They were also required to furnish their own arms, mounts, and equipment. They covered the retreat of civilians from dictator Santa Ana's army in the famous "Runaway Scrape," harassed columns of Mexican troops and provided valuable intelligence to the Texas Army. He came to San Antonio in 1837 and within three years was named a Ranger captain.
Hays built a reputation fighting marauding Indians and Mexican bandits.
Austin assumed his late father's contract as empresario, or developer of settlements in the Mexican province of Tejas. Austin was to be rewarded for his services with land, titles and military powers over the colony.
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When communicating with the commanders of his Hispanic ranging companies, Austin, who was fluent in Spanish, called them the milicia nacional (national militia) after Spanish and Mexican militia regulations dating back to 1713. Early Rangers were required to provide their own horses and equipment.
By whatever name they were known, these units performed the same ranging service. They fought battles in which they were often outnumbered by as much as 50-to-1, so it was common for each man to carry multiple pistols, rifles and knives.
In 1835, as the movement for Texas independence was about to boil over, a council of colonial Texas representatives created a "Corps of Rangers" to protect the frontier from hostile Indians.
For the first time, their pay was officially set at $1.25 a day and they were to elect their own officers. "three-legged" Williamson (so nicknamed because he had a wooden leg to support a crippled limb) and led by Captains William Arrington, Isaac Burleson and John J. Settlers rebelled against the Mexican government in 1836 over violations of their rights and the suspension of immigration from the U. The Texas Rangers played an important but little known role in this conflict. Travis' last minute plea to defend the Alamo were Rangers who fought, and died, in the cause of Texas freedom. John "Jack" Coffee Hays in Later Life, ©2009, TRHFM Certainly one of the most famous early-day Texas Rangers was John Coffee "Jack" Hays.
He called for "ten men..act as rangers for the common defense...
The wages I will give said ten men is fifteen dollars a month payable in property." These two companies are regarded as the first ancestors of the modern Texas Rangers.
In dealing with persons deemed a threat to Texas, Hays helped establish another Ranger tradition--toughness mixed with a reliance on the latest in technology.
The Republic of Texas was one of the earliest customers of a New England gun maker, Samuel Colt.
By 1823, there were serious problems with raids by the Comanche, Tonkawa and Karankawa Indians.
Under Mexican law, Austin was authorized to form a militia to ward off Indian raids, capture criminals and patrol against intruders.
They became so effective against Indian guerrilla raids that they strongly influenced the formation of the U. These men freely borrowed from each others' experience and equipment.