The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 6, July 1902 - April, 1903 Page: 29
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Educational Eforts in San Fernando.
alcaldes, certain papers of his, unworthily criticising the governor
of the province.1 However, no record of his trial appears.
Some thirteen years later a new governor, Juan Bautista Elgue-
zabal, tries his hand at stirring the community to an educational
awakening. He issues a long decree that contains many regula-
tions for the betterment of conditions, among which none is more
important than the one in which he orders the alcaldes and the
alguacil mayor to see that parents place their children in school,
and to oblige them to do this under severe penalties, for the pro-
vision was of the greatest importance to the religious and political
life of the community.2 The following year he attempts to enlist
the cooperation of the cabildo in the matter. At the meeting of
that body, on January 20, the main topic for discussion is the
foundation of a school and the selection of its master. Jos6 Fran-
cisco Ruiz, possibly a son of the pioneer pedagogue, is selected for
the position, provided his minority does not render him incompe-
tent to fill it. His residence, for the present, is to constitute the
From the two items noted above, we should imagine that the
school sessions had been, since 1789, by no means regular or well
attended. In all probability both private initiative on the part of
the master and popular support from the individual citizens would
be necessary for any sort of school whatever, and not infrequently
one or both of these elements was lacking. The mystery about the
matter is that the governor of the province should at all concern
himself about education. Possibly the leaven of Revilla Gigedo's
public schools, introduced at the capital during the previous decade,
was just beginning to make itself felt in the far-off province of
Another petition' of equally tantalizing and indefinite educa-
tional import informs us that Francisco Barrera has been a school-
1.Ayuntamiento vs. Don Vicente Amador, First Alcalde, for absence from
the province without leave, January 20, 1792.
'Article 15 of Proclamation of Juan Bautista Elguezabal, January 10,
1802. Bexar Archives.
'Act of cabildo, January 20, 1803. Bexar Archives.
4March 24, 1809. Bexar Archives.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 6, July 1902 - April, 1903, periodical, 1903; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101028/m1/33/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.