The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 42
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
population of Texas to be twenty-one thousand." More reliable
sources, however, presented a different picture. Major Zebulon
Pike estimated the white population at about seven thousand
in 1807.2 Other estimates were even lower, placing the figure
in the vicinity of three thousand." The Spanish population of
Texas probably never exceeded four thousand--a mere handful
considering the vast size of the province.
It was inevitable that in time a demand should arise for
schools for the children of Spanish settlers, garrison troops, and
government officials. The first such non-mission school was func-
tioning in Bexar as early as 1746.5 Evidently it was a regular par-
ish school such as was conducted in all Catholic countries for the
training of the young in religious doctrines. It might even have
been set up when the church was built in 1731. None of these
early schools was long-lived; hence, it is not surprising to learn
that another Spanish school was opened in Bexar in 1789. The
teacher requested official recognition for his school and com-
plained that he was being abused by the parents of his pupils.'
He received permission to teach until 1795 but fled after be-
coming involved in some intrigue in 1792, when the school was
The turn of the century witnessed a revival of governmental
interest in education. An edict was issued in 18o2 prescribing
compulsory school attendance and laying down heavy penalties
for refusal to comply.' This was followed the next year by an
order from the commandant for the establishment of schools at
all garrison posts large enough to be able to afford a small salary
for a teacher. True to the tradition of Spanish paternalism,
detailed instructions for the organization of the schools were
1H. H. Bancroft, History of the North Mexican States and Texas (2 vols.; San
Francisco, 1884), II, 2.
aG. L. Rives, United States and Mexico, 1821.1848 (2 vols.; New York, 1913),
4G. P. Garrison, Texas (Boston, 1903), 124.
OFrederick Eby, Development of Education in Texas (New York, 1925), 61.
ePetition to the Cabildo in Frederick Eby, Education in Texas: Source Materials
(Austin, 1921), 8-9.
7Proclamation of J. B. Elgubzabal, January 1o, 1802, in ibid., 11. Original in
the Bexar Archives.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/60/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.