See our Henry Love (Scott Divine) talk about his character.
Harry Love was born in Vermont in 1810. He became a ship's captain at age 15 and eventually joined the Army to fight in the Mexican-American war. His exploits during the war earned him fame and standing.
In 1850, he went to California to seek his fortune in the gold fields. He was unsuccessful as a prospector, but was named as commander of the California Rangers, The first "official" California State Police agency, based upon his reputation earned during the war. His mission was to restore order to a lawless gold country that was being terrorized by bandits, most famously Joaquin Murrieta and his band of outlaws.
After months of tracking and chasing the bandit, Harry Love with his 20 California Rangers were reported to have been successful. After the California State Rangers mission was accomplished with the suppression of The Five Joaquins, the State Rangers were disbanded on August 29, 1853. Governor Bigler paid Captain Love $1,000 in reward money but the State Legislature decided that the members of the State Rangers had not been sufficiently rewarded and so voted to pay them an additional $5,000.
Alas, for Harry Love, his success as a lawman did not lead to a long peaceful life afterwards. In fact, it was his namesake that was his undoing - love.
Having accomplished its mission, the California Rangers was disbanded and Love purchased a large tract of land in Santa Cruz County in Northern California. In 1854 he married his neighbor, the widow Mary Bennett. Love's marriage to Mary Bennett was rough and she soon moved away to Santa Clara. They reconciled and separated several times until 1866, when she sued for divorce, but lost.
However, by the following year, fires, floods, and squatters had destroyed Love's property, leaving him homeless and in debt. He moved to his wife's ranch and lived in a house that she had built for him. She never let him live with her, however, and he plotted to kill her bodyguard who had been preventing Love from seeing his wife.
On June 29, 1868 Love sat on the porch of his wife's house, where he was not allowed. When Mary and the bodyguard arrived, a gunfight broke out and Love was shot in the arm. Doctors attempted to save his life by amputating his arm, but he still died.
Harry's legacy lives on, however. All of the California law enforcement agencies that came later were due in part to the California Rangers. You can thank Harry Love for the 1970's television show "CHiPs"! In addition, Harry has been glamorized in movies as the foe of Zorro.