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The Legend of Jim Bowie Essay

Larger than life itself, James Bowie has inspired many legends. Bowie was born in Kentucky on April 10, 1796. Throughout his upbringing, Bowie was said to ride wild horses, alligators, and trap bears. Bowie enlisted in the War of 1812, although he was recruited too late to see any action on the warfront. Soon he was back in his childhood home, Louisiana, and he continued business as usual. Later on Bowie teamed up with his brother and Jean Lafayette in the slave smuggling business. In the 1820s Jim Bowie and his brothers made a less negative move and set up the first steam-powered mill in Louisiana. His achievement of being a soldier, marketer and landowner would be enough to make sure he wasn’t forgotten; but this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg of Jim Bowie. The Sandbar Fight was originally a duel between two people: Samuel Levi Wells, and Dr. Thomas Maddox. The two eventually worked it out without either harmed; then some armed men on Maddox’s side started to fire at Well’s men.

Bowie was shot through the lung, but through his bravado, legend says that he took the wound unflinching. After Bowie got shot three times in all, his mortal enemy began stabbing sword canes into him repeatedly. Bowie mustered up the rest of his strength and stabbed him skillfully in the heart with his famously known Bowie Knife; which got almost as much publicity as Bowie did. In this struggle, Bowie was truly a living legend as he still blazed through his attackers, even with his strength spent. After his famous Sandbar Fight, Bowie makes the move to Texas where he lived the hero’s tale. There was more than enough to keep him busy, with scuffles and falling in love with Ursula Veramendi, daughter of the mayor of San Antonio. Alongside his heroism, he was fascinated with the lost mines that he later was said to have discovered; known as the Bowie mines. Later on in the year, three of the Veramendi clan died from cause of cholera, one of them being Ursula, Bowie’s wife.

After he recovered from the shock of the sudden deaths, Bowie was faced by hostile moves being made by Santa Anna. Later on, Bowie fled for the capitol of Texas to warn his friend and others of the Mexican troops were boarding ships set on route to the Texas coast. With a small group of Texas militia behind him, he led them to San Antonio and captured a multitude of muskets from the Mexican armory. Before the Battle of the Alamo, Sam Houston ordered Fannin and Bowie to fall back further and destroy the Alamo; but Fannin was motivated to keep the Alamo, and he persuaded Bowie to help him and stay there as well.

Bowie showed his undying resolve to abandon his army by this famous quote that he assures “We will rather die in these ditches than give it up to the enemy” While Bowie was in the Alamo, he caught a strange illness that was later on predicted that he had pneumonia. Confined to his cot and bed-ridden, Bowie’s bravado never faltered. Always bold and fearless, this was nothing more than another challenge to overcome in his mind. The attack from the Mexicans came while Bowie was still confined to his cot, and just as the 187 others, Bowie met his unfortunate end. The legend of Bowie still hung around even after his fatal encounter with the Mexicans. After hearing about James Bowie’s death, many felt that even though Bowie died at the Alamo, he became immortalized in the heart of Texas and will never truly be forgotten.


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