The Ranger became an icon of rugged individualism, courage, honesty, and virtue.Songs, poetry and novels about the Rangers were common as early as the 1850s.

The nation was first introduced to the Texas Ranger by news dispatches and stories chronicling their heroic deeds during the Mexican War.

The Ranger and the ranging tradition soon became a theme in popular culture.

The Ranger was celebrated as one who could fight and prevail against over overwhelming odds, surviving the hardships of the frontier.

The most famous and long-lived of Ranger organizations is the Texas Rangers.

Created in 1823 to protect the "Texian" colonies, the Rangers were the primary defense for Texas from the Republic to statehood.

Their primary mission, until well after the Civil War, was protection from Indian and Mexican incursions.

As the 19th century drew to a close, their responsibilities changed from military protection to law enforcement, duties they continue to perform today.

by Christina Stopka Depurty Director Texas Ranger Research Center Rebekkah Lohr Former Curatorial Technician Texas Ranger Research Center Rangers have existed for hundreds of years in many cultures.

They were militia men, usually volunteers, mustered into company service to protect homes and families from enemy incursions.

The tradition is a part of both our Anglo-European and Spanish heritage.

Units, such as Roger's Rangers in the French and Indian Wars, and Spanish/Mexican "flying companies" in the early Southwest, established the Ranger as part of American culture.