Bouldin was born on May 24, 1830, in Charlotte County, the son of James Wood Bouldin, a member of the House of Representatives, and his third wife, Almeria Read Kennon Bouldin. He was educated at private schools and entered the Virginia Military Institute in 1848 but withdrew after nineteen months. Bouldin returned to Charlotte Court House to practice law. He served as deputy sheriff and in 1852 as commonwealth's attorney. On March 9, 1855, Bouldin married Ella Fuqua. They had four sons and two daughters.
Bouldin left his law practice to enlist in the Confederate cavalry on May 15, 1861, but poor eyesight led to his discharge that December. He moved to Danville shortly after the war. In the autumn of 1865 Bouldin bought the Danville Appeal. He changed its name to the Danville Times and edited the paper as a Democratic weekly until about 1894, when severe illness forced him to discontinue it. In 1877 the paper had a weekly circulation of more than 900, and in 1885 Bouldin boasted of its extensive circulation in both Virginia and North Carolina. Too few copies of the Danville Times are extant to document or thoroughly describe his editorial career.
The precise nature of Bouldin's service to the white Democratic Party is unclear, but he served as one of three secretaries of the so-called Committee of Forty, put together after the riot to justify the viewpoint of local Democrats. As editor of the Danville Times Bouldin presumably both spread the word that the riot had been nothing more than a deplorable street fight that got out of hand and successfully worked for the downfall of the local Readjusters and the rise to power of white supremacist Democrats.
Bouldin died at the residence of his son-in-law in Danville on March 8, 1907, and was buried in Green Hill Cemetery in that city.
May 24, 1830 - Powhatan Bouldin is born in Charlotte County, the son of James Wood Bouldin and his third wife, Almeria Read Kennon Bouldin.
1848 - Powhatan Bouldin enters the Virginia Military Institute but withdraws after nineteen months.
March 9, 1855 - Powhatan Bouldin marries Ella Fuqua.
1852 - Powhatan Bouldin serves as commonwealth's attorney of Charlotte County.
May 15, 1861 - Powhatan Bouldin enlists in the Confederate cavalry.
December 1861 - Powhatan Bouldin is discharged from the Confederate cavalry due to poor eyesight.
Autumn 1865 - Powhatan Bouldin purchases the Danville Appeal and changes the name to the Danville Times, editing the paper as a Democratic weekly.
November 3, 1883 - Racial and political tensions erupt in an election-eve street fight in Danville that leaves at least one white and four black men dead.
1894 - Illness forces Powhatan Bouldin to discontinue publication of the Danville Times, the Democratic weekly newspaper he has edited since 1865.
March 8, 1907 - Powhatan Bouldin dies at the residence of his son-in-law in Danville. He is buried at Green Hill Cemetery in Danville.
Cite This Entry
- APA Citation:
Mainwaring, W. T., & Grant, G., & the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. Powhatan Bouldin (1830–1907). (2013, September 4). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Bouldin_Powhatan_1830-1907.
- MLA Citation:
Mainwaring, W. Thomas, Gary Grant and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. "Powhatan Bouldin (1830–1907)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 4 Sep. 2013. Web. READ_DATE.
First published: April 30, 2013 | Last modified: September 4, 2013
Contributed by W. Thomas Mainwaring, Gary Grant, and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography.