An Outdoor Guide to Bartram's Travels
Illustrations: 68 b&w photos
Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in
Pub Date: 04/20/2003
List Price: $32.95
TRAVEL / United States / South / South Atlantic (DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV)
An Outdoor Guide to Bartram's Travels
From 1773 to 1777, naturalist William Bartram journeyed through the American South from the Carolinas to Florida to the Mississippi River. Bartram's classic account, Travels, documents what he saw: a world of flora, fauna, cultures, and terrains unknown to most readers of his time—and, we too often assume, lost to us today.
An Outdoor Guide to Bartram's Travels reconstructs as closely as possible the original routes Bartram took. Featuring some fifty thoroughly tested and researched tours, the guide takes today's outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs along Bartram's path through what were once colonial towns and outposts, native kingdoms, and unspoiled wilderness. Some tours can be taken by car or bicycle; others can be taken only as Bartram himself would have traveled—on foot, by canoe, or on horseback. The tours are supplemented with more than 140 maps and photographs as well as informative sidebars and listings of nearby points of interest.
As the guide points out details of both the natural and manmade environments to be seen along each tour, it imparts an understanding of the forces at work on the landscape. Visitors to Paynes Prairie in north central Florida, for instance, are urged to notice not only networks of manmade dikes built in the last century but also evidence of current efforts to dismantle them and let the wetlands again manage itself.
At one level, the guide is an invitation into the past, to travel along with Bartram as he visits the lands of the American colonists, the Creek, the Seminole, and the Cherokee—all on the eve of the American Revolution. At another level, it is an invitation to the present: to see how the some parts of the American Southeast have changed in the last two centuries while others have survived in all their wild splendor. From the mountain grandeur of the Blue Ridge to the coastal beauty of Cumberland Island, from the formal gardens of Charleston to the False River plantations near the Mississippi River, the present answers the past in An Outdoor Guide to Bartram's Travels.
Blending pertinent details of Bartram's travels with practical information this guide will help you find the Southern treasures the explorer so enthusiastically promoted.
A book that will appeal to naturalists and history buffs alike . . . Divided into discreet tours, the guide offers details on the natural environment as well as man-made modifications that have changed the southern landscape over the past two centuries.
This handy guide tells readers how to reconstruct Bartram's routes as well as possible.
What sets this book above other travel publications is the ability of the authors to span time so effortlessly. They relate in general terms the environmental conditions that formed the land, tell of the people who lived there when the naturalist visited the region, and summarize how the environment has changed during the last two centuries.
—Marilyn K. Alaimo, Chicago Botanic Garden
[An Outdoor Guide to Bartram's Travels] offers an intriguing invitation to spend time in the past along with Bartram as he traveled the lands of the American colonists, as well as Cherokee, Seminole, and Creek Indian tribes just prior to the American Revolution.
—Book Reviews of the Southeastern Naturalist
A valuable contribution to our understanding of William Bartram's explorations . . . Overall . . . these editors have done a remarkable job not only of locating these paths—many of which have been obscured by time and human encroachment—but also of recounting the complex history behind Bartram's Travels. . . . This book offer[s] a clearly written entrèe into his life and work, one that will help newcomers better understand the importance of this early naturalist, and one that will allow seasoned Bartram enthusiasts to match the page to the place.
Use this book as a travel guide to many beautiful and lesser known areas of natural beauty in the Southeast. It would take many trips to cover all the natural areas described in this book—a delightful prospect.