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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Arrangement of the Collection

Restrictions

Access Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Family papers, 1803-1850

Ministerial papers, 1815-1867

Southern Methodist University

Collection of Elias and Abigail Bowen family papers

A Guide to the Collection



Overview

Creator: Bridwell Library
Title: Collection of Elias and Abigail Bowen family papers
Inclusive Dates: 1803-1867
Bulk Dates: 1815-1855
Abstract: Bridwell Library’s collection of Elias and Abigail Bowen family papers comprises 166 letters, a sermon, and three additional documents relating to the Rev. Elias Bowen (1791-1870), his wife Abigail Birdseye Bowen, (1803-1871), and Rev. Bowen’s ministerial career in the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Accession No: BridArch 303.64
Extent: 3 boxes (1.25 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

The Rev. Elias Bowen, D.D., was born on June 16, 1791 in Warwick, Massachusetts, the son of John and Sarah Briggs Bowen. He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1814. Shortly afterwards Bowen entered the ministry, serving in central New York state and a single year, 1818, in Lower Canada (Quebec). He married Abigail Birdseye in 1821. The couple had eleven children.

At the time of his retirement in 1857, Bowen had served eighteen years in the itinerancy and twenty-four years as a Presiding Elder. During his ministry, Bowen was elected delegate to seven Methodist Episcopal Church General Conferences. He also served multiple terms as a Trustee of Cazenovia Seminary between 1824 and 1857. In August of 1846 Hamilton College conferred upon Rev. Bowen the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.

Bowen was a noted abolitionist among Methodists. He left the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1869 and joined the Free Methodist Church, believing that body to be more authentically Wesleyan. He died on October 25, 1870 at the age of 79. Abigail Bowen died in 1871.

Rev. Bowen’s published writings include several sermons and two monographs, Slavery in the Methodist Episcopal Church (1859) and History of the Origin of the Free Methodist Church (1871).

Sources:

Lamb, J. William. “J. William Lamb Discovers Elias Bowen Letters at Southern Methodist University.” The Northeastern United Methodist Historical Bulletin, no. 112 (2000): 1-2.

Hogue, Wilson T. History of the Free Methodist Church of North America. Winona Lake, Indiana: The Free Methodist Publishing House, 1938.

Reddy, William. First Fifty Years of Cazenovia Seminary, 1825-1875: Its History, Proceedings of the Semi-Centennial Jubilee, General Catalogue. Cazenovia, N.Y.: 1877.

The Northern Galaxy. “Commencements” August 11, 1846. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ accessed 07/24/2013.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

Through personal letters, business correspondence, and additional papers, this collection documents the family life of Elias Bowen and his wife, Abigail Birdseye Bowen, and Rev. Bowen’s work as a minister and Presiding Elder in the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into two series:
Series 1: Family papers, 1803-1850
Series 2: Ministerial papers, 1815-1867

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Restrictions

Access to Collection:

The collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the Bridwell Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

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Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Bowen family.
Bowen, Elias.
Bowen, Abigail.
Methodist Episcopal Church -- Clergy.
Letters.
Sermons.

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Related Material

Elias Bowen papers, #2111. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

Elias Bowen letters to Phoebe Palmer, Theol. Film 685, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Collection of Elias and Abigail Bowen family papers, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Acquired prior to 2009.

Processing Information

This collection was arranged and described by Timothy Binkley, 2013.

Finding aid written by

Timothy Binkley, 2013.

Encoded by

Ada Negraru, 2013.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series 1:
Family papers, 1803-1850

The first series contains letters received by Elias and Abigail Bowen from family members and from each other. The letters are organized in alphabetical order by the sender’s surname. Three additional documents are filed in this series. Two concern daughter Betsy Bowen, who died on February 5, 1825 at the age of 22. The third is a court record from 1803.
Box Folder
1 01 Irene Birdseye letter to Elias Bowen, 1833 April 7
02 Irene Birdseye letter to Elias Bowen, 1833 August 31
03 John Birdseye letter to Elias Bowen, 1834 April 9
04 Levi Birdseye letter to Abigail Bowen, 1821 August 14
05 Levi Birdseye letter to Abigail Bowen, 1821 September 12
06 Levi Birdseye letter to Abigail Bowen, 1822 January 6
07 Levi Birdseye letter to Abigail Bowen, 1822 January 26
08 Levi Birdseye letter to Abigail Bowen, 1822 April 28
09 Levi Birdseye letter to Elias Bowen, 1823 April 5
10 Levi Birdseye letter to Elias Bowen, 1831 January 15
11 Levi Birdseye letter to Abigail Bowen, 1831 August 26
12 Ursula Birdseye letter to Abigail Bowen, 1822 January 30
13 Abigail Birdseye Bowen letter to Elias Bowen, 1820 October 23
14 Abigail Birdseye Bowen letter to Elias Bowen, 1825 August 14
15 Abigail Birdseye Bowen letter to Elias Bowen, 1826 April 17
16 Abigail Birdseye Bowen letter to Elias Bowen, 1831 May 3
17 Abigail Birdseye Bowen letter to Elias Bowen, 1849 July 21
18 Abigail Birdseye Bowen letter to Elias Bowen, 1850 May 14
19 Document: A few passages in Job transcribed by Betsy Bowen, undated, circa 1820-1825
20 Document: Betsy Bowen’s Last Will and Testament, 1825 February 8
21 Elias Bowen letter to Mrs. And Miss King, 1819 March 15
22 Elias Bowen letter to Abigail Birdseye, 1820 October 21
23 Elias Bowen letter to John and Sarah Bowen concerning the death of Betsy Bowen, 1825 February 8
24 Elias Bowen letter to Abigail Bowen, 1825 September 27
25 Elias Bowen letter to Abigail Bowen, 1825 December 5
26 Elias Bowen letter to Abigail Bowen, 1825 December 26
27 Elias Bowen letter to Abigail Bowen, 1826 April 18
28 Elias Bowen letter to Abigail Bowen, 1826 April 24
29 Elias Bowen letter to Abigail Bowen, 1827 September 6
30 Elias Bowen letter to Abigail Bowen, 1831 May 3
31 Elias Bowen letter to Abigail Bowen, 1833 April 29
32 Elias Bowen letter to Abigail Bowen, 1833 June 23
33 Elias Bowen letter to Abigail Bowen, 1844 May 19
34 Sarah Bowen letter to Elias Bowen, 1810 September 12
35 Ann Eloise Bowen Knox letter to Elias Bowen, 1841 August 25
36 Ann Eloise Bowen Knox letter to Abigail Bowen, 1841 December 22
37 Ann Eloise Bowen Knox letter to Elias Bowen, 1842 January 16
38 Double letter: Ann Eloise Bowen Knox letter to Elias Bowen, 1842 March 4, and Loren L. Knox letter to Elias Bowen, 1842 March 4
39 Ann Eloise Bowen Knox letter to Elias Bowen, 1849 January 8
40 Ann Eloise Bowen Knox letter to Elias Bowen, 1849 February 8
41 Loren L. Knox letter to Elias Bowen, 1841 December 7
42 Harriet P. Bowen Miller letter to Abigail Bowen, 1844 October 10
43 Document: Court record, 1803 April 4

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Series 2:
Ministerial papers, 1815-1867

The ministerial papers in this series begin with an undated sermon written by Elias Bowen. All other items are letters received by Rev. Bowen. The letters are filed in alphabetical order by the sender’s surname.
Box Folder
1 44 Elias Bowen sermon on Romans 5:1, undated
45 James L. Alverson letter to Elias Bowen, 1842 November 1
46 James L. Alverson letter to Elias Bowen, 1844 March 22
47 William Alvis letter to Elias Bowen, circa 1842-45 February 18
48 Anonymous letter to Elias Bowen? undated
49 Charles A. Austin letter to Elias Bowen, 1841 February 4
50 David Ayres letter to Elias Bowen, undated
51 David Ayres and B. B. Armitage letter to Elias Bowen, 1827 October 23
52 David Ayres letter to Elias Bowen, 1823 February 25
53 Joseph Baker letter to Elias Bowen, 1830 January 8
54 Henry Bannister letter to Elias Bowen, 1845 May 14
55 Zetto Barns letter to Elias Bowen, 1852 March 12
56 William Barlow letter to Elias Bowen, 1820 April 11
57 Joseph Belcher letter to Elias Bowen, 1835 September 15
58 J. B. Benhnam letter to Elias Bowen, 1835 May 19
59 J. B. Benhnam letter to Elias Bowen, 1852 June 27
60 J. B. Benhnam letter to Elias Bowen, 1856 April 15
61 Thomas E. Bond letter to Elias Bowen, 1841 September 18
62 D. W. Bristol letter to Elias Bowen, 1851 December 1
63 D. W. Bristol letter to Elias Bowen, 1852 December 20
Box Folder
2 01 Jonathan Calkins letter to Elias Bowen, 1816 May 20
02 Jonathan Calkins letter to Elias Bowen, 1816 June 24
03 William Case letter to Elias Bowen, 1818 August 22
04 William Case letter to Elias Bowen, 1819 January 20
05 William Case letter to Elias Bowen, 1819 October 14
06 William Case letter to Elias Bowen, 1822 May 1
07 William Case letter to Elias Bowen, 1822 June 5
08 William Case letter to Elias Bowen, 1822 August 4
09 William Case letter to Elias Bowen, 1823 April 16
10 William Case letter to Elias Bowen, 1824 March 15
11 William Case letter to Elias Bowen, 1826 April 14
12 William Case letter to Elias Bowen, 1829 April 23
13 William Case letter to Elias Bowen, 1830 February 8
14 Andrew Clark letter to Elias Bowen, 1825 June 4
15 A. J. Crandall letter to Elias Bowen, 1844 March 22
16 A. J. Crandall letter to Elias Bowen, 1847 February 22
17 Aaron Davis letter to Elias Bowen, 1820 November 24
18 L. D. Davis letter to Elias Bowen, 1856 June 11
19 James C. Delong letter to Elias Bowen, 1820 August 22
20 George W. Densmore letter to Elias Bowen, undated
21 Lyman A. Eddy letter to Elias Bowen, 1837 December 4
22 R. C. Fox letter to Elias Bowen, 1852 October 5
23 George Gary letter to Elias Bowen, 1827 March 15
24 George Gary letter to Elias Bowen, 1832 March 7
25 Charles Giles letter to Elias Bowen, 1816 February 12
26 Charles Giles letter to Elias Bowen, 1822 July 3
27 Chloe G. Giles letter to Elias Bowen, 1820 September 3
28 Loring Grant letter to Elias Bowen, 1815 July 14
29 Loring Grant letter to Elias Bowen, 1815 July 21
30 Loring Grant letter to Elias Bowen, 1815 October 31
31 Isaac Grant, Jr. letter to Elias Bowen, 1816 August 15
32 Mrs. A. Gregory letter to Elias Bowen, 1829 February 5
33 A. S. Graves letter to Elias Bowen, 1851 October 8
34 John Griffin letter to Elias Bowen, 1821 September 11
35 Leonidas L. Hamline letter to Elias Bowen, 1848 January 22
36 Leonidas L. Hamline letter to Elias Bowen, 1851 November 14
37 Mrs. Hartz letter to Elias Bowen, 1817 or 1818? July 4
38 B. Hawley letter to Elias Bowen, 1848 December 21
39 B. Hawley letter to Elias Bowen, 1851 June 24
40 B. Hawley letter to Elias Bowen, 1851 July 18
41 Bishop Elijah Hedding letter to Elias Bowen, 1840 July 14
42 O. Hesler letter to Elias Bowen, 1856 June 13
43 D. Holmes letter to Elias Bowen, 1852 July 6
44 D. Holmes letter to Elias Bowen, 1852 July 18
45 William Hosmer letter to Elias Bowen, 1849
46 B. I. Ives letter to Elias Bowen, 1867 June 21
47 Leonard Johnson letter to Elias Bowen, 1848 February 17
48 Mrs. Kendall letter to Elias Bowen, 1826 December 23
49 George W. Lane letter to Elias Bowen, 1818 October 16
50 George W. Lane letter to Elias Bowen, 1823 February 5
51 George W. Lane letter to Elias Bowen, 1824 October 10
52 George W. Lane letter to Elias Bowen, 1832 August 21
53 George W. Lane letter to Elias Bowen, 1833 April 29
54 George W. Lane letter to Elias Bowen, 1851 May 14
55 Robert Langham Lusher letter to Elias Bowen, 1818 September 19
56 Robert Langham Lusher letter to Elias Bowen, 1819 July?
57 Robert Langham Lusher letter to Elias Bowen, 1826 August 5
58 Seth Mattison letter to Elias Bowen, 1823 January 20
59 Jesse Merritt letter to Elias Bowen, 1824 March 28
60 J. W. Nevins letter to Elias Bowen, 1851 July 22
61 H. Norton letter to Elias Bowen, 1821 February 24
Box Folder
3 01 B. G. Paddock letter to Elias Bowen, 1819 August 13
02 B. G. Paddock letter to Elias Bowen, 1822 February 15
03 B. G. Paddock letter to Elias Bowen, 1852 October 11
04 Zechariah Paddock letter to Elias Bowen, 1827 July 10
05 Zechariah Paddock letter to Elias Bowen, 1831 October 22
06 Zechariah Paddock letter to Elias Bowen, 1840 January 22
07 Phoebe Palmer letter to Elias Bowen, 1856 April 23
08 Isaac Parks letter to Elias Bowen, 1853 January 14
09 George Peck letter to Elias Bowen, 1825 January 24
10 S. M. Perkins letter to Elias Bowen, 1823 February 21
11 John Perkins letter to Elias Bowen, 1826 November 26
12 John Perkins letter to Elias Bowen, 1827 August 26
13 Jonathan Pitcher letter to Elias Bowen, 1814 January 11
14 Roswell Randall letter to Elias Bowen, 1825 March 4
15 Fitch Reed letter to Elias Bowen, 1823 January 25
16 Fitch Reed letter to Elias Bowen, 1823 December 18
17 Fitch Reed letter to Elias Bowen, 1825 February 11
18 Fitch Reed letter to Elias Bowen, 1828 March 26
19 Fitch Reed letter to Elias Bowen, 1834 April 8
20 Fitch Reed letter to Elias Bowen, 1848 February 18
21 Fitch Reed letter to Elias Bowen, 1849 September 22
22 J. E. Robie letter to Elias Bowen, 1843 January 13
23 W. C. Rogers letter to Elias Bowen, 1829 June 10
24 Nelson Rounds letter to Elias Bowen, 1833 February 18
25 Nelson Rounds letter to Elias Bowen, 1833 August 26
26 Nelson Rounds letter to Elias Bowen, 1838 November 20
27 Nelson Rounds letter to Elias Bowen, 1839 January 30
28 Nelson Rounds letter to Elias Bowen, 1844 March 26
29 Nelson Rounds letter to Elias Bowen, 1846 January 2
30 Nelson Rounds letter to Elias Bowen, 1847 February 9
31 H. N. Seaver letter to Elias Bowen, 1848 October 10
32 D. A. Shepard letter to Elias Bowen, 1834 November 1
33 D. A. Shepard letter to Elias Bowen, 1840 March 12
34 D. A. Shepard letter to Elias Bowen, 1841 November 2
35 D. A. Shepard letter to Elias Bowen, 1841 November 16
36 D. A. Shepard letter to Elias Bowen, 1841 November 24
37 D. A. Shepard letter to Elias Bowen, 1841 December 14
38 D. A. Shepard letter to Elias Bowen, 1842 January 13
39 D. A. Shepard letter to Elias Bowen, 1844 January 25
40 D. A. Shepard letter to Elias Bowen, 1844 March 7
41 Augustus W. Smith letter to Elias Bowen, 1831 July 9
42 E. Thomison letter to Elias Bowen, 1859 February 28
43 J. D. Torry letter to Elias Bowen, 1846 October 19
44 J. D. Torry letter to Elias Bowen, 1847 January 13
45 J. D. Torry letter to Elias Bowen, 1847 November 16
46 J. D. Torry letter to Elias Bowen, 1855 December 10
47 George F. Wicker letter to Elias Bowen, 1828 November 10

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