The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917 Page: 37
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The Author of the Homestead Exemption Law
contravening the provisions of this act shall be and the same are
hereby repealed: Provided, The passage of this act shall not
interfere with contracts between parties heretofore made.ll
The bill as introduced by Mr. Cooke seems to have suffered no
amendment or change, to have met little discussion and no oppo-
sition, and to have been hurried through its final passage on the
last day of the session. It apparently excited less heat and con-
troversy than the bill to grant a divorce to Sophia Aginbaugh, or
that to permit Edward Teal to emancipate his slave Fanny.
Probably not even its author had any idea of the far reaching
effect that it was to have. In the Texas Constitution of 1845,
the exemption was carried into the fundamental law,-the first
instance of the kind. It has been expanded in all subsequent
legislation on the subject in Texas; and the principle has been
adopted since in nearly all the States and in many foreign coun-
tries. Ponderous volumes of adjudged cases on Homestead Ex-
emption are now to be found in all law libraries.
It may be well to add such information as the present writer
has been able to collect in regard to Mr. Louis P'. Cooke, the
author of this law. He was not present at the organization of
the Congress on November 5,12 nor does his name appear on the
committees then announced by the speaker ;: but he presented
his credentials and took the oath of office on the following day.l4
He was placed on the standing Committee on Military Affairs on
November 8.16 And later was put on the Judiciary Committee
in place of his colleague from Brazoria, Hon. John A. Wharton,
who died during the session.6 He appears to have been an active
member of the Congress, and, on the whole, an able and judici-
ous legislator, commanding the confidence of his associates. He
was selected, along with Campbell and Menifee, as member from
the House upon the commission appointed to select the site of
the new state capitol,17 and, with his associates on that commis-
"Laws, 3d Congress, Republic of Texas, 125.
2"House Journal, 3, 4.
a3lbid., 7, 8.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917, periodical, 1917; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101070/m1/43/: accessed March 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.