Wednesday, September 19, 2012

One More Western Wednesday...!

Many times we hold up a person or persons as a hero, then find out later that the true nature of that person was not what we expected.

Sometimes, there is a very thin line between right and wrong. Likewise, the acceptable behavior in one situation proves to be non-acceptable in another! True that strong men were needed in the early days, but along with the strength comes a responsibility to lead by example first.

Sep 19, 1827:
Jim Bowie stabs a Louisiana banker with his famous knife

After a duel turns into an all-out brawl on this day in 1827, Jim Bowie disembowels a banker in Alexandria, Louisiana, with an early version of his famous Bowie knife. The actual inventor of the Bowie knife, however, was probably not Jim Bowie, but rather his equally belligerent brother, Rezin Bowie, who reportedly came up with the design after nearly being killed in a vicious knife fight.

The Bowie brothers engaged in more fights than the typical frontiersman of the day, but such violent duels were not uncommon events on the untamed margins of American civilization. In the early nineteenth century, most frontiersmen preferred knives to guns for fighting, and the Bowie knife quickly became one of the favorites. Rezin Bowie had invented such a nasty looking weapon that the mere sight of it probably discouraged many would-be robbers and attackers. Designs varied somewhat, but the typical Bowie knife sported a 9- to 15- inch blade sharpened only on one side for much of its length, though the curved tip was sharpened to a point on both sides. The double-edged tip made the knife an effective stabbing weapon, while the dull-edge combined with a brass hand guard allowed the user to slide a hand down over the blade as needed. The perfect knife for close-quarter fighting, the Bowie knife became the weapon of choice for many westerners before the reliable rapid-fire revolver took its place in the post-Civil War period.


I guess that Bowie will always be remembered as the father of his famous "Bowie Knife", but I hope that I'll be remembered for something a little more useful than an instrument designed for killing and maiming...but that's just me!

How about coffee in the kitchen this morning? I'll cut us up a fresh cantaloupe to share!

8 comments:

The Griper said...

i would say that we need to judge a man by the standards of his time if we'd like to be judged by the standards of our time. and a knife in those times were a very important tool of survival.

Sixbears said...

Are you going to cup up that cantaloupe with a special cantalope knife? Developed by the famous Cantaloupe brothers in 1834? :)

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

Good story - wonder what happened to the knife? Did he take it to the Alamo? Sixbears: too funny!
I'll bring some watermelon and peaches we can all have a fruit salad
with our coffee.

linda m said...

Wonder what happened to that knife. Standards were very different back then. "Judge not lest ye be judged". Sixbears comment is great.

JOJO said...

They don't say what the duel was about. Maybe he had good reason to... well kill the man.

Sounds like a good healthy breakfast this morning. I need a refill its cold here. Please.

Dizzy-Dick said...

I would much rather bring a gun to a knife fight than visa versa (grin)

Bob Mc said...

According to legend, he had it with him at the Alamo.

Konstantine La said...

I personally find bowies to be too big for practical use. I would rather carry an axe and a smaller knife like a Kabar. Cool history nonetheless - killerknives