The birth of Texas A&M

In the early days of the Civil War while the fate of the nation hung in the balance, the Morrill Act was signed into law by President Lincoln on July 2, 1862. This act provided 30,000 acres of federal land per each member of their Congressional delegation.

The land was then to be sold by the states and the proceeds were required to be used to create colleges focused on the agricultural and mechanical arts.

The state of Texas, even though it had seceded from the Union and was in rebellion, received its funding after the war was over and created Texas A&M University which formally opened on October 14, 1876. Lincoln said these colleges were to educate the children of farm and factory workers or “the sons of toil” and this act created 69 of these colleges stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacifi c. In addition, A&M secured acceptance as one of six military colleges, which then provided clothing and stipends for its military students so they could stay enrolled


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