“Happy Texas Independence Day!” the American icon wishes his fellow Texans on Tuesday.
The well-wishes come as Texas celebrates the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. For every subsequent 2nd of March since, Texas remembers the document brought into law by 59 delegates. With it, settlers in Mexican Texas officially became independent from Mexico, creating the triumphant Republic of Texas.
As for Willie himself, the proud Texan was born Willie Hugh Nelson in Abbot, Texas on April 29, 1933. Now 87, the country music pioneer remains one of America’s most treasured artists of any genre.
Within his tweet, Nelson includes his own “Willie reads the historic William B Travis letter” recording. The historic piece was featured as track 7 on his 1968 LP, Texas In My Soul.
The cover alone is a sight to behold (see below). It throws way back to an era where Willie Nelson had yet to adopt his iconic look. Gone are the long braids and beard, with no sign of a bandana or western hat. In fact, he looks quite the “normal fellow,” as he’d say. Don’t let that fool you, however. Just as the name of the album states, the legend has always had Texas in his soul. To this end, several prominent Texas landmarks feature behind his portrait, including the Alamo and the Lone Star of the Lone Star State.
Willie Nelson Reads the Historic William B. Travis Letter
Nelson’s thoughtful reading of “The Travis Letter” goes a long way in showing his deep love for his home state and it’s incredible history. Listen to the icon’s original 1968 recording below. Then, read the 1836 letter in full – courtesy of TravisLetter.com.
The Travis Letter
Commandancy of the The Alamo
Bejar, Feby. 24th. 1836
To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World-
Fellow Citizens & compatriots-
I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna – I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man – The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken – I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls – I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch – The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country – Victory or Death.
William Barret Travis.
P. S. The Lord is on our side – When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn – We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves.