Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BARTLETT, John Russell, author, born in Providence, Rhode Island, 23 October 1805 ; died there, 28 May 1886. He was educated for a mercantile career, entered the banking business at an early age, and was for six years cashier of the Globe bank in Providence. His natural bent appears to have been in the direction of science and belles-lettres, for he was prominent in founding the Providence athenaeum, and an active member of the Franklin society. In 1837 he engaged in business with a New York house, but was not successful, and entered the book-importing trade under the style of Bartlett & Welford. He became a member, and was for several years corresponding secretary, of the New York historical society, and was a member of the American ethnographical society. In 1850 President Taylor appointed him one of the commissioners to fix the boundary between the United States and Mexico, under the treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo. This service occupied him until 1853, when he was obliged to leave the work incomplete, owing to the failure of the appropriation. He became secretary of state for Rhode Island in May 1855, and held the office until 1872. The titles of his published works are: "The Progress of Ethnology" (New York, 1847); " A Dictionary of Americanisms" (Boston, 1850" revised ed., 1859 and 1877); "Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations" (10 vols., Providence, 1856-'65) ; " Bibliography of Rhode Island" (1864) ; "Index to the Acts, etc., of the General Assembly of Rhode Island," 1758-1862 (1863) ; "Literature of the Rebellion" (Boston, 1866) ; "Memoirs of Rhode Island Officers in the War of the Rebellion" (1867) ; "Primeval Man" (1868); "History of the Wanton Family of Newport, Rhode Island" (1878); and " Genealogy of the Russell Family" (1879). He had charge of the John Carter Brown Library in Providence for several years, and prepared a four-volume catalogue of it, of which one hundred copies were printed in the highest style of the art.*His son, John Russell, born 26 September 1843, was appointed to the naval academy from Rhode Island in 1859, and in 1861 was attached to the steam sloop " Mississippi," in which he served at the passage of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, the capture of New Orleans, and the attack on Vicksburg in June 1862. He became ensign 8 September 1863, and lieutenant 22 February 1864. While attached to the steam sloop " Susquehanna" he took part in both attacks on Fort Fisher, was one of the assaulting party of 15 January 1865, and was specially mentioned in the reports of Com. Godon and Lieut.-Commander Blake. He was commissioned as lieut.-commander 25 July 1866, and spent two more years at the naval academy, from 1867 to 1869. He became commander on 25 April 1877, and was afterward attached as hydrographer to the bureau of navigation in Washington, District of Columbia
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