Bowdoin, James (1726-1790) Governor of Massachusetts: Bowdoin graduated from Harvard College in 1745, was elected to the Massachusetts General Court eight years later, and was appointed to the Massachusetts council in 1757. When he served as a delegate to the Albany Congress of 1754, he supported Benjamin Franklin's plan for union. Although he was only a moderate proponent of the colonists' position in the 1760's, he openly supported them by 1768, and was associated with the Sons of Liberty. From 1775 to 1777, Bowdoin served on the executive council of the Massachusetts assembly, and presided over the provincial constitutional convention of 1779. Elected Governor of Massachusetts in 1785, he suppressed a 1786 insurrection of farmers in what was later called Shays' Rebellion.