Franklin W. Bowdon

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Franklin Welsh Bowdon
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 7th district
In office
December 7, 1846 – March 3, 1851
Preceded byFelix G. McConnell
Succeeded byAlexander White
Personal details
Born(1817-02-17)February 17, 1817
Chester District, South Carolina
DiedJune 8, 1857(1857-06-08) (aged 40)
Henderson, Texas, US
CitizenshipUnited States
Political partyDemocratic Party
SpouseSarah E Chilton Bowden
Alma materUniversity of Alabama
ProfessionAttorney politician

Franklin Welsh Bowdon (February 17, 1817 – June 8, 1857) was an American slave owner,[1] politician and an Alabama congressman. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1846 to 1851.


Born in Chester District, South Carolina, Bowdon was the son of Samuel and Sarah Welsh Bowdon. He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1836, studied law under Daniel E. Watrous at Montevallo, was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Talladega, Alabama as the law partner of Messrs. Thomas and Wm. P. Chilton, and Tignall W. Jones.[2] He married Sarah E Chilton, on March 15, 1840 at Talladega, Alabama.[3] She was the daughter of Thomas Chilton and Frances Chilton.


Bowdon served as a member of the Alabama House of Representatives in 1844 and 1845.[4] He was elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-ninth United States Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Felix G. McConnell. He was reelected to the Thirtieth United States Congress and Thirty-first United States Congress. He was chairman of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds during the Thirty-first Congress. He served as a U. S. Representative from December 7, 1846 to March 3, 1851.[5] He did not stand for reelection in 1850 and moved to Henderson, Rusk County, Texas in 1852, where he resumed his law practice as the partner of George W. Chilton.


Bowdon died in Henderson on June 8, 1857 (age 40 years, 111 days). He is interred at City Cemetery, Henderson, Texas.[6] The town of Bowdon, Georgia was named after him.[7] He was the uncle of Sydney Johnston Bowie, who was an Alabama congressman from 1901 to 1907.


  1. ^ Weil, Julie Zauzmer; Blanco, Adrian; Dominguez, Leo. "More than 1,800 congressmen once enslaved Black people. This is who they were, and how they shaped the nation". Washington Post. Retrieved 2023-02-07.
  2. ^ "Franklin Welsh Bowdon". The Magnolia Buzz. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Franklin Welsh Bowdon". Family Central. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Franklin Welsh Bowdon". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Franklin Welsh Bowdon". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Franklin Welsh Bowdon". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  7. ^ Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 23. ISBN 0-915430-00-2.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 7th congressional district

December 7, 1846 – March 3, 1851
Succeeded by