Jack Hays at Enchanted Rock
Jack Hays at Enchanted Rock, 1851
Oil on canvas
Courtesy of Roblay McMullin / Catalog# 1998.024.001
As the best known early Texas Ranger commander, Captain John Coffee “Jack” Hays is a legend in the history of the Rangers. The painting Jack Hays at Enchanted Rock is a rare portrayal of a young Jack Hays and is prominently displayed in the museum, together with what is believed to be the rifle depicted in the painting. The portrait was painted from life in 1851 by artist W.S. Jewett, while Hays was living with his family in San Francisco, California. The painting is thought to depict a legendary event at Enchanted Rock near Fredericksburg, Texas, in which Hays is said to have singlehandedly held off a band of attacking Comanche warriors. While the incident at Enchanted Rock may be more legend than fact, the legend persists, and paints an image of an undoubtedly tough and resourceful Texas Ranger.
For more information on the history of this painting, see the article links below: