Texas in 1850. By Melinda Rankin.

TEXAS IN 1850.

47

exhibition of the matter, as it is viewed by his Excellency.
" The constitution of our State enjoins upon the Legislature
the duty of making suitable provision, as
early as practicable, for the support and maintenance
of free public schools. It also expressly sets
apart and reserves for this purpose, one tenth of the
annual revenue accruing from taxation. The amount
Of this fund in the treasury on the first day of this
month, (Nov. 1849,) was $25,503 82. It will require
no labored discussion to impress upon your minds the
importance of education. The framers of our state constitution
wisely declared that a general diffusion of
knowledge is essential to the preservation of the
rights and liberties of the people. No truth is more
fully verified by all history.
" Nations, however powerful in numbers and physical
resources, can never hope to achieve or perpetuate moral
and political freedom where ignorance prevails. The
vitality of republican forms of government especially
resides in the intelligence of the masses. An enlightened
people will neither be the dupes nor the victims of
Corrupt political leaders. How immeasurably important,
then, it is for us to give early attention to the mental
and moral improvement of the generation growing
UP among us. Let some just and feasible plan be
adopted, to apply the means now in the treasury of the
State to the subject, so as to produce the greatest
amount of good to the greatest number. There is, it is
true, not sufficient to establish and maintain a school in

Rankin, Melinda. Texas in 1850. By Melinda Rankin.. Boston. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6107/. Accessed September 20, 2014.