David Bartling was a carpenter listed in Philadelphia directories from 1812 through 1819. For most of that time he resided on North 8th Street in Philadelphia. It is possible that he was related to Conrad Bartling, a member of the Carpenters Company.
A photocopied letter from Robert Alexander to Charles E. Peterson (6 November 1981) indicates that after his disappearance from the Philadelphia directories, Bartling was at work in Camden, SC, on "Mulberry, a large brick plantation house with the date 1820 on two copper gutter boxes . . ." This attribution is underscored by the 1984 (revised, 1997) publication Architecture of the Old South: South Carolina by Mills Lane. Here Lane outlines the process whereby James Chesnut hired Bartling to construct his substantial house. Further, Lane submits that "Between 1820 and 1822 Bartling was supervising work at both Bethesda Church and Mulberry Grove." (The reference here is to Bethesda Presbyterian Church, designed by Robert Mills.) Letters documenting this relationship also indicate Bartling's connections to William Strickland
Clearly, Bartling was not just another carpenter from Philadelphia as his directory listing would suggest. His associations with well-known architects such as Mills and Strickland elevate him to a class above the everyday and would indicate an area that could justify further research.
Roger W. Moss, and
Sandra L. Tatman.
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