Texas Rangers: What You May Not Know ~ Amanda Cabot

If the very words “Texas Rangers” make you think of heroes, you’re not alone.  For many of us, those men who wear the star are legendary, their stories larger than life.  That’s one of the reasons I made Jackson Guthrie, the hero of A Tender Hope, a Ranger.  But as I researched the Rangers, I discovered a number of things that surprised me.

It started with the stars.  Did you know that the early Rangers did not necessarily wear badges, and if they did, they were ones they’d either created or purchased?  It’s true.  The state did not issue badges to Rangers until 1935.  Prior to that, the only official proof that they were Rangers was the documentation the state provided, a description of their physical appearance that served to identify them.  The early badges were often

The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco celebrates this man, who – like many Rangers of his era – had a number of careers besides Ranger.

made from Mexican silver eight-real coins or simply tin.

Then we come to the uniforms.  There were none in the early days.  While Rangers are often shown wearing slouch hats, those were not mandatory.  Instead, those particular hats were chosen for their practicality, keeping the sun and rain out of the Ranger’s face.

Do you picture the Ranger carrying his Colt revolver?  While it’s true that many of them had Colts after Jack Hays, who was famous for his one-man stand against a band of Comanche near Enchanted Rock, introduced them to the Rangers, they weren’t something the state provided.  The first time the state issued firearms to Rangers was in 1870 when they provided breech-loading cavalry carbines.  But – and this is a big but – the cost was deducted from the Rangers’ pay.

Ever wonder what a hobble for a horse looks like? Here’s one from The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum

So, what did the state provide to its famed peacekeepers?  Food, forage for their mounts, ammunition, and medical assistance.  The Rangers were responsible for their horses, their weapons, and their clothing.

Until 1874, the Rangers were citizen-soldiers, meaning that they were called when needed and disbanded when the need was over.  While the 1866 legislature established three battalions of Rangers, the bill to finance them failed.  In 1870, the legislature authorized the creation of twenty companies of Rangers, but only fourteen were actually established.

The creation of the Frontier Battalion in 1874 marked a significant

This exhibit within the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum shows not only a Ranger and his horse but also the famous Colt Revolver.

change for the Rangers, creating a professional law enforcement agency with civil police powers.  The Frontier Battalion consisted of six companies, each with a captain, two lieutenants, and 72 men who enlisted for twelve months.

How much were these men paid?  In 1835, the daily pay was $1.25.  You might have thought that by 1874, the pay would have increased, but a private’s monthly pay was only $30 and a corporal’s was $40.  Sergeants made $50, lieutenants $75, and captains $100.  Since pay day was once a quarter, I suspect that the state-provided meals were critical to a Ranger’s survival.

Does all this make you want to enlist?  I didn’t think so.  The men who joined the Rangers were men who believed in justice, men who wanted to keep their home safe, men who sought adventure rather than comfort.  Men like Jackson Guthrie.

(Note: These are all photos I took at the Ranger Museum in Waco.  We won’t talk about the challenge of getting these pictures from a machine running Windows 95 to one with Windows 10.  Such fun!)

As far as Thea Michener is concerned, it’s time for a change. With her husband murdered and her much-anticipated baby stillborn, there is nothing left for her in Ladreville. Having accepted a position as Cimarron Creek’s midwife, she has no intention of remarrying. So when a handsome Texas Ranger appears on her doorstep with an abandoned baby, Thea isn’t sure her heart can take it.

Ranger Jackson Guthrie isn’t concerned only with the baby’s welfare. He’s been looking for Thea, convinced that her late husband was part of the gang that killed his brother. But it soon becomes clear that the situation is far more complicated than he anticipated—and he’ll need Thea’s help if he’s ever to find the justice he seeks.

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I’m giving away a print copy of A Tender Hope to a US winner.

Just leave a comment to be eligible to win!

 

 

Amanda Cabot’s dream of selling a book before her thirtieth birthday came true, and she’s now the author of more than thirty-five novels as well as eight novellas, four non-fiction books, and what she describes as enough technical articles to cure insomnia in a medium-sized city.  Her inspirational romances have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists, have garnered a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and have been nominated for the ACFW Carol, the HOLT Medallion, and the Booksellers Best awards.  A popular workshop presenter, Amanda takes pleasure in helping other writers achieve their dreams of publication.

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42 Comments

  1. Good Morning Amanda- Wow, I didn’t know a lot of this Texas Ranger history you gave us. I loved reading about them, it is hard to phantom $1.25 a day In wages, but I guess back then that was a decent wage. I had no idea they had to furnish their own gun, I did know they furnished their own horses.
    Your book sounds amazing. I hope you have s blessed eeekend and thank for sharing your research with us.

  2. Great information about the Rangers. These were surely men who loved keeping the peace and protecting the people because I didn’t realize they had to provide everything they needed. Thank you for this post.

  3. Great Information on the Wonderful people. I love reading about the Rangers. These brave souls risk so much for so little!!

  4. good morning from chicago( well the suburbs of chi town lol) my first job was 1.25 an hour, and to think they only made 1.25 a day, which im sure back then was a big deal to a person. but to also know they had to buy the equipment and horses, here in chicago i learned from a friend who is in law enforcement the officers have to provide their own guns,vest,uniform ect. it makes you wonder. the book sounds interesting to read. also the photo you mention are not showing on my page. the hobbel and colt. Happy Friday!!!!

    1. Elaine — I hadn’t realized that police officers had to provide their uniforms, etc. Do they receive an allowance for that? As for the missing pictures, I have no idea what’s causing that problem. They all display perfectly on my computer.

  5. Wow, amazing what they wanted from them at that time with very little giving. We did have some amazing men.

  6. Thanks for the information. I really learned a lot from your post.

  7. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Very interesting

  9. I love reading about Texas Rangers!

  10. What great pictures! And I can’t imagine only being paid $1.25 🙁

  11. Great post.It would take a certain type of person to want to be a ranger. I am setting here thinking about how much fun you had moving those pics from windows 95 to window 10 bet it was a total pain where everything has changed so much.

    1. As you can imagine, the problem was media incompatibility. The 95 machine could only write to those not-so-floppy 3 1/2 inch disks, but of course modern machines don’t have the ability to read or write those. I had to transfer the files I wanted to one of the “floppies,” then move to a Windows XP machine that could read a floppy and that also had a USB port. At that point, I could write the files onto a USB stick and could move them to my current Windows 10 machine. Thank goodness all those old computers are still running!

  12. Welcome Amanda. Wow a lot of this information I had no idea. Some of it I gleaned from reading historical fiction that had rangers in them, but wow. Thank you for sharing. These men really had it rough. It is no wonder they were tough men, they had to be.

  13. Very interesting post with things I didn’t know. The Rangers sure were dedicated, weren’t they?

  14. Thank you for sharing your wonderful post. So very interesting!

  15. I love learning about historical things! Thanks so much for the information! Now when I read a book about a Texas Ranger, I will have that background in my mind! I have two of my kids living in Texas right now!

  16. I enjoyed this informative and wonderful post about Texas Rangers who are strong and fearless.

    1. Avatar

      Texan here and I loved your blog. I knew some of this Texas Ranger history but not all of it. I learn more about history from HWR authors than I ever did in a history class. I’ve never read one of your books but I’d love the opportunity and this sounds like my kind of book. A giveaway is a great way to find a new author to add to my go to authors list.

  17. Thanks for this fascinating feature which interests me greatly. Texas Rangers are to be admired for their character.

  18. Good morning Amanda. Such interesting facts. And always been avid about Texas Rangers… Thank you so much for the info…. And would love to win this book.

  19. This post was meaningful and very special. Learning about the Texas Rangers is important.

  20. Interesting information. The taming of the west wasn’t easy, but the dedication these men gave to their work is legendary and far more than most anyone would do today. Thank you for posting your research info.

  21. Lot’s of information and lots of learning about the Texas Rangers, very, very interesting. Thank you.

  22. Welcome back, Amanda! We’re so happy to have you. I believe the new recruit has to provide his own horse. Seems I read that in Walter Prescott’s book. I love going to that museum in Waco and do every time I pass through. It’s such a neat place with tons of information about the Rangers. They’ve always been my heroes.

    Congratulations on the new book! It looks wonderful. Jackson and Thea seem made for each other.

    1. Linda — It’s my pleasure to be here. I always enjoy being a guest on Petticoats & Pistols, because you have so many interested readers. And, yes, Thea and Jackson are made for each other. It just takes them a while to figure that out.

  23. So exciting! I have greatly enjoyed this series! I love your writing! Funny thing….I have been past that museum a thousand times (my family lives south of Waco, in Temple)but I have yet to go inside. I’m going to have to change that!

    1. Plan to spend a long time there, Paula. There are movies as well as many, many fascinating exhibits.

  24. Thank you for writing such an interesting blog. I learned so much. Plus, I look forward to getting more acquainted with you as an author. I will be checking out your other books too!

  25. Enjoyed reading about the Texas Rangers. I love this series and your books. Thanks for the chance to win

  26. Thank you for sharing from your research. After reading this, I’m wondering why anyone would want to be a Texas Ranger. I’m glad they were made of hearty stock than I. LOL
    This sounds like a great book.

    1. I imagine that the desire to make a difference in the world was a driving factor in deciding to become a Ranger.

  27. fascinating history

  28. Amanda, thank you for sharing this fascinating Texas Ranger history!

  29. Amanda thank you for sharing this I did not know about Texas Ranger history it is very interesting 🙂

  30. Thank you for a very informative historical blog. Yes, being a Texas Ranger is a very dedicated and difficult job, then and now. I have great respect for each one.

  31. Most of us don’t think past the legends and the big stories. The every day lives and circumstances are not what those represent. I am sure it took much dedication and determination for these men to do their jobs as Rangers. Having other jobs when they were not actively on duty would likely have been difficult since they didn’t know when they would be called out or how long they would be gone. Even being self employed would have been difficult. Is there any information on how many of them were married? Without a wife or partner, even ranching or farming would have been nearly impossible.
    Thank you for an interesting post.

    1. Patricia — I don’t have any statistics about how many Rangers were married, but there’s a fascinating story written by a Ranger’s wife, Luvenia Conway Roberts, in Texas Tears and Texas Sunshine.

  32. So interesting! Texas Rangers sound so glamours in books but, perhaps in reality, they worked really hard and didn’t get the true appreciaiton they deserved.

  33. Avatar

    Thanks for these interesting facts. Isn’t it wonderful that these men were so morale and upstanding and willing to provide protection and Justice in spite of the very meager salary and the danger?
    Thanks for sharing.
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot) com

  34. Fun information. I’m sure the pay and benefits are much better now, as well as teh daily living conditions. But I suspect the hours are as long or longer and it’s more dangerous than ever. As others have said, it’s wonderful that there are still men who are committed to justice and protecting the rest of us.

  35. Thank you for the information. Your book sounds great, I can’t wait to read it.

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