“It is God alone almyty Lord the holy one by me ador’d.  John Bartram 1770″
Lintel of the library window

Carved into the lintel over the window fronting the library is John Bartram's statement of faith. He was in his 71st year of life and still worked with masonry tools and mortar.


I have always been outspoken.  My belief in a singular and non-tripartite deity has been a major topic of disputation with other members of my Quaker fellowship in Darby, Pennsylvania.  I am viewed as an heretical radical.  As a result, in 1757, the meeting reached consensus that I should be released from my membership.  Not wishing to have words other than my own placed in my cold dead lips, I choose to record my fundamental belief in stone.  Hence, in 1770, I carved what is the closest thing to an epitaph any recidivist Quaker could place as testament to a life well-lived.


John Bartram meets Michael Dirr and Coach Vince Dooley

 “I am in the prime of my senility…”    Benjamin Franklin

Ben was looking directly at me when he uttered this now-familiar phrase.  We are in a good company when we can recognize and name each other’s faults and failings.  It is a very good thing when you reach a certain age:  you can have total deniability in place of total recall.  It’s a much better place in which to find yourself.


botanist, horticulturist, john bartram in Georgia

A pair of contemporary botanists: Dr. Michael Dirr and Mr. Michael Sikes gathering research data in the garden of Coach Vince Dooley in Athens, Georgia


“[There is a] wonderful order and balance that is maintained between the vegetable and animal economy…”  John Bartram, 1737

I am arguably the first man to put into words all of the thoughts I have on the inter-relationship between man and his world.  We must consider all of our actions and how they impact this world in which we are allowed to live.

Gainesville FL tobacco farming plowing

This small hand plow was used for only a small area of tilling in the loosest and most-improved of soils.

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