July 25th, 2007
John James Audubon
Career Timeline

1785 Born in Les Cayes, Saint-Domingue (later Haiti) to Captain Jean Audubon and Jeanne Rabine, his French chambermaid

1788 Sent to Nantes, France. Enjoys childhood here, begins interest in the natural world

1803 Leaves France for the United States to avoid conscription in Napoleon’s army. Moves to Mill Grove, his father’s estate in Pennsylvania

1804 Meets and falls in love with Lucy Bakewell, daughter of neighbor William Bakewell in Mill Grove. Creates wire constructions that help him pose dead birds in lifelike positions to paint them.

1807 Sets up general store in Louisville, KY

1808 Marries Lucy Bakewell and moves with her to Louisville.

1809 Son Victor born

1810 Meets ornithologist Alexander Wilson, and declines to subscribe to his publication, American Ornithology. Moves to Henderson, KY with family.

1812 Son John Woodhouse born

1815 Daughter Lucy born

1816 Invests in steam-powered grist mill in Henderson.

1817 Daughter Lucy dies

1819 Samuel Adams Bowen attacks Audubon on the street; Audubon stabs him in self-defense. Business fails. Jailed for debt; released when he files for bankruptcy. Family loses all possessions. Daughter Rose is born.

1820 Daughter Rose dies. States intention to complete, in his lifetime, “a collection of the Birds of our Country, from Nature, all of Natural Size”.

1821 Arrives in New Orleans and begins portrait painting on the street. Wife and sons join him in December.

1824 Attempts to obtain support from the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia for a publication of his engravings of American birds. Opposed by George Ord, editor of American Ornithology by Alexander Wilson.

1826 Leaves for England. Gains success quickly. Exhibits 250 paintings at the Royal Institution at Liverpool, Manchester, and Edinburgh. Meets William Home Lizars, who agrees to become Audubon’s engraver.

1827 Hires London’s Havell & Son to work on Double elephant Folio etchings.

1829 Returns to America to paint more American birds and convince Lucy to join him in England.

1830 Dines at the White House with President Andrew Jackson.

1831 Publishes first volume of Ornithological Biography.

1833 Travels to Labrador to paint northern bird species.

1838 Fourth and final volume of the Folio edition of Birds of America is completed.

1839 Leaves England for good to settle in New York with Lucy. Begins planning for The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.

1840 Begins work on octavo edition of The Birds of America.

1841 Purchases Minnie’s Land, a 30 acre estate in Upper Manhattan.

1843 Travels west to search for new specimens for Quadrupeds.

1845 First Imperial Folio volume of The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America is published.

1848 Suffers stroke. Eyesight has now failed and son John Woodhouse has taken over work on Quadrupeds project. Audubon begins to go senile.

1851 Dies at Minnie’s Land on January 27.

  • Mr. Fredricks

    I think this is a very descriptive time line.

  • Renee Xuereb

    I am requesting a forthcoming bio on Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers for your truly enlightening American Masters series. I was in grammer school, when PBS produced the documentary, “I Promise To Remember”, which was well researched, however so much speculation regarding Mr. Lymon and the group, over the last twenty years, have yet to be examined.
    Mr. Lymon and the original Teenagers, were the first truly commercially, successful black teen group. Their influence has propelled the success of a number of male and female vocal groups from the supremes to the Jackson 5 as well as contemporary groups such as Insync and Destiny’s
    Child. Lymon’s short life was marred by so many private demons which he could not shake off initially, and lead to his untimely, early death. The recent death of Michael Jackson, somewhat mirrored Mr. Lymons’ (at least, artistically. What I found troubling, was that Mr. Jackson never really made any attempt in ackowledging Frankie’s influence on both his solo career, as well as his success with siblings, The Jackson 5, while he was alive. Instead, he repeatedly credited, both James Brown and Jackie Wilson, ( another great artist, who is worthy of an upcoming American Masters profile). How sad, because it was quite obvious, that The Jackson 5 were merely an updated version of The Teenagers, with Michael in the lead, possessing the same infectious personality and powerful voice.
    The music industry during the Jim Crow era of the 1950’s, too often, exploited a number black artist, while promoting and nourishing the careers of white artist such as Elvis and Pat Boone. I’ve watched a number of American Masters documentary over the years, and unlike other televison biographies, the series is well produced while chronicalling the influence which a public figure held within their respected industries as well as in our culture.
    Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers possessed all of the necessary attributes, meritorious of superstardom, in which too many entertainers of this era are lacking; they were talented, good looking and they could sing! It’s unfortunate that Hollywood produced such a marginally interesting film back in the 1990’s, which did little justice to Frankie’s legacy and contributions to the music industry.
    I truly hope that you will take my request into account, while assisting in keeping Mr. lymon & The Teenager’s memory alive.


    Renee Xuereb


  • Krissy

    I would like to ask a favor of you… could you make a DVD about your PBS documentary on “Frankie Lymon”’s life, to be seen also for region 2, PLEASE? I very unfortunately couldn’t see it, but the news of it arrived here, too!!! Since there are so very few writings about Frankie’s life, family and so on, there would be very appreciated by a lot of fans worldwide, believe me! I do think Renée is quite right, Michael Jackson’s death has produced a mirror-effect on the artists he loved more, so… why don’t take our suggestion? You will make us all – and I really mean US all! – happy, don’t you think so? Anyway, thank you so very much in advance, I hope you’ll take my advice in consideration… My very best, Krissy

  • candy


  • Ron Yarbrough

    I agree with all the above comments. I’ll love Michael Jackson forever, but people of today should also know about Frankie Lymon. The first Black child superstar. Hopefully Spike Lee or another great movie producers will make a good movie about this man,s very talented life which was also short and tragic. Style, character and perfect pitch displayed for the first time by a boy so young. Frankie paved the way for Michael and the Jacksons should pay respects to him. He was a victim of how show biz ruins some child stars. As a kid with his signature high pitched voice everybody loved him. As soon as his voice change and he wasn’t the cute little kid anymore record companies turned their backs. It’s a cold cruel world and it,s sad how his life did a tailspin after that, but in his short time I think he accomplished some music and a story to be preserved forever. I will always have the utmost respect for the music him and the Teenagers left us. His story is too great, and at the same time too tragic not to be told. Spike Lee if you’re reading, please put his life on film. It’s time. Thank You, Ron Yarbrough

  • margarita-rose

    only one of these comments is about the subject – John James Audubon, life timeline. Put comments about Frankie Lymon, ?? somewhere else


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