Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 149 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
British. While so held in Savannah, among other
American ladies who bestowed kindness upon him,
was a lovely and pious young lady named Elve
(sometimes written Elvy) Jones, of a large and
educated family. In 1782 Rezin Bowie and this
girl were married in Georgia and settled there.
They became the parents of the Texas Bowies.
Their first children, dying in infancy, were twin
girls, Lavinia and Lavisia. David, a remarkably
pious youth, died at the age of nineteen; Sarah,
who married Mr. Davis and died in Opelousas, La.,
in her first childbirth; Mary, afterwards Mrs.
Abram Bird, and John J., who died a few years ago
in Issequana County, Miss. These six were born
in Georgia. The parents then removed to Elliott's
Springs, Tennessee, where, on the 8th of September,
1793, the distinguished Rezin Pleasants Bowie was
born. Two years later, in 1795, James Bowie,
martyr of the Alamo, was born at the same place,
followed by Stephen, who became a planter on
Bayou Bceuf, La., and Martha, who first married
James Nugent, who was accidentally killed, and
then Alexander B. Sterrett, who, it is claimed, was
the first settler at Shreveport, La., where he was
sheriff and was killed. He has grandchildren in
Shreveport, named Gooch, and a widowed daughter,
Mrs. Bettie Hull, whose only surviving child is her
widowed daughter, Mrs. Reizette Bowie Donley.
Presumably about 1802, Rezin Bowie, Sr., removed
from Elliott's Springs, Tenn., to Catahoula parish,
Louisiana, thence to Bayou Teche, and finally to
the district of Opelousas, where he died in 1819.
His wi(low, nee Elve Jones, of Georgia, a woman
noted for charity and deeply religious principles,
died at the house of her son-in-law, Alex. P. Sterrett,
in 1837 or 1838, in Shreveport. Having thus
sketched the family, we return to the two brothers,
whose names are linked with that of Texas.
Rezin P. Bowie, the elder of the two, at the
Catholic Church in Natchitoches, La., in 1812,
married Frances, (laughter of Daniel Neville.
They had five children, two of whom died in childhood;
Martha A., died, aged twenty-one years, in
New Orleans, in 1853; Matilda E., married Joseph
H. Moore, and is a widow in New Orleans, residing
with my friend, her estimable son, Mr. John S.
Moore. Elve A., married Taylor Moore, and died
in Claiborne County, Miss., in 1872. Rezin P.
Bowie was three times a member of the legislature
of Louisiana, and fille(d other positions besides his
connection with Texas. He was an educated and
accomplished gentleman and a fine orator. He,
too, and not his brother James, was the designer of
the famous hunting instrument known as the Bowie
knife. He died in New Orleans, January 17, 1841.
Col. James Bowie, on the 22d of April, 1831, in
San Antonio de Bexar, Texas, married Maria
Ursula, daughter of Don Juan Martin de Veremendi,
Lieutenant-Governor of Coahuila and
Texas. I have before me the " propter nuptias,"
authenticated by Jose Maria Salinas, the constitutional
Alcalde, in which he settled upon his beautiful
and lovely spouse the sum of fifteen thousand
dollars, and in which his estate, in Texas and the
United States, was shown to be worth $222,800.
The instrument is witnessed by Jose Francisco
Flores and Ygnacio Arocha. Two children blessed
this union, but on a visit to Monclova, in Coahuila,
in 1833, they and their young mother, as well as
Governor Veremendi, died of cholera. It was to
this quadruplicated affliction that Bowie so pathetically
referred in his wonderful outburst of eloquence
before the Council of Texas, at San Felipe, in December,
These facts are authentic and meet the desires of
many to know the true genealogy of the Bowie
The character of Col. Bowie has been grossly
misunderstood by the great mass of the American
a misunderstanding as great as that between
a ruffian on the one hand and a high-toned,
chivalrous gentleman on the other. In no conceivable
sense was James Bowie a ruffian; but, by
titles as indisputable as those under which the
people of Texas hold their homesteads, he was a
high-toned, chivalrous and great-hearted gentleman.
He was one of several sons of moral, upright
parents, his mother especially being an exemplar of
Christian womanhood in her every-day life, and
never, in all the vicissitudes of life, did the heart
of son more ten(lerly revere mother than did that
of James Bowie, who died in the Alamo, as he had
ever lived, a champion of liberty and free government.
The Bowie family has long been conspicuous in
Maryland, in politics and jurisprudence, occupying
the highest social status.
Many statements in regard to James Bowie
which gained more or less currency through the
press were purely imaginary. He was not, as so
persistently repeated, the fabricator of the famed
Bowie knife. Rezin P. Bowie, in a written statement
after his brother's death, asserted positively
that he, and not James, whittled the model of that
knife, from which pattern a blacksmith made the
knives for hunting purpose. In common with the
general public I had entertained the contrary
opinion and had so written of the matter until a
few years since, when I met this statement.
Prior to locating in Texas, the two brothers worl.,
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, 1880~; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/149/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .