Jim Bowie

Jim Bowie

Original Name James Bowie
Logan County, Kentucky, USA
Death 6 Mar 1836 (aged 39)
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
Burial San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 2310 · View Source
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American Western Frontiersman. Born in Logan County (present day Simpson County), Kentucky, one of ten children of Rezin and Elve Bowie. About 1809 the Bowies moved to Louisiana where they established a plantation on the Vermilion River. During the War of 1812, Bowie and his brother joined the Louisiana militia, but saw little action. After the war the brothers traded illegally in slaves and also dabbled in land speculation. In 1827, Bowie was embroiled in the so called Sandbar Fight which marked his first notable use of the heavy bladed knife that would be named for him; he gained a reputation as a formidable knife fighter. In 1829, Bowie became engaged to Cecelia Wells but she died two weeks before their wedding was to take place. By February 1830, Bowie was in Texas and took the oath of allegiance to Mexico. On April 25, 1831, Bowie married Ursula de Veramendi in San Antonio; a little more than two years later, Ursula, her parents, and her child died in a cholera epidemic and Bowie reportedly turned to the bottle. In 1835 Bowie was appointed a commissioner to promote settlement in Texas, but fled when Santa Ana abolished the Coahuila-Texas government and ordered the arrest of all Texans. Bowie joined with the so called Texas War Party; in October, Bowie with ninety-two men faced off with the Mexicans, who had three times the troops, in a battle that lasted three hours. Bowie captured a six-pounder cannon and thirty muskets and lost one man. The Mexicans suffered over thirty casualties. In November he asked to be relieved of his command. On January 19, 1836, Bowie arrived in Bexar with thirty men carrying orders from Sam Houston for the demolition of the fortifications there. On February 2, Bowie wrote the Governor, urging that Bexar be held. William Travis arrived with thirty men on February 3 in order to take command of the forces quartered at the Alamo mission near Bexar. Bowie and Travis then worked out a compromise which gave Travis command of the regulars, Bowie command of the volunteers. On February 24 Bowie collapsed and took to his bed. Speculation on his ailment favors typhoid pneumonia or tuberculosis. On March 6 the Mexican forces attacked, and all the defenders of the Alamo died; Bowie was found on his cot in a room on the south side. He had been shot several times.

Bio by: Iola

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 2310
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Jim Bowie (10 Apr 1796–6 Mar 1836), Find a Grave Memorial no. 2310, citing San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .