William Bartram’s primitivist and relativist pleadings on behalf of Native Americans might seem all the more insidious because they camouflage his society’s expansionist tendencies. Bartram’s Travels, like the Odyssey, encompasses various socioeconomic modes. Bartram, like Odysseus, not only observes different livelihoods, but samples them as well. For Bartram, description of natural phenomena and indigenous culture is of central importance. Odysseus’s colonialist discourse is explicit—oddly enough, since the hero wishes to return home. Bartram, despite his contradictions and self-delusions, expresses some awareness about the colonialist agenda of which he is a part. Odysseus and Bartram have very different reasons to travel, but their narratives share a number of characteristics typical of travel literature. The passage from Travels and Odysseus’s description of Goat Island reference hunting, agriculture, and marine mercantilism. In Travels, Bartram comes across as a likable eccentric, welcomed equally by plantation owners, traders, and natives.