Tracking the Texas Rangers
Tracking the Texas Rangers is an anthology of sixteen previously
published articles and chapter excerpts, arranged in chronological
history, covering key topics of the intrepid and sometimes controversial
law officers named the Texas Rangers. Determining the role of the
Rangers as the state evolved and what they actually accomplished for the
benefit of the state is a difficult challenge—the actions of the Rangers
fit no easy description. There is a dark side to the story of the
Rangers; during the war with Mexico, for example, some murdered,
pillaged, and raped. Yet these same Rangers eased the resultant United
States victory. Even their beginning and the first use of the term
“Texas Ranger” have mixed and complex origins.
Tracking the Texas Rangers covers topics such as their early years, the
great Comanche Raid of 1840, and the effective use of Colt revolvers.
Article authors discuss Los Diablos Tejanos, Rip Ford, the Cortina War,
the use of Hispanic Rangers and Rangers in labor disputes, and the
recapture of Cynthia Ann Parker and the capture of John Wesley Hardin.
The selections cover critical aspects of those experiences—organization,
leadership, cultural implications, rural and urban life, and violence.
In their introduction, editors Bruce A. Glasrud and Harold J. Weiss,
Jr., discuss various themes and controversies surrounding the
19th-century Rangers and their treatment by historians over the years.
They also have added annotations to the essays to explain where new
research has shed additional light on an event to update or correct the
original article text.
“The editors of this anthology, prominent Ranger historians in their own
right, have assembled a distinguished list of authors for an anthology
that traces the history of the Texas Rangers during the decades when
Texas was still the Wild West. The authors are all noted historians, and
the selection ensures that the collective story they tell covers the
wide range of viewpoints of who the Rangers were and what they did—black
hats, white hats, and all the grays in between. This anthology will
endure as a fair and balanced chronicle, both in narrative and
interpretation, of arguably the foremost law-enforcement agency in
American history.”—Robert M. Utley, author of Lone Star Justice: The
First Century of the Texas Rangers
“I appreciated the extensive background information in the introduction
and a nice bibliographical essay that will be important for other
students of these topics.”—Paul Spellman, author of Captain J. A.
Brooks, Texas Ranger and Captain John H. Rogers, Texas Ranger
“Glasrud and Weiss have created an important anthology of 21st-century
perspectives on the Texas Rangers. It includes contributions and
assessments by many of the leading scholars—a must for those studying
the mystique of a Texas legend and an American icon.”—Byron A. Johnson,
Director, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, Waco