Texas Almanac, 1941-1942 Page: 59
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HISTORY OF TEXAS. 5
Constitution of 1876.
Most of the administration of Governor
Coke (Jan. 15, 1947, to 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-
ate. He resigned office to take his seat
in the Senate Dec. 1, 1876.
End of the Indians in Texas.
The first year of Coke's administra-
tion marked the practical passing of the
wild Indian from the Texas scene. After
Texas had become a state in 1845 the
United States had established a line of
camps and forts across the border from
the Red to the Rio Grande, including
such establishments as Fort McIntosh,
Fort Clark, Fort McKavett, Fort Phan-
tom Hill, Fort Griffin and Fort Bel-
knap, which, in addition to Texas state
efforts, had given a measure of protec-
However, the problem of establishing
Indian reservations for settling the rem-
nants of the Texas tribes was difficult
because the United States had no land in
Texas, all public domain having been re-
tained by the state in the Treaty of An-
nexation. In 1852, however, the State
Legislature authorized the setting aside
of land for two reservations in the Young
Territory. One of these consisted of 37,-
000 acres and was near Fort Belknap on
the main fork of the Brazos (near pres-
ent Graham, Texas). A reservation
somewhat smaller was established on
the Clear Fork of the Brazos, about
forty miles above. Comanches were
gathered on the latter, while the larger
reservation was allotted to the Tonka.
was, Delawares, Caddoes and other tribes.
Some success was had with this venture,
but trouble arose between the Indians
and the white settlers and the reserva-
tions were abandoned, the Indians being
transferred across the Red River.
The frontier was pushed rapidly west-
ward during the decade 1850 to 1860, but
the opening of the conflict between the
North and the South in 1860 had with-
drawn military protection. Many mur-
derous raids had been made by the In-
dians during the Civil War years and the
confusion attending Reconstruction ad-
ministration after the war prevented
great improvement of the situation. Par-
ticularly during the years 1865 and 1866
was the frontier terrorized.
In 1868 General Sheridan had suc-
ceeded in concentrating many of the Co-
manches, Kiowas and Apaches at the
Fort Sill reservation, but the Indians
continued to make raids into Texas from
the reservation. Finally, in 1871, in re-
sponse to appeals from the frontier, Gen.
William Tecumseh Sherman had visited
Texas, marching with a small detach-
ment from San Antonio along the line of
western posts to Fort Belknap, appar-
ently without realizmg there was great
danger of attack. At Fort Griffin a
delegation of citizens from Jack, Parker
and adjacent counties had assembled to
appeal for aid. General Sherman seems
to have been impressed, too, by a raid by
Comanches and Kiowas on a wagon
train, in which the drivers were killed,
on the trail which the army expedition
had traveled a few days previously.
Sherman ordered an investigation at
Fort Sill and Satank, Santanta and Big
Tree, chieftains, were arrested, charged
with the wagon train raid and ordered to
Jacksboro, Texas, for trial before civil
authorities. Satank was killed en route
trying to escape, but Santanta and Big
Tree were convicted and given the death
penalty, which was later commuted by
Governor Davis to life imprisonment and
the Indians were confined at Huntsville
penitentiary. They were released in 1873
conditioned on good behavior. Subse-
quently Santanta was rearrested and re-
turned to the penitentiary, where he
committed suicide in 1876.
Finally Gen. R. S. Mackenzie of the
United States Army was commissioned to
round up the Indians of Northwest Tex-
as and return them to the Indian Terri-
tory reservations. This he did in an ag-
gressive campaign which ended when
Mackenzie's forces trapped the main
body of the Comanches and Kiowas at
the junction of the Tule and Palo Duro
Canyons after their horses had been
stampeded by a surprise night attack.
This campaign which ended in 1874, first
year of Coke s administration, marked the
end of Indian hostilities in Texas, ex-
cept some minor incidents in the Big
Bend and along the lower Rio Grande
Coke was succeeded by Richard B.
Hubbard (Dec. 1, 1876, to Jan. 21, 1879)
by virtue of his position as Lieutenant
Governor. Strengthened border de-
fense, reorganization of the penal sys-
tem, suppression of land frauds and fur-
ther reduction of the State debt were
achievements of Hubbard's administra-
State's Debt Reduced.
The administration of Oran M. Rob-
erts (Jan. 21, 1879, to Jan. 16, 1883) has
gone down in history for the pay-as-you-
go policy by which a deficit was wiped
out, public debt lowered and taxes re-
duced. The two terms of Roberts were
marked also for educational legislation.
An act was passed providing for a state
university in compliance with constitu-
tional mandate, and the Sam Houston
and Prairie View Normal Schools, for
white and Negro students, respectively,
The administration of Gov. John Ire-
land covered the two terms (Jan. 16,
1883, to Jan. 18, 1887), and was charac-
terized by continued improvement of the
educational system. In 1883 the Univer-
sity of Texas was opened at Austin. It
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Texas Almanac, 1941-1942, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117164/m1/61/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.