1902 Encyclopedia > Texas


TEXAS, the largest in area and the eleventh in population of the United States of America, is bounded by the S.E., by Louisiana and Arkansas on the E., by Arkansas and the Indian Territory on the N., the latter extending north of its northern prolonga-tion (the Panhandle), by New Mexico on the W. and N. of its western prolongation (the trans-Pecos region), and by Mexico on the S.W. Its area in 1880 was 262,290 square miles, or one-eleventh (nearly 9 per cent.) of the entire area of the United States. The extreme length is 740 miles, the breadth 825, and the coast line 400 miles. The boundaries, as recognized by the United States Govern-ment, are—the Gulf of Mexico from the Rio Grande to the Sabine river, the Sabine river to 32° N. lat., thence the meridian of 94° 10' to the Red river of Louisiana, thence following that river west to its intersection with the 100th meridian, thence north to lat. 36° 30', thence west to 103° W. long., thence south to lat. 32°, thence west to its inter-section with the Rio Grande, which river constitutes the south-western border of the State to the Gulf of Mexico.
The surface features are exceedingly varied, the prevailing ele- Physical ments being steppes or treeless plains in the north-west, mountains features west of the Pecos river, forests in the east, marshes adjacent to the and divi-coast, low prairies in the south-east, and a combination of prairies sions. and broken hills, interspersed with forest growth and thickets of tall shrubs (chaparral), in the centre. These regions are classified as follows (see map below). (1) The coast plain is the direct geo-graphical and geological continuation of the other States which border on the Gulf of Mexico. It includes all the country east of a line concentric with the coast, drawn from Texarkana in the north-east corner of the State to near Laredo on the Rio Grande. The general direction of its slope, in common with that of the rest of the State, is from north-west to south-east. Its altitude ranges up to 500 feet. The immediate coast strip is newly made marsh-land ; west of this and north of the Colorado river are forests ; and to the south of it the country is mostly a plain. (2) The black prairie region suc-ceeds the coast plain on the west. Its west-ern border is sharply defined from the Red river to the Rio Grande, beginning at Denison, passing through or near the cities of Sherman, Dallas, Waco, Austin, and San Antonio, and then deflected west-ward to Eagle Pass. It is a gently undu-lating prairie, covered with a rich black soil, and varies in altitude from 300 to 700 feet. (3) The central region
extends from the black prairie region on the east to the eastern escarpment of the great plains on the north-west and the trans-Pecos mountains on the south-west. This is the only region of Texas which is not the direct continuation of the physical features of some ad-joining political division. A great variety of conditions is embraced within its bounds. In its north-eastern part are two long belts of stunted forest (the Cross Timbers), extending from the Red river to the Brazos, and separated by a prairie 50 miles in width. This is the most fertile portion of the entire region. West of this sub-region and north of the Colorado is a broken, arid country (the Coal-measures), having a sandy, pebbly soil, covered with a scattered growth of vegetation. West of this, between the 100th meridian and the escarpment of the plains, is the gypsum country, consisting of the so-called " red beds " of the western United States, accompanied by massive deposits of gypsum and other salts. This country is much sculptured by erosion, and in places resembles the "bad lands " of the upper Missouri country. There are also exten-sive intervals of prairie here. Near the centre, in the counties of San Saba, Mason, and Llano, is a rough, semi-mountainous area of older formations. The southern half of the central region is a broken country of white limestone formation, semi-tropical in climate, and covered with scraggy vegetation, its physical features graduat-ing into those of northern Mexico. The south-western part is a rolling plain, entirely destitute of streams. Throughout the region, at intervals of many miles, low, truncated hills (bitttes) occur, representing the remains of limestone formations now being rapidly eroded. The region, as a whole, is poorly watered. It is best adapted for cattle and sheep raising, and is the chief locality of those industries in Texas. The altitude varies from 700 to 2500 feet. (4) The plains region is the portion of the State west of the 101st meridian and north of the thirty-second parallel,

commonly known as the "Staked Plain" (Llano Estacado). It is the direct southern continuation and termination of the great plains of the North American continent which extend along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains from British America to the Rio Pecos. The eastern edge is well marked by a steep escarpment, which, in consequence of destructive erosion, is constantly receding to the westward. The surface is smooth, and utterly devoid of forest growth or streams of water. But there are many small ponds or lakes, and in the southern part these are saline. The soil is light, rich, and porous, and is covered with a good growth of grass. Until a few years ago this region was totally unpeopled, but many portions of it are now (1887) used for grazing purposes, water being secured by means of wells or artificially constructed reservoirs. The altitude ranges from 2500 to 4000 feet. (5) The trans-Pecos or mountainous region west of the Pecos river is com-posed of numerous mountain peaks and ranges, with intervening valleys of many miles in width. It is poorly watered, and the population outside the immediate Rio Grande valley is very sparse. The general level of the country is from 3000 to 5000 feet.
Rivers. The rivers are separable into several sub-systems. The Rio Grande and the Arkansas, constituting the north and south limits of the Texas drainage system, with their respective tributaries, the Pecos and the Canadian, originate in a limited district of northern New Mexico and Colorado, and ultimately reach the sea at points a thousand miles apart. The Canadian and the Pecos have cut deep canons through the Llano Estacado. The former continues eastward through Indian Territory, and the latter southward, join-ing the Rio Grande between 101° and 102° W. long, on the southern border of the State. The Rio Grande and the Pecos receive no tributaries of importance in Texas, but are constant in their flow. The next and most important group comprises the Red, the Brazos, and the Colorado, all of which originate along the eastern border of the Llano. They traverse similar regions, and have a general resemblance in character of sediment, irregularity of flow, velocity, and topography of drainage basins. Their brackish water is princi-pally derived from the sudden precipitation of rainfall along the gypsiferous escarpments of the Llano. Its volume is ordinarily small, the flow often ceasing entirely west of the black prairie region. There are periodic freshets, however, which suddenly swell the volume to enormous proportions. These freshets, laden with the rich red loam of the plains, usually reach the lower in-habited sections of the State in periods of drought, and are termed "red rises." Much of this sediment is deposited upon the flood plane of the lower valleys, and by this process the most valuable sugar and cotton lands of the coast plain have been built up. Another important group consists of trie Sabine, the Trinity, the San Marcos, the Guadalupe, and the Nueces, most of which have their origin near the western border of the black prairie region. These streams have a greater volume and are more constant in flow than any others, and are usually without deep canons or wide bottoms. Many of them, especially those south of Austin, have their origin from large springs situated along the foot of the escarp-ment line extending from Austin southwestward. Another sub-sidiary system of streams originates in the narrow Quaternary region along the coast, within the district of the greatest rainfall. These streams are tidal, and sometimes navigable towards their mouths. Most of them are locally known as bayous. In general, the rivers of Texas are not adapted for irrigation or navigation. Neither do they afford much available water power north of Austin.
Geology. The entire geologic series, with a few exceptions, is represented in Texas. The earlier Palaeozoic rocks, including the pre-Cambrian (Keweenawian ; A in accompanying geological map), the Pots-dam (oo), and the Ordovician (oc), up to the Trenton, underlie the State, but are only exposed in two limited districts. The first of these is in the counties of Mason, Llano, Burnet, and San Saba in the central region ; the other is in the disturbed mountainous portion of the trans-Pecos region. The Cambrian was deposited horizontally upon the upturned Keweenawian, and the Ordovician appears to rest conformably upon the Cambrian (Potsdam); but there was a continental elevation of the whole region, probably commencing at the close of the Trenton epoch, which continued until the beginning of the Coal-measure epoch, for the Upper Silurian, Devonian, and sub - Carboniferous are absent, and the earlier rocks are disturbed. These earlier Palaozoic sediments present no marked stratigraphical or paheontological differences from the same formations throughout the continent, and thus show the widely distributed uniformity of conditions which then existed. At the commencement of the Carboniferous period, how-ever, that marked difference of faunal, lithological, and strati-graphical features began which distinguishes the synchronous deposits of the later formations of the western and eastern portions of the United States. The Texas region has been the transition ground, and hence all the geologic deposits, beginning with the Carboniferous, have two faces, dependent upon their geographical position east or west of 100° W. long., and representing the sedi-ments either of interior continental basins or of the waters of the Atlantic during alternating periods of submergence and emergence.
The Carboniferous rocks, and most of rne succeeding formations, are exposed in two widely separated portions of the State, with entirely different lithological and faunal aspects. The mutual re-lations of these series have never been traced. The first occurs in the central region between 97° and 100° W. long., north of the Colorado river, and consists of clays, sandstones, conglomerates, limestones, and coal seams of workable thickness. It is the south-western prolongation and termination of the Coal-measures of the

Geological map of Texas.
eastern United States. These rocks, although in general similar to them, differ in some respects from those of the same formation further east, and also exhibit a few resemblances to the strictly marine Carboniferous of the Rocky Mountain region (K2). TO the other series belongs the trans-Pecos Carboniferous (K1). Although this is of the same geologic age as the eastern Coal-measures, it is a purely marine deposit of limestones and sandstones, and is barren of vegetable remains. It is exposed along the Guadalupe and other mountains of the trans-Pecos region, forming the most eastern outcrops of the non-coal-bearing Carboniferous of the west. The study of the areal distribution and relation of the strata intervening between the Carboniferous and the fully-identified Cretaceous in Texas has not been begun. The Permian, Triassic, and Jurassic, if they exist, have not been clearly diagnosed, although these names have been applied to the series of rocks west of the central Carboniferous region. The thickness of the sediments belonging to these undetermined strata is very great. They are mostly un-fossiliferous, and the presence of stratified gypsum and other salts indicates that they were laid down in an interior basin cut off from oceanic waters and were too highly concentrated for the existence of molluscan life. Certain of these deposits, known as " red beds " or "Jura-Trias" (JT), extend beneath the Llano Estacado, across New Mexico, and into Arizona. The Cretaceous is by far the most conspicuous and extensive of the geologic formations of the State. It once covered the entire territory, but has been eroded away in many places west of the black prairie region, exposing the older formations, and is covered to the east of that region by more recent deposits. From the fact that the lowest member of the series is found resting directly upon the pre-Cambrian in Llano county, the Carboniferous in Lampasas and the counties northward, the Silurian in the trans-Pecos region, and the Jura-Trias beds in the plains region, it is evident that its beginning marked a period of conti-nental submergence, and that this submergence, from the great thickness of pelagic sediments in it, was long continued. The lowest member of the series, the oldest known of the American Cretaceous, is unknown elsewhere in the United States, and its peculiar features give individuality to the central region. This member (CN), which may be called the Texas group, is the ecpA'a-lent of the Neocomian of Europe, and many of its fossils are common to Europe and America. It is not exposed east of the central region, except (probably) in the salines of Louisiana. There was a great elevation of this deep-sea formation at its close, as is attested by the shallow water sediments of later groups deposited unconformably upon it. The Middle (oo, cs1) and the Upper Cretaceous (csJ and os1) are also well exposed. The black prairie region is under-lain by the middle and upper groups of the marine Cretaceous characteristic of the other Gulf States and known as the Rotten Limestone (os1) and Ripley (os1) groups. The Cretaceous groups of the Rooky Mountain region extend into Texas, and are exposed in the trans-Pecos region and along the lower Rio Grande. The

Tertiary formations, so far as recognized, are purely marine, and, like the marine Upper Cretaceous of the black prairie region, are the direct geographical continuation of the formations of the other Gulf States. They occupy the coast plain, in bands approximately concentric with the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, and represent the sediments of its receding waters. The alleged occurrence of the fresh-water Miocene, the Loup river group (M), upon the Llano Estacado has not been demonstrated. Quaternary (Q) and other recent alluvial deposits occur along the coast and the upper terraces of the three older river systems as far west as the eastern border of the central region. This is attested by the character of the de-posits, accompanied by well-authenticated remains of the elephant and mastodon. These Quaternary soils are mostly the redeposited detritus of the strata of the eastern escarpment of the Llano Estacado, which is carried down by the " red rises." The surface features of the central region are the result of sub-aerial denudation. The black prairie is protected from this destructive erosive process by the tenacious character of its soil; and the coast plain is covered by a luxuriant forest growth, and is constantly extending eastward by the recession of the shore line. The final emergence of the State began in Middle Cretaceous time, and was connected with the same movements that brought up the Rocky Mountain system. The strata of Texas, except the Palaeozoic groups, are soft, and yield readily to disintegration. A few eruptive sheets are found in the trans-Pecos region and along the lower Rio Grande, being remnants of the eastern edge of the great eruptive area of the Rocky Moun-tain region. Granitic masses occur, as extrusions from the pre-Cambrian, in the central and trans-Pecos Palaeozoic deposits. Moun- The eastern ranges of the Rocky Mountain system are deflected tains. towards the Gulf of Mexico after passing south of 33° N. lat., and take a south-easterly course through Texas into Mexico, the trend of their axes being generally parallel to the direction of the Rio Grande and its principal tributaries. The only true mountains in Texas are situated west of the Pecos, with the exception of a few foot-hills ilomitas) which re-enter the State from Mexico near Eagle Pass and follow the river to an undetermined point below Laredo. The principal ranges are the Guadalupe, Limpia, Chinali, Los Chisos, Organ, and Franklin Mountains. They are composed of older rocks, in most places ; the later formations have been washed away, except where protected by eruptive flows. The most eastern and northern of these mountains are usually the highest. Guadalupe Peak is 9000 feet; Limpia Peak and the crest of the Chinalis, from 3500 to 8000 feet; Eagle Mountains, 7000 ; and the intervening valleys from 3500 to 5000 feet. The low buttes of the central region are miscalled mountains upon most maps. There are several well-defined escarpments extending for long distances, approximately north and south The step of the first of these, from Austin to Eagle Pass, is from 200 to 500 feet high, and is the result of an elevation at the close of the early Cretaceous period. Near the 100th meridian another escarpment occurs, and along the eastern and southern borders of the Staked Plain still another. The western part of the coast plain has a few low hills. The rest of the State has no notable prominences. Minerals. The mineral resources of Texas have not been mapped or studied, and hence the State ranks last in mineral products. The trans-Pecos region is rich in silver and lead ores ; but the State owns the mineral rights of nearly all the land, and has hitherto declined to open them to development. Only one mine is worked here. Silver and gold have also been discovered and mined in Llano and Mason counties, but without successful results. Gold occurs throughout the marine limestones of the lowest (Texas) group of the Cretaceous, but not in sufficient quantity for profitable extraction. Rich but not abundant copper ores occur in the drift of the gypsum country. Iron ore is found in the Tertiary of eastern Texas, and is profitably reduced in a few charcoal furnaces by the aid of convict labour. At present these are remote from coal and suitable means of trans-portation. Magnetic iron ore occurs in the pre-Cambrian rocks of Mason county, and recent analyses show it to be equal in quality to the best Swedish ores. It is in great abundance, but remote from means of transportation and fuel. Ores of iron (sphaero-siderite) occur in the central Carboniferous formation, but their commercial value is unknown. The non-metals occur in great abundance in different portions of the State, including salt, gypsum, magnesium sulphate, natural cements, kaolin, and other clays. The unutilized beds of massive gypsum are, with the exception of those of the Sahara and the Andes, the purest and most extensive in the world. Salt is gathered from lacustral deposits or mined at El Paso, Colorado City, and along the lower Gulf coast for local use. The coals of the central Carboniferous area have been worked to some extent, but are generally of inferior quality, having from 50 to 70 per cent, of ash. Very recent discoveries of better quality have been reported. Tertiary fibrous lignite, of light specific gravity, is found in great abundance all along the junction of the coast plain and black prairie regions. It is worked to a small extent, but has no commercial value. The most important coal area is the semi-bituminous lignite belt of the trans-Pecos and lower Rio Grande regions, which is the direct geographical continuation of the late Cretaceous coals of New Mexico and Colorado. It is worked at Eagle Pass and Santa Toma, near Laredo. The beautiful marbles and other ornamental stones of the State are untouched, with the exception of the Llano county granite.
= = ;
rt - -
— —
;r P «
45-70 52-30 38-72 47-00
28-50 22-SS 21-51 22-61 21-33 25-46 28-9S 23-51
23-90 30-90
13-00 20-00 20-3S
The amount and regularity of the rainfall decreases inland, the Climate, mean annual varying from 52-3 inches at Galveston to 13 at El Paso in the extreme west and 23 at Mobeetie in the extreme north. The subjoined table gives the mean temperature and rainfall of certain representative localities :—

Mean Precipitation in Inches.
Spring. Summer. Autumn. Winter. Annual.
70-02 70-01 65-
64-03 67-S4 03-09
Coast Plain.
650 600
1600 2020
10-74 9-30
8-34 7-06 6-14 6-55 6-54 6-88 8-22 7-18
6-23 6-32
3-S6 3-52 4-17 4-35 2-63 3-53 3-96 4'22
7-94 8-91
9-44 6-53 6-25 7-57 8-60 9-67 10-44 6-71
Blaclz Prairie Region.
6-41 5-77 4-95 4-14 3-56 5-38 6-36 5-40
San Antonio ... Central Region.
Fort Belknap...
,, Chadburne
„ Griffin
S45 1200 2060
„ Clark
,, Duncan ...
,, Inge
,, Mason
54-6 63-6
63-2 62-S
,, Makavet . Plains Region.
Port Elliott ...
3830 4950 4700
,, Concho ... Trans-Pecos Region.
El Paso
Fort Stockton .
,, Davis
The coast plain and the black prairie regions have abundant rain-fall for agricultural purposes. It decreases, however, to the west, and varies greatly in different years, sometimes being ample; but in 1885-86 it did not average 10 inches. The precipitation is also very sudden, seldom lasting more than a few minutes at a time. Only 52 per cent, of the 20 inches of rainfall in the central region and west of it falls in the agricultural season, one-half being in summer and the remainder in autumn, so that it is equivalent to only 15 inches in regions where the rainfall occurs in more pro-pitious seasons. This condition is, however, especially favourable for grazing. There are few statistics of the plains region ; but the rainfall along its eastern escarpment is slightly greater and more regular than that of the central region. The temperature varies greatly throughout the State, both in extremes and means. Fort Ringgold on the lower Rio Grande is the hottest point in the United States, except Key West, Fla. Its mean temperature is 73 '4° Fahr.; that of El Paso is 63°, and of Mobeetie 54'6°. The prevalent winds are southerly and south-easterly, and blow constantly across the State, without which its summers would be unendurable. The Rio Grande valley is not subject to frosts. Snow seldom falls south of Galveston and Austin. In the Panhandle the winters are severe.
The arboreal flora of Louisiana and Arkansas extends into north- Flora, eastern Texas, conformable with the coast plain, where, immediately south of the Colorado river the great pine belt of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts terminates. The flora of the great plains region, principally consisting of nutritious grasses, enters the north-western portion of the State and extends south to the 32d parallel and east to the 101st meridian. The peculiar plants of the Rocky Moun-tain plateaus penetrate into the trans-Pecos region, while the north Mexican flora is found along the Rio Grande. The central region is a transition ground where these floras find representation generally in deteriorated and dwarfed species. In the coast plain occur the long and short leaf pine, with many species of oak and hickory. The black prairie region is destitute of trees, except scattered individuals of live oak and the mesquite bush (Prosopis glandulosa). The broad river valleys of this region, however, are well-timbered with pecan, cypress, Cottonwood, and several species of oak, and have a vigorous growth of smaller shrubs. West of the black prairie region the dwarfed, stunted trees are of little value except for fuel. The river valleys have the same character of trees as further east, but the rocky highlands are covered with scraggy bushes (chaparral) of oak, juniper, and cedar. The summits of the Guadalupe and Limpia ranges, in the trans-Pecos region, are clothed with forests of the yellow (Pinus ponderosa), flexible (P. flexilis), and nut pine (P. edulis), all of which attain great size. Many smaller trees grow on these mountains. The valleys and several of the ranges in the last-named region, however, are desti-tute of trees. The entire Rio Grande valley, from El Paso to Brownsville, grows many species of cactus and other prickly, cori-aceous shrubs. The grasses of the State are especially numerous in species, and are found most luxuriantly on the prairies of the lower

coast, the central, and the plains regions. The lumber supply of the State comes entirely from the east Texas pine forests. The cedar, juniper, and mesquite are only utilized for fuel and fencing. Fauna. The black bear (Ursus americanus), panther (Felis concolor), and lynx (Felis rufa) are common to all parts of the State. The bison, wild horse, prongbuek (Antilompra americana), coyote {Cards latrans), grey wolf (0. lupus), eastern prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus), and the lesser Maimiialia of the great Rocky Moun-tain plains constitute the fauna of the north-western part of the State, reaching into the western part of the central region. Their southern limit is approximately the 31st parallel. The highest ranges of the trans-Pecos region possess the unique avian and mammalian fauna of the Rocky Mountains, including the black-tailed or mule deer (Oariacus macroiis) and Rocky Mountain sheep, with a few Mexican species. The lower valleys have a mingling of the Mexican, Rocky Mountain, and great plain faunas. Along the valley of the Rio Grande, and extending northward in places, the subtropical fauna is Mexican, including the peccary (Dicotyles torquatus), armadillo (Dasypus peba), jaguar (Felis onca), and ocelot (Felis pardalis). Among the birds are the scissor-tail (Milvulus forfieatus), Mexican eagle (Polyborus cheriicay), chaparral cock (Geococcyx viaticus), and numerous other unique forms. The fauna of the humid wooded coast plain is the south-western continuation and termination of that of the South Atlantic and Gulf States, with slight variations, and includes the Virginia deer (Cariaeus leucurus), raccoon (Proeyon lotor), opossum (Didclphys virginiaim), alligator, &c. The black prairie region limits the last named fauna on the west, except in its wooded river bottoms. The central region possesses representatives of the great plains, Rocky Mountain, Mexican, and Louisiana faunas, but none of them cross it into other regions. It is a true transitional ground of most of the faunas of all temperate North America, east of the Pacific slope. Popula- The total population in 1880 was 1,591,749 (837,840 males and tion. 753,909 females), and in 1887 it was estimated to have risen to 2,415,000, giving 9'2 inhabitants to the square mile. Of the population in 1880 1,477,133 were natives of the United States and 114,616 foreign born. There were 393,384 Negroes, 136 Chinese, 992 Indians, and 43,000 civilized aborigines (Mexicans). Of the entire population 522,133 persons were engaged in occupations as follows :—in agriculture (including stock-raising), 359,317 (68'8 per cent.); in law, medicine, and other professions, 97,651 (187 per cent.); in trade and transportation, 34,909 (67 per cent.); in manufacturing and mining, 30,346 (5-8 per cent.). At the same date there were 3153 prisoners, 2276 idiots, 1564 insane, 533 paupers, 1375 blind, and 771 deaf. 13 9 per cent, of the native whites, 247 of the foreigners, and 75'4 of the Negroes—or 297 per cent, of the entire population—wrere unable to read or write. The population of Texas has increased more rapidly than that of any State in the Union except Kansas. The following table shows the increase for the past few decades :—

Year. Anglo-American. Negro Descent. Mexican Aborig'al Descent. Indians. Europeans. Asiatic. Total Population. Per cen tin-crease.
1850 1860 1870 18S0 1887 42ÒJSP1 564,700 1,197,237 182,921 253,475 393,484 43,000 403 379 992 62J411 114,116 200,000 25 136 300 212,592 604,215 818,579 1,591,749 2,415,000 184-2 85-4 94-4 94-4
1880. 1886.
22.24S 20,550 10,358 16,513 30,000 35,000 32,000 23,000
Galveston . San Antonio
Houston ...
Austin Fort Worth
The population of the principal cities, according to the U.S. census of 1880 and trustworthy estimates in 1886, was as follows :—

ISSO. 18S6.
11,013 6,663 7,295 3,975 23,000 25,000 20,000 12,000
84 per cent, of the total population of the State is found east of the central region—the black prairie region (northern half) being the most densely populated, and the coast plain next. Between 1880 and 1887 there was a large flow of population into the trans-Pecos and plains regions, and during the last two years mentioned a decrease in the central region.- The population consists princi-pally of white natives of the southern United States, except in the counties of Brazos, Fort Bend, Harrison, Marion, Moore, and Washington, where it is of Negro race ; in the counties of Fayette, Colorado, Guadalupe, Comal, and Gillespie, where it is German; and along the Rio Grande, where it is Mexican.
Of the United States Texas now ranks first in the production of cotton and cattle, second in sugar, sheep, mules, and horses, eighth in rice and pigs. The eastern third of the State, containing 80 per cent, of the entire population, is agricultural; the remainder is pastoral. The chief crops are cotton and Indian corn ; wheat is grown in the northern part of the black prairie and eastern part of the central regions, sugar in the lower bottom lands of the Brazos and the Colorado, rice on the coast. The chief vegetable products for 1880 were—cotton, 805,284 bales; Indian corn, 29,065,172 bushels ;
wheat, 2,567,737 ; oats, 4,893,359 ; sweet potatoes, 1,460,079 ; Irish potatoes, 228,832 ; barley, 72,786 ; rye, 25,399 ; sugar, 4951 hogs-heads ; molasses, 810,605 gallons; hay, 59,699 tons; tobacco, 221,283 pounds; rice, 62,152 pounds; orchard products, to the value of $876,844. The total value of these products was $63,076,311. Since 1882 the quantity of cotton produced annually has exceeded 2,000,000 bales, of 500 pounds each. In 18S0 there were 174,184 farms in the State, with an aggregate of 12,650,314 acres of im-proved land. The farms are usually of large size, and garden, orchard, and dairy products are entirely secondary to plantation crops. The southern part of the coast plain and the rest of the State west of the black prairie region are peculiarly adapted to pastoral pursuits, which are entirely separated from agricultural, the cattle and sheep being allowed to roam at large, or enclosed in enormous pastures, where they subsist without other food or shelter than nature affords. In 1880 there were in the State— 4,084,605 cattle, 2,411,633 sheep, 1,950,371 pigs, 805,606 horses, and 132,447 mules and asses. The sheep walks are more particu-larly confined to the southern half of the central region, including the lower Rio Grande valley.
The exports are cotton, wool, and hides, most of which are Com-shipped from Galveston or sent overland by rail. The chief im- merce. ports are manufactured articles used in the State, also coal and railway material. Apart from a small retail trade along the border, there are no exports to the adjoining States. The principal seaport and commercial city is Galveston. The mileage in railways has increased from 1048 in 1872 to 5974 in 1882, and to 7034 in 1886.
The founders of the State made liberal provision, by grants of Educar land and revenue, for public education, but their intentions have tion. not been carried out by subsequent legislation. Texas occupies the anomalous position of having the best school fund and the poorest school system in the United States. The public free school system proper consists of two normal schools for the preparation of teachers and numerous district schools, open for four months in the year. In most of the cities the State fund is supplemented by local taxation, and excellent schools are maintained. In 1886 there were 489,795 children within school age, and the cost of the maintenance of the whole system was $2,362,226. There are no schools for secondary education, except the high schools of a few cities. The State university is at Austin ; it is abundantly endowed with lands, but does not receive the full benefit of its revenues. There is also a State agricultural and mechanical college, but technical training is made secondary.
The State government differs somewhat from those of the rest of Adminis-the Union, owing to the fact that it has had to adapt itself to the tration. administration of the great public domain, by which most of the public institutions are supported and works of internal improvement accomplished, and because much of the attention of the Govern-ment has been necessarily diverted to the protection of its exten-sive frontier. The executive government consists of a governor, comptroller, treasurer, commissioner of the general land office, and superintendent of education, elected biennially, with an attorney-general and a secretary of state, appointed by the governor. The judiciary consists of two courts of final appeal, one for criminal, the other for civil business ; forty itinerant higher courts for the trial of penal offences and civil suits ; courts for misdemeanours and minor civil cases in each county; and innumerable justices' courts for first hearings. The legislature consists of 32 senators elected for four years, and 115 members of the house of representa-tives elected for two years. It is restricted by the constitution to biennial sessions of ninety days each. The State is divided into thirteen congressional and forty judicial election districts. It is also divided into 232 counties, 75 of which have no population, or insufficient population to be organized. Each county is divided into four commissioners' precincts and a varying number of school, election, and justices' precincts. The State has always maintained a corps of troops, formerly for protection against Indians, but now for preserving order in the unorganized counties. It has institu-tions for the blind, deaf and dumb, and insane. The prison system is far superior to that of the other southern States, but still very imperfect. The bonded debt of the State on 1st January 1887 was $4,237,730, and its taxable wealth $600,000,000. The aggregate debt of all the counties and cities was $7,000,000. The homestead and exemption laws are unusually liberal to the debtor.
The upper Rio Grande valley was visited in 1580-83 by the History. Spaniards, who established missions among the settled Indians near El Paso and Santa Fé. The first white settlement was made by La Salle at Lavaca, on the coast, in 1685. The country was in-habited by Indians of various tribes, both savage and agricultural, most of whom are now extinct, except the so-called "Mexican" population of the Rio Grande. From 1583 to 1794 many missions were established by Roman Catholic missionaries among the Indians, whe were completely alienated from their original language, religion, domestic habits, and tribal relations. After the purchase of Louisiana from the French in 1803 Anglo-American adventurers began to cross into Texas from the United States. In 1821, when Mexico threw off the Spanish yoke, Texas and Coahuila constituted a state of the republic. It was shortly after this that the first American colonists were permitted to enter the territory under Government patronage. Within ten years over 20,000 had settled between the Sabine and the Colorado. In 1830 the Mexican Government placed them under military rule, from which, with accompanying impositions, originated the war of Texan Independ-ence. The Anglo-Americans were assisted by volunteers from the United States, and the war was terminated by the defeat of the Mexicans under General Santa Anna at San Jacinto, 21st April 1836. From 1837 to 1845 Texas was an independent republic. It was admitted to the United States on 29th December 1845, in spite of the protests of Mexico, and a war with that country immediately ensued. The new State sold to the United States Government for $10,000,000 all the territory west and north of the present bound-aries between the headwaters of the Rio Grande and the Arkansas. But it reserved the control and disposal of the public lands within its borders, which have proved a magnificent source of revenue, and also the right to divide into five states, should future growth and development justify it. By a small majority the State seceded from the Union in 1861. In 1868 a new constitution was adopted, and the State readmitted into the Union. In 1874 the Kiowa ami Comanche Indians, who had prevented the settlement of the central and plains regions from the earliest times, were subjugated.
See Hill, Geolog. Knowledge of Texas (1SS7)—Bull. 44, U. S. Geolog. Survey;
Geological Map of the United States, by C. H. Hitchcock; Report on cotton
production, Tenth U. S. Census, by Dr. R. H. Loughridge; forestry Reports,
Tenth U. S. Census; Mexican Bonndary Survey, vol. i.; Proceedings of Boundary
Commission, Austin, 1886; Trans, of Academy of Sciences, St Louis, vols. i. and
ii. (Dr Shumard); Thrall, History of Texas; Kendall, Santa Fe Expedition;
Spaight, Resources, &c, Of Texas, Austin, 1882 ; Boemer, Kreidcbildungen von
Terns, 1852 ; Walcott, Cambrian Faunas of N. America—Bull 30, U. S. Geolog.
Survey; Hill, "Topogr. and Geol. of Cross Timbers of Texas," in Amer. Journ.
Sci., April 1887; Calie, Zoolog. Position of Texas; Marcy, Exploration of Red
River; Report of the U. S. Mexican Boundary Survey; Havard, Report on the
flora of west and south Texas ; and U. S. explorations for a route for a Pacific
Kailway. (R. T. H.)

Search the Encyclopedia:

About this EncyclopediaTop ContributorsAll ContributorsToday in History
Terms of UsePrivacyContact Us

© 2005-17 1902 Encyclopedia. All Rights Reserved.

This website is the free online Encyclopedia Britannica (9th Edition and 10th Edition) with added expert translations and commentaries