“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Marksville in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana — The American South (West South Central)

The First Bowie Knife

The First Bowie Knife Marker image. Click for full size.
September 2, 2016
1. The First Bowie Knife Marker
Inscription.  Rezin P. Bowie, brother of Alamo hero James Bowie, wrote, “The first Bowie knife was made by myself in the Parish of Avoyelles.” With this knife James killed Norris Wright in the famous Sandbar Fight near Natchez, Miss., Sept. 19, 1827.
Erected 1980 by The Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Heroes. In addition, it is included in the Louisiana, Marksville Historical Markers Driving Tour series list. A significant historical date for this entry is September 19, 1827.
Location. 31° 7.641′ N, 92° 3.96′ W. Marker is in Marksville, Louisiana, in Avoyelles Parish. Marker is on North Main Street (State Highway 107/115) north of East Mark Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 312 N Main Street, Marksville LA 71351, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin (a few steps from this marker); Fort De Russy (a few steps from this marker); Solomon Northup, "Twelve Years a Slave" (a few steps from this marker); Laborde Building
The First Bowie Knife Marker image. Click for full size.
September 2, 2016
2. The First Bowie Knife Marker
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(a few steps from this marker); Founding Of Marksville (within shouting distance of this marker); Bailey Theater (within shouting distance of this marker); J. Horace Ducote Law Office (within shouting distance of this marker); Lewis P. Roy, Sr. Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Marksville.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia entry for Bowie Knife. “The historical Bowie knife was not a single design, but was a series of knives improved several times by Jim Bowie over the years. The earliest such knife, made by Jesse Clift at Bowie’s brother Rezin’s request resembled Spanish hunting knives of the day, and differed little from a common butcher knife. The blade, as later described by Rezin Bowie, was 9½ in long, ¼ in thick and 1½ in wide. It was straight-backed, described by witnesses as ‘a large butcher knife,’ and having no clip-point nor any handguard, with a simple riveted wood scale handle.” (Submitted on September 15, 2018.) 

2. Wikipedia entry for Rezin Bowie. “One afternoon Rezin was hunting and killed a rabbit. He was going to skin his rabbit when
Bowie Knife on display at the Alamo image. Click for full size.
Photo by Mike Cumpston via Wikipedia Commons, March 2018
3. Bowie Knife on display at the Alamo
James or Resin Bowie gave it to a captain Fowler of the United States Mounted Rifles, who carried it until his death in the 1840s.
he hit a bone, his hand slid down and badly cut his fingers. Inspired to prevent a reoccurrence, he subsequently designed what became known as the Bowie knife. This knife had a blade nine and a quarter inches long and one and one-half inches wide.” (Submitted on September 15, 2018.) 

3. Wikipedia entry for Sandbar Fight. “The Sandbar Fight was a formal one-on-one duel that erupted into a violent brawl involving multiple combatants on September 19, 1827. It took place on a large sandbar in the Mississippi River, near present-day Vidalia, Louisiana. American pioneer and folk hero Jim Bowie was seriously injured in the fight.” (Submitted on September 15, 2018.) 

4. Wikipedia entry for James Black, Blacksmith. “In 1830, Black made the famous Bowie knife for Jim Bowie who was already famous for knife-fighting from his 1827 sandbar duel. Bowie’s killing of three assassins in Texas and his death at the Battle of the Alamo made him, and Black’s knife, legends. After Bowie's death in 1836, Black did a brisk business selling his knives to pioneers bound for Texas. Everyone seemed to want ‘Jim Bowie’s knife.’ Black forged his knives behind a leather curtain and kept his process a secret. Black’s knives were known to be exceedingly tough yet flexible. Many claimed that Black had rediscovered
James Bowie (1796–1836) image. Click for full size.
Oil by George Peter Alexander Healy, 1820
4. James Bowie (1796–1836)
the process to make Damascus steel.” (Submitted on September 15, 2018.) 

5. Wikipedia entry for James Bowie. “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 mêlée 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.” (Submitted on September 15, 2018.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 15, 2018. It was originally submitted on September 22, 2016. This page has been viewed 1,082 times since then and 60 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week September 16, 2018. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 22, 2016.   3, 4. submitted on September 15, 2018, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 7, 2023