Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Richard Johns Bowie (1807-1881)
MSA SC 3520-1624


Born in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., June 23, 1807.  Son of Col. Washington Bowie and Margaret Johns Bowie.  Attended public schools; Brookville Academy; Georgetown University School of Law, LL.B., 1826.  Admitted to the D.C. Bar, 1826.  Admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, 1829.  Married Catherine L. Williams on May 7, 1833; three adopted daughters:  Emma, Rose and Maria Holland.  Died at "Glenview," Montgomery County, March 12, 1881.  Buried in Rockville Cemetery, Rockville, Montgomery County.

Practiced law in Rockville, Montgomery County.  Member of the Whig party.  Member of the Maryland Senate, Western Shore, 1836-37.  Delegate to the Whig National Convention in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1840.  State's Attorney for Montgomery County, 1844-49.  Member of U.S. House of Representatives, 1849-53.  Whig party candidate for Governor of Maryland, 1854.  Became a "Union Democrat" after the dissolution of the Whigs; opposed secession. On June 28, 1863, Judge Bowie was briefly detained by Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart and his forces, upon their approach of Rockville. Chief Judge, Maryland Court of Appeals, 1861-67; Associate Judge, 1871-81.  Chief Judge, Montgomery County Circuit Court, Sixth Judicial Circuit, 1871-81.  Director, Farmer's Bank of Maryland.

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