Colorado Ranger

By: Jeff Carroll

Type: General Entry

Published: December 1, 1994

The Colorado Ranger was a side-wheel steamer, commanded by Captain Powell, that operated on the Colorado River between Columbus in Colorado County and the head of "the raft on the Colorado" in Matagorda County during the early 1850s. Cargoes of cotton were off-loaded there and carried by wagons around the obstructing raft to the port of Matagorda. The steamer made a trip to Austin and arrived on April 7, 1851, amid public fanfare. On March 5, 1853, it hit an obstruction, tore its hull, and sank ten miles southeast of La Grange, Fayette County.

Comer Clay, "The Colorado River Raft," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 52 (April 1949). Democratic Telegraph and Texas Register, March 28, 1851.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Jeff Carroll, “Colorado Ranger,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 15, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994