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    William Barret Travis Autograph Document Signed Four Times. Three pages of a bifolium, 8" x 13". Austin; January 15, 1835. A petition filed on behalf of Olivia Wilde, in part: "Olivia Ellis, widow of Richard Graves, most respectfully represents: That Jerome Graves, eleven years old & Ezekiel Graves, eight years old, the children of your petitioner & of Richard Graves... are without tutor... Your petitioner begs leave to recommend Isham Thompson as a suitable person. " With three responses to the initial petition all written in Travis' hand. Travis has signed "W. B. Travis" three times (including once within the text), and has signed "W. Barret Travis" beneath the last response. Also signed by George Huff, one of the Old Three Hundred.

    Born near Saluda, South Carolina, the first child (of 11) of farmer Mark and Jemima Travis, William Barret Travis moved with his family to Alabama when he was nine-years-old. He attended school in Claiborne, Alabama, and eventually was accepted as an apprentice to the town's leading attorney, James Dellet. In 1828, at the age of 19, Travis married Rosanna Caro and their son, Charles, was born the following year. By the time he was 21, W. Barret Travis founded the Claiborne Herald, becoming the publisher and editor. He had accepted a position as adjutant in the Alabama Militia and opened a law office. Possibly because his newspaper was not profitable and income from his law office was not enough to pay his debts, as well as an unhappy marriage, Travis abandoned his pregnant wife (Susan was born in 1831) and son and left for Texas in April 1831. He arrived in San Felipe de Austin on May 21, 1831, listing his marital status as "single."

    Travis traveled through Texas doing legal work, becoming associated with a group of militants who opposed the Law of April 6, 1830, designed to stop the flood of immigration from the United States to Texas and to encourage Mexican and European settlement. Eventually this group became known as the "War Party" as tension increased between the Mexican government and American settlers in Texas. After the Anahuac Disturbances of 1832, Travis moved his legal practice to San Felipe de Austin, which is where the document offered here is written.

    By March of 1835 a huge rift had grown between "Peace Party" and "War Party" Texans as to what course of action should be pursued regarding centralism and states' rights. On March 15th, Stephen F. Austin wrote "The territorial question is dead. The advocates of that measure are now strongly in favor of a state government; and that measure is now before Congress. A call has been made upon the president [Santa Anna] for information on the subject; and I am assured the president will make his communication in a few days, and that it will be decidedly in favor of Texas and the state." Santa Anna was simply delaying until he could get Texas occupied with his troops.

    Later that year, in 1835 Travis led a small band of Texans in open revolt; Travis' small force reached the Alamo on February 3. Only three weeks later, Santa Anna's large Mexican Army arrived and Travis, desperate for help, wrote his famous letter "To the People of Texas & all Americans in the world." In that letter, Travis asked for help and stated that he would "never surrender or retreat" from the Alamo. Help never arrived and William Travis, only twenty-six years old, died at the Battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.

    Condition: Professional restoration to separations occurring at folds. Dampstaining, with bits of paper loss. Filing docket on verso.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2017
    24th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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