William Bartram was born in Kingsessing, Pennsylvania in 1739. Throughout his childhood he traveled with his father, and was gifted at drawing plants and birds. He assisted his father in maintaining botanical gardens. Beginning in 1773, Bartram traveled the Southeast region of America to collect information about plants, animals, and Native Americans. His journey began in East Florida, where he drew many species that he encountered. Bartram published drawings and tales of his adventures in Travels, a book that became popular in the United States as well as Europe, and paved the way for settlers to move into Florida.
Bartram cottage was part of the group “Pioneer Botanists of the Deep South.” Ivey Lewis identified him as “’Little Billy the ‘flower’ of the Seminole Indians, famed in science and literature.”