Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Bowman Collection, 1770-1837

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, November 2011

Summary Information
Title: Bowman collection
Creator: Bowman family
Inclusive dates: 1770-1837
Bulk dates: 1794-1837
Extent: 22 items
The Bowman collection contains financial documents, correspondence, and essays related to the family of Samuel Bowman of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The material reflects financial, legal, and personal affairs of various Bowman family members.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1994. M-3028.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Bowman Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


Samuel Bowman (b. December 2, 1753), became a Continental Army captain during the American Revolution. On November 3, 1784, he married Eleanor Ledlie, and in 1789 the couple moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where Samuel became a farmer. Among their children were Mary (b. 1791), Eliza (1793-1848), William Ledlie (1798-1848), Samuel (b. 1800), Alexander Hamilton (b. 1803), and Ellen Stuart (b. 1805). Samuel Bowman died on June 25, 1818.

Samuel's brother Ebenezer (1757-1829) served in the Continental Army during the battles of Lexington and Concord, graduated from Harvard in 1782, and lived in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and in New York City.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Bowman collection contains financial documents, correspondence, and essays related to the family of Samuel Bowman of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Two early receipts, dated 1770 and 1771, pertain to the financial affairs of William Ledlie, Captain Samuel Bowman's father-in-law. Other receipts from the 1790s, indicate Bowman's purchase of "twenty Gallons of Whiskey and one Cask," and a transaction involving a horse; one later financial document records an order for schoolbooks in 1809 made by Jacob Morris, a Revolutionary War colonel.

Several legal documents throughout the collection document land holdings of the Bowman family, as well as additional fiscal matters; these include a sworn statement about Ebenezer Bowman's debts (November 10, 1821), a deed for land owned by the estate of Jesse Fell near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania [1831], and a notice of a pending lawsuit against William Ledlie Bowman (February 20, 1837).

The collection also holds personal correspondence, including, among other material, one anonymous, religious letter (May 29, 1797), and an item about local military recruitment efforts (February 4, 1800). Among the additional materials are a celebratory essay written on July 4, 1825; an article about local lawyer Mr. Phillips, addressed to the editor of the Wyoming Herald; and an essay composed "On Nothing."

Subject Terms

    • Pennsylvania--History--18th century.
    • Pennsylvania--History--19th century.
    • Real property--Pennsylvania.
    • Wilkes-Barre (Pa.)--History--18th century.
    • Wilkes-Barre (Pa.)--History--19th century.
    • Bowman, Ebenezer, 1757-1829.
    • Bowman, Samuel, 1753-1818.
    • Bowman, William Ledlie, 1798-1848.
    Genre Terms:
    • Essays.
    • Legal documents.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Receipts (financial records)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   23, Small Collections Folders   1-3
    Bowman Collection,  April 15, 1770-February 20, 1837, and  undated [series]    [Note: Additional items housed in Oversize Manuscripts]
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Bond, Henry. Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts, including Waltham and Weston; to which is Appended the Early History of the Town. with Illustrations, Maps, and Notes. Vol. 2. Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1855.