A historically important document signed by William Barret Travis, securing black walnut wood to help build a garrison just days before the Alamo was attacked by Mexican forces, sold for $137,500 in Heritage Auctions’ Texana & Western Americana auction March 24 in Dallas.
Three days after the date of the document, American lawyer and soldier William Barret Travis wrote a letter, possibly the most famous document in Texas history, calling on Texans in particular and Americans in general to come and help defend the Alamo, vowing never to surrender or retreat and adding the words “Victory or Death” before his signature.
The auction’s top lot honors included two rare maps: A.R. Roessler’s 1874 Latest Map of the State of Texas, considered the best contemporary records of agricultural and mineral wealth, which sold for $35,000 following interest from five bidders, and J. Eppinger and F.C. Baker’s 1851 Map of Texas Compiled from Surveys Recorded in the General Land Office, which sold for $32,500.
Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:
- Texas by Mary Austin Holley, 1836, first edition, featuring folding engraved map of Texas on onionskin paper: realized $8,437
- Manual Para Administrar Los Santos Sacramentos de Penitencia, Eucharistia, Extrema-Uncion, y Matrimonio, 1760 – the first book written about the customs and language of the Indians living along the San Antonio and Rio Grande – printed in double columns in Pakawan and Spanish: realized: $7,500
- Texas: The Rise, Progress, and Prospects of the Republic of Texas by William Kennedy: realized: $6,875
- An 1851 Map of Texas by K.W. Pressler and V. Völker: realized: $6,250