Tuesday, October 22, 2013

An Alamo hero's home in Alabama

William B. Travis home in Alabama
The historic home of William Barret Travis still stands in the unincorporated community of Perdue Hill, Alabama.  The future commander of the Alamo lived here in 1828-1830.

The house was built in around 1820 in the once thriving river port of Claiborne, about 1 1/2 miles west of its current location. In 1828, William B. Travis and his new bride, Rosanna Cato Travis, moved into the charming little cottage.  Their son, Charles Travis, was born there and the future hero of the Texas Revolution practiced law, ran a newspaper and served as an adjutant in the Alabama State Militia while he lived in the home.

Travis was only 19 years old when he and Rosanna were married, but by then had been educated at academies in Sparta and Claiborne and entered the practice of law in the office of James Dellet. That he was popular among his neighbors is evidenced by his election to a post in the state militia (forerunner of today's National Guard).  In those days, militia officers were elected.

The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas
After only two years of marriage and when his young son was only one year old, however, Travis suddenly left Claiborne.  The cause of his sudden departure is debated to this day.  Some say he was so severely in debt that he was unable to meet his obligations.  Others say his decision to lead was the result of marital strife with Rosanna.  The cause also could have been a case of the "Texas Fever." Men from all over the United States then were flocking to Texas hoping to make fortunes for themselves.

Regardless of why he left Alabama in early 1831, Travis became the heroic commander of the Alamo who inspired the world with his determined promise of "Victory or Death!"  He, of course, died at the Alamo alongside James "Jim" Bowie, David Crockett and other heroes on March 6, 1836.

To learn more about Travis and his Alabama home, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/travishome.

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