Texas in 1850. By Melinda Rankin.

TEXAS IN 1850.

59

At the time of annexation five or six newspapers
constituted the reading matter in the way of periodicals
then extant; now thirty-two in all the varieties, are
sustained almost exclusively by Texan readers and
patronage.
A circulation of the newspapers of Texas would reflect
an honor upon the literary character of the State,
and might serve, no doubt, to elucidate her true condition
more correctly than any other means. IIence a
more extensive circulation abroad, should be aimed at,
by those who desire to benefit the State in a civil and
moral point of view.
As an extensive agent of power in moulding the
character of a country, and giving it a reputation
abroad, is the instrumentality of the press. Important
responsibilities rest upon those who write for the public;
and perhaps, nowhere should more precision be observed
than in Texas, from the fact, that such is the
intellectual appetite for reading, that the sentiments
issued from the press are devoured with eagerness,
regardless of consequences. "Let me write the ballads
of a nation," said an ancient politician, " and I care not
who writes its laws."
A corrupt literature has every where been proven
to exert an immoral tendency, as the countries in which
this subject has not been duly considered, clearly exhibit.
An important privilege, of Inoulding Texian
principles into their proper channel, is presented to
those who occupy the editorial department of moral enterprise.

Rankin, Melinda. Texas in 1850. By Melinda Rankin.. Boston. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6107/. Accessed July 29, 2014.