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  1. Quanah Parker – Last Chief of the Comanche – Legends of America
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No possibility of their rescue existed. The settlers were few and dared not go on such an expedition for fear of what might happen to their own families. In those perilous days the pioneers could only accept things as they were, smother their heartbreaks and pray that the worst might be spared them. Before any word of the kidnapped children came back to the little settlement, years had passed. Then, during a brief respite from hostilities between the Indians and the settlers, a venturesome visit into a Comanche camp was made by some white hunters, friends of the Parkers.

They saw Cynthia Ann, now a grown woman. The hunters called on the chief and sought his permission to have a word with the girl. After much cajoling and persuasion, his consent to the interview was obtained on condition that he be present at the meeting.

Quanah Parker – Last Chief of the Comanche – Legends of America

The interview was a strange one. Through it all Cynthia Ann maintained a stolid silence, her face inscrutable as that of the bronzed Indians with whom she lived. The only emotion betrayed by her was in the quivering of her chin.

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The interview ended and the white hunters mounted their horses and rode away. As they rode strange, unanswerable questions were asked among themselves. What was the cause of Cynthia Ann's silence? Had she grown so shy as to be unable to tell what she knew of the past? Had the stolidness of her Indian sisters impressed upon her an unbreakable habit of silence?

Perhaps the horror of seeing her parents massacred long ago had unbalanced her mentally, or else fear of the old chief, who stood at her side, had locked her tongue. No one ever knew the cause of her reticence. So it was that Cynthia Ann, who was born for better things, grew to lovely maidenhood amid the rough environment of the Comanches. Under the custom of the tribe she married Peta Nocona, who was known as the most courageous of all the Indian braves, and in time became the mother of Quanah Parker.

So rapacious did the Comanches finally become that the State of Texas sent forth punitive expeditions to combat them. It was in one of these forays, under command of L. Ross, that Peta Nocona was slain and Cynthia Ann captured. But she had seemingly forgotten the English language, so long had she dwelt with the Indians. Her once fair skin had been burned by the western suns until it was as black as that of the Indians. Her body was dirty and she was poorly, even scantily clad.

Every feature of the fair little girl, who a quarter century before had seen her parents cruelly murdered, had vanished. A frightened silence was the only answer she gave her questioners. In the hope of awakening her long dormant memory, Captain Ross told her the story of her capture by the Indians.

When he concluded with the words, "And so Cynthia Ann was carried away," the awakening he had hoped for came. As her eyes sparkled and her face shone with delight, she pointed to herself, and said, "Me Cynthia Ann. Word of the girl's discovery was sent to her uncle, Isaac Parker, who was now a prominent businessman and politician of Texas. He came for her and took her to Austin. There she was placed in the home of her brother, one of the little fellows who was driven by the Indians into the woods on that eventful day so many years before.

But the freedom of life with the Indians had wrought its spell. She could never reconcile herself to the quiet ways of civilization.

Exploring history, destinations, people, & legends of this great country since 2003.

A constant watch had to be maintained to keep her from answering the call of the wild and returning to the free life of the Indian camp. Life in the open was too inured in her veins and the habits of twenty-five years had woven so strong a chain about her that the weaker links of civilization were unable to hold her unfettered spirit.

And so, ever mourning for the freedom of the plains, Cynthia Ann died a short time after her capture. The death of his father and the capture of his mother left the future chieftain a pauper at fourteen.

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He had nothing upon which to rely save his cheerful disposition, magnetic personality and hunting ability. Independence Trail Region. Lakes Trail Region. Mountain Trail Region. Pecos Trail Region. Plains Trail Region. Tropical Trail Region.

Media in category "Quanah Parker"

Explore Region By Theme Agriculture. Historic Cemeteries. Historic Jails. Quanah Parker. Red River War. Roadside Heritage. Route Texas Music. In , after Parker's father was killed by Texas Rangers, young Quanah moved west, where he joined the Quahada Comanche. Parker proved an able leader, fighting with the Quahada against the spread of white settlement. But in , following the U. Army's relentless Red River campaign, Parker and the Quahada ultimately surrendered and moved to reservation lands in Oklahoma.

In his new life, Parker quickly established himself as a successful rancher and investor. The government officials he had once fought soon recognized him as the leader of the remaining Comanche tribes. Parker encouraged Indian youth to learn the ways of white culture, yet he never assimilated entirely. He remained a member of the Native American Church, and had a total of seven wives.

The respect Parker earned is evident in the Panhandle town of Quanah.

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There, by the Hardeman County Courthouse, stands a monument to the town's namesake: Quanah Parker, chief of the Comanche. The Quanah Parker Trail is an online road trip guide to the Texas Plains Trail Region featuring sites with a real or legendary connection to the famous chief. Betty, Gerald. Comanche Society: Before the Reservation.