Historic Markers Across Florida

William Bartram's Plantation

Marker ID: FLHM F-514
Location: on Sands Bridge (route 16)
County: St. Johns
Coordinates: N 29° 59.420    W 081° 36.531
  29.99033333    -81.60885
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM1E72


In 1766 on the banks of the St. Johns River at Little Florence Cove, William Bartram attempted to farm a 500-acre land grant. Bartram had spent much of the previous year exploring the new British colony of East Florida with his father, John Bartram, the Royal Botanist for America under King George III. When John Bartram returned home, near Philadelphia, the younger Bartram stayed in Florida. He hoped like many other settlers to make a fortune exporting cash crops such as indigo and rice. Using six enslaved Africans, Bartram cleared the forest and planted, but within a year he abandoned his farm and returned home. Bartram was known in England for illustrating his fathers botanical specimens. Between 1773-1777 patrons financed Bartrams further exploration of the American Southeast. In 1791, he published his observations in Travels Through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida, one of the most influential travel accounts of the American frontier. Rather than write a mere scientific catalog, Bartram produced a joyful and tender portrait of a virgin land with an infinite variety of animated scenes, inexpressibly beautiful and pleasing which inspired the poets of Englands Romantic Movement.

Sponsors: the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners and The Florida Department of State


City: St. Augustine, FL