Charles Henry Bartlett

Charles Henry Bartlett was born in Sunapee, N. H., October 15, 1833. He is the fourth son of John and Sarah J. (Sanborn) Bartlett, and is a lineal descendant, in the eighth generation, of Richard Bartlett, who came from England to Newbury, Mass., in the ship "Mary and John," in 1634.

The original orthography of the name was Barttelot, which is still preserved by the family in England, whose ancestral home in Stopham, Sussex county, has remained in possession of the family for nearly a thousand years, and the present occupant, Hon. Walter B. Barttelot, is the member of parliament from that county.

In the same ancestral line is found the name of Hon. Josiah Bartlett, who, as a delegate in the continental congress from New Hampshire, was the first man to vote "yea" on the passage of the declaration of independence, July 4, 1776, and the second to affix his signature thereto. All the Bartletts whose names appear in the annals of our state trace their lineage to the same ancestry.

Mr. Bartlett has four brothers,—Joseph S., who resides in Claremont, and Solomon, John Z. and George H., who reside in Sunapee; and two sisters,—Mrs. Thomas P. Smith and Mrs. John Felch. His parents are still living, at the advanced age of eighty-two years, in the enjoyment of an ample competency, the fruits of a long life of earnest and cheerful labor, and the practice of a stern, self-denying economy, the characteristic of the best type of our New England husbandry.

Mr. Bartlett's early life was mainly spent upon his father's farm, laboring through the summer season and attending school during the winter. He early developed a decided taste for literary pursuits, and from childhood devoted a liberal share of his leisure moments to the perusal of such books as were accessible to him. He also contributed liberally to the current literature of the day, and showed remarkable facility in both prose and poetic composition. He received his academic education at the academies at Washington and New London, after which he commenced the study of law in the office of Metcalf & Barton at Newport. He studied subsequently with George & Foster at Concord, and with Morrison & Stanley at Manchester, being admitted to the bar of Hillsborough county, from the office of the latter, in 1858. In that year he began the practice of his profession at Wentworth, N. H., and in 1863 removed to Manchester, where he has since resided. For some two years he was law partner with the late Hon. James U. Parker, the partnership terminating with the retirement of the latter from active business. In June, 1867, he was appointed, by Judge Clark, clerk of the United States district court for the New Hampshire district, since which time he has not actively practiced his profession, but has devoted himself to the duties of his office, which became very onerous and responsible upon the passage of the bankrupt law, about the time of his appointment. The holding of this office under the government of the United States has disqualified him from accepting any office under the state government. He was clerk of the New Hampshire senate from 1861 to 1865, Gov. Smyth's private secretary in 1865 and 1866, treasurer of the state reform school in 1866 and 1867. In the same year he was unanimously chosen city solicitor, but declined a re-election, owing to his appointment as clerk of the district court. In 1872 he was elected, as the nominee of the Republican party, mayor of the city, and served till February 18, 1873, when he resigned in accordance with the policy of the national government at that time, which forbade United States officials from holding state or municipal offices. His cheerful co-operation with the administration in this matter, though at the sacrifice of a most conspicuous public position, was handsomely recognized by President Grant, through Attorney-General Williams. His last official act as mayor was to order the city treasurer to pay the amount due him for salary to the Firemen's Relief Association. Mr. Bartlett has been a trustee of the Merrimack River Savings Bank from 1865 to the present time, and a trustee of the People's Savings Bank from its organization in 1874. He is also a director in the Merchants National Bank. He was the master of Washington Lodge of Freemasons from April, 1872, to April, 1874, and now holds the position of United States commissioner, to which he was appointed in 1872. The only positions of trust he has held since his appointment as clerk of the United States court, are as a member of the last constitutional convention, and chairman of the commission appointed by the governor and council to investigate the affairs of the New Hampshire Insane Asylum.

Mr. Bartlett married, December 8, 1858, at Sunapee, Miss Hannah M. Eastman, of Croydon, N. H., by whom he had one son, Charles Leslie, who died at the age of four years, and one daughter, Carrie Bell, a member of the Manchester high school.

Clarke's "History of Manchester," from which the foregoing facts are gathered, closes its biographical sketch of Mr. Bartlett as follows: "Mr. Bartlett has a keen, well balanced mind, whose faculties are always at his command. He thinks readily, but acts cautiously, and seldom makes a mistake. Hence he has been financially successful in almost everything he has undertaken. He is one of the most practical lawyers in the State, and was for several years in charge of the law department of the Mirror, giving general satisfaction, and his withdrawal, when his business compelled it, was a source of much regret to the readers of that paper."

In 1881, Dartmouth College conferred upon him the honorary degree of Master of Arts.