As the son of naturalist John Bartram, William Bartram was remarkably well trained as a botanist, spending most of his childhood at the famed botanical gardens founded by his father on the Schuykill River near Philadelphia. Bartram had also accompanied his father on numerous botanizing expeditions throughout the American colonies during his youth. After a few disastrous business ventures, Bartram received financial support from a family friend and embarked on the journeys described in his Travels. Bartram’s descriptions of his trip throughout the southern colonies from 1773 to 1777 reflect not only a thorough training in natural history, but also display an enthusiasm for wild nature that is remarkable for his time. Additionally, his perceptive and sympathetic portrayals of the Indians he met on his journeys reflect his Quaker upbringing and his own philosophy of the merits of the “natural man.”
KeywordsPhilosophic Companion Family Friend American Coloni Wild Nature Ultramarine Blue
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