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  • Monument Name

    William Bartram, Franklin

  • Type

    Marker

  • Subjects

    Geography

    Colonial History

    Historic Science and Technology Figures

  • City

    Franklin

  • County

    Macon

  • Description

    The Bartram marker is a simple bronze tablet attached to a large granite boulder. Also attached beneath the tablet are bronze emblems for the North Carolina Garden Club and the NC Bartram Trail Association of Franklin County.

    Images (by Natasha Smith): Far-off view of the memorial marker | Bronze plaque | Marker at the intersection with West Main (Business U.S. 441) street

  • Inscription

    WILLIAM BARTRAM / NATURALIST / VISITED THIS AREA OF THE CHEROKEE NATION / IN MAY, 1775 / WHILE ON HIS MISSION TO RECORD THE NATURAL / AND CULTURAL RESOURCES ALONG THE TRADING / ROUTE BETWEEN THE LOW COUNTRY TO THE EAST / AND THE OVERHILL COUNTRY TO THE WEST. / THE BARTRAM TRAIL, / COMMEMORATING HIS JOURNEY, / PASSES NEAR HERE. / MAY 1985

  • Custodian

    Macon County

  • Dedication Date

    May 1985

  • Decade

    1980s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.182070 , -83.381120 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      Bartram, William. Travels Through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws; Containing An Account of the Soil and Natural Productions of Those Regions, Together with Observations on the Manners of the Indians. Embellished with Copper-Plates, Philadelphia: Printed by James & Johnson, 1791, (accessed March 26, 2022) Link

      Parramore, Thomas C., 1979. “Bartram, William,” NCPedia.org, (accessed January 7, 2022) Link

      Powell, William S., 2006. “Travels of William Bartram,” NCPedia.org, (accessed January 7, 2022) Link

      “William Bartram Naturalist,” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed January 7, 2022) Link

      “William Bartram, Naturalist - Franklin, NC,” Waymarking.com, (accessed January 7, 2022) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze, granite

  • Sponsors

    North Carolina Bartram Trail Society of Franklin County and the North Carolina Garden Club

  • Subject Notes

    William Bartram (1739-1823) is famous for his work of natural history “Travels of William Bartram”. The work documents his four-year journey through North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. Bartram also recorded the customs and history of the Seminole, Cherokee and Creek Indian Nations, becoming an early authority on these Native Americans. Bartram had prominent relatives living in Bladen County, North Carolina which became a base of operations for many of his travels.

    William Bartram Trails Historical Markers have been placed along much of the path blazed by the naturalist. You can read online the full text of Travels Through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida, the Cherokee Country by William Bartram (Philadelphia: Printed by James & Johnson, 1791.)

    [Additional information from NCpedia editors at the State Library of North Carolina: This person enslaved and owned other people. Many Black and African people, their descendants, and some others were enslaved in the United States until the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in 1865. It was common for wealthy landowners, entrepreneurs, politicians, institutions, and others to enslave people and use enslaved labor during this period. To read more about the enslavement and transportation of African people to North Carolina, visit https://aahc.nc.gov/programs/africa-carolina-0. To read more about slavery and its history in North Carolina, visit https://www.ncpedia.org/slavery. - Government and Heritage Library, 2023.]

  • Controversies

    In December 1985 a veterans group asked the Macon County Commissioners to have the memorial marker relocated. The town square location is also dedicated to Macon County veterans. Their opposition to the marker location was that Bartram was a pacifist due to his Quaker background.

  • Location

    The marker is located at the Town Square in Franklin, NC which is across the street from the Macon County Courthouse at West Main (Business U.S. 441) and Iolta Streets. The marker is at the street corner facing into the intersection. The Macon County Confederate Monument stands nearby in the center of Rankin Square, a small park across Main Street from the modern courthouse. A marker to Cherokee clay used in Wedgewood Pottery can also be found in Rankin Square.

    At the Macon County Courthouse across the street is a Charters of Freedom memorial similar to those at many courthouses across the state. Examples of Charters of Freedom can be found in Buncombe and Burke counties.

  • Landscape

    The memorial marker stands on the lawn surrounded by bushes.

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