Timeline

1699

Birth of John Bartram, America’s first professional botonist and William Bartram’s father.

1739

April – Birth of William Bartram at Kingsessing, near Philadelphia on April 9 (the introduction of the new, or Gregorian, calendar in the British colonies in 1752 added eleven days, resulting in Bartram’s birth date also being listed as April 20, 1739 in some accounts)

1744

Benjamin Franklin forms the American Philosophical Society with John Bartram as charter member

1753

William begins to draw birds; First natural history journey with his father to Cadwallader Colden in New York

1754

First time to William’s uncle’s plantation, Ashwood, in Wilmington, NC

1761

William returns to Ashwood to go into business in NC

1763

England acquires Florida territory that will be explored by John and William Bartram in 1765

1765

John Bartram appointed Botanist to the King by Peter Collinson; Discovery of Franklinia alatamaha by John and William Bartram. This flowering tree was last seen in the wild in 1803. It was named for John Bartram’s friend Benjamin Franklin.

1765-1766

William travels with his father through the Carolinas and Georgia; Visited Bethesda; Trip up the St. Johns River in Florida with his father

1773

March – William arrives in Charleston, SC to begin his travels; He learns of a meeting between representatives of Creek and Cherokee Nations; Explores Savannah, Midway, and Sunbury, Georgia.

May – Meeting occurs (official minutes lost, but William’s description exist); Hostility breaks out after meeting deterring William from surveying new boundaries.

1774

October – Georgia Gov. James Wright signed a treaty with Creek leaders; William explores new territorial boundaries.

1775

American Revolution begins with the Battles of Lexington and Concord; William reaches the Mississippi River

1776

January – William returns to Savannah

1777

September – Death of John Bartram

1781

February – “Free Quakers” (who advocated resistance to Britain) organized; Though he was a Quaker, William Bartram supported the American Revolution

1782

Due to poor health, Bartram turns down an offer to be the professor of Botany at the University of Pennsylvania

1786

William elected to the American Philosophical Society

1803

Publication of Benjamin Smith Barton’s Elements of Botany, with plates drawn by William Bartram

1807

William Bartram and his brother John Bartram, Jr. publish a catalog of their father’s garden, A catalogue of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, indigenous to the United States of America

1818

July – Entry on Bartram’s journal stated, “Rejoicing being…anniversary of the independence of the U. States of N. America.”

1823

July – Death of William Bartram on July 22 in Philadelphia


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