William Barret Travis Home - Perdue Hill, Alabama
William Barret Travis Home - Perdue Hill, Alabama
William Barret Travis Home
The Alamo hero lived here with his family from 1828
until he left for Texas in 1831. The house then stood
in Claiborne, but now is in Perdue Hill, Alabama.
Home of William B. Travis
The historic Alabama home
of Alamo hero William Travis
was built in around 1820 and
stands in Purdue Hill.
An Alamo Hero in Alabama
The little cottage was the
birthplace of Travis' son,
Charles Edward Travis, who
was born August 8, 1829.
William Barret Travis Home - Perdue Hill, Alabama
Early Home of an Alamo Hero
Copyright 2013 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: October 21, 2013
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Historic Homes in the South
Masonic Lodge #3
In the background can be
seen Masonic Lodge #3,
where Travis was a member
before leaving on his epic
journey to Texas.
The Alamo
Col. William B. Travis fell in
defense of the Alamo, the
fortified mission that is now a
shrine to Texas liberty.
The home of Texas hero William B. Travis
can be seen in the community of Perdue Hill,
Alabama.

Located on U.S. Highway 84 between
Monroeville and Claiborne, Perdue Hill also
is site of the beautifully preserved Masonic
Lodge #3, of which Travis was a member
before he left Alabama for Texas in 1831.

Travis, of course, gained eternal fame in
1836 when he died in defense of the Alamo,
a fortified mission compound in San Antonio,
Texas. A lieutenant colonel in the newly
formed Army of Texas, he shared command
of the Alamo with famed knife fighter James
"Jim" Bowie.

The little frame home originally stood in
nearby Claiborne, once a thriving river
community that had been developed near the
site of a fort dating to the
Creek War of
1813-1814.

William Barret Travis was born in the
Edgefield District of South Carolina in 1809
and moved to Alabama with his family in
1817. He first attended an academy in
Sparta, but then enrolled in school at
Claiborne to finish his education.

After completing his formal studies, he read
law under James Dellet (Dellett), a Claiborne
attorney. The two practiced law together for a
time with Travis also serving as a teacher in
the local school.

On October 26, 1828, he married Rosanna
Cato, one of his students, and the two moved
into the little cottage that now stands in
Perdue Hill. Built in around 1820, the home
was typical of those built on the frontier at the
time. A step above the log cabins thrown up
by the original settlers, it was a charming and
comfortable home for the budding lawyer and
his bride.

The couple's oldest son, Charles Edward
Travis, was born in Claiborne on August 8,
1829, and spent his early years in the home.

Although he often is portrayed in movies and
books as an unpopular dandy who found
courage at the Alamo and died heroically,
Travis was quite popular during his time in
Claiborne. He practiced law and was a
member of the bar, while also publishing a
local newspaper. That he had numerous
friends is demonstrated by his acceptance to
the fellowship of Masonic Lodge #3.

Perhaps the greatest evidence of Travis'
popularity during the Claiborne years,
however, was his election to a post as an
officer in the local militia regiment.

It was in this house that one of the great
mysteries of the Texas hero's life took place.
For some reason, he suddenly left his home
in 1831 and relocated to Texas, leaving his
wife and children behind.

There are various stories of what happened,
but none of them can be confirmed so the
reason behind his sudden disappearance
remains a mystery. Some versions hold that
Travis left Alabama because he had become
overwhelmed with debt. Others have claimed
that marital issues led to his departure.

It is possible that he simply caught the
"Texas Fever" then raging in the United
States. Hundreds of men like William Barret
Travis headed west in search of opportunity.
Whatever happened, he soon reappeared in
Texas where he obtained land from Stephen
F. Austin on May 21, 1831. Listing himself as
single on the paperwork, even though he had
not obtained a divorce from Rosanna, he laid
claim to land in Mexico despite a law passed
the previous year making it illegal for any
more U.S. citizens to immigrate to Texas.

Travis and many other immigrants opposed
this law and tensions grew.  He became an
early advocate for the independence of Texas
and was elected to important positions and
participated in the efforts to have the law
prohibiting further immigration repealed.

In 1835, as tensions grew, he led a small
force in an amphibious assault on a Mexican
post on Galveston Bay.  The attack was a
success. Revolutionary forces also defeated
Mexican forces in Gonzales and
San Antonio
and a full scale war for independence was
ignited.

William Barret Travis was commissioned a
lieutenant colonel of cavalry and named chief
recruiting officer for the Army of Texas. In
January 1836 he was ordered to raise a force
of 100 men and reinforce Colonel James
Neill at
the Alamo in San Antonio.

Over the two months that followed, Travis
emerged as the commander of the Alamo
and his written promise that he and his men
would fight to "Victory or Death!" electrified
Texas. With his small command, he defied
the full strength of the Mexican army for
thirteen days.

The Alamo fell on March 6, 1836, when
Mexican troops stormed the old mission from
all directions.  William Barret Travis died
during the attack, along with
David Crockett,
James "Jim" Bowie and almost every other
person in the fort.  Their charred bones rest
today in a small coffin at
San Fernando
Cathedral in San Antonio, Texas.

His onetime home was restored by Ann and
Palmer Bedsole in 1985. It stands adjacent
to the original Masonic Lodge #3 facing U.S.
Highway 84 in Purdue Hill, Alabama. The
interior is not open, but visitors can view the
exterior and read the historical markers.
Bones of William B. Travis?
This small coffin in San
Fernando Cathedral in San
Antonio, Texas, contains the
remains of Alamo defenders.