The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946

aud Gralts and Other Aids
to rexas Railroads
S. G. REED
THE HISTORY of the land grants and other aids to the early
Texas railroads has never been fully and fairly told. The
unfriendly feeling toward railroads in the past was caused in
a large measure by a belief that they had been subsidized, not
just a few of them in the early days, but all of them and for
every mile they built; that they had obtained these aids by
corrupt means; that they had profited enormously thereby; and
that the state had not profited, or least not materially, from
these aids. Many are still prone to let their prejudices against
railroads affect their judgment. Such persons are influenced
too much by their belief that the railroad was guilty of favor-
itism, discrimination, and rebating. It is difficult for them to
forget the sins in times long past of some of the railroads for
which they have paid the penalty in regulatory legislation of
the strictest and most comprehensive kind. But the railroads
are entitled to have their land grants and other aids judged
by themselves. Justice to the railroads, to the state, and to
the truth of history calls for a telling of the great cooperative
undertaking between the state and the railroads. The state was
seeking more people for her vast domain, better means of com-
munication between them, easier exchange of products, and a
closer contact with other states and nations; the railroads were
a willing agency to those ends, but the railroads, unaided, would
have been unable to attain them. These goals were attained
without a single dishonest or unfair act by the railroads, and
the good name of the state was not sullied or her credit im-
paired by her part in this great joint undertaking.
Before considering the circumstances governing the land
grants and state loans, brief mention should be made of other
forms of aids to railroads.
In 1850 Bexar County and the city of San Antonio under
legislative authority made the first issuance of bonds for $50,000
each to the San Antonio and Mexican Gulf Railway Company.
Between 1850 and 1876 six other counties-Brazoria, Walker,
Smith, Anderson, Harrison, and Galveston-issued bonds for a

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146056/. Accessed July 13, 2014.