Bartram, John, 1699-1777

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John Bartram was the first native American botanist and made many journeys through the southern frontier, collecting seeds and bulbs for transplanting.

From the description of Papers, 1738-1796. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 122364926

From the description of Correspondence, 1735-1775. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 122464663

From the guide to the John Bartram papers, 1738-1796, 1738-1796, (American Philosophical Society)

From the guide to the John Bartram correspondence, 1735-1775, 1735-1775, (American Philosophical Society)

From the guide to the John Bartram papers, 1738-1796, 1738-1796, (American Philosophical Society)

Epithet: American botanist

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000983.0x0003cb

Francis Darley West was a descendant of John Bartram (1699-1777) and William Bartram (1739-1823) of Philadelphia, who were the leading naturalists of their time.

From the guide to the Bartram family papers, ca. 1908-1958, 1908-1958, (American Philosophical Society)

John Bartram was the first native American botanist and made many journeys through the southern frontier, collecting seeds and bulbs for transplanting. He was Royal Botanist at the time of his 1765 trip to the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.

From the description of Diary, 1765-1766, of a journey through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 122316337

From the guide to the John Bartram diary, 1765-1766, of a journey through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, 1765-1766, (American Philosophical Society)

Peter Collinson (1694–1768) was an English merchant and botanist. He was a partner in his father’s London trading business, and he remained a merchant throughout his life. However, at a young age, he also developed a passion for botany. He eventually wrote numerous essays on natural history topics for the Gentleman’s Magazine, and he contributed many reports to the Society of Antiquaries and to the Royal Society, of which he was a member. His extensive network of correspondents in Europe and North America placed Collinson at the nexus of the community of eighteenth century European and American natural scientists.

Peter Collinson was born in London, the son of the Quaker and London cloth merchant Peter Collinson and his wife Elizabeth Hall. Young Peter’s love of plants apparently stemmed from a garden owned by relatives with whom he lived as a boy and which he later inherited. However, Collinson is known less for his own original contributions to natural science than for his tireless support of the work of others. His publications and affiliation with the Royal Society brought him in contact with many eminent European naturalists and scientists of his day, including Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753), Stephen Hales (1677-1761), and J. J. Dillenius (1684-1747). He also knew the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778, APS 1769), who named horse balm ( Collinsonia canadensis ) after him. Collinson was always supportive of the work of ordinary gardeners and plantsmen, such as Philip Miller (1691-1771), the gardener of the Chelsea Physic Garden, and the nurseryman James Gordon, who helped maintain the extensive gardens of Lord Petre, Collinson’s close friend and patron of scientific endeavors.

Collinson’s numerous contacts with fellow botanists placed him at the center of a large network of mid-eighteenth century European and American naturalists. It was through his family’s extensive trade in the cloth business with North America that he got to know a number of Americans. They included Alexander Garden (1730-1791, APS 1768), Cadwallader Colden (1688-1776, APS 1768), Benjamin Franklin and John Bartram (1699-1777, APS 1768).

Collinson and Bartram were particularly close friends. In the early 1730s, Bartram wrote to Collinson soliciting the post of king’s botanist in North America. While Collinson was not able to secure the position for another three decades, the two men arranged for Bartram to send seeds and seedlings to British subscribers. This group eventually numbered more than sixty men and included some of the most prominent botanists and landscape designers in Britain. Moreover, beginning in 1733, the two men engaged in a lively exchange of ideas and specimen that lasted until Collinson’s death in 1768. Collinson communicated many of Bartram’s studies to the Royal Society, which published Bartrams observations in the Philosophical Transactions . The naturalist John Fothergill (1712-1780, APS 1770) one of Collinson’s close friends, wrote that the “eminent naturalist, John Bartram, may almost be said to have been created such by my friend’s assistance.” John Bartram’s son William acknowledged Collinson’s crucial role in his father’s career, noting that “it was principally through the interest of Collinson that he [John Bartram] became acquainted, and entered into correspondence with, many of the most celebrated literary characters in Europe, and was elected a member of the Royal Society of London, of Stockholm, etc.” Collinson, who maintained his own extensive garden, introduced several American plants into Britain, including the American alder, three species of azalea, black birch, hemlock, sugar maple, mountain laurel, and many medicinal herbs.

Collinson and Franklin also maintained a long friendship marked by an active correspondence. Their shared interests included the discovery of mastodon bones in North America and, more famously, topics related to electricity. In fact, it was Collinson who introduced Franklin’s ideas on electricity to the Royal Society; the Society not only published them but also recognized Franklin’s work with the Copley medal in 1753. Franklin admired Collinson’s qualities as a scientist and as a man. He wrote that “if we may estimate the goodness of a man by his disposition to do good, and his constant endeavors and success in doing it, I can hardly conceive that a better man has ever existed.”

Collinson’s interests in North American matters also included the promotion of crop experiments in the colonies. In addition, he was an early patron of the American Philosophical Society, though not a member, and for many years served as purchasing agent for the Library Company of Philadelphia.

In 1724 Peter Collinson married Mary Russell. They had two children.

From the guide to the Collinson-Bartram Papers, 1732-1773, 1732-1773, (American Philosophical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, 1668-1983, Bulk, 1750-1850, 1668-1983 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Smithsonian Archives. Ru 60: Meteorological Project, 1849 1875.
referencedIn John Bartram Association. Archives, 1929-1932. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Bartram, John, 1699-1777. Diary, 1765-1766, of a journey through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn John Bartram Association archives, 1929-1932, 1929-1932 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Earnest, Ernest Penney, 1901-. Papers, 1929-1982. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
referencedIn Jared Sparks collection of American manuscripts, 1582-1843. Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard
creatorOf Collinson-Bartram Papers, 1732-1773, 1732-1773 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn National Archives And Records Administration. Rg 27: Weather Bureau.
referencedIn Conrad Wilson and William E. Frame genealogy research files on the Bartram family, 1957-1993 John Bowman Bartram Special Collections Library
referencedIn Bartram family. Bartram family letters, 1743-1766. (bulk 1765-1766). New-York Historical Society Library
referencedIn Collinson, Peter, 1694-1768. Collinson-Bartram Papers, 1732-1773. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Linnean Society of London correspondence of American scientists, 1738-1865, 1738-1865 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Bartram, John, 1699-1777. Correspondence, 1735-1775. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Royal Society (Great Britain) miscellaneous correspondence and documents, [ca. 1642-1818], Circa 1642-1818 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf John Bartram papers, 1738-1796, 1738-1796 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Bartram, John, 1699-1777. Papers, 1738-1796. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Abbot, E. O. Index of all plants mentioned in Darlington's Memorial of John Bartram (Philadelphia, Lindsay & Blakiston, 1849), n.d. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Barton, Benjamin Smith, 1766-1815. American Indian materials, 1789-1813. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf [John Bartram, biographical materials] University of Wisconsin - Madison, General Library System
referencedIn John Bartram Association collection on the Bartram family, 1768-2012 John Bowman Bartram Special Collections Library
referencedIn Bartram, Isaac. Isaac Bartram Account Book, 1790-1803. University of Michigan, William Clements Library
creatorOf Gronovius, Johannes Fredericus, 1686-1762. [Letter] 1751 Jun. 16, Leyden [to] Mr. Bartram / Joh. Fred. Gronovius. Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Royal Society (Great Britain). Miscellaneous correspondence and documents, [ca. 1642-1818]. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf John Bartram papers, 1738-1796, 1738-1796 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn John Bartram Association research files, Bulk, 1980-2012, 1905-2012 John Bowman Bartram Special Collections Library
creatorOf Clayton, John, 1686-1773. Clayton papers, 1748-1765. William & Mary Libraries
referencedIn Violetta Delafield-Benjamin Smith Barton Collection, 1783-1817 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf American manuscripts, 1703-1806, from the British Museum, 1703-1806 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Short, Charles Wilkins, 1794-1863. Letter : Hayfield, Ky., to Dr. William Darlington, 1850 Feb. 23. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Brown, Carlotta Herring. Collection, 1699-1920. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
referencedIn Daniel McKinley research files on the history of natural history, 1963-1999 John Bowman Bartram Special Collections Library
referencedIn Albany Institute Of History And Art, Library. Correspondence, 1795 1830.
referencedIn Barton, Benjamin Smith, 1766-1815. Papers on botany, 1796-1812 (bulk). American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Miscellaneous Manuscript Maps, 1747-1948 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf John Bartram papers (copy), n.d. American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Norris, Joseph, 1699-1733. Miscellaneous writings of Joseph Norris, 1723-1776. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Barton, Benjamin Smith, 1766-1815. Letter, 1794 February 22, Philadelphia, to Jeremy Belknap, Boston. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn Kane, John K. (John Kintzing), 1795-1858. Papers, [ca. 1800]-1892. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Thomas Addis Emmet collection, 1483-1876, 1700-1800 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Ewan, Joseph, 1909-1999. What we still do not know about the best known colonial botanist / Joseph Ewan. Missouri Botanical Garden, Peter H Raven Library
referencedIn Colden, Cadwallader, 1688-1776. Cadwallader Colden Papers, 1677-1832 (bulk 1711-1775). Churchill County Museum
referencedIn Knauff, Henry. Colonial incidents: and facts of the times during the life of John Bartram.../ Henry Knauff. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
referencedIn Miscellaneous Benjamin Franklin Collections, 1710-1822 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Short, Charles Wilkins, 1794-1863. Letter : Hayfield, Ky., to Dr. William Darlington, 1850 Feb. 23. Texas Christian University
referencedIn Linnean Society of London. Correspondence of American scientists, 1738-1865. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn John Bartram Association records, 1911-2012 John Bowman Bartram Special Collections Library
referencedIn Bell, Whitfield J. (Whitfield Jenks). American manuscripts, 1703-1806, from the British Museum. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf John Bartram diary, 1765-1766, of a journey through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, 1765-1766 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Bartram family. Collection, 1721-1814 (inclusive), 1765-1803 (bulk). Historical Society of Pennsylvania
creatorOf John Bartram correspondence, 1735-1775, 1735-1775 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Logan, Maria Dickinson, 1857-1939,. Family papers, 1671-1890. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf Bartram family papers, ca. 1908-1958, 1908-1958 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn West, Francis Darley, 1881- ,. Bartram family papers, ca. 1908-1958. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Rodney H. True Papers, 1861-1939 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn ROYAL SOCIETY PAPERS. (Vol. II) ff. 326.(1) 'An account of the Locusts in New England' by Paul Dudley; Roxbury, nr. Boston, 18 Dec. 1733. Followed by letters, etc., relating to the same, 1733-1737. ff. 4-27b. (2) 'Histories of the Epidemick Colds whi... British Library
referencedIn Gray, Jane Lathrop Loring, 1821-1909. Collection of botanists' autographs and biographies, 183-189 (inclusive. Harvard University, Botany Libraries
referencedIn Kane Family Papers, 1745-1955 American Philosophical Society
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associatedWith Colden, Cadwallader, 1688-1776. person
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correspondedWith Foreman, Edward (Dr.) person
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associatedWith Genth, F. A., (Frederick Augustus), 1820-1893 person
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associatedWith Holland, Henry Fox, Baron, 1705-1774 person
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associatedWith John Bartram Association. corporateBody
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associatedWith Newton, Isaac, Sir, 1642-1727 person
associatedWith Norfolk, Edward Howard, Duke of, 1686-1777 person
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associatedWith Ord, Thomas person
associatedWith Parsons, J. person
associatedWith Pennell, Francis W., (Francis Whittier), 1886-1952 person
associatedWith Petre, Anne, Lady person
associatedWith Petre, Anne Radcliffe person
associatedWith Petre, Robert Edward, Baron, 1772-1810 person
associatedWith Petre, Robert James Petre, Baron, 1713-1742 person
associatedWith Pitman, John Hines person
associatedWith Poinsett, Joel Roberts, 1779-1851 person
associatedWith Ponthiell (?), John de person
associatedWith Poole, R. person
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
associatedWith Randolph, Isahm person
associatedWith Richmond and Lennox, Charles Lennox, Duke of, 1735-1806 person
associatedWith Rittenhouse, David, 1732-1796 person
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associatedWith Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864 person
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associatedWith Solander, Daniel Charles, 1733-1782 person
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associatedWith St. Clair, John person
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correspondedWith Strang, James J. person
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associatedWith Thomson, Charles, 1729-1824 person
associatedWith Tofeild (?), Thomas person
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associatedWith Wilson, Conrad, 1921-2005 person
associatedWith Witt, Christopher, 1675-1765. person
associatedWith Wrangel, Charles Magnus person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States - History - Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
Florida
South Carolina
Pennsylvania
United States
Peru, South America
Paris, France
Cartagena, S. America
Florida
Norway, Europe
Gabian, France
Isle of Wight, England
Upsala, Sweden
South Carolina
London, England
Georgia
North Carolina
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
United States - Social life and customs - To 1775
United States - Social life and customs - 19th century.
Quito, Province of, Ecuador
United States - Social life and customs - To 1775
New England, America
Georgia
North Carolina
Subject
Gardens--England
Exploration and discovery
Plants, Cultivated
Colony and State Specific History
Seed industry and trade--United States
Pennsylvania History
Natural history
Horticulture
Plants--Collection and preservation
Seed industry and trade--England
Horticulture--United States
Horticulture--England
Botanical specimens--Collection and preservation
Science and technology
Horticulturists
Philadelphia History
Plant collectors
Gardening--England
Botany
Botanists
Occupation
Naturalists--United States
Botanists--United States
Function

Person

Birth 1699-05-23

Death 1777-09-22

Americans

English

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