to fill a vacancy, the Board may refuse to admit him on the
ground that you have no (legal) existence, what recourse has
the Convention ?"
In answer,, let us make the case general, and suppose the
Board should refuse on any ground to admit your appointee —
what recourse has the Convention. We answer none. Her
power ceases with the act of appointment. The appointee,
however, has a remedy ample and immediate. He has, by
reason of your appointment, become invested with a legal
right, in support of which he can invoke the strong arm of
judicial authority. He must enter the Court of highest ordi-
nary jurisdiction in the State, and make a statement of the
facts in specified form. If the Court deem him to have been
resisted in a legal right, a writ of mandamus will issue ; which
is a writ commanding to be done, that which of right ought
to be done. The Board must now admit the appointee or show
good cause why he should not be admitted. If the Court
deem the cause sufficient, there is no remedy, and the Con-
vention must appoint again. But if the cause is deemed in-
sufficient, a second writ of peremptory mandamus will issue
directed to the Board. She must then admit him or brave the
strong arm of the law.
The last point which your Committee propose to examine,
is, the validity of appointments by this Convention, filling
vacancies in the Board of Trustees.
Upon this point your Committee have bestowed that
attention which its importance demands; and after consulting
the highes legal auhority they could command, they have no
alternative but to report such appointments as strictly legal
In all the authorities consulted they have found no dis-
senting opinion. It is not considered essential to the validity
of the act, that the Convention should be incorporated, as it
is not an act requiring the existence of corporate powers.
For the benefit, however, of those who think differently,
we submit the following as conclusive, and sufficient to set
the question finally and forever at rest. We quote from Angell
& Ames on Corporations (p. 73.)
202 The Life and Whitings of
"It is indeed a principle of law wliicli has been often acted
on,- that where rights, privileges and powers have been granted
by law to an association of persons by a collective name, and
there is no mode by which such rights can be enjoyed, or such
powers exercised without acting in a corporate capacity, such
associations are, by implication, a corporation, so far as to en-
able them to exercise the rights and powers granted. The
assent of Government, in other words, to corporate organiza-
tion, may be given constructively or presumptively and with-
out the use of the word "incorporate."
Your Committee further report that this appointing
power vested in the Baptist State Convention of Texas by
legislative enactment, is the only legal relation they have been
able to discover existing between this Convention and Baylor
Your Committee now submit the following as a summary'
of the conclusions at which we arrive, as the result of this
First — That Baylor University is strictly a denomina-
Second — That the legal title to all its estate, real and
personal, is vested in the Board of Trustees.
Third — That the Convention in relation to the Univer-
sity, possesses no visitorial power.
Fourth — That the Board of Trustees of Baylor Univer-
sity is under the strongest legal, as well as the highest moral
obligation to use all its powers, privileges and immunities, and
all its trust funds, lands, buildings, endowments and posessions
of every description, for the support and maintenance of an
institution of learning, under the control of Baptists, and that
the law provides the most ample security for such an admin-
istration of the trust.
Fifth — That no change in the act of incorporation can
increase the obligations of the Trustees or make more secure
to the denomination, the tenure by which the trust funds of
Baylor University are held.
Sixth — That the onlv legal relation existing between
Dk. Eui'us C. BuRLEsox. 203
the Convention and the University is, the power which this
Convention has of filling vacancies in the Board of Trustees.
Seventh — That there is a moral relation of mutual de-
pendence and support which makes their interests identical,
and is a certain guarantee that they will continue to work
harmoniously together for the promotion of learning, piety
and virtue, so long as there are minds to be enlightened, and
hearts to be purified, sanctified and made meet for the in-
heritance of the saints in light.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Signed by the Committee,
H. CLAKK, Chairman.
R. C. BURLESON,
W. A. MO >s^TGOMERY,
C. R. BREEDLOVE.
20-i The Life A^'D Writings of
Chapel Talks — Subjects Discussed — Extract from a
Student's Letter — Good Impressions Made — Detec-
tive Bird — Anecdotes and Incidents — A Carriage:
Ride — Takes a Kap — Breaks Up a Turkey Supper —
A Primitive Elevator — Dr. Burleson Pays a Re-
ward FOR the Return of His Buggy — Declines the
IsTouN Res — Builds a Gymnasium — Plays Hot Ball.
j J T was during these years also that Dr. Burleson inau-
^^ gurated his Chapel Talks, and educated his cele-
brated Detective Bird. The impression made by-
these talks upon the mind and character of the students, wilt
never be effaced, and the performances of this Detective Bird
never cease to excite wonder in their minds.
Every morning, the exercises of the day were opened b}'-
reading a few verses from some chapter in the Bible, touching
man's obligation to God, followed by a brief prayer. Gener-
ally, these passages were read by the Senior and Junior classes-
They occupied front seats in the chapel, and read alternately.
When the lesson had been thus read, Dr. Burleson would fol-
low with a short chapel talk. His favorite themes were, Man's?
Homogeneity, Reciprocal Relations, Mutual Dependence,.
Community of Interest, Altruism, Duties of Life, Man's Ob-
ligation to the World.
His responsibility to God, and his accountability for not
making the best use of his opportunities in life. His resources
in the discussion of such subjects were inexhaustible, and every
Dk. Eufus C. Burleson. 205
morning some bright/new thought would be presented in his
Chapel talk, that lifted every young man in the school higher,
mid sent him bounding through the work of the 'day with new
views of life, and higher aspirations and purposes.
Of the effect produced, and the enduring' impressions
made upon the lives and character of the students of Baylor
University, one of the finest encomiums ever pronounced was
by Gov. L. S. Ross in an address delivered before the Con-
federate Veteran Association in Waco, 1894. He was Com-
mander of the Association, an alumnus of Baylor University
and in his annual address on that occasion declared that Dr.
Burleson's Chapel Talks had inspired him with higher ambi-
tion to serve mankind in some useful sphere, and gave him
clearer conceptions of life's duties than any feature of his
college course. He also stated that what he was, or whatever
he had a,ccomplished in life, was due to the impressions thus
made. Similar statements could be given as coming from
other distinguished statesmen, as to the value of this method of
imparting instruction, and presenting high ideals to the young
men whose training had been committed to his management.
It is not asserted that the highest spheres of usefulness
can be reached without a thorough equipment and education;
but the opinion is ventured, based in part on personal experi-
ence, that scores upon scores of the Alumni of Baylor Univer-
sity have been inspired to look out, and reach up, to attain the
highest ideals in life by these morning talks.
"Well do I remem^ber the kind words spoken the last time
I saw you in Baylor, especially do I remember your Chapel
Talk that morning in which there was so much wise counsel,
and such interest evinced in the moral, intellectual and phy-
sical well-being of your students. A sense of the keenest ap-
preciation will go with me through the remaining years of
Thus an old student recently wrote from a distant state.
This chapter could be filled with extracts from letters of the
same kind, showing the impressions made on the minds of stu-
dents by these lectures. These exercises were not only sources
of pleasure and profit as conducted by Dr. Burleson, but there
was another respect in which they were valuable to the student
206 The Life and Writings of
AMienever a distinguished man, in any avocation of life
visited Independence, Dr. Burleson would have him visit the
University, and lecture in his stead. In this way the young
men not only had the pleasure and satisfaction of seeing the
leaders of thought, and controlling spirits in the affairs of both
church and state, but of hearing them lecture on the practical
duties of life.
Whenever a. visitor was introduced, every student in the
Chapel would rise to his feet, make a graceful bow, and re-
sume his seat.
Another valuable feature of Dr. Burleson's Chapel Talks,
was the deep impression made on the minds of the students,
as to the importance of a well ordered home, and the inculca-
tion of a spirit of filial devotion. Xext to his God, he enter-
tained the profoundest regard for the sanctity of the home,
and magnified and exalted it on all occasions.
If a man would but discharge his duty in the home circle,
and prove himself to be worthy of that confidence and loyalty
man is wont to demand as the head of the household, however
tempestuous and turbulent life might be, his home would be
a haven, and place of refuge to which he could flee, where
his bark would glide serenely upon a sea of love, instead of
being rolled and broken by restless billows. There are happy
homes, presided over by happy wives, where cadence sings in
unconfined, unrestrained joyousness all over Texas, and other
states, that have been made so in part, by the impression made
on the student's heart, by a wholesome truth uttered in some
one of these Chapel Talks.
Boys have been boys in all the past ages of the world, and
they will continue to be boys in all ages to come. Boys w411
have their fun whether in school or out of it. The boys who
lived in Texas in the earlier times, were just like the boys
who live in Texas now. The prairies were larger, long years
ago when Baylor University was young, and Dr. Burleson in
the prime of manhood; the streams clearer, the forests thicker,
the grass +aller, the wild flowers brighter, the winters were
warmer, and the summers cooler. In all nature there have-
Dr. Kufus C. Burleson. 207
come great changes; but this has not changed the boys; they
are just the same, they loved fun then, they love it yet. The
boys in "Baylor" formed no exception to this rule, they loved
fun just as others.
Another thing about boys, they are smart, and when
they go out to have fun they are cunning and hard to catch.
Dr. Burleson was well acquainted with this boyish character-
istic, and while he was willing for them to have their sport,
he wanted to know what was going on so he could keep the
fun within the bounds of propriety. When therefore, the
students would slip out of a window and slide down a column
to engage in some kind of amusement, he would slip out him-
self and try to find them. Sometimes he would succeed, and
sometimes he failed.
He was equal to the emergency however, and trained
what he called his little "Detective Bird." "When the young
men were out of their rooms," he said, "my Detective Bird
comes fluttering to me, whispers in my ear, and tells me where
the young men are and what they are doing." The students
were skeptical as to whether he really had a bird so well
trained or not, but of one thing they were quite sure, and that
was, they could not elude detection.
Dr. Burleson, his Detective Bird and the escapades of the
students, forms the subject of many amusing incidents.
A Carriage Ride.
When school was dismissed one Friday evening during
the spring term of 1856, Dr. Burleson announced that he
would drive out in the country the next morning and spend
the day with a friend. Two of the students who were sitting
together in the Chapel, decided as soon as they got out of the
building, they would disappoint him in his anticipated pleas-
ure, and have some fine sport at the same time. The plan
adopted was to go to the barn, and pull his carriage off and
hide it in the woods, and thus prevent him from making the
visit. The little bird informed Dr. Burleson of the plan, and
he concluded he would have some fun himself. He hurried
through supper, went out, got in the carriage, and down be-
tween the seats, and concealed himself by unrolling the
208 The Life and Writings of
curtains, and throwing a blanket over his body. In a
little while the boys came, opened the door, pulled the
carriage out, and went off chuckling about how sadly dis-
appointed he would be the next morning. When they had
gone more than a mile, and were very much fatigued, Dr.
Burleson thrust his head out at one side, and said, "Young
gentlemen, I am very much obliged for this nice ride, and
would suggest that you stop, and when you have rested a
moment, you can pull me back home."
Takes a Nap.
In the "Octagon," which Dr. Burleson occupied as a
residence at Independence, the rooms were large, and four
boarders lived in each room. The four young men occupying
one of these rooms concluded they would have a "chicken
supper." The plan was, for three of the young men to go out
and get the chickens, (buy them of course) while the fourth
would remain in the room, go to bed, put out the light, and
snore loud enough for everybody in the house to hear him,
so as to keep down suspicion. In a little while, the young
man left in the room became impatient, rolled out of bed, and
went out to see what success his room-mates were having in
buying the chickens, but he failed to find them. The Detec-
tive Bird informed Dr. Burleson of "what was up," and he
went to the room, got in bed and waited. In a little while
the young men who had been out to buy the chickens re-
turned ^vith four, fine, fat, frying-size fowls, threw them on
the table, "struck a light," and called to the young man in
bed to get up, help clean and cook them.
The consternation that prevailed in that room may be
imagined, but not described, when Dr. Burleson rolled out,
and said, "All right young gentlemen, if you bought those
chickens, it will be better to wait and let Mrs. Burleson have
them nicely fried for breakfast, but if you "hooked them," I
would advise you to return them to the owner at once."
One night in the fall of 1857, when turkeys were fat, the
air crisp, and the appetite of students sharp, about one dozen
Dr. Kufus C. Burleson. 209
of the young men in the University concluded they would
have a great turkey supper. The Male and Female Depart-
ments of Baylor at Independence, were situated on opposite
hills one thousand yards apart. A beautiful brook flowed be-
tween these hills, which Dr. Burleson christened "Jordan.''
The place selected for the supper was on "Jordan," about one
mile north of town. An old colored man was employed to buy
the turkeys, and have them at the place designated, at the ap-
pointed time. The boys assembled, all eager for the feast.
Some were cleaning, others were cooking, and all were talking.
Dr. Burleson's Detective Bird had informed him of the plan
of the boys, and he concluded to take a hand in the fun. After
the boys had gone, he went to the place, secreted himself in a
ravine near by, and looked and listened. They were all in a
great glee. One of the young men remarked :
"Boys, suppose Dr. Burleson were to slip up on us, what
would we do ?"
"I would catch him by the nape of the neck and sling
him into that pool of water," one replied.
Another one said : "I would take a piece of brush and
fray him to a frazzle, and teach him to mind his own business."
A third remarked : "I tell you what I would do; I would tie
him hand and foot, take off his coat and pants, and leave him
to spend the night on Jordan's stormy banks."
This suggestion the crowd thought would be capital pun-
ishment for his interference, and all roared.
The fourth boy said : "Well, I tell you what I would
do. I would say. Dr. Burleson, walk up and eat some turkey
At this juncture Dr. Burleson emerged from his place of
concealment, and, addressing himself to the one who had last
spoken : "Thank you, sir, as you seem to be the only young
man here who has any politeness, I will accept your invitation.
Turkey is my favorite fowl."
With this he walked up. The crowd was thrown into a
state of panic, and every one of them bounded off into the
brush like frightened deer. Dr. Burleson left the old colored
man who was assisting the young men in preparing the tur-
210 The Life and Whitings of
keys in charge of the situation, and as they did not return, the
old man carried them to his home and had a large family feast.
Dr. Burleson usually came out victorious in these esca-
pades with the students, but not always. Sometimes he was
turned down, as the following incident shows:
A Primitive Elevatoe.
The young men in the boarding house planned to play
some practical jokes on persons around town one night, and the
ubiquitous Detective Bird was again to the front. It was dif-
ficult for the young men to get out of the house undetected;
so they improvised an elevator. A rope was attached to the
basket used for soiled clothes. One would get in, and two
strong boys, stationed on the third gallery, would lower him to
the ground. Several were let down in this way. Two were
stationed on the gallery, and it was understood, when the boys
returned after having their fun, the signal for them to be
drawn up would be given by jerking the rope. Dr. Burleson
went out of the back door, around the house to the basket, got
in and jerked the rope. Instantly the boys commenced haul-
ing him up. When about half way, they discovered who
it was, stopped and secured the upper end of the rope
to the railing, and stepped back against the wall. Dr. Burle-
son supposed they were merely resting, but in a few minutes
jerked the rope. The elevator did not move. He jerked
again and again, but the boys did not come. He was allowed
to remain in this state of both mental and physical suspense for
some time, when the boys peeped over the rail, and said :
"Doctor, we know who you are, and do not intend to
haul you up another inch until you promise not to give any of
us demerit marks."
Dr. Burleson saw he was entrapped and replied :
"Well, boys, see here; suppose we compromise our dif-
ferences. I tell you what I will do; if you will pull me either
up, or let me down, I do not care which, just so I get out of
this basket, I Mall agree not to give you any demerits, if you
will promise not to do so any more."
The compromise was accepted, the Doctor was let down,
though, he admitted, badly "done up."
Dr. Kufus C. Burleson. 211
Pays a Keward.
When the boarding students entered Baylor University
they deposited all their ''pin money" with the President, and
he returend it as their necessities required. He woke up one
morning during the spring session of '58, and found that his
buggy had been put on top of the Female College building.
He was a little nonplused, but resolved to turn the joke on the
boys if possible. He had learned from his Detective Bird
who the boys were that had put his buggy on the college, and
was, of course, familiar with their financial status. So he
approached the leader in the episode, and said : "Robert, her;;
is a bright, new ten-dollar gold piece. I will hand it to you
if you will go over and bring my buggy home."
Robert seized the opportunity of earning $10 so quickly
and easily, went at once, took the buggy down, and pulled it
home. Dr. Burleson went out, handed Robert the gold piece,
and told him it was his own money he had been working for.
Assists iisr Declining a Noun.
. Dr. Burleson was very grave and dignified in manner,
easy in conversation, never "spun yarns," or told "smutty
stories," but there was a streak of original, refined humor run-
ning through his nature which at times he seemed to be unable
to suppress. A little incident illustrates this trait.
In the Female Department of the University at Inde-
pendence there was a most charming young lady whose sur-
name was Rem. In the Male Department there was a fine
young man whose first name was Lem, a contraction of
Lemuel. Lem was very much in love with Miss Rem, and
everybody in both the school and town knew it. On one
occasion, when hearing the class in Latin grammar, Dr. Bur-
leson gave Lem the noun Res to decline. He commenced,
res, reis, rem. Before he could finish, Dr. Burleson inter-
posed and continued, "found in the accusative and governed
The class was convulsed mth laughter, and Dr. Burleson
dismissed it, saying, "Young gentlemen, you can get this
same lesson for to-morrow.
The Life and Writings of
Dr. Burleson always manifested great interest in the
exercises and pastime of his students. In 1858 he had erected,
at his own expense, on the college campus a well-equipped and
well-arranged gymnasium, for those days, where physical
exercise of almost any kind could be taken.
He was seen on the campus every day among the boys,
and would occasionally take part in the games. "When he
engaged with the students in their outdoor sports he was the
center of attraction, very naturally, and seemed to be able to
endure any amount of punishment.
On one occasion this writer saw him step out on the cam-
pus at Independence, where a hundred boys were engaged in
playing an exciting game of "hot ball," and offer himself as a
target for the whole crowd. He was pelted a hundred times
with solid rubber balls, and one hundred blue spots must have
been made on his body, but he was as obdurate and unmoved
as the sturdy live oak under which he stood while the fun was
going on. The sport over, he saluted the boys, and bowed
himself from the grounds, his face wreathed in smiles, when
he was unquestionably suffering the greatest pain.
Dk. Eufus C. Bukleson. 213
CONTEOVERSY BeTWEEN PRESIDENT BuRLESON AND PRINCI-
PAL OE THE Female Department — Called Before
THE Board of Trustees — Submitted Their Grievances
IN Writing — Each Appears in His Own Behalf —
Findings of the Trustees — Accepted as Satisfactory
— Stringent Eesolutions • of the Board — High Re-
gard OF Trustees for the Heads of Both Departments
of the School.
E now approacli a period in the story of Dr. Bur-
leson's life which we would prefer to avoid, the facts
of which, however, are so far reaching as to affect
the course of this great man, the cause of education and the
liistory of Texas, that loyalty to the record and devotion to
the truth compels their recital.
Washington County, from the earliest settlement of the
country, while yet a Mexican province up to 1861, was the
most historic of any in the State. It was in her borders that
the first families of Austin's original three hundred colonists
settled in 1822. It was one of the oldest provinces, municipal-
ities and counties formed under the Mexican Government.
It was here the Declaration of Independence was pro-
mulgated March the 2d, 1836. It was here the Republic of
Texas was organized March 16th of that year. It was here
that the joint resolution passed by the American Congress,
providing for the annexation of Texas to the United States,
was ratified July 4th, 1845, on the sixty-ninth anniversary of
the birth of the great Republic, and where Texas, as a nation,
ceased to exist. It has the proud distinction of containing
214 The Life axd Writings of
the capital of the Republic three times; in 1836, 1842, and in
1845. The county was not only the center of population in
its early history, but of wealth, refinement, education and re-
ligion. The momentous events about to be related mark the
decay and decline of all these interests. And while the map
of Texas has not been changed, the center and headquarters of
all these ennobling and elevating interests have been shifted,
to other sections of the State.
As already seen, Baylor University was composed of