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Guide to the Bowers Family Papers
1686-1982
 MS 2902

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Christine George

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on April 09, 2020
Finding aid is written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Content

The Bowers Family Papers span four centuries and several generations of the Bowers family, as well as the families that the Bowers married into. It contains personal items, such as correspondence and photographs, and items from the family's land transactions. There are a large number of leases, surveys with descriptions and drawings, bonds for deed, and account ledgers. The bulk of the correspondence is from the nineteenth century and describes the family's everyday occurrences. There is also a section pertaining to genealogy that traces family connections back several centuries.

While the bulk of this collection is from and deals with the Bowers family, there are other families connected to the Bowers families that are represented in this collection. In particular, the Stewart and Smith families are prominent. Martha Wilson (born Martha Stewart), Margaretta M.S. Bowers' mother, corresponded frequently with her Stewart cousins, and those letters make up a section of the correspondence. Similarly, Spotswood D. Dandridge married Marjorie Smith. Marjorie's father, Roy Smith, had a particular interest in his family's genealogy. His research and efforts for familial recognition, as well as his captain's log from his time in the United States Navy, are also included in the collection. These families are distinguished from the Bowers family with the description "Other Family" within the collection.

Other materials included in this collection are photographs, patents, wills, family bibles, and published books, including a nineteenth century biography compilation that includes a section on the Bowers family.

This collection, which spans from 1686 to 1982, is organized into seven series: Correspondence; Legal Papers; Financial Materials; Surveys; Photographs; Books; Genealogy Research; and Ephemera.

Arrangement Note

The Bowers Family Papers are arranged both alphabetically and chronologically. There are a number of oversized items that are identified with OS and located in an oversized cabinet.

The Bowers Family Papers

  1. Series I: Correspondence
  2. Series II: Legal Papers
  3. Series III: : Financial Materials
  4. Series IV: Surveys
  5. Series V: Photographs
  6. Series VI: Books
  7. Series VII: Genealogy Research
  8. Series VIII: Emphemera