Alexander Wilson


Alexander Wilson was born in Renfrewshire, Scotland; he was removed from school at the age of ten and from the age of thirteen worked as a weaver. For three years Wilson traveled as a peddler, selling, among other items, his poems. He contributed to The Glasgow Advertiser and The Bee. After engaging in a dispute with some master weavers Wilson was suspected of treason and emigrated to America in 1794. He worked as a schoolmaster in Pennsylvania and New Jersey before undertaking the work that made him famous, his American Ornithology.


1790The Suicide.
1791The Laurel Disputed.
1804The Solitary Tutor.


The Hollander, or light weight: a poem. 1790.
Poems. 1790, 1791.
The laurel disputed: or the merits of Allan Ramsay and Robert Ferguson contrasted in two poetical essays [with E. Picken]. 1791.
The shark, or Lang Mills detected: a poem. 1792.
The tears of Britain: a poem. 1793?
Watty and Meg: or the wife reformed. 1795.
The loss o' the pack: a true tale. 1796.
Rab and Ringan: a tale in verse. 1796.
Oration on the power and value of national liberty. 1801.
The solitary tutor. 1809.
Poetical hints to a certain character. 1809.
The foresters: a poem descriptive of a pedestrian journey to the falls of Niagra. 1809-10.
American ornithology. 9 vols, 1808-1813.
Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect. 1816.
Poems, with a life. 1816.
The spouter: a true tale. 1847.
New way of raising the wind: or Habbie Simpson and his wife. 1868.
Poems and literary prose, ed. A. B. Grosart. 2 vols, 1876.
Life and Letters, ed. Clark Hunter. 1983.