In 1831, John James Audubon (1785-1851) arrived in Florida to collect water birds for the third volume of his great illustrated book, Birds of America. After disembarking at St. Augustine on November 20, he traveled on foot and by pony over log roads and trails.

John James Audubon
John James Audubon by John Syme, via Wikimedia Commons.

Audubon explored the east coast of Florida and the Florida Keys for the next six months. He followed the waterways by canoe, skiff, cutter, and schooner, and the mosquitoes followed him. “Reader,” he wrote, “if you have not been in such a place, you cannot easily conceive the torments we endured.”

Image Gallery

As you travel, enjoy these images in museums throughout the United States.

All images below via the National Audubon Society.