John Bartram was born in (then) Darby on May 23, 1699 in the home of his grandfather
(who arrived 1682) on Springfield Road on the land that is the present day
Eden Cemetery. Described
by Swedish botanist Carolus Linneaus as "the greatest natural botanist in the world" Bartram and his
son William, would travel the Colonies studying and collecting plants and corresponding with the
world-wide scientific community of the day. A founding member of the American Philosophical
Society (see below), he was appointed Royal Botanist in 1765. Married twice with 9 children,
an Ohio State University website describes him as having a simple, wholesome, "powerful" personality.
Bartram's Garden Web Site
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John Bartram Song  (Click here to listen to song)
Words and Music by John and Jan Haigis

John Bartram's a man who was born in Darby many years ago
A simple man who would till the soil about him we would know
He saw the Light in the wonders of God's Nature
Sought that Light where ever he would go
Saw God's design in a simple daisy, about him we would know

There then came a time when the Quaker Meeting
and he did not agree
The Meeting said that he must conform and accept the Trinity
But Bartram said we can go to God directly
Worship God in love and unity
The love of God is all around us, God is one not three

And so we gather on this first-day morning to think about this man
Who looked through nature to nature's God to find the Creator's plan
Who saw the Light in the wonders of God's nature
Sought that Light where ever he would go
Saw God's design in a simple daisy, about him we would know
Pierre Tristam in a 2000 article in the Lakeland (Florida) Leger, recounts a story that in 1738
or 1739, Bartram wrote to a patron of the sciences in London proposing that a Society of the
"most ingenious and curious men" be formed in Philadelphia. The patron replied that there weren't
enough such in America, but Bartram kept looking for support and in 1743 helped Franklin create
the American Philosophical Society.  1743 was also the year that Bartram help found
Darby Library
In 1758, Bartram  was disowned by Darby Meeting for his opinion that Jesus was not divine, but he
continued to worship at that meeting and was buried in the burial ground at 12th and Main.  In 1761
he carved above the door of his greenhouse a quote from Alexander Pope: "Slave to no sect who
takes no private road, but looks through Nature up to Nature's God." He wrote in a letter,
"It is through the telescope I see God in his glory." He carved into a stone in the wall of his study:
"It is God alone, Almyty Lord, the Holy One by Me adored". John Bartram 1770"  (See above)

He wrote to Benjamin Rush, "I hope a more diligent search will lead you into the knowledge of
more certain truths than all the pretended revelations of our mystery mongers and their inspirations."

Bartram was frequently accused of being a deist. His sons Moses, John, and James were founding
members of the Free Quakers. From:
John Bartram
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