TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Guide to the Texas Rangers Papers, 1835-1958
In November 1835, Texas lawmakers created a corps of Texas Rangers to guard the frontier between the Brazos and Trinity Rivers. During the Texas Revolution and republic era, the Rangers were used principally for protection against Native American raids. After serving for the Confederacy in the Civil War, the organization was restructured as state police and charged with the enforcement of unpopular Reconstruction laws. The beginning of the 20th century saw the Rangers involved in detective work, largely investigating cattle theft. The Mexican Revolution, World War I, oil booms, and prohibition made demands on the Texas Rangers, which they could not meet, and Ranger service was subsequently cut back to four companies of about 15 men. In 1935, the state legislature created the Texas Department of Public Safety and incorporated the Texas Rangers into the agency with statewide law enforcement jurisdiction.
“"Historical Development.” Texas Department of Public Safety: Texas Rangers’ Links. Accessed March 4, 2011.
Comprising a scrapbook, transcripts of clippings, and correspondence, the Texas Rangers Papers, 1935-1958, document the history of the Texas Rangers. Primarily composed of newspaper clippings from the 1930s to 1940s, the scrapbook documents legislation related to the Rangers, their work as law enforcers, and their history. Additionally, clippings from the late 1900s through 1930s, copies and transcripts of letters and documents, printed material, and historical sketches chronicle the beginning of the organization and its early activities. Transcripts of newspaper clippings from the 1910s relate to shootings and arrests involving the Rangers. Two original letters from 1882, including one from El Paso Marshall Dallas Stoudenmire to the Texas Attorney General, discuss the negative reputation of the Rangers.
This collection is open for research use.
Texas Rangers Papers, 1835-1958, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s “History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project,” 2009-2011.