1991 – 03 March Newsletter – GRF

Sections in this issue:

1) Rev. Herbert Henry Gowen Spoke 10 Languages;
2) William Gowans’ Love of Books Instilled by Edgar Allen Poe;
3) Dear Cousins.

All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters:   https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/

Volume 2, No. 7 March 1991

1)  Rev. Herbert Henry Gowen
Spoke 10 Languages

Herbert Henry Gowen, son of Henry Cobb Gowen and Mary
Fuller Gowen, wasborn at Great Yarmouth in Norfolk May
19, 1864. He received a B.A. degree from St. Augustine
College, Canterbury, in 1886. He later attended Oxford
University and Cambridge University. He was made a
deacon in the Anglican church in 1886. Within the year, he
went to Hawaii as a missionary to the Chinese community at
Honolulu. Among his students was Sun Yat-Sen, later
premier of China.

He was also curate of the Anglican cathedral in Honolulu and
in that capacity served as chaplain to King Kalakaua of
Hawaii and his successor, Queen Lilioukalani, having been
earlier ordained a priest. Gowen remained in Hawaii until
1890, when he returned to England and became curate of St.
Nicholas Church, Yarmouth, serving until 1892.

On January 7, 1892, he was married there to Annie Kate
Green, daughter of George E. Green. Gowen was rector of St.
Barnabas Church, New Westminister, British Columbia from
1892 to 1896. He was placed in charge of Trinity Parish,
Seattle, Washington in 1897 and became a citizen of the
United States about 1900.

He spoke and read in English, Latin, Greek, French, Spanish,
Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Sanskrit and Hebrew, according to
“National Cyclopaedia of American Biography.” He received
a D.D. degree from Whitman College, Walla Walla,
Washington in 1912.

In 1916, he was placed in charge of St. Barnabas Church in
Seattle where he had the oversight of Japanese missions. He
was professor of oriental languages at the University of
Washington from 1906 to 1945 and was professor emeritus
there afterwards. He was president of Washington State
Philosophical Society. He was a fellow of the Royal
Geological Society of London. He was a fellow of the Royal
Asiatic Society and an honorary fellow of St. Augustine’s
College of Canterbury. A Phi Beta Kappa, he was a member
of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the American
Oriental Society. He was awarded Chevalier of Crown of
Italy in 1928. He was a member of the Third Class Order of
Sacred Treasure of Japan in 1929. He was an Episcopalian
minister in Seattle in 1930, retiring from the pulpit in 1945.

He died in Seattle November 6, 1960.

He was a prolific writer and authored the following:

“Temperantia” 1891; “Paradise of the Pacific” 1892; “The
Kingdom of Man” 1893; “Pioneer Work in British
Columbia” 1899 and 1909; “The Day of His Coming”
1907; “Hawaiian Idylls of Love and Death” 1908; “The
Revelation of Things That Are” 1909; “An Analytical
Transcription of the Revelation of St. John the Divine”
1910; “Meditations on the Seven Last Words” 1911;
“Stella Duce” 1911; “An Outline History of China” 1913,
Volume II, 1914; “Sonnets for the Sundays” 1917; “The
Book of the Seven Blessings” 1919; “The Napoleon of the
Pacific” 1919; “Sonnet Stories from the Chinese” 1920;
“Christ and Collosse” 1922; “Asia, A Short History” 1926;
“An Outline History of China” 1926; “The Universal
Faith” 1926; “An Outline History of Japan” 1927; “The
Journal of Kenko” 1927; “A Precursor of Perry” 1928;
“The Little Grey Lamb and Other
Poems” 1928; “The Psalms or Book of Praises” 1929; “A
History of Indian Literature” 1931 and “Five Foreigners in
Japan” 1937. He was listed in “Who’s Who in America” in

Children born to Herbert Henry Gowen and Annie Kate Green
Gowen include:

Vincent Herbert Gowen born in 1893
Lancelot Edward Gowen born about 1895
Felicia Joyce Gowen born about 1898
Rupert George Gowen born about 1901
Sylvia Mary Gowen born about 1905

2)  William Gowans’ Love of Books
Instilled by Edgar Allen Poe

William Gowans, bibliophile and publisher, was born March
29, 1803 in Lanarkshire. He was a product of vigorous
Scotch peasantry and lived on a farm near the Falls of the
Clyde, where he attended school. His family emigrated to the
United States in 1823. A short residence in Philadelphia was
followed by some five years in Crawford County Indiana.

When William Gowans was about 25 years old, he went to
New York City and tried his hand at various occupations,
including gardening, news vending and stone cutting. In
1830 he played a minor part with Edwin Forrest at the
Bowery Theatre.

Later he set up a bookstall on Chatham Street, consisting
simply of a row of shelves, protected with wooden shutters, an
iron bar, and a padlock. He also recounted that he was a
boarder for several months about 1837 in the household of
Edgar Allen Poe, according to “New York Evening Mail,”
December 10, 1870. For the rest of his life he was ever
identified with books. He was not as much concerned with
books with uncut pages and luxurious bindings as he was with
second-hand and rare volumes, and “unconsidered tribles and

His locations were many, and for a brief period he sat up shop
as a book auctioneer. From 1863 to the end of his life, he was
the “Antiquarian of Nassau Street” with his shop at No. 115
on that thoroughfare. He was more a book collector than a
book salesman. When a customer complained that a book was
“too high,” he would reply, “Well, we’ll make it higher,” at the
same time placing it on a tall shelf out of reach.

His books filled the store, floor, basement and sub-cellar, the
treasures in the depths discovered only with the aid of a small
tin sperm-oil lamp.

“Books lay everywhere in seemingly dire confusion, piled
upon tables and on the floor, until they finally toppled over,
and the few narrow aisles which had originally been left
between the rows became well-nigh impassable,” according to
the “The New York Post.” His executors sold at auction
some 250,000 bound volumes after eight tons of pamphlets
had been sold as waste paper.

William Gowans did some publishing from time to time, his
earliest production being a reprint of the English edition in
1701 of Dacier’s translation of “Plato’s Phacedo” in 1833.

Between 1842 and 1870, he issued 28 catalogues of his books.
These catalogues are full of “his antiquarian reminiscences,
his quaint and shrewd opinions, and curious speculations.”

Other worthwhile publications were the historical reprints
known as “Gowans’ Bibliotheca Americana” [5 volumes,
1845-1860.] Additional self-revelation is included in a sketch
he wrote of a fellow bibliophile, “Reminiscences of Hon.
Gabriel Furman,” “Notes, Geographical and Historical,
Relating to the Town of Brooklyn on Long Island,” 1865.

He was married in middle age to Susan Bradley of New York
who died in 1866, leaving no children to William Gowans and
Susan Bradley Gowans. William Gowans died November 27,
1870 in New York City, according to Scribner’s “Dictionary
of American Biography,” Volume VII, page 459.

Additional information on the life of William Gowans is contained
in W. L. Andrews’ “The Old Booksellers of New
York and Other Papers,” [1895], obituaries in “New York
Evening Mail,” December 1, 1870, “New York Evening
Post,” November 29, 1870, “Nation,” December 1, 1870 and
“Catalogue of the Books Belonging to the Estate of the late
William Gowans” [1871]. His portrait appears in Gowans’
“Bibliotheca Americana.”

Gowen Research Foundation gratefully acknowledges a Memorial Dedicated to the memory of Frank Maxwell Gowan who devoted many years to the preservation of the Gowan Family Heritage as a gift of his Granddaughter Shari L. Southard of Glendale, Arizona

3)  Dear Cousins

I belong to one of the Irish contingents of the Gowen
family. The enclosed chart shows my great-grandparents,
George Gowen and Mary Brennan Gowen leaving Queens
County, Ireland during the potato famine of the 1840s. My
grandfather, Thomas Patrick Gowen was born to them in
Philadelphia December 3, 1849.

My father, Miles Joseph Thomas Gowen was born to
Thomas Patrick Gowen and Brigit Meehan Gowen in
Phoenixville, PA April 19, 1880. After marriage, he and my
mother, Anna May Slowey Gowen removed to Washington,
D.C. in the early 1900s, along with his brother, Joseph Patrick
Gowen who settled in Riverdale, MD. Most of the rest of the
family remained in Philadelphia.

I was born here August 11, 1918, and my wife, Lucille
Murphy Gowen was born in Fredericksburg, TX. Our son,
Edward Miles Joseph Gowen, Jr. was born here March 26,
1946 and was married to Catherine Josephine Byrne of
Droghedz, Ireland. Their sons are: Thomas Patrick Gowen,
Brendan Miles Gowen and Shane Christopher Gowen.

Many of the Irish and Scotch applied “Mc, Mac and O”
[son of] prefixes to the name “Gowen.” We left our “Mac” in
Ireland. I was glad to learn that the Foundation will undertake
research on the McGowens and O’Gowens when a
documented relationship is determined. Edward Miles
Joseph Gowen, 1258 Cresthaven Drive, Silver Spring, MD,

==Dear Cousins==

As you know, my grandfather, Frank Gowan [surname
changed] left me with all the records of his research of the
Gowen family. It was his wish that I carry on with the work
he started, and that is certainly my wish as well. Now, I am
organizing his materials so I can begin where my grandfather
left off and so I can share them with other Gowen researchers.

I am enclosing a check to establish a memorial in his memory,
and my Contributing Membership is enclosed as well. I
look forward to participating in the Foundation and will assist
in any way I can.

My grandmother, Anna Gowen has told me about the
questions that have arisen in regard to the Gowens who may
be buried in the vicinity of Buchanan’s Station with my
grandfather in 1980 and took photographs. Shari L.
Southard, 5240 W. Las Palmaritas, Glendale, AZ, 85302,

==Dear Cousins==

When my ancestor, Louis A. Gowers [or Gowen] died
February 6, 1892, the doctor attending him [and apparently
everyone else] had trouble in determining his real name. Two
death certificates, one in each name, were recorded for him in
the City-County Department of Health, Vanderburgh County,
Evansville, Indiana [copy enclosed]. Each identified him as
Louis A. Gowers or Gowen [Same Person].” He was buried in
Locust Hill Cemetery in Evansville by Smith Mortuary.

Ninety-nine years later, we still don’t know which is
correct. Some members of our family go by “Gowers,” and
some go by “Gowen.” We have records showing that he was
born in March 1835 to Jacob Gower[s]/Gowen[s] and Ann
Eliza Altemus [ditto] of Ripley, Ohio [Brown County]. Jacob
and Ann Eliza were both born in Pennsylvania, she in 1794,
and apparently Louis was their youngest child. His siblings
were Washington, Elizabeth, Angeline, James, William S. and
Leonard A. Help to solve this mystery would be deeply
appreciated. Florence Gowers O’Neill, 1316 Forest Drive,
Gulfport, MS, 39507.

Back Issues Are Available . . .

A limited number of Foundation Newsletter back issues
remain on file, and they are available without charge, upon
request by current members who would like to maintain a
complete set of Newsletters for reference.

The Foundation Newsletter is mailed only to members who
have current memberships, plus historical and genealogical
libraries on our mailing list. Additionally sample copies will
be mailed to prospective members upon request.

If you wish to participate in the Foundation in 1991, you may
clip or reproduce the membership form below. Indicate the
type of membership you prefer, and Linda McNiel,
Foundation Secretary, will issue your membership card.

The form below may also be used to request gift memberships
for members of your family. The Foundation will send gift
cards acknowledging your thoughtfulness, both to you and the

Gowen Research Foundation Newsletter
Arlee Gowen, Editor
Linda McNiel, Circulation

Gowen Research Foundation Phone:
806/795-8758 or 795-9694
5708 Gary Avenue E-mail:
Lubbock, Texas, 79413 Fax: 806/795-


NOTE:  The above information produced by the Gowen Research Foundation (GRF), and parts of the “Gowen Manuscript” they worked on producing.  It has tons of information – much of it is correct, but be careful, some of it is not correct – so check their sources and logic.  I’ve copied some of their information in the past researching my own family, only to find out there were some clear mistakes.   So be sure to check the information to verify if it is right before citing the source and believing the person who researched it before was 100% correct.  Most of the information I found there seems to be correct, but some is not.

Their website is:  Internet: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~gowenrf

There does not seem to be anyone “manning the ship” at the Gowen Research Foundation, or Gowen Manuscript site any longer, and there is no way to contact anyone about any errors.   The pages themselves don’t have a mechanism to leave a note for others to see any “new information” that you may have that shows when you find info that shows something is wrong, or when something has been verified.

Feel free to leave messages about any new information found, or errors in these pages, or information that has been verified that those who wrote these pages may not have known about.

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