The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 421
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The Texas Almanac
and eastern parts of the United States and, therefore, not
adapted to the longitude and latitude nor to the climatological
conditions of Texas.
A friend of mine who is a historian tells me that the purpose
of the Almanac changed radically after the first few issues-
that the original idea was that it would be a compendium and
report on 'Texas whereas later editions became promotional in
purpose, designed to bring immigrants to Texas. In some degree
this is true. The style of the title was not changed to Texas
Almanac and Emigrants' Guide to Texas until after the War
between the States. It is also true that the Reconstruction
period, with its obvious need of "postwar planning" to rebuild
the economy of Texas on a nonslave basis, must have impressed
the mind of Richardson with the urgency of bringing a greater
volume of settlers to Texas.
It is a fact, however, that, from the very beginning, the
Almanac was intended primarily "to populate Texas," as was
stated in an editorial in the Galveston News at the time of the
first edition. Like many other Texans of that day, Richardson
was impressed by the great material resources of Texas as
compared with its dearth of human resources. A review of a
few data in the edition of 1857 is illustrative. Of the approxi-
mately 169,000,000 acres of land area as of that date, only
about 38,000,000 acres were assessed for taxation, and only a
small percentage of this was in cultivation. A bird's-eye eco-
nomic view is indicated by the following from the edition of
Value of property, tax rolls of 1855, showed rural real estate valued at
$55,090,716; town lots, $6,817,072; slaves, $53,167,838. Assessed acreage,
37,930,463. Number of slaves, 103,297. Average assessed value of slaves
about $500. Bexar County had the greatest real estate value, both rural
and urban. Brazoria and Washington were second and third in rural real
estate value. Harrison led in slaves with 7,013 valued at $3,633,000; Wash-
ington was second with 4,399 slaves valued at $2,331,440; Brazoria was
third with 4,292 slaves valued at $2,025,520.
There is a statistical table entitled "Negroes, Horses and Cattle
in 1850 and 1855," showing five-year increases by counties, from
which one would conclude that Cass, Anderson, Gonzales,
Grimes, Rusk, Smith, Walker, and Washington were increasing
most rapidly in wealth.
In a summary it is shown that, between 1850 and 1855, the
number of slaves in Texas increased from 58,161 to 105,704,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/529/: accessed December 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.