The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 2, July 1898 - April, 1899 Page: 44
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44 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
so far prevailed 'that in all criminal matters it, the Common law
of England, had become the law of Texas; and in civil matters,
juries had been introduced; but in all other respects, the Spanish
law still prevailed.
The system of courts adopted by the constitution of the Repub-
lic consisted of, first, 'one Supreme Court with appellate jurisdic-
tion only, composed of -a chief justice and the several district
judges throughout the .State, as ,associate justices; second, district
courts, which had exclusive original jurisdiction in all admiralty
and maritime 'cases, in all cases against ambassadors, public min-
isters, and consuls, of all criminal cases punishable with death, and
original jurisdiction in all civil cases, when the matter in contro-
versy amounted to one hundred dollars, or more; third, county
courts, one in each county; and fourth, justice courts in the smaller
political subdivisions. The jurisdiction of 'the district court, ex-
cept as indicated above, was not exclusive, and the jurisdiction of
the inferior courts was not fixed by the constitution; so that the
divisions of jurisdiction among these courts was left largely to Con-
Congress at once set to 'work to bring governmental order out
of the existing chaos and to provide for the establishment and
maintenance of all the instrumentalities necessary to this pur-
pose. The judicial department received its full share of attention
and acts were passed organizing and fixing the jurisdiction of the
system of courts contemplated by 'the constitution. As the first
Texas legislation by the Anglo-Americans on 'this subject 'these acts
are important and still interesting.
'The act organizing 'the Supreme Court passed December 15,
1836. Some of its sections are as follows:
"Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Represen-
tatives of the Republic of Texas in Congress assembled:
"That there shall be established in this Republic a court to be
styled the Supreme Court of the Republic of Texas, which court
shall consist of one supreme judge, to be styled the Chief Justice;
to be elected by joint vote of both houses of Congress, 'and such
judges as shall be 'elected judges of district courts, who shall con-
tinue in office during the time prescribed by the constitution. The
Chief Justice shall receive a salary of five thousand dollars per
annum, payable semi-annually at the treasury of the Republic.
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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/m1/48/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.