Oden Bowie

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Oden Bowie
Governor oden bowie of maryland.jpg
34th Governor of Maryland
In office
January 13, 1869 – January 20, 1872
Preceded by Thomas Swann
Succeeded by William Pinkney Whyte
Maryland State Senator
In office
1867–1869
Member of Maryland House of Delegates
In office
1849–1867
Chairman, Democratic State Central Committee
In office
1861–1865
Delegate, Democratic National Convention
In office
1864–1864
Personal details
Born (1826-11-10)November 10, 1826
Collington, Maryland
Died December 4, 1894(1894-12-04) (aged 68)
Collington, Maryland
Resting place Family plot at "Fairview," Prince George's County, Maryland
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Alice Carter (married December 3, 1851)
Children Alice; William Duckett; Oden, Jr.; Annette Carter; Mary Oden; Carter Lee; Washington Booth
Parents William D. Bowie and Eliza Oden
Occupation President, Baltimore & Potomac Railroad, 1860–1894

President, City Passenger Railway Company, Baltimore City
President, Maryland Jockey Club

Profession Entrepreneur, politician, race horse owner & breeder
Religion Episcopalian[1]
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1845–1847
Rank Captain
Battles/wars Mexican–American War
Awards Maryland Legislature resolutions expressing "the thanks of his native State for distinguished gallantry displayed during the three days’ siege of Monterey."
Other ranks Private, Lieutenant

Oden Bowie (November 10, 1826 – December 4, 1894),[2] a member of the United States Democratic Party, was the 34th Governor of the State of Maryland in the United States from 1869 to 1872.

Childhood[edit]

He was born in 1826 at Fairview Plantation in Collington, Prince George's County, Maryland, the oldest son of Colonel William Duckett Bowie and Eliza Mary Oden.[2][3][4][5][6]

He spent the bulk of his childhood at Fairview where he was educated by a private tutor until his mother died when he was nine years old. After his mother's death, he was sent to the preparatory department of St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland where studied for three years. At age twelve, he enrolled in St. Mary's Seminary and University and graduated in July 1845 as valedictorian of his class.[2][7]

Career[edit]

Military[edit]

In 1846 Bowie enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private at the outbreak of the Mexican-American war. He was promoted through the ranks, cited with "conspicuous bravery at Monterey" by Captain Taylor and eventually promoted to the rank of Captain by President James K. Polk, commanding the Votigeur Regiment.[5][7] At the time he was the youngest Captain in the army.[6]

Politics[edit]

In 1849, he was elected to his first political office, as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, followed by the Maryland Senate from 1867 to 1869. On November 5, 1867, he became the first Governor of Maryland to be elected under the post-Civil War Maryland Constitution of 1867, and as such, he did not assume the office of Governor until January 13, 1869. Bowie's term of Governor ended on January 10, 1872 ending his career in politics.[7]

Railroading[edit]

Walter Bowie was a major advocate of expanding the railroad system into southern Maryland, and wrote articles lobbying for this under the pen name Patuxent Planter. After significant lobbying together with Thomas Fielder Bowie, William Duckett Bowie, and Oden Bowie, the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Company was organized. Two of the charter members were Walter Bowie and Thomas F Bowie. Directors included William Duckett Bowie and Oden. Oden became the first president of the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad around 1853[8] and also president of the Baltimore City Passenger Railway in 1873.[9]

Thoroughbred racing[edit]

Oden Bowie was an avid horseman who served for nineteen years as President of the Pimlico Jockey Club,[10] and as President of the Maryland Jockey Club.[5] At Fairview Plantation he bred Thoroughbred racehorses. Among his successful runners, Crickmore was voted the retrospective American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt of 1880.

In 1868, at a dinner party in Saratoga, New York, Bowie and associates agreed to hold a horse race in 1870 for the yearlings owned by attendees at the party. A wager was placed and the winner of the race would host the losers for dinner. Both Saratoga and the American Jockey Club made bids for the event, but Bowie pledged to build a grand racetrack in his home state if the race were to be run in Baltimore. The Dixie Stakes, (also known as the Dinner Party Stakes) and Pimlico Race Course were the results.[11]

Slavery[edit]

Before the Civil War, Fairview had many slaves. Charles Branch Clark wrote in 1946 in the Maryland Historical Magazine that seventy of Oden Bowie's slaves enlisted in the Union Army.[12]

Family and private life[edit]

Bowie spent most of his life at Fairview Plantation. He married Alice Carter on December 3, 1851. She was the daughter of Charles H. Carter and Rosalie Eugenia Calvert Carter of Goodwood, Prince George's County. Alice's mother was a descendant of George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore the first colonial proprietor of the Province of Maryland.[1]

Death[edit]

Bowie died after a brief illness[10] on December 4, 1894 and was buried at Fairview.[4][13]

Legacy[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Spencer, Richard Henry (1919). Genealogical and Memorial Encyclopedia of the State of Maryland: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. New York: American Historical Society. pp. 397–398. ISBN 0-8328-5943-5. 
  2. ^ a b c Hall, Clayton Colman (1912). Baltimore: Its History and Its People, vol.3. Lewis Historical Publishing Co. pp. 304–306. 
  3. ^ "The Prince George's Hall of Fame". Prince George's County Historical Society. 2003. Retrieved September 16, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b "Prince George's County: Over 300 years of History – Oden Bowie". Prince George's County Historical Society. 1996. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  5. ^ a b c Wilson, William Bender (1895). History of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company: With Plan of Organization. Henry T. Coates & Company. p. 279. 
  6. ^ a b Wilson, William Bender (1899). History of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Volume II. Philadelphia: Henry T. Coates & Company. p. 279. 
  7. ^ a b c "Governor's Information: Maryland Governor Oden Bowie". National Governors Association. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  8. ^ Wilson, William Bender (1895). History of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company: With Plan of Organization. Henry T. Coates & Company. pp. 333–334. 
  9. ^ Hollander, Jacob Harry (11982). The Financial History of Baltimore. AMS Press. p. 280. ISBN 978-0-404-61368-6.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ a b "Oden Bowie Stricken with Paralysis". New York Times. November 28, 1894. p. 1. 
  11. ^ "HISTORY OF PIMLICO RACE COURSE" (pdf). Pimlico Race Course. 
  12. ^ "Prince George's County: Over 300 years of History: CIVIL WAR". Prince George's County Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-05-03. 
  13. ^ "Obituary: Ex-Gov. Oden Bowie; The Famous Railroader and Owner of the Famous Crickmore". New York Times. December 5, 1894. p. 5. 
  14. ^ "Revitalization of Old Town Bowie". City of Bowie, Maryland. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  15. ^ "History of Odenton". Odenton Heritage Society. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 

Further reading[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Swann
Governor of Maryland
1869–1872
Succeeded by
William Pinkney Whyte