William Bartram (1735-1823)
- Mike Adams as William Bartram.
- William Bartram’s exploration of Florida is familiar to people throughout the world, thanks to the publication TRAVELS in 1791 – America’s first literary masterpiece. William Bartram (his friends and family called him Billy) came to Putnam County two times. The first time was with his father, John in 1765. The second time, in April 1774 was to explore and document what he found. Bartram’s discoveries and illustrations of nature documented tropical flora and fauna and his vivid descriptions made his book a worldwide sensation. His book has descriptions of his encounters with the native people. While in Florida, he drew over 50 illustrations of plants, animals, fish, turtles and birds. Locally we are largely unaware of the importance of his explorations and subsequent writings to literary history, environmental science and the settlement and later development of Florida. He and his cast of characters are uniquely ours – “They belong to Putnam County – it’s your history and heritage.”
The Long Warrior
- Jim Sawgrass as “MIcco-Chlucco The Long Warrior, King of the Seminoles”
- The Long Warrior is representative of the Native Americans present in our area during the time of Bartram’s visits to Florida (1765-1774). The Long Warrior is spoken of several times in TRAVELS always with respect and in a positive light. Bartram first met the Long Warrior at the Treaty of Picollata in 1765 near St. Augustine. He is seen as a strong and intelligent leader. Billy’s illustration of Mico-Chlucco, The Long Warrior – “King of the Seminoles” was his only portrait. The Long Warrior will be one of the living history actors at the Frolic. He was a much respected friend of William’s and was instrumental in enabling him to safely travel throughout Florida in 1774.
- Robert Wilson, aka Job Wiggens – Bartram’s friend, guide and interpreter.
- William Bartram was befriended by Job Wiggens on his travels in Florida. Bartram said “the old interpreter, Job Wiggens, often my travelling companion, friend and benefactor.” Bartram resided at Spalding’s Lower Store which was Florida’s main trading post with the Indians (Native Americans). Wiggens was the main negotiator and interpreter for the Store and took Bartram along on his ventures across Florida. Bartram calls him “the old trader” and “the old interpreter”.