Esias BOWMAN

Male 1763 - 1837  (74 years)


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  • Name Esias BOWMAN 
    Born 26 Aug 1763  Augusta Co. VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    _UID 8267C9137DB24CF7AB14DE5C44F5B9F1137D 
    Died Sep 1837  Washington Co. VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • DNA testing of his descendants confirm that Esias was a free man of color based on the sub-Saharan (African) markers.

      Most African Americans free in Virginia and nearby states in the colonial period were descended from relationships between indentured servants or free persons, and African or African-American indentured servants, free or slave. This reflected the fluid nature of relationships among the working classes before slave rules were made strict.

      Paul Heinegg, Free African Americans in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware and Maryland, 1999-2005, Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 2005, found that 80 percent of the people listed as "other" or "free Negroes" and "free people of color" in North Carolina in censuses from 1790-1810 were descended from African Americans free in Virginia during the colonial period. In 1822 Virginia, a person was considered legally white with up to one-fourth African ancestry (equivalent to one grandparent) Anyone interested in the origins of free African Americans should study his work, some of which is freely available online.

      http://www.freeafricanamericans.com/

      Many free African Americans, along with European-American neighbors, migrated to frontier areas of Virginia, North Carolina, and then further west. Such families sometimes settled in insular groups and were the origin of some isolated settlements, which have long claimed or were said to be of Native American or Portuguese ancestry.

      In the 18th, 19th and early 20th-centuries, some Americans of mixed European and African ancestry claimed Mediterranean, Arab or Native American heritage to explain skin color and features differing from northern Europeans.

      In the 18th and 19th centuries, most free people went by appearance. If they looked white, were accepted by neighbors and fulfilled community obligations, they were absorbed into white or European-American society.

      However, at the start of the 20th century in Virginia, Walter Ashby Plecker, the first registrar of Virginia's Bureau of Vital Statistics from 1912-1946, drafted and lobbied for the passage of the Racial Integrity Act of 1924. It institutionalized the one drop rule, meaning any person with "one drop of black blood" was considered black. It recognized only two races, "white" and "colored" (black). This did away with the existing law, which had classified persons as white who had one-sixteenth (equivalent to one great-great-grandparent) or less black ancestry.

      Because Plecker believed there were few "real" Indians left, as they had intermarried over time with other ethnic groups, he thought "colored" people were attempting to pass as "Indian." He ordered state agencies to reclassify most citizens' claiming American Indian identity as "colored," although many groups of Virginia Indians had continued in their cultural identity, practices and communities.

      Plecker's policies had a devastating effect on those with Native American or mixed race ancestry. If they couldn't "pass" for white then they were considered black. No diversity allowed until the 1960's.

      REVOLUTIONARY WAR SERVICE

      Esaias Bowman fought at the Battle of King's Mountain in the Revolutionary War. He was one of five men of color fought at the Battle of Kings Mountain. The others were Andrew Ferguson, Primes (no last name), Ismael Titus, and John Broddy.

      COURT RECORDS

      He was a slave-owner. On November 9, 1814, a court document states that he had seven slaves: "Seasor, Tiller, Hannah, William, Jerry, Ruth and Joseph". In 1826, he mortgaged Hannah to one David Campbell for $130.92.

      Washington County, VA Slave Importations, Washington County, VA Will Book 4 Pg. 110 [Extracted & Transcribed by Billy Markland]

      A Statement of Negroes brought into this State by Isaiah Bowman moveing [sic] from the State of Tennessee viz,

      Seasor a Negro man about six feet high & about 30 years of age of a dark complexion, also Tiller his wife about five feet five inches high & about 25 years of age dark complexion, Also four children Hannah a girl Eight years of age of a dark complexion, Also William a boy about six years of age of a dark complexion, Also Jerry a boy about four years of age of a dark complexion, Also Ruth a girl of about two years of age dark complexion, And Joseph a Negro man about Eighteen years of age and of a dark complexion and about five feet six inches high.

      [Esaias?] Bowman

      Washington Co. Va. Court Minutes Vol 2, p. 214 Moses WHITACRE for benefit of Isaiah Bowman plt. vs. John RUNNELS. Money owed from Dec. 1819.

      Washington Co. VA Estray Book 1, 1813-1860, p. 107: estray steer shewn to us by HIRAM FLEENOR; white steer with red speck; $4 18 Dec 1832. /s/ ESAIAS BOWMAN

      WILL AND PROBATE

      In his will of August 24, 1837, he freed all of his slaves upon his death, which at that time included Teller ("age about 56"), Jerry ("about 27 next Sept 3"), Ruth ("age 34 next Mar 6"), and Agnes Dinah ("age 21 May next 27").

      WASHINGTON CO. Va. Chancery Order Bk. A 1831-47
      p. 32 May 1843 Moses Whitaker and wife and some others say living children of ESIAS BOWMAN, deceased divided estate without dividing for dead children?s decedents.

      p. 182 Moses Whitaker and wife and others vs. Samuel BOWMAN and others. p. 182 Will to be filed as last will and test. of Esaias BOWMAN, dec.
    Person ID I2513  Master File
    Last Modified 24 Aug 2012 

    Family Ann Cawood 
    Children 
     1. Samuel L. BOWMAN,   b. 13 May 1788, Washington Co. VA Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Nancy Ann BOWMAN,   b. 1790, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Oct 1851, Washington Co. VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years)
     3. Benjamin BOWMAN,   b. 1792, Washington Co. VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. ca 1858, Washington Co. VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years)
     4. Esias BOWMAN, Jr.,   b. 1794
     5. Absalom BOWMAN
     6. Mary (Polly) BOWMAN,   b. Abt 1805, TN Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Feb 1870, Washington Co. VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 65 years)
     7. George Washington BOWMAN
     8. Aaron BOWMAN
    Last Modified 30 Jul 2012 
    Family ID F1798  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart