Observations on the Inhabitants, Climate, Soil, Rivers, Productions, Animals
Publication Date 4 Dec 2014
OverviewThe botanist and explorer John Bartram (1699-1777) is regarded as having created the first true botanical collection in North America. Alongside Benjamin Franklin, he was also in 1743 a founding member of the American Philosophical Society. In the summer of the same year, he set out from Philadelphia on an expedition through Iroquois lands. Published in London in 1751 through the efforts of Bartram's correspondent and fellow botanist Peter Collinson, this short work chronicles the six-week journey, offering an important early insight into the region's ecology. As well as providing observations on flora, fauna and geography, Bartram includes insightful descriptions of the activities of the Native American population. The expedition members were able to travel further than was previously possible owing to the participation of the agent and interpreter Conrad Weiser, who had earned the respect of the Iroquois. The work concludes with a brief description of Niagara Falls by the naturalist Peter Kalm.