Governor James Bowdoin, Jr.

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Governor James Bowdoin, Jr.

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
Death: Died in Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
Place of Burial: Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of James Bowdoin, Sr. and Hannah Bowdoin (Portage)
Husband of Elizabeth Bowdoin
Father of Elizabeth Bowdoin; James (Jemmy) Bowdoin, III and Judith Bowdoin
Brother of Samuel Bowdoin; Judith Flucker (Bowdoin) and Elizabeth Pitts (Bowdoin)
Half brother of William Bowdoin; Mary Bayard (Bowdoin); James Bowdoin; Elizabeth Bowdoin; John Bowdoin and 1 other

Occupation: Governor of Massachusetts, Revolucionario Norteamericano, gobernador de Massachussetts
Managed by: Dennis Harold Cloukey
Last Updated:

About Governor James Bowdoin, Jr.

James Bowdoin (August 7, 1726 – November 6, 1790) was an American political and intellectual leader from Boston, Massachusetts during the American Revolution. He served in both branches of the Massachusetts General Court in the colonial era and was president of the state's constitutional convention. After independence he was governor of Massachusetts.

Bowdoin was born in Boston to Hannah Portage Bowdoin and James Bowdoin, a wealthy Boston merchant. His grandfather Pierre Boudouin was a Huguenot refugee from France. Pierre took his family first to Ireland, then to Portland, Maine, finally settling in Boston in 1690.

Young James attended Boston Latin School, then graduated from Harvard in 1745. When his father died in 1747, he inherited a considerable fortune. He took an early interest in Natural History, and had several papers read to the Royal Society in London by his friend and correspondent, Benjamin Franklin.

Bowdoin was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1753 and served there until named to the Council in 1756. By the end of Sir Francis Bernard's term as governor he spoke and wrote against the royal governors and their actions. He was proposed as a continuing Council member in 1769, but the new governor Thomas Hutchinson rejected his membership. Boston promptly elected him to the House. When Hutchinson was formally commissioned as governor in 1760, he restored Bowdoin to the Council, reasoning that he was less dangerous there than as an outspoken critic in the House.

Bowdoin as named as a delegate to the First Continental Congress in 1774 but did not attend, citing health reasons. In 1775 he was elected President of the Council and held that office until 1777. With the turmoil of the American Revolutionary War, he sometimes acted as council president in an executive, rather than legislative role. When Massachusetts wrote its own constitution in 1779, he was president of the Convention which created it, and chairman of the committee that drafted it. His son, James Bowdoin III, also sat in this convention. Under the new state government, governor John Hancock appointed him to a commission to revise and consolidate the laws from colonial days.

In 1785, Bowdoin was elected Governor of Massachusetts, but his terms were not peaceful. He called up the militia and took vigorous action to put down Shays' Rebellion, and as a result lost the election of 1787 as Hancock was swept back into office. In 1788 he served as a member of the Massachusetts convention that ratified the United States Constitution.


Bowdoin's tomb in the Granary Burying GroundThroughout this period, he maintained his interest in learning a natural history. In 1780 he was primarily responsible for the creation of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served as its first president until his death and left the society his library. Bowdoin continued to publish not only scientific papers, but verse in both English and Latin. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Edinburgh, made a fellow of Harvard, and was a member of the Royal Society of both London and Edinburgh.

He died of tuberculosis on November 6, 1790, in Boston. Bowdoin College in Maine was named in his honor, as his son, James Bowdoin III had provided the principal endowment for its foundation.

Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 1785-1787

Typical of the Commonwealth's early governors, James Bowdoin was a merchant and important revolutionary figure. He served on the twenty-eight person executive council, which managed Massachusetts' wartime affairs between 1775 and 1780. He was a key participant in drafting Massachusetts' constitution and was the first President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Mr. Bowdoin had secured the most votes in the popular election, but failed to gain a majority from among the field of four candidates. He was elected by the members of the legislature. A year later he won reelection with a three-quarters majority.

The dominant issue in Governor Bowdoin's two terms in office was the continued high rate of inflation. This combined with strict debt laws brought a number of rural communities to the point of revolution. In August and September of 1786, farmers wearing the same uniforms in which they had fought for independence, took over Massachusetts courthouses in Springfield, Northampton, Worcester, Concord, Taunton, and Great Barrington.

Over the next five months, Governor Bowdoin assembled 4,400 militiamen to vigorously suppress the revolt of 2,000 farmers. He succeeded in breaking the rebellion in February 1787, capturing fourteen of the insurrection's leaders who were sentenced to hang. Bowdoin's vigorous response to the rebellion contributed to his defeat. He polled below twenty percent against his successor, John Hancock. ------------------------------------------------------------------ James Bowdoin From Wikipedia James Bowdoin (August 7, 1726 – November 6, 1790) was an American political and intellectual leader from Boston, Massachusetts during the American Revolution. He served in both the colonial council (senate) and house and was President of the state's constitutional convention. After independence he was governor of Massachusetts.

His grandfather (Pierre Boudouin) was a Huguenot refugee from France. Pierre took his family first to Ireland, then to Portland, Maine, finally settling in Boston in 1690. His father, also James Bowdoin, was a successful merchant in Boston when James was born there on August 8, 1727.

Young James attended Boston Latin School, then graduated from Harvard in 1745. When his father died in 1747, he inherited a considerable fortune. He took an early interest in Natural History, and had several papers read to the Royal Society in London by his friend and correspondent, Benjamin Franklin.

Bowdoin was elected to the colonial assembly in 1753 and served there until named to the Council in 1756. By the end of Sir Francis Bernard's term as governor he spoke and wrote against the royal governors and their actions. He was proposed as a continuing Council member in 1769, but the new governor Thomas Hutchinson rejected his membership. Boston promptly elected him to the assembly. When Hutchinson was formally commissioned as governor in 1760, he restored Bowdoin to the Council, reasoning that he was less dangerous there than as an outspoken critic in the assembly.

Bowdoin as named as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1774 but did not attend, citing health reasons. In 1775 he was elected President of the Council and held that office until 1777. With the turmoil of the American Revolutionary War, he sometimes acted as council president in an executive, rather than legislative role.

When Massachusetts wrote its own constitution in 1779, he was president of the Convention which created it, and chairman of the committee that drafted it. His son, James Bowdoin III, also sat in this convention. Under the new state government, governor John Hancock appointed him to a commission to revise and consolidate the laws from colonial days.

In 1785, Bowdoin was elected Governor of Massachusetts, but his terms were not peaceful. He called up the militia and took vigorous action to put down Shays' Rebellion, and as a result lost the election of 1787 as Hancock was swept back into office. In 1788 he served as a member of the Massachusetts' convention that ratified the United States Constitution.

Throughout this period, he maintained his interest in learning a natural history. In 1780 he was primarily responsible for the creation of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, He served as its first president until his death and left the society his library. Bowdoin continued to publish not only scientific papers, but verse in both English and Latin. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Edinburgh, made a fellow of Harvard, and was a member of the Royal Society of both London and Edinburgh.

He died of consumption on November 6, 1790 in Boston. Bowdoin College in Maine was named in his honor.

http://capecodhistory.us/genealogy/getperson.php?personID=I11353&tree=Nauset

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Governor James Bowdoin, Jr.'s Timeline

1719
March 5, 1719
Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
1726
August 7, 1726
Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
1750
1750
Age 23
Boston,Suffolk,MA
1752
September 22, 1752
Age 26
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
1790
November 6, 1790
Age 64
Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA
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Boston, Suffolk, MA, USA