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Alamo Relics Return

British pop-legend Phil Collins donates his prized collection
Written by , published October 27, 2014

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The fringed leather pouch that David Crockett carried his musket balls in the day he fell at the Alamo made its trip to Texas with Crockett in 1836. On Tuesday, Oct. 28, it returns to the Alamo via British pop-legend Phil Collins who is donating what is considered the biggest and best collection of Alamo artifacts ever assembled.

British pop-legend Phil Collins will deliver his Alamo collection - the biggest collection of its kind - as a donation back to the citizens of Texas. The items' historic arrival occurs at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28 at the Gallagher House across from the Alamo.

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It's exciting to know that the public will one day be able to view invaluable artifacts like Jim Bowie’s legendary knife, and one of only four remaining rifles owned by Crockett. There also are letters from William B. Travis and many other historical documents that shed insight on early Texas history.

The Collins Collection donation –– the largest known private collection of artifacts from the Texas Revolution and the Battle of the Alamo –– was announced in June. The collection, under the guidance of Collins and Texas Land Comissioner Jerry Patterson, now officially makes its way home. The artifacts will be delivered to the Gallagher House across from the Alamo on East Houston.

For many of the items, the donation marks their first return to the cradle of Texas liberty since the legendary defeat of Texian forces there in 1836.

“Texans are deeply indebted to Phil Collins,” Patterson said. “He is giving us back our heritage. Now these Texas treasures need a home where all can see them and study from them and learn about how Texans won our liberty."

Efforts are underway to build a permanent home for the Collins Collection, popularized in Collins’ 384-page book, “The Alamo and Beyond” in 2012.  

“To me, these items aren’t just about a battle,” said Collins, “they are about the idea of these men and women having a choice and staying to fight for what they believed to be just and right. That’s what makes these things special.”

Like many Alamo artifacts, the story of Crockett’s pouch is not entirely clear. Some say Crockett gave the prized possession to a Mexican officer. Some suspect it was looted from Crockett’s corpse. But its return will bring its own story full-circle. The pouch, when found, held Crockett’s last remaining musket balls and two tortillas. After the battle, somehow, the bag (minus the contents) found itself in the possession of Mexican Col. Jose Enrique de la Pena. When Pena died, it was documented along with the rest of his belongings.

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