Janet Elliott Wulsin

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Janet January Wulsin-Hobart (Elliott)

Birthdate: (70)
Birthplace: Missouri, United States
Death: November 15, 1963 (70)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Howard Elliott and Janet Elliott
Wife of Richard Bryan Hobart
Ex-wife of Frederick Roelker Wulsin
Mother of Mabel Cabot
Sister of Edith Elliott and Howard Elliott, Jr

Managed by: Gene Daniell
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Immediate Family

About Janet Elliott Wulsin


Janet Elliott Wulsin (1894–1963) was an early 20th century explorer whose accomplishments place her in line with contemporary women explorers such as Alexandra David-Neel.

She was born Janet January Elliott to a wealthy New York family. Her father was a railroad executive.

Janet served as a Red Cross nurse in the French Third Republic during World War I. In 1919, she left New York for Paris, where she married Frederick Wulsin, a Harvard University graduate from a prominent Ohio family.

Inspired by the travels of Roy Chapman Andrews, the Wulsins resolved to travel the world. From 1921 to 1925, the couple mounted expeditions to the far reaches of China, Tibet, and Outer Mongolia to study the people, flora, and fauna of the region. With a grant from the National Geographic Society, they took 28 camels, six horses, four Mongolian camel drivers and 10 Chinese "specimen collectors." Together, the Wulsins collected 1,400 botanical and zoological specimens and documented Buddhist rituals. They also took hundreds of photographs, documented tribespeople and desert landscapes, and were even allowed to photograph the interior of several of the great Tibetan Buddhist lamaseries, one of few early Westerners allowed to do so.

In 1926, National Geographic published one account of their expeditions, but Janet's contributions went uncredited. Stray newspaper articles in the United States were often misleading or inaccurate. The Wulsins returned to the United States in 1925, and later divorced. Elliott remarried Richard Hobart, a banker and collector of Chinese art.

Janet's role in her first husband's expeditions went largely uncredited until after her death in 1963, when her daughter, Mabel Cabot, found her mother's private letters and diaries and published Vanished Kingdoms (ISBN 0-641-68638-2), a biographical account of Janet's explorations.

Bibliographic details for "Janet Elliott Wulsin"


ELLIOTT, Howard:

Railroad official; b. N. Y. City, Dec. 6, s. Charles Wyllys and Mary (White) Elliott; grad. Lawrence Scientific Scb. of Harvard, C.E., 1881; m. St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 1892, Janet January; children: Janet, Edlth. Howard, Jr. Worked for a time during summer vacation, 1880. as level rodman on Chicago, Burlington & Qulncy R. R. Co. After graduating employed by a coal, fire and clay co. In Maryland making surveys. Oct., 1881, re-entered employ of Chicago, Burlington & Qulncy R. R. Co., as clerk, transferred to Keokuk, Ia., headquarters of the St Louis, Keokuk & Northwestern R'y Co., and of Chicago, Burlington & Kansas 'ity R'y Co., serving in capacity of clerk and cashier; appt'd ass't auditor and ass't treas. of both companies, 1882; gen. freight and passenger agt., 1887; promoted 1891, and moved to St. Louis, becoming gen. freight agt. of Missouri Lines of the Burlington System. These lines were made up of the Hannibal & St. Joseph R. R., St. Louis, Keokuk & Northwestern, the Chicago, Burlington & Kansas City, and the Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs; appt'd gen. mgr., 1896, of same properties, with headquarters in St. Louis and St. Joseph; was also officer and dir. of numerous companies connected with railroad. Offered position of gen. mgr. of main Burlington line in 1900, but declined; 2nd v.-p. of the Burlington in charge of operation and maintenance of all lines, about 8,500 miles, 1901-03. Pres. Northern Pacific R'y. 1903-13; 1913, pres. and chm'n of B'd of N. Y. , New Haven & Hartford R. R. Co.. with offices in Boston, Mass., New Haven, Com., and N. Y. City. Has taken an active teterest in various educational and socialorganizations. Mem. A. S. O. C. E., Am. R'y Ass'n. Am. R'y Guild, Am. R'y Engrs. Ass'n, Nat'l Geog'r Soc., Engineering Foundation. Delegate from Missouri In Convention of States, and mem. exec. com. Louisiana Purchase Exp'n Co. for several years; Nat'l Apple Show, 1909-10: life mem. Mass Inst, of Technology, Chamber of Commerce of U. S. A.; overseer of Harvard Univ; mem. Harvard Clubs of Boston, Conn., N.Y., Minn, and Keene, New Hampshire; Harvard Alumni Ass'n: dir. and mem. Boston Chamber of Commerce, Atlantic Conf. of Boston, Chamber of Commerce of N.Y. and New Haven. Address: Boston, Mass.

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Janet Elliott Wulsin's Timeline

October 17, 1893
Missouri, United States
November 15, 1963
Age 70