THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. LIV APRIL, 1951 No. 4
A Comise Iistory oe
rhe Uliversit of reras, 1883-1950
W. J. BATTLE
Foundation. The need for higher education was felt in Texas
while the state was still a part of Mexico. The constitution of
Coahuila and Texas, adopted in 1827, provides in Article 216,
for "the seminaries most required for affording the public the
means of instruction in the sciences and arts useful to the state,"
but nothing was done under this provision. The Texas Declara-
tion of Independence in 1836 lists as one of its grievances against
Mexico that "it has failed to establish any public system of edu-
cation." The Constitution of the Republic, adopted the same
month as the Declaration, declares: "It shall be the duty of Con-
gress ... to provide by law a general system of education." In
1839 the Congress of the Republic in an act locating the seat of
government orders that a site be set apart for a university, and
a few days later by another act devotes "fifty leagues of land"
(231,4oo acres) to the establishment and endowment of two col-
leges or universities."
Whether because of frontier conditions, or a scarcity of money,
or a feeling that higher education was the concern of the rich
and ought to be paid for by them, or disagreement as to the loca-
tion of the university, nothing more was done by the Congress
of the Republic or the legislature of the state until 1858.
A notable act of that year appropriates for a university: (1)
$1oo,ooo of United States bonds remaining in the state treasury
from the ten million dollars voted to Texas by the United States
Congress in settlement of the northwestern boundary of Texas;
(2) the fifty leagues of land granted by the Congress of the
Republic in 1839; and (3) one section of land out of every ten
reserved to the state by various acts of the legislature in grants
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/. Accessed October 23, 2014.