The New International Encyclopædia/Texas
TEX′AS. A South Central State of the United States, popularly called the ‘Lone Star State.’ It is, next to Florida, the southernmost State of the Union, lying between latitudes 25° 51′ and 36° 30′ N., and between longitudes 93° 27′ and 106° 43′ W. It is bounded on the north by Oklahoma and Indian Territory, on the east by Arkansas and Louisiana, on the southeast by the Gulf of Mexico, on the southwest by Mexico, from which it is separated by the Rio Grande, and on the northwest by New Mexico. It is of an irregular triangular shape with the apex pointing south and a square ‘panhandle’ extending northward. Its greatest length from north to south is about 800 miles, and its greatest breadth about 750 miles. It is the largest State in the Union, having an area of 265,780 square miles, of which 3490 square miles constitute water surface. Its area is larger than the combined area of the Atlantic States from Maine to Virginia, inclusive, and nearly one-third greater than that of the whole German Empire.
Topography. In general the land rises gradually toward the western boundary by a succession of broad and more or less terraced slopes running parallel with the Gulf coast. Five or six well-marked topographical regions may be distinguished. The first is the coastal plain, a continuation of the same formation in the other Gulf States. It rises gradually from sea level to an altitude of 500 feet about 150 miles inland, and is very level in its lower portion, becoming somewhat hilly near its inner border. The coast itself is lined almost throughout its length of 375 miles by lagoons cut off from the sea by long, narrow sand islands. The largest and southernmost of these lagoons is the Laguna Madre, whose water is almost stagnant and very salt. The northern lagoons generally extend some distance inland in large, irregular bays and estuaries, lined partly by low marshy shores, partly by high bluffs. The principal bays are those of Galveston, Matagorda, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi. West of the coastal plain extends a belt of rolling country known as the Black Prairie, about 100 miles wide in the north and south, but very narrow in its middle portion. It is succeeded on the northwest by a very broad belt of country called by geologists the Central Denuded Region. This rises from a height of 600 feet in the east to over 2000 feet in the west, being bounded by the escarpment of the Llano Estacado, and is a rugged and much eroded, though not mountainous, region, with ridges, prairie valleys, isolated tablelands, and irregular depressions. It is bounded on the west and southwest by the Plateau Region, a southern continuation of the Great Plains. South of the ‘Panhandle’ this forms a large, flat-topped table-land, the Llano Estacado, which from an altitude of 4000 feet falls on the east into the Denuded Region in a high, steep, and ragged escarpment cut back by several large river valleys. On the southeast it runs out into a lower plateau of different formations known as the Grand Prairie. This sweeps around the southern end of the Denuded Region, and geologically, and according to some also topographically, it runs northward between the latter and the Black Prairie, though it is here much lower than in the south. It extends southward to the Rio Grande Valley, and is bounded on the southeast by an escarpment. The last topographical region is the portion of the State lying beyond the Pecos River in the southwest. This is a rugged mountainous country with a number of high isolated and barren ridges inclosing broad and arid valleys. The highest point is Baldy Peak, with an altitude of 8382 feet.
AREA AND POPULATION OF TEXAS BY COUNTIES.
|County Seat.|| Area in
|Archer||E 3||Archer City||960||2,101||2,508|
|Bexar||E 5||San Antonio||1,268||49,266||69,422|
|Blanco||E 4||Johnson City||762||4,649||4,703|
|Calhoun||F 5||Port Labaca||592||815||2,395|
|Coke||D 4||Robert Lee||850||2,659||3,430|
|Comal||E 5||New Braunfels||569||6,398||7,008|
|Deaf Smith||C 1||Hereford||1,477||179||843|
|Dimmit||D 5||Carrizo Springs||1,164||1,049||1,106|
|Duval||E 6||San Diego||1,887||7,598||8,483|
|El Paso||B 4||El Paso||9,353||15,678||24,886|
|Fort Bend||G 5||Richmond||897||10,586||16,538|
|Franklin||G 3||Mount Vernon||325||6,481||8,674|
|Glasscock||D 4||Garden City||952||208||286|
|Hays||F 4||San Marcos||647||11,352||14,142|
|Hopkins||G 3||Sulphur Springs||666||20,572||27,950|
|Jeff Davis||B 4||Fort Davis||1,922||1,394||1,150|
|Karnes||F 5||Karnes City||740||3,637||8,681|
|Live Oak||E 5||Oakville||1,123||2,055||2,268|
|Matagorda||G 5||Bay City||1,135||3,985||6,097|
|Maverick||D 5||Eagle Pass||1,332||3,698||4,066|
|Nueces||F 6||Corpus Christi||2,460||8,093||10,439|
|Palo Pinto||E 3||Palo Pinto||971||8,320||12,291|
|Pecos||C 4||Fort Stockton||8,312||1,326||2,360|
|Red River||G 3||Clarksville||1,061||21,452||29,893|
|San Augustine||G 4||San Augustine||570||6,688||8,434|
|San Jacinto||G 4||Coldspring||636||7,360||10,277|
|San Patricio||F 5||Sinton||700||1,312||2,372|
|San Saba||E 4||San Saba||1,150||6,641||7,569|
|Schleicher||D 4||El Dorado||1,355||155||515|
|Starr||E 6||Rio Grande||2,510||10,749||11,469|
|Sterling||D 4||Sterling City||821||......||1,127|
|Tarrant||F 3||Fort Worth||900||41,142||52,376|
|Titus||G 3||Mount Pleasant||421||8,190||12,292|
|Tom Green||D 4||San Angelo||2,553||5,152||6,804|
|Van Zandt||G 3||Canton||877||16,225||25,481|
|Wichita||E 3||Wichita Falls||606||4,831||5,806|
Hydrography. Practically all the rivers of Texas flow in parallel courses southeastward through the State. With the exception of the Canadian River in the north and the Rio Grande with the Pecos in the south, which rise in the Rocky Mountains, all the larger rivers rise on the eastern edge of the Great Plains, the Llano Estacado, and the Grand Prairie. The extreme northern part of the State belongs to the Mississippi Basin. The Canadian River crosses the Panhandle to join the Arkansas, while the Red River rises on the escarpment of the Llano Estacado and forms for a long distance part of the northern State boundary. The independent rivers flow directly to the Gulf of Mexico, and all, except the Brazos and Rio Grande, empty through estuaries into the coast lagoons. The principal rivers are the Sabine, on the Louisiana boundary, the Neches, Trinity, Brazos, Colorado, Guadalupe, San Antonio, Nueces, and the Rio Grande. Most of these rivers flow through deep cañons immediately after leaving the Great Plains. Several of them are navigable for considerable distances at high water, but their mouths are generally obstructed by bars.
Climate. As Texas reaches to within two and a half degrees of the tropical zone, it naturally has a warm climate, but the great range in latitude, and to some extent in altitude, produces also a considerable range in climatic conditions. Although warm, the climate is drier and less enervating than that of the other Gulf States. The mean temperature in July at Galveston on the coast is 83.7°, at El Paso in the extreme west 81.9°, and at Amarillo in the northwest 76°. The corresponding figures for January are 52.7° at Galveston, 44.5° at El Paso, and 31.9° at Amarillo. On the coast the temperature seldom falls below the freezing point, while in the northwest it may fall several degrees below zero. In the western uplands, on the other hand, the temperature rises above 100°, while on the coast the maximum is between 90° and 95°. In winter the State is subject to severe north winds, known as northers, which often lower the temperature 50° in a few hours. In the eastern section the southeast winds from the Gulf are prevalent and bring abundant rain to that part of the State. The rainfall decreases rapidly westward, so that in the western part it is insufficient for agriculture. In the eastern portion near the mouth of the Sabine River the rainfall is sometimes over 60 inches, while in the extreme south, even near the coast, it is sometimes only five inches in a year. The normal annual average at Galveston is 49 inches, at Corpus Christi 30, at Austin 34, at Abilene, nearly in the centre of the State, 25, at Amarillo in the Panhandle 22, and at El Paso 9 inches.
Soil. The alluvial bottom lands around the lower river courses are the most fertile portions of the State. Next to these ranks the Black Prairie belt, which is covered with a remarkably fertile marl formed by the mixture of clay with the disintegrated Cretaceous limestone. The soil of the coastal plain is generally sandy; in some places the sand is mixed with clay to form a black loam. In the northwest there are heavy deposits of red clay containing much potash, but little nitrogenous matter. The soil on the southern plateau is thin, but the Llano Estacado is covered with a red sandy loam which would be rendered fertile by irrigation.
Flora. The principal forest area of Texas is in the extreme eastern portion. In the sandy coastal plain the pine is the prevailing tree, long-leaf pine in the lower and short-leaf pine in the higher pine barrens. Westward toward the centre of the State the deciduous species predominate, including oaks, elm, maple, hickory, sycamore, mulberry, sweet gum, ash, and walnut. The Osage orange is also common here, and the palmetto in the eastern part lends a tropical aspect to the vegetation. In the river-bottoms the characteristic species are cottonwood, pecan, live oak, and cypress. Along the western border of the Black Prairie two parallel belts of hardwood forest, chiefly oak, and known as the Cross Timbers, extend southward as far as the Brazos River. To the south and west of these the State is practically treeless except along the river courses. There are also scattered areas of scrub and chaparral composed largely of mesquite, the most characteristic tree of western Texas. Still farther west even the prairie grasses give place to or grow in the midst of a desert flora in which the yuccas and cacti are predominant.
Geology and Minerals. The oldest rocks of the State come to the surface in the Central Denuded Region. In the southern part of this region, west of Austin, there is a small area of Archæan rock surrounded by a narrow outcrop of Cambrian and Silurian strata. To the north of this there is a considerable area of Carboniferous formation followed on the northwest along the eastern base of the Llano Estacado by a still larger region referred by some to the Permian, by others to the Jurassic system. Another large area of Paleozoic and early Mesozoic rocks is found in the Trans-Pecos region, where the predominant formation is the Jura-Trias, with small scattered outcrops of Carboniferous and other Paleozoic, together with some recent igneous rocks. The Llano Estacado, like the Great Plains to the north, is of very recent formation, consisting of lacustrine Tertiary deposits. The southern plateau or Grand Prairie region is older, being of Lower Cretaceous formation, and this formation also skirts the central Paleozoic area on the east. It is succeeded on the east by a band of Upper Cretaceous strata constituting the Black Prairie belt. Beyond this the entire coastal plain is composed of marine Tertiary deposits. Workable beds of bituminous coal occur in the central portion of the State, and large deposits of lignite are stretched along the western border of the coastal plain. In the eastern part of the State, near the mouth of the Sabine, petroleum deposits of great extent have been found at a depth of about 1000 feet. Iron and copper ores, as well as lead and tin, occur in the southeastern part of the central region, and silver is found in the west. The Trans-Pecos region, still but partly explored, probably contains varied mineral deposits, the most important being the cinnabar ores found in the Cretaceous limestone in the south. The most important of the remaining minerals in the State are the immense beds of gypsum found in the Permian strata of the northwestern Red Lands.
Mining. Mining, which had until recently been of little importance, bids fair to acquire large proportions. The value of coal increased almost steadily from $412,300 in 1891 to $1,907,024 in 1901. In the latter year there were mined 787,700 short tons of bituminous coal and 296,681 short tons of lignite. The production of petroleum practically began in 1897. The yield has increased very rapidly, amounting to 4,393,658 barrels in 1901. The silver exploited in the same year was valued at $283,440. Brick and tile made from local clays in that year amounted to $1,632,189. Gypsum is mined in the northwestern part. Cinnabar and salt are mined and some granite, sandstone, and limestone are quarried. There are a number of valuable mineral springs.
Fisheries. In 1897 the value of the catch for the year was $237,496, this figure being less than for 1890. The oyster, trout, sheepshead, and red snapper rank in importance in the order named.
Agriculture. The enormous area of Texas with its favorable physical and climatic conditions has made it one of the leading agricultural States in the Union. In 1900 there were 125,807,017 acres, or 74.9 per cent. of the total land area, included in farms. This was three times greater than the corresponding area in any other State, But the improved area—19,576,076 acres—was not so great as in some other commonwealths. The average size of the farms, which decreased rapidly prior to 1880, has increased since that year, being 357.2 acres in 1900. The recent increase is due to the inclosure into farms of extensive pastures in the west. Thus the average size of farms or ranches in the entire State is 357.2 acres, while in Red River County it is only 50.6 acres. In 1900 there were 11,220 farms of over 1000 acres each, containing an aggregate of 88,159,247 acres. In that year 7.3 per cent. of the farms were operated by cash tenants and 42.4 by share tenants. The number of the latter almost doubled between 1890 and 1900. Considerably over one-fourth of the farms are operated by negroes, but only 26.1 per cent. of these are owned by them. The State ranks fifth in the aggregate value of farm products. Crop-raising is mainly confined to the eastern and central parts, the light rainfall in the west adapting that section better to grazing than to tillage.
While there is a great variety of crops, the State is best known for its cotton, the value of which in 1899 was $84,332,713, or over one-half the total value of all crops. In that year 27.9 per cent. of the production of the United States was grown in Texas. The acreage devoted to the crop was more than twice that for any other State and much greater than that for any country of the world. There was an increase of 80.6 per cent. between 1880-90, and 76.9 per cent. in the following decade. The main cotton belt extends northeastward from Travis County to Grayson, Fanin, and Lamar counties, though there is a secondary belt southward through Bexar County toward the Gulf. After cotton, by far the most important crop is corn. The acreage devoted to it increased 62.9 per cent. between 1890-1900. A rapid increase also has recently taken place in the raising of wheat. From twenty-second in rank in 1898 the State rose to sixth in 1900. The area devoted to oats, the only other important cereal, is also increasing. The cereals mentioned, except wheat, which is confined more to the north, are grown in nearly all parts of the State. The Gulf Coast region is well adapted to the cultivation of rice, and since 1897, in which year rice irrigation began, much progress has been made in rice culture. In 1902 the area in rice was estimated at over 200,000 acres. The greatest development has occurred in the vicinity of Beaumont and in the Colorado River Valley. The acreage in hay and forage in 1899 was 148.5 per cent. greater than ten years before. Kafir corn is grown in the more arid sections. Dry peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, sugar cane, sorghum cane, and peanuts are other crops worthy of mention. In 1899 26,276 acres were devoted to watermelons. The number of orchard fruits increased 88.4 per cent. between 1890 and 1900. The peach trees numbered in the latter year 7,248,358 and constituted 65.7 per cent. of the total number of trees. In 1899 there were 49,652 acres irrigated, including 8700 acres of rice in the coast counties. In the arid west, the Rio Grande and the Pecos and Nueces rivers are the chief sources of water supply. The normal flow of water in the Rio Grande has been greatly reduced through the increased use of its water farther north in New Mexico and Colorado, so that much of the area covered by ditches in El Paso County cannot be supplied with water. There are two large regions now being developed in the southwest, where artesian wells are used in irrigation.
The following table shows the increase in acreages:
|Hay and forage||938,024||377,523|
Stock-Raising. Texas ranks second in the value of live stock, and far exceeds all other States in the number of cattle. The State is probably more widely known for its grazing interests than for any other industrial feature. There is no other part of the country in which ranching has been carried on so extensively. The use of the pasture lands has occasioned much trouble between the settlers and the ranchmen, the former violently opposing the attempts of the ranchmen to monopolize the public land by inclosing it with barbed wire fences. A number of laws have been passed protecting the interests of the settlers. The total number of cattle in 1900 was 7,279,935, not including 2,148,261 spring calves. Only one other State had half this number of cattle. The practice is extensively followed of shipping or driving the cattle into other States for market feeding.
The decrease in dairy cows as shown in the table below is only apparent, being due to a change in the method of enumeration. Twice as much milk was reported in 1900 as in 1890. There has been a gain in the number of horses, mules, and swine. The State ranks first in the number of mules and third in the number of horses. The number of mules more than doubled between 1890 and 1900. However, the number of sheep decreased nearly two-thirds in the same period. Sheep-grazing seems to be giving way to cattle-raising. In the following table of holdings on farm and range, the two census years shown are not strictly comparable, since the 1890 figures do not include the number of animals on ranges separately reported, and consisting of over 2,300,000 cattle and about 800,000 sheep:
|Mules and asses||523,690||227,432|
Manufactures. Manufacturing was quite unimportant until after 1880. Between that year and 1890 the value of products increased 239.9 per cent., and in the following decade 69.5 per cent.; in 1900 the product was estimated at $119,414,982. In the latter year there were 48,152 persons employed as wage-earners, or 1.6 per cent. of the total population. The industry has the advantage of a very abundant supply of raw materials, the State ranking first in the production of cotton, and having large timber resources and a heavy production of grain. The recent increase in the output of coal also greatly subserves the industry. Texan manufactures dependent upon resources of cotton are peculiar in that they do not include textiles, a branch of the industry which has become prominent in some other Southern States. In the manufacture of cottonseed oil and cake, on the other hand, the State ranks first. The value of products for the latter industry increased 329.3 per cent. between 1890 and 1900. During the last census year there were 24,354,695 gallons of cottonseed oil obtained, or 26.1 per cent. of the total for the United States for that period. Cottonseed meal and cake are extensively used as food for cattle. In the allied industry of cotton-ginning the State also ranks first. The figures given in the table below do not include ginneries operated in connection with saw, grist, and cottonseed-oil mills, or for the use exclusively of plantations on which they are located. The Texas ginneries first introduced the custom of pressing the cotton after ginning into the so-called ‘round bales,’ and this process is becoming very general. The manufacture of flouring and grist mill products is a growing industry, drawing its supply from Oklahoma and the Indian Territory as well as from the large local production. The extensive railroad interests of the State have necessitated a large number of repair shops, employing 2354 wage-earners. The manufacture of saddlery and harness is a thriving industry centred largely in the city of Dallas. Printing and the manufacture of malt liquors and of clay products are other leading industries. Manufacturing is well distributed over that State and there are no prominent centres, the only cities in which the value of products exceeds $10,000,000 being Dallas and Houston. The following table shows the relative importance of the leading industries in the census years indicated:
|Value of products,|
work and repairing
|Increase, 1890 to 1900||......||3,290||8,382||$29,835,363|
|Per cent. of increase||......||131.4||38.6||69.1|
Forests and Forest Products. There are valuable forests in the eastern part of the State, but to the westward they become inferior and finally give way entirely. While the wooded area is estimated at 64,000 square miles, or 24 per cent. of the total area, the timber upon much of this is fit for little else than fire wood. From Texarkana southward to a point about 100 miles north of Beaumont are forests of short-leaf pine of only moderate quality. From this point southward to Jefferson County is a fine forest of long-leaf pine, having an average stand of merchantable timber ranging from 6000 to 35,000 feet per acre. The lumber industry, which had developed but little prior to 1880, has since made rapid strides. (See table above.) The crop consists almost entirely of yellow pine. The Beaumont and Orange districts are the largest centres of the industry.
Transportation and Commerce. The railroads had developed but little prior to 1870, in which year there were 711 miles. In 1880 the mileage had increased to 3244, in 1890 to 8709, and in 1900 to 9991. Only two other States had a greater mileage in 1900. The eastern part of the State is well supplied with both east and west and north and south lines, many of them making connection with important trunk lines. The Southern Pacific, Texas Pacific, and Colorado Southern pass westward through the State, but there are large areas in western and southern Texas quite unpenetrated. There is a Railroad Commission, which is authorized to adopt all necessary rates, charges, and regulations; to govern and regulate traffic; to correct abuses and prevent unjust discrimination and extortion; to classify and subdivide freight, etc. The Commission has been unusually successful. It has done much to prevent pooling, and has recovered for the State a considerable area of land. The long coast line gives the State the advantage of a number of good harbors and a direct foreign trade. The customs districts are Galveston, Corpus Christi, Saluria, Paso del Norte, and Brazos de Santiago. Most of the foreign trade passes through these districts, and Galveston has become the second largest Gulf port and the sixth largest port in the United States. In 1901 the foreign trade through this port, consisting almost wholly of exports, amounted to $102,811,101.
Banks. Only one bank was chartered during the life of the Republic of Texas. In 1838 an effort was made to establish a national bank, with $7,000,000 to be borrowed in France, but the negotiations broke off. The Constitution of 1845, adopted after the admission of Texas into the Union, prohibited the creation of new banks. The necessary banking business was performed by the one existing bank and by private bankers. When after the Civil War the ‘reconstruction’ forces came in, a new Constitution was adopted which did not have this prohibitory clause, and in 1871 a free banking law was passed. Five or six banks availed themselves of this law, but after the reconstructionists were overthrown and ‘home rule’ again established, the old prohibitory rule was again included in the Constitution of 1875. The few State banks continued a long time, but had gone out of business by the end of the century. Because of this prohibition, national banks reached a high degree of development, and their number rapidly increased. In 1866 there were four national banks. By 1890 there were 189 national banks, and by 1902 the number grew to 339, with a capital of $25,261,000; surplus, $7,967,000; cash, etc., $9,373,000; deposits, $74,042,000; and loans, $80,755,000. There are a number of private banks, but the State takes no official cognizance of them.
Finances. The fiscal history of the Republic of Texas was mainly a record of debts, as the strained relations with Mexico demanded a greater expense than the taxable property of the young Republic could bear. The issue of loans was only stopped by the inability to float them. An investigation by the Legislature of the State in 1848 ascertained the nominal debt to be $9,647,253, to which the value of $4,807,764 was assigned, as Texas decided to redeem its debt at its actual value when issued. By 1850 the nominal amount and assigned value of the debt were respectively $12,322,443 and $6,818,798. The sum of $10,000,000 which the State received from the Federal Government canceled the debt and left a surplus. By 1856 there was no State debt, and the surplus was over $1,000,000. Several loans were made during the Civil War, but the war debt was repudiated by the first ‘reconstruction’ Legislature. The disarranged condition of the finances necessitated the issue of new bonds in 1870 and the following years. Six railroad companies were assisted by loans aggregating $2,000,000. By 1875 there was a debt of $4,644,000. But the overthrow of the reconstruction forces in 1875 caused a radical change in the financial policy of the State. The Constitution of that date prohibited any further issue of bonds, except for war purposes, as well as the lending of the State's credit to private enterprises. Because of the difficulty of paying the interest, the debt continued to grow for some time and in 1880 reached its maximum of $5,566,928, after which it steadily declined. The policy of the State has been to buy its own bonds for investment of the school and university funds. The income of the State is derived mainly from a general property tax and sale and lease of public land. Total receipts in 1902 amounted (as far as can be calculated from the accounts of 30 different funds) to about $8,744,000, and disbursements to about $7,104,000. The cash balance was $2,200,000.
Government. The Constitution now in operation was adopted by the constitutional convention held in 1875. An amendment in order to become a part of the Constitution must receive a two-thirds vote of the members elected to each House, and a majority vote of the State electors voting at a popular election.
Voters must have resided one year in the State and six months in the district where the vote is cast; and if financial measures are voted upon, taxpayers alone are allowed to vote. The suffrage is denied to soldiers, marines, and seamen employed in the service of the army or navy of the United States.
Legislative. Senators are elected from districts of contiguous territory for terms of four years, and are limited to 31 in number. Representatives are elected for terms of two years from counties or districts of contiguous counties according to population, being apportioned one to every 15,000 inhabitants, provided the number should never exceed 150. The Legislature meets biennially at a time provided by law and at such other times as the Governor may demand. If any member removes his residence from the district or county for which he was elected, his office becomes vacant. The compensation of members cannot exceed $5 per day for the first 60 days of each session, nor $2 per day for the remainder of the session in addition to mileage.
Executive. A Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller, Treasurer, Commissioner of the General Land Office, and Attorney-General are elected for a term of two years. The Lieutenant-Governor and president pro tem. of the Senate are in the line of succession to the Governorship in case of vacancy in the office of Governor. The Governor may veto any bill or portion of any appropriation bill, but a two-thirds vote of each House overcomes the veto. The Governor grants reprieves, commutations, and pardons, and under regulations remits fines and forfeitures.
Judicial. The Supreme Court consists of a Chief Justice and two associate justices, who are elected for six years. The Court of Criminal Appeals consists of three judges, also elected for six years. The State is divided into judicial districts, in each of which a judge is elected for a term of four years. Each county elects a county judge who serves for two years.
Texas has sixteen Representatives in the Lower House of the National Congress. The capital is Austin.
Population. The following figures show the growth of the population: 1850, 212,592; 1860, 604,215; 1870, 818,579; 1880, 1,591,749; 1890, 2,235,523; and 1900, 3,048,710. From twenty-fifth in rank in 1850, Texas advanced to sixth in 1900. The per cent. of gain from 1890 to 1900 was 30.4, which was much greater than that for any other of the more populous States of the Union. The bulk of the population is confined to the eastern half of the State. The average density in 1900 was 11.6, as against 25.6 for the Union. Texas has received a much larger number of immigrants than any other Southern State. The foreign-born numbered 179,357 in 1900. The negroes numbered 620,722, the rate of gain between 1890 and 1900 (27.2 per cent.) being less than that for the whites. There were 36 cities in 1900 having over 4000 inhabitants each, the aggregate population of which amounted to 14.9 per cent, of the total population. The cities with more than 10,000 inhabitants were: San Antonio, 53,321; Houston, 44,633: Dallas, 42,638; Galveston, 37,789; Fort Worth, 26,688; Austin, 22,258; Waco, 20,686; El Paso, 15,906; Laredo, 13,429; Denison, 11,807; and Sherman, 10,243.
Religion. The Baptists are numerically the strongest Church, followed closely by the Methodist. These two bodies together contain considerably over two-thirds of the church membership. The Disciples of Christ (Christian), Presbyterians, and Episcopalians are the only other Protestant sects numerically important.
Education. The per cent. of illiteracy is not nearly so great as in most Southern States, being, in 1900, 14.5 of the total population ten years of age and over—whites 6.1 and blacks 36.0. The State is exceptional among the States of the South in that the public schools have a heavy endowment—a fact largely responsible for its educational progress. In September, 1902, the permanent school fund aggregated $42,563,229. Of this, $10,638,951 was represented by bonds; $15,549,277 by land notes; $16,250,000 by school lands; and $125,000 by cash. There was a county permanent school fund in August, 1902, aggregating $6,596,506, of which nearly $2,000,000 represented lands held by the counties. The permanent free school fund had in 1902 received from the State a total of 43,986,131 acres of land, of which 22,080,225 acres were still unsold. In addition to the State endowment, each county has an independent endowment of four leagues of land. The Governor's report of 1903 estimated the State receipts for public schools for the fiscal year at $3,881,190, the sources of which were the ad valorem tax of 18 cents on the $100, one-quarter of all occupation taxes, the poll tax ($l), the interest in bonds and notes, and the land rentals. This was supplemented in the counties by the receipts from their own school lands; and many districts also levied local school taxes. The total receipts for the year ending August, 1902, was $6,021,830, and the expenditures on public schools, $4,599,630. There is a striking difference in the condition of schools in different localities. There are two distinct forms of school organization. Thirty-three of the 224 counties retain a form of organization known as the community system, under which there are no metes and bounds to a school community, and therefore no local school tax can be imposed. The school community is organized de novo each year. This system was applied tentatively to all counties after the adoption of the present Constitution. Under it the schools are often too small, and since there are no local taxes, the school buildings are usually rented. A law of 1884, providing for districting the counties, is gradually being applied. This district system has a continuous board of trustees chosen by the people, and makes possible the levying of local taxes. Cities and towns may be constituted independent districts with the right to levy a tax of 50 cents on the $100 for the maintenance of public schools, and may vote a bonded debt for buildings, whereas the latter right is not allowed the rural districts, and this tax levy is limited to 22 cents on the $100.
In 1900 there were 261 independent school districts, 100 of which were municipal corporations. High-schools are common in the towns, and in 1899 there were 150 schools whose graduates could enter the State University without examination. There is a uniform text-book law which applies generally, except to cities of 10,000 inhabitants and over. The scholastic population in 1901 was 729,217, the enrollment 571,786, and the average attendance 383,900, There are over 1500 teachers, more than half of whom hold State certificates, a large number of the certificates being for life. To enable teachers better to qualify themselves, the State provides summer normal schools with a term of four weeks, there being, in 1900, 118 such schools, with an aggregate attendance of 5100, The regularly maintained State normal schools are at Denton, Detroit, Huntsville, and Prairie View. The State receives aid from the Peabody fund. The State University is located at Austin, with a medical branch at Galveston, and the Agricultural and Mechanical College at Bryan. There are a large number of denominational institutions, among which are the Polytechnic College (Methodist Episcopal South), Fort Worth; Southwestern University (Methodist Episcopal South), Georgetown; Texas Christian University (Christian), Hermosa; and Baylor University (Baptist), at Waco. There are a number of colleges for colored students.
Charitable and Penal Institutions. The State insane asylums are at Austin, San Antonio, and Terrell, and had a total of 3145 inmates on December 1, 1902, It is claimed that there are no insane persons in jails or poor farms. The Deaf and Dumb Asylum (school) at Austin had 450 pupils in December, 1902, On the same date the Blind Asylum (school) had 168 pupils, and the Deaf, Dumb and Blind Asylum (school) for Colored Youths, in August, 1902, 94 pupils. Both of these institutions are located at Austin, as is also the Confederate Soldiers' Home. The State Orphans' Home at Corsicana contains 308 children. In 1899 a colony for epileptics was authorized to be established at Abilene. There is a purchasing agent who secures supplies for all the eleemosynary institutions, and the cost of maintenance has been greatly reduced since the creation of this office.
The old system of leasing convicts is being abolished, and the convict farm system has developed in its stead. The State owns two large farms for male convicts and smaller ones for female convicts and consumptive convicts. Convicts are also worked upon other than State farms according to the share rent system. Others are leased to farmers or for railroad work. From 2000 to 2500 convicts are annually employed upon share or contract farms, and about 400 upon the State farms. The State penitentiaries are located at Huntsville and Rusk. The total number of convicts October, 1900, was 4109. The penal system is ordinarily self-sustaining. The reformatory at Gatesville receives penal offenders under seventeen years of age.
Militia. The population of militia age, in 1900, numbered 599,221; the organized militia, in 1901, 3080.
History. The first Europeans to tread the soil of Texas were in all probability Cabeça de Vaca and three other survivors of the Narvaez expedition of 1528. (See Nuñez Cabeça de Vaca.) Cabeça de Vaca's account of his wanderings through Texas stimulated Mendoza, the Viceroy of Mexico, to send a party northward under Friar Marcos de Niza to search for the mythical Cibola or Seven Cities, rumored to be golden as Mexico. It returned empty-handed, as did an expedition led by Vasquez de Coronado (q.v.). Several other expeditions probably penetrated Texas during the next hundred years, notably those of Espejo in 1582, Sosa in 1590, and Governor Oñate of New Mexico in 1601 and in 1611. An entrada in 1650, led by Capt. Hernán Martin and Diego del Castillo, is said to have reached the Tejas (Texas) tribe of Indians in the region of the Neches and Sabine; and one in 1684 under Padre Nicolás Lopez and Capt. Juan Domingo de Mendoza crossed the Rio Grande into the Pecos country. The first town in the State, lying 12 miles north of El Paso, was founded in 1682 and called Taleta.
The history of the State practically begins in 1685 with the landing of La Salle (q.v.), and though his attempt at colonization ended in failure, the Spaniards took fright, fearing that France might seize the land. In 1690 Alonzo de Leon and Padre Manzanet were sent to found a mission in that quarter, which was to serve the double purpose of holding the country and of converting the natives to Christianity. Mission San Francisco de los Tejas was accordingly founded among the Tejas Indians not far from the Neches River. The next year another expedition came out under Teran, but nothing resulted, and for years after Teran's entrada no further attempts were made by the Spaniards to occupy Texas. However, French activity in Louisiana roused them. In 1714 Juchereau de Saint-Denis, a bold French trader, led an expedition across the country to the Rio Grande, where he was made prisoner and sent to Mexico City. His account of Texas fired the Viceroy and Council to renew their efforts to occupy the country. In 1716 Captain Domingo Ramón was chosen to lead an expedition which founded several missions. He settled San Antonio de Bejar, which in the course of time became the centre of the most prosperous group of missions in the Province of Texas, as it was now called, the name of the original settlement among the Tejas Indians having come to be applied to the whole region.
For a half century mission founding went on, but it became early apparent that failure was certain. Most of the establishments were abandoned, and some of them were moved about in the wilderness. The Indians themselves destroyed more than one mission. When, in 1763, France surrendered Louisiana to his Catholic Majesty, the prime reason for the occupation of Texas no longer existed, as there could be no further French aggression from Louisiana. So the missions in the region of the Neches and Sabine were abandoned, and only those about San Antonio de Bejar—Alamo, Concepción, San José, Espada—showed any signs of surviving. There came in time to be three main foci of settlements—at Nacogdoches in the east; at what is now Goliad in the south; and at San Antonio de Bejar in the southwest. The latter completely overshadowed the others in importance.
In 1799 Philip Nolan, an American, invaded the country from Louisiana with a small party for the ostensible purpose of purchasing horses. Two years later on a second expedition the Spaniards attacked the adventurers, killing some and shipping the rest off to the mines of Mexico. This, however, was the beginning of the end of the Spanish régime. After the purchase of Louisiana in 1803, the people of the United States, and especially the inhabitants of the Southwest, looked upon Texas as part of the destined dominion of the Republic and never lost an opportunity to strike at the Spanish power. Indeed, in 1806 it looked as though war must result with Spain over the possession of the region. The United States claimed westward to the Rio Grande on the strength of the French occupation; Spain as stoutly disputed the claim, and in October, 1806, armies of the two powers stood facing each other across the Sabine. However, Gen. James Wilkinson, who commanded the Americans, was glad of the opportunity given him by the retreat of the Spaniards to the west of the Sabine and by the excitement attending the rumored conspiracy of Aaron Burr to make a neutral ground treaty with the opposing commander, Herrera, which practically conceded to Spain the territory west of the Sabine.
In 1810, when the great revolution in Mexico against Spain had begun, the Southerners sympathized intensely with the natives, and before very long were lending secret aid to Mexico. A filibustering expedition into Texas was led by James Long, a Natchez merchant and ex-officer in the United States Army. At Nacogdoches Texas was declared a republic and a provisional government organized; but the Spanish forces soon broke it up. For several years the coast of Texas became a rendezvous for pirate and adventurer. Louis de Aury, Captain Perry, General Mina, and Lafitte are best known. They made Galveston Island their headquarters. From here sailed the famous Mina on his expedition against the Spaniards in Mexico; and from here Lafitte the pirate scoured the Gulf till the United States Government broke up the settlement. The first score of years of the nineteenth century witnessed the expiration of the Spanish power in Texas. What with the filibustering expeditious and hostile Apaches and Comanches, and the great struggle for independence in Mexico, the Spanish foci of civilization were all but extinguished. When the harsh Spanish law which forbade the entry of Americans into the region could no longer be enforced, the frontiersmen from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Louisiana wandered in with their families. They came to stay.
In 1821 Moses Austin secured from the Mexican Government the right to establish a colony in Texas. He died soon after, but his son Stephen took up the work. Being free to choose the location for his colony, Austin selected the lower Brazos and Trinity valleys. Before long many empresarios had been granted, plastering over with claims the whole region from the Sabine to the Nueces. Discontent with the Mexican rule was not long in appearing. This reached a crisis on December 16, 1826. The struggle which ensued is known as the Fredonian War. A band of dissatisfied Americans, headed by Benjamin Edwards, proclaimed the eastern part of the State an independent republic with Nacogdoches as its capital. A skirmish in which one man was killed and one wounded practically ended the uprising. The times were ripening, however, and a change was soon to come.
The United States was making repeated offers to the Mexican Government to buy Texas, but this only made the Mexicans more determined to retain it at any cost. The Mexicans, resenting all attempts of the United States to possess the land, turned their attention to the Texans. Decrees were drawn up prohibiting slavery in Mexico, and forbidding further colonization. These decrees were specially aimed at Texas, and roused much bitterness and indignation. The march of events was hastened by the closing of all Texas ports, except Anahuac, and by the presence of military forces. An uprising occurred in June, 1832, which led to the removal of certain obnoxious officials. This was followed by the calling of a convention which elected Stephen F. Austin President. Petitions were drawn up asking the Mexican Government for free trade for three years, begging for a grant of land from the State to promote education, and asking for a separate government. Austin was sent with the petition to Mexico, but could not gain a hearing and was made a prisoner. During 1833 and 1834 the Mexican Government acceded to certain reforms; but in 1835 the spirit of revolt reappeared among the colonists. Then the Mexican Government made another attempt to collect duties at the Texas ports. An armed schooner was sent to Anahuac, but having committed various outrages, a Texas vessel captured it and the struggle against Mexico was precipitated. The first victory was that of Gonzales, October 2, 1835, when the Texans put the Mexicans to flight. On October 28th Colonel James Bowie and Captain J. W. Fannin defeated the Mexicans near Mission Concepción, a few miles below San Antonio; on December 11th that city was taken. A provisional government was formed. Henry Smith was elected Governor, and Sam Houston major-general of the Armies of Texas; Branch T. Archer, William H. Wharton, and Stephen F. Austin were appointed commissioners to the United States. Many Americans, principally from Mississippi, hurried to the assistance of the Texans. Dissension among the Texans, however, nearly proved disastrous. In March, 1836, two parties, one under Johnson and the other under Grant, were captured by the Mexicans, and the prisoners slaughtered; also Fannin's command, which had been in possession of the Goliad fortress, surrendered and was shamelessly massacred. In all, nearly five hundred Texans met death. In February-March occurred the heroic defense of the Alamo (q.v.). March 2d the Texans issued a declaration of independence, and as if to answer this, Santa Anna, the Mexican President, hurried his army in three columns eastward over the country. On April 21st the Texan army under Houston on the field of San Jacinto avenged the slaughter of Fannin's men and the Alamo. (See San Jacinto, Battle of.) Santa Anna, a prisoner, was glad to sign a treaty in which he engaged to do what he could to secure recognition of the independence of Texas with boundaries not to extend beyond the Rio Grande.
Thus was launched the Republic of Texas. A constitution was ratified in September, 1836, and Houston was elected President. Houston was the capital from 1837 to 1839, when Austin became the capital. The great and pressing need of the Republic was money. With little taxable property, the Government ran deeply in debt. By 1841 the amount reached $7,500,000. To the financial difficulties of the Republic was added the aggravation of invasions from Mexico, which had never abandoned her claims on the country. Three times Mexican forces reached San Antonio, but the Mexicans always retreated without attempting to hold the place.
Meantime the independence of Texas had been recognized by the United States, France, Holland, Belgium, and Great Britain, and the presence of the representatives of these powers lent zest to the interest with which the subject of the annexation of Texas to the Union was invested. The question of annexation was bound up with that of slavery, and the whole Union was agitated. (See under United States.) The matter became finally a national issue, and James K. Polk was elected President on a platform favoring annexation; but before he took office a joint resolution was passed by Congress making an offer of Statehood to Texas. This was accepted by the Texans, and in December, 1845, the State was formally admitted into the Union. The Mexican War (q.v.), originating in a dispute over the boundaries of Texas, followed, and the first fighting took place near the Rio Grande, at Palo Alto (May 8, 1846),
As a State of the Union Texas grew rapidly. Politics played small part until the wave of secession reached its borders. Texas, a slaveholding State, thereupon seceded from the Union (February 1, 1861), Sam Houston was Governor at the time, and threw all his weight in opposition to secession, but there was no staying the resolve of the people, many of whom went soon to join the armies of the Confederacy. The State was fortunate in that it was not the scene of much active fighting. Galveston was captured and held by the Federal forces for three months in the fall and winter of 1862; but two attempts of the Union forces to enter the State from Louisiana were disastrously defeated. The last battle of the war was fought on the Lower Rio Grande, near Palo Alto, a month after Appomattox.
Following out his plan of reconstruction, June 17, 1865, President Johnson appointed as provisional Governor A. J. Hamilton, a man conspicuous in antebellum Texas politics. A convention was called which adopted the Constitution in force in the State prior to secession, with amendments recognizing the abolition of slavery, renouncing the right of secession, conferring civil rights on freedmen, repudiating the State debt incurred during the war, and assuming the tax which had been laid by the United States Government on the State during the period of secession. The people ratified this Constitution and under it J. W. Throckmorton was elected Governor. The Reconstruction Acts of 1867 placed the State under the military authority, with General Sheridan in command. The carpetbaggers followed and the new reconstruction occupied the next three years. A constitution was submitted to the people in November, 1869, when Congressmen and State officers were elected, and on March 30, 1870, Texas was readmitted to the Union. At the election in November, 1872, the Democrats secured control of the State; and in December, 1873, a Democratic victory made Richard Coke Governor. By this time the State had became involved in debt to the extent of several millions of dollars on the score of reconstruction. The memory of reconstruction and the race problem have served to keep the State consistently Democratic.
|Governors of Coahuila and Texas|
|José Maria Viesca, First Constitutional Governor||1827-30|
|Rafael Eca y Musquiz||1830-31|
|José Maria de Letona||1831-32|
|Rafael Eca v Musquiz||1832-33|
|Juan M. de Veramendi||1833-84|
|Francisco V. y Villaseñor||1834-35|
|José Maria Cantú||1835|
BEFORE THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
|Henry Smith||November 12, 1835-March 18, 1836|
|PRESIDENTS UNDER THE REPUBLIC|
|David G. Burnet||March 18, 1836-October 22, 1836|
|Sam Houston||October 22, 1836-December, l838|
|Mirabeau B. Lamar||December, 1838-December, 1840|
|David G. Burnet (acting)||December, 1840-December, 1841|
|Sam Houston||December, 1841-December, 1844|
|Anson Jones||December, 1844-February 19, 1846|
|GOVERNORS OF THE STATE|
|James P. Henderson||Democrat||1846-47|
|George T. Wood||“||1847-49|
|P. Hansborough Bell||“||1849-53|
|Elisha M. Pease||“||1853-57|
|Hardin O. Runnels||“||1857-59|
|Sam Houston||Independent and Unionist||1859-61|
|Edward Clark (acting)||Democrat||1861|
|Francis R. Lubbock||“||1861-63|
|Andrew J. Hamilton, Prov.||Unionist||1865-66|
|James W. Throckmorton||“||1866-67|
|Elisha M. Pease||Republican||1867-70|
|Edmund J. Davis||“||1870-74|
|Richard B. Hubbard||“||1877-79|
|Oran M. Roberts||“||1879-83|
|Lawrence S. Ross||“||1887-91|
|James S. Hogg||“||1891-95|
|Charles A. Culberson||“||1895-99|
|Joseph D. Sayers||“||1899-1903|
|S. W. Lanham||“||1903—|
Bibliography. Kennedy, Texas, Geography, Natural History, and Topography (New York, 1844); Geological Surveys of Texas (Austin, 1858 et seq.); Roberts, Description of Texas (Saint Louis, 1881); Spaight, The Resources, Soil, and Climate of Texas (Galveston, 1882); Hill, “Present Condition of the Knowledge of the Geology of Texas,” in United States Geological Survey Bulletin 45, containing bibliography (Washington, 1887); Rhodes, Birds of Southwestern Texas and Arizona (Philadelphia, 1892); Raines, Bibliography of Texas (Austin, 1896). For history, consult: Yoakum, History of Texas (New York, 1856); Foote, Texas and the Texans (Philadelphia, 1841); Thrall, History of Texas (New York, 1850) ; Bancroft, Mexican States and Texas (San Francisco, 1885); Baker, History of Texas (New York, 1893); Wooten (editor), Comprehensive History of Texas 1685-1897 (Dallas, 1898); Lubbock, Six Decades in Texas (Austin, 1900); Garrison, Texas, in “American Commonwealth Series” (Boston, 1903); Texas State Historical Quarterly (Austin, 1897 et seq.).