AU to host lecture on naturalist Bartram’s trek through Alabama

John Hall will present an illustrated lecture on naturalist William Bartram's 18th century travels in Alabama.

AUBURN – Black Belt Regional Museum curator John C. Hall will present a lecture on eighteenth-century naturalist and artist William Bartram on Thursday, March 27, at 3 p.m., in the Special Collections and Archives Department of the Ralph Brown Draughon Library.

Hall’s presentation will focus on Bartram’s 1775 journey through Alabama, where he recorded firsthand information on native inhabitants and the unspoiled natural environment. His writing and illustrations were published in 1791 in “Bartram’s Travels,” which Hall terms “one of the most important documents of American science and the first book of Alabama natural history.” The lecture will include various aspects of Alabama colonial and frontier history, Native American history and natural history.

An educator and museum professional, Hall is founding curator at the Black Belt Regional Museum at the University of West Alabama. He previously served as the director of interpretation and the assistant director for natural history at the University of Alabama Museum of Natural History. He also served as executive director of the Alabama Museums Association.

Hall’s lecture is part of the Draughon Seminars in State and Local History, sponsored by the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University. The annual lecture series showcases new scholarship in state and local history. It is funded by the Kelly Mosley Endowment in honor of Ralph B. Draughon, president of Auburn University from 1947 to 1965 and an historian with a deep commitment to teaching and promoting state history.

The Auburn program is co-sponsored by the Auburn University Libraries. For more information, contact the Draughon Center at (334) 844-4946 or go to

Contact: Betsy Panhorst, (334) 844-4946 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (