The Adventures of Jim Bowie  (1956)  (TV)



Director:  Lewis R. Foster, et. al.

Starring:  Scott Forbes (Jim Bowie). 

TV series based on the life of Jim Bowie


An o.k. TV series dealing with different aspects of Jim Bowie's life.  Apparently, Bowie was always getting into adventures in his travels to and from his plantation in Opelousas, Louisiana along the Natchez Trace, that went between Natchez and Ohio. 

The first episode deals with Jim Bowie and the creation of his famous Bowie knife. He is attacked by a black bear and his rifle does not fire.  He ends up battling the bear and manages to chase him off.  Bowie decides he needs a weapon he can count on in another possible fight with a bear.  He contacts his old acquaintance, the blacksmith, who forges the large knife with a double bladed tip that would not break off.  

There are three other episodes on the Volume 1 of the series.

The problem is that the series is a little "too loosely" based on historical facts.

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 


Historical Background:


1796 (April 10)  --  Bowie was born in Kentucky, the child of Rezin Bowie and Elve Ap-Catesby Jones.

1803  --  Rezin Sr. moved his family to St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Jim Bowie spent most of his childhood in Louisiana.  In his early years he was quite the outdoorsman, hunting, fishing and trapping bear. 

1808  --  The U.S. government outlawed the importation of slaves into the U.S.

Bowie and his brother traveled to the coast of the future Texas and teamed up with the infamous French pirate Jean Lafitte to buy and sell illegal slaves. This gave James and Rezin, Jr. their start.  They became wealthy from that trade and from several other trades that followed. After quitting the illegal slave importation business, Bowie moved on to illegal land speculation.

1814  -- Jim settled in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. 

1814  --  Rezin married Margaret F. Neville; they had five children together.

The brothers James and Rezin Jr. were all set to fight in the Louisiana militia company of Col. Colman Martin against the British at the battle of New Orleans, but they arrived too late.

Bowie unsuccessfully searched for the silver mines of San Saba. He got into so many fights that his brother Rezin gave him the famous Bowie Knife that measured ten and one-half inches long by two inches wide. 

1821  -- death of Rezin Bowie Sr.

1827 (September 19)  --  Bowie attended a duel, in the capacity of a "second" at the Vidalia sandbar, a popular dueling spot on the Mississippi River about 70 miles north of Alexandria, Louisiana. When the two duelists missed each other a fight broke out among the attendees.  Norris Wright, a local banker, wounded  Bowie in the lower chest, but Bowie chased the banker with his Bowie Knife. He gained a reputation as a superb knife-fighter when Bowie was able to stab several men who attacked him.   

1831  --  Bowie married Ursula de Veramendi (daughter of the Governor of the province of Texas) and they settled in San Antonio.

1833 (September)  --  Ursula Bowie, her child and parents all died during an outbreak of cholera. Bowie turned to the bottle for consolation.  He contracted tuberculosis, which steadily became worse. 

1836  --  Jim Bowie died at the Battle of the Alamo in the fight for Texas independence from Mexico.