The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923 Page: 3
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The Indian Policy of the Republic of Texas
Consultation, in the plan adopted for the provisional government,
had provided for the organization of a force of one hundred and
fifty rangers to be placed in detachments along the frontier. The
General Council had passed an ordinance establishing a corps
of rangers, and had proceeded to elect the officers to command it.
Governor Smith, in compliance with the provision of the Con-
sultation, organized a company of rangers under Captain Robert
M. Coleman. Detachments of this company were placed at vari-
ous points on the Trinity, Brazos, Colorado and Little Rivers.
Very little is known concerning the organization and operation
of the rangers under the ad interim government. However, it
is certain that Captain Coleman remained in charge of a com-
pany until Houston became president, when he was dismissed.6
Wilbarger, in his book on Indian Depredations in Texas, mentions
an engagement between a company of rangers commanded by
Captain William Hill, and a band of Indians. The fight took
place on San Gabriel River in the summer of 1836. There were
fifty rangers and about seventy Indians.' Although so little is
known concerning the rangers between March and October, 1836,
it can be seen from the above statements that the policy of fron-
tier protection was practiced during the period of the ad interim
The policy of pacification was somewhat changed by the new
government. During the first few months of the Republic's
existence it had been necessary to secure the neutrality, and if
possible the friendship, of the Indians. Now that this crisis had
passed the government became more careful of the promises it
made. On March 19, 1836, President Burnet informed M. B.
Menard that he had been selected to treat with the Indian tribes
generally. In his letter to Menard he disclosed the salient point
of his policy, which was to secure the neutrality of the red men,
without definitely promising them lands. He said:
It is a matter of great importance to secure the entire neutral-
ity, at least, of the Indian tribes generally, and especially of such
of them as have migrated from the north. Your experience in
Indian affairs renders it very desirable to have the benefit of your
agency in affecting this object.
'Wooten (editor), A Comprehensive History of Texas, II, 336.
'Wilbarger, Indian Depredations in Texas, 222.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923, periodical, 1923; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101084/m1/9/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.