Rendezvous at the Alamo: Highlights in the Lives of Bowie, Crockett, and Travis

By Virgil E. Baugh | Go to book overview

chapter 3
A Marriage Is Blessed and Blighted

MANY WRITERS have speculated upon the circumstances of Travis' sudden departure from Alabama for Texas, when his prospects for a brilliant law career in his home State were so bright. Although the cause of the Texan revolutionists must have been one that had already enlisted his sympathies, it was not the driving reason. All agree it must have been his tragic marriage.

As a bright young man and a good student, William Travis may have been encouraged to take up the law, or he may have decided to do so without advice from anyone. In any event, he succeeded in making a connection with Judge James Dellett to study under him. This type of "law school" was the only one available in frontier states at that time, but it was a practical one that soon proved a man's fitness or unfitness for the profession. The Judge was a first-class lawyer and a fine man, and Travis must have been flattered that he thought enough of his potentialities to accept him as an apprentice. The opportunities for lawyers on the Alabama frontier were excellent and an open door to a political career.

But Travis had to support himself while preparing for the bar, so he engaged to teach school at both Monroeville and Claiborne. He was by now a well-set-up, handsome youth and is said to have attracted feminine eyes wherever he went. He looked over the field but was in no hurry to choose a wife, or so he believed. He knew what he wanted from life, where he was going, and what kind of woman he wanted to accompany him on the journey.

To the school girls who shot admiring glances at him, he was "Professor" Travis -- every male teacher was so addressed in

-142-

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