John Cleves Symmes [Jr.] (1779-1829)
Graphite on paper, sewn at midpoint into booklet with endpaper and cover
Overall: 9 11/16 x 15 7/16 in. (24.6 x 39.2 cm)
Inscribed and signed at lower right border in graphite: "Drawn by John. J. Audubon Aug - 20 / the Western Museum"; verso at center in brown ink: "John, Cleeves Simms - / The man with the hole at the / Pole - / Drawn and a good likeness it is / by John J. Audubon / Cincinati August 1820. / ---1820"; at lower left in graphite: "Note by J.C. Symmes the son / the proper orthography is / John Cleves Symmes"; at lower right in brown ink: "John Cleeves Simms --".
Portrait. This sheet is related to the group of Audubon's watercolors and drawings, for Birds of America, purchased by the Society from Lucy Bakewell Audubon in 1863, which was orchestrated by the Society's president Frederic De Peyster and Librarian George Moore.
Symmes, a native of Sussex County, New Jersey, served with distinction in the War of 1812 and settled after the war in Newport, Kentucky, where he spent most of his time developing philosophical and geological theories. His "Theory on Concentric Spheres" was published in Cincinnati in 1826.
Gift of Frederic De Peyster
Frederic De Peyster, New York
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.