John Russell Bartlett

John Russell Bartlett (1805-1886) was a Providence native and partner in the firm of Bartlett & Wellford, booksellers and publishers. In 1831, he was one of the founders of the Providence Athenaeum and he was elected as their first treasurer. He moved to New York in 1836 where he became acquainted with Edgar Allan Poe. Poe frequented Bartlett’s bookstore, and would talk endlessly about literature while he browsed. Bartlett also stated that he “has never seen [Poe] inspired by any more dangerous stimulant than strong coffee, of which he was very fond of & of which he drank freely.” Bartlett returned to Providence, Rhode Island in 1850 where he became the United State Boundary Commissioner until 1853. From 1855-1872, Bartlett was Secretary of State of Rhode Island until his later life when he served as librarian for the John Carter Library. He died May 28, 1886 in Providence. He’s buried at the Swan Point Cemetery in plot 191.