As promised, today’s positing will be a bit about the history of the Texas Rangers.
So, the first question from my last posting. When were the Rangers established, 1823 or 1835? The correct answer: Technically, both. Stephen Austin organized the first volunteer company of “Ten Men to act as Rangers for the common defense” in 1823. Two companies were formed, their members to be paid “fifteen dollars a month, payable in property.” These two companies are regarded as the ancestors of the modern day Texas Rangers.
In 1835, with the movement for independence from Mexico growing, a “Corps of Rangers” to defend against Indians was formed. These men were to be paid $1.25 per day. They had to furnish their own guns, horses, and equipment.
The first time the term “Texas Rangers” officially appears in a piece of legislation is not until 1874. However, the 1823 date is the one used to determine the anniversary celebrations for the Rangers, and the official date for their establishment.
Contrary to popular perception, the Texas Rangers, especially the Rangers of the pre-Civil War era, were not all white males. Anglos, Hispanics, and Native Americans all served as Rangers, and some men from all those groups were in fact officers. There were African Americans attached to the Rangers; however, not in any official capacity. They mostly were employed as cooks or servants, or occasionally as scouts. Of course, they often had to fight just as hard, but never got the credit or pay. Even after the Civil War, until the 1930s, when tensions between white and Mexican ancestry Texans were at their highest, there were still some Hispanic Rangers. Females? Not a chance. The first female Ranger wasn’t appointed until the 1970s. When that happened, quite a few veteran Rangers quit in protest.
One Native American Indian tribe which became closely allied with the Rangers was the Tonkawas. They became trusted friends and scouts, especially because the Rangers helped fight their hated enemies, the ferocious Karankawas, who were reputed to engage in cannibalism.
The legend that Texas Rangers hand-carved their badges from Mexican five or ten peso coins? No evidence has ever been found to prove that conclusively. The Rangers didn’t even officially adopt badges until the turn of the 20th century. Until then very few wore badges at all. The most likely story is a few Rangers had badges carved for them, and the custom gradually spread. The illustration accompanying this post shows a Texas Ranger badge from the late 1880a or early 1890s. Today, all Texas Ranger badges are carved from Mexican cinco peso coins. And don’t buy that “genuine antique” Texas Ranger badge you saw listed on eBay. It’s a fake. There’s big business in selling fraudulent Texas Ranger badges to unsuspecting buyers.
Texas Rangers never have worn an official uniform. Today they do have a dress code, which calls for a white Western hat (can be straw in the summer) dress shirt, western slacks and boots, and a tie. Of course, that’s not required when in the field on horseback, undercover, and so forth. And most Rangers today don’t own horses, with those that do mostly being the ones stationed in West Texas. The others borrow horses when needed from the Texas Department of Corrections.
Kathleen was the winner to the "This Little Piggy Murder" quiz.
Now, the answer to the burning question - What was the “This Little Piggy Murder”?
So there you have it. No word on who got the ham, bacon, and pork chops.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my best friend (along with my dog) in the world, my horse, Yankee. He turned 20 yesterday.
Nest time out… more on the Texas Rangers… or horses… or both.