James Bowdoin Photo

James Bowdoin

Death: Nov 6, 1790

Birthplace: Boston

Nationality: United States

James Bowdoin

Date of Death : Nov 6, 1790
Birth Place : Boston

James Bowdoin II was an American political and intellectual leader from Boston, Massachusetts, during the American Revolution. He served in both branches of the Massachusetts General Court from the 1750s to the 1770s. Although he was initially supportive of the royal governors, he opposed British colonial policy and eventually became an influential advocate of independence. He authored a highly political report on the 1770 Boston Massacre that has been described by historian Francis Walett as one of the most influential pieces of writing that shaped public opinion in the colonies. From 1775 to 1777 he served as president of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress' executive council, the de facto head of the Massachusetts government. He was elected president of the constitutional convention that drafted the state's constitution in 1779, and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1780, losing to John Hancock. In 1785, following Hancock's resignation, he was elected governor. During his two years in office poor economic conditions and harsh fiscal policy laid down by his government led to the uprising known as Shays' Rebellion.

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