William Strickland, 5th Bt. (British, 1753-1834) Greenland Dove
William Strickland, 5th Bt. (British, 1753-1834)
Watercolor on paper
Titled ‘Greenland Dove’ on the reverse
Paper size: 11 ¼ x 18in.
William Strickland sailed on the Fair American at Hull for New York on 19 July 1794, arriving on 19 September, and the present drawing may date to the voyage. However, he makes no mention of it in his American journal. “Strickland was the eldest son of Sir George Strickland, a Yorkshire agriculturist who introduced new methods of crop rotation and new types of farm machinery. A naturalist and honorary member of the British Board of Agriculture, Strickland established his own farm at Welburn in York before succeeding his father as the sixth baron of Boynton in 1808. He toured the United States in 1794 and 1795, collecting information on American farming practices for the Board that he later used as the basis for a critical assessment in Observations on the Agriculture of the United States of America (London, 1801). ... During Strickland’s visit to Monticello from 14 to 16 May 1795, T[homas J[efferson] gave him drawings and a small model of his moldboard plow, which the Englishman praised as an invention ‘formed upon the truest and most mechanical principle of any I had seen.’ Strickland’s 1798 paper ‘On the Use of the Thermometer in Navigation’ was read by Jonathan Williams at a meeting of the American Philosophical Society in 1800 and published in the Society’s Transactions two years later. TJ[Thomas Jefferson]’s subsequent correspondence with Strickland—marked by exchanges of publications, seeds, and information on agriculture and natural history—continued until 1805.” (J.E. Strickland (ed.) William Strickland, Journal of a Tour in the United States of America, 1794–1795, New York, 1971, xi–xii, 22–3n) (Jefferson’s Notes on conversations with William Strickland sourced online at http://founders.archives.gov/
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