Lawyer and soldier (1809–1836). He grew up in South Carolina and Alabama, studied law privately, and was admitted to the bar before he turned 20. Migrating to Texas in the early 1830s, he became active in the movement agitating for independence from Mexico. In 1835 he led a small band of Texans in open revolt; in early 1836 Mexican forces besieged his little command inside the Alamo fortress. The Alamo fell on March 6, 1836, and all its defenders, including Travis, were killed. ADS, signed “W. Barret Travis,” once, “W. B. Travis,” twice as a witness, and “W. B. Travis,” once in the text, three pages on two adjoining sheets, 8 x 13, January 15, 1835. In part: “To the Honorable George Ewing Judge of the 1st instance of the Jurisdiction of Austin, the petition of 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 deceased are without their…guardians, in consequence of…Jesse Thompson, their late tutor—their property is liable to waste and damage unless a tutor or tutors are appointed to take charge of the persons & property of said minors…your petitioners…recommend Isham Thompson as a suitable person.” Professionally de-acidified and in good condition, with folds professionally repaired and strengthened, moderate irregular toning affecting appearance, small areas of paper loss, and light wrinkling.
After a series of clashes with the authorities in Anahuac, Travis decided to uproot his newly established legal firm and relocate to San Felipe de Austin, the legal and political center of the colony. This document, petitioning the court to appoint Isham Thompson, a private at San Jacinto in Captain Walker’s Volunteer Guards, as tutor for the children of Richard Graves, is a prime piece of the soon-to-be legendary Alamo commander’s daily life there. Also signed by George Huff, one of the Old Three Hundred, this extraordinary document holds four instances—in two variations—of the hard-to-find and highly desirable autograph. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.