Was John James Audubon, America’s most celebrated naturalist, really Louis Charles, Duc de Normandie, the Lost Dauphin of eighteenth-century France? The possibility that royalty flowed in the veins of Audubon has intrigued many a historian. Previous biographies have tried to unravel the threads of the Audubon family’s secret, but none have been as successful as I Who Should Command All.
Extracts from letters of John James Audubon and statements of various family members shed light on the subject of Audubon’s birth in the author’s attempt to solve this intriguing historical question. Tyler discusses how Admiral Jean Audubon, an intimate of the Marquis de Lafayette, George Washington, and a ship commander at the Battle of Yorktown, came to adopt the mysterious youth the world would later know as John James Audubon. She also addresses the deeper meaning of Audubon's reference to himself in a letter to his faithful wife Lucy as, “I who should command all.”
The original printing of I Who Should Command All was published in honor of the opening of Audubon Memorial Park and Museum at Henderson, Kentucky, in 1937.