Episode 50: The Texas Rangers–The Beginning.

Texas Ranger.  Two words that strike fear in the heart of the lawbreaker and hope in the heart of the law abiding. Since before there was a Texas, there were Rangers.  How this elite force officially began is the subject of some controversy.  There is no doubt that Stephen F. Austin realized the need to take the fight to the hostile Indians he encountered in his new colony.  In this episode, you hear Austin’s own words describe his ideas to defend his new colony and his personal funding of a group of rangers.  I also discuss the various rangers that are often considered the first and why such men were even necessary.  I also cover the first battle between Texas Rangers and comanches, beginning a war that would last decades.  Hear about the origins of the most famous law enforcement organization in history–the legendary Texas Rangers.

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7 thoughts on “Episode 50: The Texas Rangers–The Beginning.”

  1. On The Texas Rangers–you are in error with your report that Capt. Abner Kuykendall was made the 1st Ranger in 1827 by Austin–The 1st Ranger in Austin’s Colony was his younger brother, Robert, who in 1824, along with John Tumlinson, wrote Trespalacios a letter (Copy in my possession) requesting permission from the Gov., not Austin, to be able to form a “Ranging Company” in defense of the new colony, and asked permission to appoint Lt. Moses Morrison as the head on 10 men to range down along the coast–and it was approved thereby making Robert the Captain of Rangers, and Morrison his Lt.—-_ am in a running discussion with the “Former Tx. Ranger Asso.” in Fredericksburg over this issue as we speak.–Austin’s command to Abner was on an unrelated issue–MEK

    1. Howdy and thanks for listening to the podcast! It’s my understanding that Tumlinson (as alcalde) and Robert Kuykendall (as captain) wrote Trespalacios in January, 1823 requesting authorization for a 15-man ranging company (along with the building of forts). Trespalacios authorized the company on 1/31/23. Morrison (lieutenant) commanded that company. Tumlinson was killed that summer. Austin then writes his famous letter saying he will augment the existing force at his own expense. It was in 1827 that Abner Kuykendall was commissioned to lead some men ranging between the Brazos and the Colorado. If any of that is in error, please let me know. What I discussed in the podcast was the various events, such as above, that people claim as being the origin of the Texas Rangers but my theme was that ranging was function over form (I used that phrase). I enjoy the academic debate over who was and who was not an “official” ranger (or “proto-ranger” as some of my colleagues say) but the theme of the podcast was to recognize that many early Texians “ranged” in the service of their fellow colonists and I hope the episode laid the groundwork for many, many episodes on the Rangers and their exploits. Thanks again for the feedback!

  2. Thanks–it is rather simple, since I descend directly from Capt. RHK, I am pushing that he was the 1st Ranging Capt. of the Colony–makes me look good to my grandchildren-also, the His. Plaque on the courthouse grounds in Columbus backs up my claim–so far with the folks in Fredericksburg won’t commit–I am holding up on any more donations until they agree with me–
    I write history on Face Book every day and someone tagged me with your site–had never seen it before–good stuff–www.facebook.com/marshallekuykendall (Storys) and http://www.campfiresandsippingwhiskey.com (Texas books)—MEK

  3. John Tumlinson was one of my Ancestors. John Tumlinson Sr was the first Ranger killed in the line of duty. Any way for me to get a copy of that letter?

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