Born near Yanceyville, North Carolina, Yancey attended Hyco Academy in Caswell County before enrolling at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1804 to 1806. He was admitted to the bar in 1807 and practiced law.
Yancey was elected to the 13th United States Congress in 1812 and re-elected in 1814 to the 14th Congress, serving from March 4, 1813 to March 3, 1817. During both terms, he chaired the Committee on Claims. Refusing to run for Congress again in 1816, Yancey instead ran for the North Carolina Senate and served there for ten years, from 1817 to 1827; he served as Speaker of the North Carolina Senate for his entire tenure in the legislature. He died near Yanceyville in 1828 and is buried in his family cemetery.
Yancey County, North Carolina, is named in his honor.
Some believe that the town of Yanceyville, North Carolina, also was named for him. However, this issue is contested, with many attributing the Yanceyville name to James Yancey, the brother of Bartlett Yancey, Jr. For an interesting discussion on this issue see When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, by William S. Powell (1977) at 341-342.
- Bartlett Yancey at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Caswell County Historical Association
- Caswell County Family Tree
- Caswell County Historical Association Web Log
- Caswell County North Carolina GenWeb
- Caswell County Photograph Collection
- Caswell County Cemetery Census
- 1810 Bartlett Yancey Letter
- Caswell County Historic Sites
- Bartlett Yancey at Find a Grave