Message of Gov. O. M. Roberts on appropriations and expenditures under the control of the governor to the seventeenth legislature of the state of of Texas, convened at the city of Austin, in regular session, January 11, 1881. Page: 5 of 23
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ApYrpriations under Control of the Governor.
see that the law was executed, if it could be done by the means placed at
my command. In order to call attention to these violations of the law
the following proclamation was issued:
"Whereas, it having been made known tome that in many portions of the
State, and especially in the larger cities thereof, powerful and influential'
combinations have been formed and entered into to prevent the execution
of the revenue laws, the effect of which has been to defraud the State of
her legitimate taxes and bring reproach upon those charged with execution
of her penal laws;
" And it appearing that in several localities of the State,these combinations
have assumed to openly and notoriously violate the law, without
the proper effort being made by the local officers to punish them and vindicate
its majesty, thereby in effect educating the people to open resistance
to the authority of the State, which, if not checked, may lead to
more serious and dangerous consequences in the future;
"Therefore, I, O. M. Roberts, governor of the State of Texas, do, by
virtue of the authority vested in me by the constitution and laws of this
State, issue this my'proclamation calling upon and requesting all the good
people of this State to render such aid and assistance to the officers
charged with the enforcement of the revenue and other laws of this State
as may be necessary to the accomplishment of the same.
" And I hereby earnestly urge district attorneys, county attorneys, sheriffs
and tax collectors to tak. immediate measures to prosecute and punish
all persons engaged in violating the law, or report to me all cases where
they are unable or unwilling to perform this duty.
" The faithful execution of the laws in a republican government must
depend upon the moral support and physical aid of its good citizens,
which they will seldom fail to give if the prosecuting officers will lead
the way in an avowed and fearless effort to execute laws.
"In testimony whereof, I hereto sign my name and cause the seal of
State to be affixed, at Austin, this 15th day of November, A. D. 1879.
"[L. s.] 0. M. ROBERTS,
"By the Governor: Governor.
"T. H. BowiAr,
"Acting Secretary of State."
It is notorious that the law was not generally executed. Its prospective
importance is not such as renders it necessary for me to comment on
the causes of its failure, or the mode of its amendment, further than to
say that it was an experiment that made individuals tax themselves, and
has excited so great a prejudice as to make an amendment not probably
practical. The amounts paid to attorneys are shown in Exhibit B, hereto
ALLEGED ILLEGAL SURVEYS IN THE CAPITOL RESERVATION.
It having been represented to me that illegal surveys had been made
upon the most valuable lands in the territory known as the " Panhandle,"
which had been reserved for the building of the new capitol, and for the
payment of the public debt, and that it was necessary in order to detect
said frauds, if they existed, to send an able attorney to investigate the
surveyor's books and records in the county of Jack; and to aid in any
prosecution or suit that might be necessary to protect the rights of the
State, I employed an attorney, Mr. Sam. A. Wilson, for those objects
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Roberts, Oran M. Message of Gov. O. M. Roberts on appropriations and expenditures under the control of the governor to the seventeenth legislature of the state of of Texas, convened at the city of Austin, in regular session, January 11, 1881., book, January 11, 1881; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5832/m1/5/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .