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.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bowie-Knife Atrocities Linked to Drunkenness

A newspaper editorial from March 4, 1839:
A Temperance Law in Mississippi.
General Foote has introduced into the Legislature of Mississippi, a law more severe against spirituous liquors than that of Massachusetts. This is striking at the root of the Bowie knife atrocities. It prevents the sale of spirits under a gallon, and at the place where sold subjects tavern-keeper to penalties and securities of $10,000, &c.
When I was researching my book Dueling With the Sword and Pistol, it struck me how connected dueling was with the heavy drinking so common at the time. Dueling faded out in the English-speaking world during the Victorian era, around the same time that public intoxication was no longer socially acceptable among the gentry.

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