From The Passenger Pigeon in Pennsylvania
By John C. French
The Passenger Pigeon of America
Is Dedicated to
The Memory of My Father
Nehemiah French, 1818-1906
An Apostle of Bird Protection
Colonel Henry W. Shoemaker
Advocate of Conservation of Bird and Animal Life
Who Prompted Me to Write It
John C. French
Roulette, Pennsylvania, July 15, 1918
Through the kindness of its sponsor, my good friend, Col. Henry
W. Shoemaker, I have had the privilege of reading the proof sheets of Mr.
French’s Passenger Pigeon Monograph.
Of later time a great deal has been written upon this fascinating subject. Of necessity most of it has either related to the period of the annihilation of this remarkable bird, or to a compilation of early literature of its life history, much of which was derived from most unreliable sources.
It is safe to say that no other single publication of modern times contains as much intimate and first-hand personal observation as this regarding the habits of the Passenger Pigeon throughout the year, in a well defined and typical position of its breeding range. Very few statements of fact are to be questioned and many of the author’s generalizations are truly inspiring and increase our appreciation of this great tragedy in Aviation history. Here, too, we find recorded, probably for the first time in literature, an authentic narration of the part this bird played in the mythology and folk-lore of the Algonquin Indians.
It is to be hoped, when the inevitable demand for a second edition of this brochure shall make its reprinting necessary, that Mr. French will rearrange his chapters to conform to their historic and chronological sequence. This will not only disarm the inevitable criticisms of the technical perceiver, but present the valuable and original contribution which he has made to the Natural History of Pennsylvania in a form more useful as well as readable to both layman and naturalist.
Not only are we greatly indebted to Mr. French for this labor of love in rescuing facts from oblivion, but our gratitude should also include Colonel Shoemaker, the publisher, whose tongue, pen and fortune have so long been devoted to research in the Natural History, Antiquities and Folk Lore of his well beloved State.
Samuel N. Rhoads
Haddonfield, NJ, October 20th, 1918.
Published On Tri-Counties Site On 7/23/2001
By Joyce M. Tice