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John Bartram

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Darby, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Death: September 22, 1777 (78)
Darby, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Place of Burial: Darby, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Bartram; William Bartram; Elizabeth Hunt and Elizabeth Bartram
Husband of Mary Bartram and Ann Bartram
Father of Richard Bartram; Isaac Bartram; James Bartram; Moses Bartram; Elizabeth Bartram and 6 others
Brother of James Bartram; Elizabeth Bartram and William Bartram

Occupation: Botonist--King George lll's royal Botonist in the Colonies. Bartram Gardens, Darby Twp., Chester Co., PA, botanist
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Bartram

To view more pictures, including one of a U. S. postage stamp issued in honor of John and his son William, go to the Media section.

Parents - William Bartram – (who was among the Quaker settlers from Derbyshire, England, who arrived in the new colony of Pennsylvania in 1681. They colonised an area west of Philadephia and named it “Darby after their home county), and Elizabeth Hunt. (The Hunts were Quakers from Kent originally; it was through them that Bartram’s father came to own one hundred acres of farmland on the west bank of the river Schuylkill).

John Bartram was married twice: 1st in 1723 to Mary Maris of Chester Monthly Meeting, by whom he had two sons: Richard, and Isaac (who became an apothecary).

2nd on October 11, 1729 to Ann Mendenhall (1703-1789) of Concord Monthly Meeting, who bore him five sons and four daughters: Moses (1732-1809), who also became an apothecary, William (1739-1823), a famous botanist, natural history artist and ornithologist, Elizabeth (1734-1734), James (1730-1824), Mary (1736-1817), John (1743-1812), and Benjamin (1748-1826).

John was a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and raised his children in that faith. In light of his Quaker affilitiation and marriage into the Mendenhall family (strong abolitionists), it seems strange that John owned slaves. However, a Russian visitor remarked that they were rather more well treated than usual and mentioned their sitting down at table with the family and the hired laborers. Bartram, however, was ahead of his time on the subject of abolition. (http://freepages.family.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mygermanfamilies/QuakSlavery.html

Occupation: Early American botanist, explorer, and plant collector. John was America's first recognized botanist.

Career:- founded Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia, Independent City, Pennsylvania. John was among the first botanists in North America to apply the Linnean system classification to his plants. In his travels around America he found and identified many plants not previously known to Europeans, and he was the first North American experimenter to hybridize flowering plants. John inherited the farm of his parents, and also the famous garden. William achieved lasting fame as a botanical traveler, artist, and author. Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/john-bartram#ixzz1KFSuD1ye

Although his only formal education was in the little school attached to the Quaker meeting house, and John always described himself as a simple farmer, he had a lifelong interest in the botany. He purchased, in 1728, 107 acres of land in Kingseeing on the bank of the Schuykill River about 3 miles from Philadelphia. John built his home on the Schuykill River about 1729. His botanical career started when he devoted 8 acres of this farm to growing plants he found interesting. He traveled extensively in the eastern American colonies collecting plants. In 1743 he visited the shores of Lake Ontario in the north. Through the assistance of friends in England, namely John Collinson and Benjamin Franklin, he was appointed botanist to King George in April 1765. John Bartram became a correspondent of Peter Collinson who wanted seeds, cuttings and bulbs of American plants for which he was willing to pay. Many of his acquisitions were transported to collectors in Europe – Linnaeus, Dillenous and Gronovius. In return, they supplied him with books and apparatus. Alone and accompanied by his son, William, on horseback and on foot, John explored much of eastern Pennsylvania, down through Virginia into the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida in search of new botanical specimens. He also visited the Ohio River in the west. "Diary of a Journey through the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida", an account of his trip to East Florida, which was published with his journal (London, 1766).

The eight acre garden Bartram created about five kilometres from the centre of Philadelphia is still preserved as the Historic Bartram's Garden, and is the oldest surviving botanic collection in North America. He was one of the co-founders, with Benjamin Franklin, of the American Philosophical Society, which like the Royal Society in London, sought to encourage scientific research.

Some significant facts:

The Bartrams created Colonial America's foremost plant nursery.


The Bartrams published the first catalogue of American plants.


Thomas Jefferson visited and purchased plants for Monticello.


The Bartrams discovered the Franklinia alatamaha tree in 1765 and saved it from extinction.


The Continental Congress adjourned a session specifically to visit John Bartram's garden.

http://www.ushistory.org/tour/bartrams-garden.htm

The family business in North American plants was continued by Bartram's sons John Bartram, Jr. and William Bartram after the American Revolution, and the botanic garden grew through three generations of the Bartram family. Bartram's Garden remained the major botanic garden in Philadelphia until the last Bartram heirs sold out in 1850. In addition to the issuance of a US stamp (shown in the Media section) in 1999, a number of events to celebrate the 300th anniversary of John Bartram's birth were being held at Historic Bartram's Garden, 54th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19143 - see Bartram Web Site. The stamp depicts the Franklinia, a new species discovered by the Bartram's and named for their friend Benjamin Franklin. No other Franklinia have ever been discovered in the wild, but many have been propagated from Bartram's specimen. http://freepages.family.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mygermanfamilies/BartramJohn.html

From "Worth Doing Celebrating Bartram's 300th," Gardens 1999, by JeanMarie Andrews, "The simple beauty of a daisy growing in a field inspired Pennsylvania Quaker John Bartram to spend his life exploring the natural world in the eighteenth century. He traveled the American continent on horseback, from southern Ontario to Florida and west to the Ohio River, collecting unknown species and bringing them back to his Philadelphia farm to cultivate. Together with his son William, he is credited with discovering and propagating more than 200 native plant species. Bartram's efforts earned him the title Royal Botanist of North America from King George III in 1765 and praise as 'the greatest natural botanist in the world' from Swedish botanist Carl Linneaeus, who developed the Latin system of plant classification."

Publications: 1751 ‘Observations on the Inhabitants, Climate, Soil, Rivers, Productions, Animals, and other Matters Worthy of Notice, made by Mr. John Bartram in his Travels from Pennsylvania to Onondaga, Oswego, and the Lake Ontario, in Canada’

Notes: A painting by John Wollaston in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington is thought to be a portrait of Bartram. John Bartram, in [son] William’s words, was “rather above the middle size, and upright,” with a long face and an expression that was at once dignified, animated, and sensitive. .

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bartram

http://www.bartramtrail.org/pages/biography/bio3.html

http://www.quaker.org.uk/john-bartram-1699-1777

Find A Grave Memorial # 26405734


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John Bartram's Timeline

1699
March 23, 1699
Darby, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States of America
1724
March 24, 1724
Darby, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States
1725
November 17, 1725
Darby, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States
1730
June 25, 1730
Darby, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States
1732
August 16, 1732
1734
August 27, 1734
1736
November 21, 1736
Darby, Pennsylvania, United States
1739
April 20, 1739
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States