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George Ord

George OrdGeorge Ord (1781 - 1866) was a noted American ornithologist.

Ord was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At first he followed in his father's footsteps and became a rope maker, joining him in the business and continuing after his father's death in 1806. In 1829 he retired from the business so that he could indulge his passion for science

In 1815 Ord became a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and two years later became a member of the American Philosophical Society.

Ord was friend and avid supporter of Alexander Wilson, accompanying him on several of his journeys. After Wilson's death he finished the eighth and ninth volumes of Wilson's American Ornithology. He issued a life of Wilson in 1828 and published biographies of his fellow naturalists Thomas Say (1834) and Charles Alexandre Lesueur (1849).

He also assisted in the enlargement of Samuel Johnson's dictionary and the first edition of Noah Webster's dictionary.

Like his good friend, Charles Waterton, he disliked the All-American Woodsman John James Audubon, whose drawings he disliked and who he felt was usurping the position of Wilson. Audubon's work is, of course, highly rated now.

The family of Charles Willson Peale introduced Waterton to Ord and a firm friendship ensued. Ord visited Walton Hall in 1832 and 1839. There was much correspondence between the two men - many letters are now contained in Letters of Charles Waterton by R.A. Irwin, Rockliff Publishing Corporation Ltd., 1955.


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