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for Brewster, William, 1851-1919
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John S. Cairns spent much of his short adult life observing and collecting wildlife in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, especially birds. Between 1887 and his accidental death in 1895, Cairns corresponded with William Brewster, a naturalist from Massachusetts. The letters between the two discuss Cairns' trips into the wilderness and the specimens he collected.
Famous Boston zoologist William Brewster visited the North Carolina highlands around Asheville for two weeks in 1885 to search for lost bird species and for evidence of which northern birds might nest in the southern mountains. During his expedition, Brewster proved that over 20 northern species nested in the southern Appalachian Mountains during nesting season based primarily on the presence of certain trees and forest types.