Quanah Parker was the most feared of the Comanche Indian chiefs on the Texas frontier. He was half white and half Comanche, he was taller and stronger and faster and
more clever than any other chief of his time.
The fact that he never lost a battle to soldiers who relentlessly pursued him.
The fact that he was a ghost on the high plains and disappeared into thin air, even as he was chased in the bright Panhandle sun.
The fact that he was devastatingly handsome and could have graced the cover of one of those steamy, Western Romance Novels.
The fact that he was the last Comanche chief to decide on his own, without being defeated militarily, to move to the reservation.
is not the point of this story.
This is a love story, but not a love story for Valentine’s Day. This is a story more appropriate for Mother’s Day.
Quanah’s, mother, Cynthia Ann Parker, was abducted by Comanche raiders on the Texas frontier when Cynthia Ann
was 9. She was raised as a Comanche and married Chief Nocona. She had three children, the oldest of which was
Quanah. Cynthia Ann was eventually “discovered” by white men who traded with the Comanches. Her family, having searched
for her for years, quickly organized a ransom offer. The Comanches would not sell her. No matter how much they offered, they would not
sell her. This was because Cynthia Ann did not want to go. Though born white, she was now culturally Comanche, the wife of a chief, with
three children she loved.
Many years later, her village was attacked by soldiers, her husband was killed but her boys escaped. She was finally freed from captivity,
but she saw it as being abducted again. She never readjusted to white culture and tried many times to escape and return to her tribe.
She continued to practice her Comanche religion and rituals. She continued to dress and wear her hair in Comanche ways.
She begged to go back to her people, but she was now held captive a second time. She died relatively young, essentially of a broken heart.
Quanah lost his mother when he was 12. He longed for her all his life. When he surrendered to life on the reservation he searched for
her and was sad to learn that she had died and was buried far away. He jumped through elaborate legal hoops for many years to get her
body moved and buried on Comanche soil. In his mind she was finally home. When he died, he was buried next to her. He believed
that though separated so much in life, they would certainly be together forever in the afterlife.