This is a compilation of the laws and political documents of
Texas from the beginning of the Mexican Republic to the present
As rights rest upon even obsolete laws, no distinction is here
made between laws obsolete and laws in force. From the scope of
the publication, its importance can readily be seen.
The advantage to the legal profession in Texas of having the
laws, general and special, of all the sessions, regular and special,
of our law-making bodies published in uniform style and convenient
form, as herein presented, can not well be overestimated.
And in further enhancement of the work, it may be stated that
these published laws are exact copies of the authenticated originals
in the Department of State at Austin.
Of importance second only to the laws themselves, are the journals
and declarations classed under the general head of political
documents. The existence of many of these is not generally
known even to intelligent men; while others are just brought
again to light, after a long disappearance from public view. These
are essentially the connecting links of our legal and political history,
scarcely less useful to lawyers than to statesmen using their
law knowledge in connection with political services, like Webster,
or as a basis of political philosophy, like Jefferson. Not a heterogeneous
mass, but a related whole, this compilation is the ethical
expression of the period covered, or more plainly speaking, the
prevailing idea of right and wrong as applied to the social compact.
All knowledge of Texas as a self-governing community, apart
from these documents, must necessarily be superficial and unsatisfactory.
In recognition of the principle, all historians of Texas
draw more or less from these materials; but generally too little,
and that in garbled form.
(As might naturally be expected from her origin and frequent
changes of dominion, Texas, of all the States in the American
Union, has the most complex history, legal and political. Passing
over the early and long continued struggle between France and
Spain for the mastery in Texas, it only concerns us to know that
France left us no laws, and that the rich inheritance of the Spanish
Gammel, Hans Peter Mareus Neilsen. The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 Volume 1. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5872/. Accessed April 21, 2014.