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Common Schools. -An act establishing a system of Common Schools was passed in 1846. The Boards of County Police are to appoint School Commissioners, one to each district, amounting to five to each county. These Commissioners superintend the schools and hire the teachers. Semiannual reports are to be made to the Secretary of State, who is ex officio General School Commissioner. A special tax may be levied by the Board of Police, not to exceed the State tax; but no township shall be taxed for this purpose without the consent of a majority of its inhabitants. The funds arising from leases of the sixteenth sections of land, from fines and forfeitures, and from licenses to hawkers and peddlers, keepers of billiard-tables, retailers of liquors, and brokers, shall form part of the school fund. All of the larger towns are adopting the common school system, and a deep and increasing interest is felt upon the subject. The sparseness of the population is, however, a formidable obstacle to the success of any general system.
State Penitentiary.-J. Moseley, Superintendent. Whole number received since the first admission, April 15, 1840, 247. Whole number, Nov. 30, 1848, 88. Discharged by expiration of sentence, 10; by pardon of the Governor, 13; by writ of error, 1; by death, 2. 5 are confined for attempts to kill; 13 for manslaughter; 14 for negro-stealing; 5 for forgery; 29 for petty larceny; 11 for grand larceny. 7 were foreigners, the rest were natives of this country.
The Legislature meets biennially on the third Monday in January. Senators, 32 in number, are chosen for four years; one half, every two years. Representatives, not less than 70, nor more than 100 (the present number is 98), are chosen for two years. The election is on the 2d Monday in November. The pay of members of the Legislature is $4 a day during the session, and while going and returning. No session shall last more than sixty days. Acts passed after fifty days shall be void. The State Treasurer is chosen biennially, by joint ballot. By the act of 16th March, 1848, the seat of government is to be removed to Baton Rouge as soon as the Governor of the State shall consider the public buildings in a proper condition
There will be an election of State officers on the second Monday (12th) of Nov., 1849.
for the reception of the public records, &c., of the State; provided, the removal be not later than the first day of December, 1849.
This court consists of a chief justice and three associate justices, appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, for the term of eight years. The court sits in New Orleans from the first Monday in November to the end of June, inclusive. The Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction only, when more than $300 is in dispute ; when the legality of any tax is in question; on all fines and penalties imposed by municipal corporations; and in criminal cases, on points of law alone, when death, hard labor, or a fine of more than $300, is imposed. They may issue writs of habeas corpus in all cases where they have appellate jurisdiction. If the judges are equally divided, the judgment appealed from shall stand affirmed.
The State shall be divided into not less than twelve, nor more than twenty, judicial districts, which may be reorganized every sixth year. One district judge is appointed for six years, for each district, except for the districts of New Orleans and Lafayette, where as many are appointed as are necessary. District judges must be citizens of the United States, above thirty years old, residents of the State for five years, and have practised law therein five years. The District Courts have jurisdiction when more than fifty dollars is at stake, and in all criminal cases.
District Courts of New Orleans: — 1st District.
Education. The constitution provides that "there shall be a superintendent of public education, to hold office for two years. Free public schools shall be established throughout the State; the proceeds of lands granted for the purpose, and of lands escheated to the State, shall be held as a permanent fund, on which six per cent. interest shall be paid by the State for the support of these schools." At an extra session of the Legislature, in December, 1849, the sum of $550,000 was appropriated for the support of the free public schools of the State, and $1,000 to support public schools for free colored children.
The constitution provides that the credit of the State shall not be lent to any person or corporation whatsoever; but new bonds may be issued to replace outstanding ones. No State debt shall be contracted for more than $100,000, except in case of war, invasion, or insurrection, unless authorized by law for some distinctly specified object or work; which law shall impose taxes to pay the current interest during the whole term of the debt, and also to pay the debt itself at maturity; and this law shall be irrepealable till the debt and interest are fully discharged, and shall not go into force till again enacted by the next Legislature after its first passage. The State shall not subscribe to the stock of any company or corporation. No corporate company shall be hereafter created, renewed, or extended, with banking or discounting privileges. After 1890 the charters of all corporations may be revoked; and no charter shall now be granted, except for municipal or political purposes, for more than twenty-five years.
John A. Greer, of San Augustine, Lieut.-Gov. & Pres.
George W. Smyth, of Jasper County, Commissioner of the
Abner H. Cook,
Superintendent of Penitentiary, 1,000
The sessions of the Legislature are biennial, and are held at Austin, beginning on the first Monday in November. Members receive $3 a day, and $3 for every twenty-five miles' travel. The third biennial session met at Austin, in November, 1849.
The Supreme Court consists of a chief justice and two associates, who are chosen for six years. Sessions are held once a year, at Austin, commencing on the second Monday of December. The court has appellate jurisdiction coextensive with the limits of the State; but in criminal cases, and appeals from interlocutory judgments, it is under legislative regulations. Judges are nominated by the Governor, and confirmed by two thirds of the Senate; they may be removed by address of two thirds of both houses. The judges of the District Court are chosen for six years, and hold a court twice a year in each county. The District Courts have original jurisdiction in all criminal cases, and in all suits in which more than $100 is at stake. In criminal cases, if the punishment be not specifically determined by law, the jury shall determine it. In equity causes, either party may demand a jury.
1. J.C.Megginson, Galveston, $1,750 H. B. Waller, Austin Co., $500 & f.
2. Wm. E. Jones, Seguin,
1,750 John A. Green, Lagrange,
3. R. E. B. Baylor, Independ'e, 1,750 J. F. Crosby, Brenham,
500 & f.
500 & f.
4. M. P. Norton, Corp. Christi, 1,750 C. W. Peterson, Brownsville, 500 & f. 5. O. M. Roberts, San Aug'ne, 1,750 R. S. Walker,
6. L. D. Evans, Marshall,
7. C. W. Buckley, Houston,
1,750 D. W. Field,
1,750 Sam. D. Hay,
San Aug'ne, 500 & f.
1,750 Wm. C. Young, Clarksville,
9. B. H. Martin, McKinney, 10. Fielding Jones, Victoria, 11. Spruce M. Baird, Santa Fé,
1,750 A. J. Fowler, Palestine,
500 & f.
500 & f.
500 & f.
The American Almanac for 1849, pp. 285-287, contains a full statement of the liabilities and resources, and of the receipts and expenditures, both of the late Republic and the present State of Texas. The debt of the late Republic of Texas, including interest due on the same to January 1st, 1848, may be thus stated:-Foreign debt, $2,144,054.90; domestic debt, $8,906,146.61; total foreign and domestic debt, $11,050,201.51. This is the ostensible or fair value. The equivalent value, i. e. the amount available to the government, is $5,528,195.19.
By the act of the Legislature of the 20th March, 1948, all holders of the liabilities of the late Republic of Texas are required to present them to the Auditor and Comptroller of Public Accounts "on or before the second Monday in November, 1849; and all claims that shall not be presented on or before that time shall be postponed." The claims presented to and acted upon by the Auditor and Comptroller, under the provisions of this law, are to be reported to the Legislature at its next session, "for final adjustment." Those not presented and acted upon by the accounting officers before the said second Monday in November, 1849, cannot be brought in afterwards without further legislative action.
The resources of the State of Texas, as appears by the Assessment Rolls of 1847, are:Real and personal property assessed of the value of $45,939,997; tax thereon, $91,879.99; and poll-taxes, one dollar each, to the amount of $18,504. Total tax, $120,383.99. It is also estimated that there are 184,386,920 acres of vacant and unappropriated lands within the limits of the State.
The cash receipts and expenditures for the year ending Oct. 31, 1848, were as follows:
* Elected March 14, 1849, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Governor