John Bartram

(2380 words)
  • James Harvey Peacock (University of Keele)

John Bartram, a humble Quaker with little formal education but a deep-rooted love of the natural world, was born on 23 March 1699 to Eliza and William Bartram. When he was just two years old, his mother died after giving birth to his brother James. In 1711 his father was killed in North Carolina, having abandoned his sons three years previously and travelled south. John never wrote of these tragedies, and the impression one receives from his extensive correspondence is not of a man beset by misfortune, but of a hardworking man who sought solace and spiritual contentment in the plenitude and variety of the American landscape.

In a 1764 letter to the English merchant and fellow plant enthusiast Peter Collinson, Bartram claimed &…

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Peacock, James Harvey. "John Bartram". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 November 2008
[, accessed 04 July 2015.]

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