He knows how to ride a horse and he's played by the smoldering Trevor Donovan, but is Texas Rising's Kit Acklin based on a real person? Unlike Lorca or the Wykoff family, Christopher "Kit" Acklin was a real Texas Ranger, so this young cowboy should stick around for the duration of the Texas Rising limited season. After all, he has quite a resume; called the "best rider" on the show, in real life Kit Acklin — who lived to be 52, dying in 1871 — was also a fierce leader and, eventually, one of the Rangers' captains. This means Acklin (or "Acklen" and "Ackland," depending on the primary source) was alive through the formation of the entire American Southwest. That's almost worth its own ten-hour miniseries: a guy who lived and fought from the Texas Revolution through the Civil War.
But that doesn't meant that the writers of Texas Rising haven't put their own spin on Acklin to make him their own. In real life, Kit was not married to a woman named Rebecca Pitt, and there wasn't much of a way to document temporary flings in the Old West, so they might be fictionalizing the Rebecca romance to show how limited the avenues for people to fall in love were back then. And while the Pitt family has been involved in the majority of Kit's storyline, they may be in danger, because fictional characters don't have to live to the end of the season to appease History's fans. That's bad news to anyone who loves the Rebecca/Kit relationship.
Whether Rebecca and Colby live or die, though, the point is that the romance may be fictionalized, and that's not what Kit Acklin is known for, anyhow. In the history books, he's much more of a military man than a family man. He's most famous for surviving a serious Comanche attack while with a troop of Rangers, detailed in the handy history blog "Detour Through History." In newspapers of the time, he and Rufus Perry were known as the "Rangers Who No Indians Could Kill" because of the furiousness of the attack and the slim chance that they'd survive. On Texas Rising, there won't be any of that — Acklin didn't become the captain of the Texas Rangers until the 1840s, the Comanche attack was in 1844, and the show takes place during the period leading up to the Texas Revolution of 1835.
Regardless, if you were worried about Kit Ackin's survival, you can rest easy because instead of a tragic, early death, he goes on to become of the leaders of the Texas Rangers and is regarded as an American hero. But since his romance is not confirmed in the history books, who knows what will happen to Rebecca Pitt and her younger brother. Fans of Texas Rising, watch out: your favorite family might be in for a difficult season.
Image: Prashant Gupta/HISTORY (2)