Thursday, September 09, 2010

Taken by the Indians!

Quanah Parker 1852- February 23, 1911

Quanah Parker was the son of Cynthia Ann Parker and Comanche chief Peta Nocona.  The name Quanah means "Fragrance" in Comanche.

Quanah Parker's mother, Cynthia Ann Parker (born ca. 1827), was a member of the large Parker frontier family that settled in east Texas in the 1830's.  She was captured in 1836 (at age nine) buy Comanches during the raid of Fort Parker near present-day Groesbeck, Texas.  Given the Indian name Nadua (Someone Found), she was adopted into the Nocana band of Comanches.

Assimilated int the Comanche, Cynthia Ann later married the warrior Nocona, (Also known as Peta Nocona).  

Cynthia Ann lived with the Comanches for 24 years and had three children with Chief Peta, Quanah being the oldest.  Her other two children were another son Pecos (Pecan) , and a daughter Topsana (Prairie Flower.)  

Cynthia Ann and her daughter were captured by the Texas Rangers in the battle of Pease River.  Her husband, Quanah and most of the adult men were out hunting when the Texas Rangers attacked.  

Cynthia Ann was reunited with her Parker family but she was thoroughly Comanche.  She tried several times to escape back to her Comanche home but was always recaptured.  After he daughter Topsana died of an illness in 1963, Cynthia Ann lost the will to live and starved to death in 1870.

Cynthia Ann Parker with her daughter shortly after her capture by the Texas Rangers.
Her hair is cut short in the Comanche tradition of mourning for the dead. She thought her husband died in the Pease River Battle (he didn't).  She spent the rest of her life longing for her two sons.

I'm reading a book about a child captured by the Indians in west Texas in the 1800's.  It's called "The Captured" by Scogtt Zesch.  Oh how I love a good book and this one is excellent.  I feel like I'm being transferred back in time.  It's been so long since I read a good book.

In the book I found this picture of Quanah Parker.   He was the last Comanche chief.  He ended his life as a prosperous rancher.  

Forty years after his mother died, he was reunited with her when he had her body moved to Fort Sill Cemetery, Oklahoma.  

Quanah died on February23, 1911.  Hew was buried beside his mother and sister.  The inscription on his tombstone reads:

Resting Here Until Day Break
And Shadows Fall and Darkness
Disappears is
Quanah Parker Last Chief of the Comanches
Born 1852
Died February 23, 1911

Quanah's biographer Bill Neeley wrote: 

"Not only did Quanah pass within the span of a single lifetime from a Stone Age warrior to a statesman in the age of the Industrial Revolution, but he never lost a battle to the white man and he also accepted the challenge and responsibility of leading the whole Comanche tribe on the difficult road toward their new existence."

Quanah Parker - rancher

I think I'm up on my history but I never heard of Quanah before I read this book.  I am fascinated by this man and his life story.  This morning I ordered several books from about him.  

In fact I have a renewed interest in the American Indian and their history.  Of course the real story of the Indians is nothing like what we have seen in the movies and on TV.  

What is especially interesting about Quanah Parker is that he was half white and half Indian and yet he was the greatest and last Comanche chief. 

I can't help but see the parallel with our president, Barack Obama.  President Obama, himself half white and half black is also a leader.  His greatness has yet to be determined if ever.  In fact, I am very disappointed in president Obama's performance so far.  I hope things change around and someone like me will look at a picture of Barack Obama 100 years from now and say "What a fascinating man."

Now here's a question:  Why hasn't someone made a movie about Quanah Parker and his mother, Cynthia Ann Parker?  I hear that the old John Wayne/Natalie Wood movie "The Searchers" was loosely based on Cynthia Ann's life.  Hollywood needs to make a movie about Quanah Parker.  You know who could play Quanah?  Keanu Reeves.  


  1. Ron,

    It is an interesting picture of Quanah sitting in his Comanche garb with an umbrella tucked under his arm.

    I was a bit disappointed to find you were doing a book review. When I first started reading I thought this was a relative you had found in your Tree. Have you found any Native Americans in your family?

    As you know Lo is 1/4 Creek and she also has cousins in Texas descended from Lotta Lowe who I believe was Apache.


  2. Lar,
    No, I haven't found any Indians in my family tree but just last night (at work, where I am now) I did find a Welsh connection - Twedr which is Tudor. As in Henry VIII. Also, my ancestor defeated your ancestor in battle. Maggrud. I may have the spelling wrong. When I get home and have time I want to send you the link. This is back in the 10th century. I finally found the connection between Meredith and Tipton!!!! I am excited about it.


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