BARTRAM, William (1729-1823). Travels through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy
BARTRAM, William (1729-1823). Travels through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy... Philadelphia: James & Johnson, 1791.
8vo., (7 6/8 x 4 5/8 inches). Dedication leaf to Thomas Mifflin. Engraved frontispiece portrait of Mico Chlucco King of the Seminoles, folding map of "...the Coast of East Florida from the River St. John Southward near to Cape Canaveral" (some minor offsetting as usual) and 7 engraved engraved plates (some foxing and browning). Contemporary sheep (rebacked preserving the original spine); preserved in natural cloth slipcase and chemise.
Provenance: with the signed bookplate of Bruce McKinney, his sale, 2nd December 2010, lot 122
"Bartram's account of the remote frontier, of the plantations, trading posts, and Indian villages at the end of the eighteenth century is unrivaled" (Streeter)
First edition. The plates include: 'Anona Pygmea', 'Anona Grandiflora', 'Ixea Caelestina', 'Plate IV' the image of the head of the Great Soft-Shelled Tortoise, the Great Soft-Shelled Tortoise, and the folding plate of the 'Hydrangea Quercifolia'.
William Bartram, son of a Pennsylvania Quaker and naturalist, embarked on a journey of exploration throughout the American Southeast in 1773 and traveled in the modern states of Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Florida recording the flora, fauna and Indian tribes he found there. Bartram made discoveries and sketches of over 200 new botanical specimens, including the Venus Fly Trap and a now extinct tree named for his great friend Benjamin Franklin, calling it the Franklin tree or Franklinia alatamatha. In addition to his scientific writings, Bartram was one of the earliest authors to document the customs of the Cherokee and Creek Indian tribes who were so prevalent throughout the Southeast at that time. The book has been called "a valuable original authority on the Southern Indians during the Revolutionary war." - Stevens.
Bartram's attention to detail and his vivid descriptions make for one of the most enduring and engaging journals of early exploration of southern natural history and ethnographical study. The words of this naturalist have stirred the emotions and minds of such renowned romantic writers as Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Wordsworth, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge giving inspiration to them in their own literature. Obviously a key book from the period of early settlement of the American Southeast, Streeter calls Bartrams volume: "The classic of southern natural history and exploration, with much on the southern Indian tribes. Bartram's account of the remote frontier, of the plantations, trading posts, and Indian villages at the end of the eighteenth century is unrivaled." Stevens Catalogue of Rare Books Relating to America 1617; Howes B223; Sabin 3870; Streeter sale 2:1088; Field 94.