The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932 Page: 8
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
building. This convention recommended a plan for submission
by the legislature to the people. Three million dollars were to
be set aside as an additional improvement fund, roads were to
be aided by loans of one-third of their cost, five thousand acres
of land were to be given as a bounty for every mile of railroad
completed in lots of ten miles, and a railway running through
the heart of the state from east to west was to be encouraged by
a liberal charter and a donation of land. This plan was not acted
upon by the legislature, and no submission of the proposals was
made to the people.
A convention of delegates interested in internal improvements
met in Galveston in 1852 with W. R. Smith as president. The
Committee on Proposals suggested the establishment of a state
internal improvement fund of fifty million acres of the public
land and recommended the building of one great trunk line of
railway from Galveston to the Red River and three branch lines
at suitable points. The report of this committee contains claims
of the wealth of Texas that may be considered oratorical. An
extract follows: "Her numerous herds, unfed by the hand of
man, indicate a wealth that runs wild." The convention in-
structed the committee to visit the governor of the state and per-
suade him, if possible, to submit their plans to the next legis-
lature.17 But Governor Bell, after conferences with committees
from the Galveston Convention, made no movement in the direc-
tion desired by the committees.
These committees, however, continued their activities for three
years. When they approached the candidates for governor in
1855 David C. Dickinson, Know-Nothing, gave them no satisfac-
tion. He had been a member of the Austin Convention in 1851
and favored the so-called "corporate plan." But E. M. Pease,
the Democratic candidate, immediately assumed the leadership of
the "state plan" faction. He had been governor for a year, but
had held out for railroad construction by land grant aid in 1854.
He was re-elected by a considerable majority in a contest which
turned largely on railroad building policies.s His final reply to
the Galveston committee was written on April 3, 1855, preced-
1De Bow's Review, XIII, 523.
"Winkler, E. W., Platform of Political Parties in Tewas, 644.
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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/m1/12/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.