Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886

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U.S Boundary Commissioner, antiquarian and bibliographer; John Bartlett was appointed in 1850 to establish the border between Mexico and the United States. He worked in Texas and southern New Mexico until 1852, when he decided to go to San Diego and work from there to the east. He was removed from his position in February 1853. He published his account of his experiences in two volumes, "Personal and Narrative of Explorations and Incidents Connected with the United States and Mexican Boundary Commission."

From the description of Bartlett letter, 1852 Jun. 11. (Arizona Historical Society, Southern Arizona Division). WorldCat record id: 40614255

Commissioner of the boundary survey formed to implement the provisions of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

From the description of U.S.-Mexican boundary survey papers [manuscript], 1849-1853. (Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library). WorldCat record id: 310566276

Bibliographer and author.

From the description of Mexican Boundary Commission papers, 1850-1877. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71131825

Historian, ethologist, and bibliographer. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Bartlett explored the U.S.-Mexican boarder with Henry Cheever Pratt, making sketches and using them to illustrate his PERSONAL NARRATIVE OF EXPLORATIONS AND INCIDENTS IN TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, CALIFORNIA, SONORA AND CHIHUAHUA. Later, he worked for John Carter Brown, whose collection of books pertaining to early America subsequently became a research library at Brown University. Bartlett died in Providence.

From the description of John Russell Bartlett papers, 1850-1853. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122291212

American antiquarian and bibliographer. Secretary of the State of Rhode Island.

From the guide to the John Russell Bartlett letters, 1838, 1843, 1851, 1859, 1867, 1868, 1874, 1875, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

John Russell Bartlett, boundary commissioner, was born on October 23, 1805, in Providence, Rhode Island, to Smith and Nancy (Russell) Bartlett. The family moved to Kingston, Ontario; Bartlett was educated in the common schools there and at Lowville Academy in upstate New York. His schooling brought him a knowledge of accounting and a love of history and literature that gave his writings a romantic turn. In addition, he also was an artist of considerable competence. On June 15, 1850, thanks to his standing in the Whig party, Bartlett was appointed United States boundary commissioner to carry out the provisions of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Despite his ignorance of the Southwest he accepted this post because he wanted to travel, because he wanted to see Indians, and because he needed the money.

Bartlett returned to Rhode Island and wrote a two-volume Personal Narrative of Explorations and Incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora, and Chihuahua, Connected with the United States and Mexican Boundary Commission, during the years 1850, 51, 52, and 53 (1854), which became a standard early source of information about Texas and the Southwest. From 1855 to 1872 he was secretary of state for Rhode Island. He helped put together the collection that is the nucleus of the John Carter Brown Library and published numerous books, including a Bibliography of Rhode Island (1864), Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation (10 vols., 1856-65), The Literature of Rebellion (1866), Bibliographic Notices of Rare and Curious Books Relating to America . . . in the Library of the Late John Carter Brown (4 volumes, 1875-82), Letters of Roger Williams, 1632-1682 (1874), and Letters of Roger Williams to Winthrop (1896), in addition to various monographs and bibliographies of lesser importance. Bartlett married Eliza Allen Rhodes on May 15, 1831, and they had seven children. She died on November 11, 1853. Bartlett married Ellen Eddy on November 12, 1863. He died on May 28, 1886, in Providence, Rhode Island.

Information taken from Handbook of Texas Online entry on Bartlett.

From the guide to the John Russell Bartlett Papers, 1850-1853, (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

John Russell Bartlett served as Mexican boundary commissioner, 1850-1853. While working with the commission, he pursued interests in art and ethnology of the region.

George Gibbs, an ethnologist, went west following the discovery of gold in California in 1848. He settled in Washington Territory, where he studied the culture of Northwestern Indians and worked for the United States government as a geologist and as a member of the Northwest boundary commission.

From the description of Letter : San Francisco, Calif., to George Gibbs, 1852 Mar 3. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 80153756

Antiquarian and bibliographer.

From 1836 to 1850, John Russell Bartlett was a New York bookseller. Elected corresponding secretary of the New York Historical Society and a founder of the American Ethnological Society, he contributed papers to both societies, and in 1847 wrote Progress of ethnology. Bartlett is best known as a commissioner appointed to run the boundary line between the U.S. and Mexico (1850-1853) and for his work with John Carter Brown in acquiring and caring for the latter's noted collection of Americana.

From the description of Letter : New York, [N.Y.], to Brantz Mayer, Baltimore, Md., 1845 Oct. 1. (Newberry Library). WorldCat record id: 36206427

John Russell Bartlett served as Mexican boundary commissioner, 1850-1853. While working with the commission, he pursued interests in art and ethnology of the region.

George Gibbs, an ethnologist, went west following the discovery of gold in California in 1848. He settled in Washington Territory, where he studied the culture of Northwestern Indians and worked for the United States government as a geologist and as a member of the Northwest boundary commission.

From the description of Letter : San Francisco, Calif., to George Gibbs, 1852 Mar 3. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702150473

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886. Autograph letter signed John Bartlett to: Miss Adams December 16, 1880. Wellesley College
referencedIn Palfrey family papers, 1713-1915. Houghton Library.
referencedIn United States. Dept. of the Interior. Selected documents relating to the International Boundary Commission [microform] : letter book, Mexican boundary. University of Texas at El Paso
referencedIn James Russell Lowell papers, 1835-1919. Houghton Library.
creatorOf John Russell Bartlett Papers, 1850-1853 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
referencedIn Morton, Samuel George, 1803-1851. ALS : Philadelphia, to John Russell Bartlett, [no year] June 9. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Papers, 1868-1918. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Rafn, Carl Christian, 1795-1864. Carl Christian Rafn correspondence, [ca. 1870] Cornell University Library
creatorOf McAllister, John A. (John Allister), 1822-1896,. John A. McAllister Papers, 1820-1885 (bulk 1860-1866). Porterville Public Library
referencedIn California Cornerstones: Selected Images from The Bancroft Library Pictorial Collection Bancroft Library
creatorOf Houghton, Mifflin and Company. Letter, 1876, Oct. 3, Cambridge, Mass., to John R. Bartlett. Brown University, John Hay Library
creatorOf Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886. John Russell Bartlett papers, 1850-1853. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Rider, Sidney S. (Sidney Smith), 1833-1917. [Letter, 18]85 Sept 4, Providence, [Rhode Island] / Sidney S. Rider. Jenks Library at Gordon College, Jenks Library
referencedIn Williams, S. Wells (Samuel Wells), 1812-1884. Samuel Wells Williams family papers, 1824-1936 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Soldiers' National Cemetery, Gettysburg, Pa., collection, 1863-1874. Lehigh University Libraries, Lehigh Libraries
referencedIn Cummings, Preston, 1800-1875. Rhode Island Laws, ca. 1860. Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn S. Griswold Flagg collection, 1825-1938 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886. Autograph letter signed John Bartlett to: Miss Adams November 20, 1880. Wellesley College
creatorOf Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886. Letter, 1883, Providence, to William F. Channing. Brown University, John Hay Library
creatorOf Adams, Charles Francis, 1807-1886. Letters of prominent American political and military figures, circa 1826-1884. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886. Letter : San Francisco, Calif., to George Gibbs, 1852 Mar 3. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Flagg, S. Griswold. S. Griswold Flagg collection, 1825-1938 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Halleck, H. W. (Henry Wager), 1815-1872. [Letter] 1865 June 29, Richmond, Va. [to] J.R. Bartlett, Providence, R.I. / H.W.H. [Henry W. Halleck]. Lehigh University Libraries, Lehigh Libraries
referencedIn Brown, Henry B., fl. 1850-1859. Henry B. Brown papers, 1851-1853. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886. Letter : New York, [N.Y.], to Brantz Mayer, Baltimore, Md., 1845 Oct. 1. Newberry Library
referencedIn Stevens, Henry, 1819-1886. Henry Stevens papers, 1712-1879 (inclusive), 1834-1879 (bulk). Yale University Library
creatorOf Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886. Journal of the advanced party of the "Mexican Boundary Commission" : from San Antonio, Texas to El Paso del Norte via Fredericksburg / under the command of John R. Bartlett. University of California, Riverside, UCR
creatorOf Gould, Augustus A. (Augustus Addison), 1805-1866. Papers, 1831-1866 (inclusive), 1838-1852 (bulk). Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf United States and Mexican Boundary Survey. [Correspondence and drawings relating to the U.S. and Mexican Boundary Survey] [microform]. University of Texas at El Paso
creatorOf Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886. The aboriginal tribes of the Great California Basin : New York : ms., 1854. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864. Henry Rowe Schoolcraft papers, 1788-1941 (bulk 1820-1856). Library of Congress
creatorOf Rafn, Carl Christian, 1795-1864. Papers, 1841, Apr. 16 and Apr. 29, Copenhagen. Duke University, Medical Center Library & Archives
creatorOf Harris, Caleb Fiske, 1818-1881. Papers, 1867-1881. Brown University, John Hay Library
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence and records, 1832-1944. Houghton Library.
referencedIn J. D. Graham papers, 1804-1896, 1848-1865 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Channing, William Francis, 1820-1901. Letters, 1878-1900, Providence and Boston. Brown University, John Hay Library
creatorOf John Russell Bartlett letters, 1838, 1843, 1851, 1859, 1867, 1868, 1874, 1875 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives. Record Group IId, 1837-1844 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Mathews, Cornelius, 1817-1889. Papers of Cornelius Mathews, 1841-1888. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Samuel Wells Williams family papers, 1809-1983, 1809-1941 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Hine, Robert V., 1921-. Papers of Robert Hine, 1841-2004 (bulk 1960-1990) Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Gammell, William, 1812-1889. John R. Bartlett : life and services of Rhode Island's distinguished son : President Gammell's address to the Rhode Island Historical Society ; Obituary : Hon. John R. Bartlett : the Evening bulletin, Friday, May 28, 1886 ; [Obituary, John R. Bartlett] : the Morning star, Saturday morning, May 29, 1886 ; Mr. Gammell's address in the light of history : Book notes, Saturday January 15, 1887. Brown University, Brown University Library
creatorOf Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886. Mexican Boundary Commission papers, 1850-1877. Library of Congress
referencedIn Augustus A. (Augustus Addison) Gould papers, 1831-1866, 1831-1866 (inclusive), 1838-1852 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886. U.S.-Mexican boundary survey papers [manuscript], 1849-1853. Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library
referencedIn E. G. Squier Papers, 1841-1888, (bulk 1846-1874) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Miscellaneous correspondence, 1849-1908. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Autograph File, B, ca.1500-1976. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Lowell, James Russell, 1819-1891. Papers of James Russell Lowell [manuscript], 1834-1891. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Squier, E. G. (Ephraim George), 1821-1888. E.G. Squier papers, 1841-1888 (bulk 1846-1874). Library of Congress
creatorOf Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886. Letter : San Francisco, Calif., to George Gibbs, 1852 Mar 3. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Albert C. Greene Papers, 1804-1863 Rhode Island Historical Society
referencedIn United States and Mexican Boundary Survey. [Correspondence and papers of the U.S. and Mexican Boundary Survey] [microform]. University of Texas at El Paso
referencedIn Squier, E. G. (Ephraim George), 1821-1888. The papers of Ephraim George Squier, 1841-1848. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886. Bartlett letter, 1852 Jun. 11. Arizona Historical Society, Southern Arizona Division
referencedIn Drawings of Indians and California scenery, circa 1851-1854. Bancroft Library
referencedIn Williams, S. Wells (Samuel Wells), 1812-1884. Samuel Wells Williams family papers, 1809-1983 (inclusive), 1809-1941 (bulk). Yale University Library
referencedIn Graham, J. D. (James Duncan), 1799-1865. J.D. Graham papers, 1804-1896 (bulk 1848-1865). Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Squier, E. G. (Ephraim George), 1821-1888. Letter : New York, [N.Y.], to [John Russell] Bartlett, 1870 Dec. 11. Newberry Library
creatorOf Koeppen, Adolphus Louis, 1804-1873. Letters, 1854, Lancaster, Pa., to John Russell Bartlett. Brown University, John Hay Library
creatorOf Midland Rare Book Company. Mansfield, Ohio. Letters and ephemera removed from printed volumes in the Charles F. Eberstadt Collection of Western Pioneer Narratives, [ca. 1926-1950]. Brown University, John Hay Library
referencedIn Henry Rowe Schoolcraft Papers, 1788-1941, (bulk 1820-1856) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Charles Sumner correspondence, 1829-1874. Houghton Library.
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Sarah Holland, 1824- person
associatedWith Albert, Greene person
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Bancroft, Hubert Howe, 1832-1918. person
associatedWith Barrows, Charles Henry, 1853-1918 person
associatedWith Bessau, Oscar. person
associatedWith Brown, Henry B., fl. 1850-1859. person
associatedWith Channing, William Francis, 1820-1901, person
associatedWith Craig, Louis S., d. 1852. person
associatedWith Cummings, Preston, 1800-1875. person
associatedWith Eastman, Harrison, b. ca. 1823. person
associatedWith Eastman, Seth, 1808-1875. person
associatedWith Edward E. Ayer Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library) corporateBody
associatedWith Flagg, S. Griswold. person
associatedWith Flagg, S. Griswold. person
associatedWith Gammell, William, 1812-1889. person
associatedWith Gibbs, George, 1815-1873. person
associatedWith Gould, Augustus A. (Augustus Addison), 1805-1866. person
associatedWith Graham, J. D. (James Duncan), 1799-1865. person
associatedWith Halleck, H. W. (Henry Wager), 1815-1872. person
associatedWith Harris, Caleb Fiske, 1818-1881. person
associatedWith Hine, Robert V., 1921-. person
associatedWith Houghton, Mifflin and Company. corporateBody
correspondedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith International Boundary & Water Commission, United States & Mexico. corporateBody
associatedWith Koeppen, Adolphus Louis, 1804-1873. person
associatedWith Lowell, James Russell, 1819-1891. person
associatedWith Mathews, Cornelius, 1817-1889. person
correspondedWith Mayer, Brantz, 1809-1879 person
associatedWith McAllister, John A. (John Allister), 1822-1896, person
associatedWith Mexican Boundary Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith Morton, Samuel George, 1803-1851. person
associatedWith Newberry Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Norton, Charles Eliot, 1827-1908 person
correspondedWith Palfrey family. family
associatedWith Pratt, Henry Cheever, 1803-1880. person
associatedWith Rafn, Carl Christian, 1795-1864. person
associatedWith Rider, Sidney S. (Sidney Smith), 1833-1917. person
correspondedWith Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864. person
correspondedWith Sevier, John, 1745-1815 person
correspondedWith Squier, E. G. (Ephraim George), 1821-1888. person
associatedWith Stevens, Henry, 1819-1886. person
correspondedWith Stoddard, Amos, 1762-1813 person
correspondedWith Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874 person
associatedWith United States and Mexican Boundary Survey. corporateBody
correspondedWith United States. Dept. of the Interior. corporateBody
associatedWith Whitman, Sarah Helen, 1803-1878. person
associatedWith Williams, S. Wells (Samuel Wells), 1812-1884. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Northwest, Pacific
Southwest, New
Southwest, New
Northwest, Pacific
Southwest, New
Texas
United States
Mexico
Texas
Mexico
California
United States
Mexico
Colorado River Watershed (Colo.-Mexico)
New York (State)--New York
Fort Yuma (Calif.)
Mexico
United States
Mexico
United States
Subject
Indians of North America
Manuscripts, American
Pueblos
Welsh Indians--Sources
Aztecs
Indians of North America--Portraits
Occupation
Bibliographers
Indianists--19th century.--United States
Authors
Function

Person

Birth 1805-10-23

Death 1886-05-28

Americans

English

Information

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