Research Paper on Mary Bowser

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ResearchPaper on Mary Bowser

Researchindicates little information about Mary Bowser’s early life despitehis braveness and contribution in African-American history. She wasborn a slave on the plantation of John Van Lew, Richmond, Virginiawho is a well-known wealthy hardware merchant, and later became aUnion spy. Van Lew died in 1943, where Elizabeth his wife anddaughter were released from slavery and also a group of their familymembers were freed. Despite the incidence, Mary remained servanttogether with other slaves who took their usual duties as servants inthe household of Van Lew. Until later in the 1850s, Mary continuedliving with this family (Sharot and Stephen,12).

Elizabethcould note Mary had an intellectual talent where she decided to sendher to Philadelphia to the Quaker black people’ School to geteducated. After graduating and returning from Philadelphia, Marymarried a free black man who is Wilson Bowser, where they heldceremony just some few days before the civil war could begin. A largenumber of attendance in the church holding the ceremony were whitesdespite the high rate of discrimination towards the blacks. BlackAmericans had their church and this was an unusual thing for blacksto be treated in a special way. After then they settled far fromRichmond and so far in the history, there is no evidence which hasever showed the record of them having children. Bowser still keptclose contact with the family of Van Lew even after her marriage,where they were working together to accomplish a certain mission byclosely sharing political goals to end slavery. There was plot ofBowser to get hired as a household servant at the white House of theconfederacy, assisting Varian Davies wife to Jefferson Davies theconfederate president in functions she held in in order to get thetop most information.

Workingfull time in the house of confederacy president as a servant Marycould read much of documents she came across since she was literate.She had an acting behavior and her intellectual mind made it that noone could suspect her of the leaking information from Davieshousehold where she worked until when war was about to end. Theirrecord of wartime is said to be much intertwined due to the resultsof a successful and effective information Mary kept on delivering. InRichmond, Elizabeth Van Lew was figured as a prominent person despiteher abolitionist sentiments (Knepperand John, 181)


Storyof Bowser, Mary, Elizabeth based on a true story, concludes educationbeing key ways used to change a life if given a chance. Existingbelieve that African women luck intelligence and are unactable, herhistory mission of ending slavery proves it wrong. Stereotype thatwhites has over African American woman is challenged in fact overcomeby close working connection of Elizabeth and Mary. Bowser had to makesome sacrifices like freedom, her friends she made from north tocome and work in south in favor of the community. Not an easy thingfor Mary to work as per parents’ expectations as well as meet herset goals. Working closely with people and as a spy and inPhiladelphia exposed her and equipped her in fighting against genderdiscrimination. Her real character shaped Americans history makingher a hero.


Knepper,Marty, and John Lawrence. TheBook of Iowa Films.Lulu. com, 2014. Print.

Sharot,Stephen. Loveand Marriage Across Social Classes in American Cinema.Springer, 2016. Print.