The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966 Page: 60
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Whereas Union veterans received generous pensions from the
United States Treasury, the former Confederate states, in addi-
tion to helping pay those with taxes, had to provide for their own
ex-soldiers. Several of the Southern states paid small pensions to
their citizens who had served the Confederacy, but Texas again
turned to its public lands to reward Texans who had served the
South. On March 9, 1881, Senator S. B. Cooper introduced into
the 'Texas senate Bill No. 258 entitled, "An act granting to persons
who have been permanently disabled by reason of wounds re-
ceived while in the service of the State, or of the Confederate
States, a land certificate for 1 28o acres of land." The bill was
referred to the committee on state affairs.6
Cooper called up the bill for discussion, after a favorable com-
mittee report, on March 2o, 1881. J. M. Martin of Cooke County
observed that he had not thought the bill would be seriously
considered, but that since Cooper was in earnest, he wished to
point out that the Texas Confederates had not asked for nor did
they want such help. Cooper replied that he could see no reason
why the soldiers "who came back from the war with mangled
forms and fortunes gone should not have this aid," that there
were many all over the state who were poor and needy, and that
it would be better to give land to them rather than to let it be
absorbed by corporations. W. K. Homan remarked that "the
sooner the public domain was gone the better for the State," and
that discarding politics, "he thought it far better to give it to
those who became disabled while battling for a cause they con-
ceived to be just than to let it be consumed by soulless corpora-
tions." J. H. Davenport then offered an amendment limiting
the benefits of the act to those who were unable by reason of per-
manent disability to earn a living. That amendment was adopted
and the bill then passed the senate.
On March 29, 1881, Senate Bill No. 258 reached the floor of
the house. W. W. Merritt proposed to add to the beneficiaries
of the act, "all widows or orphans, of soldiers, . killed in battle,
Signers of the Declaration of Independence," Southwestern Historical Quarterly,
6Journal of the Senate of Texas: Being the First Session of the Seventeenth
Legislature ... (Galveston, 1881), 187.
7Galveston Daily News, March 2o, 1881.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966, periodical, 1966; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/m1/78/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.