Subject:William Barret Travis Family
Date: 07/22/99
From: Mary J. Martin

I am the 4th great grand daughter of Col. William B. Travis. I was wondering do you have any knowlege of what happened to his wife Rosanna Cato Travis, son Charles Edward Travis and a newborn daughter? Where did the name Barret come from? Possibly his mothers maiden name? Is he buried at the Alamo site? I am very interested in finding other members of my family that he left in S.Carolina. Hope you can help me.

Sincerly, Mary Jane Martin.
DuBois, Pa.

According to the New Handbook of Texas, Travis left Alabama for Texas in 1830, supposedly abandoning his wife, son, and unborn daughter (Susan Isabella). The story has been told that Travis suspected his wife of infidelity, doubted his parenthood of her unborn child, and killed a man because of it. The story though persistent, lacks hard evidence. (According to author W. C. Davis in his research for "Three roads to the Alamo" the Travis killing another man because of His wifes inifidelity is entirely false. Travis left Carolina because of his financial and business failures and because of debt, once again according to Davis.)

Rosanna Travis began divorce proceedings against her husband in 1834, charging him with desertion. They were divorced in the fall of 1835, and she remarried early the next year. She had permitted Charles Edward Travis to move to Texas, where he lived with the family of David Ayers, so that he could be near his father.

W.B. Travis' mother's maiden name was STALLWORTH. The first Travers, or Travis, to settle in North America landed in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1627. Edward Travers became a member of the house of burgesses and amassed significant holdings of land. Subsequent generations of the family drifted southward to the Carolinas, where Barrick or Barrot Travers established a farm in the Edgefield District. Somewhere in the journey Travers became Travis, and Barrot came to be spelled Barret.

The majority of the Alamo Defenders were cremated and their ashes were later buried with full miltary honors in the general area of the River Center Mall and IMAX Theater in San Antonio. The exact location is unknown.

Texas State Historical Association

Recommended Reading:

McDonald, Archie P. William Barrett Travis. A Biography. Eakin Press, Austin, TX, 1976

Turner, Martha Anne. William Barrett Travis. His Sword and Pen. The Texian Press, Waco, TX, 1972.

Davis, Robert E. (ed.) The Diary of William Barrett Travis. Texian Press, Waco, TX, 1966.

Mixon, Ruby. William Barrett Travis. His Life and Letters.

Subject: Camp Santo - Alamo
Date: 08/01/99
From: W.L. McKeehan

In researching the Kerr and Brown families of the DeWitt Colonyof Texas, I ran across the following from an article by I.T. Taylor from The Cavalcade of Jackson County

....After making his crop and having the land surveyed, he [John (Waco)Brown] then moved to San Antonio. Here they lived for three years. Smallpox broke out in John Brown's family, the disease contracted from a Negro girl, loaned by Major Kerr, as a housekeeper for the Browns. It killed many of the citizens, and was fatal to Isham Kerr Brown and the father, John Brown. They were buried in the grounds of the Alamo. There their remains rest in peace. John Brown played his part in the settlement and developing of Jackson County....
There have been numerous references, discussions and political controversies about the current Alamo grounds and its surroundings as a burial ground, cemetery, Campo Santo it appears beginning with early Spanish or pre-European cultures up to the ashes of the Alamo defenders of 1836 and perhaps beyond. The obscure quote above prompts me to inquire just how long and encompassing is the history of the Alamo grounds as a burial ground for the region? On a related note, is there any corroboration of an outbreak of smallpox in San Antonio in the period ca. September 1829?

W.L. McKeehan
Bellaire, TX

In their book "Spirits of the Alamo", Robert and Anne Wlodarskinote note that between 1724 and 1749, priests recorded 465 burials in the records of San Antonio de Valero (422 Indians, 26 Spanish and 17 "unknown"). From 1749 to 1782, the records show 489 burials (444 Indians, 14 Spanish, 4 mulattos and 27 "unknowns") for 954 burials. The locations of many of these graves are unknown.

In 1994, the Inter-Tribal Council of American Indianspetitioned to close the street immediately in front of the Alamo chapel on the basis that many of their ancestors were buried there, which, in their view, made the ground sacred. Though archaeological evidence was inconclusive as to the magnitude of these burials, they succeeded.

Concerning the smallpox epidemic, I find nothing specific to an 1829 smallpox epidemic. However, an epidemic, probably smallpox, struck the mission in 1739 and greatly decimated the Indian population. By 1806 the first experimental smallpox inoculations were administered in San Antonio de Béxar. But by 1824, the new but impoverished Mexican government coupled with a sparse population limited effective attention to public-health problems.

By 1830, early experiments in smallpox vaccination led to the compulsory immunization of all children in San Antonio. Since vital statistics and an organized system of reporting the incidence of communicable diseases were not to come for nearly seventy-five years, we don't know very much about health in the Republic of Texas and early statehood. Epidemics-particularly of smallpox, yellow fever, and cholera-were frequent.

If you are interested in epidemiological studies, you might want to correlate the areas frequent history of flooding with subsequent epidemics. I think you will find a high incidence of Dengue Fever, Cholera and Malaria due to an increased mosquito population and poor sanitation.

Subject: Houston Alamo Visit
Date: 08/03/99
From: Charles J. Erion

Did Sam Houston every visit the Alamo at all during his life time following the March 6th, 1836 siege? And what comments did he or others have about his visit to the site? Being the President of the Republic, Senator, and Governor of the State, I would have to believe Houston made some contact and left some sort of record paying his respects.

Charles J. Erion
Nevada City, CA.


Subject:RE: did Houston ever visit the Alamo
Date: 08/03/99
From: Tom Kailbourn

"Did Sam Houston ever visit the Alamo." He indeed did; in the 1850s while on a political campaign; in fact, I seem to recall he gave a speech there. The details are in a book by Sue Flanagan, title of which, I believe, is Sam Houston's Texas, pub. by University of Texas Press circa 1964. I had a copy of the book but gave it away.

Tom Kailbourn


Subject:RE: did Houston ever visit the Alamo
Date: Thu, Aug 5, 1999, 4:16 PM
From: Robert Tarín

I do not have the book mentioned [above] but found an interesting item in the book The San Antonio Story,copyright 1950 by Sam and Bess Woolford, published by The Steck Co., Austin, Texas (published by Joske's of Texas as a public service). On page 48 discussing the period between Dec. 1835 and March 1836, it has the following paragragh:

The Texians had not yet officially established their republic. Their leaders tried to bring order out of chaos, but it was very hard, with no money in the treasury to pay soldiers, only a few supplies, and the question of authority.

Sam Houston, who had first seen the old city of Bexar with Jim Bowie about two years before, was commander-in-chief of the army; but when he ordered Bowie, two months before the arrival of Santa Anna, to destroy the Alamo and march out of Bexar, he was not obeyed. Now the commander was a South Carolina lawyer named William Barret Travis.

[Bolding mine for emphasis...]

Robert Tarín
San Antonio, Texas


Subject: The Unknowns
Date: 08/02/99
From: Clifford L. Coy

What about the little guys, the not so important people who made up that band of defenders? There is much written about Bowie, Crockett, Travis, et al,but little about the others.(180+)

My interest? Simply someone told me that there was a COY among them. True or NOT, I think your site should have a list of those "other" people. They may not make the headlines but they too were important in this ever-lasting unhappy saga.

Clifford L. Coy
New London, NH

We have a complete list of Texian/Tejano defenders (at least those that are known) and are slowly building a biographical index on each of them. We care about ALL participants in the battle including those in the Mexican army.

From the MAIN MENU, choose BATTLE OF 1836. This should lead you to the information you seek.

On the matter of COY, there purportedly was a Tejano by the name of Trinidad Coy whom the Mexican army captured when they entered Béjar. He spent the remainder of the siege under arrest, but supposedly escaped during the final battle. However, there's no definitive proof.

Subject:Houston's Visits to the Alamo
Date: 08/07/99
From: W.L. McKeehan

Sam Houston clearly suffered from Alamo-, San Antonio de Bexar-, "West of the Guadalupe River"- and "South of the La Bahía Road"-phobia his entire political career and life. His interests, security and political ambitions came from the east and the other regions were only trouble--independent pioneers interested in personal and regional autonomy, racially-different Tejanos, wild plains Indians (different from his eastern chronies), and Anglo- and Hispanic-Mexican Federalists.

The Alamo was particularly a monkey on his back keeping him in between a rock and a hardplace politically from start to finish. Reasons for his conduct prior to the Battle and Siege of Bexar have been discussed on this forum previously. As the Alamo became both a tragedy and a symbolic rallying cry and shrine of sacrifice and libertarian visions, he was a loser politically, morally, etc, whatever the answer to either question---why did he order the future shrine destroyed and abandoned, or why did he fail to go to its rescue.

Honoring the Alamo and associating with its mystique, as well as prior developments in Texas independence west and south of the Guadalupe/Gonzales had no clear political mileage for the narcissitic side of Houston, only potential liability, and detracted from the single luck-out that made him at San Jacinto. (Note bene:I do not feel that Houston's actions were influenced to significant extent by conflict between his mother and grandmother).

W.L. McKeehan
Bellaire, TX

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