texas LaNd Grauts to CoNfederate
Veterans and Widows
THOMAS L. MILLER
TEXAS AS A REPUBLIC AND STATE HAS HAD FINANCIAL DIFFI-
culties from the beginning. Prior to 1890, however, Texas
had a vast reservoir of public lands and used them to meet
its obligations. That was true in regard to the claims of those
who had fought for Texas. With one exception Texas used land in-
stead of pensions to reward its veterans. For service in the revo-
lution in 1835-1836, in the Army of the Republic of 'Texas in
1837 and 1838, and to those engaged in frontier defense 1839-
1841, Texas granted 7,469 bounty land warrants conveying 5,354,-
250 acres of land.' Under an act of 1837 the republic granted
1,816 donation certificates for 640 acres each to the participants
(or to their heirs) in the battle of the Alamo, the siege of Bexar,
the Goliad campaign, and the battle of San Jacinto.2 That
amounted to 1,162,240 acres of land.
In July, 1876, the state legislature voted a pension of $150 per
year to surviving indigent veterans of the 'Texas Revolution and
signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence or their un-
remarried widows.3 Shortly it was found that the state did not
have the money to pay those pensions and the act was repealed
on March 13, 1879.4 In lieu of the pension the same legislature
voted to give them 640 acres of land. In 1881, the act was changed
to give them 1,280 acres, and the amendment removed the re-
quirement that they be indigent. To the veterans, signers, and
their widows, Texas granted a total of 1,377,92o acres of land.5
1Thomas L. Miller, Bounty Land Grants of Texas, 1835-1888 (Ph.D. dissertation,
University of Texas, 1956).
2These figures were obtained by an actual count of the 1816 donation records in
the General Land Office, Austin, Texas. The Land Office had never kept a count or
compilation of donations.
'H. P. N. Gammel, Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 (lo vols.; Austin, 1898), VIII, 897.
'Thomas L. Miller, "Texas Land Grants to Veterans of the Revolution and
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/. Accessed February 1, 2015.