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.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bowie Knife Butchery in Natchez

Going through my files, I came across the following untitled article from Atkinson's Saturday Evening Post, December 24, 1836. It notes that the article originally appeared in the Natchez Christian Herald of December 3.
On Monday morning there was a disgracefully revolting spectacle of butchery exhibited at the corner of Main and Pearl streets, in this city, the actors in which were three young men from the North. A quarrel had originated the evening before from a dispute on the trifling question whether paper bullets were used in a certain bloodless duel near Washington city. The adverse parties armed on Monday morning and made our usually peaceful streets a scene of gore.

It is well for the young men concerned in the affray, that there will probably be no loss of life, although one was borne apparently lifeless from the pavement, where he had rolled in his blood, and another was carried away so cut up with a Bowie knife, that Main street was sarcastically recommended by a lady as a good place for making hash or mince meat.

A meeting of a number of the most respectable citizens ofNatchez was held immediately after this bloody affray, to arouse and concentrate public opinion against the too common and increasing practice of duelling, street fighting, carrying concealed weapons, and lynching. At this meeting a series of spirited resolutions were adopted, and measures taken to elicit a response throughout the State. Strong words, however are useless unless backed by strong deeds. An example is wanted, and if matters go on in Mississippi as they have for a year or two past there will be no difficulty in finding a subject. Let the first man who arms himself to address a private grievance, and murders his enemy--events of frequent occurrence--be tried and expiate his crime upon the gallows. The higher his standing and the more influential his friends, the better for the purpose. Let this be done in one or two instances, and the daring, open murders for which Mississippi has of late become proverbial will not be repeated. But resolutions are idle breath, if the assassin may walk unmolested about the streets, and it is folly to protest against mob murders, if such acts as the bloody deeds of the Lynchers of Vicksburg may be emulated with impunity.