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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982

Book Reviews
A Pictorial History of Texas A&M University, 1876-1976. By Henry
C. Dethloff. (College Station: Texas A8cM University Press, 1975.
Pp. 232. Photographs. $15.)
The University of Texas: A Pictorial Account of Its First Century.
By Margaret C. Berry. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1980.
Pp. xxv+425. Foreword, introduction, photographs, appendix,
index. $20o.)
In the early morning of the Republic of Texas, President Mirabeau
B. Lamar guided through Congress an act (January 16, 1839) which
set aside Texas land for public schools and two universities, the latter,
one suspects, to be separate but equal. Many years passed before
Lamar's dream became a reality in the turbulent years that followed
the Reconstruction decade in Texas and the nation. Now, a century
later, two great American universities have passed the century mile-
stone of their history.
By all odds, Henry Dethloff has done a superb job in recording the
history of the excellent educational institution, Texas A&8M Univer-
sity, from October 4, 1876, when Governor Richard Coke delivered
the dedicatory address to a small gathering on a treeless prairie near
Bryan, to the present. It is of some surprise that one member of the
first Aggie class was "attacked by wolves during the day, in full sight
of the main building" and "another was jumped by a hungry pack just
after dinner" (p. 16). A8cM's Old Main represented Texas's first "ven-
ture into higher education" (p. 17). It was a small beginning, as only
48 cadets, later increased to o6, attended school that first term (in-
cluding Temple Lea Houston, the son of a Texas immortal). Estab-
lished to teach "the agricultural and mechanical arts," Dethloff's nar-
rative shows the dire need for such an educational mission in a frontier
Texas society. Under the leadership of Thomas S. Gathright, the first
president, the small school labored to fulfill its assigned task. Better
days lay ahead.
Since the book is entitled A Pictorial History, mention should be

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 1, 2016.

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