William Barret Travis was only twenty-six years old when he died defending the Alamo. In February 1836, newly commissioned Lt. Colonel Travis assumed joint command of the Alamo with James Bowie. As Mexican forces gathered, Travis sent dispatches to fellow Texians pleading for reinforcements. "If my countrymen do not rally to my relief," he declared, "I am determined to perish in defense of this place, and my bones shall reproach my country for her neglect." His words were prophetic: little help came, but outrage over the slaughter of Travis and other Alamo defenders inspired a rush of Texian volunteers who ultimately defeated Mexican General Santa Anna at San Jacinto. More»

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Portrait of William Barret Travis by Henry McArdle. The McArdle Notebooks, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.