Texas Rangers

a division of the Texas state police. They were originally formed in 1823 as a small group of men who offered to protect communities from attacks by Native Americans and Mexican criminals. The Rangers became a much larger group of law officers during the days of the Wild West, and in 1935 they became part of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

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Loosely organized police force in Texas.

The first members were "minutemen" hired by U.S. settlers as protection against Indian attacks in the 1830s. They did not wear uniforms or salute their officers but were highly disciplined and known for their marksmanship, making the six-shooter (the Colt revolver) the weapon of the West. At their peak in the 1870s, the Rangers brought law and order to hundreds of miles of Texas frontier. In 1935 they were merged with the state highway patrol.

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▪ United States military force
      a loosely organized military force that policed Texas from the time of their initial organization in the 1830s to their merger with the state highway patrol in 1935. The first Texas Rangers were minutemen hired by American settlers as protection against Indian attacks. During the Texas war for independence and its years as an independent republic, the Rangers, headquartered in Austin, also served as a border patrol. The Rangers, who provided their own horses and arms, refused to wear standard uniforms or to salute their officers, but they were noted as much for their highly disciplined esprit de corps as for their deadly marksmanship. They made the six-shooter (the Colt revolver) the weapon of the West, and at their peak in the 1870s they effectively brought law and order to hundreds of miles of Texas frontier. Although their importance declined in the 20th century, the Rangers have assumed a prominent position in Texas legend and American lore.

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Universalium. 2010.

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