Susanna Dickinson



Susanna Dickinson would probably agree with those who say, “Life in the early days of Texas was an adventure for men and dogs, but hell on women and horses.” She will always be remembered as the sole adult Anglo survivor that witnessed the massacre at the Battle of the Alamo.

Susanna Wilkerson was born in 1814 in Tennessee. Her first name has also been recorded as Susan, Susana, and Suzanna; her maiden name is sometimes given as Wilkinson. Susanna was only fifteen years old when she married Almaron Dickinson (sometimes written as Dickinson or Dickerson). The couple was married in Hardeman County, Tennessee. The Dickinson’s moved to a site near Gonzales, Texas about two years after the marriage. Angelina, their daughter, was born in 1834.

After San Antonio de Bexar was secured as a stronghold for the Texians, the family moved into the mission at San Antonio for safety. However, it was here that Almaron lost his life and Susanna received injuries. She and her daughter survived the tragedy. It was also here that Angenlina was given the legendary ring by William Travis, which is now on display at the Alamo. Following the fall of the Alamo, Susanna was interviewed by Santa Anna himself and sent by him with a message to Sam Houston.

Susanna was a strong woman and a survivor, but the memory of those days would haunt her the rest of her life. She sometimes suffered from what she called her “black days”. She married and divorced 4 more times and is reported to have lived in a brothel for a time before she met and married Mr. Joseph Hannig. She and Hannig had a successful marriage until her death in 1883.

Susanna’s tale is told by Brenda Magee, Becky Welch, and LaJuanna Faught.