April 25, 2014

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Birth of the Texas Rangers PDF Print E-mail

Back in 1835 while revolting against its own country, the rebels formed a group of armed and mounted men to help protect the borders of that soon to be independent nation. And, you know what, that group is still in existence today.  
There was an area of North America that, like the United States some fifty plus years earlier, wanted to become independent of their mother country. On October 17, the people of that rebelling area approved the forming of a group of armed and mounted men whose duty was to range the borders and protect them. Some 175 years later that organization is still in existence and going as strong as ever.
What was the area of North America seeking independence? It was Texas. That group of armed and mounted men? It was the Texas Rangers.
In 1835 Texas was comprised of isolated pockets of frontier settlers. And Texas leaders needed someone to “range” the frontier and protect the borders from Santa Ana’s soldiers as well as hostile Indians within the territory. And that’s exactly what the Texas Rangers did.
Then, a year later when Texas got its independence, it was decided to upgrade this semi-official force into the primary law enforcement authority.
Although they were created by the Texas government, they were an irregular group of civilians who provided their own horses and guns.
They were given considerable independence, carrying out the duties that would normally be done by the army such as fighting Indians, and the duties of law enforcement agencies including tracking down cattle thieves, train and stage robbers and murderers.
As Texas entered into the 20th century the Texas Rangers were still very much an independent agency. But, they were receiving more and more criticism about their using excessive violence and ignoring the finer points of the law. So, in the 1930’s, the state got control of the Rangers, making them a modern and professional law organization.