together. They journeyed in the most leisurely manner, stopping where there were birds, going on when they found none, everywhere welcomed, everywhere finding those willing to render assistance to the "American backwoodsman" in his researches. Audubon had the simplicity and charm of manner which interested others at once, and his old friend Dr. Bachman understood this when he

  1. We only possess one oil painting signed "Audubon".
  2. John Backman, D. Dl, LL, D., Feb. 4, 1790-April 24, 1874. Author of many works, scientific, zoölogical and religious. For sixty years he was pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Charleston, S.C.
  3. Both these daughter died young,—Maria, the eldest, who married John, before she was twenty-four; Eliza, who married Victor, still younger, during the first year of her wedded life.