The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 434
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
to be sold under the direction of the Legislature; and the Legislature
shall pass suitable laws to carry this section into effect.2
The foregoing ordinance was embodied in the new constitu-
tion as Section 57 of Article XVI (General Provisions). The
voters of Texas ratified the constitution on the third Tuesday in
February, 1876, and it went into effect on the third Tuesday in
April, following. Thus, the Texans of 1876, in appropriating the
only public wealth they had-the public domain-provided for
a new state house far better than they knew.3
The remaining years of the 1870's were difficult for Texas, and
the attention of the legislature was diverted from construction
of a new capitol until 1879, when on February 20o, an act was
to provide for designating, surveying and sale of three million and
fifty thousand acres of the unappropriated public domain, for the
erection of a new State Capitol .. and to provide a fund to pay for
surveying said lands.
Among the many provisions of the act of February 2o, 1879, the
following are of particular interest.
Section 1 appropriated land in the Panhandle counties of Deaf
Smith, Parmer, Castro, Lamb, Bailey, Hockley, Dallam, Hartley,
Cochran, and Oldham.
Section 2 designated the governor, comptroller, treasurer, at-
torney general, and land commissioner as a board to "contract
with some suitable person ... to subdivide by surveys said land
in league tracts ... "
Section 5 authorized the governor to detail frontier protection
to the surveyors.
Section 9 provided for the appointment of a commissioner to
represent the state, supervise the survey, and report in detail on
the nature of the soil, topography, availability of water, and the
adaptability of the land to grazing or agricultural uses.
Section o required the Capitol Board created by Section 2 to
8Texas' public domain was reserved to the state under the Joint Resolution of
Congress, signed by President James K. Polk on December a29, 1845, admitting
Texas into the union.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/469/: accessed May 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.