BOWIE, JAMES (1796-1836), American pioneer, was born in Logan county, Kentucky. He was taken to Louisiana about 1802, and in 1818-1820 was engaged with his brothers, John J. and Rezin P., in smuggling negro slaves into the United States from the headquarters of the pirates led by Jean Lafitte on Galveston Island. Bowie removed to Texas in 1828 and took a prominent part in the revolt against Mexico, being present at the battles of Nacogdoches (1832), Concepcion (1835) and the Grass Fight (1835). He was one of the defenders of the Alamo (see San Antonio), but was ill of pneumonia at the time of the final assault on the 6th of March 1836, and was among the last to be butchered. Bowie's name is now perpetuated by a county in north-eastern Texas, and by its association with that of the famous hunting-knife, which he used, but probably did not invent.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)