James Bowie (bōō´ē, bō´ē), c.1796–1836, American frontiersman, b. Logan co., Ky. With his brother, Rezin, he engaged in land speculation in Louisiana and Arkansas. In Texas from 1828, Bowie became a leader of American settlers who opposed the Mexican government and joined in the Nacogdoches disturbances of 1832. When the Texas revolution began in 1835, he was appointed colonel; he died at the Alamo. The legend attributing the bowie knife to his invention is disputed.
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