A Sure Defense – The Bowie Knife in America by William B. Worthen and Mark D. Zalesky


This oversized, full color book contains first-class photographs of more than 200 important bowie knives. It will be treasured by anyone who appreciates the art and history of “America’s knife.”


More than just an overview of the exhibit at Historic Arkansas Museum – the largest bowie knife exhibit ever – this oversize (12.25″ x 9.25″) book contains exquisite full color photography of over 200 important knives along with scholarly essays on the history of the bowie knife. Included are the following chapters:

Essay-The Birth of the Bowie Knife (Worthen)
Essay-The Evolution of the Bowie Knife (Zalesky)
Young America Moving West
The First Bowie Knives
The Amazing Col. Crockett
Frightful and Fashionable
Arkansas–The Toothpick State
Just What is a Bowie Knife?
American Bowie Knives–Knives for Local Markets
The Sheffield Connection–Knives for Export
Selling with Slogans and Symbols
Samuel Bell Knives
California Knives
Folding Knives
Dirk Knives
The Civil War (1861-1865)
Cultural Clash Between the North and South
“Death to Abolition”–The South Arms for War
“Death to Traitors”–The North Arms for War
More a Symbol, Less a Weapon
Lincoln and the Knives of the Assassins
Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight!
The First Bowie Revival
“Cowboy” Theodore Roosevelt
The Modern Revival
The Return of Handmade Knives
…complete with appendices and an index to makers.

Photography by Buddy Thomason and Chuck Ward.

Bound in beautifully embossed faux-leather, this book will be treasured by anyone who appreciates the art and history of “America’s knife.”

Hardcover, full color, 446 pp. **Personally autographed copies available upon request.**

“After 40 years of collecting and studying Bowie knives, This is the most extensive compilation of material on the subject I have ever seen. Heavily researched and documented history on the development and evolution of the Bowie knife separating fact from fiction. Top it all off with the largest ever assembled group of premier antique Bowie knives known, beautifully photographed to virtually jump off the page. No one should be without it in their collection.” -Roger M. Green

Searles-Fowler Bowie Knife


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