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The Texas General Land Office

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The Texas General Land Office

  • The General Land Office was established by the 1836 Constitution for the Republic of Texas.
  • The General Land Office housed its first land records in Houston, but moved the archives to Austin in 1839.
  • Austin residents, armed with cannon, kept the Texas Rangers from moving the records back to Houston in 1843, during what came to be known as the Archives War.
  • Today, the main functions of the General Land Office are earning money for the state's Permanent School Fund, overseeing state veterans benefits, maintaining historic land records and maps and acting as steward of the state's coast.
  • The General Land Office oversees more than 13 million acres of Permanent School Fund land, including state submerged lands out to 10.3 miles.
  • The General Land Office has deposited more than $10 billion into the state's Permanent School Fund, mostly from earnings on oil and gas leases on school fund lands.
  • The General Land Office spends about $45 million a year, but earns about $800 million a year for Texas public schools.
  • The General Land Office is one of the few Texas state agencies that receives more revenue than it costs taxpayers.
  • The General Land Office is the state's lead agency for preventing and responding to oil spills in coastal waters, with five field offices responding to about 1,000 spills a year.
  • The General Land Office's Adopt-A-Beach Program has organized more than 390,000 volunteers to pick up more than 7,500 tons of trash along the Texas coast since 1986.
  • The GLO serves as the steward of the Texas Gulf Coast. Our coastline is comprised of 367 miles of Gulf beaches and more than 3,300 miles of bays, estuaries, and other submerged lands out to a distance of 10.3 miles in the Gulf of Mexico. 

  • The General Land Office conserves and protects more than 35 million historic land documents, maps and notes that are open to the public for research.

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