Jim Bowie

Military Officer, Military Person

1796 – 1836

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Who was Jim Bowie?

James "Jim" Bowie was a nineteenth-century American pioneer, soldier, smuggler, slave trader, and land speculator, who played a prominent role in the Texas Revolution, culminating in his death at the Battle of the Alamo. Stories of him as a fighter and frontiersman, both real and fictitious, have made him a legendary figure in Texas history and a folk hero of American culture.

Born in Kentucky, Bowie spent most of his life in Louisiana, where he was raised and where he later worked as a land speculator. His rise to fame began in 1827 on reports of the Sandbar Fight. What began as a duel between two other men deteriorated into a melée in which Bowie, having been shot and stabbed, killed the sheriff of Rapides Parish with a large knife. This, and other stories of Bowie's prowess with a knife, led to the widespread popularity of the Bowie knife.

Bowie's reputation was cemented by his role in the Texas Revolution. After moving to Texas in 1830, Bowie became a Mexican citizen and married Ursula Veramendi, the daughter of the Mexican vice governor of the province. His fame in Texas grew following his failed expedition to find the lost San Saba mine, during which his small party repelled an attack by a large Indian raiding party. At the outbreak of the Texas Revolution, Bowie joined the Texas militia, leading forces at the Battle of Concepción and the Grass Fight. In January 1836, he arrived at the Alamo, where he commanded the volunteer forces until an illness left him bedridden. Bowie died with the other Alamo defenders on March 6. Despite conflicting accounts of the manner of his death, the "most popular, and probably the most accurate" accounts maintain that he died in his bed after emptying his pistols into several Mexican soldiers.

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Born
Apr 10, 1796
Logan County
Also known as
  • James Bowie
  • James "Jim" Bowie
  • James Rezin Bowie
  • Santiago Bowie
Siblings
Spouses
Ethnicity
  • Scottish American
  • Scotch-Irish American
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Lived in
  • Louisiana
  • Kentucky
Died
Mar 6, 1836
San Antonio

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Jim Bowie." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 27 Jan. 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/jim_bowie>.

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