The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 194
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
and assisted in drafting a bill for the purpose of "soliciting from
the representatives of the people aid for the old institutions of
learning in the state." The bill provided for the appropriation
of ten thousand acres of land to each college and university
chartered for ten years and then in successful operation with not
less than three faculty members. Colleges and universities char-
tered for five years and then in successful operation with not
less than three faculty members would receive five thousand
The bill, although it failed to pass the legislature, contained
the essential feature of the New York Plan, and with it, Crane
had now taken a definite stand for state aid in the form of land
grants to denominational and private schools. Thus, by the end
of 1866, Crane envisioned a state university system consisting of
the private and denominational schools on the undergraduate
level supported by state land grants and, in the center, the state
university proper, devoting its entire time and resources to work
on the graduate level.
After the initial burst of enthusiasm, interest in the university
question quickly waned in the face of the graver problems of
Radical Reconstruction. Completely undone were the efforts of
Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson to restore normal civil
government in the ten southern states yet unrecognized by Con-
gress. Military government was resumed in Texas, and it was
187o before the state found itself restored to its proper place in
the Union. Under the circumstances, no positive steps were
taken toward establishing the university until late in 1872 at
the Educational Convention in Austin. By that time, 81o,ooo
acres of state land belonged to the university fund. At this
meeting, Crane urged the immediate establishment of a univer-
sity from this fund, and, as a department of the university, a
normal college for teachers, with the governor, superintendent
of public instruction, and eight other citizens to compose a
board of regents to administer the entire organization.'
These suggestions, adopted by the convention but rejected
eW. C. Crane, "Legislative Aid to Existing Colleges and Universities." Newspaper
clipping in the Crane scrapbook in the Texas Collection of Baylor University
TAustin Democratic Statesman, January 4, 1873.
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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/m1/254/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.