Bowie, James (booʹē, bōʹē), 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.
See C. L. Douglas, James Bowie (1944); R. W. Thorp, Bowie Knife (1948); W. C. Davis, Three Roads to the Alamo (1998).