My book Bowie Knife Fights, Fighters, and Fighting Techniques is available from Paladin Press. This blog contains additional information about the bowie knife, as well as the fighting knives of other nations.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bowie Knife Fight at the Racetrack

This is from by James Silk Buckingham's America, Historical, Statistic, and Descriptive (1841), one of those 19th-century travel books that cataloged the depredations of the American South for an English readership:
A FATAL RENCOUNTER.
A fatal rencounter took place on the 18th inst. (Nov.) at the Opelousas racecourse, between Thomas Reeves and Samuel Fisher, the former a young man of about twenty-three years of age, and the latter an elderly gentleman of sixty. It appears that Reeves came armed to the place with a very large bowie-knife. By some means, his clothes were disarranged, and the knife became visible to the surrounding spectators. Mr. Fisher, noticing the appearance of the weapon, asked Mr. Reeves, playfully and in jest, for what purpose he carried such a deadly instrument. Reeves immediately answered, "To kill you, God d - n you": whereupon he instantly drew the knife, and was in the act of plunging it into the body of Fisher, when he was arrested in the act by a bystander, who, picking up a club that presented itself, told Reeves that if he did not desist he would strike him down with the club. This afforded Fisher a moment for reflection, after which he closed with Reeves, and succeeded in taking the knife from him, having his hand cut severely in the struggle. During the combat both fell to the ground, Reeves falling uppermost, who immediately commenced gouging his adversary. Fisher then ran him through the body with the knife. Reeves arose, remarking that he was "a dead man."
  
Fisher immediately gave himself up to the magistrate,who acquitted him. Public opinion, it appears, fully justifies him in the act. -- Planter's Intelligencer.

No comments:

Post a Comment