Roseland Cottage

John Malbone

John Malbone was the coachman for the Bowen family in Woodstock. At the time of his death in 1880 at the age of forty-nine, the Putnam Patriot published a richly detailed obituary that described him as “never more complacent than when seated in a comfortable carriage with the reins of a good pair of horses in his hands.” John, an African American who lived in Woodstock with his wife, was coachman during the first ten years of the Bowen Fourth of July celebrations. He is said to have asserted that no other private coachman ever had the honor of serving so many dignitaries. According to the Patriot, John would say “I would like to see any other man, white or black, beat me in that way if he can.”