Washington Bartlett: California’s Pioneer Jewish Governor

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Governor Washington Bartlett WS 21/3012

Governor Washington Bartlett
WS 21/3012

Governor Washington Bartlett

Values Codes  I-H-E-L-P

Washington Bartlett was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1824.of a Sephardic mother, Sarah Melhado.

He arrived in San Francisco in 1849.

He and his brothers established newspapers in the Bay City in 1850 and 1853

In 1857 Bartlett left journalism and entered the legal profession.

He advertised his new practice regularly in Rabbi Julius Eckman’s Jewish newspaper, The Weekly Gleaner.

 

Bartlett gave liberally to Jewish charitable causes but was not otherwise involved with the Jewish community.

 

Civic

In 1859 Washington Bartlett was elected San Francisco County Clerk and was re-elected a number of times.

In 1873 he was elected to the California State Senate.

Next Bartlett was elected Mayor of San Francisco in 1882 and 1884.

Washington Bartlett was elected Governor of California, on the Democratic ticket in 1886.

 

Research has revealed that Washington Bartlett was an honest politician in a corrupt era, and he manifested a deep concern for the public’s welfare.

 

Washington Bartlett never married.

 

Washington Bartlett died during his first year as Governor in 1887.

 

More information can be found in the following issues of Western States Jewish History:

  • Bartlett, Washington; Washington Bartlett: California’s Jewish Governor; California; Stern, Norton B.; 28/3
  • Barlett, Washington, Pioneer Jews of San Francisco, Part One, A-L, Norton Stern, 41/1

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Governor Bartlett's Tombstone WS 20/2853

Governor Bartlett’s Tombstone
WS 20/2853

 

 

 

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