Governor Robert Bowie of
Prince George's County, Maryland


Robert Bowie was born to Captain William Bowie and Margaret Sprigg, and he was the brother of Walter Bowie. He was born at Mattaponi, near Nottingham, Prince George's County, in March 1750 and died in 1818.

Robert Bowie married Priscilla, daughter of James John Mackall of Calvert County, in 1770. Priscilla Mackall Bowie was born May 19, 1758. Legend is that they eloped as she was not yet 15 when they married.

He is said to have attended the "meeting of Freeholders and citizens" held at Upper Marlborough in 1774.

  • September 12, 1775 - Robert Bowie, along with his father, William, and several other men, was authorized to enroll a company of "minutemen."
  • January 20, 1776 - Robert Bowie was elected first lieutenant in a company of militia organized in Nottingham.
  • June 21, 1776 - Robert was commissioned captain of the Second Battalion, Maryland Flying Artillery. Records indicate he maintained this company at his own expense. The state later issued vouchers to reimburse him.
  • September 1776 - The Flying Artillery was ordered to New York and arrived too late to help George Washington at the Battle of Long Island. However, this command later distinguished itself at the Battle of Harlem Heights, White Plains, and other engagements during the 1776 campaign.
  • September 1, 1777 - Robert Bowie was commissioned as captain of a militia company enrolled in the southern part of Prince George's County. This battalion figured in the Battle of Germantown where Robert Bowie was injured.

Post War Activities

  • 1785 through 1790 - A member of the House of Delegates
  • He urged the establishment of St. John's College in Annapolis, while a delegate.
  • The then governor appointed him major of the militia and a justice of the peace.
  • 1796 - Robert was elected as an elector of senators.
  • 1803-1806 - He served as Governor of Maryland.
  • 1811-1812 - He served as Governor of Maryland.

Robert Bowie has the distinction of having been the first Democratic governor of the state. His brother Walter, also a Revolutionary War patriot, owned the farm Collington, then known as Darnell's Grove, later as Locust Grove, and still later as Willow Grove.

Robert owned land in Nottingham and Mattaponi.

The above information is from Across the Years In Prince George's County, a book written by Effie Gwynn Bowie, that was published in Richmond, Virginia, in 1947 and later by the Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, in 1975.