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San Felipe in Austin County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Travis Law Office

Lot 50

— Travis Law Office - Cotten Print Shop —

 
 
Travis Law Office Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, July 20, 2022
1. Travis Law Office Marker
Inscription.  
William Barret Travis is remembered as a revolutionary patriot and martyr of the Alamo. Before he gave his life for Texas' independence, he was a young attorney in San Felipe who ran a law office located on lot 50.

Travis represented his neighbors in a variety of disputes and was even successfully "retained to defend Celia, a free woman of colour, in the matter of her freedom."

When conflict with Mexico erupted, Travis put himself on the frontlines. He was assigned to the defense of San Antonio and rode out to his post in late January 1836. Travis never saw San Felipe again. He perished when the Alamo fell on March 6, 1836.

Travis in San Felipe
Travis' San Felipe law practice flourished. He was also chosen secretary of the town council, where he applied his management and Spanish-language skills to recording, translating and organizing government documents.

As tensions with Mexico rose, Travis emerged as a strong voice for war and was an early enlistee in the Texian army. With Mexican forces threatening to overrun the Alamo, Travis wrote back to San Felipe an impassioned
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call to arms, signing off with the iconic words: "Victory or Death."

Captions
Upper Middle: "Took lease from Dr. Miller for 12 months for House, stable lot & c. Fence to be made & roof to be put on House - Gave note for rent $100. Payable 12 mo's after date."
Entry in Travis' diary, noting his lease of a building in San Felipe for his law office, November 10, 1833
Center: William Barret Travis
Lower Middle: William B. Travis' Diary, August 1833 to June 1834 - Travis' law partner Franklin J. Starr saved this diary from the burning of the town during the war. The only extensive record of Travis' daily life, the diary details his finances, law practice, social life and even reading habits.
Upper Right: Left: Receipt for law services
Top: Ad announcing Travis Law Office in San Felipe
Above: Notice regarding Travis' partnership with Starr - Before leaving for the Alamo, Travis tied up his business interests. He died just six weeks later.
Lower Right: Seal of the Ayuntamiento San Felipe - As secretary of the ayuntamiento (town council), Travis used this seal to mark official town documents and correspondence.

Images courtesy: Austin County Clerk; Beinecke Rare Book and Manscript Library; Yale University; Dolph Briscoe Center
Travis Law Office Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, July 20, 2022
2. Travis Law Office Marker
for American History; University of Texas at Austin; Houston Public Library; HMRC; Texas State Library and Archives Commission


Sponsor Plaque on top
This wayside is generosity underwritten by
The Honorable Lois and Mr. Jim Kolkhorst

 
Erected by San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, Texas Independence. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1836.
 
Location. 29° 48.346′ N, 96° 5.849′ W. Marker is in San Felipe, Texas, in Austin County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of 2nd Street and Farm to Market Road 1458. The marker is located in the western section of the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site along the pathway. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 220 2nd Street, San Felipe TX 77473, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cotten Print Shop (here, next to this marker); Jane Wilkins' Home (within shouting distance of this marker); Burning of the Town (within shouting distance of this marker); Austin & Perry Stores (within shouting distance of this marker); Business District (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Clopper Store (about 300
The Travis Law Office Marker is on the right side of the two markers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, July 20, 2022
3. The Travis Law Office Marker is on the right side of the two markers
feet away); Rio Brazos (about 300 feet away); Governing the Town (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Felipe.
 
More about this marker. The marker is located on the grounds of the San Felipe de Austin Historic Site. There is a small fee to access the historic site and markers.
 
Also see . . .
1. San Felipe de Austin History. Texas Historical Commission website entry:
San Felipe de Austin was founded in 1824 by Stephen F. Austin as the unofficial capital of his colony. It became the first urban center in the Austin colony, which stretched northward from the Gulf of Mexico as far as the Old San Antonio Road and extended from the Lavaca River in the west to the San Jacinto River in the east. By October 1823, after briefly considering a location on the lower Colorado River, Austin decided to establish his capital on the Brazos River. The site chosen was on a high, easily defensible bluff overlooking broad, fertile bottomlands. The location offered a number of advantages, including a central location and sources of fresh water independent of the Brazos.
(Submitted on September 16, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 

2. Travis, William Barret (1809–1836)
The western view of the Travis Law Office Marker (far right) from the visitors center image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, July 20, 2022
4. The western view of the Travis Law Office Marker (far right) from the visitors center
. Texas State Historical Association website entry:
Travis directed the preparation of San Antonio de Valero Mission, known as the Alamo, for the anticipated arrival of Santa Anna and the main command of the Mexican army. With engineer Green B. Jameson he strengthened the walls, constructed palisades to fill gaps, mounted cannons, and stored provisions inside the fortress. He also wrote letters to officials requesting reinforcements, but only the thirty-five men came from Gonzales to his relief, thus raising the number of the Alamo's defenders to approximately 183. Travis's letter addressed "To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World," written on February 24, two days after Santa Anna's advance arrived in San Antonio, brought more than enough help to Texas from the United States, but it did not arrive in time. When Santa Anna had his forces ready, he ordered an assault on the Alamo. This occurred just before dawn on March 6, 1836. The Mexicans overpowered the Texans within a few hours. Travis died early in the battle from a single bullet in the head. His body and those of the other defenders were burned. The nature of Travis's death elevated him from a mere commander of an obscure garrison to a genuine hero of Texas and American history.
(Submitted on September 16, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
William B. Travis image. Click for full size.
Public Domain - Wyly Martin, 1835
5. William B. Travis
Sketch alleged to be of William B. Travis, who commanded the Texian forces at the Battle of the Alamo. This is the only known drawing of Travis done during his lifetime.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 5, 2024. It was originally submitted on September 14, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 120 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 16, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Apr. 22, 2024