Washington Allon Bartlett was born in Maine around 1816 and joined the United States Navy as a midshipman in January 1833. He served on several ships and attained the rank of lieutenant prior to the Mexican-American War. During the war, he was the first alcalde (mayor) of San Francisco. He and his wife, Ruth Budd Bloom, married in Albany, New York, on July 19, 1938, and had at least one daughter, Oralie M. (1841-1906). Washington Bartlett and several other officers were released from the navy following an 1855 Congressional act, and his challenge of the mass dismissal became a test court case for the legislation. Bartlett was never formally reinstated to the navy, and he died in 1865.
Oralie M. Bartlett married Dr. George Leighton Ditson of Albany, New York, and they had two daughters, Lina Bartlett Ditson (1879-1900) and Oralie Ditson. Lina, an author and poet, published three historical novels before her sudden death from illness. Oralie married William Scott Lodge; their son Ronald served in the navy during World War I.