The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935 Page: 19
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Grass Lease Fight and Attempted Impeachment
qualified jurors in the district, twelve were on the grand jury,
eighteen on the petit panel, eighteen at the time were outside the
jurisdiction, and only about twelve others were left scattered over
some 10,000 square miles of territory void of railroad, telegraph
and telephone." Hence the panel was necessarily made up of the
offenders themselves or their employees. And as to the grand jury
indicting its members and the foreman signing the bills against
himself, this, too, under the circumstances was unavoidable and
not without precedent, for over at Mobeetie the jury had done like-
wise, finding bills "for card playing" and for "violating the Sunday
And so what of the charge of collusion between court, counsel,
jury and offenders? What of these allegedly designed, preordained
verdicts of not guilty to give the offenders, as State officials claimed,
"a favorable standing in the courts" of higher resort? The illogic,
to say nothing of the downright dishonesty, of the position is
apparent. In accord with the general law, the jury panels were
drawn six months before anyone knew suits would be brought, and
Templeton, not the cowmen, forced the issue that resulted in
acquittals. And since the result must have been obvious even to
Templeton, one moves to the logical deduction that he was playing
politics; that he must have felt that the ludicrous judicial pro-
ceedings would raise a "stink" strong enough to befoul the cowmen
and their courts; that the real issue with the Land Board might
thereby be diverted from the public scrutiny; that Browning might
achieve the judgeship and the Administration itself might be saved.
The charge as to the subsidization of public officials requires con-
sideration, also. It became apparent to the Panhandle Stock Asso-
ciation that men of integrity and caliber could not be expected to
hold offices because of the mere pittance returned in salaries and
fees. At that time the entire country was devoted to cattle-there
were no conflicting interests. So not with a view of intimidation, of
seeking subservience to their interests-as is further evidenced by
their bonuses to schools and doctors-the cowmen subscribed money
enough to make the more important places attractive to capable
men. Browning had resigned as district attorney because the office
"Galveston News, March 18, 1887; The Gazette, February 10, 1887;
Senate Journal, 1887, app. 7, 36-42, 62-63; James H. East to J. E. H.,
September 27, 1927.
3 2Senate Journal, as cited, 124.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935, periodical, 1935; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117143/m1/27/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.