Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Ober, Frederic Albion

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OBER, Frederic Albion, author, b. in Beverly, Mass., 13 Feb., 1849. He received a common-school education, evinced a fondness for natural history, collecting while yet a boy nearly all the birds of New England and noting their habits, and in 1872 abandoned business to hunt in Florida. In 1874 he made a second trip, successfully explored Lake Okechobee, and published in periodicals a description of the lake and its shores. In 1876-'8 he made a trip to the Lesser Antilles to collect birds for the Smithsonian institution, and discovered twenty new species. On a second excursion he discovered two other birds that were before unknown, and made a complete exploration of the Caribbees. In 1881, moved by a desire to see the vestiges of early American civilization, he journeyed through Mexico, and during that and two subsequent trips gathered the material for several books. On his return from various explorations he prepared accounts of his travels at the request of scientific societies, and later a series of popular lectures, illustrated with photographic views, projected by the magic lantern. His lectures, originally delivered before the Lowell institute in Boston, include “Mexico, Historical and Picturesque,” “Ancient Cities of Mexico,” “The Mexican Indian,” “Adventures in the West Indies,” and “Through Florida with Gun and Camera.” His published works are “Camps in the Caribbees” (Boston, 1879); “Young Folks' History of Mexico” (1883); “Travels in Mexico” (1884); “Mexican Resources: a Guide to and through Mexico” (1885); “The Silver City,” a book for boys (1885); and another juvenile book entitled “Montezuma's Gold-Mines” (1887).