The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 47
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Education in Texas during the Spanish-Mexican Periods 47
y Terin, on an inspection tour in 1828, noted the proportion of
Americans to Mexicans to be ten to one. Moreover, the Mexicans
constituted the lowest class, economically and socially."4 Because
of such conditions, no school existed from the beginning
of the Mexican period until 1831. In that year, however, the
local Board of Piety sent out an appeal for voluntary contribu-
tions "either of money, produce, personal labor, or any other
article which may be converted into value, or else in material
work" for the building of a church and school."' It added, "to
maintain a school for the education of children is of absolute
necessity." The promise was made that the funds would not be
misappropriated, evidently a fairly common occurrence. This
appeal evoked a letter of congratulation from the political chief
at Bexar.20 In May, 1831, a contract was signed with a teacher.
The coBperative efforts of the townfolk erected a school building.
Six men contributed various sums of money, ranging from five
to one hundred pesos; others gave lumber, nails, hinges, a barrel
of beans, a two-year-old steer, a calf, a barrel of corn, or personal
services At this promising stage, a hitch developed. The local
alcalde objected to allowing the teacher to enter the province
from the United States on the ground that he had no pass-
port. Hence, to allow him to enter would constitute a vio-
lation of the Bustamente Decree of 1830, which forbade all
further unrestricted immigration. This action led to a rebuke
from the political chief at Bexar who admonished that the
spirit rather than the letter of the law was to be obeyed.28
In 1833 the school was granted a land endowment by the
state.20 Despite this unprecedented munificence, the school was
not a success. Its attendance, like that of the school at Bexar,
constituted only a fraction of the potential student body. Even
24Manuel de Mier y Terin, "Report on Texas, 1828," quoted in N. W. Stephen-
son, Texas and the Mexican War (New Haven, 1921), 24.
25Circular of the Board of Piety, March lo, 1831, in Eby, Education in Texas:
Source Materials, 43-44.
2-Musquis to Ayuntamiento of Nacogdoches, February 16, 1831, in ibid., 42-43-
Original in Nacogdoches Papers.
27List of Contributions in ibid., 45-46. Original in Bexar Archives.
28Musquiz to Alcalde of Nacogdoches, May 24, 1831, in ibid., 47-48. Original
in Bexar Archives.
29Decree of Coahuila and Texas, No. 240, May, 1833, in Gammel, Laws of
Texas, I, 333-
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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/m1/65/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.