The Robert Bowne Foundation was established in 1968 by Edmund A. Stanley, Jr. and named in honor of Robert Bowne (1744-1818), founder of Bowne & Company.
At a time when there was very little organized concern for the plight of the poor, the sick and the uneducated in New York, Robert Bowne
was a pioneer in his
efforts on behalf of the disadvantaged.
Through the Manumission Society, of which he was a founder, he sought to "exert all lawful means to ameliorate the sufferings" of the American slave and "ultimately to free him from bondage.
was a founder, as well, of the Society for Establishing
a Free school in the City of New York, where scholars would be chosen on the basis of need, irrespective of "sect, creed, nationality, or name.
played an active role, too, in New York's first hospital, its first public health organization, and its first fire insurance company.
died, one of his
many good friends said of Robert Bowne
active mind, open purse, expanded heart, and willing feet knew no bounds.