The Alamo is arguably the most recognizable shrine in the state of Texas. Ron J. Jackson and Lee S. White’s Joe, the Slave Who Became an Alamo Legend tells the story of a slave’s life from the plantation to the Alamo and beyond.
The narrative recounts the horrors of man’s inhumanity to man. It’s a well-researched and scholarly review of Joe’s life and experiences. The content is consistent with the documents recorded for the Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project. The difference in this book is the context. The authors provide vivid examples of Joe’s interactions with well-known characters in Texas history. I was intrigued by Joe’s personal relationship and dedication to his slave master Lt. Col. William Travis. Ironically, the authors drew many parallels between Joe’s quest for freedom and the defenders of the Alamo. When the Alamo curators update the reader board that lists the occupants of the Alamo on March 6, 1836, it should include a footnote that states “For further information please read Joe, the Slave Who Became an Alamo Legend.”
—Captain Paul J. Matthews, Executive Director of the National Buffalo Soldiers Museum