Video: The Truth About Edwin Forrest’s “Gift” Knife from Jim Bowie

Video: The Truth About Edwin Forrest’s “Gift” Knife from Jim Bowie
Some say that Jim Bowie (upper left) personally gifted a bowie knife to Edwin Forrest. Jim Batson attempts to set the record straight.
edwin forrest bowie knife
Some say that Jim Bowie (upper left) personally gifted a bowie knife (above) to Edwin Forrest (lower right). Jim Batson, one of the world’s leading bowie knife authorities, shares his findings on the subject.
james batson
Jim Batson

BLADE recently sat down for an extensive interview with Jim Batson, one of the leading bowie knife researchers in the world. The interview was recorded on video, which can be seen below, and consists of two parts.

Most significantly, Batson reveals what he discovered about the controversial Edwin Forrest bowie knife, claimed to be gifted to the 19th Century actor by James Bowie himself. That can be seen at 25:06 in the video.

Look below the video for further timestamps and summaries.

Batson Looks Back on 30

ABS master smith Jim Batson has been conducting his Batson Bladesmithing Symposium for three decades and just completed the 30th one April 8 at the Tannehill Ironworks near Bessemer, Alabama.

Join us for an exclusive interview with Batson as he talks about those 30 symposiums, the major industry changes he’s seen in his bladesmithing career, his induction into the BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall of Fame in 2017 and what the future holds for this icon of the forge.

Use these timestamps to help you navigate the video.

0:00 Changes in knifemaking looking back
1:34 Forged in Fire
2:34 Changes in knifemaking looking forward
4:10 Batson’s contributions to the world of knives
5:55 Impact of Batson’s symposium
6:41 Batson’s “double-decker” shop
7:32 Including non-bladesmiths at the symposium
10:22 Batson reflects on his induction into the BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall Of Fame©
11:51 Batson’s future

Bowie Knives According to Batson

edwin forrest actor
Edwin Forrest

ABS master smith Jim Batson has scoured the Bowie Trail from the Southeast USA to Texas for decades, researching anything and everything about James Bowie and bowie knives.

Watch the video above to see Jim recount the highlights of his research, including his book about the Sandbar Fight where the bowie knife legend was born, whether James Black really made bowie knives—including those in the Carrigan style—whether the Edwin Forrest bowie actually belonged to James Bowie and more in this exclusive BLADE® interview.

12:27 Contributions to bowie knife history research
15:01 Surprising finds
15:53 New facts about the 1827 Sandbar Fight
17:57 James Black controversy
23:14 The Carrigan knives
25:06 The Edwin Forrest “Gift” bowie knife
27:22 Where did the Forrest knife come from?
30:47 End


Download BLADE's Knife Guide Issue!NEXT STEP: Download Your Free KNIFE GUIDE Issue of BLADE Magazine

BLADE’s annual Knife Guide Issue features the newest knives and sharpeners, plus knife and axe reviews, knife sheaths, kit knives and a Knife Industry Directory.

Get your FREE digital PDF instant download of the annual Knife Guide. No, really! We will email it to you right now when you subscribe to the BLADE email newsletter.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here