Mark Lambert Bristol

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Mark Lambert Bristol
Mark Lambert Bristol.jpg
Born(1868-04-17)April 17, 1868
Glassboro, New Jersey
DiedMay 13, 1939(1939-05-13) (aged 71)
Washington, D.C.
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Department of the Navy Seal.svg United States Navy
Years of service1887–1932
RankRear Admiral
Battles/warsSpanish–American War
Battle of Santiago de Cuba
World War I
Turkish War of Independence
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal

Mark Lambert Bristol (April 17, 1868 – May 13, 1939) was a rear admiral in the United States Navy.


He was born on April 17, 1868, in Glassboro, New Jersey. Bristol graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1887. During the Spanish–American War, he served aboard the battleship USS Texas and participated in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba. From 1901 to 1903, he served as aide to the Commander-in-Chief North Atlantic Fleet. He commanded the battleship USS Oklahoma during World War I.

He served as the US High Commissioner in Turkey (1919–1927). His correspondence and other documents that he gathered are often cited during discussions on numerous events of that era, including Turkish-Armenian relations in which he played a significant role in his opposition to Armenian aspirations and American involvement in assuming a mandate in Armenia,[1]

The documents include writings such as the following in reference to a Greek newspaper reporter: "Mrs. Danos was typical of the races in this part of the country. She is obsequious and cringing and says she wants the truth but she probably couldn't write the truth if she knew it."[2] The collection includes several examples of such opinions. It is particularly rich in its coverage of Bristol's duties as commander of the US Naval Detachment in Turkish Waters and concurrent service as US High Commissioner to Turkey after World War I.

Topics from the period include racial and religious conflicts in the Near East; the Great Fire of Smyrna; Allied activities in pursuit of special interests, mandates, and empire; the decline of the Ottoman Empire; and the rise of Mustafa Kemal and the Nationalist Movement, which led to the founding of modern Turkey.[3]

In 1927, Bristol assumed command of the Asiatic Fleet and helped found the American Hospital in Nişantaşı, İstanbul, in 1920 and the annexed nursing school, which is still named Admiral Bristol Nursing School after him.

Bristol served as chairman of the General Board of the United States Navy from 1930 to 1932 and died on May 13, 1939.[4]

After his death, in 1945 he was honored by the renaming of the American Hospital in Turkey to the Admiral Bristol American Hospital.


Two ships have been named USS Bristol in his honor.[5]


  1. ^ Hovannisian, Richard G., The Republic of Armenia: The First Year, 1918–1919. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971, p. 298, note 23.
  2. ^ Ureneck, Lou (2016). Smyrna. Harper Collins. p. 255. ISBN 978-0-06-225989-9.
  3. ^ "Manuscript Division, Library of Congress Washington, D.C. 2009" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Admiral Bristol Is Dead In Capital. Earned Distinction in High Positions at Sea and Ashore and in Diplomacy. Commissioner To Turkey. Commended by Hughes for His Work There. Had Headed the Asiatic Fleet". New York Times. May 14, 1939. Retrieved 2010-12-03. Rear Admiral Mark L. Bristol, who retired in 1932 after forty-nine years in the Navy, died in the Naval Hospital here today at the age of 71. He entered the hospital on Monday after having undergone an operation at Johns Hopkins Hospital three weeks ago....
  5. ^ "Two Destroyers are Launched". Associated Press. July 25, 1941. Retrieved 2010-12-03. The destroyer was named in honor of the late Bear Mark Lambert Bristol who served In the Spanish–American War and the World War after which he was ...


  • Buzanski, Peter Michael (1960). Admiral Mark L. Bristol and Turkish-American relations, 1919–1922. University of California Press.
  • Paradise Lost: Smyrna 1922, 2008, Sceptre, ISBN 978-0-340-83786-3
  • Smyrna 1922: The Destruction of a City by Marjorie Housepian Dobkin and Majorie Housepian Dobkin
  • Paradise Lost by Giles Milton
  • The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey’s Destruction of Its Christian Minorities, 1894–1924 by Benny Morris and Dror Ze'evi
  • THE BLIGHT of ASIA: On the Systematic Extermination of Christian Populations in Asia by George Horton

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by Commander-in-Chief, United States Asiatic Fleet
9 September 1927 – 9 September 1929
Succeeded by