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Murray Bartlett papers

Identifier: SC-43

Scope and Contents

The collection contains Murray Bartlett's diary from his time in France in 1918 as a chaplain in the 18th Infantry of the U.S. Army. Also included is a handwritten transcript of the diary done in 1973 by Jeff Brozyna, Hobart College class of 1974, at the request of President Bartlett's daughter Blanchard Bartlett Walker.

As of March 2018, this collection also contains several military medals that Murray Bartlett was awarded as well as a certificate and official correspondence regarding his service. There are also two photographs of Muarry Bartlett.

This collection does not contain the papers of Murray Bartlett while he was President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.


  • 1918-1951


Biographical Note

Murray Bartlett was born in Poughkeepsie, NY on March 29, 1871. He graduated from Harvard in 1892 with his A.B. and in 1893 with his A.M. He then attended the General Theological Seminary in New York City, graduating in 1896. Bartlett was ordained a deacon in the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1895 and a priest in 1897. From 1897-1908 he was rector of St. Paul's Church in Rochester, NY. In 1903 he married Blanchard Howard of Buffalo and in 1908 received the honorary degree of D.D. from the University of Rochester.

After serving in Rochester Murray Bartlett moved to the Philippines and served as the dean of the American Cathedral of St. Mary and St. John, Manilla. He was a member of the Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines during 1909-1911 and in 1911 was elected the first president of the university. During his time the university took over control of the Philippine General Hospital and Bartlett founded the Graduate School of Tropical Medicine and Public Health. He resigned the presidency in 1915 and was made President Emeritus.

In 1917 Bartlett enlisted in Red Cross Ambulance Co. No. 1, Pasadena, CA, and was appointed sargeant. However when the company was taken into the U.S. Army he was rejected on physical examination. In October of 1917 he was appointed representative of the Protestant Episcopal Church War Commission at Camp Kearney, CA. In 1918 he became a YMCA secretary and was sent to Europe, where he was assigned to the 18th Infantry, 1st Division, on the Toul front. At the request of the brigade commander he was made Acting Chaplain of the 18th Infantry. He served in this role until November when he was transferred to headquarters as assistant to the division chaplain. Bartlett was wounded near Soissons, France at the Marne-Aisne offensive on July 22, 1918 and was discharged in 1919. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Croix de Guerre of France, and was made a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor. In 1922 he was made Division Chaplain of the 98th Division headquartered in Syracuse, NY, and in 1936 was placed on the inactive list with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Upon his return from Europe in 1919 Bartlett was elected president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. During his time as president both the student enrollment and the faculty were increased substantially, and Comstock House was built as a William Smith dormitory. In 1922 Bartlett presided over the Centennial Celebration of Hobart College and completed a successful capital funds campaign. As president Bartlett was made Charles Startin Professor of Religion and Ethics. He retired in 1936 and was awarded an honorary degree in 1937. Murray Bartlett passed away on November 13, 1949.


0.1 Linear Feet (1 box (shared with SC 42) containing 4 folders; 2 oversize flat boxes; 1 oversize folder in drawer)

Language of Materials



Box 1: Archives Storage, Range 22A, Section 6

Box 2-3: Archives Office, Section 7

OS Folder 1: Drawer TBD


There is no information indicating who donated the diary to the Archives and Special Collections but it is presumed to have been given by a member of President Bartlett's family, perhaps by his daughter Blanchard Bartlett Walker, sometime around 1973.

The rest of the collection was donated to Archives and Special Collections by the Geneva Historical Society after the sale of Balmanno Cottage in 2013. Balmanno Cottage was the home of Mrs. Blanchard Walker (Murray Bartlett's daughter) during her lifetime. She donated the property to the Geneva Historical Society upon her death in 1997.

Murray Bartlett papers, 1918-1951: A Finding Aid
Katie Lamontagne, Archivist (2015); Tricia McEldowney, Archivist (2018)
January 08, 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Archives and Special Collections Repository

Warren Hunting Smith Library
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva New York 14456 U.S.A. US (United States)