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the other day i asked my class

So, Do you think that the King of England paid for the publication of The Travels? The author’s father, after all was the Royal Botanist and the son’s solo-trip, the account of which was published in 1791, was begun in 1773.

-No (but that apparently was because of the tone in my voice).


-I don’t know… I was guessing.

-Anybody else?

-Because the king wanted gold and all he talks about are plants?

-Remember, he starts in 1773, finishes in 1777, and publishes it in 1791. (Though I must confess to my own brain-fart… I told them it was published in 1783… I don’t know why)

-I don’t know.

-What happened in 1776?


-Why is it that he can wander around the South and never come across much trouble in the midst of a revolutionary war?

-Well, my American history isn’t very strong…but, was it mainly fought in the north?

-Well, except for the two attacks on Charleston and the one on Savannah and the march north…



According to Christoph Irmscher, it was John Fothergill, “a distinguished London physician and the ‘owner of a pretty large collection of valuable plants,’” who funded Billy’s trip.

Indeed, the crown did not pay for young William.

And my segue into the politics of the day could probably have been much better.

the worst thing probably about that was that people will have left class thinking that the king sponsored the trip.

insert dogberry’s statement:

Dost thou not suspect my place? dost thou not
suspect my years? O that he were here to write me
down an ass! But, masters, remember that I am an
ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not
that I am an ass. No, thou villain, thou art full of
piety, as shall be proved upon thee by good witness.
I am a wise fellow, and, which is more, an officer,
and, which is more, a householder, and, which is
more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is in
Messina, and one that knows the law, go to; and a
rich fellow enough, go to; and a fellow that hath
had losses, and one that hath two gowns and every
thing handsome about him. Bring him away. O that
I had been writ down an ass!