John Russell Bartlett, an American author, born in Providence, R. I., Oct. 23, 1805. He was early placed in a banking house, and was for six years cashier of the Globe bank at Providence. While there he was one of the original projectors of the Providence athenaeum and an active member of the Franklin society, before which he occasionally lectured. In 1837 he engaged in business in a commission house in New York, in which he was unsuccessful. He then took part in establishing there the bookstore of Bartlett and Welford, chiefly for the importation of foreign works. He became at this time one of the active managers of the New York historical society, and was a projector of the American ethnological society. In 1850 he was appointed by President Taylor commissioner to fix the boundary line between the United States and Mexico under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. He remained in this service till Jan. 7, 1853, making extensive surveys and explorations, with elaborate scientific observations; but, for want of the necessary appropriations, the boundary line was not completed by him.
In 1854 he published a "Personal Narrative of Explorations and Incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora, and Chihuahua." He bad previously published a small work on "The Progress of Ethnology" (1847), and a "Dictionary of Americanisms" (1850), since revised and enlarged (1859). He became secretary of state of Rhode Island, May 1, 1855, and has held that office ever since. He has edited and published the " Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" (10 vols., 1856-'65), and written "Bibliography of Rhode Island" (1804), "Index to the Acts and Resolves of the General Assembly of Rhode Island from 1758 to 18G2" (1863), "Literature of the Rebellion" (1806), "Memoirs of Rhode Island Officers in the War of the Rebellion " (1867), "Primeval Man" (1868).