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for the common schools and academies, and were forbidden to give “a certificate of qualification for teaching academic schools unless the candidate gives satisfactory evidence of good, moral character, and be a regular graduate of some college or university of learning equivalent thereto.”
This foundation of a system of popular education stands pre-eminently as the best and wisest of all Lamar's work, and constitutes his surest title to fame and the gratitude of Texas. Nor to the fair-minded student will his credit seem less because the Constitution had already outlined this very scheme. It was his impetuous energy which animated the dead letter of the constitutional recommendation and hastened the dawn of free education in Texas.
Finances. One fishes in troubled waters who studies the financial policy of Lamar's administration. The president was no financier, and the situation demanded the genius of a Hamilton. The public debt amounted already to nearly two million dollars when Lamar came into office, and the promissory notes and other securities of the Government were worth scarcely fifty cents on the dollar.* President Houston's policy had necessarily been one of the closest economy. President Lamar thought it equally necessary to protect some interests which Houston had neglected, and this protection he found to be very expensive.
Various expedients for raising money were proposed. The president suggested a national bank, to be controlled entirely by the Government and secured by the "hypothecation of a competent portion of the public domain, the guarantee of the plighted faith of the nation, and an adequate deposit of specie in its vaults.” It was his opinion that a bank thus secured would not need so great a specie reserve as a private bank, but unfortunately it was impossible to obtain at that time any specie at all. Congress seemed to consider the plan impracticable and refused to charter the bank. Efforts were made to raise money by the sale of the public lands, but the depreciated paper of the Republic was received in payment for these, as well as for taxes and customs duties, so that little
* Authorities differ on this point. President Houston, in his message of May 12, 1838, declared that promissory notes had depreciated to forty cents on the dollar, and it seems unlikely that they increased in value between May and November; but Mr. Gouge, in his Fiscal History of Texas, says that securities upon Lamar's entry into oflice were worth from sixty. five to eighty-five cents.
relief could be gained in this way. Attempts were made to secure loans in Europe. They were unsuccessful in the end, but for a time the prospect of a five million dollar loan in France was bright, and banks in the United States were encouraged by the outlook to advance to Texas $280,000. This was almost the only good money received by the Government during Lamar's administration, and it was particularly unfortunate that it should have been considered necessary to expend nearly four-fifths of it upon naval equipment. Everything else failing, the Government fell back perforce upon the issue of larger and larger quantities of paper money, which rapidly declined to fifteen cents on the dollar, while the public debt soared to seven and a half millions.
Just one more chance for bettering his finances suggested itself to the president. Texas claimed the Rio Grande to its source as her western boundary, and by establishing this she might annex all the eastern half of New Mexico, including Santa Fe. This town had for many years carried on an extensive trade with the United States, through St. Louis, and its profits could doubtless be diverted to Texas. The inhabitants of all this territory were on the verge of open rebellion against the tyranny of Governor Armijo, and little opposition to Texas was anticipated. Congress, however, repeatedly refused to make appropriation for an expedition to Santa Fe, and the president finally determined to take the matter into his own hands. Some fifty traders were found who were willing to venture with their goods across the desert, and with these, partly for protection against the Indians and partly for diplomatic service, were sent some three hundred soldiers, under the command of Gen. Hugh McLeod. General McLeod carried with him a proclamation from Lamar to the inhabitants of Santa Fe, explaining that the expedition was a friendly one, and had instructions to make no attempt to subjugate the people if they were unwilling to submit to Texas. The expedition got under way in June, 1841, and its fate was still unknown when Lamar was succeeded by President Houston. In the end, however, it proved a miserable failure, and rather lessened in Mexico the prestige of Texan arms. Lamar justly bears the blame for the undertaking, because he alone was responsible for it. It seems just barely possible, though, that notwithstanding its immediate failure, the expedition was ultimately of some value in strengthening the claim of Texas to that portion of New Mexico for which the United States Government finally paid her ten million dollars. And in any event the plan, as the politicians say, should be considered “as an error of the head and not of the heart.” The financial stress, for which he was only partially responsible, was very great, and he grasped even at straws to lessen it.
Certainly no one can deny that the greater part of President Lamar's work made for the permanent good of the State, and all must admire the outspokenness of his farewell address to Congress: “I have discharged my duty to the country and to you.
I than willing to submit every act of my administration to the most rigid investigation. I seek no concealment, and I shrink from no verdict."
THE TWENTIETH ANNUAL COMMENCEMENT.
PROGRAM OF FORMAL EXERCISES.
Sunday, June 7.
11:00 a. m.-Baccalaureate Sermon, by Rt. Rev. Alex. C. Garrett, D. D.,
LL. D., Bishop of Dallas. &:30 p. m.-Address before the Y. M. C. A., by Bishop Garrett.
Monday, June 8.-Class Day.
9:00 a. m.-Morning Serenade, University Band.
Tuesday, June 9.-Alumni Day.
10:00 a. m.--Annual Meeting of the Alumni.
Wednesday, June 10.-Commencement Day. 10:30 a. m.—Commencement Exercises: Address by Hon. Edward F. Har.
ris of Galveston, 4:00 p. m.-Formal Meeting of the Texas Academy of Science. 7:50 p. m.-Band Concert. 9:00 p. m.-Final Reception at the Driskill Hotel.
It was singularly fitting that the man who preached the first baccalaureate sermon to the graduating class of The University of Texas should have been invited again for that purpose, twenty years after, while he was still in his lusty prime. For truly, those who had the pleasure of meeting and hearing him on both occasions could scarcely realize that the genial, warm-hearted, joke-loving Bishop was carrying now over three score years on his shoulders. His sermon was upon an exalted theme, and was rich in thought. Desultory hearing was not enough to enable the large congregation to follow and appreciate it. It commanded their closest atten. tion. The order was perfect. The seating capacity of the Auditorium was taxed the utmost, but the crowd was well handled by the ushers.
In passing, we may say that the efforts of the Commencement Committee to infuse organization, promptness, and dispatch into the exercises were extremely helpful in all the programs of the week, and ought to be commended.
The service opened with the singing of the long metre doxology in which the large audience joined the University Glee Club. After the invocation by Dr. Bradfield, pastor of the Tenth Street Methodist Church, the Glee Club sang Park's anthem, “To Be With Thee.” Among the special music numbers were vocal solos by Mrs. W. G. Bell and Miss Maymie Jackson. A quartette, consisting of Dr. Penick and Messrs. Bolin, Smith and Johnson, also sang.
The sermon of Bishop Garrett appears in this issue of THE RECORD, and we are exceptionally fortunate in being able to present it in full, as the Bishop rarely uses manuscript in the pulpit, and speaks at times at a rate that defies stenographers.
Bishop Garrett also addressed the members of the Y. M. C. A. and their friends at the evening service in the Auditorium. His talk was largely an exegesis of Hebrews 9:13-14, with a practical discussion of the contest waged in every human nature between appetite, propensity, and passion on the one side, and conscience, will, and judgment on the other. He closed with a strong appeal for purity of thought and life.
The morning serenade by The University Band was omitted, though an interesting program had been arranged. The band had given a performance on the lawn after the reception of Mrs. Kirby in honor of the Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A. on Saturday night, and had failed to get their instruments to The University Monday morning in time for the scheduled serenade. With the election of a salaried Director of Musical Organizations next session, it is confidently expected that more system will be injected into the Band. We do not mean to disparge the faithful efforts of the Band boys. Far from it. It is no slight undertaking to organize, equip and maintain a band of from fifteen to twenty men—and all volunteers—that can give really good music. The University public is not unmindful of the delightful open air concerts of the past year and of the faithful service of the Band during Commencement, and on many other public occasions. Probably, if we could know of the many weary regular after. noon and night practice rehearsals-time ill-spared from study and their own University work—we should appreciate their loyal services more. The Band has been steadily improving, both in skill and in the quality of the music they give. We rejoice with the Band leaders in the prospect of relief from some of the onerous features of the work through the appointment of a paid Director.
CLASS DAY EXERCISES
Were lifeless. They lacked character. That's the root of the trouble. Instead of spicy, apropos addresses from men as representatives of their departments, we had orations-excellent in themselves-on "Industrial