A new history of Texas for schools : also for general reading and for teachers preparing themselves for examination Page: 95 of 412
This book is part of the collection entitled: From Republic to State: Debates and Documents Relating to the Annexation of Texas, 1836-1856 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the UNT Libraries.
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ERA OF COLONIZATION.
Mexican government wisely threw open to settlers the
ten leagues of coast lands and twenty leagues of border
land (that nearest the United States) that had been kept
for government use. Texas was dotted with American
colonies, and waste places were fast giving way to fertile
fields and blooming gardens.
Character of the Colonists.-Many of the colonists were
from the best families of both the North and the South;
some, like the elder Austin, left their old homes because
they had failed in business, and thought the new West of-
fered better opportunities to them and to their children;
some came for health; others were led by love of ad-
venture and longing for new scenes. Had the early
Texans not been men and women of more than ordinary
courage and strength of character, our history would not
have been so rich in heroic deeds.*
Government.- Texas was until 1824 a separate prov-
ince of Mexico, but at that time Texas was joined to
Coahuila, and the two provinces were changed into the
* NOTEr.--The following extract, written by a teacher who came to Texas in
1828, is taken from the "Texas Scrap-Book":
"I would here correct one erroneous impression in relation to the character
of the early settlers of Texas. Many believe they were rude and ignorant, with
many vices and few virtues, and for the most part refugees from justice and
enemies to law and order. That there were some rude and illiterate people among
them is no more than may be said of almost any society, and that some were
vicious and depraved is equally true, but what there was of evil you saw on the
surface, for there was no effort at concealment and no reason to act a borrowed
part. Assassins, if there were any, appeared as such; now they often appear in
the guise of gentlemen, that they may conceal their true characters and accom-
plish their object. No one estimates more highly than the writer the intelli-
gence, enterprise, and virtue of the present population, and yet he fully believes
there were in the early history of Texas more college-bred men, in proportion to
the population, than now, and as much intelligence, good common sense, and
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Pennybacker, Anna J. Hardwicke. A new history of Texas for schools : also for general reading and for teachers preparing themselves for examination, book, 1895; Palestine, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2388/m1/95/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .