The story this week is about someone I know you have heard about before. Some of the details may be new to ya, and the story shows how good intentions can cause more misery than we know sometimes!
The Kidnapped Texas Settler Who Forgot English
By Joshua T. Garcia on Tuesday, December 24, 2013
In 1836, the Parkers, a family of pioneers in the American West, were attacked by a force of mounted Comanches in Central Texas. The Parkers fled for their lives—some escaped, some were killed, and some were kidnapped. Among the abducted was nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker. She assimilated to Comanche life extremely well; when she was found over 20 years later, she had even forgotten English.
In 1836, the Parker family moved to Central Texas and built their own fort (appropriately dubbed “Fort Parker”). But the Parkers made a poor real estate decision: Fort Parker was built far from the rest of the American frontier, deep in Comanche territory.
With that in mind, it’s not surprising—but no less terrifying—that eventually a large group of hostile Comanches, Kiowas, and Kichais showed up at Fort Parker uninvited and eager to raid. On May 19, 1836, the force attacked, leaving many Parkers wounded, dead, or kidnapped. Among the five captured family members was Cynthia Ann Parker, who was around eight or nine at the time.
If given the opportunity to choose between European-style civilization or horse-fueled nomadism, most Americans assumed that any sane person would choose European civilization. And so the desperate search for Cynthia Ann began. Heartbroken at the thought of her being separated from her family, various searchers were also convinced that she needed to be rescued from the barbarians, savages who led an inferior way of life.
Cynthia Ann was allegedly spotted around half a dozen times growing up, but it wasn’t until 1860, after a skirmish between Texas Rangers and Comanches, that she was finally thrust back into white society. She was barely recognizable—only her blue eyes differentiated her from the American Indians.
Cynthia Ann wanted to stay with the Comanches. She had presumably begun her life among the Comanches as a slave—but she had assimilated so well with them that she had married a chief, had three children (one of whom would become the last free Comanche chief, Quanah Parker), and forgotten English. She had even changed physically, her skin darkening and her muscles adjusting to the work Comanche women were accustomed to. Though racially white, she was, for all intents and purposes, a Comanche.
Cynthia Ann’s rescue became a story of redemption on the frontier. But she refused to re-acclimate to white culture, much to the confusion of her family. Desperate and depressed, she began starving herself in 1870, ultimately dying of the flu at age 43.
Once again, I have to thank the folks over at KnowledgeNuts for this article. I hope that everyone had a great holiday, and thanks to one and all that sent good wishes my way! Certainly was the best part of my day, that's for sure!
How about coffee out on the patio this morning? It should be a great and glorious day, complete with sunshine!
Guess they wanted to save even if it killed her.
How sad for both the family who lost her as a child, and her family who she grew to love n lose as. an adult.....Patio sounds great. I'll bring left iver cookies....SOMEONE needs to help eat them :))
I remember hearing this story a while ago. Why is it that "we" assume our way of life is the better way. This girl was happy the way she was and "we" killed her by taking her choose of life away from her. Very sad. Hope you had a nice Christmas. I would love to sit on the patio - 8 degrees her.
Yes this story is sad. So many had lived this way. What a shame they didn't let her go back. I have read the book Quanah Parker by Bill Dugan. There is a book called The Captured by Scott Zesch. Great book to read.
I'd love some coffee on the patio with everyone but no cookies for me. I made sure that by yesterday all chocolate, cakes and cookies were given away and cleared out of my house.
We've all seen how well that works, haven't we?
Thanks for coming by this morning!
It is sad! Sometimes it's best to leave well enough alone, I think.
I'll be glad to help do away with those cookies!
Thanks for dropping by today!
Hey Linda M...
Like the old saying goes...the operation was a success but the patient died!
Thanks so much for coming by today!
We have never learned to let folks live like they want!
Going on a diet, are we?
Thanks for coming by, sweetie!
I've a whole book about Comanche captives. Oddly, many did not desire to return to the white culture.
(Looking at comments --- Yes, "The Captured" it is!)
I have a drop of Comanche blood, my mother wanted to name me Cynthia Ann, but my father scotched that in favor of a different middle name.
The Comanche were the best horse fighters in the world.The knew more horses thanWhites.The usually had 20 to 100 horses.
Funny how doing the "right thing" is often NOT the right thing after all!
Thanks for coming by today!
I've heard that they were the best with horses!
Thanks for dropping by today!
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