Travels through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida...
Travels through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida...
Travels through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida...
2 More
Travels through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida...

WILLIAM BARTRAM, 1791

Details
Travels through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida...
William Bartram, 1791
BARTRAM, William (1739-1823). 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.

First edition of Bartram's classic work on the natural history of 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 Native American cultures. Unlike his self-taught father, 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.

Although the main purpose Bartram's later travels to the American southeast was to collect and ship to England new species of plants, 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). The book proved "a great success, going through several English editions and foreign translations, and was widely read in Europe and America as both a literary and travel work. It is credited with influencing everyone from Coleridge to Thoreau, and Bartram became famous, as he remains today." (Federal Hundred). “Unequalled for the vivid picturesqueness of its descriptions of nature, scenery, and productions (Sabin). "For the period, Bartram's work is unrivalled" (Federal Hundred). Clark Old South 197; Creating America 20; Evans 23159; Federal Hundred 33; Howes B-223 ("b"); Sabin 3870 Streeter sale 1088; Vail 849.

Octavo (200 x 130mm). Frontispiece portrait "Mico Chulcco the Long Warrior" by J. Trenchard after Bartram, engraved folding map of the coast of East Florida and 8 plates, one of which is folding (moderate foxing and browning). Contemporary sheep with ribbed spine and red title label (top and bottom of spine, front board slightly loose, and light wear to other extremities). Custom chemise and slipcase. Provenance: Henry D. Mandeville (ownership inscription on title page) — William Prescott Hunt, Jr. (ownership inscription on title page).

Brought to you by

Christina Geiger
Christina Geiger Head of Department

More from The Private Collection of William S. Reese: Part One

View All
View All