The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973 Page: 502
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the story of the disposition and administration of these remaining lands
until they were exhausted in about 1898.
Although Revolutionary and Confederate soldiers and veterans were
rewarded with land, the Republic and the state of Texas generally tried
to give or sell its lands to individual homeowners. The state also at-
tempted to develop its economy by giving land for river and harbor
improvements, for canals, and by subsidizing the construction of roads
and railroads. During the Civil War, Texas offered some land to attract
and encourage industry. And, of particular importance, the early lead-
ers wisely set aside land for schools and universities.
Despite evidences of fraud and some mismanagement of the timber,
grass, and mineral properties before they were sold, Miller concludes
that the lands were administered in the state's best interest. He does
feel, however, that the land commissioners from 1874 to 1929 were cor-
rect in thinking that they sold the school lands too cheaply. In fact, one
commissioner estimated that the loss in selling the minerals on all
Texas lands under the Constitution of 1876 cost the state about
$1,000,000,000. But among the many examples of wisdom in shaping
the land policy, the farsighted provision for public schools is evident.
Miller thinks that too little was set aside for eleemosynary institutions.
Miller repeats himself often, and he chokes the reader with dates,
figures, and such that could have been relegated to footnotes. Despite
the fact that few laymen will read the book for pleasure, scholars will
find it most useful as a resource book for material never before gleaned
from the records that Miller has spent fifteen years researching. Former
Texas Senator Ralph Yarborough's foreword emphasizes the impor-
tance of this work. The pictures, tables of receipts from the Texas pub-
lic lands, as well as the amounts ceded for various projects will be valu-
able. But the human story is not here. Perhaps Miller will follow this
book with one on some of the interesting people involved in the history
of Texas lands.
North Texas State University
JIM B. PEARSON
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973, periodical, 1973; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101202/m1/558/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.