The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899 Page: 18
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18 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
telligence land wealth. He was fortunate, in that his two adminis-
trations fell on peaceful and prosperous times. The 'details of the
multifarious interests that were fostered by his management would
stretch beyond the limits sof an address like this. The chief re-
sulkts of his labors as Governor were the contract for building the
new granite capitol, by which the State disposed of unmarketable
lands in -exchange for a superb public edifice valued at a million
and half dollars; the complete reorganization lof the whole educa-
tional system, including trhe inauguration of the State University,
the foundation of -an efficient system of normal colleges, and the
thorough reformation of 'our free public schools; the radical im-
provement of our prison establishments, 'with the erection of an
additional penitentiary; the building of another insane asylum, and
the extension of 'all 'the institutions of public charity; a land policy
by which, for the first time, the unsalable school lands of the West
were put on the market 'and actual settlement by private owner-
ship was promoted; and a general financial policy under which,
at the end of his second term, the public debt hald been reduced
$1,400,000, taxes lowered from fifty to thirty cents 'on the one
hundred dollars, taxable values raised from $280,000,000 to $410,-
000,000, the permanent school fund increased from $1,629,000 to
$5,361,000, and there was 'a cash balance in the treasury, to the
account .of general revenue, of over two million dollars.
These figures 'and -facts -speak for themselves. Although Governor
Roberts was lan old-fashioned Democrat, with many strong and
pragmatical notions upon social and political questions, it was a
distinguishing trait of his public views and conduct that he ac-
cepted existing conditions and accommodated 'his ,official acts to
the progressive spirit 'of the age and country in which he lived. He
was not an ideologist nor a doctrinaire. Neither did he belong to
the age of ox-carts, or alarm himself with needless fears that "for-
eigners would some day elbow our children into the sea." He was
a plain, practical, provident, business-like governor, whose judicial
learning strengthened and adorned his politi al sagacity.
On hi's retirement from the executive chair in 1883, he was
shortly elected Professor of Law in the S'tate University, which
position he held until 1892. It is needless to speak of his labors in
these halls. They are reflected in the proficient training, and at-
tested by the enduring gratitude of hundreds of aspiring young
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899, periodical, 1898/1899; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101011/m1/22/: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.