Charles Pickering Bowditch

Businessperson, Deceased Person

1842 – 1921

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Who was Charles Pickering Bowditch?

Charles Pickering Bowditch was an American financier, archaeologist, cryptographer and linguistics scholar who specialized in Mayan epigraphy.

Bowditch was born in Boston into the Massachusetts Bowditch family of mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch, his grandfather, and physiologist Henry Pickering Bowditch, his brother, son of Jonathan Ingersoll Bowditch and Lucy Orme Nichols. He received his undergraduate degree in 1863 and his master's in 1866, both from Harvard University. During the American Civil War he served as an officer in the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, a colored regiment, rising to the rank of captain, and then served as a captain in the 5th Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry, also a colored regiment. In 1866, he married Cornelia L. Rockwell who bore him four children who survived him. He died in 1921 in Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts, and was buried with a Unitarian service.

As a businessman Bowditch participated unsuccessfully in the Pennsylvania oil rush and returned to Massachusetts to manage the estate of Mrs. William Wadsworth, which gave him experience as a financial trustee. He went on to manage many trusts, was a director of the Massachusetts Cotton Mills and the Pepperell Manufacturing Company, the Boston and Providence Railroad Company, American Bell Telephone Company, and a director and later president of the Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Company. For three years he was vice-president of the American Bell Telephone Company.

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Sep 30, 1842
  • United States of America
Jun 1, 1921
Jamaica Plain

on July 23, 2013


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