Bartram, William

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Bartram, William,

1739–1823, American naturalist, b. Philadelphia; son of John BartramBartram, John
, 1699–1777, pioneer American botanist, b. near Darby, Pa. He had no formal schooling but possessed a keen mind and a great interest in plants. In 1728 he purchased land along the banks of the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia and planted there the first
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. He is known chiefly for his Travels (1791), in which he describes his journey (1773–77) through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida and areas to the west. His book vividly portrays the plants and wildlife of the country and lists 215 native birds, the most complete list of that time. Bartram's influence is seen in the works of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Chateaubriand, and other writers who found his book an unexcelled source of descriptions of the American wilderness and its inhabitants.


See T. Hallock and N. E. Hoffmann, ed., William Bartram, The Search for Nature's Design: Selected Art, Letters, and Unpublished Writings (2010).

Bartram, William

(1739–1823) botanist; born in Kingsessing (Philadelphia), Pa. As a youth he showed a talent for drawing specimens collected by his father, John Bartram, America's first botanist, but he first worked as a merchant and trader (1757–61). In 1765 he accompanied his father on an expedition to Florida, and remained in the American south, drawing natural flora, gathering botanical specimens, becoming an accomplished ornithologist, and befriending both colonial planters and members of indigenous tribes. After his father's death (1777), he returned to Pennsylvania to become a partner with his brother John Bartram to care for his father's botanical garden (1777–1812). He declined a professorship of botany at the University of Pennsylvania (1782), preferring to write on natural history and his observations on Indians; his literary accounts of his travels greatly influenced the 19th-century romantic movement; Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia etc. (1791) is regarded as his masterpiece. In 1786, William Bartram was elected to the American Philosophical Society. He remained active as a botanist, dying suddenly after writing a description of a plant.
References in periodicals archive ?
How fortunate it is that Franklinia is so easy to propagate, and that William Bartram propagated some plants for his Philadelphia garden.
It also provides a critical synopsis of the discovery by John and William Bartram of the Shell Bluff oyster, Crassostrea gigantissima, and the naming of it by John Finch in 1824.
In the familiar tradition of the nature essay that runs from William Bartram through Henry David Thoreau, John Muir and John Burroughs to Barry Lopez and Annie Dillard, the primary literary project has been to develop self-awareness through close observation of nature and to reflect critically on the terms of that self-awareness so as to extend empathy to the nonhuman world.
The Flower Hunter and the People: William Bartram in the Native American Southeast
Hector St.John de Crevecreur's Letters from an American Farmer and "Sketches of Jamaica and Bermudas and Other Subjects" (Chapter 3), William Bartram's Travels (Chapter 4), Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia (Chapter 5), and John James Audubon's The Birds of America (Chapter 6).
Luck is also in his genes, it seems, since the 'family' cited in his subtitle is an extraordinary one, including Anni Albers (artist, 1899-1994) and William Bartram (Philadelphia naturalist, 1739-1823).
More literature is to be found in travel writing by William Bartram, Francis Parkman, and John Stephens, he believes, than "in any number of nineteenth-century novels."
William Bartram figures in one of Wulf's central stories in the book.
William Bartram's Travels remains in print more than two hundred years after its first publication, a testament to its place as the seminal scholarship in southern and early American botany and natural history, as well as the inspiration for romantic poets and writers of the age.
Paynes Prairie was known as the Alachua Savanna in the late 1700s/early 1800s when it was visited and described by the noted naturalist, William Bartram. According to Bartram (1791), "The extensive Alachua savanna is a level, green plain, above fifteen miles over, fifty miles in circumference, and scarcely a tree or bush of any kind to be seen on it." As noted earlier, the term "savanna" used by Bartram was synonymous with the term "prairie" as used today.
A key element in the book centers on a "search for meaning in nature," and here Judd illuminates an intellectual framework that not only guided naturalists such as William Bartram and Benjamin Smith Barton, but also shaped later generations of conservationists and environmentalists, linking a colonial era aesthetic to modern ideas regarding environmental stewardship (p.
It was first discovered in 1765 by Philadelphia botanists John and William Bartram who named it after close friend Benjamin Franklin.