25. Cassin, John (1813-1869)      

United States Exploring Expedition…Atlas. Mammalogy and Ornithology. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1858.


Snow petrel (Procellaria nivea, now Pagodroma nivea), from John Cassin, Mammalology and Ornithology, 1858.

The United States Exploring Expedition had a number of scientists on board, and many of them published large folios of their specialty to accompany the narrative by Wilkes. 

One of the naturalists was Titian Peale, son of the renowned Philadelphia painter and museum proprietor, Charles Willson Peale.  Titian was a gifted artist himself, and he compiled a portfolio of paintings of animals and birds that were encountered on the voyage.  Certainly the most striking is his rendering of the snow petrel in the Antarctic seas, with HMS Peacock, Peale’s ship, in the background.

Unfortunately for Peale, Wilkes objected to certain features of his proposed volume on the mammalogy and ornithology of the voyage, and it was suppressed, with the editorship taken over by John Cassin, a noted ornithologist and bird painter in his own right.  The volume eventually appeared, about ten years later than planned, in 1858.



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