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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Texian Edition

by Heather Kushnerick, Special Collections Librarian & College Archivist

On April 21, 1836, the Texian Army, headed by General Sam Houston, engaged in battle with the Mexican Army, led by Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Roughly twenty minutes later the phrases "Remember the Alamo!" and "Remember Goliad!" would take their place in history and the Battle of San Jacinto would be over, with the Texians emerging victorious. This was the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution and cemented our independence from Mexico.

Texas law is unique in many ways. When we became our own country we did adopt the Common Law but we kept a few things from our days as a Spanish colony and Mexican state. As a result, lawyers and judges sometimes have  to take a look at land grant maps like this one from John Sayles' Early laws of Texas.  This copy was donated to the library by the late Judge Spurgeon Bell, former Chief Justice of the First Court of Appeals and long-time South Texas Faculty member.
Map of Spanish Texas, 1835, from Early laws of Texas: General laws from 1836 to 1879, relating to public lands, colonial contracts, headrights, pre-emptions, grants of land to railroads and other corporations, conveyances, descent, distribution, marital rights, registration of wills, laws relating to jurisdiction, powers and procedure of courts, and all other laws of general interest... Compiled and arranged by John Sayles and Henry Sayles. St. Louis, Mo: The Gilbert Book Co., 1891.