John Bradbury

fl. 1809 - 1819

Bradbury, John, naturalist (fl. 1809-1819). Born in Scotland, he lived long in England where he became skilled in botany and other natural history specialties and arrived in the United States in the summer of 1809. He was guest of Jefferson at the White House and made St. Louis the center for his explorations into the northern Plains by way of the Missouri River. In 1812 he went with the Astorians from St. Louis up the Missouri to the Arikara villages. From there he accompanied Ramsay Crooks to the Mandans. Rather than accompany the Astorians on to the Pacific coast he instead returned to St. Louis on a Manuel Lisa boat. After a four month bout with fever he went to New Orleans, enroute enduring the great shocks of the New Madrid earthquake, describing it vividly. Bradbury returned to England where because of the War of 1812 he was forced to remain for several years, then came back to the United States, making a tour of the upper Middle West. He returned to England but was back in the United States, settled at St. Louis by 1819. His book which went into a second edition that year, Travels in the Interior of America. . . , is reprinted by Thwaites.