Today in Texas History – May 26

From the Annals of Slavery –  In 1837, the executor of William Barret Travis’s estate placed a notice in the Telegraph and Texas Register for an escaped slave named Joe.  Joe had been one of the few survivors of the battle of the Alamo the year before. The notice ran for three months before it was discontinued.

During the final battle for the Alamo, Joe was armed and defended with others before retreating to an interior room.  After the battle, Joe answered the call of the Mexican troops for any slaves to reveal themselves. Joe came out was immediately shot and suffered a bayonet thrust. A Mexican captain prevented his death.  He was taken by the Mexican Army and later interrogated by Santa Anna regarding Texas and the Texas Army.  He was apparently released and on March 20, Joe was questioned by the Texas Cabinet at Groce’s Retreat about the siege and final battle at the Alamo. William F. Gray reported that Joe impressed those present with the modesty, candor, and clarity of his account. Joe was then returned to Travis’s property near Columbia.  On the first anniversary of the battle of San Jacinto, Joe escaped with two fully equipped horses while accompanied by an unidentified Mexican man.  Joe was never returned to slavery and was last reported in Austin in 1875.

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