The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 6, July 1902 - April, 1903 Page: 32
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32 Texas Ristorical Association Quarterly.
five should be free and at the disposal of the master, to be given
to worthy persons of good disposition. The seventy places were
to be divided into two classes, according to ability to pay; the
first class paying a peso, and the second four reales each month.
A pupil might be advanced in his studies, but the method of his
payment was not to be altered. The teacher was to receive a salary
of thirty pesos a month. One of the alcaldes, with the aid of the
four ward commissioners, was to have charge of the collecting of
the fund and to keep a sufficient amount on hand to be a month
ahead in the payment of the teacher's salary. One of the regidores
was to visit the school at least once a day to note the infringements
of the rules and to apply the appropriate remedy. All books,
paper, extra seats, etc., were to be furnished by those needing
The above rules suggest a beginning in the matter of public free
education, although a very modest one. The salary of the teacher
was not to be munificent, but it is to be doubted if the miserable
village could pay, with any regularity, even this little stipend.
If the alcalde and regidor carried out their duties conscientiously,
they certainly had their hands full; but we have already seen how
easy it was for the municipal authorities of San Fernando to make
a creditable appearance on paper, while falling far short of it in
execution. But, however bright the educational prospects of San
Fernando might appear for the moment, they were destined to be
speedily eclipsed by the dark days of the Magee-Gutierrez 'raid of
The next educational effort of note dates from February 15,
1815. At the meeting of the cabildo on that date, its members
considered very earnestly the urgent need in their community of a
teacher to instruct the youth in the "rudiments of Our Holy Reli-
gion and the Primary Branches (Primeras Letras)." For a long
time they had felt this lack, but the fact that the unhappy commu-
nity was wholly without means sufficient for the support of a
teacher, utterly precluded them from making the provision that the
lack demanded. Among the possible solutions of this problem was
that all of those able should help to make a common contribution
'Report of June 10, 1812. Bexar Archives. See Appendix B. San Anto-
nio had been divided into four wards (barrios) in 1809; hence the use of
the term ward commissioners (comisarios de barrio).
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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/m1/36/: accessed January 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.