[Lecture] The Fall and Rise of the Texas Rangers: The Untold History Behind “The Highwaymen” and East Texas Troubles.
November 16, 2019 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
FREE for Members, $10 for Non-members
Under the corrupt leadership of early 20th century Texas governor’s like James “Farmer Jim” and his wife/lackey, Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, the esteem of the legendary Texas Rangers was so diminished that a contemporary journalist quipped: “A Ranger commission and a nickel will get [you] a cup of coffee anywhere in Texas.” (A cup of coffee cost a nickel at that time). Conditions for the Rangers and the Texans they served deteriorated to the point that former Rangers Frank Hamer and Maney Gault had to be called upon to do a job that more that a thousand law enforcement officers, including Ferguson Rangers and FBI agents, had failed to accomplish in close to two years. The Ferguson Rangers simultaneously failed the Deep East Texas community of San Augustine, which found itself in the grip of a Jim Crow-era organized crime ring. However, once the Fergusons left office for good, their progressive, young successor, James V Allred, fired the corrupt and inept Ferguson Rangers, and brought back experienced and respected lawmen, some of whom he promptly sent to “cleanup” the crime-ridden hamlet. Meanwhile, Allred and the 44th Texas Legislature set about to reconstitute the Texas Rangers as the elite investigators of the new Texas Department of Public Safety, thereby protecting them from future gubernatorial political depredations, like those they suffered over the previous twenty-five years.
Dr. Jody Edward Ginn, Adjunct Associate Professor of History at Austin Community College will present a joint presentation on his new book East Texas Troubles: the Allred Rangers Cleanup of San Augustine and his work as a historical consultant for publicity on the blockbuster new Netflix Original Film, “The Highwaymen” about the men who pursued Bonnie and Clyde.