Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo

A Guide to the Lucy Leigh Bowie Papers, 1896-1957



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Bowie, Lucy Leigh, 1872-1966
Title: Lucy Leigh Bowie Papers
Dates: 1896-1957
Creator Abstract: A life-long resident of Maryland, Lucy Leigh Bowie (1872-1966) was an avid state and family history researcher. She published a number of articles in historical journals, particularly the Maryland Historical Magazine. She also pursued an interest in Jim Bowie and the Bowie knife, presenting a paper on the subject in 1916 and continuing her research throughout her life.
Content Abstract: The papers consist of correspondence, articles, notes, and photographs produced and accumulated in the course of research into the life of James Bowie, his family, and the origins of the Bowie knife.
Identification: Col 875
Extent: 0.83 linear feet (2 boxes)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

Biographical Note

A life-long resident of Maryland, Lucy Leigh Bowie (1872-1966) was an avid state and family history researcher. She published a number of articles in historical journals, particularly the Maryland Historical Magazine. She also pursued an interest in Jim Bowie and the Bowie knife, presenting a paper on the subject in 1916 and continuing her research throughout her life.


Scope and Content Note

The Lucy Leigh Bowie Papers consist of correspondence, articles, notes, and photographs produced and accumulated in the course of research into the life of Alamo defender James Bowie, his family, and the origins of the Bowie knife. The papers are arranged into series by document type.


 

Organization of Collection

This collection is organized into five series.
Series 1: Correspondence
Series 2: Articles, research material, and notes
Series 3: Photographs, prints, and drawings
Series 4: Artifact
Series 5: Separated photographs

Restrictions

Access Restrictions

No restrictions. The collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Please be advised that the library does not hold the copyright to most of the material in its archival collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure those rights when needed. Permission to reproduce does not constitute permission to publish. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright, literary property rights, and libel.


Index Terms

Personal Names
Bowie, Lucy Leigh, 1872-1966.
Bowie, James, d. 1836.
Bowie, Walter Worthington, 1858-1938.
Bowie family.
Soniat, Elve Bowie Moore, b. 1842.
Subjects
Alamo defenders.
Bowie knife.
Genres/Formats
Personal papers.
Correspondence.
Manuscripts.
Photographs.
Research notes.

Related Material

Lucie Leigh Bowie Collection, 1795-1959, MS 1755, Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, Maryland.

Bowie Family Papers, 1748-1956, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Walter Lord Archive, 1957-1968, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

James Bowie Papers, 1831-1904, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

W. W. Fontaine Papers, 1057-1916, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

John S. Moore Letters, 1890, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Ben Caldwell Prather Papers, 1781-1973, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Lucy Leigh Bowie Papers, 1896-1957, Col 875, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Benjamin D. Palmer through the efforts of Mrs. Clyde Sierk, Alamo Director, and Mrs. Richard Halter, Alamo Hostess, 1958 May.

Processing Information

Processed by Warren Stricker, 1992 August.

Finding aid edited and encoded by Caitlin Donnelly, 2010 October.


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series 1: Correspondence, 1896-1957

Correspondence includes letters received by Lucy Leigh Bowie from Bowie descendents and other researchers in connection with her investigations, the bulk of these items dating from 1916-1919. Also included are letters received by others, particularly letters written by Elve Bowie Moore Soniat, most of them apparently directed to Walter Worthington Bowie in connection with his Bowie research. Most of these letters obtained by Lucy Leigh Bowie date from 1896-1898. The letters are filed in chronological order. Items enclosed with correspondence are filed in this series.
Box Folder
1 1 Elve A. Bowie Moore Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Mr. Bowie, 1896 February 28.
2 E. A. B. Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Mr. Bowie, 1896 March 11.
3 Elve Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Mr. Bowie, 1896 March 15 [date altered to 1897].
4 Elve A. B. Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Mr. Bowie, 1896 March 28.
5 Elve Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to My Dear Friend, 1896 March 31.
6 Elve Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Dr. H. Strafford Bowie, Baltimore, Maryland, 1896 April 28.
7 Elve Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Mon Cousin, 1896 May 12.
8 Elve A. B. Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Mr. Bowie, 1896 May 20.
9 Elve Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Mon Cousin, 1896 June 10.
10 Lulu L. Nelson, Vicksburg, Mississippi, to Allen T. Bowie, 1896 June 21.
11 Lulu Leatherman Nelson, Vicksburg, Mississippi, to Walter Worthington Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1896 July 23.
12 Elve A. B. Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Mon Cousin, 1896 August 15.
13 Elve Soniat to Mr. Bowie [item torn], [1896?] October 19.
14 Lulu L. Nelson, Vicksburg, Mississippi, to Mr. Bowie, 1896 November 12.
15 Elve Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Mrs. Bowie [envelope addressed to Dr. H. Strafford Bowie], 1896 November 21.
16 Elve Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Mrs. Bowie [possibly incomplete], 1897 January 30.
17 Elve Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Dear Friend, with enclosed newspaper clipping, 1897 February 23.
18 Elve Bowie Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Dear Friend, 1897 March 8.
19 William Corner, San Antonio, Texas, to W. Worthington Bowie, 1897 May 2.
20 Possibly Elve Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Mr. Bowie, with enclosed notes and letterhead, 1897 May 29.
21 Lulu Leatherman Nelson, Vicksburg, Mississippi, to My Dear Cousin, 1897 July 14.
22 Elve Soniat to Mr. Bowie, 1897 July 26.
23 Elve Soniat to Dear Friend, 1897 September 20.
24 Elve Soniat to Dear Friend, 1897 October 14.
25 Elve Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Dear Friend, 1897 November 10.
26 Elve Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, to W. W. Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1898 January 18.
27 Elve Soniat to unknown recipient, circa 1898 January-February.
28 Elve Soniat to unknown recipient, [1898?] February 9.
29 J. Moore Soniat to Dear Sir, 1898 March 30.
30 William Clegg, Lafayette, Louisiana, to R. S. Perry, New Iberia, Louisiana, 1898 April 12.
31 Robert S. Perry, New Iberia, Louisiana, to Elve A. Bowie Soniat, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1898 April 17. On reverse and margins, Elve Soniat to Dear Friend, [1898?] April 20.
32 Elve Soniat to unknown recipient, [circa 1898] September 23.
33 Bettie Meriwether to Mr. Bowie, 1898 December 8.
34 Elve Soniat to unknown recipient, circa 1898.
35 Possibly Elve Soniat to unknown recipient [incomplete], circa 1898.
36 H. C. Mercer, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, to A. Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1916 January 31.
37 Minnie W. Bowie to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., postmarked 1916 February 23.
38 Guy Nichols, New York, to John Leeds Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1916 March 11.
39 Washington Bowie, Jr., Baltimore, Maryland, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1916 April 6.
40 James Lockhart Goodloe, Memphis, Tennessee, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1916 April 21.
41 Harry B. Mackoy, Cincinnati, Ohio, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1916 April 28.
42 Washington Bowie, Jr., Baltimore, Maryland, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., with enclosed photograph, 1916 May 3.
43 H. B. Mackoy, Cincinnati, Ohio, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1916 May 4.
44 H. B. Mackoy, Cincinnati, Ohio, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1916 June 29.
45 Leonardo de la Garza to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., with enclosed lists of questions and responses, 1916 August 17.
46 Martha McCulloch-Williams, Clarksville, Tennessee, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1916 September 12.
47 Martha McCulloch-Williams, Clarksville, Tennessee, to Laura [Lucy] Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1916 September 20.
48 Martha McCulloch-Williams, Clarksville, Tennessee, to Laura [Lucy] Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1916 October 23.
49 W. W. Bowie, Washington, D.C., to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1917 February 28.
50 Helen H. Wright, Washington, D.C., to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1917 March 16.
51 James Lockhart Goodloe, Memphis, Tennessee, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1917 March 26.
52 James Lockhart Goodloe, Memphis, Tennessee, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1917 April 23.
53 James Lockhart Goodloe, Memphis, Tennessee, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1917 May 7.
54 James Lockhart Goodloe, Memphis, Tennessee, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1917 May 16.
55 W. W. Bowie, Washington, D.C., to Lucy Leigh Bowie, 1917 June 26. Enclosed letter, possibly Josiah H. Shinn to W. W. Bowie, undated.
56 Dan W. Jones, Little Rock, Arkansas, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., with enclosed typescript, Dan W. Jones, "The True History of the Bowie Knife and its Inventor, James Black," 1917 August 13.
57 Dan W. Jones, Little Rock, Arkansas, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1917 September 28.
58 N. O. Winter, Toledo, Ohio, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1917 December 20.
59 L. L. Bowie, Washington, D.C., to Postmaster, Honey Grove, Texas, 1918 January 21. Reply from S. H. Gardner, Honey Grove, Texas, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, 1918 February 13.
60 Arthur Willis, Washington, D.C., to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1918 August 24.
61 F. K. Swain, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1918 August 28.
62 R. C. Ballard Thruston, Louisville, Kentucky, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., 1919 October 27.
63 R. C. Ballard Thruston, Louisville, Kentucky, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Washington, D.C., with enclosed photograph, 1919 December 27.
64 W. W. Bowie, Washington, D.C., to Lucy Leigh Bowie, 1936 March 19.
65 J. Frank Dobie, Austin, Texas, to Lucy Leigh Bowie, Baltimore, Maryland, 1945 July 12.
66 Audubon R. Davis, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, to H. D. Berry, Jr., Baltimore, Maryland, 1953 July 28. On reverse, Lucy Leigh Bowie to A. R. Davis, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1954 May 15.
67 Lucy Leigh Bowie to Mr. Palmer, 1955 March 9.
68 Lucy Leigh Bowie to Mr. Palmer, 1956 July 13.
69 Lucy Leigh Bowie to Mr. Palmer [copy], 1957 May 29.
70 Virginia Berkley Bowie to Lucy Leigh Bowie, with enclosed typescript, Virginia Berkley Bowie, "The Story of James Bowie," undated.



 

Series 2: Articles, research materials, and notes, 1902-1916

The second series consists of notes and articles produced by Lucy Leigh Bowie and source material used in her research. Most of the notes seem to have been taken during work on a paper on James Bowie and the Bowie knife, which was presented to the Bucks County Historical Society of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, in 1916. Mixed in with the notes are draft versions of short segments of the paper. Corrected versions of the paper, in manuscript and typescript form, are also included here, as are several copies of another, untitled, paper, possibly an earlier version. Material such as pamphlets, reprints, and typescript copies from various sources, are likewise located here.
Box Folder
2 71 Lucy Leigh Bowie, "The Bowie Knife," typescript, corrected copy; paper presented to a meeting of the Bucks County Historical Society, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1916 June 17, and published in the Doylestown Daily Intelligencer, 1916 June 20.
72 Lucy Leigh Bowie, "The Bowie Knife," typescript, "First typed copy."
73 Lucy Leigh Bowie, "The Bowie Knife," typescript.
74 Lucy Leigh Bowie, "The Bowie Knife," typescript.
75 Lucy Leigh Bowie, "The Bowie Knife," manuscript draft.
76 Lucy Leigh Bowie, "The Bowie Knife," incomplete typescript.
77 Lucy Leigh Bowie, "Col. Jas. Bowie's Knife," manuscript draft.
78 "Col. James Bowie and the Bowie Knife," manuscript draft.
79 James Bowie, manuscript draft.
80 James Bowie, manuscript draft.
81 James Bowie, manuscript draft.
82 James Bowie, manuscript drafts.
83 "Genealogy of the Bowies," "The Bowies Come to America," and untitled account; typescripts sent to Evelyn Brogan by J. M. Soniat.
84 Excerpts, sources on James Bowie and Bowie knife, typescript copies, 3 items.
85 Henry C. Mercer, "The Tools of the Nation Maker," pamphlet, 1907.
86 Morris Sheppard, "Speech of Hon. Morris Sheppard of Texas in the Senate of the United States, Friday, April 21, 1916," Congressional Record, reprint.
87 Notebook: "Data Col. James Bowie. La. and Texas."
88 Notes from letters of Elve Soniat to H. B. Mackoy, 1902 and 1904.
89 Notes/drafts.
90 Notes/drafts.
91 Notes/drafts.
92 Notecards.
93 Call slips: Library of Congress, books on Bowie.
94 Miscellaneous envelopes, printed material.



 

Series 3: Photographs, prints, and drawings, undated

Photographs, prints, and drawings include a photograph of a Bowie knife, and miscellaneous graphic material. Some of the photographs included in the papers were removed prior to final processing and are now located in general photograph collections. These items are described in the fifth series. Photographs originally enclosed in letters are filed with the correspondence to which they were attached.
Box Folder
2 95 Photograph: Bowie knife owned by Washington Bowie, Jr.
96 Drawing: knife and sheath.
97 Lithograph: "Plan of New Orleans in 1770, by Captn. Pittman of the British Army," Sarony and Major, New York, undated.
98 Lithograph: "A View of the Alamo," copyright S. S. McClure Co., undated.



 

Series 4: Artifact, undated

Box Folder
1 99 Reproduction of a knife, made from sheet metal.



 

Series 5: Separated photographs, undated

Photograph: James Bowie, 7 x 5 1/2, inscription on reverse: "Born at Ellicot Springs, Tenn. in 1795, died March 6th, 1836 at 'The Alamo,' Texas. Col. Texas Volunteers in the War for Independence." Located in photo file: James Bowie.
Photograph: Rezin Bowie, 7 x 5 1/2, inscription on reverse: "Col. Rezin Pleasant Bowie, Born at Ellicot Springs, Tenn. Sept. 8th, 1793, Died in New Orleans, La. Jan. 18th, 1841. Col of the Avoyelles Mounted Riflemen." Located in photo file: Rezin Bowie.
Photograph: Bowie knife, 5 x 7, inscription on reverse: "Original Bowie Knife." Located in photo file: Bowie Knife (duplicate of photographs in files box 1, folder 42 and box 2, folder 95).
Photographs: Bowie knife owned by Dr. Campbell, 2-2 1/2 x 4 1/4, inscription on reverse of 1. "Type of Bowie-knife selected by Col James Bowie to equip the Texan troops. Belongs to Dr. Campbell, San Antonio, Texas," 2. "8 inches long." Located in photo file: Bowie Knife.
Glass plate negative: James Bowie, 5 x 7, inscription at bottom: "Son of Rezin Bowie Sr. of La." Located in glass plate negative collection (copy print in photo file: James Bowie).
Glass plate negative: Rezin Bowie, 5 x 7, inscription at bottom: "Son of Rezin Bowie Sr. of S.C. and La., Col. Rezin Pleasant Bowie." Located in glass plate negative collection (copy print in photo file: Rezin Bowie).
Glass plate negative: Bowie knife, 5 x 7. Located in glass plate negative collection (duplicate of photographs in box 1, folder 42; box 2, folder 95; and item 3 above).
Glass plate negative: Bowie knife, 5 x 7. Located in glass plate negative collection (duplicate of item 4 above).