Jan. 14, 1839: The Congress of the Republic of Texas set aside 221,420 acres to endow two universities, according to the Texas Almanac. No further plans for charters or construction were made until 1858, when the Texas Legislature passed a bill establishing the University of Texas and a provision of $100,000 in U.S. bonds earmarked in the state treasury for university development. Another 778,580 acres were set aside, bringing the total to 1 million.
The Civil War put any further action on hold. Texas' acceptance and provisions of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862 during Reconstruction, and contributions from prominent Bryan residents, would bring about the official establishment and beginnings of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas.