Martin, Albert (1808–1836)

By: Bill Groneman

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: March 24, 2018

Albert Martin, Alamo defender and officer of the Alamo garrison, son of Joseph S. and Abbey B. Martin, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on January 6, 1808. He moved to Gonzales, Texas, in 1835, by way of Tennessee and New Orleans, following his father and older brothers. In Gonzales he ran a general store. At the outbreak of the Texas revolution, Martin was one of the "Old Eighteen," defenders of the Gonzales "Come and Take It" cannon. He was part of the Texas force that besieged San Antonio de Béxar (see SIEGE OF BEXAR) in the autumn of 1835. By December 19, 1835, he was back in Gonzales recovering from a foot injury inflicted by an ax.

Martin returned to Bexar sometime before the Alamo siege. On February 23, 1836, the first day of the siege, he was sent by Lt. Col. William B. Travis as an emissary to the Mexican force. He met Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna's adjutant, Col. Juan N. Almonte, who rejected Martin's invitation to come to the Alamo and speak directly to Travis. On the following day, Martin left the Alamo carrying Travis's famous letter "To the People of Texas." He passed the message to Lancelot Smither in Gonzales. Martin returned to the Alamo with the relief force from Gonzales and arrived on March 1, 1836. He died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.

The Department of State in Rhode Island recognized and commemorated Albert Martin in HR 7924 on March 6, 2018, for his heroic actions at the Alamo.

Daughters of the American Revolution, The Alamo Heroes and Their Revolutionary Ancestors (San Antonio, 1976). Michael R. Green, "To the People of Texas and All the Americans in the World," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 91 (April 1988). Bill Groneman, Alamo Defenders (Austin: Eakin, 1990).

Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Bill Groneman, “Martin, Albert,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 23, 2022,

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March 24, 2018