Texas Almanac, 1939-1940 Page: 74
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74 THE TEXAS ALMANAC-1939.
carpetbag element lost control of the
Legislature during the second biennium
of Davis' administration. There was a
general revival of confidence. Immi-
gration poured into Texas from the war-
stricken states east of the Mississippi.
Railroad building reached boom propor-
In the election of December, 1873,
Richard Coke, Democratic nominee, de-
feated Davis, Republican, by a vote of
85,549 to 42,633. Davis contested the elec-
tion and was sustained by the courts, but
the newly elected Democratic Legisla-
ture went ahead with organization, can-
vassed the vote and declared Coke elect-
ed. For a brief space of time, part of the
Capitol was held by Coke and the Legis-
lature while part was held by Davis and
an armed guard. Bloodshed was feared,
but Davis retired. The clash ended when
President Grant refused to sustain Gov-
ernor Davis' appeal for assistance, to
maintain himself in office.
The end of Reconstruction brought
Texas, for the first time in its history, to
an era over which no cloud of armed
conflict laid. Throughout the mission
and filibustering eras civilization had
clung tenaciously to a few spots on the
Texas soil menaced constantly by the red
men and uncertainty as to white domi-
nation. The period of colonization had
hardly gotten under way before it be-
came apparent that a struggle with
Mexico was probable, if not inevitable.
The era of the republic was darkened by
the menace of reconquest by Mexico, by
constant warfare with the Indians and
political instability within the republic
itself. Annexation to the United States
brought only a new anxiety that was
soon to culminate in the Civil War.
Thus, while Texas went back into the
union and under its Reconstruction pe-
riod had sunk at a low ebb politically and
economically, its people realized that
they were entering upon an era of peace
and political security.
Period of Economic Expansion.
The period extending from the close
of reconstruction to the beginning of the
Twentieth Century may be likened to a
period of adolescence. From the begin-
ning of Anglo-American culture in Tex-
as, the vastness of the region's natural
resources fired the imagination of those
who came to settle within its confines.
But the greatest of all resources is the
human resource, population. It is the
vitalizing thing that gives value to rich
soils, abundance of water, forests, grass-
lands and minerals. A relatively few
natural resources are sufficiently valu-
able per unit of weight to have value in
faraway markets. Many resources, such
as soils and climate, cannot be removed.
In large measure Texas had the kind of
resources that had to await the coming
of a population-soils, favorable meteor-
ological conditions, ranges, and the
heavier materials. Texas cotton has
commanded a world-wide market, but
the soil that produces it had to await the
coming of a population to till the land.
In later years, oil, gas and sulphur have
found wide markets, but these deeply
hidden resources were not destined to
great development in the early chapter of
Population and Transportation.
Thus it was population that Texas
needed. Secondly, Texas needed means
of transportation. As among the states,
the economic development of Texas has
been unique-paralleled only by the de-
velopment of the Pacific Coast states.
Texas, instead of being overrun by the
westward tide of population that spread
from east to west, began as an isolated
nucleus, centering around Austin's col-
The beginnings of Texas, it will be re-
membered, were a Latin-American ex-
periment in a wilderness that lay be-
tween Anglo-America and Latin America.
For many years' after removing the po-
litical barriers that lay between Texas
and the United States, first by revolt
against Mexico and later by annexation,
this state was relatively isolated by the
barrier of the Mississippi Valley, which
retarded railroad building. Texas had
its appreciable network of rail lines be-
fore a connecting link with the rail lines
in the United States was built in 1873.
It was in this period, extending ap-
proximately from the close of the E. J.
Davis administration to the beginning of
the Twentieth Century, that Texas got
its fundamental growth in population
and transportation. This is not saying
that the last three decades of the last
century were the periods of greatest
growth of population. The decade, 1920-
1930, was the greatest in population
growth, but it was the earlier eriod that
gave the state population and transpor-
tation sufficient for a basis for utiIiza-
tion of its more readily available re-
sources-soils, climate, water, forests
and easily accessible heavy minerals.
Constitution of 1876.
Most of the administration of Governor
Coke (Jan. 15, 1874-Dec. 1, 1876) was
devoted to rehabilitation of the state
financial and political system.
The new Constitution was ratified by
the people Feb. 15, 1876; it is this Con-
stitution that is in force today, except-
ing numerous amendments. Another
noteworthy event of Coke's administra-
tion was the opening of the Agricultural
and Mechanical College Oct. 4, 1876.
Coke was elected to a second term under
the new Constitution in 1876, and there-
after elected to the United States Sen-
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Texas Almanac, 1939-1940, book, 1939; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117163/m1/76/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.