The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988 Page: 273

Book Reviews

man. The coverage of Maston, along with subsequent developments in
the Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Convention of
Texas, adds significantly to the usefulness of this book.
Storey includes worthwhile and interesting biographical material on
numerous influential Baptists in twentieth-century Texas. He incor-
porates this material skillfully, as in his discussion of W. A. Criswell
and changing racial attitudes, and his treatment of Joseph M. Dawson,
"the most progressive disciple of social Christianity among Texas Bap-
tists" (p. 31).
Storey has used traditional denominational sources, such as religious
papers, memoirs, oral history, official proceedings, and reports, and
supplemented them with many of the better secondary books on the
modern South. The result is a solid monograph from a historian who
exhibits capability in both the ecclesiastical and secular arenas of his-
tory, a far cry from the narrower prospect of many church historians of
the past. This reviewer hopes that Storey will in time offer more on
local and regional religious history.
Northwestern State University WILLIAM ALLEN POE
Natchitoches, Louisiana
Land, Oil and Education. By Berte R. Haigh. (El Paso: Texas Western
Press, 1986. Pp. vi+351. Preface, introduction, maps, photo-
graphs, notes, bibliography, appendix, index. $36.)
Texas has always been officially interested in education. As early as
1839 the Congress of the Republic set aside fifty leagues of land for the
support of the schools. Later, under the Constitution of 1876 and
through action of the 1883 legislature, tracts totaling nearly 3,125
square miles were designated for the support of education. The origi-
nal idea was to sell the land at a minimum price of two dollars per acre,
but located as it was in the dry and forbidding southwestern region of
the state, the university land attracted no buyers. Meanwhile, by 1883
both Texas A&M and the University of Texas had been established, with
the legislature vowing to make the latter a "university of the first class."
Texas has always financed education and other public services on the
basis of a feast or famine philosophy. During the first few decades of
their existence, A&M and U.T. were subjected for the most part to fam-
ine, with the legislature appropriating only a biennial pittance for their
support. Then the twentieth century brought oil booms to the Lone
Star State, and in 1923 one of these great discoveries occurred in Reagan
County. As fate would have it, this vast oil deposit was located smack-
dab under one of the university tracts. The era of famine was about to
come to an end.


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