Texas State Gazette. (Austin, Tex.), Vol. 4, No. 34, Ed. 1, Saturday, April 9, 1853 Page: 5 of 8
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IRHHRHmRIIHHRtcRRvHIHPHVBHNHIRRHIBIf -' " -
.TEXAS STATE GAZETTE.
tho Legislature with matters not specially given them in charge.
To dwell upon the inconvenience of extending this principle
to its legitimate results is unnecessary. The consequence can
ho seen and appreciated hy all who do iiot subscribe to the be-
lief that the wisdom of past ages is sufficient for all time to
come. The Convention which framed the existing Constitution
was composed for the most part of men of ability and tried pat-
riotism. They enjoyed in an eminent degree the confidence
of the country. Tho great error which seems to have given
color to all their proceedings was a want of confidence in tho
capacity of those whoso duty it should become to legislate un-
der the Constitution.
They desired to fix the policy of tho country upon certain
Bubjects beyond the power of ordinary amendment. In effect-
ing" this purpose they went beyond their province ; it would
have been well had they entrusted these matters to the people
to ho provided for as they saw proper.
It would have argued great confidence in the intelligence of
their constituency if they had left them unembarrassed to legis
late lor themselves.
A second objection to the Constitution is that in many res-
pects it is indefinite and liable to a variety of constructions. In
our short history how many various interpretations have we
seen placed upon particular sections of the Constitution. Most
of the speeches in the Legislature are in explanation of the
conflicting opinions entertained by members in regard to the
meaning of its numerous enactments.
The excitement in the Legislature and in parts of tho State
relative to tho first apportionment bill grew out of a want of
clearness in the Constitution. At last it came to be generally
conceded that no apportionment could be made in strict confor-
mity to the constitutional requirement aud yet it was equally
apparent that the apportionment made by the Convention could
not last beyond the session of the second legislature. The
higher law of necessity had to be invoked to relieve us of the
Again we have some new suggestion every day as to the
meaning of the article relative to education. Some insist that
the fund set apart is sacred and must not be touched except to
establish schools; others that the Stato may use it for her own
purposes (such for example as the conquest of Santa Fo.) That
she may loan it out or invest it in any way provided she char-
ges herself with the amount.
We are told on tho one hand that it is incumbent upon the
Legislature to establish a system of common schools forthwith
though the fund would not be sufficient to supply the demands
of a single county. On the other hand we are informed with
equal show of reason that this may be delayed until it becomes
practicable which time according to tho prevalent opinion
is some distance in the future.
In relation to the encouragement of internal improvements
it is maintained on tho one hand that the State may lend her
money as any other money-holder. On the other this is de-
clared to be a palpable violation of constitutional duty ; that it
is crating monopolies &c and some doubtless believe that
there is only one rightful appropriation which can be made
and that in the way of mileage andw diem
It would be wearisome to recount all the difficulties we meet
in attempting to give a sensible explanation of the most impor-
tant sections of the constitution indefinite and conflicting as
I cannot refrain from alluding again to the decision of the
Supreme Court in relation to appeals and certiorari as pecu-
liarly illustrative of the obscurity of constitutional laxo. Two
of the judges of the Court were prominent members of the
Convention and especially so as lawyers yet years elapsed
before it was discovered that there was any difficulty in the
way of appeals from these inferior tribunals to the District
Courts. Such cases hadbeen entertained without a 6ugge9tion
of constitutional obstacles. The true meaning then of the
section must have been deeply hidden sinco it required so
long a time to discover it.
So far as concerns this particular subject it is perhaps not
of much consequence what is its true construction. It is im-
portant however that an instrument claiming the grave name
of a constitution and to which all the legislation of the coun-
try is subservient should express itself in plain terms on all
subjects and not assume a m stic formula as unintelligible as
tho responses of the Delphic oracle.
Another objectionable feature in the Constitution is that it
restricts unreasonably and illiberally the powers of the people
through their representatives. Some restraints against danger-
ous legislation are undoubtedly proper but these restrictions
ought to be such as would meet the approbation of every rea-
sonable mind. If the question is debateable it should be left
open to the wisdom of future times and men. There are but
few axioms in the science of government or in any other.
The opinions of a Convention sitting to-day ought not to con-
trol tho wishes and opinions of succeeding generations.
There is but little necessity for prohibitions against oppres-
sive or unjust legislation for we are not to suppose that laws
obnoxious to enlightened ideas of liberty and government
would be mssed.
It would not bo difficult to point out many other objections
oi a general nature standing out prumniuuuy iu uiu viuw ui
the mostjsuporficial observer. But I forbear a reference to any
others lest by becoming tedious I may subject myself justly
to tho censure of having fallen into one of the errois 1 have
attributed to tho Constitution. REFORM.
Lady Emmeline Stuart Wortley says: " I was interested in wateh-inn-
the beautiful Mexican (horses mostly high stepping Jirazenclors
that were stepping along as conceited as any man and twice as
handsome. I have been positively assured that they teach them to
raiBe up their fore legs immensely high (which they almost all do) by
putting on them magnifying spectacles when young by which means
the stones on tho road are made to appear like large blocks in the
way and they lift up their legs in order to step over them and thus
acquire the habit."
Presidential Bon Mot. Without entering on the squabble for
office which is a bootless task under all circumstances I would mere-
ly mention a very good mot of General Pierce. A gentleman from
Tennessee observed to him that he came from a district which had
never solicited an office from tho Genera! Government. Then said
Gcuetal Pierce promptly it is to be hoped (lint it will never break in
on such a beautiful custom. This was rather a puzzler.
The surveying corps of the San Antonio and Mexican Gulf Mail-
rnml hnvo bconD mil tiiir down tho stokes withiu our town limits
.... ....... ...... .. ..
An Act to incorporate the Colorado Valley Railroad Company
Suction 1. Bo it enactedby the Legislature of the Slate of
Texas That John Duncan William L. Sartev'oll John C.
Perry and their associates and successors be and are hereby
created a body corporate and -oolitic under the name and
style of tho " Colorado Valley Railroad company" with tho
capacity in said corporate name to make contracts ; to have
succession and a common seal ; to make by-laws for its govern
ment ana tnc regulation ot its alhurs ; to sue and be sued ; to
plead and be impleaded ; to grant and receive and generally
to do and perform all such acts aud things as may be necessary
or proper for or incident to tho fulfilment of its obligations
or the maintenance of its rights under this act and consistent
with the Constitution of the State.
Skc. 2. That said company be and is hereby invested with
the right to locate construct own and maintain a railway
commencing at any suitable point to be solccted by a majority
vote of the stockholders on the bay of Matogorda or Trespa-
lacios Bay between the half moon reef and Carancuaha Bay
thence running by such course as may be deemed most suitable
to the city ot Austin or to such intermediate point on tho
Colorado river as may hereafter be determined by said com-
pany with the right of extending said railroad to the town of
Fredericksburg and of making and owning such branches of
said railroad as thoy may deem expedient.
Sec. 3. The parties named in this act are hereby appointed
Commissioners and invested with tho right of forming and
organizing said company and generally to exercise tho powers
of Directors until Directors are chosen or appointed by such
persons who may subscribe to the stock of said company
when the powers' of 6aid Commissioners shall cease.
Skc. 4. The capital stock of said company to consist of
all its property real and personal franchises and rights to
property shall be divided into shares of one hundred dollars
each each share entitling the owner thereof to one vote by
himself or prox' at all meetings of said company. That said
shares shall be deemed personal estate and shall bo transfera-
ble by any conveyance in writing recorded by the Treasurer
in books kept by him at ins oilice or in such other manner as
the by-laws of said company shall provide.
Skc. 5. The immediate government and direction of the
affairs of said company shall bo vested in a board of not less
than ten Directors who shall elect one of their own number
as President of said company; no person shall be eligible-to
tho office of Director unless an owner or subscriber of at least
five shares of the stock of said company; the Directors shall
have the power to fill any vacancy that may occur in said
board from non-election death or otherwise and may appoint a
Secretary Treasurer and such other officers and agents as they
may consider necessary and prescribe and require bonds for
the faithful performance of their duties; they may if not other-
wise provided by the by-laws determine the manner of
conducting all meetings the number of members that shall
constitute a quorum and to do or cause to be done all other
lawful matters or things which they may deem necessary and
proper in conducting tho matters of the company ; they shall
keep or cause to be kept accurate records ot all meetings ot
tho Directors and company and accurate books of accounts of
the receipts and expenditures of the company and all other
books necessary and proper to be kept by such company which
shall be open to the inspection of the stockholders. A
majority of the board of Directors shall have the authority of
a full board and all conveyances and contracts in writing exe-
cuted by the President and countersigned by the Secretary or
any other officer or person authorized by the Directors under
the seal of the company and in pursuance of a vote of said
Directors shall be valid and binding.
Sko. 0. The shares may be disposed of and books opened
for subscription thereto in such manner or on such terms as
said Commissioners shall determine will bo best for the inter-
ests of said company and any agreement in writing by which
any person shall become a subscriber to the capital stock of
said company may bo enforced against him according to its
terms and if any subscriber shall fail to pay any amount due
upon shares subscribed by him according to tho terms of his
subscription tho Directors may sell at auction and transfer to
tho purchaser the shares of such delinquent and if tin proceeds
of sale shall not be sufficient to pay the amount duo on said
subscription with interest and charges such delinquent shall
be held liable to tho company for Hie deficiency and if the
proceeds shall exceed the amount so due with interest and
charges said delinquent shall bo entitled to the surplus.
Sue. 7. It shall bo lawful for the company to enter upon
and purchase or otherwise take and hold any land necessary
for the purpose of establishing and constructing said railway
with all necessary depots and other buildings and if they shall
not be able to obtain such lands by agreement with the owners
thereof they shall pay therefor such compensation as shall be
determined in the manner provided by tho following section:
jyrovided that the land so taken for the road bed shall not
exceed two hundred feet in width and for depots and other build
ings only such further width as shall be needed tor such purposes
during tho weelc-
Sr.c. S. And any person when land has been taken as
aforesaid without agreement or satisfactory compensation may
apply to the District Court of the county in which said laud is
situated for the appointment of and said court shall thereupon
appoint three disinterested free-holders of the county who shall
appoint a time and place to hear the applicant and tho com-
pany to whom shall be given by said free-holders reasonable
notice of said time and place and said free-holders shall after
being sworn and after due hearing of the parties determine
the amount of compensation if any to which the applicant
may bo entitled and make return of their award to tho next
succeeding term of said court and said award if not rejected
by said court for sufficient cause then 6hown shall be entered
up as tho judgment of said court. In determining tho ques-
tion of compensation said free-holders shall bo governed by
the actual value of the land at the time it was taken taking
into consideration tho benefit or injury done to the other
lands and property of the owner by the establishment of said
railway and if the amount of compensation awarded by said
free-holders shall not exceed tho amount offered by said com-
pany to tho owner prior to 6aid application to the court tho
applicant shall pay the costs of the proceedings otherwise
the company shall pay the same.
Skc. 9. It shall bo "tho duty of said company whenever
any State or county road now by law established shall be
crossed by the track of said railway to make and keep in
repair good and sufficient eausowaye at such crossings and in
all edss whero any person shall own Jands pibbti sides of
said railway and thore shall bo no other sufficient access from
one part to the other such owner shall have the right of pas-
sage free 6f cost at all reasonable times across .;tho track f
Sue. 10. This company i hereby required at all reasonable
times and for a reasonable compensation to draw over their
road the passengers merchandize and cars of any other rail-
road corporation which has been or may hcroafter'bo authorized
by tho Legislature to enter with their railroad and connect
with the railroad of this company and if the respective com-
panies shall be unable to agreo upon tho compensation afore-
said it shall be the duty of the President of each company to
select each one man as a Commissioner and the two Commis-
sioners so selected shall choose n third in case of disagreement
neither of whom shall be a stockholder iu either road or inter-
ested therein and thoy shall fix tho rates which shall not he
changed for one year from the timo of going into effect; the
said Commissioners shall also fix tho stated periods nt which
said cars aro to bo drawn as aforesaid having reference to the
convenience and interests of said corporations and tho public
who will be accommodated thereby. Tho right or power is
specially conferred 'on tho said company to connect ' and
contract with any railroad company chartered by this State
for the performance of like transport and in case of disa-
greement between said companies the sameshall be referred and
settled as aforesaid and bo binding for ono year as aforesaid.
Skc. 11. Said company may acquire real estate by gift or
purchase and that such Commissioners hereinbefore mentioned
shall have full authority to solicit and receive subscriptions
and conveyances of land to said company until the timo fixed
for the first meeting of said Commissioners which authority
may be then extended by said meeting which said land thus
obtained shall bo alienated by said company in tho following
manner: one-fourth in six years tho one-fourth in eight years
the one-fourth in ten years and the other fourth in twelve- year
from the time the same was acquired. .
Skc. 12. If the track of this railway Bhall cross any navigable
stream it- shall do it in such way as not tojobstructits navigation.
Skc. 13. Said company shall have tho right to demand and
receive such rates and prices for tho transportation of passen-
gers and freight as they may think proper to establish njot to
exceed five cents per mile for passengers and fifty cents per
hundred pounds for freight for every hundred miles the same
may be carried.
Sko. 14. If any person shall wilfully injure or obstruct said
railway or its property such person may bo punished when
prosecuted by indictment for said offence in due course of law
and also liable to action by said company or any person what-
ever who may suffer in person or property from said wilful
obstruction for tho amount of damages occasioned thereby.
Sko. 15. There shall be granted to said company eight
sections of land of six hundred and forty acres each for every
mile of railway actually completed by them and ready for use
and upon the application of the President of tho company or any
duly authorized agent thereof stating that any section of five
miles or more of said railway has been completed and is ready
for use it shall be the duty of the Comptroller of Public Accounts
to require the State Engineer or a Commissioner to bo appoint-
ed by the Governor to examine said railway at the expense of
said company and upon Ins certificate that said section 01 said
railway has been completed in a good and substantial manner
and is ready for the use the Comptroller shall give information
of that fact to the Commissioner of the General Limdoffice
whose duty it shall be to issue to said company land certificates
to tho amount of eight sections of land of six hundred and
forty acres each for each and every mile of railway thus com-
pleted and ready for use such certificates shall be for six
hundred and forty acres each and shall be located upon any un-
appropriated public domain of the State of Texas within twelve
months from the issuing thereof which dato shall appear upon
the faco of each certificate and upon the return of the field-
notes of any survey made by virtue of any certificate thun
issued it shall be tho duty of the Commissioner of tho General
Landoflico to issue patents to said company in their corporate
name one-fourth of which said land thus patented shall kbe
alienated by the company in six years one-fourth in eight
years one-fourth in ten years and the other fourth in twelve
years so that tho whole of the land thus granted shall pass from
the hands of the company within twelve years from tho date of
the patents thus issued.
Skc. 1G. Said company shall bo required to havo a good
and suficient brake upon the hindmost car in all trains trans-
porting passengers or merchandize and also permanently
stationed thore a trusty and skillful brakoman under a penalty
not exceeding the sum of one hundred dollars for each offence
to be recovered in any court of competent jurisdiction for the
benefit of the State ; said company shall cause to be placed on
each locomotive engine passing over their road a boll of the
weight of at least thirty-five pounds or a steam whistle and
the said bell shall be rung or tho whistle blown at the distance
of at least eighty rods from the place of crossing any highway
or turnpike and kept ringing or blowing until the engine has
passed or stopped ; said company shall be required to construct
their railroad with good T or l) iron rails; provided that no
land shall be donated unless the company shall actually com-
mence their road within two years and construct twenty-five
miles every year thereafter until tho road bo entirely finished.
Sko. 17. The first meeting of tho Commissioners or Direc-
tors appointed by this act shall bo held at Columbus on the
first Monday in August next in which and all subsequent
meetings said Directors may act in person or by proxy.
'Skc. 18. Nothing in this act shall bo so construed as to
confer banking privileges or powers of any kind whatever.
Skc. 19. If said railway shall not be commenced within
five years from the passage of this act and at least twenty
miles thereof aro not completed within ten years then this
charter shall bo null and void ; and it is hereby provided and
declared that it shall be lawful for any other railway heieaftcr
to be constructed to cross the said railway or any branch there-
of or to connect at any point therewith.
Sko. 20. This charter shall in no ovent unless renewed by
tho Legislature continue for a longer term than ninety yearn
from tho passage of this act but the same shall expire and
cease to exist at the expiration of that term. This act shall
take eilect and bo in force from and after its passage.
Approved February 7 1853.
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Crawford, G. W. & Hampton, J. W. Texas State Gazette. (Austin, Tex.), Vol. 4, No. 34, Ed. 1, Saturday, April 9, 1853, newspaper, April 9, 1853; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth81078/m1/5/?q=houstonites: accessed June 16, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.