James Audubon

Jean-Jacques Audubon was born in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) on his father's sugar plantation. He was the illegitimate  son of Lieutenant Jean Audubon, a French naval officer and his mistress Jeanne Rabine, a 27-year-old French chambermaid. They named the boy Jean Rabin. His mother died when the boy was a few months old, as she had suffered from tropical disease since arriving on the island.

The senior Audubon in 1789 sold part of his plantation in Saint-Domingue and purchased a 284-acre farm called Mill Grove, 20 miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to diversify his investments. Rising unrest in Saint-Domingue convinced Jean Audubon to return to France. In 1791 he arranged for John to be delivered to him in France.


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