The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902 Page: 51
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Dr. Rufus C. Burleson. 51
to a young lawyer's life, it is reasonable to say that but for his
work at Mayhew Prairie he never would have engaged in teaching,
and that disposition to instruct the young which afterward became
in him an overweening, consuming desire would never have been
formed; and, if it had not, the university at Waco, for which he
did so much, might have gone like many other institutions of
learning in the State, and never attained its present splendid pro-
He taught in Mississippi from 1842 to 1845, then tendered his
resignation, returned to his home, and in 1846 entered the Western
Baptist Theological Seminary at Covington, Ky. He finished the
course and received his diploma at this seminary June 21, 184"7,
and while yet standing within the shadow of the walls of his alma
mater, surrounded by preceptors and class-mates, he raised his
boyish face toward the skies, stretched his arms to the West, with
both eyes closed as if to shut out the world, and said: "This day
I solemnly consecrate my life to Texas."
How well this resolution was executed, and what a potent power
Dr. Burleson has been for more than a half century in the moral,
educational, and material development of Texas, every page recit-
ing the history of this State tells unmistakably. With him a reso-
lution was much more than mere words, for both principle and
sentiment were involved.
He offered his services as missionary to Texas to the missionary
board of the Southern Baptist Convention, they were accepted,
and he was assigned as missionary pastor to a small church in the
frontier village of Gonzales. He spent some time before fixing a
date for his departure in the study of the history of Texas and its
people, and reviewing the lives of eminent pioneers, who had
founded governments, churches, and great institutions of learning,
that all mistakes might be as far as possible avoided in his field
He left Covington for Texas in the fall of 1847, and while at
his father's house, near Decatur, en route, for a last visit and day
of rest, he was informed that Dr. Wm. M. Tryon, pastor of the
Baptist church at Houston, had died of yellow fever, and he had
been chosen as his successor by both the missionary board and the
church. He was only 24 years old, and felt his inability to take up
the work of this great man; but he often remarked in after life,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902, periodical, 1902; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101021/m1/57/: accessed August 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.