Back signed by Martha Hill
- Author: William Barret Travis
- Date: 1834
- Medium: Original Manuscript
- Condition: Very Good
- Inches: 7 1/2" x 12 1/4"
- Centimeters: 44.87 x 31.41
- Price: Price on Request
William Barret Travis (1809 - 1836)
Layer and soldier who migrated to Texas in the early 1830s and became active in the movement agitating for independence from Mexico. In early 1836 Mexican forces besieged his command inside the Alamo fortress. When the Alamo fell on March 6, 1836 all its defenders - including Travis - were killed.
This letter is an extremely rare manuscript document signed "W. Barret Travis," consisting of one page dated April 20, 1834. It is a petition of Martha Hill regarding the settlement of her late husband's estate. In part: "To the Honorable R. M. Williamson, constitutional Alcade of the jurisdiction of Austin, the petition of Martha Hill... surviving widow of Levi T. Bostick respectfully represents that my husband died in the year 1832 having considerable property both real & personal in community between the Heirs of... Bostick & myself. That in obedience to in order of your honor I have advertised for sale on the 25th of this month, the property of said Heirs in my hands with view to a partition among said heirs...A partition of the [com]munity property should be made by you[r] honor as the judge of probates...in order to prevent a confusion of my personal property with that of the heirs." Signed at the conclusion by both Hill and Travis, and also signed on the reverse by Williamson beneath a statement ordering the partition of property as requested. In very good condition, with overall toning, repaired paper loss to the edge (affecting a few words), and the writing in general of a couple shades light.
Fleeing financial distress in Alabama, Travis opened a law office in San Felipe de Austin in late 1832, where he became actively involved in local politics. There he met Robert McAlpin Williamson, who had been there since the 18020s and went by the moniker 'Three-Legged Willie' due to a peg leg stemming from a childhood illness. The Bostick family referenced in this document also lived in San Felipe around this time, before settling in the area of present-day Columbus. The year Travis signed this document, he had been made secretary to the ayuntameinto, the governing body of the area; Williamson was even more engaged in politics and an early supporter of independence from Mexico. During the siege of the Alamo, Williamson played a role in helping organize the relief forces gathering in Gonzales after receiving Travis's plea for aid - these 32 Gonzales men were the only reinforcements that made it to the Alamo, and all were killed. Levi T. Bostick's son, Sion, participated in the Battle of San Jacinto and with two other scouts, he captured and brought in Santa Anna on April 22, 1836 - ending the fight for independence.
Travis is one of the rarest and most desirable autographs from the Texas Revolution and, in combination with Williamson, this is an extraordinarily rare document associating several of the 'founding fathers' of Texas.
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