John Abbot was an American entomologist and ornithologist born 31 May or 1 June 1751 in London and died December 1840 or January 1841 in Bulloch County in Georgia.
Little is known of his life. He was the eldest son of James Abbot and Ann Clousinger. His father encouraged his interest in entomology and art and he studied drawing and engraving with the engraver Jacob Bonneau (1741-1786). Showing great talent as an illustrator, he was encouraged by Dru Drury and a group of naturalists from the Royal Society to go to Virginia to study and collect natural history specimens. He remained in Virginia from 1773 to 1775 then settled in Georgia in what is now known as Screven County.
He produced thousands of insect illustrations, as well as several sets of bird illustrations. The majority are preserved in The Natural History Museum, London, the British Museum and Harvard University. Other repositories of his drawings include Johns Hopkins University, University of South Carolina, Emory University, and the Alexander Turnbull Library. Some have been dispersed following various auctions that included his drawings. The bird and insect specimens that he collected were sent to Britain and Europe, but a certain number were lost at sea, which discouraged him. He nonetheless continued to collect and paint specimens until at least 1835.
(Quoted form the Wikipedia entry on John Abbot)
- Reading: Ian M. Banks
- Watching: BBC Dickens
- Eating: Toast
- Drinking: Coffee