Wilson, Alexander

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Wilson, Alexander,

1766–1813, American ornithologist, b. Scotland. He came to the United States c.1794, taught in rural New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and became a citizen in 1804. Encouraged by William BartramBartram, William,
1739–1823, American naturalist, b. Philadelphia; son of John Bartram. He is known chiefly for his Travels (1791), in which he describes his journey (1773–77) through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida and areas to the west.
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, he studied the birds of his adopted country, learned to portray them, and began his encyclopedic American Ornithology (9 vol., 1808–14), a work that is noted for its accuracy and sensitive draftsmanship. Wilson broke with earlier conventions, observing and describing birds in their habitats and naming birds according to the Linnaean binomial method; the beauty and accuracy of his depictions inspired Audubon and other later naturalists. The last two volumes of this series of books were completed by his friend and biographer (1829), the naturalist George Ord, after Wilson's death. In all, the books illustrated and described 264 birds, 48 of them previously unknown. Wilson is also known for his poems and essays on nature.


E. H. Burtt, Jr. and W. E. Davis, Jr., Alexander Wilson: The Scot Who Founded American Ornithology (2013).

Wilson, Alexander

(1766–1813) ornithologist; born in Paisley, Scotland. Raised in poverty, he supported himself as a weaver and peddler before emigrating to the U.S.A. in 1794. Settling in Philadelphia, he taught school and took up the study of birds. In 1808 he published the first volume of his American Ornithology, completing six more volumes over the next five years. His assistant completed the project after his death. Wilson also published two volumes of poetry, including a collection in the Scots dialect.
References in periodicals archive ?
Alexander Wilson, The Culture of Nature: North American Landscape from Disney to the Exxon Valdez, Cambridge, Mass.
SEPTA will visit the Alexander Wilson Elementary School and the SEPTA Fern Rock Transportation Center on Thursday, May 20, to advise school children and their parents of the danger of crossing railroad tracks, as part of the SEPTA "Safety Begins Here" campaign.
Further evidence to suggest that the location of Milestown is not in Bristol Township, Bucks County can be found in a letter dated August 22, 1798 from Wilson to his father in Scotland and reprinted in volume one of the 1876 two volume set of books titled The Poems and Literary Prose of Alexander Wilson.
12&13 Peek in your pad Celebrity make-up artist Craig Alexander Wilson shows us around his beautifully manicured Inverclyde home.
Alexander Wilson, 19, fell 40 feet into the sea as he tried to take a shortcut through a garden.
Alexander Wilson subjected Kim Meikle , 42, to a horrifying attack after she was sent to support him at his home in Quarriers Children's Village in Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire.
Alexander Wilson was born on 6 July 1766 in Paisley, Scotland.
Drug addict Alexander Wilson admitted targetting OAPs, including an
Louise was joined on the judging panel by Young Scot chairman Alan Blackie; Bill Sadler, trustee of the Co-operative Foundation; young Scots Amber Dryden and Cassie McNally, Clyde 1 DJ and awards host Romeo and the Sunday Mail's Jim Wilson, Donna White and Craig Alexander Wilson.
Craig Alexander Wilson, of Virgin Spa, said: ``Our male clients have grown by 20 per cent since January, with the most popular treatment being massage.
On 24 June 1810 Alexander Wilson left New Orleans on a ship bound for New York.
Alexander Wilson lists no less than six species of snipe in American Ornithology.