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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974

Book Reviews

congressional representation in 1868-1869. In short, this is a good doctoral
dissertation which may well have been published prematurely.
North Texas State University JACK B. SCROGGS
A Ranger Legacy: Z50 Years of Service to Texas. By D. E. Kilgore. (Aus-
tin: Madrona Press, Inc., 1973. Pp. xiv+Io04. Illustrations, notes, ap-
pendices, bibliography, index. $7.50.)
Fitting observance of the I5oth birthday of the Texas Rangers came with
the publication of this concise book on the origin and early years of the
frontier fighting force. The author, Dan E. Kilgore of Corpus Christi, a
vice-president of the Texas State Historical Association, turned up new in-
formation in the Bexar Archives, which had not yet been catalogued when
Walter P. Webb was doing research for his comprehensive history of the
Kilgore gives a graphic picture of conditions in the Austin colony, where
depredations by Indians and white outlaws led to mustering of the small
protective force in I823. He details for the first time activities of the Rang-
ers in their initial year. After that his narrative is devoted mainly to ex-
ploits of the Tumlinson family, which provided more than its share of
Rangers. Of the original company the only man to die in the service was
John Tumlinson, killed by Indians.
Soon the sons and grandsons of John Tumlinson took up the cause, and
in time sixteen of his known descendants were listed on the Ranger rolls.
Others made names for themselves as sheriffs, customs agents, or members
of the border patrol. The author notes that the Ranger legacy of the Tum-
linsons "was kept alive by father teaching son. This training process refined
the inherited fighting instincts to produce an outstanding strain of law
officer" (p. 71).
Kilgore views the Tumlinsons as typifying the Ranger virtues. "To a high
degree, the family members exhibited a trait possessed by every outstanding
Ranger. It cannot be described as bravery or fearlessness; it is the ability to
react swiftly and accurately in a desperate situation without being conscious
of either bravery or fear" (p. 7 I).
The Kilgore accounts shows careful research and the balanced writing
of a seasoned historian. Without becoming either theatrical or sentimental,
it gives a true picture of the Rangers as a fighting outfit of which every
Texan can justly be proud. The book has illustrations from photographs
and a frontispiece drawing by El Paso's noted artist Jose Cisneros. This


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 77, July 1973 - April, 1974. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 3, 2016.

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