Jack Hays
1817 - 1883
Indian fighter Jack Hays was born in Tennessee and trained as a surveyor. He first came to Texas in 1836, settling in San Antonio, and in the early 1840s he fought numerous border battles against Mexicans and Indians as a captain of one of the irregular bands known as the Texas Rangers. Thanks to Hays's discipline, military skill, and leadership, he exemplified the Ranger ideal. According to legend, he introduced the Colt revolver to the West. In 1846, Hays served under Zachary Taylor in the Mexican American War, becoming a national hero when he stormed Independence Hill and the Bishop's Palace at Monterrey. Hays moved to San Francisco, where he served as county sheriff from 1850 to 1853. President Franklin Pierce appointed him surveyor-general for the state of California, and after one term, Hays devoted himself to a career in business and real estate. Brady photographed Hays about the time he entered private life, one of many heroes of the Mexican American War who drew visitors to Brady's National Portrait Gallery.

Mathew Brady Studio
Imperial salted-paper print, circa 1857
47.5 x 39.5 cm (18 5/8 x 15 1/2 inches); 29 x 23 inches framed
Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts,
on deposit from Harvard College Library; bequest of Evert Jansen Wendell