1835 Legal Document Entirely in Travis’ Hand

Signed Four Times by the Commander of the Alamo

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555. TRAVIS, William Barret. Autograph document in Travis’ hand, San Felipe de Austin, January 15, 1835, legal petition to the court to appoint Isham Thompson as tutor for Jerome & Elizabeth Graves (children of Richard Graves), signed four times by Travis (three times as W.B. Travis as witness, and once as W. Barret Travis in body of document). Other signers include George Ewing, T. Willis Nibb, L. Ramsey, A.B. Paschal, Joseph Halderman, and George Huff. 4 pp. on a bifolium (33.2 x 20.2 cm). Professionally washed and deacidified, folds strengthened, moderately browned, loss of a few letters at folds, otherwise a very good, legible document, free of provenance or authenticity issues. With this are three other similarly conserved documents related to the Graves family (1828, 1834, and 1835, signed by David G. Burnet, Robert M. “Three-Legged Willie” Williamson, and others of note, plus secretarial signature of Travis).

     This manuscript is written entirely in the hand of William Barret Travis (1809–1836), commander at the battle of the Alamo. It documents the young firebrand’s law practice after his immigration to Austin’s colony in Texas in 1831 with the repeal of the Law of April 6, 1830. He first practiced law in Anahuac, but after the disturbances there, he relocated to San Felipe de Austin, the legal and political center of Stephen F. Austin’s colony.

     Regarding the appointed tutor, Isham Thompson, in 1841, the President of the Republic of Texas granted to him one league and one labor or 26,000,000 square varas of land in Bexar County for his brother Charles P. Thompson’s services at San Jacinto. Both brothers participated in the battle, and Charles perished there. Isham served as a private at San Jacinto in Captain Walker’s Volunteer Guards. Another signer of this document of interest is George Huff (1781-ca. 1850), an Old Three Hundred, who was active in Austin’s colony and in October 1835 was in charge of provisions, arms, and ammunition sent to headquarters of the volunteer army at Gonzales (Handbook of Texas Online: Huff, George).


Sold. Hammer: $7,500.00; Price Realized: $9,187.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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