John Coffee Hays Collection, 1817-1916
Texas Ranger and surveyor, John Coffee Hays (1817-1883), came to Texas in 1836, in time to participate in the Texas Revolution. At Sam Houston's suggestion, Hays joined the Texas Rangers under Erastus "Deaf" Smith. He served in the rangers until 1846, reaching the rank of colonel, and participated in many skirmishes and engagements with Mexican and Indian forces, including the battles of Plum Creek, Salado Creek, Walker's Creek, and Monterrey. Hays formed the 1st Texas Mounted Volunteers Regiment at the start the Mexican War. His exploits during the Republic period in Texas and the Mexican War helped earn the Texas Rangers their legendary reputation as soldiers.
Following the conclusion of the war, Hays moved to California and became surveyor general for California, an Indian agent, and sheriff of San Francisco County. In addition, he helped found the city of Oakland, established a successful real estate business, and attended the 1876 Democratic National Convention. Hays died in 1883 in California. Hays County, Texas, was named after him.
Source:Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Hays, John Coffee," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/HH/fhabq.html (accessed July 16, 2010).
Correspondence, narratives, newspaper clippings, and narratives comprise the John Coffee Hays Collection, 1817-1916, which documents Hays' career as a Texas Ranger. The collection includes correspondence and reports relating to engagements with Comanches near San Antonio and his service with the 1st Texas Mounted Volunteers Regiment during the Mexican War. In addition, the collection includes a biographical sketch of Hays and several narratives describing his exploits.
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This collection is open for research.
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There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.
John Coffee Hays Collection, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
1932; 1933; 1970-107; 1973-054; 2013-297
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center's "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project," 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Collection