The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 193
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William Carey Crane and the University of Texas
That he was already thinking in this vein becomes clear in the
spirited discussion which followed the Houston meeting con-
cerning an appropriate site for the school. The locations most
commonly mentioned were Waco, La Grange, Piedmont Springs,
and Austin. Crane favored Austin because it had a healthful
climate, "ennobling scenery," and was accessible by rail. Fur-
thermore, students attending the university would be in the
presence of the "high-toned and intellectual society in Austin,"
and at the same time, the school would be under the "immediate
eye of the Legislature." The most important point in Austin's
favor, however, was the fact that should the university be located
there, it would not be close enough to compete with other schools
and thus arouse "invidious comparisons and jealousies."" Elabo-
rating more fully upon the advantages of Austin as a likely loca-
tion, Crane explained that, should the university be established
there, "it would be where it should be, the centre of a system,
and not a partner of equal grade in a general scheme."4 Here
was a significant modification of the New York Plan, for in that
plan the state university was, in reality, only a board of regents
governing the already existent institutions. But Crane wanted
a university in the fullest meaning of the word, one which of-
fered advanced work beyond that of any other school in the
state. This, of course, involved the formation of a separate and
distinct school as the university proper, and, if located in Austin
as he suggested, would least disturb existing colleges.
In the course of speculation on a university site, Crane re-
ferred only casually to the vital matter of state aid to private and
denominational schools. On one occasion he wrote:
In the Northern states there are no State Universities. All the col-
leges and universities are fostered by the State. At the South, it is
different; yet some States appropriate respectable sums to other than
He was not long, however, in translating this mild assertion
of the obvious into a positive and practical plan of action. In
August, 1866, he attended the session of the Texas legislature
3Newspaper clipping in the Crane scrapbook in the Texas Collection of Baylor
University library, dated 1866.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/253/: accessed June 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.