William Bartram

William Bartram was the son of John Bartram, American botanist. founder of the first botanical garden in America. near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and honorary botanist to King George II of England.


John Bartram in 1765 explored various regions of the southeastern coast of America. including the coast of Georgia. It was in 1773 that his son. a botanist and orinthologist, made a similar exploration.


Bartram wrote this about his 1773 visit to Saint Johns Parish: “One of the inhabitants politely introduced me to one of the principle families. where I supped and spent the evening in a circle of genteel ladies and gentlemen.”


The home in which Bartram spent the evening was that of Benjamin Andrew. He was one of the most affluent and influential men in Saint Johns Parish at that time.


Bartram explored Bermuda Island and then attended a service in the Meeting House. He later wrote that he, “asso­ciated with them in a religious exercise and heard a very excellent sermon delivered by their pious and truly venerable pastor, Reverend John Osgood.”


Bartram wrote further: “This congregation is independent and consists chiefly of families and proselytes to a flock which this pious man led, about 40 years ago, from South Carolina, and settled in this fruitful district.”


After visiting the Midway people, and exploring the local terrain, Bartram continued his exploration, “proceeding down the high road toward Fort Barrington, on the Altamaha River, passing through a level country well watered by large streams and marshes, their source: these swamps are daily being cleared and improved into large and fruitful plantations, aggrandizing the well-inhabited and rich district of Saint Johns Parish.”