When Bowie Knives Were in Fashion

In the Rough-and-Tumble 19th-Century Mississippi River Valley, Everyone Carried a Weapon. Some of Them Were Even Works of Art.

When Bowie Knives Were in Fashion REV MAIN

Even in the ball-room, the place, above all others, consecrated to pleasure, and where personal encounters should be least expected, these instruments of death are carried.      —Little Rock Times, February 28, 1835

At an interesting time in our history, folks started wearing weapons as a part of their daily attire, to work and to play. In the 1830s, citizens of the Mississippi River Valley, in such communities as New Orleans, Natchez, Vicksburg, and Little Rock, armed themselves. They chose small weapons popular at the time—single-shot pistols, sword canes, and knives—as business …

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