Phil Collins, lead singer of Genesis and singer of hit songs like In the Air Tonight, certainly remembers the Alamo in Texas, though he is a native of England. Collins remembered the Alamo by turning over his entire collection of over 200 Alamo artifacts, one of the largest in the world, to the San Antonio, Texas historical site.
On Thursday, Phil Collins, 63, arrived in San Antonio on his private plane from New York, to meet with Texas land commissioner, Jerry Patterson. He came bearing gifts, a small portion of the artifacts he has collected over the years, which will soon find a permanent home in San Antonio, Texas. Collins handed over to Jerry Patterson a dagger and a sword. Patterson had two guns with him, one in his cowboy boot and the second one stuck in the waistband of his pants.
The dagger and sword that Phil Collins brought with him were both used in the Battle of the Alamo (1836). Attempting to defend the famous mission from the attacking Mexican Army, almost 200 men gave up their lives.
In return, as a gesture of gratitude for Phil Collins’ contribution, the Texas land commissioner gave Collins a lifetime admission to the Alamo. Patterson also announced that a new visitors center would need to be built to house and display the collection of Alamo artifacts that Collins donated.
Besides the dagger and sword, Phil Collins had a few more Alamo artifacts that he donated to Patterson in person. The Abacab singer also presented Jerry Patterson with one of only four known rifles that Davy Crockett owned, as well as the sword belt of the commander of the Alamo, William B. Travis. He also handed over battle-fired cannonballs, the belt buckle of a Mexican officer, powder flasks, musket balls, pistols, and a letter from a man who became known as the father of Texas, Stephen F. Austin, ordering both reinforcements and a cannon.
Phil Collins stated that, currently, the rest of his vast collection of Alamo artifacts is “in the basement” in Switzerland. In 2012, Collins even published a book based on his collection titled The Alamo and Beyond: A Collector’s Journey.
According to the I Wish It Would Rain Down singer, his collection of Alamo artifacts has been estimated to be worth “seven figures.” Collins had been negotiating the donation of his Alamo collection for a period of months with Patterson.
Phil Collins began his fascination with the Alamo to when he was just five years old. He became obsessed with Davy Crockett and the Alamo when he saw the Disney series Davy Crockett, starring Fess Parker in the title role.
When Collins got older, his interest in learning more about the history of the Alamo kept growing. He became especially intrigued by the main courier at the Alamo, John W. Smith. Collins has a receipt for one of Smith’s saddles in his vast collection of Alamo memorabilia. Collins said he met a clairvoyant “who claimed that I was he,” but he added that he does not “buy that.”
Though the collection of Alamo artifacts has provided Phil Collins with a lot of joy in collecting, displaying, and viewing them, he came to the conclusion that “no one else was enjoying it,” so he decided to arrange for the artifacts to be donated to the mission at San Antonio, where they can be seen by the multitudes of visitors who tour the historical site.
Donating the collection of Alamo artifacts does not mean that Phil Collins has decided to stop collecting — he said that he would continue collecting Alamo artifacts, and he would ship each one to San Antonio, Texas, after he has “lived with whatever I buy for a month.”
At least a portion of the vast collection of Alamo artifacts that Phil Collins is donating to the Alamo historic site will go on display later this year. On Thursday, Phil Collins said that he was “proud to have this place as the home for” his collection of valuable historic Battle of the Alamo artifacts, believed to be one of the largest in the world.
Written by: Douglas Cobb