The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 14
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
If the ranchman had to keep one eye on settlers, he had to keep
the other on politicians. Horsbrugh wrote in January, 1901:
"The new law forbids [the] same party from being assigned more
than four sections from other settlers, and prevents a company
from being assigned [land] by a number [of different] settlers.
All the land they [the companies] get must be patented or put in
different names. From the jumpy way that the Legislature is
acting with regard to land, I should advise having all of it fully
paid out and patented by [the] State. We could pay out land for
the settlers, get it patented, and then buy it. [We] might even
pay bonuses and still come out ahead. It is dangerous to receive
anything that the state has a finger in. Too many mouthy poli-
ticians hate a foreign company.""38
Horsbrugh seemed to have visions of hordes of politicians at
Austin holding daily conclaves and staying awake nights for the
purpose of complicating the land business and confounding the
honest ranchman who was trying to get along in the world.
"The land business at Austin is a large department, the prin-
cipal one down there; and it will be a bad day for the politician
and the salaried official when all the land owned by the state is
sold; therefore the said politicians see to it that new rulings and
restrictions be forthcoming so that land is continually being for-
feited and taken back by the state, and the salaried officials still
hold their jobs. Every year a large amount of land reverts to the
state, and the army of officials have no immediate cause for
A year later Horsbrugh again paid the politicians his respects.
"This [is] an anxious time about the settler sections. The
trouble is that if all the state lands are sold, a number of needy
and noisy politicians will be out of a job, also a lot of land agents;
these parties want the lands sold to a lot of people one year and
forfeited the next. Then a new lot will be allowed to settle on the
same; and then these last forfeit the lands and so on. The longer
the strife and forfeitures go on, the better of course it suits the
agents and politicians."40
Many cattlemen were of the opinion that land regulations and
restrictions were the means that politicians and demagogues were
38Spur Records, X, 303.
"Spur Records, X, 304.
4Spur Records, X, 628.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931, periodical, 1931; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101091/m1/18/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.