John James Audubon, born Jean-Jacques Audubon

John James
Audubon, born Jean-Jacques Audubon

American Ornithologist, Naturalist and Painter

Author Quotes

A few days of idleness have completely sickened me, and given me what is called the blue-devils so severely, that I feel that the sooner I go to work and drive them off, the better.

How could I make a little book, when I have seen enough to make a dozen large books?

I never for a day gave up listening to the songs of our birds, or watching their peculiar habits, or delineating them in the best way I could.

My wife determined that my genius should prevail, and that my final success as an ornithologist should be triumphant.

The mercantile business did not suit me.

Who is the stranger... that can form an adequate conception of the extent of its primeval woods-of the glory of those columnar trunks that for centuries have waved in the breeze?

A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.

How strangely Nature has provided them with the means of securing their eggs and young from their arch-enemy Man.

I purchased excellent and beautiful horses, visited all such neighbors as I found in congenial spirits, and was as happy as happy could be.

On landing at New York I caught the yellow fever. The kind man who commanded the ship that brought me from France took charge of me and placed me under the care of two Quaker ladies. To their skillful and untiring care I may safely say I owe my life.

The Purchasing of Too Many goods sold on credit of course Lost, reduced us-Divided us.

Would it be possible that I should not in any degree succeed? I can scarcely think so. Ah delusive hope, how much further wilt thou lead me?

After all, I long to be in America again, nay, if I can go home to return no more to Europe, it seems to me that I shall ever enjoy more peace of mind, and even Physical comfort than I can meet with in any portion of the world beside.

How strangely our Bark is tossed-Poor as Job yesterday-rich as Croesus Tomorrow!-and who could not wish to live to enjoy this Life of pleasurable anxiety? Not I believe me.

I rise long before day and work till nightfall, when I take a walk and go to bed.

On the 17th of May, the Delos put out to sea. I was immediately affected with sea-sickness, which, however, lasted but a short time. I remained on deck constantly, forcing myself to exercise.

The varying modes of flight exhibited by our diurnal birds of prey have always been to me a subject of great interest, especially as by means of them I have found myself enabled to distinguish one species from another, to the farthest extent of my power of vision.

You have seen a poor old man.

Ah! How often when I have been abroad on the mountains has my heart risen in grateful praise to God that it was not my destiny to waste and pine among those noisome congregations of the city.

Hundreds of anecdotes I could relate. It may happen that the pages I am now scribbling over, may hereafter be published.

I took down my portfolio, to select a drawing to copy in oil. He had never seen my works before, and appeared astonished as his eyes ranged over the sheets. He expressed the warmest admiration, and said, "How hopeless must be the task of my giving any instruction to one who can draw like this?" I pointed out to him that nature is the great study for the artist, and assured him that the reason why my works pleased him was because they are all exact copies of the works of God, ? who is the great Architect and perfect Artist; and impressed on his mind this fact, that nature indifferently copied is far superior to the best idealities.

One day I caught four Dolphins, how much I have gazed at these beautiful creatures... as they changed their hue in twenty varieties of richest arrangement of tints.

The woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those who sang the best.

All trembling, I reached the Falls of Niagara, and oh, what a scene! My blood shudders still, although I am not a coward, at the grandeur of the Creator's power; and I gazed motionless on this new display of the irresistible force of one of His elements.

Hunting, fishing, drawing, and music occupied my every moment; cares I knew not, and cared naught about them. I purchased excellent and beautiful horses, visited all such neighbors as I found congenial spirits, and was as happy as happy could be.

Author Picture
First Name
John James
Last Name
Audubon, born Jean-Jacques Audubon
Birth Date
Death Date

American Ornithologist, Naturalist and Painter