Bartram Trail Conference

Fothergill Research Award 

The Bartram Trail Conference is now accepting applications for the Fothergill Award.  This award is awarded annually to an advanced graduate student or recent Ph.D. recipient whose research promises to lead to a publication, book, article, dissertation, or other substantive product in studies related to William Bartram. Appropriate areas of scholarship include but are not limited to the natural sciences, history of science, literary studies, journalism, history, biography, archaeology, art, photography, and ethnohistory. Recipients are asked to make an informal report on work to be published in BTC newsletter, The Traveller, and/or a presentation at the biennial meeting of the BTC (at the discretion of the program committee).  Awards range from $500–$1000 depending on project and available funding. An application is available for download at

The application acceptance period for the 2019 award is now open.

for information email Matt Jennings, 


Past recipients of the Fothergill Research Award

2001–2002: Jeff Schenck, University of Georgia, M.A. Journalism. Award for a series of articles in Georgia newspapers about Bartram’s trail.

2002–2003: Matthew H. Jennings, University of Illinois, Ph.D. History. Award used to support dissertation research: “’This Country is wroth the trouble of going to war to keep it’: Cultures of violence in the American Southeast to 1740.”

2003–2004: Elizabeth Fairhead, Michigan State University, Ph.D. History. Award used to support dissertation research: “Botanical Academy of Pennsylvania: William Bartram and Natural History in Philadelphia, 1800–1815.”

2004–2005: Amie Fletcher, Auburn University, Ph.D. English. Award used to support disseration research on Bartram’s Travels and other late eighteenth–century literature in the Atlantic world.

2005–2006: Jane Anne Blakney–Bailey, University of Florida, Ph.D. Archaeology. “Foodways as a Measure of Culture Change: An Archaeological Case Study of Creek and Seminole Life.”

2007: Joel T. Fry, Bartram’s Gardens, Independent Scholar. Award used to assist development of a botanical index for William Bartram’s manuscripts.

2008: Michele Currie Navakas, University of California, Irvine, Ph.D. Literature. Award to support dissertation: “Founding Florida: Language and geography at the edge of America.”

2009: Brad Sanders, Independent Scholar. Award to support redesign of BTC website.

2010: Simon Finger, Princeton, Ph.D. Award to support revision of his dissertation, “Epidemic Contitutions: Public Health and Political Culture in the Port of Philadlephia, 1735–1800.”

2011: John Hall, Naturalist and author. Award used to support funding to help complete a book–length photo–essay of the environments that William Bartram visited to be co–written with photographer Beth Young.

2012: Christopher Blakley, master’s thesis candidate at North Carolina State University In his thesis, entitled Voyagers in the American Garden: Recasting the Careers of John and William Bartram. Mr. Blakley will use the Fothergill Award to fund a research trip to Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia and the to the John Bowman Bartram Special Collections Library, also in Philadelphia

2013: no award

2014: Thomas Doran and Thomas Bullington

Thomas Doran, University of California, Santa Barbara, in support of his dissertation, “Vulgar Ethology: A Prehistory of Animal Protection in Atlantic Natural History,” which brings early American natural historical and travel writing into conversation with current concerns in animal studies, environmental ethics, and animal-rights policy. 

Thomas  Bullington, University of Mississippi, in support of his dissertation that examines the intersections of Enlightenment botanical texts and eighteenth century British literature through the ecocritical lens of invasive species.


Andrew B. Ross; "Visual Mediation in William Bartram's Travels."

Elizabeth Athens; "A Lively Animated Picture: William Bartram and Drawing Ad vivid."
Joseph Taylor McGaughy; "Peregrinations to Ponchartrain: William Bartram's Westerly Wanderings."

2017: no award

1018: Heather Gladfelter and Whitney Robles

Heather Gladfelter,  Ph.D. candidate, Horticulture, University of Georgia; "The Franklin Survey." Gladfelter completed a DNA survey of Franklinias from around the world in hopes of finding disease resistance than can be bred back into the population.

Whitney RoblesPhD Candidate (ABD), American Studies, Harvard University; "Rattlesnakes, Extinction, and Myth." Robles delves into William Bartram’s thoughts about rattlesnakes and other animals, with insight into the history of how animals both facilitated and confounded eighteenth-century science. 


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