Vashti Bartlett

Vashti Bartlett (November 15, 1873 – July 7, 1969) was an American nurse who served with the American Red Cross during World War I, and in Siberia and Manchuria after the war. She also worked in Haiti, Oklahoma, and Newfoundland on various missions.

Early life and educationEdit

Vashti Rebecca Bartlett was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of George W. B. Bartlett and Amanda Griffith Bartlett. She was named for her grandmother, Vashti Robinson Bartlett. She attended the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, and trained as a nurse at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, graduating in 1906. Among her instructors were Florence Sabin.[1]


In 1908, Vashti Bartlett joined Wilfred Grenfell's mission to Newfoundland, and served on staff as chief nurse at St. Anthony's Hospital.[2] She supervised nurses at Garfield Hospital in Washington D. C., and at Watts Hospital in Durham,[3] North Carolina, and joined Mabel Boardman's flood relief efforts in Ohio in 1913. During World War I, she was part of the Mercy Ship operation at Pau, France and La Panne in Belgium.[4] She was assistant to Clara Dutton Noyes at Red Cross Headquarters in Washington, and served with the United States Army Nurse Corps in France towards the end of the war.[5]

After World War I, Bartlett joined a Red Cross mission in Siberia.[6] She was diverted to Harbin in Manchuria during a cholera outbreak,[7] but soon established herself at the Red Cross hospital in Vladivostok, treating wounded Czechs and Russians during the Siberian Intervention. She also taught courses for local women on caring for the sick. In 1920, she was off to Haiti,[8] where she was superintendent of nurses at a Red Cross hospital in Port-au-Prince during a smallpox epidemic.[9]

Bartlett was in Oklahoma in 1928, as chief nurse at the Chilocco Indian Agricultural School. She retired from nursing the following year.[10]

Later life and legacyEdit

Bartlett was retired from nursing for nearly forty years, from age 56 until her death in 1969, at age 95, in Maryland. Her papers, including letters, photographs, and handwritten journals from her various overseas assignments, are archived at Johns Hopkins.[11] There is a virtual exhibit of objects related to Vashti Bartlett, organized by the Johns Hopkins Nurses' Alumni Association in 2003.[10]


  1. ^ Mame Warren, Our Shared Legacy: Nursing Education at Johns Hopkins, 1889-2006 (JHU Press 2006): 32. ISBN 9780801884733
  2. ^ Anne Bennett Swingle, "Those Summers Down North" Hopkins Medical News (Spring 2003).
  3. ^ "Tells of Life Near the Front" Durham Morning Herald (February 15, 1916): 3. via 
  4. ^ "She Met Belgian Queen" Baltimore Sun (February 11, 1916): 4. via 
  5. ^ Danielle Sweeney, "Remembering Vashti Bartlett '03" Johns Hopkins Nursing (April 1, 2005).
  6. ^ Clara D. Noyes, "The Red Cross" The American Journal 20(2)(November 1919): 134-138.
  7. ^ "Nurse Home from China" Washington Post (March 2, 1920): 8. via 
  8. ^ "Three American Nurses to Train Hayti Girls" Washington Herald (September 25, 1920): 8. via 
  9. ^ "Haitian Tribute to the Red Cross Nurse" Red Cross Bulletin (August 8, 1921): 7.
  10. ^ a b "Vashti Bartlett: A Hopkins Nurse on a Global Mission", an exhibit of documents from the Vashti Bartlett Collection, sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Nurses' Alumni Association.
  11. ^ Vashti Bartlett Collection, Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

External linksEdit