Wearing the Cinco Peso LbNA # 45721
|Placed Date||Mar 7 2009|
|Found By||3 Tall Trees|
|Last Update||Jun 6 2009|
This letterbox was inspired by a book my son gave me for Christmas entitled “The Texas Rangers: Wearing the Cinco Peso”, which was written by Mike Cox. If you are intrigued with the history of Texas, this book is required reading. The storied group of lawmen known as the Texas Rangers began in the year 1823 when Stephen F. Austin appointed 10 "Rangers" to protect settlers from Indians. The name Rangers was applied to the group selected in 1823 for their chore of "riding the range" or "ranging about the country" fighting Indians. The first Rangers were successful in their mission of Indian fighting and were officially adopted as the law enforcement body for the people of Texas in 1835. Badges have been part of the equipment of law enforcement officers for hundreds of years. They originated in ancient times when the armored knights wore a insignia to announce their official status and allegiances. History does not record who, when, or where, but at some point a Texas Ranger, perhaps adhering to the resolution to the Texas Declaration of Independence that was proposed on March 12, 1836 that “a single star of five points” be recognized as the “peculiar emblem” of Texas, pulled his long knife and carved a star in a silver Mexican eight real piece. (The Mexican government did not begin minting silver cinco pesos until 1947, but it produced two other silver denominations earlier, an eight real coin from 1824 to 1897 and a one peso coin from 1898 to 1909). The story may even be apocryphal, but a photograph taken in 1888 of Ranger Walter Durbin shows what has come to be called a star-in-the-wheel badge on his chest. But the Rangers didn’t have official badges until 1935. Then, in October, 1962, Colonel Homer Garrison, Jr., Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety and Chief of the Texas Rangers, announced that the Texas Rangers were going back to the tradition steeped Mexican silver badge worn by their predecessors during frontier days. Garrison said the new official Ranger badge, issued to each of the 62 members of the Force, would be made from a Mexican five Peso silver coin. The oak leaves on the left side represent strength and the olive branch on the right signifies peace. These are taken from the Texas Great Seal. The cutout center star has engraving on it and the center of the star is reserved for the Company designation or the rank of Sergeant or Captain or Senior Captain. The edges still often have the coin lines and the coin is still highly visible on the reverse of the badge. The five point "Lone Star" with a "wheel" around it is common in Ranger and other Texas badges from the late 1800's. Wearing the Cinco Peso has always been reserved for an elite few law enforcement officers and is an honor not taken lightly by those who do. The stamped image is intended to be silver, so I have included a silver ink pad in the box. There is also a round blank stamp. The idea is to stamp a black background (most people carry a black ink pad) and then stamp the silver image over that. Look at the front of the log book to see how it should look.
This letterbox is located at Mission Tejas State Park, a gem of a park in the Davy Crockett National Forest in East Texas. From Crockett, which is located about 130 miles north of Houston, go northeast on Hwy 21 for 21 miles to Weches. Turn left on Park Road 44 to Mission Tejas State Park. Pay fee and get a map. Drive to the mission and park there.
To the box:
From the mission, go north down the paved road to the Old San Antonio Road on your left. Follow it all the way to its intersection with the cart path. Go right on the OSAR, looking for the barbed wire fence. Where the fence ends at the turnaround, look up the hill and find a log. The letterbox is behind it, covered with the normal stuff.