Texas Day by Day
On this day in Texas history…
Travis estate advertises for return of escaped slave
May 26th, 1837
On this day in 1837, the executor of William Barret Travis's estate placed a notice offering fifty dollars for the return of an escaped slave named Joe in the Telegraph and Texas Register. Joe, born about 1813, was one of the few survivors of the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836, in which his master was killed. Accounts of Joe's departure from the Alamo differ, but he later joined Susanna W. Dickinson on the way to Gen. Sam Houston's camp at Gonzales. Joe was brought before the Texas Cabinet and questioned about events at the Alamo. He was then returned to Travis's estate near Columbia, where he remained until April 21, the first anniversary of the battle of San Jacinto. On that day, accompanied by an unidentified Mexican man and taking two fully equipped horses with him, he escaped. Presumably Joe's escape was successful, for the notice in the Telegraph and Texas Register ran three months before it was discontinued. Joe was last reported in Austin in 1875.