James Louis Bacon, a descendant of William & Matilda Bowie, is working on a family history that includes the Bowies, as well as his Jackson ancestors who were key figures in the Underground Railroad in Jersey City, New Jersey. He has very kindly shared information about the Bowies and answered many of the questions left open in my page about William & Matilda. I have updated that page, accordingly.
William & Matilda and three of their children were manumitted by the will of Roderick McGregor. (Two older sons were not included in that manumission.) One of their grandsons (William A. Bowie, son of Nathaniel Bowie) was co-founder of a bank in Washington D.C. and prominent in the black community. Considering that Nathaniel was 15 when he was manumitted, that his parents were illiterate and that he himself received little formal schooling, it is truly impressive that his son William achieved so much. I am very grateful to Mr. Bacon for sharing this information and pointing me to articles and advertisements in the Washington Bee (a black newspaper in D.C.) that detail William A. Bowie’s career. I look forward to reading the history of his family, on both sides.
I also have new information about slaves inherited by Roderick McGregor’s wife, Ann Eleanor Eversfield Berry (widow Eaton), in 1832. I’ve not yet had time to update the page on the slaves of Roderick McGregor, but will do so soon.
As some of you already know, Anchovie Hills–Alexander Magruder’s home at the time of his death–is now under permanent protection from development. Originally patented at 400 acres, the plantation was subdivided several times among heirs and remained in Magruder ownership at least through the early 19th century. It has been in the family of the present owner, Mary Cross Zoeter, for about 150 years. The present property is 171 acres, privately owned but protected by two conservation easements–one ensuring it will never be developed, the other specifically protecting its wildlife from hunting and trapping.
Anchovie Hills is located on Croom Road in Brandywine, Maryland, close to the original Magruder’s Landing, at the location now called Magruder’s Ferry Boat Ramp on Magruder’s Ferry Road. The boat ramp is public, but Anchovie Hills itself is private land with no public access.
You can read about the Anchovie Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and watch a short video on the website of the Humane Society’s Wildlife Land Trust. Please consider making a donation.
Well, it’s a new year, with all its resolutions…. but I still have only a little time to devote to Magruder’s Landing. Thanks to all who have encouraged me to continue. I will! I HAVE had time for some new research, and will add that to the list of topics pending.
I was surprised when I got the year-end summary by how many people have come to this site–several hundred, though few have left any trace of themselves behind.
And speaking of that…I just found out by browsing through the comments, as stored on the web provider, that I haven’t been receiving emails every time someone posts a comment. That’s how it’s supposed to work, and sometimes it does…. So if you didn’t see your comment appear, and I didn’t respond, I hereby apologize. I have just approved the ones I missed, and will start checking regularly to make sure I’m on top of it.