Book Reviews and Notices.
The appendix covers 118 pages, and includes a list of documents
for which the serious student of Western history will be especially
grateful. When history like this which Mr. Ranck has had to
write shall be presented in the same scientific and intelligent man-
ner, its importance and interest, falsely considered by some only
local, will take on their true national aspect.
The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897.-Compiled and arranged by H.
P. N. Gammel, of Austin, with an introduction by C. W. Raines.
Volume IX. Austin: The Gammel Book Company. 1898. Pp.
This volume contains the legislative enactments, both general
and special, for the decade beginning with the year 1879.
The constitution of 1876 having prohibited almost all kinds of
private legislation, the special laws are not of great general inter-
est, though they are very valuable to persons interested in the
development of the larger cities of the State, whether that interest
be special in the particular cities whose charters are granted,
repealed, or amended during that time, or general in the subject of
social and political growth. The general laws, on the other hand,
embrace many acts of individual importance, and give very plain
insight into many of the social and political influences then at
work in this State.
With increase of population and business necessarily come
increase in legislation. Notwithstanding the constitution of 1876
had doubled the working force in our courts of last resort by the
creation of the court of appeals, still the supreme court was made
to work off the accumulation of old business and keep up with the
new. Responding to this, the Legislature, by act approved July
9th, 1879 (Acts 1879, p. 30), created a commission of arbitration
and award to which any civil suit pending in either the supreme
court or the court of appeals could be referred by consent of the
parties. This was to continue two years. At the expiration of
that time the commission was continued with somewhat different
powers, but for the same purpose (Acts 1881, p. 4). The Legis-
lature then sought permanent relief by proposing an amendment to
the constitution increasing the number of judges in the supreme
court. This was defeated. In March, 1887, the expedient of the
commission was again resorted to (Acts 1887, p. 74), and another
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101021/. Accessed September 2, 2014.