James Bowie was born about 1795 (Wood) and grew up in the sugar cane country of Louisiana (Lord 26). Jim rop
ed and rode alligators, fought in the Sand Bar Fight where he killed Major Morris Wright with his knife, and fought many other battles (Lord 26). In addition, he made a fortune slave trading with pirate Jean LaFitte, and he made more money on Arkasas lan
d deals to which he had no titles (Wood). He moved to San Antonio, became Catholic and a Mexican citizen, then married the richest girl in town. She was Marķa Ursula de Veramendi, the daughter of
the governor of Texas and the vice-governor of the state of Coahuila y Tejas (Wood). Bowie still went adventuring, such as a Indian fight near his silver mine in San Saba (Lord 27).
Bowie was actually smooth, refined, and rarely raised his voice. He saved people in distress, and he was a devoted husband. This all changed in 1833 when cholera killed his family (Lord 28). Bowie lost his grief in alcohol, and when the war started, th
e governor would not give Bowie a command. However, Houston saw Bowie as an asset and set him to work (Wood). Houston sent Bowie to the Alamo to evacuate the fort and destroy it. Bowie never ful
filled those orders (Lord 75). Shortly after he arrived, he became
co-commander of the garrison, but when he collasped from illness on
February 23, 1836, he turned over command to Colonel Travis (Lord 106).
He was killed by the Mexicans in his room in the low barracks during the
predawn hours of March 6, 1836.
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Richard Wright Copyright 1999