Houston: State Printing Company, 1907. First Edition. 8vo. , 10-244 pp. With frontispiece and 8 plates. Original publisher's decorated cloth, soiled, lower corner on front cover abraided, as is the lower joint on back cover (neither objectionably); text with age toning, other minor defects, but the hinges are tight, and the binding sound. Unidentified ownership inscription in pencil inside front cover. Very good. Item #3421
This unassuming book, subtitled "A Romance of the Fall of the Alamo," may contain the first appearance of an equally unassuming sketch of William B. Travis (opp. p. 66). Some believe that this is the ONLY portrait of the great Texas hero that was drawn from life (there were no oil portraits). THE STORY GOES that it was sketched by Wyly Martin in December, 1835. As is well known, Travis -- the commander of a doomed garrison -- died at the Alamo on 6 March 1836 at the age of 26.
"[The only] likeness of Travis allegedly drawn from life was a pencil sketch by Wiley Martin that first appeared in a book published in 1907, 'The Fall of the Alamo,' by Frank Templeton of Houston. [...] Templeton claimed he found the sketch. I have doubts about its authenticity. Templeton had been unsuccessful in getting the book published previously and then he comes up with the sketch and the book gets published. Supposedly it was drawn in 1835, right before Travis left for the Alamo. Templeton died shortly after the book was published and a lot of questions about the sketch were never answered" (SOURCE: the artist Mark Barnett, in: "Artist Tries to put a Face on Man Every Texan Knows" by Jim Molony, quoted in yourhoustonnews online 27 July 2009).