Rebellion 1570s - 1580s     
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Cranes, from Bartram's vision of the Alachua Savannah
Three cranes, detail from Bartram's vision of the "The Great Alachua-Savana." American Philosophical Society.
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Bartram, the Seminoles, and the Romantics

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Bartram's unabashed depiction of the Seminoles as a people free from the trappings of modern civilization had a lasting effect on the imaginations of American and European Romantics, from Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Henry David Thoreau. Coleridge drew from the Travels, most famously, in his critical essays on the poetic imagination. He also based passages from "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Kubla Kahn" on Bartram's lush descriptions of the Florida landscape. Wordsworth and Coleridge shared copies of the Travels and praised its merits. The French Romantic René de Chateaubriand likewise drew heavily on Bartram's imagery and ideas in his Native American novel Atala

The American Romantics may have first re-discovered Bartram through the British, but by 1849 Thoreau was enthusiastically citing Seminole busk ceremonies, after Bartram, as an anti-dote to American materialism.

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Sources: Bartram Southeastern 31-2, Fagin 128-200. ©
Background: Outline  l  Images
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 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 - Background: 1693-1812
spacer spacer African Connections
Spanish Influence
British Reaction
The Seminoles
Section Conclusion
 + Early Years: 1832-1838
 + War: 1832-1838
 + Exile: 1838-1850
 + Freedom: 1850-1882
 + Legacy & Conclusion


Bartram, the Seminoles, and the Romantics

Excerpt from Bartram's poetic description of the Seminoles

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