Jump on the web and you can find fiction and non-fiction accounts of the Comanche warrior Quanah Parker. Recently I’ve blogged about his conflicts with the US Army and with his defeat by Colonel Ranald Mackenzie.
Those Comanches who’d slipped off the reservation to plunder suffered for it. But Quanah and his people were respected. He’d signed no treaties and so had violated none. Mackenzie testified for him.
Quanah was allowed to take a party out on the range for one more buffalo hunt. There were no buffalo left. Quanah seems to have accepted the fact that the world had changed for the Comanches. He must learn the ways of the white man.
With permission, he journeyed to Mexico to visit his mother’s brother, John Parker, who’d also been raised as an Indian. John Parker explained the cattle business to him. When Quanah was gored by a longhorn, he was treated with a medicine made from peyote buttons. Quanta likely took some peyote back to the reservation, because he began to practice the peyote religion.
Quanah visited Silas Parker, his uncle, and was warmly welcomed. Quanah had become a legend in Texas. Silas seems to have explained to Quanah about money and how it was used. Back on the reservation he was accepted as leader of all Comanches.
He prospered and grew, a true leader. With his braves he attended all public events, shaking hands with Teddy Roosevelt. He was a major stockholder in a local railroad. He fathered a herd of children from a half-dozen wives. When an Indian agent told him that he was allowed but one wife, he replied, “You tell ‘em.”
Quanah’s defeat by Mackenzie was but the beginning of his story.
July 2, 2017. Happy Birthday, Walter.
“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” – George Bernard Shaw.