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Colonel James Bowie Popularized The Bowie Knife

By Author: Sak Suber
Total Articles: 165

In the early nineteenth century, Natchez, Mississippi, was known for its notoriously rowdy riverfront district, which was the center of many fights & considerable corruption. This existed in contrast to the higher class section of Natchez, which earned their reputation primarily from being involved in the cotton industry.

The Bowie Knife was thought to have come out of that seamy riverfront section of the city in any event, this fixed blade fighting knife became popularized by Colonel James Bowie at what started as a duel known as "The Sandbar Fight" which reportedly took place in the Mississippi River, just outside of Natchez on September 19, 1827. The fight ultimately turned into a (melee'|brawl) involving Colonel Bowie, who reportedly had been shot & stabbed but still he continued to defend himself courageously, finally killing Major Norris Wright & wounding Alfred Blanchard with what observers described as a "huge butcher knife". This and other stories of Jim Bowie's skill, wielding such an enormous knife, quickly led to widespread popularity of what is today known as "The Bowie Knife".

I need to pause for just a moment to explain that the legend of Jim Bowie is based on tales some of which have never been completely verified; many of these stories and variations thereof were born out of Texas' struggle for independence from Mexico. Colonel Bowie subsequently decided to take up the cause of the Texas Revolution as it was known, which sought independence from Mexico; as rumor has it, Colonel Bowie joined the Texas Militia and later became a Texas Ranger with the patriotic idea of Texas withdrawing from Mexico and hopefully being considered for statehood. Many stories surround this period circa 1830 & regarding what happened next. Colonel Bowie helped to liberate San Antonio from Mexican control and he decided to join many native Mexicans to defend that city by taking a stand at a fortress known as "The Alamo".

Plans started taking place around December of 1835, to strengthen the Alamo's defenses; during that time a request had gone out for badly needed reinforcements. Around February or March of 1836 word had reached the militia of a pending attack by Mexican Nationals led by General Santa Anna; word spread that he had amassed an army of about 2000 men. The defenders at the Alamo numbered between 180 and 200, and many there, held out high hopes that the reinforcements which had been sent for, would in fact be arriving before the attack by Santa Anna and his troops.

There are many stories regarding what happened next, and since many of the defenders were highly regarded for their patriotism, these stories had a tendency to become stretched somewhat beyond reality. The version that I'm fond of paraphrasing is as follows: Colonel James Bowie, Davy Crockett & 180 more, as the song states, defended the Alamo courageously for 13 days of siege before being overrun by Santa Anna's army; legend expresses the story of Jim Bowie having died near his bed

Bowie Knife at his side, after having emptied his pistols into many Mexican military troops; all of the defenders at the Alamo were killed and reports have it that around 250 Mexican Military also died that day. Following this ordeal, other patriots (adopted|coined) the slogan: "Remember The Alamo", as a way to further their cause, by remembering the martyred defenders that died for Texas. No wonder the Bowie Knife has become so popular with collectors of fine cutlery! Some of the Bowie Knife offerings have an overall length of more that 20 inches - WOW!

Colonel James Bowie popularized the large knife resembling a sizable butcher knife; which became known as "The Bowie Knife". Click here =>> Replica of the original Bowie Knife!

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