'A Road to the Alamo' by Way of Rhode Island

Last Updated by Lucie Raposo on

PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND (December 21, 2016)  -- There is an incredible and little known story about the Rhode Island connection - an important connection - to the uprising at the Alamo in Texas. It's told in A Road to the Alamo: The Albert Martin Story by filmmaker Francis Leazes, Jr., professor of political science at Rhode Island College. The film premieres during Rhode Island Stories Thursday, January 12 at 8 p.m. on Rhode Island PBS, with encores on Saturday, January 14, at 11 p.m. and Sunday, January 15, at 7 p.m.  
  
A Road to the Alamo: The Albert Martin Story is a biographical documentary film that, for the first time on screen, recreates the life of Albert Martin, a little known Alamo hero, who was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and died at the Alamo on March 6, 1836. 

The Alamo is an iconic American event. Its film treatment over the decades reflects that epic status. According to published reports, commander of the garrison James Bowie fell ill and relinquished command to Colonel William B. Travis. 

On February 23, 1836, the first day of the siege of the Alamo, Lieutenant Colonel William B. Travis sent Captain Albert Martin as an emissary to meet General Antonio López de Santa Anna's adjutant, Colonel Juan N. Almonte. Almonte rejected Martin's invitation to come to the Alamo and speak directly to Travis. 

The next day, seeking reinforcements, Travis wrote his famous letter "To the People of Texas." Historians consider this letter to be one of the most stirring documents in American history because it helped establish the Texan national identity. 

Adding his own comments to the back of the document, it was this letter that defender Albert Martin carried from the Alamo and delivered to Lancelot Smither in Gonzales. There, a relief force of about thirty-two was organized to support the Alamo's scant defenders. 

Despite his father's warnings not to return to the Alamo, Martin did return on March 1, 1836. On March 6, 1836 Martin was killed in the Battle of the Alamo.

A Road to the Alamo: The Albert Martin Story explains why Martin was at the Alamo, and details the forces that drove his father Joseph S. Martin to move to Texas alongside his nearly forgotten son. They traded a tumultuous Providence, Rhode Island, for opportunities within a rebellious Texas - a lethal decision.

WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) content over the air on digital 36.1; on Rhode Island cable services: Cox 08 / 1008HD, Verizon FiOS 08 / 508HD, Full Channel 08; on Massachusetts cable services: Comcast 819HD, Verizon 18 / 518HD; on satellite:  DirecTV 36 / 3128HD, Dish Network 36. WSBE Learn transmits over the air on digital 36.2; on cable: Cox 808, Verizon 478, Full Channel 89, Comcast 294 or 312.

About Rhode Island PBS
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, WSBE Rhode Island PBS is operated by the Rhode Island PBS Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. WSBE Rhode Island PBS is a viewer-supported member of the PBS network of public broadcasting stations, and uses the power of noncommercial media to educate, engage, enrich, inspire, and entertain viewers of all ages in Rhode Island, southeastern Massachusetts, and eastern Connecticut since 1967. WSBE-DT delivers content on three channels: Rhode Island PBS (digital 36.1), Learn (digital 36.2), and Spanish-language content on Vme (36.3). For more information about programs and education services at WSBE, visit www.ripbs.org.

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