The plates in Holbrook’s Ichthyology of South Carolina, 1860

William D. Anderson, Jr.

aqua International Journal of Ichthyology,  pp. 173-218, Volume 20 issue 4, 15 October 2014


Best known for North American Herpetology, John Edwards Holbrook (1794-1871) also published several ichthyological works, the most important of which was his Ichthyology of South Carolina (1855b, 1860). Because of their rarity, reproductions of the plates from the 1860 edition are presented herein, along with comments on the fishes illustrated, Holbrook’s artists, his other ichthyological work, and his herpetological contributions. In order to put his efforts in perspective, I also include a biographical sketch of Holbrook.

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ADLER, K. 1976. New genera and species described in Holbrook’s “North American Herpetology.” Pp. xxix-xliii. In: Holbrook, J. E. North American herpetology. [Facsimile reprint edition, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Athens, Ohio.]

ADLER, K. Ed. 1989. Contributions to the history of herpetology. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Contributions to Herpetology, No. 5. Oxford, Ohio. Pp. 1-202.

AGASSIZ, L. 1857-1862. Contributions to the natural history of the United States of America. Four vols. Little, Brown & Company, Boston.

AGASSIZ, L. 1872. Eulogy on Dr. J. E. Holbrook. Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History 14: 347-351.

ANDERSON, W. D., Jr. 2003. John Edwards Holbrook’s Senckenberg plates and the fishes they portray. Archives of Natural History 30 (1): 1-12, 7 figs.

ANDERSON, W. D., Jr. 2012. John Edwards Holbrook’s illustrations of fishes in the Bibliothèque centrale, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris. Archives of Natural History 39 (1): 1-6, 4 figs.

ANDERSON, W. D., Jr. & STEPHENS, L. D. 2002. John Edwards Holbrook (1794-1871) and his Southern Ichthyology (1847-1848). Archives of Natural History 29 (3): 317-332, 5 figs.

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BARTRAM, W. 1791. Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, east and west Florida, the Cherokee country, the extensive territories of the Muscogulges or Creek Confederacy, and the country of the Chactaws. Containing an account of the soil and natural productions of those regions; together with observations on the manners of the indians. James and Johnson, Philadelphia, pp. i-xxvi + 1-520 + index. (Cambridge Library Collection, Cambridge University Press, New York, digitally printed version, 2011.)

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HOLBROOK, J. E. 1847. Southern ichthyology: or, a description of the fishes inhabiting the waters of South Carolina Georgia and Florida. No. II. Pp. 1-32. Wiley & Putnam, New York & London.

HOLBROOK, J. E. 1848. Southern ichthyology: or, a description of the fishes inhabiting the waters of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. No. III. Pp. 33-60. Wiley & Putnam, New York & London.

HOLBROOK, J. E. 1849. “Reptiles” and “Fish,” pp. 13-15 and 16-19, appendix, in WHITE, G. Statistics of the State of Georgia: including an account of its natural, civil and ecclesiastical history. W. Thorne Williams, Savannah.

HOLBROOK, J. E. 1855a. An account of several species of fish observed in Florida, Georgia, & c. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 2nd series, 3 (1): 47-58, plates 5 & 6.

HOLBROOK, J. E. 1855b. Ichthyology of South Carolina. John Russell, Charleston, pp. 1-184, 27 color plates.

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HOOLE, W. S. 1962. Introduction (pp. 9-37) to A visit to the Confederate States of America in 1863: Memoir addressed to His Majesty Napoleon III by Charles Girard, 1864. Translated and edited with an Introduction by Wm. Stanley Hoole. Confederate Centennial Studies, No. 21. Confederate Publishing Company, Inc., Tuscaloosa, Alabama, pp. 1-126.

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STEPHENS , L. D. 2000. Science, race, and religion in the American South: John Bachman and the Charleston circle of naturalists, 1815–1895. The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill & London, pp. i-xx + 1-338. [Dated 2000, but published in November 1999.]

WORTHINGTON, R. D. & WORTHINGTON, P. H. 1976. John Edwards Holbrook, father of American herpetology. Pp. xiii-xxvii. In: Holbrook, J. E., North American herpetology. Ed. Adler, K. [Facsimile reprint edition, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Athens, Ohio.]

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