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.