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Bartram Trail Society Collection

Identifier: MSS 80-71

Content Description

The Bartram Trail Society organized for the purpose of marking a hiking trail which follows the route traveled by William Bartram on his exploratory journey through the South in 1773-1776. The Society uses Bartram's Journal as a guide for marking the trails.

Most of the collection concerns the North Carolina Bartram Trail Society, but much of their efforts are coordinated with Bartram Trail societies in Georgia and Alabama. In addition to correspondence, the collection contains biographical materials on William Bartram, information on conferences and workshops, news releases and clippings, and maps.

The correspondence runs from 1973-1979 and deals primarily with marking the trail and general business matters. Most of the correspondence is from or to Walter McKelvey or Grady Bell, president of the Georgia Bartram Trail Society. Of note is correspondence between the governors of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and North Carolina.

The biographical material includes printed materials regarding Bartram's travels and his home in Pennsylvania. There is a pamphlet about Bartram's father published by the John Bartram Association.

The Bartram Trail Society material concerns the North Carolina and Georgia societies, such as minutes of meetings and reports by Dan Pittillo and Walter McKelvey.

There are materials regarding various conferences sponsored by the Society. The purpose of the Regional Bartram Trail Conferences was to bring together representatives from the states involved (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee) to provide them with an opportunity to pool resources in order to:

1. Review the progress of each state on the identification, marking and restoration of the trail.

2. Consider the available options for establishing the trail.

3. Determine by state caucus the most feasible approach for developing the Bartram Trail.

Publicity items about the Society include news releases and newspaper or magazine articles.

The final grouping of the collection comprises maps used by the Society to retrace Bartram's trail. Most of the maps are U. S. Geological Survey maps created in 1946. Some have been annotated by the Society to indicate possible routes that Bartram took.


  • Creation: 1972 - 1979

Conditions Governing Use

No publication fee is made for use of Western Carolina University Library special collections material in scholarly publications. The Library retains sole right to judge what constitutes a non-scholarly or commercial publication. Permission to publish commercially, in circumstances where the Library is qualified to grant it, requires proper authorization. Please contact Special Collections at for more information.


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Language of Materials