John James Audubon (1785-1851), an ornithologist and backwoodsman, came along at an auspicious moment in the early nineteenth century when there was a rage for nature in all its glory. He spent several decades of his life documenting the birds of the American wilderness, traveling backroads and bayous.
Some of the happiest moments of his adventurous life were spent in Charleston, South Carolina (1831-1839) in the household of Reverend John Bachman on Rutledge Avenue. During the course of four visits to Charleston, Audubon produced 45 drawings of a total of 435 plates that comprise the Birds of America. The story of the friendship between Audubon and Bachman and their families unfolds in the drawings, correspondence and Ornithological Biography which Audubon wrote (with considerable assistance from the Scottish naturalist, William MacGillivray) to accompany the Birds of America.