Richard Bowie

Richard Johns Bowie (June 23, 1807 – March 12, 1881) was an American politician and jurist.

Born in Georgetown, Washington, D. C., Bowie attended the public schools and Brookville Academy. He studied law and graduated from the Georgetown Law School in 1826, commencing practice soon thereafter in the District. He was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States in 1829.

Bowie moved to Rockville, Maryland, engaged in agricultural pursuits, and also practiced law. He served as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1835 to 1837, served in the Maryland State Senate from 1837 to 1841, was delegate to the Whig National Convention at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1840, and was State's attorney for Montgomery County, Maryland from 1844 to 1849.

Bowie was elected as a Whig to the Thirty-first and Thirty-second Congresses, serving from March 4, 1849, to March 3, 1853. He was an unsuccessful Whig candidate for Governor of Maryland in 1853, and resumed the practice of his profession in Rockville.

Bowie served as chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals from 1861 to 1867. In 1863, he was detained by Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart near Rockville, Maryland, but was released soon thereafter. He later served as chief judge of the sixth judicial circuit of Maryland, and as such also an associate judge of the court of appeals of Maryland, from November 7, 1871 until his death near Rockville. He is interred in Rockville Cemetery.


  • United States Congress. "Richard Bowie (id: B000694)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Biography at the Maryland State Archives
Party political offices
Preceded by
William B. Clarke
Whig nominee for Governor of Maryland
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Grant Chapman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 1st congressional district

March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1853
Succeeded by
John Rankin Franklin
Legal offices
Preceded by
John Carroll LeGrand
Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals
Succeeded by
James Lawrence Bartol