In the Seminoles themselves, Bartram saw a complete projection of the noble savage:
"They seem to be free from want or desires. No cruel enemy to dread; nothing to give them disquietude, but the gradual encroachments of the white people. Thus contented and undisturbed, they appear as blithe and free as the birds of the
air .... [their] visage, action, and deportment ... form the most striking picture of happiness in this life...."
While Bartram's descriptions seem naïve today, in the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries they were celebrated as an
image of man's ideal nature. His passages on the Seminoles
particularly influenced the English Romantics Samuel Taylor
Coleridge and William Wordsworth. In fairness to Bartram, it
should also be noted that he met the tribe during a golden age
and based his observations on a warm, personal experience.
Bartram Travels 210, Fagin 128-200.