The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 16
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
from using them when it was to his advantage. Validating laws
were necessary from time to time to make good the titles of all
settlers who had "proved up" on their lands since the preceding
validating law. In 1903 some thirty ranchmen lobbied a validat-
ing bill through the legislature that would make the titles of their
respective "friendly settlers" good; that, in turn, protected the
ranchmen after they had acquired the lands. It seemed that
members of the legislature in return for stated financial considera-
tions were quite willing to forget the public antipathy towards
cattlemen's acquiring large portions of the land which the state
intended for small settlers. In 1903 more than thirty ranchmen
subscribed a large purse for the purpose of causing legislators "to
forget." Ilorsbrugh wrote on April 10, 1903:
"I privately agreed to subscribe to a fund that was being raised
to assist the passage of that validating bill, and I expect any day
now to be called upon for this. It will be more than was paid to
put the quarantine bill to sleep, because it is always harder to pass
a bill through than to kill one.""
Two months later Horsbrugh was called upon to pay his pro rata
part of the fund.
"The last legislature was an expensive one for us. Not only for
us, but for all those in this kind of business. Besides that quaran-
tine measure, which cost $500, we got robbed on the validity act;
at least it took more money to carry it through. The truth is that
it was the money that was sent to Austin that got the measure
through. The Legislature is nothing but a set of impecunious
rascals who look to this form of emolument as the most important
part of their office. There was a private fund made up around
Colorado by men who were interested in seeing that the settlers
they had would not be disturbed. The amounts subscribed aver-
aged $30 a section. I agreed that we had fifty sections that would
be affected by such a validating law, and agreed if the law passed
to pay $1500. It passed all right though they tacked on rather
an objectional clause, but I believe that they had to do it to get it
through. Now I am called upon for the money. I had no time
to ask or consult the home office; [I] had to act quickly and
quietly. I don't suppose the board would like to see me lose this
money personally, since it was spent in their interests and
it was a great benefit; and I am certain that had not some such
action taken place, we would have had no validating act. . .
"Spur Records, XI, 12.
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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/m1/20/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.