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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 151   View pdf image (33K)
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BIOGRAPHIES BOW

Prince George's County. OCCUPATIONAL PROFILE.
planter and merchant; in business in Nottingham,
Prince George's County, with Thomas Contee (ca.
1729-1811) in a firm that engaged in the Euro-
pean tobacco trade and the importation of large
quantities of goods. They advertised the firm's
dissolution on April 1, 1775. Bowie applied for a
license to operate the Nottingham Ferry in 1788
and owned a store in Nottingham, Prince George's
County, at the time of his death. PUBLIC CAREER.
LEGISLATIVE SERVICE: Lower House, Prince
George's County, 1785, 1786-1787 (Grievances 1),
1787-1788, 1788 (elected to the Assembly to fill
vacancy), 1790. OTHER STATE OFFICE: Constitu-
tion Ratification Convention, Prince George's
County, 1788. LOCAL OFFICES: register, St. Paul's
Parish, Prince George's County, in office 1767;
Committee for inspection for armed resistance,
Prince George's County, 1775; justice, Prince
George's County, 1777-1794 (chief justice, 1793-
1794); St. Paul's Parish Vestry, Prince George's
County, in office 1779, 1782, 1785-1788; justice,
Orphans' Court, Prince George's County, 1782-at
least 1790; Maryland Senate elector, Prince
George's County, elected 1786. MILITARY SER-
VICE: captain, Nottingham Company, Prince
George's County Militia, promoted from 1st lieu-
tenant, 1776. WEALTH DURING LIFETIME. PER-
SONAL PROPERTY: 60 slaves, 1790; mortgaged 60
slaves, plus all of his household furniture, plate,
livestock, plantation utensils, a chariot, and a
sulky between 1789 and 1792. LAND AT FIRST
ELECTION: at least 1,752 acres, plus 1 lot and a
partnership in another lot, and one undivided fifth
part of 526 acres, all in Prince George's County
(at least 561 acres, the remainder of at least 661
acres inherited or received by deed of gift from his
father; 262 acres through his marriage, but all sold
before first election; 1,471 acres, plus 1 lot and a
partnership in another lot, and one undivided fifth
part of 526 acres by purchase, but 280 acres of this
purchased land had been sold before his first elec-
tion). SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN LAND BETWEEN

FIRST ELECTION AND DEATH: sold 130 acres in
Prince George's County, 1789; purchased 2 lots in
Nottingham, Prince George's County, 1790; sold
at least 975 acres in Prince George's County to his
son Allen, 1791; Bowie mortgaged and remort-
gaged several of his tracts as security for his vari-
ous debts between 1790 and 1792. WEALTH AT
DEATH. DIED: in September 1794 in Prince
George's County; buried at "Brookridge," Prince
George's County. PERSONAL PROPERTY: TEV,
£3,749.14.7 current money (including 38 slaves,
115 oz. plate, and books, all of which in addition

to the remainder of his personal property Bowie
had mortgaged before his death); FB, estate over-
paid £1 10.7.3. LAND: 543 acres, plus 3 lots, a part-
nership in another lot, and one undivided fifth
part of 526 acres, all in Prince George's County.
After Bowie's death his creditors went before the
Chancery Court where it was determined that his
personal property was insufficient to pay his
debts. The court ordered that 155 acres plus 2 lots
be sold to settle Bowie's accounts.

BOWIE, ROBERT (ca. 1750-1818). BORN: in
March ca. 1750 at "Mattaponi," Prince George's
County; second son. NATIVE: third generation.
RESIDED: in the town of Nottingham, Prince
George's County; had a summer home at "Malta-
poni," Prince George's County. FAMILY BACK-
GROUND. FATHER William Bowie (1721-1791).
MOTHER: Margaret (1726/27-1804), daughter of
Osborn Sprigg (1707-1749/50). HALF UNCLES
Joseph Sprigg (1736-1800); Osborn Sprigg (ca.
1741-1815); and Thomas Sprigg (1747-1809).
BROTHERS: Walter Bowie (1748-1810); William
Sprigg (1751-1809); and Osborn (?-1806). SIS-
TERS. Elizabeth (1746-?); Ann (1765-?); and Mar-
garet (1765-?). FIRST COUSINS Allen Bowie, Jr.
(1737-1803); Fielder Bowie (ca. 1745-1794). MAR-
RIED ca. 1773 Priscilla (1758-1823), with whom,
according to tradition, he eloped; daughter of
James John Mackall (1717-1772); granddaughter
of John Mackall (1669-1739); niece of Samuel
Hance(by 1732-?). Her brothers were John Mack-
all (1740-1799); Benjamin Mackall IV (1745-by
1810); James (1747-ca. 1837); Richard (1749-?);
and Thomas Mackall (1751-1799). Her sisters
were Susannah (ca. 1737-?), who married Thomas
Gantt, Jr. (?-1808); Mary (1742-?), who married
Edward Reynolds (?-?); Elizabeth (ca. 1743-?);
Sarah (1752-?); Ann (1753-?); Margaret (1755-
1799); and Barbary (Barbara) (1755-?). CHILDREN.
SONS: James John (1785-1809), who was killed in
a duel; Robert William (1787-1848), who was a
member of the Whig party, served four terms in
the Maryland House of Delegates and three terms
in the Maryland Senate, was three times a member
of the governor's council, a presidential elector in
1821 and 1837, and who married in 1818 Cather-
ine (1800-1867), daughter of Isaac Lansdale and
wife Catherine Brooke; and Robert H. (?-died
young). DAUGHTERS: Mary Mackall (1776-1825),
who married first, in 1794 Turner Wooton, and
second, Thomas Contee Bowie (1771-1813), son
of Fielder Bowie (ca. 1745-1794); Elizabeth Mar-
garet (1780-1854), who married in 1800 John
Waring, Jr. (?-1815); Margaret Anne (1783-1850),

151



 

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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 151   View pdf image (33K)
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