Stephen Siwinski

Communications Officer

William Barret Travis "Victory or Death Letter" on Display 2/23/15 - 3/6/15

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 • Austin, Texas • News Release

One day into the bombardment of the Alamo, the 26-year-old commander of the makeshift fortress, William Barret Travis, addressed a letter “To the People of Texas and All Americans in the world.” Dated February 24th 1836, “The Travis Letter” has become the single most revered and studied document in Texas history. The iconic letter will be on display for 12 days, symbolically representing the lengthy siege fought by the defenders of the Alamo, from Feb 23rd - March 6, 2015.

While on exhibition the document is kept within a specially designed case which limits harmful light while providing the unique opportunity to come face to face with one of the most important pieces of our state’s shared heritage. The lengths that the dedicated staff of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission have taken ensure the document will be a lasting treasure to be enjoyed and studied by visitors to TSLAC for years to come.

The Travis letter is on display as part of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s latest exhibit, Texans’ Struggle for Freedom and Equality, which offers visitors the opportunity to view documents and images integral to our state's social history, illustrating the heroic efforts of early Texas settlers, the consequences of Indian and Mexican conflicts, demands for civil rights for African-Americans and Tejanos and the campaign for women's suffrage.

TSLAC facilities will offer an extended weekend viewing opportunity on February 28th, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. as part of the agency's established Second Saturday research hours. For more information, visit or contact our Reference Desk at or by phone at 512-463-5455.