The Old West, aka the Wild West, was an awesome period in American history. Out of the days of the old West came invention after invention, adaptations toward modernization and the beginning of technological advances that changed farming altogether. When the Old West comes up in conversation, however, there is sure to be mention of the outlaws, cowboys and Indians, their knives, guns (handguns and rifles), bows and arrows, along with the many battles fought, lost and won.
This Day in Old West History: September 19, 1827
|Blade = 9.25 inches (23.5 cm) long, 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) wide|
Norris Wright, Rapides parish sheriff and local banker, refused to make a loan that Bowie sorely needed. In 1826, Bowie met Wright in Alexandria, where tempers flared and Wright fired point-blank at Bowie; but the bullet was deflected. After this encounter, Rezin gave his brother a large butcher-like hunting knife to carry.
On September 19, 1827, near Natchez, Jim Bowie participated in the Sandbar Fight, which developed at a duel between Samuel Levi Wells III and Dr. Thomas Maddox. After the principals had exchanged shots without effect, two observers continued the affair. Alexander Crain fired at Samuel Cuny, and when Cuny fell, Bowie fired at Crain but missed. Wright shot Bowie through the lower chest, and Bowie, said an eyewitness, "drew his butcher knife which he usually wears" and chased Wright. The Blanchard brothers shot Bowie in the thigh, and Wright and Alfred Blanchard stabbed him in several places.
As Wright bent over him, Bowie plunged the knife into his assailant's breast, then raised himself and slashed Blanchard severely. All the witnesses remembered Bowie's "big butcher knife," the first Bowie knife. Reports of Bowie's prowess and his lethal blade captured public attention, and he was proclaimed the South's most formidable knife fighter. Men asked blacksmiths and cutlers to make a knife like Jim Bowie's. (Source: James Bowie)
Of course, Jim Bowie’s name was sealed forever in Southern Memories when he and 187 of his brave fellow defenders were slaughtered by General Santa Ana on March 6, 1836, in the Battle of the Alamo, during the Texas Revolution. Bowie died at 39 years of age. (Source: Southern Memories)