Bartram’s Garden is the oldest surviving botanic garden in the United States. It offers visitors a rare glimpse of a pastoral 18th century landscape that was once on the front lines of the American War of Independence.
John Bartram, Sr. (1699-1777), a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers), established his home and garden along the Schuylkill River in 1728. Over the following half-century, Bartram developed an international reputation as a botanist and assembled the premier collection of North American plant species. Appointed Royal Botanist by King George III in 1765, Bartram was deeply unsettled by the British actions that led to the outbreak of war, and he died on September 22, 1777, just days before British troops under General Sir William Howe marched into Philadelphia to begin a nine-month occupation of his beloved city. Succeeding generations of Bartram’s family continued John Sr.’s lifelong passion, developing a flourishing commercial nursery and issuing the first printed plant catalog in the United States in 1783.
The John Bartram Association, in partnership with the City of Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, preserves, protects and interprets Bartram’s original home and garden located at 54th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard in Philadelphia.