The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955 Page: 289
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Notes ad Documernts
Ute firstt free Public Schoola it Cexas, 1828
Edited by JAMES D. CARTER
Translated by VIRGINIA H. TAYLOR
E DUCATIONAL opportunities in Colonial Texas were extremely
limited. The first transitory schools were operated in con-
junction with the missions. The Mexican Constitution of
1824 delegated control of education to the states. The constitution
of Coahuila and Texas, published on March 11, 1827, provided
for the establishment of elementary schools and seminaries in the
principal towns of the state. A plan for free instruction for pupils
whose parents were unable to pay tuition was formulated in 1829,
and in 1830, six primary schools were projected, none of which
materialized. Meanwhile, in San Fernando de Bexar (San An-
tonio) , the first free public primary school was established in 1828.
This school was supported by municipal taxation and private
subscriptions according to the minutes of the ayuntamiento in
the Bexar Archives. The population of Bexar in 1828 was 1425
according to Jose Maria Sinchez.1
The year 1954 having been designated as the centennial year
of the free public school system in Texas, documents bearing on
the early period of education in Texas have become the objects
of increasing interest to educators and historians of the state. The
confusion resulting from the Texas Revolution has made the col-
lection of significant documents pertaining to early Texas educa-
tion a widespread operation. The archives in Texas have been
thoroughly mined by researchers and increasing attention has
been directed toward securing the assistance of Mexican officials
and scholars to complete, as nearly as possible, the chain of evi-
dence. Among the documents photostated in the archives of
Coahuila by James D. Carter are the reports of the free public
primary school of San Fernando de Bexar for the years 1828 and
1829. Translations by Virginia H. Taylor are as follows:
1Jos6 Maria SAnchez, "A 'Iip to Texas in 1828," translated by Carlos E. Castafieda,
Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XXIX, 258.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955, periodical, 1955; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/m1/334/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.