Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees. So four whole months, the chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar white ape and disappear into the vegetation. Bing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio, this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Podcasts this is Robert Evans and that was the introduction from behind the ********. Wow, which is a podcast, which is why I said the word podcast. Today, with me in the room that is a digital room and not a physical room because of the plague is Mr Billy Wayne Davis. Hey, everybody. Hey, Billy. How are you doing? How's your quarantine going? It's going pretty good. I'm exercising. Raising two kids. Yeah. When I saw you last over Skype, you looked like normal, Billy. And then suddenly this week you have a mustache and a a headband. It's coming together. It's been an interesting quarantine week for you. I'm embracing it. You've got a cookery now, which is a special type of of curved Nepalese blade. Very nice. Number to see if I liked it. And then now I'm going to go to Nepal and get one proper yeah I have a Nepalese bladesmith that I can point you towards. This is a podcast about the worst people in all of history and Billy, you and I have developed a couple of different niches for ourselves. We're we're we have a lot of niches one of those niches is medical scammers and this is not a medical scammer episode because our other niche is weirdos from the South. And today we're going to talk about one of the South's great all time famous weirdo ********. Billy Wayne Davis. What do you know about Jim Bowie? I know the name. Do you know what I mean? Like growing up in the South, you're just like. Yeah, I hear it. I don't know what he there's like, I don't know exactly what he did. You've probably heard of him. I guess everybody listening to this is at least heard of a Bowie knife. Uh, which is a great kind of knife, one of my favorite knives. It's basically a small sword that is a dagger because we call it 1 instead of a small sword with a specific kind of curved end point to the top of the blade and it's it's great for it was initially. It's great for hunting and skinning animals, and it's also great for waving around drunkenly at a house party if you're me and 19 years old. Alright, and about him is the, the, the, the, the giant mutton. He had the, yeah. Horrifying facial hair. He had gigantic mutton chops and he died at the Alamo. Now I was, I was a Texas boy. So in in Texas school you have a special class called Texas History and Every Texas Kid learns a lot about Jim Bowie and it's all wrong because they only teach you lies about Jim Bowie and Texas school. I know who Jim Buoy is. Yes. Yeah, yeah. Sorry. Yes, I do. I just came back. It froze and everything came back. And then you said the Alamo and I was like, immediately, ohh. None of this ************ is. Yes. Yeah. So Jim Bowie's a giant ***** ** **** because this is my show. But he's also like a frontier legend. Like, he's one of those. He's like Davy Crockett or like Wild Bill Hickok. Like he's one of those, like Wild West legends. So this is gonna be a hoot of a tale. And. Yeah, let's just get into it. So, uh, James Bowie was born on March 10th in Logan County, Kentucky in 1796. Probably because again, in Kentucky in 1796. Nobody was super good at like, birth certificates and the like, but that's that's a good guess as to when he was born. He's born three or four days ago. Yeah, yeah, he came into the world sometime round about. And it was the year when we had that big flood on the river. Yeah, that's kind of how people talked about **** like that back then. So yeah, his brother gives March 10th, 1796, is as James Bowie's birthday. His older brother John gives that as the birth date. And John is kind of the source of a lot of our information on Jim Bowie's early life. But John and every other member of the Bowie family are liars and grifters and unreliable narrators. So it's really we really take this all with a grain of salt. I know people like that. And they tell you they're liars too. Like, hey, now I'm gonna tell you the story, but keep in mind I make a lot of stuff up. Keep in mind, what would the moonshine. I can't keep much, much together about my own back story. Yeah, the bully family's a bit like that, and they have financial motives for telling a bunch of saying a bunch of fun **** about Jim Bully, but I don't have much in the way of financial motives about lying about his birth dates. That's probably more or less accurate at least as well as they could remember it. So Jim was the 9th of 10 children born born to resin, which I think was just sort. So basically our EIN is how his dad's first name. Expelled, and it was supposed to be reason, but they weren't great at spelling in Kentucky back in the 1700s, so they they wrote it out as resin. Yeah. So he was this. Yeah. You know what? Not bad for modern Kentucky spelling. No, we're doing, they're doing, they're doing right. You get the gist of it. So, yeah, he was the son of resin buoy and LV Buoy, and his parents came to the United States as part of a massive Scottish migration across Appalachia and into the old S Old South. The the Bowie family were basically the archetypal early white Americans, pioneers down to the core of their marrow resin, had a habit of moving on to wild land in the frontier, developing it by building homes and orchards and stuff. And then when other people would come in and move in around him, he would get angry because he he didn't like being around other people. He wanted to be out in the middle of nowhere, and so he'd moved somewhere else and start building a homestead again until civilization or whatever caught up with him. This was kind of like how Jim Bowie's dad liked to live. He's the 1st house flipper. Yeah. Yeah. That's kind of what he's doing. He's like, gentrifying he. Yeah. He's like, he's basically gentrifying, like the the woods. Yeah. Yeah. But then he hates it. And he's got like, yeah, you could call them. Early hipsters. But instead of like, you know, enjoying artist lofts and artisanal coffee houses, he liked fighting bears with machetes. Every time I see, civilize the place these people show up. That's kind of resins, attitude. So the point I'm making is he wasn't just going about this, like make a home in a living for himself and his family. Like he needed to be at the bleeding edge of the frontier. And so Jim Bowie's early life as a child consisted of many moves. You know, they'd spend a couple of years somewhere, and then his father would grow frustrated by the fact that there were human beings within 1/2 mile of them, and so they moved somewhere else. I was just like, yeah, these people, there's a there's a level of, even though all these people are spoilers, slave owners and colonizers and monsters, there's a level of respect you have to have to anyone who is like, there's people within a mile of me. I'm gonna go move out to the middle of nowhere with a hatchet and build another home like that. Like they're they're tough is. Yeah. I just keep thinking, like, I'm not as stubborn as I thought. There there's there's a tik T.O.K, right. That's that's that's like where the wife comes in. It's like, honey. We have to move. The neighbor said hi and that's these people. Yeah, yeah, that's resin buoy. Kim's friends. Billy. What were you saying? I'm gonna call you booey a couple of times, and as I'm, I'm certain it's OK. I like it. I don't remember. Oh good, fantastic. Well yeah, so now the bully family when Jim was young tended to live all the spots they would pick where along the Mississippi River and they basically moved down the Mississippi as like people filled up the area above them. And moving dot day for the Bowie family meant they would build by hand a flat bottom boat, toss all of their **** onto it, and then sail down the Mississippi to find a new place to live. So that's what that's what like EU haul of the day is. And you just wake up and hear ****. Dad's building a boat. Dad's making a boat. Got damn it. Yeah, now Lil Jimboys first memories probably would have been in the Twopenny Township in what is now Missouri, and what was then still under French control and part of their New Madrid district. Now. The name Twap petty came from the original inhabitants of the land, the Apple Creek Band of the Shawnee Tribe. They've been forced out by white men via unspeakable violence and disease, and young Jim would go on to spend much of his childhood playing in camps that they'd abandoned, all throughout the forests and swamps around. Twopenny Township. Umm now. His earliest memories from age 4 to 6 would have been pretty relaxed. Boy family children weren't expected to work much at that age, and Jim would have spent much of his time relatively unsupervised in the middle of the woods. The bully men were in general. Given to spending a lot of time alone in the middle of nowhere, Jim's formal education would have been basically nonexistent. His mother, Elvie, taught her children the alphabet, but that was about all she knew, so that was about all they learned. After two years in Twopenny, it got too developed for resin, and the family moved now. During this time, much of the southeast was still run and owned by France, and the French government saw Americans as an ally in their endless bloody war against English people, which is the only war that really matters, in my opinion. I agree, that's yeah. Now they were happy to allow Americans to settle in the Louisiana Territory, and they offered generous terms on land grants for them to do so. The Bowie family kept moving S and by 1812 they'd staked out a claim on Bayou Vermilion in the Attakapas parish just South of Opelousas. They got into the timber cutting business, and by now Jim was coming up into a young adult. So he was able to help the family business, as did all of his many brothers. The Bowery Boys were close, and for most of his life, Jim Bowie's primary business partners would be his. Again, he was raised with a love of exploration and constant motion, as well as an abiding appreciation for owning enslaved human beings. His grandfather had owned people, as had his father. The Bowies weren't rich, but they did not and did not have large fields full of enslaved people, but they kept small families of field hands enslaved to help them with their work. And I'm going to read a quote now from the book 3 roads to the Alamo that describes sort of how slavery was practiced within the Bowie family. It's going to sound like it's making a different point than it is at first, but just just listen to the whole quote. Typically, for land owned by small farmer slaveholders, Bowie plantations enjoyed benign, even familial relations between blacks and whites. They certainly wore for were for Uncle Riza, who never married, but who fathered a son named James by a slave mistress around sometime around 1790, and thereafter openly acknowledged him, gave him his freedom and the family name, and brought him to Louisiana with the rest of the clan. The Black James Bowie remained in cattle Catahoula, while the rest moved S for years to come. He steadily did land and loan business, with both John Senior and junior even buying and selling. Believes himself, and achieve some minor position in the community near Sicily island. Wherever boy blood flowed, clan loyalty followed. In later years, the family were remembered as well. Stories of resins, young stories of resins, young James's closeness to an old slave woman named Mandy, of the little kindnesses he did for her, and of the advice she passed on to the boy. There was never any question that the boy slaves were property, though. And with the exception of a few favorites like old Mandy, they were usually sold with the land whenever a boy moved on. So you've got a really complicated relationship with slaves. To the point where some of the boys men have children Umm with with their slaves and those children are seen as boys and are generally live lives as freed people. And you have like certain older slaves that are beloved and consider almost a part of the family but also almost includes a lot of wiggle room. And as much as the boys pretended to have familiar relations with their slaves they sold them whenever they would move because these people were in the end property to them. And this is kind of like. This is a pretty normal sort of master slave relationship to exist in the area at the time with among people who are moving a lot like we don't. We mainly talk about sort of the old plantation system, but that hadn't really gotten going in a big way at this point. Umm. And yeah, that's kind of how the bully family dealt with slavery. It's it's yeah, I don't know. It's weird. It sucks. But yeah, it was bad. It's just it's very clear they viewed them as livestock. They've used that's. It's it's it's more messed up than even just that though, because you know, the the boys were a close knit family. You had a lot of different uncles and brothers all living together with their families. And when one of them would make another human being with a slave that that person was considered to be a bully and a member of the family. But that person's black cousins and and and you know, half brothers and stuff would be sold off as property. So it's this, it's really kind of weird to wrap. Your head around, I don't even know. I can't even really get into the head of the people who would comfortably do that, who could like, recognize that, like, well, this one's got my blood, so he's family and we're going to treat him like family. But these other people who have are related to him but not to me. I'm just going to sell like a dishwasher. It's really strange. It is like a weird flip of the coin in their head where they've made that. This is the line for us. It's bizarre. It is bizarre, yeah. It's hard for me to get my head around in anyway. And I should note here that because I, my longtime coworker is is Soren Bowie, I'm going to regularly pronounce the boy name in a number of different ways, and it's gonna frustrate people. And they can just they can just deal with it. Yeah, deal with it, people. Yeah. It's just going to happen. Sorry. Is it human, man? Yeah. So the Bowie family patriarch had to kill other human beings at least once while the Bowie boys were children when the family. Off to Louisiana. They found squatters on their land. A disagreement ensued. And resin killed one of the squatters. Yeah. He was jailed. Yeah. Yeah. And this was not uncommon because, like, yeah, land ownership was kind of a murky idea back then. Yeah. Yeah. So it was the idea of squatting, too, where you're just, like, I'll see you in court and you're not. You're not gonna see me in court. Yeah. You're not going to see me in court. I'm just going to shoot you right now. Yeah. So resin killed one of these squatters and like it. Went to trial and he got jailed in the wake of the fight while they were waiting for a trial and his wife actually got a bunch of guns together and one of her slaves and busted him out of jail. So this would have been a pretty early memory of Jim's boy is his like mom and one of their slaves busting their dad out of jail for murdering a guy. Yeah. So that's cool. Well, that's an end. That's that. That puts an imprint on your foundation as a person. I think. Yeah, that the law is something that you can manipulate via having enough guns. I think would have been. Yeah, yeah. So Jim's older brother, also named Resin, left home to go have dangerous adventures when he was about 19, and this was desperately hard for young Jim because he was very close to his brother. A few years later, when the War of 1812 came to Louisiana, Jim was finally old enough to follow resin when he enlisted. James, another one of the Bowie brothers, described resin junior as a perfect rowdy, and Jim himself was noted to be even Wilder and even less thoughtful than his older brother. They were both very excited for their chance to go off and kill English people. Tragically, they arrived too late. The war ended without them having to fire a shot. The bully brothers were still in the militia though, and they remained in it for a couple of months after the battle, taking on boring patrol duties and spending their off duty time in the city of New Orleans. Eventually we get to shoot somebody. We'll hang out for a couple more minutes just in case. Yeah, yeah, that's basically what happens. But they don't get a chance to shoot anybody and they muster out with about $21.00 each for their troubles. So yeah. That's that's kind of Jim's a man now. Like he he he doesn't get his chance to murder anybody, but he's got $21.00 in his pocket. He's like 17 years old. That's as much of an adulthood as you you get at that, that. In time. And this is high school graduation. And in New Orleans, that's a good place to be 17 with the pocket full of money, that is that is a good place to be then and now. Well, no, not now because of the coronavirus, but then. Yeah, sure. Yeah. So Jim was frustrated at the fact that his war experience hadn't ended with him getting to shoot anybody, but he also, you know, he it was exciting still, you know, he got to do some patrols and stuff as part of the militia. He got to get wasted in New Orleans, and his taste of being out in the world made it impossible for him to return home. So he took to the same basic tactic as the men his father had murdered a couple of years back, and started squatting on a patch of land above Bayou Booth in Opelousas James Bowie, Jimi's older brother. And I'm sorry, the boy names are all very complicated because there's multiple jameses and multiple resins and Johns. It's very frustrated. We forgot what we named the other one. We named him the same one. The the the feeling you get from the Bowie brothers names is that they were expecting the parents were expecting most of them to die and then they didn't because the boys tended to be pretty tough. And so you wind up with a bunch of kids who have the same ******* name, name, name. James. Again, I don't give a ****. Yeah, we didn't expect as many of them would make it. 18 is dead. I gotta make a boat. There's people over here. Yeah, yeah. So James Bowie, another one of Jim's, another one of Jim Bowie's older brothers would later describe 18 year old Jim Bowie this way quote. He was. Yeah. Sorry. John Bowie. Jimi's older. Yeah. Jesus. I'm sorry. The boy names are so ******* complicated. They all. How many siblings does he have? Do they all have? Weird. He has ten. He has ten brothers. Are they all Jim John sucks? Joe. Jim John. Right. There's a couple. There's a resin in there. Yeah. Resin. Junior. It's very frustrating, but Jim Bowie's older brother would later describe Jim at 18 this way, quote, he was young, proud, poor and ambitious, without any rich family connections or influential fringe to aid him in the Battle of life. After reaching the age of maturity, he was a stout, rather raw boned man of 6 feet height with £180 and about as well made as any man I ever saw. His hair was light colored, not quite red. His eyes were Gray, rather deep, set in his head, very keen and penetrating in their glance. His complexion was fair, his cheekbones rather high. Taken together he was a manly, fine looking person, and by many of the fair ones he was called handsome. The fair ones are women he was possessed of. To his brother a little bit, yeah, yeah, you know. You get the idea that maybe some bully brothers got up to some. Some things they were in French country. It wasn't weird, good looking brother I got. Yeah, I got some sexy brothers and I know from sexy brothers. He was possessive and open frank disposition with a rather good temper, unless aroused by some insult when the displays of his anger were terrible and frequently terminated in some tragical scene. So he was a friendly guy, unless he got angry, in which case he got really violent. Pretty fair temper. Unless you made him mad. That's what he just said. Was just like, that's literally what he's saying. Ohh, I forgot. You just learned the alphabet. I forgot about it. Yeah, that's your only education. He was never known to abuse a conquered enemy or to impose upon the weak and defenseless a man of very strong social feelings. He loved his friends with all the ardor of youth and hated his enemies and their friends with all the rancor of the Indian. He was social and playing with all men fond of music and the amusements of the day. It would take a glass and a merry mood to drive. Dole. Caraway. That seldom allowed it to steal away his brains or transform him into a beast. This is what his brother claims, and a lot of its lies, because he was a famous drunk. But yeah, that's that's that's how his his older brother described him at 18. Now, by any accounts, Jim Bowie was a pretty good frontiersman. He squatted on land, chopped and sold Cypress wood, which he saw down in the planks, and then floated down by the river into town. He also hunted a great deal, and his brother John wrote that he developed a particularly painful way of hunting bears quote in the summer season, when the Bears were constantly ravaging little patches of green corn of the early settlers, he adopted the following novel plan to entrap them. After finding a place where they usually enter the field, he would find like a. A stump. A tree stump that was kind of hollow on the inside. And he'd fit the inside of the stump with spikes that we're facing inward. And then he'd poor honey into the stump, and so the bear would stick its snout and the the stump to get honey. And then as it pulled its head out, the spikes would gouge into its face, and so its head would be trapped inside the log, like with with iron spikes gouged into its mouth. And then while the bear was like in horrible agony, trying to free itself and blind it because its head stuck in a stump. He would just shoot it in the head. Great. I mean, I feel like he went a step barbaric for that, but but, you know, it's different times, I guess. So, yeah, that's the kind of hunter Jim is. He's a he's a cunning man and good at surviving, but also clearly not against horrific cruelty, even, like, I mean, even among sort of the ways you hear about people trapping, that's pretty rough. Yeah. Yeah. So. He was very successful at living on the frontier, and he made enough money that after two years living this way, he'd saved up $300 to use as a down payment on the land he'd been squatting on. And he had enough leftover from that nest egg after he bought the land to buy some human beings, a family of four that he purchased on credit from his father. Over the next couple of years, Jim Bowie used their unpaid labor and very questionable credit math to work out a series of loans and deferred payments for three more parcels of land. Now, these were days in which no one had much hard currency, and most deals relied heavily on the amount of personal trust the loanee was able to gain from whoever issued the loan. It like it wasn't like today where you actually had to have the money one way or the other. You know, if you got like a bank to front it to you like a lot of loans were based on like, you're a trustworthy guy. And and Jim Bowie was good, initially at least, at convincing people that he was worth taking a risk on. Before long, using only the his own elbow grease and the uncompensated labor of four enslaved people, Jim was able to turn these four plots of land into a productive and valuable piece of property. He would eventually sell it for significantly more than he paid for it. What Jim succeeded with was essentially the goal of the smartest pioneers. There were land speculators looking to turn labor into real estate value and eventually get to the point where they could profit from investments. About spending three years clearing timber. In the time when he wasn't working, Jamboree was sociable as three roads to the Alamo Notes Society was important to James Bowie. He loved company, and his open, frank manner and even temper attracted others to him. He was also ambitious, and he knew, and he knew it to be in his interest to cultivate friendships with what John Bowie called the better class of people. And there, on rare occasion when there were too many glasses in the merriment turned to harsh words, his other side might emerge. He would not abide an insult when enraged James Bowie. Came entirely single minded and his determination to vent his anger on a foe would observers took for fearlessness was as much an entire forgetfulness of his own safety. In the grips of his fury he soon acquired a reputation as a man to both respect and fear. That's an elegant way to put that. Like once he got drunk and you ****** him off he would fight you till he couldn't fight you anymore. Yeah it's this thing where like this is like this constant state of realization as you like go over the stories of like. Frontier legends and Wild West heroes and stuff that, like, oh, if these people were around in 2020, you would call them violent drunks who commit murder when they get wasted. Like, like in there, there's like, he was a a good friend and a dangerous enemy. Which just means that, like, when he got drunk and he thought you had muttered something about him, he would just start shooting. Like, yeah, and that person's a good friend and a dangerous enemy that shouldn't be the same person. Yeah. Yeah, he shouldn't be your good friend and then in the same day also be your worst enemy. That's not that's not a good dude. Yeah, he got ****** easily. Easily, especially when drinking, which is. It was more of a romantic thing back then than I think we tend to consider it. It's just. It's fun. Yeah, we we didn't have terms like violent alcoholic back then. Instead, you were you were just known as being rambunctious and a man to respect and fear. Like that's what you called a guy who was really good with a gun and got drunk and angry too often. There's that guy that's going to kill us. He's so funny. He's so funny. I really respect his ability to murder people when he's wasted. I like that. We don't know what he's going to do, ever. That's my favorite. Worried about him. I like how unpredictable he is with that six gun he always carries. Yeah, and also how how talented he is at using it. That part mixed in with the unpredictable is awesome. It's so good, Robert. You know what else is so good? I was gonna say, you know what also is unpredictable with a handgun. Uh, sure, let's go with that. The sponsors of this podcast, you can never predict what they'll do with their guns. That's how we vet all of our sponsors. Is their unpredictability with a firearm. Please throw one at him. See what happens. See what happens. You can never predict it. Here's a product. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. 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Is there anything that we haven't talked about or or I should have asked you or you'd like to add that seems relevant? You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Revisionist history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. All right. We are back and we're talking about Jim Bowie, so. Back during his brief time in the militia, Jim had been in near contact with a guy named Doctor James Long, a surgeon who'd served in the Battle of New Orleans and was pretty well known by the excitable and heavily armed men of Louisiana. In the summer of 1819, long began making plans to invade Texas. Now then, as in today, Texas was a violent and lawless wasteland. Mexico was ostensibly in charge, but they weren't great at being in charge, and the United States had only recently yielded her claim over Texas. In the atoms onis treaty, a lot for being honest. Mexico is still in charge of large swaths of Texas. Yeah, but they're not there again. They're still not good at it. No one's really ever been good at being in charge of Texas, which is part yeah. So a lot of Texas is charm and a lot of what makes Texas such a bad place to be. I think one person is gonna tell all these ********* what to do. OK. No, no. OK. No. They don't even listen to each other. They're not gonna listen to you. Yeah. Yeah. Ohh that everyone voted. OK. OK. Yeah, yeah. It's just like people talk about Austin being the capital of Texas. The capital of Texas has always been whatever the most men with guns in a given part of Texas want the law to be. How it works, yeah. So, yeah, uh, yeah. A lot of southern white dudes weren't happy that the US had kind of backed off on attempting to take over Texas. And mainly this was because they wanted to take over a bunch of taxes for themselves because other parts of the southeast were kind of filling up. So this doctor, James Long, started putting together a crude militia of what you would either call freedom fighters or violent extremists, depending on, you know, their complexion and your complexion and how you feel about complexions in general. And there were about 75 of these guys, and their plan was to launch an expedition through the territory and claim it for the United States. They marched through Louisiana on their way over, and Jim Bowie could not resist the urge to get into a series of gun fights and maybe also get rich. So he signed up along the way. Wait, wait. We're going where? Sure, sure. I'm really sure you need a violent guy. I'm a violent guy. I I'm really bummed that I didn't get into more gun fights when the war happened. I would love a chance to do that again. I never shot over that one before. Yeah, yeah. So by the time long reached Nacogdoches, one of every one of the three or four towns in Texas that every Texan elementary student learns how to spell. It was late June and long and has been declared a new government and started proclaiming laws. Now, as a general rule, when white folks with guns in the middle of nowhere started announcing laws in this period of time, one of two things would happen. One would be a violent **** show, and two would be the United States of America. Unfortunately, that had already happened, and so this turned into a violent **** show. Yeah, so long knew that his 300 men or so wouldn't be much of a match for the entire Mexican army. So he attempted to draw more filibusters down by offering them land at a dollar an acre, which was a pretty good price. And so for a couple of months, he succeeded in drawing in a few hundred guys who wanted very cheap land. And Jim Bowie was immediately one of the most popular of these filibusters, mainly because he was really good at getting into gunfights, which happened pretty regularly during this period of time. And and the the the various fights that Jim got into around now would have been his first taste of Mortal Kombat. But it was pretty obvious that long was outmanned and outclassed by the Spanish authorities and by October of night of 1819. They driven him and his men out of Nacogdoches within a month or so, the expedition was a shambles, and Jim Bowie fled back to Louisiana because he didn't really want to get his *** kicked. So we got into a couple of gun fights. He gets to have an adventure, but it doesn't really work out in the long run. I got flat out of nagash this one time. Yeah. It's a rite of passage for every Texas Texan. So Jim Bowie was a trailblazer in that, got hammered and they're like, you need to leave town. I was like, that makes sense. Now, this would not be the last time that James Bowie would try and fail to conquer Texas. And thankfully, there were no consequences at this point for invading another nation's sovereign territory and trying to take over a part of it like he and and the other filibusters just kind of went back to Louisiana and everything was fine like that. I mean, it's it's kind of like the Bundys. Yeah. Yeah, it is a little bit like that. Yeah. With more gunfire than ever heard. Yeah. With the Bundys. So or Jim would return home. Kind of got together with his brothers John and resin, and they all kind of agreed that they were ready to make a whole big ******* pile of money. And in those days, as now, the best way to make a whole big ******* pile of money was to sell illegal and desirable products. Now today that means cocaine. In the early 1800s, it meant enslaved human beings. Slavery was obviously a big business and a big part of the economy of the South, but by 1819, most American slaves had been born in or around the United States. Because the federal government had banned Americans from buying African slaves about a decade earlier, in 1808. Now, some of this had been due to moral pressure to end the Atlantic slave trade, but it only happened because America's political leaders assumed that existing slaves would breed enough to, you know, settle demand. But the massive growth of the plantation system in the South in this. Surprised people. And before long, the demand for slaves in the old South far outstripped the supply. This was obviously this Christ. What, that surprises you? No, but just to hear it. Yeah. I mean there's no way it's it's weird because like, these are these are human beings and we should always talk about this as the crime that it was. But also, I think if you talk about it, I think it actually, it actually gets across how horrible it was when we do use terms like supply and demand and product because that's how these people viewed them. Jim Bowie was looking at like the fact that, oh, you know, slaves aren't having enough babies to meet for the demand, so someone needs to bring in more people to enslave. He was looking at it the same way that, like, today we're like, oh, there's not enough toilet paper. We need to manufacture more toilet paper. That's how they thought about human beings who were enslaved at this point in time. And that's important. He thought about it like, hey, there's not enough prisoners in my prison to for the stockholders to make money. Yeah. Yeah, he would have owned a private prison, or at least invested in one if he'd lived in the modern day. But he didn't. And so he got up to what I can only call like a slave trading con. Why so yeah, this is a complicated business. So I, I'm, I have to explain some peculiar and some peculiarities of Louisiana law first. So slave smuggling was a big business, and because the state was fundamentally racist, it had no desire to like, the state didn't want people smuggling slaves, right. It had to, it had to try to stop that, had to arrest, arrest slave smugglers, and it had to confiscate the smuggled slaves. But those smuggled slaves were still property. So when illicit slave traders were caught bringing African slaves. Legally into the United States, those slaves were not freed and they sure as **** weren't returned home. Instead they were auctioned off by the government for profit. This meant captured smuggled slaves were super profitable for the government because if they you captured a bunch of slaves, you just made a **** load of money as the government. So the government had a real interest in actually people telling them where contraband enslaved human beings were, so they would pay a bounty on people who could turn in contract, like who could point out. Like, hey, there's a bunch of contraband slaves here. Such helpful citizens received a percentage of the sale price of the slaves as a reward. Are you seeing how this could be the system could be gained yet? Yeah, yeah, yeah. So all this brings me to the story of Jean Lafitte, a French pirate who spent half of his year robbing and ****** and stealing whole ships full of booty on the Spanish main and half of his year hanging out in a fortified compound called Snake Island near Galveston. Which is objectively cool. It is cool to be a pirate with. Yeah, there's like a couple things that you shouldn't have done, but everything else sounds awesome. Yeah, snake pirate with living on Snake Island? That's cool as hell. Like, I mean, it's awful that he's trading and enslaved human beings. That Snake Island, you know? Yeah, yeah, so, uh, yeah. He would sell stolen goods from his base in Snake Island and throughout 18181819, Lafitte and his pirates were particularly successful in stealing shiploads of enslaved people bound for South America. And Lafitte's barracks on Snake Island soon held more than 600 of these people. Now. Can I just make it terrible, just like one of his other parts? Like scratching his head on the island like this place used to be a lot more fun. It sounds like all he cares about is money now. This is not what I had in mind when I signed up. It used to just be about the pillaging. And stick, sadly. So around this same time, Jim Bowie had developed a bit of a reputation in this area as a rough customer and and an exciting guy. He was a land speculator, but he also made cash as a Roper and a tamer of wild horses and as an alligator rider which. Select. Do you understand? Like, everyone around this time was a rough character, so yeah, everyone else to be like, that guy's ******* he's crazy. The average person in like the southeast, southwest in this period of time who could make it to 20 would have just wiped the floor with any given MMA fighter today, largely because they would have immediately pulled a knife. What you saying? I thought we was fighting. This is a fight. I just stabbed him. That's how we fight. He did. He didn't stab me back. I don't understand it. He dumb. Dumb kept trying to punch me. So Jim Bowie was like, really popular among like, the whole area around Snake Island because he was just this this tough dude who would write alligators and **** who tried to invade Texas. He was a cool seen as kind of a cool guy. So James, you know, his popularity eventually brings him into. Conversation with Jean Lafitte and the two became instant friends because they were both dangerous sociopaths and eventually the pirate let Jim in on a little secret. He had a **** load of slaves, but a lot of them were sick and so he just couldn't sell them and he wasn't allowed to legally sell any of them in the United States because they were all from Africa. Now, at this point in time, a healthy slave went for about a dollar a pound, which is how Jean Lafitte sold human beings. But again, the sick ones were unsellable, so Bowie came to visit Lafitte on Snake Island. We took a look at his inventory and he returned from the trip, got together with his brothers and together they launched a plan so Jean Bo John Bowie, who was part of this plan, would later write quote. We first purchased 40 ******* from Lafitte at the rate of $1.00 per pound or an average of $140.00 for each *****. We bought them into the limits of the United States, delivered them to a custom House officer, and became the informers ourselves. The law gave the informer half the value of the ******* which were put up and sold by the United States. Marshall and we became the purchasers of the ******* took half as our reward for informing, and obtained the Marshall sale for 40 ******* which entitle us to sell them within the United States. We continued to follow this business until we made $65,000. So you see what the scam is here, Billy? They're buying slaves that are illegal to bring into the United States from their pirate friend Jean Lafitte. And then they turned the slaves in to the government and say, we caught these illegal slaves being smuggled in, and the reward the government gave them was half the value of the slaves. And then the government would auction off the slaves, and they would buy the slaves at auction and basically get subsidized for the price of the slaves because they'd get, you know, half of the value of them as a reward. And then once they bought the slaves at auction, they would be legal slaves in the United States and they could go on and sell them to other people. And it also worked because Lafitte, a lot of his slaves were elderly and old and sick, and so nobody was going to buy them from the pirate, but they would buy the slaves, turn them into the United States and get half of the value because they were valued by weight. They'd still get money for these slaves that were actually valueless slaves, and then the government would just be stuck with them. So, like, yeah, it was a that this was like the slavery con that that Jim Bowie made his fortune in. Wow. Yeah. It's it's like robbing drug dealers, but worse because there's not, because you're still a terrible person. Yeah, it's it's I don't even really have a word for it. But like, slavery is one of the worst things a human being can do. But in this time, it was legal. And so they found out, found a way to take this horrible legal thing and also break the law while doing it like. Yeah, we're doing slavery, but shady and yeah, what is that? How did you do that? Yeah, it's a gift. It's a gift. Now, Billy, you know who won't illegally commit tax fraud by sneakily importing slaves in and then turning them into the customs officers in order to take advantage? And a loophole in the law, you know, won't do that. Billy. I don't want to guess the products and services that support this podcast. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one meant mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. 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If you're having trouble stuck in your own head, focusing on problems dealing with depression, or just you know can't seem to get yourself out of a rut, you may want to try therapy, and better help makes it very easy to get therapy that works with your lifestyle and your schedule. A therapist can help you become a better problem solver, which can make it easier to accomplish your goals, no matter how big or small they happen to be. So if you're thinking of giving therapy a try, better help is a great. Option it's convenient, accessible, affordable, and it is entirely online. You can get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey, and if the therapist that you get matched with doesn't wind up working out, you can switch therapists at any time. When you want to be a better problem solver, therapy can get you there. Visit behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better This fall on revisionist history, is there anything that we haven't talked about or? I should have asked you if you'd like to add that seems relevant. You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Revisionist history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. So we're back. So the Bowie boys spent months engaging in this business of buying slaves from a pirate, taking them into the United States, smuggling them in, and then turning them into the government. And true to form, Jim Bowie had the most personally violent task of the whole enterprise. And I'm going to quote now from William C Davis's book 3 roads to the Alamo quote. James himself did the most dangerous work of conveying the contrabands through the swamps and bayous, bringing them in lots of 40 at a time, as many as one or two men could handle. Although the blacks were chained, Bowie found little need for fetters. The frightened Africans knew nothing of the country and had nowhere to go, while they were told enough of alligators, snakes, and hostile natives to the to know that safety, if not happiness, lay with the bowies. On one trip, a few slaves may have escaped not to be found again, but for the rest James Bowie felt secure that they would not run. He even told the feet on one of his visits to campeachy that he rarely lost a slave because he was armed and he knew they feared him, and stilling fear in others was something James Bowie did with ease. It sounds like not with ease, like with pride. With pride. Yeah. Yeah. He's like, now I have this gift that I'll kill you. Yeah. I'm really good at scaring chained up people with a gun as I lead them through unfamiliar territory. Because they look at me and without question, they know that I will murder that. Yeah. I don't give a ****. It means nothing to me. It's like blinking. Yeah. Yeah, people. People tell me it's a gift, but it's just who I am now. James was very much taken with the slaves. Building business. He saw it as an easy way to make outsized profits while committing what he considered to be a victimless crime. The state made money, the pirate made money, and he made money. No one got harmed. Obviously not a person. Not one human being got harmed. Yeah, yeah. Now, one thing Jim Bowie was capable of doing was nursing a deep and abiding love for knives. Obviously, Bowie is most famous for the enormous blade that bears his name, which we'll be talking about in detail here. Jim, not the GM knaff? Yep. The old gym knife? Yep. You know the old saying? You got a gym on your hip? Never go hiking without a gym. Yeah. So, and I have to confess here that my Boeing knives are my favorite kind of knife I love. There's nothing like having like a ******* pound and a half knife on your hip and just really ******* up a piece of wood or a severed skull of a cow. Whatever. You got to **** ** with a knife when you're hiking around in the middle of nowhere. A Bowie knife can do it. And and I feel it's a shame that these solid knives have gotten tarnished by the name of this slave owning Monster. And this is the story of why? Because he did not invent the knife. Yeah, but I feel like he probably did it justice. He did. He did. And we're gonna talk about why his knife got famous here. So. The knife was initially. The knife that he got famous for was initially a gift from his brother. Probably you'll hear a couple of different stories about how he got his for the first Bowie knife from a couple of different people. And it's not really important to get into each of the different stories and detail, but the the the details we can synthesize that they kind of all have in common. Boil down to Jim Bowie received a really ******* big knife, either as a gift or as a purchase. Tea like commissioned himself from a blacksmith and it was made by a local Louisiana blacksmith to be significantly larger. And the heavier than most hunting knives of the era were, so he just gets an unusually large knife. Either his brother has it made for him, or he pays a guy to make it, but he winds up with this huge **** *** knife. It's a Hobbit sword. I got it is Hobbit sword. It is a Hobbit sword. Yeah. And his brother John would later claim that he bought the knife for Jim. And and John had significant financial motivation to making this claim because the Bowie family got rich off of the fact that their name was attached to a famous kind of knife. And John also had a vested interest in making it seem as if his brother was like a knife wielding prodigy, like an artist with a blade. And the reality is very different from that now. Jay Frank. Kobe, a historian who studied Bowie and produced a pretty fair biography of him in 1957, noted. Big Jim Bowie, in conveying smuggled slaves, armed himself with three or four knives so that he could transfix any captive who tried to break away. Jerking a knife out was easier than reloading a horse pistol at the muzzle. Both Jim and resin could keep several knives moving in the air at the same time without allowing one to touch the ground. At 20 paces, either could send a knife clean through a small wooden target. So that's probably untrue, but these are the kind of stories people started to tell about Jim Bowie, that he was like, yeah, like a master of the Blade. And the reason that he got this reputation for being an artist with a knife is because of something that happened in 1827, the infamous sandbar fight. So. It's amazing to me because a lot of people get stabbed to death in fights even today, and nobody cares about those fights, and they're kind of written down as like, the result of thugs and criminals just having access to knives. But when a bunch of white dudes stab each other to death, it this is what happens. Well, on a sandbar. Yeah, on a sandbar. So it's good to know that people have always been doing nonsense on sandbars in the Gulf of Mexico. Yeah, yeah. And this sandbar, we'll talk about the sandbar, so. Jim spent most of the 1820s engaging in a series of land cons and Arkansas, and basically he he had committed dozens of acts of fraud and basically sold people, land and. This day in Arkansas, business. Business, yeah, he would sell people land that he didn't have any right to and then take their money and **** ***. This this is not too mad at that. Yeah, he did that for decades. Like as a general rule, if you're wondering what Jim Bowie was doing during a period of his life where we don't have a lot of detail, he was scamming people into buying land he didn't own. So he did this a bunch in Arkansas and it ****** *** a lot of people. And he also like the only way he was able to get away with it was that he relied heavily on banks to lend him the credit to do land speculation. And at one point in the late 1820s, he was infuriated to find that the sheriff of a nearby. Irish had basically put in a bad word against him and stopped the bank from giving him a loan that he needed to continue his cons. So he got into an argument with the person who'd put with that sheriff, and they got into a fight on the street, and the sheriff, a guy named Norris Wright, shot at Jim Bowie and only failed to kill him because the bullet hit a silver dollar in Bowie's pocket. Jim fired back, but his pistol misfired, and so he charged Norris right to try to beat him to death with his bare hands, but his friends intervened and stopped the whole thing. Ending in murder. And that really ****** Jim off. And he promised after that point that he would never be caught without an enormous knife on his body, so that if that happened again and his gun misfired, he could just stab a guy to death and maybe stab his friends to death for trying to stop him from stabbing a guy to death. No, for sure stab is. Yeah, because those aren't his friends anymore. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, it did not take long for Jim Bowie to find an occasion to use his giant **** *** knife to stab a man. So the sandbar. White is really romanticized in Texas history, although it didn't happen in Texas. But it involves Jim Bowie, and so we all learned about it. And the short of it is that Bowie wound up on one side of a formal duel which was held on a sandbar between Louisiana and Mississippi. Dueling was actually illegal in both States and because the sandbar wasn't really in either state, it was a popular place for men to get together with their friends and try to murder other men, and they later used that same. Loophole for gambling, yes, yeah, it's the same basic idea. Now, one of the fun things about the sandbar duel is that no one really has a good explanation as to why it started. There were two different camps. 1 Camp was focused around two brothers named Wells and their friends, including Jim Bowie and the others on the other side was a guy named Robert Crane, a doctor named Thomas Maddox, and Bowie's old Enemy Norris. Right now, all of these people had beef with each other for a bunch of reasons ranging from business disputes to allegations of voter fraud, and mainly they just didn't like each other. William C Davis writes that quote. Chances were that by late summer of 1827, none of them knew the true origins of their feud. So it's just a bunch of men who hate each other, and they agree to meet up at the sandbar will it's OK to try to murder each other, to try to murder each other. So they meet up there in the summer of 1827. I'm not against any of this at this point. No, no, this is all it sounds like everyone's willing to meet at the sandbar, so you bet. Well, I'm gonna be on the bank and I'm gonna watch. This is the only victimless crime that we've run into so far. So yeah, who gives a ****? And these are all probably monsters. Like, these are all slave owners, all piece. I don't care. Yeah. So all these guys meet up at the sandbar and they exchange insults and they waved guns at each other in the nearby city of Alexandria, 1st. And like, so they they all meet in the city near the sandbar first, and they, like, wave guns and yell at each other. It's kind of like a pro wrestling thing, right? Like they all, they all get everyone around them fired up. And so the citizens in Alexandria, like, realized, oh, there's a few got to be happening. And so, like, when these guys meet up at the sandbar. Yeah, that's exactly what this is. This is a ******* WWE match. And so when they meet up at the sandbar, like hundreds of people surround the sandbar to watch this, like, fight start, it was very, very silly. Is kind of the the in the summary of what happens. So eventually on July 26th, like the two kind of ringleaders of both groups, Norris Wright and a guy named Hall agreed to have a gun fight on the sandbar and 200 people show up to observe the fight. But yeah, they did. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I would. I would. But Norris Wright doesn't show up for the fight. Instead, he gathers a heavily armed posse and shows up near the site of the duel and like Sinza representative in to say, like, not ready to fight yet, but we're going to have a big fight in September. That's when we're going to do it. September. It's like a *******. I can't get over how much like the ******* WWE this is. Yeah, so everybody kind of waits until the fall and then the aggrieved. Alright, alright, OK, all. We all come back in the fall. Yeah. So the aggrieved parties all gather back at the sandbar in September 19th, 1827 to try to murder each other for reasons which, again, are completely unclear. It's very hard for me to like football. Yeah. So this is what we're gonna do. Boredom seems to be the main driver in all this. Now, officially, the dual was between. Wells and Maddox this time, and everyone else was seconds, including Jim Bowie. But there was so much hatred between all the different men on both sides that the organizers of the duel started to worry it might turn into a gigantic bloody fight. And to avoid that, they limited each side to bringing three men onto the sandbar. So wells and Maddox face off at 10 paces, and because Wells was nearly blind, they had to be extra close. But it didn't matter if they were extra close. They're both terrible shots, and they both miss at ******* 10 feet away. And so the dual ends and nobody's hurt, and both men shake hands, and wells and Maddox are actually like, fine with this. They're like, now we can be friends again. We tried to shoot each other. Nobody died. This is great. And so, kind of like at the end of when a ******* children's best baseball team finishes a game like all both sides convened together to shake hands, and this is where things go awry because the other friends. Hadn't shot at each other are still really ****** and they start insulting each other and an argument sparks up and it we don't know exactly what happens. There's different stories. One of them is that one of the doctor, doctor Maddox, pulls out his gun and tries to shoot another guy and accidentally shoots Jim Bowie in the leg. Three roads to the Alamo claims that the fight started with when Jimbo and another man named Crane both drew their guns and everyone else tried to calm them down. And then Crane shot at Bowie and missed him. And then Bowie fired back and missed Crane. And then Crane drew his second pistol and fired again and missed again, but hit one of Bowie's friends in the leg and severed an artery. And then Crane realized he'd ****** ** and he ran like hell away. And so Jim Bowie drew his second pistol and fired while Crane was running, and he missed again, because none of these guys are good at I I have to. I can't. I have to. I can't overemphasize. How bad guns are in this period of time. Like, these men are all firing multiple shots from 10 foot distance and they can't ******* hit. That's what I was going to say. It's like, it's I don't think it's like a marksman problem. It's like a it's a manufacturing issue. No, they're metal tubes with explosives and a ball in them. Guns are so ****** at this point in time, and yeah, none of these people can hit for ****. So Bowie misses with his second shot and at this point he makes the wise decision to stop relying on his guns and go with an idiot proof killing tool, the gigantic **** *** knife that he had strapped to his hip so roaring like a madman. He draws the knife and he like charges into the crowd of his adversaries because the guy who shot him like ran back to his friends and Bowie just rushes towards them wielding what is essentially a small sword. The survivors describe him as seeming like a tiger as he shouted out crane, you have shot at me and I will kill you if I can so. It's still pretty proper. Pretty proper. So Crane panics and he only he doesn't have a loaded gun, but he has an empty gun and it weighs like £10 because guns are big back then. So he throws it at Bowie as Bowie's charging and he hits him in the head and like seriously injuries him because it's again a heavy piece of metal that he's hit this guy in the face with, so he. We wrote this, yeah. They would kick us out of the network. They're like, this is get out here. This is famous for being one of the most ****** fights of the Old West, and it reads like a ******* Benny Hill skit, so it does. He probably gives Bowie a concussion from this. Like, nobody. Concussions weren't a thing back then, but he, like, he just, based on the reports he would like, this ***** Bowie up. Getting hit in the head with this gun, like really hurts him. Yeah, so he falls down to his knees as a result of getting hit in the face with this gun. And then Maddox, one of the duelists, the Doctor Who by some accounts had accidentally started the fight by accidentally shooting Bowie. But who knows? Doctor Maddox charges Bowie like just to like Fist fight him and Bowie throws him away like just cause tosses him. And so then Crane and their other friend, Norris Wright, who is the guy who had had a gun fight with Bowie months ago, charge in to try to deal with Bowie and right, draws another pistol. The aims at at Bowie, who yells back at him. You damned Rascal, don't you shoot? Chest, don't you dare shoot me, you Rascal, you damned Rascal I like. Yeah, he swore. That's he's mine. He's so mad. Norris Wright, like, stands there with a gun pointed at Bowie, and the two shout at each other for a while until one of Bowie's friends runs up and hands Jim a gun, and both men fire at each other at point blank range. And of course, both miss again. Now their hands hurt. Yeah, they're so bad at shooting each other. So right pulls his second pistol and Bowie yells at him to shoot and be damned and right shoots again. And of course he misses a second time. Wow. Now, at this point, one of the few not dangerously unhinged men present, a guy named Denny, runs up in between Bowie and Wright and pleads with Bowie. This must be stopped, Sir. This must be stopped. He's just like, please, for the love of God, stop fighting. And he puts a hand on Bowie's chest, just his right, draws 1/3 pistol, and fires again and hits. So he finally did hit somebody. So. The ball passes through directly through Denny's hand and it into Jim Bowie's Lung, and with a concussion and a bullet in their lung, most men probably would have stopped fighting. But as one of Jim Bowie's friends later noted, if there ever lived a man who never felt the sensation of fear, it was James Bowie. It was his habit to settle all difficulties without regard to time or place. And this, it was the same whether he met one or many enemies. So Jim Bowie, bullet in his lung in a ******* concussion charges Norris Wright. Waving a gigantic knife, he got about 15 feet when two of Wright's friends arrived with fresh guns and opened fire. One bullet hit Jim Bowie in the thigh and took him down again. Now right had been running away from the madman with the sword, but as soon as Bowie dropped Norris, Wright whipped out a sword cane and charged him again. Hours. Now the guy who shot Bowie in the thigh also pulled out a sword cane, and the two just start stabbing Jim Bowie to death a bunch. So. The next moment in this fight is the one that would earn the name Bowie Knife, a proud place in the long history of human fighting. Implements shot through the lung and the thigh, probably concussed and repeatedly stabbed with sword canes canes. Bowie draws his giant knife again and fights off both men's sword canes, parrying their jabs with his mighty dagger. He gashed both of them repeatedly on the hands in the arms. In response they stab him through the hands and the wrist, and I'm going to quote now from William C Davis's book on how the fight. Ended quote, but we got himself up to a sitting position that in one lunge he reached up to grab Norris right by the collar and his right tried to straighten himself. He inadvertently helped raise Bowie to a near standing position, as Bowie later told the story to resin and their friend. He said in Wright's ear. Now major, you die with a single savage thrust. He drove the knife through rights chest, boasting afterwards that he twisted it to cut his heartstrings. Well, he's not. He's not. That's not how that works. But yeah, he gots him is how most people relate. Is he just he he pulls this guy down while being stabbed and just opens his belly with his gigantic sword knife and yeah, kills the **** out of him. Yeah, so Jim Bowie passes out immediately after stabbing Norris Wright to death, and the attending physician who observed him after this found a gash on his forehead, 7 stab wounds, and two bullet wounds. They all kind of assumed he was going to die of his injuries, but he didn't, and over the next two months, Jim Bowie gradually recovered from his many injuries. Meanwhile, the story of how he stabbed a dude to death became national news. So. Most duels were all like regional stories, and it wasn't uncommon for people to die in them, but the sandbar fight became legend for one reason. Jim Bowie Davis writes that in typical frontier fights quote, the real fighters risk themselves only when they seem to have the advantage, and happily ran to cover otherwise. But buoy, impelled by the rage that blinded him to fear or self protection, stood his ground and simply kept fighting? That was the sort of thing that turned brutal, pointless brawling into legend. Yeah, I mean he does. Because you're not human anymore. Yeah. It's totally human to, like, stand in front of another guy and you both shoot at each other and one of you dies and one of you doesn't. What Bowie does is like, yeah, he he's like a ******* superhero. Because he does, he survives this and because he goes so ******* far beyond what any rational person would do in the era. So yeah, there's also probably he's not the guy that, like, afterwards, while he's, like, healing, he's also not the kind of guy I was, like, I got carried away. You guys, no, he was just like, yeah, come at me again and you're like, OK, dude, you gotta chill out. And. And that's exactly what happened. So newspapers, right? Huge spreads about the sandbar fight. And of course, they exaggerate everything that happens in it. And people are in America. Start talking about Jim Bowie, and Bowie's canny enough to lean into the legend. So he spent weeks bedridden, like, from gunshot wounds. But he would invite reporters and to talk to him, and he would tell all of them the story of the fight, and he would always have his knife strapped to his chest while he was in his sick bed so he could show it. Off to reporters and the steady stream of well wishers who came by to talk to him. So the Bowie knife becomes incredibly famous as a result of this, and suddenly, like every guy who feels, who who wants to feel like a ****** has to have a Bowie knife. And I found a fun write up on sort of the spread of the Bowie knife in the wake of this by a site called the History Bandits. And it does a pretty good job of tracing how Jim and all of his brothers capitalized on the fame of the family knife. Quote The Bowie family quickly made efforts to actively link the Bowie name with the famous knife design and quality. Bowie's older brother Resin, who had allegedly given Jim his blade before the sandbar incident, began promoting similar knives, which he advertised more trustworthy in the hands of a strong man than a pistol. Which, given the fact that everyone missed at the duel, is not necessarily inaccurate. Pretty accurate at the time, yeah? Yeah. Within months of the incident, the name of Bowie was forever linked with the large hilted knives of the southern Backcountry as the story of Jim Bowie's feats. Does knife spread? Blacksmiths across the country began to receive requests from customers to make them a knife. Like boys as far afield as England, the Bowie knife became a novelty, and knife shops and easterners of the United States purchased Bowie knives as a symbol of the frontier. Even Backwoodsman, who were used to such knives adopted the new terminology of the 1830s and requested Bowie knives. It's by name at Smitty's from Saint Louis to the Mexican border. The Red Rifle the the Red River Herald of Nacogdoches, Louisiana, claimed that with hyperbole, that all the steel in the country. Seemed had immediately been converted into Bowie knives. By 1830, the Bowie knife became a staple at forgeries across the American continent. So that's cool. It, yeah. It just it. It's also good. Yeah. It's reassuring that America's always kind of been like this. Yeah, it's fun. The the write up I found on this actually compares the bully brothers in particular to bear grills. Because Bear Grylls has like an incredibly popular series of knives made just based off the fact that he's good at being in the woods and has been on camera like using you know a camping knives and stuff. So like knife companies like Gerber are like, hey. What if we made a knife and stick your name on it and sure enough now they're incredibly popular you can find them in any outdoorsman store. They're not bad knives. I don't like the hills very much but whatever. So in the Bowie like the what I find interesting about this write up is that they kind of say make the point that like the Bowie family is the first the 1st in that line like they do basically what Bear Grylls has done. They they create a brand with their family name for giant **** *** knives. That's kind of neat. Duck dudes too? Yeah, like Duck Dynasty. This is like the very first time that happened in American history, right? The bully family definitely has some powerful Duck Dynasty energy to it. Well, it's the same area too. Yeah, and it is the same area. They might in fact be related. Yes. There's not a lot of people down there because they kept killing each other. Yeah. So, yeah, Jim Bowie, slave trader, Land con artist, and guy who stabbed a person to death becomes a celebrity, mainly for stabbing a person to death. And yeah, we'll talk about what comes next and how he gets to the Alamo in Part 2. But for right now, Billy, it's time for you to celebrate your own knife. What would a Billy knife be, Billy? It would probably just be like a. Form of Baku, cry you, you would want it to be a cookery kind of like that. I love, really. I'm enjoying the cookery. I like it a lot. Yeah, cookies are nice. I enjoy the, I enjoy the. Deal of a cookery if I was going to have a Robert knife, I would want it to be. I want it to be a knife that's too large to be wielded. I would like it to be like a hunting knife, but one that has to actually be mounted to the bed of a truck. Like, you know how they have technicals in the Middle East with machine guns in the back. I want that. But with a knife that you have to, like, drive at a target. You want to stab it. You just want a bayonet for a Humvee? Yeah, I want a bayonet for more like a bayonet for an 18 Wheeler. That's pretty cool. Yeah. Yeah, that would be. I would like a Robert knife to be a knife that requires as much steel as a small skyscraper. That would be that would be the legacy I'd like to have that sounds well. If they ever give us the TV show, we could we make that happen? We could make that happen. Yeah. Alright, well, if you want me to. Get my own branded knife, find bear grills on Twitter and send him pictures. Send him your favorite Simpsons screen grab. Let's make it confusing for old Bear and if you want to find us on the Internet you can find us at You can find T-shirts on teepublic. And I have a podcast called The Women's War that is about Rojava and does include a little bit about knives. So there we go. It's an optimistic podcast. It is optimistic also. Optimistic is my co-host today, Mr Billy Wayne Davis. Billy, you wanna tell the people where they can find you? Yes, I am Billy Wayne Davis on Twitter and Instagram if I ever start touring again. We were allowed to And then I have a podcast about the people that make up cannabis communities and it's called grown local in season one is based in Eugene, OR Speaking of both the marijuana industry and Eugene OR a lot of people getting stabbed to death. Large knives. Definitely lots of that. Not in your podcast necessarily, just in the industry and in Eugene OR. Yeah, and probably not even related. No, no, no. I mean, or maybe. Yeah. All right. Episode done. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Speaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break our handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization. Of your podcast, go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioural discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio, this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.