Known for his famous "Bowie
knife" and a sometimes reckless adventurer, Jim Bowie is now immortalized
as one of the true folk heroes in early Texas.
Bowie was born in Kentucky in 1796. While still very young, he moved with
his family, first to Missouri, then in 1802 to Louisiana, where he spent
most of his youth. It was there that he first acquired a reputation for
his bold and fearless disposition.
In 1827, Bowie participated in a bloody brawl near Natchez, Mississippi,
where several men were killed and Bowie was wounded. After recovering
the following year, he moved to Texas.
Before the revolution in Texas, Bowie took part in many adventures. He
spent considerable time cultivating friendships with Indians in his search
for elusive silver and gold reported to be hidden in the interior of Texas.
By some accounts, he is said to have found the fabled San Saba mines,
also known as the Bowie mines, near the geographic center of present day
In the Texas Revolution, Bowie was a leading participant at the Battle
of Concepcion and in the Grass Fight near San Antonio. He was in command
of a volunteer force in San Antonio when William Travis arrived with regular
army troops. The two men shared authority during much of the Siege of
the Alamo, which caused some personal friction. But pneumonia disabled
Bowie, and he was confined to his cot at the time of his death on March
6, 1836 at the Battle of the Alamo.
Copyright © 1995-96
Lone Star Junction