The rangers were founded in 1823 when Stephen F. Austin employed men to protect 600 to 700 white families, many of whom had established cotton plantations and slave labor in Mexican parts of Texas. The rangers were known to perpetuate violence, including executions and torture, against ethnic Mexicans, Blacks and other people of color, and fought bitter battles against Cherokee and Comanche and other American Indians, winning them the name “Los Diablos Tejanos”—”the Texan Devils”. Many Rangers fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. At different times, members of the Texas Rangers were recruited in service of the federal government. Operating as a state police force, the Texas Rangers are credited with catching the crime couple, Bonnie and Clyde. Since 1935, the organization has been a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety, serving as a statewide investigative law enforcement agency.

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