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, August 30, 2011

Bowie-Knife Fighter: David "Buckskin" Evans

The following excerpt is from John Speer's Bloody Kansas: Life of Gen. James H. Lane (1896), a chronicle of the violent period when settlers fought over whether Kansas would enter the Union as a free or slave state. It tells the tale of David "Buckskin" Evans, an anti-slavery fighter of the rough-and-tumble school:
In the troubles of 1855, Messrs. Wemple and William Ross, brother-in-law and brother of Ex-Senator Ross, brought to Lawrence, from Shelby county, Missouri, a free colored man, with all his certificates of freedom regularly certified and sealed by the officers of the proper court, and a white Missourian named David Evans, as farm hands. Evans was a Free-State man of very marked characteristics.

The Pro-Slavery men expressed doubts about the freedom of Jonas, the negro and wanted to investigate "the nigger-thieves." Dave took it up, and armed to the teeth with bowie-knives and revolvers, drove them off.

Lane heard of him and his prowess, and hired him for fifteen dollars a month "just to stand around and accommodate ruffians spoiling for a fight." He was known as Buckskin, because he wore a buckskin suit, and he was ready for a fight either "fist and skull, or with the cold steel and malleable iron."

His first job of "fist and skull" was on Luke Corlew, a noted bully, whom he pounded terribly, tore his clothes from him, and ran him, half-naked, out of the town. They gave Buckskin a wide berth after that -- shied away from him; and for a long time, he was a terror to all of them.

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