Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BOWLIN, James Butler, lawyer, born in Spottsylvania County, Virginia, in 1804. He was early apprenticed to a trade, but afterward abandoned it and taught school while acquiring a classical education. In 1825 he settled in Greenbrier County, where he studied law, was admitted to the bar, and began practice. He removed to St. Louis in 1833, and there followed his profession, also establishing the "Farmers' and Mechanics' Advocate." In 1836 he was a member of the state legislature and for some time its chief clerk. A year later he became district attorney for St. Louis, and in 1839 was elected judge of the criminal court. Afterward he was elected to congress as a democrat, and served from 1 December, 1843, to 3 March, 1851. Prom 1854 till 1857 he was minister resident in Colombia, and from 1858 till 1859 commissioner to Paraguay.
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