ornithologist, born at Paisley; son of a weaver, bred to the loom; began his literary career as a poet; imprisoned for a lampoon on a Paisley notability, went on his release to America unfriended, with only his fowling-piece in his hand, and a few shillings in his pocket; led an unsettled life for a time; acquired the arts of drawing, colouring, and etching, and, so accomplished, commenced his studies on the ornithology of America, and prevailed upon a publisher in Philadelphia to undertake an exhaustive work which he engaged to produce on the subject; the first volume appeared in 1808, and the seventh in 1813, on the publication of which he met his death from a cold he caught from swimming a river in pursuit of a certain rare bird (1766-1813).

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. . 1907.

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