Bouvier, John, 1787-1851

Alternative names
Birth 1787
Death 1851

Biographical notes:

Philadelphia judge.

From the description of ALS : Philadelphia, to Thomas Davis, 1846 Mar. 10. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122525155

Philadelphia jurist.

From the description of ALS : Uniontown, Pa., to Benjamin Warner, 1820 Aug. 14. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122347821

John Bouvier, prominent Philadelphia publisher and lawyer. He was born into a Quaker family that immigrated to Philadelphia from France in 1802. He opened his first printing shop in 1808. Two years later he married Elizabeth Widdifield, daughter of a prominent Philadelphia Quaker family. The Bouviers had one child, Hannah Mary Peterson (1811-1870), who became an accomplished astronomer, the author of Familiar astronomy, or an introduction to the study of heavens (Philadelphia, 1857). In 1814 Bouvier moved to Brownsville to publish the American telegraph, and in 1818 he moved to Uniontown, where he launched the Genius of American liberty. That same year he was admitted to the bar, and four years later he was permitted to practice before the Philadelphia Supreme Court. He published several law books, the most famous being his Law dictionary (1839). In 1838 he became judge of the Court of Criminal Sessions (1838). John Bouvier followed closely the course of Democratic-Republican politics in Pennsylvania. He became active with the Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of the Abolition of Capital Punishment and the temperance movement.

John Bouvier's son-in-law Robert Evans Peterson studied medicine was licensed to practice medicine in 1862. Together with George W. Childs, he founded the publishing house of Childs and Peterson.

From the description of Papers of John Bouvier, 1762-1895. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122354171


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  • Quakers--Correspondence
  • Politicians--Archives
  • Lawyers--Corresondence
  • Insurance--History--19th century--Sources
  • Astronomy--Study and teaching
  • Publishers--Correspondence
  • Women astronomers--Correspondence


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  • Philadelphia (as recorded)
  • Pennsylvania (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)