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2021-01-14 18:37:07
Audubon, John James
Autograph letter, signed ("John J. Audubon"), to Edinburgh bookseller Alexander Hill, concerning Harriet Douglas, the first American subscriber to the double-elephant folio Birds of America
1830. 1p., plus integral address leaf. 4to. Audubon writes: "I have been in London a fortnight and am yet without any answer to my last letter sent to you from Liverpool about a month ago, in which I desire you to collect the money due to me by Miss Harriet Douglas of New York. I am extremely anxious to have your answer and some money from you and I again ask you to send in a regular list of my Subscribers with you and their respective residence to have the whole engraved in the sheets of my 1st Jany next plates of frontispieces. I hope you received the 19th number in good order." Harriet Douglas Cruger (1790-1872), the daughter of a wealthy New York merchant and member of the Scottish Douglas clan (the niece of Sir William Douglas), was often referred to in the 19th century as the "social lioness of New York" -- in part due to her red-gold hair, but also because of her headstrong personality. She agreed to marry her long-time suitor Henry Cruger in 1833, but their stormy relationship ended in a contentious divorce eight years later, with Douglas accused of controlling her husband (after all, she insisted that she and her husband maintain her surname in addition to his), and she was said to have sawed their marriage bed in half. She travelled extensively in America and Europe, befriending Maria Edgeworth, who introduced her to Sir Walter Scott, William Wordsworth, James Fenimore Cooper and other literary and social elite. It was on one of those trips, visiting her ancestral home in Scotland in October 1827, that Douglas met Audubon. "Miss Douglas, much like Audubon, was muc … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: James Cummins Bookseller, ABAA [New York, NY, U.S.A.]

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