On Christmas Day 1817, Titian Ramsay Peale, the seventeen-year-old son of Charles Willson Peale, noted painter and founder of the nation’s first museum, left Philadelphia with zoologist George Ord and sailed to Savannah, Georgia. There they joined the wealthy geologist, William Maclure, and Thomas Say, whose pioneering work on American insects the self-styled “Dr. T. R. Peale” had begun to illustrate for publication. All four men, including young Titian, were officers of the newly incorporated Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. As Academy president, Maclure generously supported members’ fieldwork, although the exact scientific expectations for this collecting trip into Florida remain unclear. According to Say, Maclure, for some reason, had waited until December 12 to invite him to follow in “the track of Bartram,” Say’s great-uncle whose well-known travels into East Florida had been published in 1791. Despite insights provided by Say’s correspondence at the Academy and Titian’s few letters home (now owned by the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia), there appears to be no full narrative account of their trip other than Peale’s description published here in its entirety for the first time.
Porter, Charlotte M.
"Following Bartram's "Track": Titian Ramsay Peale's Florida Journey,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 61:
4, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol61/iss4/5