African American Laws VI

1869-1897

 

 

ARTICLE XII. 

GENERAL PROVISIONS.

SEC. 27. All persons who, at any time heretofore, lived together as husband and wife, and both of whom, by the law of bondage, were precluded from the rites of matrimony, and continued to live together until the death of one of the parties, shall be considered as having been legally married; and the issue of such cohabitation shall be deemed legitimate. And all 'such persons as may be now living together in such relation shall be considered as having been legally married; and the children, heretofore, or hereafter, born of such cohabitations shall be deemed legitimate


CHAPTER LXXVII. 

An Act for the relief of persons formerly in bondage. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, as follows:

 Section 1. That all persons, who at any time heretofore lived together as husband and wife, and both of whom, by the laws of bondage, were precluded from the rites of matrimony, and continued to live together until the death of one of the parties, shall be considered as having been legally married, and the issue of such cohabitation is declared legitimate; and all such persons as may be now living together in such relation, shall be considered as having been legally married, and the children heretofore or hereafter born of such cohabitations, are declared legitimate from and after the passage of this act. 

Sec. 2. That no person or persons mentioned in the foregoing section shall be indicted, prosecuted or punished for bigamy or adultery, for such cohabitation, before the passage of this act. 

Sec. 3. All laws and parts of laws, so far as they contravene the provisions of this act, are hereby repealed; and that this act take effect and be in force from and after its passage. 

Approved August 15, 1870.


CHAPTER XXI. 

An Act to enforce Section XXI., Article I., of the Constitution.

 Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That the equality of all persons before the law is herein recognized, and shall ever remain inviolate, nor shall any citizen ever be deprived of any right, privilege or immunity, nor be exempted from any burdens or duty on account of race, color or previous condition. 

Sec. 2. That all public carriers in this State are hereby prohibited, in accordance with the above and foregoing section, from making any distinctions in the carrying of passengers, and all violations of the law as herein enacted shall be deemed misdemeanors, and punished on conviction by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars or more than five hundred dollars, or imprisonment for not less than thirty or more than ninety days, or both, within the discretion of a court of competent jurisdiction.

 Sec. 3. 'That all laws and parts of laws in conflict with this act are hereby repealed. 

Sec. 4 That this act take effect and be in force from and after its passage. 

Approved October 28, 1871.


CHAPTER XCII.

-An Act to establish an Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, for the benefit of the colored youths and to make appropriations therefor. 

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That there shall be established in this State at such point and in the manner provided for in this act, an Agricultural and Mechanical College for the benefit of the colored youths of this State. 

Sec. 2. The Governor is hereby authorized to appoint a Commission, consisting of three competent persons, who shall select a suitable place for the location of said Agricultural and Mechanical College, and make report thereof to the Governor as hereinafter provided for; provided, that the site so selected shall contain not less than five hundred acres of land suitable for agricultural purposes. The said Commissioners shall have authority to receive donations of land and money to aid in the erection and maintainence of said Agricultural and Mechanical College. When said College shall have been located, it shall be known as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, established for colored youths, and shall be under the supervision and control of the Board of the Agricultural and Mechanical College, as established by an act of the Legislature, passed April 17, 1871. 

Sec. 3. The Governor shall appoint a competent Architect, who shall submit a plan and specifications of suitable buildings for said college, of capacity for the accommodation of at least one hundred students, to be approved by the Governor.

 Sec. 4. The said Commissioners shall proceed to make selection of said location, and report the same to the Governor at as early a day as practicable. 

Sec. 5. Upon the approval of the plans and specifications for said buildings by the Governor, the said Commissioners shall proceed to advertise for ninety days in two or more newspapers published in this State, for sealed proposals for the erection of said buildings, giving full particulars of the terms and conditions of such contracts, and the time and place when and where the bids therefor shall be opened and contracts awarded. 

Sec. 6. Contractors for the erection of said buildings shall be required to entei into bond with good and sufficient security payable to the Governor and his successors in office, to be approved by the Governor in a sum equal to double the amount of his or their bid, or bids, conditioned that such contractor or contractors will execute the work or furnish the material contracted for, in strict accordance with the terms and conditions of such contract.

 Sec. 7. The said Commissioners and Architect together, shall constitute a Board of Directors, or Building Committee, and shall have full management and control of the direction and execution of said contracts for the erection of said buildings, and shall make report of the progress of the same to the Governor at least once in each six months till the same is completed and received by the Governor. 

Sec. 8. The sum of twenty thousand dollars,.or so much thereof as shall be deemed necessary to locate, erect, furnish and operate said college in accordance with the plans, specifications and estimates as shall be approved by the Governor, for the completion of the same be, and the same is hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.

Sec. 9. The said Commissioners shall be allowed each the sum of five dollars per day, and mileage at the rate of ten cents per mile for each day actually engaged, and each mile actually traveled, in the selection or locating of said college to be verified by their sworn statement respectively, and approved by the Governor, which sworn statement so approved shall be a sufficient voucher upon which the Comptroller shall draw his warrant on the Treasurer for such amount, and that for services to be by them rendered as a Board of Directors or Building Committee, such compensation as the Governor in his discretion shall allow; provided, that the Governor shall have and exercise his discretionary power to dissolve the said committee when in his judgment the same shall be necessary. 

Sec. 10. That the class of citizens for whose benefit this act is to effect specially, shall enjoy the same at as early a day as practicable, a public necessity and emergency exists, that this act take effect and be in force from and after its passage. 

Approved August 14, 1876. Takes effect from its passage.


CHAPTER CLIX.

-An act to provide for the organization. and support of a Normal School at Prairie View (formerly called Alta Vista), in Waller county, for the preparation and training of colored teachers.

 Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That there shall be established at Prairie View (formerly called Alta Vista), in Waller county, in this state, a normal school for the preparation and training of colored teachers.

 Sec. 2. The board of directors of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas are hereby authorized and required to organize said school as soon as practicable, so as to admit one student from each senatorial district in this state, and at the least three students from the state at large, to be taken from the colored population of this state, and be not less than sixteen years of age at the time of their admission. Said board shall appoint a principal teacher and such assistant teacher or teachers of said school and other officers as may be necessary for said school, and shall make such by-laws, rules and regulations for its government as they may deem proper, and shall regulate the course of study and the manner of performing labor and the kind of labor to be performed by the students, and shall provide for the board, lodging and instruction of the students without pecuniary charge to said students, and shall regulate the course of discipline necessary to enforce the faithful discharge of the duties of all officers, teachers, students and employees of said school, and shall have the same printed and circulated for the benefit of the people of the state, of the officers and students of said school. 

Sec. 3. The board of directors may provide for receiving such a number of female students, and such a number of male students, as in the judgment of said board the school can best accommodate; and shall require all students admitted to said school to sign a written obligation (in a proper book kept for that purpose) binding said student to teach in the public free schools for the colored children of their respective districts at least one year next after their discharge from the normal school, and as much longer than one year as the time of their connection with said normal school shall exceed one year; for which teaching said discharged students shall receive the same rate of compensation allowed other teachers of such schools. 

Sec. 4. It shall be the duty of the comptroller of public accounts annually to se apart out of the interest accruing from the university fund, appropriated for the support of public free schools, the sum of six thousand dollars for the support of said normal school, and place said sum to the credit of said normal school, and the same may be drawn by the board of directors on vouchers audited by the board or approved by the governor and attested by the secretary; and on filing such vouchers the comptroller shall draw his warrant on the state treasury for the same from time to time as the same may be needed. 

Sec. 5. The board shall make rules by which students can obtain certificates of qualification as teachers that will entitle them to teach without oilier or further examination. 

Sec. 6. The near approach of the close of this session of the Legis lature creates an imperative public necessity for the immediate passage of this act, and the urgent need of such a school creates an emergency requiring that it take effect at once, and it is therefore provided that this act shall take effect from and after its passage. 

Approved April 19, A. D. 1879. Takes effect ninety days after adjournment.


CHAPTER XIX

.-Joint Resolution providing for an election to be held for the location of a branch of the University, for the instruction of the colored youths of the State. 

Whereas, The Constitution of the State provides that there shall be a branch of the University of Texas established for the instruction of the colored youths of the State, and that the same shall be located by a vote of the people: 

Section 1. Be it Resolved [by the Legislature of the State of Texas,] That the Governor is hereby instructed to issue his proclamation ordering an election to be held throughout the State, upon the day of the next general election, to-wit, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, 1882, for the location of a branch of the State University, for the instruction of colored youth; and returns of said election to be made in the manner prescribed by the general election law. 

Sec. 2. All localities put in nomination for the location of the colored branch of the State University shall be forwarded to the Governor at least forty days before the holding of said election, and the Governor shall embrace in his proclamation' ordering said election the names of said localities; provided, that any citizen may vote for any locality not named in said proclamation. 

* Sec. 3. The locality receiving the largest number of votes shall be declared selected as the location of the branch of the University for the instruction of the colored youth of the State, and said institution shall be located at such place.

 Sec. 4. The near approach of the end of the session creates an imperative public necessity that the rule requiring this bill to be read on three several days be suspended, and it is suspended. 

Approved May 5, A. D. 1882. Takes effect ninety days after adjournment.

 


DEAF AND DUMB AND BLIND ASYLUM FOR COLORED YOUTH.  

Sec. 

1. Provides that the Governor shall appoint commissioners to select site  of, in the vicinity of Austin. 

2. Said board to purchase site,  and to procure plans, specifications, etc 

3. Board of trustees to appoint superintendent. Selection of matron, etc. 

4. Board of trustees shall make rules. and regulations, etc.

5. Appropriates $50,000 to establish said asylum. 

6. Emergency clause. .

CHAP. 147.-[S. H. B. No. 445.] 

An Act to establish ,an asylum for the deaf and dumb and the blind of the youth of the people of color of the State of Texas, and to provide for its government and maintenance, and making an appropriation therefor. 

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas: That there shall be established an asylum for the deaf and dumb and the blind of the youth of -the people of color in this {State. It shall be the duty of the Governor of this State immediately after the passage of this act to appoint three commissioners to select a suitable site for said asylum; said site to 'be at or near the city of Austin, and shall not be less in extent than four acres of ground. 

Sec. 2. Said board, after the selection of said site, shall be authorized to purchase the same, and to draw their draft on the Treasurer of the State, to be approved by the Governor, for the payment of the same; and shall have plans 'and specifications for said 'buildings prepared and said board shall advertise for bids for the building and completion of the same. Necessary additions, improvements, and repairs may be subsequently made under the authority herein contained for original construction. The selection of said site, the acceptance of all bids for construction, all plans, alterations, and payments or expenditures, shall be subject to the approval of the Governor. 

See. 3. The board of trustees of this asylum shall appoint, as soon as required, a superintendent of said asylum, whose salary shall be fifteen hundred dollars per year. Said superintendent shall be a man of mature years and experience and familiar with the duties of the position to which' he may be elected. He shall be under the control of and subject to removal by said board, and unless sooner removed by said board for cause shall hold his office for la term of two years. 

Sec. 4. The board of trustees shall make all necessary rules land regulations for the government of said asylum, said rules and regulations to, comport as nearly as may be practicable with the rules and regulations of the asylums for like purposes in this State. Said board 'of trustees shall prescribe the duties of all subordinate officers or assistants in said asylum; shall appoint and may remove all such officers or assistants, determine their duties and their compensation; but said rules, appointments, and compensation shall not be in force until approved by the Governor. The admission of all applicants to said asylum, their treatment, instruction, and continuance therein, all questions relating to their dismissal or removal, or voluntary departure, from said asylum, or employment therein or thereabout, shall ,be governed by the rules and regulations of the State asylums for white youths for the deaf and dumb and blind. 

Sec. 5. The sum of fifty thousand dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated, out of the general revenue not otherwise appropriated, for the establishment of said asylum for the colored youth of Texas who are deaf and dumb or blind, in the State. ,

Sec. 6. The near approach of the end of the present session rendering it improbable that this bill can pass in the regular order of business, creates an emergency and an imperative public necessity requiring the suspension of the constitutional rule requiring bills .to be read on three several days, and that this act take effect and be in force from and after its passage, and it is so enacted. 

[Note.--The foregoing act originated in the House, and passed the same by a vote of 76 yeas, 9 nays; and passed the Senate by a vote of 23 yeas, 5 nays.]

 Approved, April 5, 1887.


RAILROADS-SEPARATE COACHES REQUIRED. 

Sec. 

1. Railroads to provide separate coaches  for white and negro passengers. 

2. Term "negro" defined.

3. Each compartment deemed a separate coach; lettering on coach to show race for which it is set apart.

4. Penalty for failure to provide separate coaches; each trip a separate offense. 

5. Passenger riding in coach not for  his race is guilty of misdemeanor, when; penalty.

6. This act does not apply to nurses traveling in same coach with employers; does not apply to freight trains carrying passengers; does not prevent hauling of sleeping cars or chair cars for white or negro passengers separately. 

7. Law to be posted in conspicuous place in passenger depot and  coach. 

8. Does not apply to excursion train  for either race.

9. Duty and authority of conductors. 

10. Fines collected under this act go to available school fund; when prose cutions may be instituted. 

11. Repealing clause.

12. Emergency clause.

 CHAP. 41.-[S. B. No. 97.] 

An act to require railroad companies in this State to provide separate coaches for white and negro passengers, and to prohibit passengers from riding in coaches other than those set apart for their race, and to confer certain powers upon conductors and to provide penalties for the violation of this act. 

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas: That every railroad company, lessee, manager or receiver thereof, doing business in this state as common carriers of passengers for hire shall provide separate coaches for the accommodation of white and negro passengers, which separate coaches shall be equal in all points of comfort and convenience. 

Sec. 2. That the term negro as used herein includes every person of African descent as defined by the statutes of this state. 

Sec. 3. Each compartment of a coach divided by a good and substantial wooden partition with a door therein shall be deemed a separate coach within the meaning of this act, and each separate coach shall bear in some conspicuous place appropriate words in plain letters indicating the race for which it is set apart. 

Sec. 4. Any railroad company, lessee, manager or receiver thereof which shall fail to provide its trains, carrying passengers, with separate coaches as above provided for, shall be liable for each and every such failure to a penalty not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars to be recovered by suit in the name of the State in any court of competent jurisdiction. And each trip run with any such train without such separate coaches shall be deemed a separate offense. 

Sec. 5. If any passenger upon a train provided with separate coaches shall ride in any coach not designated for his race, after having been forbidden to do so by the conductor in charge of the train, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not less than five nor more than twenty-five dollars. 

Sec. 6. The provisions of this act shall not be so construed as to prohibit nurses from traveling in the same coach with employers or employees upon the train in discharge of their duties; nor shall it be construed to apply to such freight trains as may carry passengers in cabooses, neither shall it apply to street railway cars; provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent railroad companies in this state from hauling sleeping cars or chair cars attached to their trains to be used exclusively by either white or negro passengers separately but not jointly.

 Sec. 7. Every railroad company carrying passengers in this state shall keep this law posted in a conspicuous place in each passenger depot, and in each pas senger coach provided for in this act. 

Sec. 8. The provisions of this act shall not apply to any excursion train run strictly as such for the benefit of either race. 

Sec. 9. Conductors of passenger trains provided with separate coaches shall have the authority to refuse any passenger admittance to-any coach in which he is not entitled to ride under the provisions of this act, and the conductor in charge of the train shall have the authority, and it shall be his duty to remove from a coach any passenger not entitled to ride therein under the provisions of this act. And upon his failure or refusal to do so, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined in any sum not less than five, and not more than twenty-five dollars. 

Sec. 10. All fines collected under the provisions of this act shall go to the available common school fund of the county in which conviction is had. Prose cutions under the provisions of this act may be instituted in any court of com petent jurisdiction in any county through or into which said railroad may be run or have an office. 

Sec. 11. All laws and parts of laws in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.

  Sec. 12. There being no adequate law on this subject creates an emergency and an imperative public necessity exists for the suspension of the constitutional rule: requiring bills to be read on three several days and the same is hereby suspended. 

[Note.-The foregoing act was presented to the Governor of Texas for his approval on the nineteenth day of March, A. D. 1891, but was not signed by him nor returned to the house in which it originated with his objection thereto within the time prescribed by the constitution, and thereupon became a law without his signature.-Geo. W. Smith, Secretary of State.]


H. B. No. 124.] 

CHAPTER 109. 

An Act to provide for the survey of lands to be set apart as a permanent) endowment fund for the Branch University for colored people of this State. 

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas: That the Governor and Commissioner of the General Land Office be and they are hereby authorized to contract with and appoint a competent surveyor to survey and return to the General Land Office plats and field notes of one hundred thousand acres of land, to be surveyed out of any of the vacant public and. unsurveyed lands of this State in the manner hereinafter provided. They-shall contract with such competent surveyor at the lowest price consistent with competency and efficiency in discharging the duties of surveyor. If they deem it necessary they may advertise for bids from surveyors. The surveyor so appointed shall enter into a good and sufficient bond in a sum of not less than double the contract price of the surveys, conditioned that he will faithfully comply with the requirements of this act, which bond shall be payable to the governor of the State, and be approved by him. 

Sec. 2. The Commissioner of the General Land Office shall furnish the surveyor appointed under authority of this act with sketches show-


H. C. R. No. 17.] 

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION.

  Favoring national aid to the Afro-American Fair and Inter-State Exposition Co. Whereas, there has been projected and permanently organized and incorporated the worthy institution known as the "Afro-American Fair and Inter-State Exposition Co.," the object of which is the encouragement of the education, the advancement in the arts, sciences and general husbandry of the Afro-Americans residing in the United States, and, Whereas, the same being of national importance, looking toward the elevation and improvement of said race, now, therefore, Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Texas, the Senate concurring, That the said Afro-American Fair and Inter- State Exposition is worthy of the aid and support of the citizens of the State of Texas and of the United States, and that the same should be encouraged to that extent as will guarantee the permanent and successful operation of the same. That the same being in its character of great national importance should be aided by national legislation and appropriation to such a degree as will assure its success and permanency. Be it further resolved, That while the organic law of our State forbids appropriations to individuals or corporations for the purposes for which the Afro-American Fair and Inter-State Exposition is organized, vet we recognize its great usefulness, and commend to the people of the State and nation this worthy undertaking. 

Approved, March 26, 1897.

 
Extracted from the Gammel's The Laws of Texas website.

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