“It was in the month of February 1814, that I obtained the first sight of this noble bird, and never shall I forget the delight which it gave me . . . We were on a trading voyage, ascending the Upper Mississippi . . . I lay stretched beside our patroon.  The safety of the cargo was forgotten, and the only thing that called my attention was the multitude of ducks, of different species, accompanied by vast flocks of swans, which from time to time passed us.  My patroon, a Canadian, had been engaged many years in the fur trade . . . An eagle flew over us . . . “Look sir! The Great Eagle, and the only one I have seen since I have left the lakes” . . . [he] assured me that such birds were indeed rare; that they sometimes followed the hunters, to feed on the entrails of animals which they had killed, when the lakes were frozen over, but that when the lakes were open, they would dive in the daytime after fish.”

“The name which I have chosen for this new species of Eagle, “The Bird of Washington,” may, by some, be considered as preposterous and unfit; but as it is indisputably the noblest bird of its genus that has yet been discovered  in the United States, I trust I shall be allowed to honour it with the name of one yet nobler, who was the savior of his country, and whose name will ever be dear to it.  To those who may be curious to know my reasons, I can only say, that, as the new world gave me birth and liberty, the great man who insured its independence is next to my heart.  He had a nobility of mind, and a generosity of soul, such as a re seldom possessed.  He was brave, so is the Eagle; like it, too, he was the terror of his foes; and his fame, extending from pole to pole, resembles the majestic soarings of the mightiest of the feathered tribe.  If America has reason to be proud of her Washington, so has she to be proud of her Great Eagle.”

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