33¢ John and William Bartram
Issue Date: May 18, 1999
City: Philadelphia, PA
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine die cut 11.5
Considered the “father of American botany,” explorer and naturalist John Bartram (1699-1777) established the oldest existing botanical garden in the United States. His son, William, (1739-1823) was a talented artist and author who shared his father’s love of nature.
A friend of Benjamin Franklin, John Bartram was an original member of the American Philosophical Society. He was appointed King George III’s American botanist, and regularly exported seeds and plants to members of the English aristocracy. Bartram was responsible for the introduction of about 500 new plant species to England. He made several scientific journeys into the Allegheny Mountains, the Ohio Valley, the Carolinas, and Canada. In 1765-66, John and William explored Florida.
William, John’s fifth child, was an accomplished artist who made hundreds of drawings of birds. His 1791 book, “Travels,” greatly influenced English romanticism. William established the nation’s first nursery and published America’s first plant catalog.
Built in 1728, Historic Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia is a public museum, park, and garden. Thomas Jefferson often stayed there and purchased plants for his home, Monticello. In 1784, the Continental Congress adjourned a session to visit the gardens.