[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]

This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

[decorative delimiter]

 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1829

Vol. I

(Born Mas.)

George R. J. Bowdoin​1

(Ap'd Mas.)


George Russel James Bowdoin: Born Nov. 14, 1809.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1825, to July 1, 1829, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut., 1st Infantry, July 1, 1829.

Served at the Headquarters of the Eastern Department, on Staff duty, 1829‑32.

Resigned, Aug. 31, 1832.

Civil History. — Counselor at Law, New York city, 1832‑70. Lieut.‑Colonel, July 23, 1846, of 4th Reg. N. Y. Volunteers, raised for the War with Mexico, but not mustered into service.

Died, Mar. 14, 1870, at London, Eng.: Aged 60.

Buried, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow, NY.

 p444  Biographical Sketch.

George Russel James Bowdoin was born, Nov. 14, 1809, in Massachusetts, and died Mar. 14, 1870, in London, England. Bowdoin descended from a very high lineage, including among its members the Temples, the Bowdoins, the Winthrops, and the Sullivans. Before he was sixteen years of age he became a cadet at West Point, and was graduated from the Military Academy, July 1, 1829, under the name of George Russel Sullivan, to which, when twenty-one, he for the latter substituted James Bowdoin, in compliance with the will of his maternal great uncle, the only son of Governor Bowdoin of Massachusetts. From his promotion, July 1, 1829, to be a Bvt. Second Lieutenant of the First Regiment of Infantry, till his resignation from the Army, Aug. 31, 1832, he served at the Headquarters of the Eastern Department on Staff duty.

Upon leaving the military service he became a Counselor at Law in New York, in which profession, by his untiring industry, quick intelligence, and excellent judgment, he rose to be one of the leaders of the bar of the city. As the senior partner of the firm of Bowdoin, Larocque, & Barlow, he was intrusted, probably, with as many important negotiations, as many delicate secrets, and the management of as many trusts, as any other lawyer in the city. How wise and safe an adviser, how careful, judicious, and upright a trustee he was, none can know so well as the many who benefited by his wisdom and integrity.

After the War with Mexico began, he promptly decided to follow the flag under which he had been educated, and became, July 23, 1846, the Lieut.‑Colonel of the 4th New York Volunteers, raised for the war, but, the State quota being full, he was not mustered into service.

Bowdoin married the granddaughter of Alexander Hamilton, thus becoming allied to the Hamiltons, Schuylers, and Van Rensselaers. He was not merely a man of honor and a sound lawyer, but was a gentleman of the highest morals and most polished manners. Strictly scrupulous of the self-respect of others, he was careful that others should be, or should be made to be, equally scrupulous of his own. He was thoroughly democratic in his feelings and in his deportment, and had he ever aspired to political distinction his personal popularity would have insured him success; but he confined himself exclusively to his profession, as a safer and more honorable course than anything that the devious ways of modern politics could offer.

The Author's Note:

1 Named George R. Sullivan when he was graduated.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 29 Jun 10