BARTRAM, William (1729-1823). Travels through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws. Philadelphia: James & Johnson, 1791.
BARTRAM, William (1729-1823). Travels through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws. Philadelphia: James & Johnson, 1791.

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BARTRAM, William (1729-1823). Travels through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws. Philadelphia: James & Johnson, 1791.

8o (202 x 118 mm). Engraved folding map of the coast of East Florida and 8 plates, one folding. (Some foxing and browning.) Contemporary sheep, gilt-ruled on spine, red morocco lettering piece (some wear to extremities, some slight gnawing to lower corners at center). Provenance: Thomas L. Savage (near-contemporary signature on title).

FIRST EDITION of Bartram's classic book on the Southern frontier. William Bartram was the son of the noted botanist John Bartram, and his book details plant and animal life, as well as aspects of various Indian cultures. The pastoral quality of Bartram's prose was a great influence on Coleridge, Wordsworth and Emerson.

Unlike his father John Bartram, William Bartram benefited from a rigorous education at the Philadelphia Academy. Unsuccessful at business, he gave up Philadelphia life in 1761 and moved to North Carolina to live with his father's half-brother who owned a trading post at Cape Fear. "When John Bartram was appointed botanist to King George III in 1765, he invited his son to join him on a year-long collecting trip in Florida, which had come under British control in 1763 and then extended as far west as the Mississippi River and as far north as the thirty-first parallel" (ANB). The trip, focused primarily on the St. Johns River, inspired William Bartram to become an explorer-naturalist

His later southern travels were carried out without a predetermined goal or set of expectations. His primary purpose was to collect and ship to England new species of plants, but his interests were broad, and he recorded very comprehensive observations of the region and its peoples. His comments on the Creek, Cherokee, and Seminole tribes are particularly valuable. Bartram visited the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia, and northern Florida, returning to many of the sites he had visited with his father in 1765 and 1766. He also traveled inland, across present-day Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana, eventually reaching as far west as Point Coupee, north of Baton Rouge on the Mississippi River. Along the Gulf Coast he contracted a near-fatal illness that left him severely weakened and partially blind. His book, based on his diaries, was first published in Philadelphia in 1791, making it the first serious work on American natural history published in post-Revolutionary America (see ANB). Numerous editions in a variety of languages followed, including that in French offered as the following lot. Clark Old South 197; Evans 23159; Field 94; Howes B-223; Sabin 3870; Streeter II:1088; Vail 849. A VERY FINE COPY OF A BOOK OFTEN FOUND IN WORN CONDITION.
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