Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society, 1968. x,,180pp., including frontispiece and fifty-eight plates, many in color. Text printed in two columns. Large folio. Original green cloth, gilt. Some discoloration to cloth along the bottom edge. Near fine, in a slightly worn dust jacket. Item #WRCAM57410
William Bartram was an American botanist and ornithologist who is most well known for this TRAVELS through the American south between 1773 and 1777. On his original journey, "...Bartram wrote with all the enthusiasm and interest with which the fervent old Spanish friars and missionaries narrated the wonders of the new found world...he neglected nothing which would add to the common stock of human knowledge" - Field. Bartram took his journey on behalf of Dr. John Fothergill of London, supplying his patron with plant and seed samples as well as an album of detailed illustrations of American flora and fauna. Most of these illustrations were never made available to the public, and the "Fothergill Album" eventually landed at the British Museum.
Nearly two hundred years later, noted botanist and historian Joseph Ewan of Tulane University was employed by the American Philosophical Society to produce this work. Ewan provides a historical introduction of Bartram's life and of the Fothergill Album itself, and furthermore puts his considerable skill and experience as a naturalist into identifying, introducing, and annotating each of Bartram's plates in chronological order - the detailed reproductions of which occupy the lion's share of this volume. A beautiful publication which makes these attractive and highly significant scientific illustrations available to the public and contributes to their study. FIELD 94 (ref).