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John Jones Bowie (1785 - 1860)

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John Jones Bowie
Born in Burke County Georgia, USAmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Halley, Desha County, Arkansas, USAmap
Profile last modified | Created 25 Dec 2014
This page has been accessed 555 times.

Categories: Catahoula Parish, Louisiana | Chicot County, Arkansas | Phillips County, Arkansas | Issaquena County, Mississippi.



THE BOWIES by John Jones Bowie De Bow's Review of the Southern and Western States. ... v.13 1852: Jul-Dec. page 378

John Jones Bowie was a land speculator, among other things, who left a plethora of legal documents in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas.

John J. Bowie was the eldest son of Rezin and Elvira Jones Bowie and was born in Burke County, Georgia about 1787. The family moved to Tennessee where Rezin P. Bowie was born and then to Kentucky which was the birthplace of the famous Jim. There were ten children in all. In 1800 the elder Rezin Bowie moved the family to Missouri. They stayed there two years then moved again to Rapides Parish in Louisiana. John lived on a large piece of ground (640 acres +) in what was Pisgah Catahoula Parish, LA.

In 1819 John, Rezin and Jim Bowie, the three brothers, engaged in slave smuggling business to Texas with Jean LaFitte. In De Bow's Review of the Southern and Western states. Vol 13, 1852-Jul-Dec. John explained it like this:

"First we purchased forty Negroes from LaFitte at the rate of one dollar per pound, or an average of $140 for each Negro; we then brought them into the limits of the United States, delivered them to the customs house officer, and ourselves became the informers. The law gave the informer half the value of the Negroes, which were put up and sold in the United States.
"We continued to follow this business until we had made $65,000, then we quit and soon spent all our earnings. James then went into land speculation and soon made $15,000. This business necessarily caused him to spend much of his time in the woods, where natural inclination gave the employment a peculiar charm to him."

In 1825 John J. Bowie of Catahoula Parish, State of Louisiana is selling to James Bowie of Rapides Parish in Louisiana, three Negro slaves, designated as to name, age and sex for a consideration of two thousand arpens of land. No description or location is given for this land except “to be conveyed to me this day.” This bill of sale was notarized in the Parish of Catahoula by Jos. J. Williams, not. pub. on Dec. 8th, 1825.

The 1830 census records list John J. Bowie as a resident of Chicot County Arkansas (across from Greenville Mississippi on the River).

A map of Helena drawn in 1836 shows the house of John J. Bowie to be situated at the foot of Phillips Street and at the river’s edge. [1]

In 1840, John J Bowie, is in St Francis Township, Phillips, Arkansas, United States; citing p. 88, and a couple doors down from a Reason Bowie and Moses Burnett [2]

Later John moved to Issaquena Co., Mississippi, across the Mississippi River from Carroll Parish Louisiana. They are shown on the 1850 Issaquena Co. Census. He was 63, America Bowie was 51.[3]

Sometime in the later 1850's John Bowie moved back to Chicot County. On June 21st, 1857, John J. Bowie purchased from Ransom H. Byrne of the State of Mississippi (Holly Springs) a considerable amount of land which included the present site of the town of Halley and extending eastward across both Crooked Bayou and Bayou Mason, a distance of approximately two miles. [4]

He made a partial payment on this land and the bill of sale was first recorded in Phillips County by a Justice of the Peace. John J. Bowie died on June 22nd, 1859 and on July 7th, 1859 his widow, America A. Bowie, paid Ransom H. Byrne the remaining balance and received a deed as Executrix of the estate of John J. Bowie.[5]

He is buried there.


Children with Rachel Scoggins

  1. Mary BOWIE Burnett 1810–1897 She married Moses Burnett
  2. Nancy BOWIE Sanford, 1810 - 1876 (twin sister of Mary?)
  3. Sarah "Sallie" BOWIE Stuart, 1812–1863, she married John S. Stuart (1807 - 1873)
  4. Matilda BOWIE Homer, 1819–1867
  5. John Jones Bowie, Jr (adopted?)

Child with Mary C. Oliphant

  1. Harriett E BOWIE Hollingsworth 1812–1866 (out of wedlock?) She married Joseph C HOLLINGSWORTH 4 October 1849 Carroll Parish, Louisiana, USA

Children with America Ann WATKINS 1798–1891

  1. John Rezin BOWIE 1835–1859
  2. Martha BOWIE 1833–1913 married Zachariah Letherman
  3. James W BOWIE 1838 - 1864


Bowie Arkansas is named for John J. Bowie

Will of John J. Bowie

Will Book C, 1840 to 1876, Pages 146 and 147
Clerk of County and Probate Courts, Chicot County
Lake Village, Arkansas 71653
His will reads;
I, John J. Bowie, of sound and disposing mind and memory, but somewhat bodily afflicted, bringing to mind it is the common lot of all men to die, and having been repeatedly warned within the last few weeks that the time was not far distant where I would have to go the way of all flesh - prompted by the above warnings, I now declare the following to be my last will and testament.
In the first place, I wish to be buried in a plain way, and never to have any tomb or other marks of respect placed over or about my grave, and further I am in hopes that none of my family of friends will ever mourn for me. I go the way that all before me have gone, and all that I leave behind me will soon follow. I leave five heirs by my first wife, Mary Bennett; Sarah Stuart, John Bowie, Jr., (a minor son of Reazon Bowie, deceased), Nancy Sanford and Matilda Homer all of whom I have here-to-fore given what I believe to be an equal and fair share of my estate, and I hope and request that none of them will interfere with my younger children's property left to them by this will. I have also one other daughter, Harriet E. Hollingsworth, the same has been one for her as was for my first family of children. My present wife also had two children before we were married, namely William P. Kirkland and Mrs. Elizabeth Hamilton; for them, I have done all that I think it was my duty to do.
Whatever state I now own or possess, either real or personal, I wish to dispose of it as follows; first to pay all of my just debts. After this is done, first proceeds arising out of the estate of One Thousand Dollars is to be paid to Martha B. Leatherman, which must be done in five years from the date hereof, which will be in full for her part of my estate. The balance to be divided between my wife, America A. Bowie and our two sons, John R. Bowie and James W. Bowie, and it is further my desire to request that America A. Bowie, my wife, be left sole Executrix of this my last will, and that she and my sons be allowed to manage their estate without giving any security for their acts, and I further desire that in the event of the death of my wife that her estate be equally divided between our three children; Martha, John and James, and I further request that the girl, Mary be sold and the money arising from the sale to be paid to Messrs. Fandlin & Co. of Vicksburg from whom I purchased her. To prevent fraud from being practiced on my estate, I leave enclosed a list of all my just debts.

I now declare this to be my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills written by myself at any residence - this 29th day of :September, 1859.

Filed for record; August 8th, 1859 - and recorded August 22, 1859
B.F. Stephenson, clerk (Chicot County, Arkansas)

DWC Banham Sam Melson P.G. Scruggs [6][7] [8]

THE BOWIES by John Jones Bowie De Bow's Review of the Southern and Western States. ... v.13 1852: Jul-Dec. page 378


  2. United States Census, 1840," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 24 August 2015), John J Bowie, St Francis Township, Phillips, Arkansas, United States; citing p. 88, NARA microfilm publication M704, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 19; FHL microfilm 2,474.
  3. "United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 April 2016), John J Bowie, Issaquena county, Issaquena, Mississippi, United States; citing family 97, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  8. Find A Grave Memorial# 51561291

First Settlers of Catahoula Parish, Louisiana: 1808-1839 Published by Carol Young Knight. Submitted by Annette Carpenter Womack Date: June 1999


2C 3 November 1812 - Sale of tract of land to JOHN J. BOWIE - 640 acres joining lands of WILLIAM DOSSON... /s/ REASON BOWIE Witness: JOHN SANDERS, JOHN RUTLEDGE - 15 January 1814 (page 43)

168B 11 September 1818 - NANCY HARVEY bought from JOHN HARRISON three lots in the Town of Harrisonburg - #7 in Sq. 3, #2 in Sq. 2 and #4 and 5 for $500 ... Witness: CHARLES CRAIG, JAS FLOWERS, JOHN J. BOWIE

189B WILLIAM J. CLARKSON sells to JOHN CRANE lot of ground joining Town of Harrisonburg with storehouse and all buildings, improvements being the same purchased by CLARKSON from CRANE 22 November 1817, plus two certain lots of ground bounded by ROBERT NOBLES, Lots #1, Sq.@#1 adjoining JOHN J. BOWIE's lot, late the property of ROBERT NOBKES. Witness: G.W. LOVELACE, D.J. SUTTON

213B 12 January 1819 - SARAH SCOGGINS is held and firmly bound until JAMES WRIGHT for $50 ... relinquish all my right title and interest to tract of land - 330 acres - situated on Mill Creek adjoining lands of JONAS SCOGGINS, deceased.../s/ SARAH SCOGGINS - Witness: JOHN J. BOWIE, EBENZER LUCY

220B 8 February 1819 - JOHN J. BOWIE ... title to tract of land 338 50/100 acres on Waters of Bushley ... $410 ... /s/ JOHN J. BOWIE Witness: DAVID McCLEUR, JACOB HUMPHRIES

244B CHARLES B. HARVEY paid $550 to JOHN SQUIRES for balance of that p.229 parcel of land containing 130 acres more or less being part of the tract of 338 112 acres confirmed to JOHN J. BOWIE by Commissioner's Certificate bearing date of 6 June 1808. Part of said land was transferred to JACOB HUMPHRIES by a conditional line between said HUMPHRIES and SQUIRES lying on the waters of the Bushley together with all improvements and buildings ... /s/ JOHN (x) SQUIRES, CHARLES B. HARVEY - Witness: JOHN ERVIN, JACOB HUMPHRIES

245B I March 1819 - Indenture between RICHARD GREEN of the Parish of p.230 Rapides and CHARLES PATTERSON & ZACHARIAS TALIAFERRO jointly for $2100 - sale to CHARLES PATTERSON and ZACHARIAS TALIAFERRO of part of tract of land granted by the Spanish Government to RICHARD GREEN by Certificate #B-No.629 dated 13 May 1811 - bounded on RICHARD EARL's line and running north 45 degrees east, 39 chains to a creek, and 58 chains and 16 links to a overcup corner thence north 45 degrees, west 28 chains to a oak in the Prairie ... running through CARSONs and JAMES LEAVINS land.../s/ RICHARD GREEN - Witness: JOHN J. BOWIE

2718 21 April 1820 - Before me, OLIVER J. MORGAN, Judge of the Parish p.257 of Ouachita, personally appeared BLASSINGAME W. HARVEY and NANCY HARVEY, wife of said BLASSINGAME W. HARVEY, for and in consideration of the sum of $1675 paid by JOHN J. HARVEY, convey a tract of land called SCOGGINS OLD PLACE - 320 acres - being on the Waters of Bushley Bayou in the Prairie of Catahoula, also three town lots in Harrisonburg ... /s/ B.W. HARVEY, NANCY HARVEY, JOHN J. HARVEY Witness: JOHN M. FOUNTS, GRAMONT FEHLIOE


485C HUGH B. JOHNSON sells to JOHN J. BOWIE for $1100 the following slaves: FANEY about 35 years old, MARIAH about 3 years old, and SARAH about 20 years old and her child, THOMAS, about 3 ... /s/ JOHN J. BOWIE - Witness: SAMUEL ALLEN, JOHN GALVIN

486C 3 November 1823 - JOHN J. BOWIE sells for $300 to HUGH B. JOHNSON an improvement of land on Deer Creek adjoining lands of CASPER YOUNG on the upper side and on the lower side lands claimed by GEORGE BIRD' and is the same acquired at Sheriff's Sale by JOHN J. BOWIE at the suit of HEABERLING & CO., Sellers ... Witness: SAMUEL ALLEN, JOHN BALVEN

487C ABRAHAM BIRD vs. JOHN J. BOWIE - Judgment in favor of Plaintiff for $650 ... /s/ J.H. OVERTON, Judge 7th District

500C 26 June 1824 -JOHN J. BOWIE sells for $375 to WILLIAM DOBBS a negro woman, ELLEN, about 21 years of age ... Witness: JOHN LOVELACE, JAMES (x) JOHNSTON

506C 4 April 1823 - Before me, OLIVER J. MORGAN, Parish Judge for the Parish of Ouachita, appeared JOHN J. BOWIE, an inhabitant of the Parish of Catahoula, for $22.50 BOWIE sells to ANTOINE HEBERT and JOHN HEBERARD, JR., inhabitants of the Parish of Ouachita, a tract of land at the junction of Ouachita, Black and Little Rivers, containing 1000 arpens, being same BOWIE purchased at Sheriff's Sale Witness: GEORGE HAMILTON

513C 5 October 1824 - JOHN J. BOWIE acknowledges debt to JAMES BOWIE, a free man of color, in the amount of $110 to be paid before the first of April next... at the rate of 10%... and mortgages negro boy ANTOINE, about 12 years old... Witness: WILLIAM BRYNE, G.G. HOLDSHIP

520C State of Louisiana, City of New Orleans - Before me, G.R. STRINGER, a Notary Public in the City of New Orleans, appeared JOHN HENRY of the City of New Orleans, this date 24 November 1824, and acknowledged that RICHARD KING had paid JOHN HENRY $100 for a parcel of land in the Parish of Catahoula on the right bank of the Washitaw containing 640 acres, registered in the land office of Red River as #75 and acquired by settlement right to THEOPALUS HUGHES who settled the land between 1801-1804, being same purchased from HUGHES by HENRY and afterwards confirmed by Act of Congress to HENRY, formerly claimed by JOHN CRANE ... now being sold to JOHN J. BOWIE ... s/ JOHN HENRY, JOHN J. BOWIE, RICHARD KING, HON. K. GORDON, JOHN PETERKIN, G.B. STRINGER

521C 4 January 1825 - RICHARD KING for $100 paid him by JOHN J. BOWIE sells undivided 112 interest of 640 acres lying on right bank of Ouachita River #70-74 (same land as 520-C) - Witness: THOMAS SPRUILL, JAMES H. CONNELLEY

522C 4 January 1825 - JOHN J. BOWIE sells to RICHARD KING for $300 an undivided one-half interest in 320 acres and 1/2 of 640 acres conveyed by JOHN HENRY to JOHN J. BOWRE and RICHARD KING ... Witness: THOMAS C. SPRUILL, JAMES H. CONNELLEY

527C 9 January 1823 - We, JAMES BOWIE of the Parish of Rapides, and JOHN J. BOWIE of the Parish of Catahoula, for $600 paid us by JOSEPH THOMAS of the Parish of Catahoula, sell tract of land in Catahoula Parish on Bayou Clair containing 600 arpents, where THOMAS now resides, entered in the Land Office of the Northern District in favour of FRANCISCO de la GARSO, their #32 ... Witness: A.W. GRAYSON, THO GRAYSON, (blank) THOMAS

537C ZECHARIAH L. KIRKLAND appoints COL. ZECHARIAH KIRKLAND as his true and lawful attorney in the suit of JOHN BOWIE - Witness: WILLIAM PARKER, FREDERICH GALLAWAY

538C 31 May 1825 - JOHN J. BOWIE appeared before Parish Judge, SAMUEL LIGHTNER, and declared that he has this date made his full obligation in favor of Bank of Louisiana for the full sum of $1000 payable on 19 May next being for loan of money granted by said corporation ... BOWIE mortgages a tract of land confining 1350 American acres lying on Sicily Island and Deer Creek, 120 acres of which is in cultivation of corn and cotton, being same confirmed by PEDRA OPOLINAR 28 Feb.1823. Also one tract containing 640 acres on Bushley Bayou confirmed to him by REZIN BOWIE 25 May 1811, known by name of Bushley Bridge lately occupied by BOWIE... Witness: S.M. HODKIN, FRANKLIN JACKSON

557C 7 June 1825 - RICHARD KING this date made an obligation in favor of the President and Directors of the Bank of Louisiana for $2500 payable on the 7th day of June next, being for the loan of money, ... mortgages tract of land on Ouachita River ... 640 acres confirmed by an act of Congress to JOHN HENRY ... also one lot in the town of Harrisonburg on Main St ... also one house and lot on Main St... also one tract of land - 270 acres - on Bushley Bayou confirmed by the Board of Commissioners to ABSALOM SCOGGINS, conveyed to JOSEPH WRIGHT ... Witness: CALEB KING, JOHN J. BOWIE


198C 27 October 1820 - Writ of Fieri Facias - against chattels and goods of JOHN HARRISON at the suit of GEORGE W. LOVELACE, Curator of the Estate of WILLIAM STORRS, also at the suit of JOHN HEALEY, and also at the suit of SPENCER GRIFFIN against JOHN HARRISON and LUCRETIA HARRISON, his wife ... /s/ EDW DORSEY, Sheriff - Witness: FRANCIS LONG, JOHN J. BOWIE

257C 9 May 1821 -JOHN J. BOWIE vs. RICHARD C. BRIGHTMAN ... Judgment in favor of Plaintiff for $117.50 ...

272C 12 June 1821 - JOHN J. BOWIE, Collector of the Parish taxes, p.163 seized a lot of ground in Harrisonburg, Lot #6, Sq. #3 owned by JOHN HARRISON to satisfy taxes owed by JOHN HARRISON - put up for public sale PHILIP CALDWELL became the purchaser for $61. /s/ JOHN J. BOWIE, Witness: A.M. ROBERTSON, FREDERICK M. HUNTER

276C 2 July 1821 - JOHN J. BOWIE sells to WILLIAM DOSS for $700 a negro boy, JERMAN, about 15 years old... /s/ JOHN J. BOWIE - Witness: CHARLES CRAIG, RHESA BOWIE

279C 7 July 1821 - Writ of Fieri Facias against ISRAEL ALEXANDER p. 167 at the suit of JOHN J. BOWIE... seize 320 acres at south fork of Bayou Bushley... put up for public sale -- RICHARD KING became purchaser for $73../s/ EDWARD DORSEY - Witness: JOS. WILLIAMS, SPENCER GRIFFIN


727C 2 December 1828 - Appeared JAMES BOWIE by JOHN J. BOWIE of Arkansas Territory, attorney in fact authorized by Power of Attorney, for the sum of $500 paid by JOHN STUART, sells tract of land containing 1015 American acres situated on Deer Creek founded on an order of survey granted to ANTOINE COURVELL by GOVERNOR GAYOSO at New Orleans 15 June 1798 and #22 in the first class of claims and confirmed by Congress. /s/ JOHN J. BOWIE attorney in fact for JAMES BOWIE, JOHN STUART - Witness: JEFFERSON DORSEY, BURRELL JOHNSON

728C Know all men by these presents that JOHN J. BOWIE does hereby authorize and impower REZEN P. BOWIE to sell and receive payment on my lands in the Parish of Catahoula, State of Louisiana, or such parts of lands as my said attorney may think proper ... 8 July l831. Witness: R.P. BO!4'@,.E, R.J. WALKER, B.M. CLARK

p.389 8 March 1831 - Be it remembered that I, JAMES BOWIE, do authorize and empower my brother, REZIN P. BOWIE, of Sapourche Interior Louisiana to sell lands, etc. in the State of Louisiana, Territory of Arkansas, or Privince of Texas, in Mexico, and generally to do and perform my business of every kind ... and particularly to make any contracts for the purchaseor sale of moveable or immoveable property, and particularly for the sale or exchange of lands in the U.S., for lands in Texas ... and to make any such contracts with any person immegrating to Texas ... Parish of Lafourche ... /s/ JAMES BOWIE Witness: R.J. WALKER, ELIJAH BELL

September 1831 - REZIN BOWIE, attorney in fact for my brother, JOHN J. BOWIE of Arkansas, and JAMES BOWIE of Texas, sale of 4000 arpens of land to WILKINS Z. WALKER, property owned in Catahoula, Rapides and Ouachita by the BOWIEs ... /s/ R.P. BOWIE, JAMES BOWIE, JOHN J. BOWIE by their attorney R.P. BOWIE - Witness: JOHN MAXWELL


834C 13 February 1829 - JAMES BOWIE appeared by his agent and attorney in fact, JOHN J. BOWIE, and for $400 paid him by DAVID McCLURE, sells tract of land lying on Bayou Mason - 677 acres - being same granted to JACQUES DUMINI by GOVERNOR MIRO on 7 April 1790 and registered in the land office North of Red River #26 ... Witness: L.W. McCLURE, ZACHARIAH BROOKS

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On 29 Jun 2016 at 15:06 GMT Esmé (Pieterse) van der Westhuizen wrote:

Bowie-301 and Bowie-451 appear to represent the same person because: Same data - Parents to be merged as well

John is 14 degrees from Caryl Ruckert, 14 degrees from Harriet Stowe and 15 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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