Cumulative Index/Finding Aids Note
folder 1. Lincoln letter to Audubon (with photocopy). Grinnell article reprint -- folder 2. Letters between Maria R. Audubon and Frank M. Chapman re: Wild turkey painting bought by J.E. Thayer -- folder 3. General correspondence -- folder 4. Letters re: painting of dog and pheasants -- folder 5. Letter and reply re: habits of sparrows vs. starlings -- folder 6. List of paintings and other material seen at Salem, N.Y., by H.C. Bumpus, March 14, 1905 and indicated by the Misses Audubon as being by them intended for presentation to the AMNH.
Scope and content
The collection consists of handwritten and typewritten letters (some carbon copies) primarily between John James Audubon's granddaughters Maria R. Audubon and Mary Eliza Audubon, and ornithologists and directors of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). The earliest item is an 1846 letter from Thomas Lincoln to J.J. Audubon answering questions on North American mammals, with a reprint of a 1924 article (Journal of mammalogy vol. 5, no. 4) by George Bird Grinnell describing and discussing the letter. The article includes the complete text of the letter. The granddaughters' handwritten, signed letters are addressed to F.M. Chapman, concerning various works by their grandfather, many on display at or on loan to the AMNH, and whether the Museum is interested in purchasing them and/or acquiring more Audubon material. Chapman's replies are typewritten (usually carbon copies) and unsigned; directors of the AMNH H.C. Bumpus (1902-1911) and F.A. Lucas (1911-1924) provide additional replies when queried by Chapman. Waldron DeWitt Miller, ornithologist and naturalist at the AMNH 1903-1929, writes and receives one M.E. Audubon reply when F.M. Chapman is away on expedition (Miller's letter dated May 2, 1911). Also included are letters from AMNH librarian Hazel Gay attempting to track down a painting of dog and pheasants (descriptive titles suggested: Dog and pheasants; Setter and pheasants; Pheasants).