from the Alamo
"I know not what the truth may be - I tell it as 'twas told to
me." - Popular Motto of 19th Century Newspaper Editors
When we "open" the mail here at Texas Escapes - we never know what
it might contain. Frequently we hear from descendants of founding
families, descendants of famous Texans and occasionally we get new
historic information - that is - information that has never been released
to the public. On July 30th, 2005 we received an interesting letter
from Mr. David London of Bonham, Texas - with an attached image of
a very brown - but easily-read letter. The letter is dated 1836 from
what the world now knows as the Alamo. The signature is that of William
We are honored that Mr. London is allowing us to share this document
with our readers. The wording of Mr. London's Alamo letter and the
one in the Texas State Archives is nearly identical - down to the
abundant ampersands. One very important difference is the spelling
in the signature of William Travis' middle name of Barrett - or Barret.
Travis' middle name spelled "Barrett"
Letter from Bonham
Photo courtesy David London & Patricia A. Rochette
Dispatch from the Alamo
Initial Letter from Mr. David London
I am sending a copy of a letter
written by William B. Travis at the Alamo that has been
in my family for over 160 years. We allow you to use it in Texas Escapes
and hope that you [and your readers] appreciate it. We have never
offered it for sale and are not charging for its use.
It had never been published [until] we recently allowed a relative
to use it in her book about Capt. James Bourland (Bourland in North
Texas and Indian Territory during the Civil War). Her web site
During a trip to the Texas Archives in l915, my grandmother discovered
that the famous letter from Col. Travis is probably a fake; it was
purchased by the State of Texas from the Travis family in 1892 - 66
years after the Alamo had fallen. None of his relatives had been in
Texas during that period.
If you search Google, you will see that Col. Travis
spelled his middle name [Barett] with two 't's, like our letter does.
Also, the handwriting on our letter is identical to law papers filed
by Col. Travis in Texas before the Alamo.
We believe the letter was sent to North Texas by Joel Fuller -- who
married Bailey Inglish (the founder of Fannin County and [one of]
the first white settlers in North Texas). Fuller married one of Inglish's
daughters, and their offspring married into the Bourland clan. The
letter was controlled by Cora Fuller, my great aunt - a maiden schoolteacher
who taught for 51 years in Bonham. She raised my mothers' mother and
died in l952.
Capt Bourland was my great great Grandfather. He was a Texas Senator
in l846 and we have documentation about him waving this letter from
Travis as he campaigned. He was later commander of North Texas Confederate
forces during the Civil War.
We had debated for years whether to ever release this letter; since
it may cause embarrassment to some people...In fact, it was hidden
by my great aunt (who is still alive at 101) until she went to the
nursing home last year.
- David London, Bonham, Texas, July 30, 2005
Lee Fuller, 1864-1952
"The letter was [once] controlled by Cora Fuller, my great aunt
- a maiden schoolteacher who taught for 51 years in Bonham. She raised
my mothers' mother and died in l952. Cora was a member of the Daughters
of the Republic of Texas and the Daughters of the American Revolution."
Photo courtesy Patricia A. Rochette
Subject: Travis Letter
Dear Texas Escapes,
I have been studying William Barrett Travis for many years, and notice,
I spell it with two t's... next