The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932 Page: 6
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
intoxicated, and that the width of all roads in the state must be
By special acts the state legislature soon chartered nine railroad
companies, among them being the Texas Western. These roads
were all granted eight sections of land for each mile of road com-
pleted when said mileage was approved by a competent engineer
employed by the state." But as these were special acts requir-
ing that companies be organized and apply for charter before any
assurance could be given that state aid would be granted, the
people were not satisfied and agitation continued for more liberal
In 1853 Governor Bell urged the Fifth Legislature to make
liberal donation to a project for a transcontinental railroad
through Texas. An act was soon passed providing for the con-
struction of a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific
Ocean. This act was approved December 21, 1853, and specified
that the road should start not north of Fulton, Arkansas, on the
Red River, and run along the 32nd parallel of latitude through
north Texas and reach the west state line at or near El Paso.
A right-of-way of 300 feet was donated by the state and twenty
sections of land were promised for each mile of road constructed
in approved fashion. The rails were to weigh not less than sixty-
four pounds per yard, and fifty miles of track were to be com-
pleted within eighteen months of the passage of the act and one
hundred miles per year thereafter until completed. The gov-
ernor was to advertise in not less than twelve newspapers for pro-
posals to build the road. The capital stock was placed at $20,-
000,000 and the company was required to deposit $300,000 in
money or securities in the state treasury as a guarantee that fifty
miles would be constructed within the first eighteen months. It
was required further that the company should sell all of the do-
nated lands in six, eight, ten, and twelve years, one-fourth of
the amount within the above specified times in each case.'2 The
result of this action of the legislature will be considered later
under the story of the Southern Pacific.
""Laws of Texas, 1850-53, 1339-1344.
Special Laws of Texas, 1852, 183, and 220. Gammel, H. P. N., Lazws
of Temas, III, 1245.
" special Laws of the Fifth Legislature, 1853, 7. Gammel, H. P. N.,
Laws of Teas, IV, 7-13.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932, periodical, 1932; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101092/m1/10/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.