Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xx

Maria Martin’s World is about a deliberately private woman whose artistic talents were deployed for a very public purpose. Maria Martin painted botanicals and insects for John James Audubon’s Birds of America, and was acknowledged for doing so.
Ironically, the anonymity most artists and...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xxi-xxiv

This book has taken an inordinately long time to materialize by current standards in academia. I first became acquainted with Maria Martin between 1991 and 1993, when I was researching the wives of nineteenth-century scientists as a SSHRCC postdoctoral fellow at St. John’s College, University...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-19

Maria Martin, an unmarried thirty-five-year-old evangelical Lutheran from Charleston, South Carolina, became an accomplished painter within months of meeting John James Audubon, and her botanicals, insects, and amphibians appeared in volumes two and four of The Birds...

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1. Family

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pp. 20-31

Born July 6, 1796, Maria Martin’s safe arrival was cause for thanks. In addition to the usual worries associated with pregnancy and childbirth, her family home was just beyond the area leveled by the “great fire of 1796.” Some three hundred families lost everything in the conflagration that...

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2. Faith, the Lutheran Way

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pp. 32-45

In 1845, just two years before Julia Bachman died of consumption at the age of twenty-two, Maria Martin wrote her niece a letter that revealed much about their world. Feeling compelled to explain why she had been so unrelenting, even unpleasant, in her efforts to make Julia compliant instead of...

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3. Painting from Nature: Maria Martin and John James Audubon

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pp. 46-112

In 1829, just two years before Maria Martin met John James Audubon, Elizabeth Kent (1790–1861), the author of Flora Domestica (1823) pointed out that “girls are not only discouraged from the pursuit of natural history, but are very commonly forbidden it.” Elaborating on the unfortunate consequences...

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4. Living Together / Working Together: Collaboration and Kinship

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pp. 113-148

As John James Audubon made his way to rooms prepared for him in 1831, no one could have anticipated how an impromptu invitation would affect an intensely devout and overwhelmingly female household: it united two families as well as two men. During that first encounter, John Bachman...

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5. Family and Science Beyond Botanicals

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pp. 149-175

In the summer of 1839, Maria Martin went to New York City. It had been more than a decade since she had strayed so far from home, and only an extraordinary event like the birth of a great-niece could tempt her to do so again. That spring, Ria had given birth to her second daughter, Harriet...

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6. Family and Science: Quadrupeds

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pp. 176-196

In December 1841, John Bachman shared a secret with Audubon: he had been approached by the trustees of the College of South Carolina to serve as president but he declined without even informing his family of the offer. The terms were good but, as he put it, “the state of my health & the fatigue...

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7. Faith “Our Trust in God”

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pp. 197-208

Maria Martin spent her entire life in a slave society. Slave labor allowed her to develop her artistic talents. It allowed her to fulfill her Christian duty, but in her reliance on the labor of others, she was far from unique.1 Northern women with the means to do so also depended on others...

Abbreviations

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pp. 209-212

Notes

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pp. 213-272

Bibliography

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pp. 273-294

Index

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pp. 295-302