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William Bartram in Person

Deercreek Home and Garden Club
Tuesday, October 22,  10 am
William Bartram in Person
(as portrayed by historical actor Mike Adams)

You’ve heard about The Shoppes at Bartram Park, Bartram Trail, Bartram Springs, etc. They must have been named after somebody famous, right? Well, we’ve asked William Bartram himself to come and tell you about his adventures in Florida.

William Bartram was 14 years old when he accompanied his father down here in 1765. They were Quakers from Philadelphia and his father, John Bartram, had been named King’s Botanist by King George III so they were surveying the land for the king while collecting seeds and specimens as they traveled the Southern states, including East Florida. William provided drawings and collected seeds that eventually found their way to numerous English clients as well as Kew Gardens and botanical gardens in Oxford, England, and Edinburgh, Scotland.

His second trip, in April 1774, was to explore and document what he had found. His nine month stay on his favorite river in Putnam County is documented in Bartram’s masterpiece TRAVELS. His discoveries and illustrations of nature and his vivid descriptions of encounters with alligators, snakes and the natives made his book a worldwide sensation, catching the attention of Benjamin Franklin back home.

In the fall of 1774 William Bartram experienced what was known as the Indian Frolic at Spalding’s Lower Store, the local trading post. The Seminoles named him Puc Puggy, ’The flower hunter’. With Micco-Chlucco, the Long Warrior and Job Wiggens, his guide and interpreter he travelled safely through Palatka, Walaka, Salt Springs, Mt. Royal and St. Augustine.

245 years later, the annual St. Johns River Bartram Frolic on Palatka’s riverfront is still being celebrated in Putnam County in September. If you’d like to go next year, check here for information: http://bartram.putnam-fl.com/?page_id=7800

Mike Adams is an environmental consultant and biologist who brings history to life with his stories and costumes. Plan to come and see him and be entertained while learning some of our story. Invite any of your friends who are history buffs to join us and then stay for lunch together.

 Membership questions? Julie Howell has the answers! 519-8005