Skip to main content

John Russell Bartlett papers, 1850-1853

Bartlett, John Russell, 1805-1886

Historian, Linguist


Collection Information

Size: 207 Items

Summary: Watercolors and drawings from the John Russell Bartlett papers.
31 watercolors and drawings by Henry Cheever Pratt, and 139 drawings, 2 sketchbooks and 1 drawingbook by John Russell Bartlett, all of which were created between 1850 and 1853 when Bartlett and Pratt were on expedition in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora, and Chihuahua. Also included are 8 drawings in pencil and chinese white drawn from Bartlett sketches by the French artist, Oscar Bessau, who was working in Washington, D.C. in 1853; 13 watercolors drawn from Bartlett sketches by Seth Eastman in 1853 when Eastman was stationed at the Office of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C.; and 6 watercolors by Harrison Eastman, who was working in San Francisco, California during a period when John Russell Bartlett was also in that area.
Also included are 5 watercolors and drawings by unidentified artists, and a pen and ink sketch of horses, and self-portrait by Bartlett.

Biographical/Historical Note

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.


The John Carter Brown Library acquired the John Russell Bartlett papers after his death.

Location of Originals

  • Originals in the John Carter Brown Library, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm roll 3320 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

Restrictions on Use

Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce requires written permission from: John Carter Brown Library, Brown University.

How to Cite This Collection

John Russell Bartlett papers, 1850-1853. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.