John Cassin, an American ornithologist, born near Chester, Penn., Sept. 6, 1813, died Jan. 10, 1869. In 1834 he took up his residence in Philadelphia, and, excepting a few years partially given to mercantile pursuits, devoted himself to the study of ornithology. He contributed descriptions of new species and synoptical reviews of various families to the "Proceedings" and the "Journal" of the Philadelphia academy of natural science. His more elaborate publications are: "Birds of California, Texas," etc. (Philadelphia, 1855); "American Ornithology" (185G), containing descriptions and figures of all North American birds not given by former American authors, after the manner and designed as a continuation of the works of Audubon, with 50 colored plates; "Mammalogy and Ornithology of the United States Exploring Expedition;" "Ornithology of the Japan Expedition;" "Ornithology of Gilliss's Astronomical Expedition to Chili;" the chapters on rapacious and wading birds in the "Ornithology of the Pacific Railroad Explorations and Surveys;" and the ornithology of the "Iconographic Encyclopaedia." His works are the result of careful research, and are especially valuable for their descriptions and classifications of many birds not given in the previous works of Wilson and Audubon. - lie was of a Quaker family, several members of which have distinguished themselves in naval and military service.
His great-uncle, Jonx Cassin, a commodore in the American navy, conducted the defence of Philadelphia in the war of 1812. His uncle, Stephen Cassin (1782-1857), also a commodore, served under Com. Preble in the war with Tripoli, and for his bravery in the action on Lake Champlain in 1814, under Com. McDonough, was rewarded by congress with a gold medal.