1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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 Charles W. Bowen Family Papers


 Papers, 1768-1893.

 Size: 0.25 lin. ft.

 Catalog number: MSS 302

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, July 1994

(Additions by Robin Flynn, December 1999)

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            The family involved with this group of papers began with Moses Tyler of Barrington (1734-1811). His daughter Mary (1768-1802) married Haile Bowen Sr. (d. ca. 1799?); their son Haile Bowen Jr. (1794-1876) lived in Warren and fought in the War of 1812. He first married Elizabeth Johonnot (1796-1853), and they had nine children, including Charles W. Bowen (1836-?).

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Scope and content:

            This group of papers consists of original deeds and other important records of the early Tyler and Bowen families, as well as genealogical notes on the Bowen and Johonnot families. Some materials were removed to the Graphics and printed collections.

            There is an unsigned snippet of poetry, and one interesting note which reads “Fort Royal february the 22 1796 Martinico Rote on board the good Brigganteen Betsey & Polley by Hail Bowen on my Twenty Secont Voyge to the West Inges”.

            The correspondence attributed to Captain John H. Bowen, of Warren, RI, actually consists of letters about his death in 1874, which took place in New Orleans, Louisiana by way of his either falling or jumping from a bridge, and subsequently drowning.

            The diary marked “A. H. Bowen” is probably that of Albert Hall Bowen (1838-1895), son of Haile and Betsey (Johannot) Bowen. The diary describes the activities of the author while serving on what appears to be a coastwise steamer during the Civil War. It seems the crew was involved mostly with transporting cargo, troops, and prisoners of war between New York and the Gulf Coast. There are very occasional references to battles on land, and more frequent entries concerning ships and gunboats, and in one case, ironclads, encountered along the steamer’s route. There is a reference to the 14th RI “Corps de Afrique” under Lt. Weedon of Bristol, RI on February 28, 1864; and an entry concerning “two Warren boys William Wood and Horace McLain” on December 7, 1864.

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            The A.H. Bowen diary, and other papers dated 1837 to 1844, were donated by Flora Browne-Harding in 1977. The provenance of the remainder of these papers is not definitely known. They were found in an unmarked envelope with no accession information. They were probably given by an anonymous donor in late 1993 or early 1994, and have been assigned a 1994 accession number.

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Processing note:

            Upon processing in 1994, the Charles W. Bowen papers appeared to complement an earlier Bowen family collection at the library, MSS 301, which as of 1999 was only half processed. Processing of MSS 301 was completed in 1999. That portion of MSS 301 to which the papers were compared in 1994, is now MSS 9001-B, Miscellaneous Manuscripts (see the finding aid).

            Three folders of material, the Haile and Hannah Beebe Bowen pension papers, two letters to Henry A. Bowen dated 1843 and 1844, and the Captain John H. Bowen correspondence, were transferred to the collection in 1999 from MSS 301, as was the diary (1864-1866) of A. H. Bowen.

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Box 1 of 1.

Folder 1. Bowen and Johannot family genealogy notes.

Folder 2. Moses Tyler papers, 1794-1804. 4 deeds.

Folder 3. Haile Bowen Sr. and Jr. papers, 1768-1840. 13 deeds and probate records, including one copy of a Col. Nathan Miller deed (relation unknown) and one note.

Folder 4. Haile and Hannah Beebe Bowen pension papers, ca. 1861-1878, and memoranda book (ca. 1840?).

Folder 5. Henry A. Bowen, letters (2) from Johannot cousins, 1843, 1844.

Folder 6. John H. Bowen (Captain) (d. 1874), correspondence, 1874-1893.

Folder 7. A. H. Bowen, diary, 1864-1866.

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Bowen, Haile, Jr. (1794-1876)

Bowen Family

Diaries, 1864-1866

Johannot Family

Tyler, Moses (1734-1811)


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