A rare visit by William B. Travis’ famed “Victory or Death” letter to the Alamo has generated more than $300,000 in revenue.
The letter, which was penned by Travis at the height of battle in 1836, made its first trip back to the Alamo since it was written.
Visitors were given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to view the document where it originated, and about 23,000 people accepted the offer.
"People waited up to five hours in line to see this document,” said Mark Loeffler, with the Texas General Land Office. “Tears were very common as folks came out of the Alamo shrine. I think people are drawn to its message. It's not just a piece of paper, but it's the message that it carries."
The Travis letter spent 13 days on display at the Alamo.
On Friday, under heightened security and with a police escort, it left the Alamo grounds to return to the Texas State Library & Archives in Austin.
Loeffler said although there were requests from people for the document to stay through Spring Break, that was not possible. He said the letter is fragile and must be kept in a controlled environment.
"It was important that we limited the amount of time that the letter might be exposed to light because there was light necessary to put on the letter," Loeffler said.
Most of the money generated by the letter’s rare visit will be used to keep the Alamo going for future generations, Loeffler said.