Until the Colt six-shooter
made every man equal, knives provided both offensive and defensive
capabilities. The Bowie knife typified the type and captured
America's imagination like no other weapon. As stories of Jim
Bowie and his use of his knife spread, the demand for Bowie knives
did also. No gentleman felt completely attired unless he carried
his Bowie knife with him. The Bowie knife even found favor with
the less wealthy colonist. In a time when honor was easily offended,
the Bowie knife was the perfect mediator when settling disputes.
This is not to say that the Bowie knife was the dominent knife
in use in the Texas colonies, but one type of many. When the Interim
government of Texas was seeking weapons to arm the volunteer army,
along with rifle and tomahawks, they requested butcher knives
to be sent. Many easterners would have brought with them their
slender bladed "Long Hunter" style knife. This
knife was not only slender in width but was also much lighter
than the Bowie. With the length being between 6" to 7"
and ending in a very sharp point, this style was better suited
for gutting and dressing out game. Carrying some type of folding
blade would not be out of the question also. Folding knives
were common among the soldiers of the American Revolution. The
styles varied from maker to maker, but all would be correct for
Some good places to look for a knife that is historically correct
whose design strikes your fancy are: The Knife in Homespun
America 1750-1880 by Madison Grant, The Collector's Illustrated
Encyclopedia of the American Revolution by George C. Neumann
and Frank J. Kravic and Accrouterment II by James R. Johnston.
These books have detailed photographs with dimension given also.
Remember in choosing a knife, size isn't everything. Selecting
one that best suits your needs and station in life is what to
look for. Try not to be a clone but instead work toward originality
in your choice.
Creating a Character
Is That Gun
What's in the Bag?
You need an Edge
up the Night
Keeping an Eye
on the Sky
What type of Primitive
Shelter is best for you?
Return to Living