My favorite part of the book is Bartram's fight with the alligators, which you can read in the wonderful poem "William Bartram Beset by Crocodiles or Alligators" by Campbell McGrath. I'll never forget that Professor Runge had us draw a scene from the book in class (experimental pedagogy, you know). I settled for a simple campfire scene, but our animal-lover Susan did tackle the alligator scene. Her alligator looked something like this.
Other fascinating bits from this book:
- Bartram's disease that caused his tears to be acid and burn the skin on his face.
- Bartram's opinions of Indians (very positive).
- Bartram's constant cheerfulness while traveling in Florida during the summer.
- Bartram's plans for escaping the band of Negroes he encounters along the road
- Apparently, Bartram was a source for Coleridge's Kubla Khan.