The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967 Page: 336
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
editor of one of the rarest pieces of Texana, the ten-months' diary
of William Barret Travis.
Make no mistake. This is no perfunctory editing chore, tossed
off by a busy publisher seeking a quick dollar. The statistics,
which ordinarily do not interest me, are pertinent here. The book
has 20o6 pages. Of those, ninety-nine consist of the Travis diary.
Most of the remainder are filled with the 352 footnotes that
identify in depth just about everyone and every place mentioned.
In addition, Davis has appended a twelve-page index. The result
is one of the most complete pieces of identification of pre-Revo-
lutionary Texas to be found anywhere. Even if he has no interest
in Travis per se, the Texas buff will refer frequently to this book
just to check on people and places.
Travis wrote as frank a diary as you would expect from a man
of his calculating character. It is a terse, detailed document, with
little opinion and displaying mainly Travis's preoccupation with
making a living. As a leading lawyer he saw just about every
prominent Texan pass his way, and accordingly noted the client's
request, the amount agreed upon, the amount paid, and the
amount owed. The right type of person, of which I am not one,
could nearly make an income tax declaration from Travis's daily
Between business transactions appear little teasers that show
that although noted for being cold and even humorless, Travis
did have other than patriotic fires burning within. He gambled
fairly often: "Lost at Monte 15.621/ "; "Won $17.75 at faro-
preaching &c." And he also had romantic notions.
His own marital mix-up weaves in and out, along with his
fervent courtship of Rebecca Cummings, who waited until seven
years after he was massacred at the Alamo to surrender her spin-
sterhood. Thus, just before Christmas: "Chingaba la C." (I had
an adventure la C[ummings]). And on March i : "arrived at
Cummins' in the night-&c &c-&c-&c-&c" (which can be trans-
lated as quite a night!) ; the next day: "Intrigue-Bargain &8 man-
agement-successful-Staid all night at Cummins- Gave R.
[Rebecca] a breast pin-& took lock of hair &c."; and on March 14,
before swimming his horse away: "Took ring from R."
When Travis really felt triumphant about his courtship, he
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967, periodical, 1967; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/m1/354/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.