Stepe# 7. Austi atd Educa-
tion in Sarly xeras,
I N THE entire colonial history of the United States, no man
more completely dominated his colony than did Stephen F.
Austin. For this reason, although many other Americans were
also actively interested in the promotion of education in early
Texas, the plans and efforts of this man assume paramount
Whether it was his education as a youth in Connecticut or
his two years spent at Transylvania University in Kentucky that
were chiefly responsible for his later zeal in promoting learning,
it is difficult to say. Whatever the cause, however, Austin was
a consistent proponent of better education in Texas throughout
the entire Mexican period.
His interest in Texas education was demonstrated as early
as 1823 when he drew up a proposed Constitution for the Mexican
Republic. Article 27 of this document stated that it was "the
duty of Congress to provide . . . for the speedy establishment of
schools, academies, and colleges throughout the whole nation."
Article 90, Part 25, of the same document stated that Congress
was empowered "to establish a general system of education and
to appropriate public funds or any public property for the en-
dowment and support of schools." It is, however, highly con-
jectural whether Austin's proposal had any real effect upon
the Constitution that was finally adopted by the Mexican gov-
The following year the Civil and Criminal Code drawn up by
Austin for his colony provided that "all fines shall be applied
to the use of schools and other public purposes."' But
'Project for a Constitution for the Republic of Mexico, March 29, 1823, in
Eugene C. Barker (ed.), Austin Papers, I, 604, 613.
2Austin's Civil and Criminal Code, Art. 26, January 22, 1824, in
J. Wortham, History of Texas, I, 410.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/. Accessed August 23, 2014.