The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 43
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Education in Texas during the Spanish-Mexican Periods 43
laid down.8 In accordance with this decree a school was opened
at Bexar, but it did not last long. Shortly thereafter Bexar
established a school supported by public funds and offering free
tuition for a few children." This school led a fitful existence,
but it probably furnished the precedent for the famous "Public
Free Primary School," opened in Bexar in 1828.
Educational conditions in the other Spanish settlements were
even more primitive. At La Bahia, a soldier, Galan, taught a
school of eighteen children beginning in 1818. His existence as
a teacher was precarious, for records show that in 1820o he re-
ceived no salary (other than that as a soldier) except for a few
donations such as meat, lard, and salt. "The majority of chil-
dren," wrote a townsman, "are taught out of pure charity, the
custom being not to give anything to this unfortunate wretch."'"
In the following year he was entirely deprived of his school on
the ground that it interfered with his duties as secretary to the
ayuntamiento."l Since no other teacher was available, the school
closed. Nacogdoches, too, tried to open a school, but nothing
came of it.
The disorders accompanying the revolutionary period (1819-
1821) eradicated all signs of formal education. Not a single
school in all Texas survived.
Thus, over a century of Spanish occupation had failed to
establish any semblance of an educational system. Yet this failure
was not entirely the fault of the Spanish regime. Certain factors
would have thwarted any governmental efforts. Among these
were: the military nature of the colony, the wild frontier con-
ditions, the sparseness of the population, and the abject poverty
of the people. In addition to these difficulties, the central gov-
ernment failed to provide financial support.
The constitution of the new Mexican government delegated
control of education to the individual states. In line with this
policy, the constitution of the state of Coahuila and Texas (1827)
80Order to Captains and Commanders by Manuel de Salcedo, in ibid., 11-15.
"Some of the documents on this school are found in ibid., 17-21. Originals in
the Bexar Archives.
loLetter of Ramirez, 1820, in ibid., 51-52.
1lPolitical Chief at Bexar to the Alcalde, 1821, in ibid., 52.
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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/m1/61/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.