Famous Arkansan: James Black

well-known people have roots in Arkansas. The list runs the gamut from Johnny
Cash to Jermain Taylor. Check here every Monday as we highlight a new Famous
Arkansan each week. Today,

Meet: James Black

Zoie Clift
James Black (1800-1874) creator of the Bowie knife, was a New Jersey-born and expertly trained
Black made his way to Washington, Arkansas during territorial days
and developed a unique process for knife blades. Among his customers was James
Bowie who reportedly carried a Black-made knife during the fall of the Alamo in
Black was blinded while in his forties and never revealed his secret for
tempering metal. He died at Washington, where a state park  (Historic Washington State Park) has
recreated the Black blacksmith shop on the exact site of the original.

Join the Conversation