How did the Bowie Knife get its name and Where does the term Bowie Knife come from?

The brothers Bowie, John J., Rezin P., and James, enjoyed better reputations after death than in life.

The three, that is, were in the slave trade in Louisiana in the 1820’s, smuggling Negroes into the country from Jean Lafitte’s stronghold on Galveston Island.

But James was among the defenders of the Alamo, butchered on his sickbed at its fall, and his name has henceforth been honored.

The knife carrying the family name, though accredited to Colonel James Bowie, was actually the invention of his brother, Rezin P.

It is a strong hunting knife, blade ten to fifteen inches in length, double-edged near the point, with hilt, crosspiece, and sheath.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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