The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003

Book Reviews

(exactly how he supplanted his father in this patriarchy of Mosaic proportions
remains a mystery) further westward. He arrived in Texas at the head of a thir-
ty-wagon train in January 1834.
Daniel's battles remained with his own demons or Baptist rivals, and James's
adventures assume center stage. James's extended clan was barely settled at Fort
Parker in Sterling Robertson's colony when conflict between Texas and Mexico
erupted. James and Daniel attended the San Felipe Consultation-where both ar-
gued for a negotiated settlement. The well-known events ensued, and the Fort
Parker residents found themselves part of the "Runaway Scrape," evacuating set-
tlements ahead of Santa Anna's advance. Sam Houston's victory at San Jacinto on
April 21 ended the threat, and by the 23rd the Parkers were on their way home.
Exley relates several family story versions of what happened next, but the re-
sults are the same: James unaccountably disbanded his company of Texas
Rangers and ignored Houston's directive to abandon Fort Parker, then on May
19 Comanches descended on the woefully unprepared settlement. The raiders
killed several and, vital to the continuation of the story, captured James's daugh-
ter Rachel Parker Plummer, her son James Pratt Plummer, and James's niece
and nephew, Cynthia Ann and John Parker.
James Parker's obsession with recovering his family forms the middle section
of the book. Here readers encounter what is simultaneously one of the work's
greatest strengths and weaknesses, as Exley relies heavily on James's Narrative of
the Perilous Adventures ... and Rachel's Narrative of the Capture and Subsequent Suf-
fenngs ... published under the same cover in 1844. They are the only first-hand
accounts, but even Exley eventually remarks that "Some of James's adventures
are difficult to believe" (p. 121). Rachel, James Pratt, and John were eventually
ransomed, although not through James's efforts. The short chapter relating the
deaths of Daniel, in 1844, and James, in 1864, seems anticlimactic.
Cynthia Ann's tale, for want of a personal narrative, unfolds through the eyes
of members of the military expedition that, for all practical purposes, captured
far more than rescued her. Quanah, too, sometimes seems a peripheral charac-
ter in the book's final part. Exley follows his rise to prominence as a war leader
from the Medicine Lodge talks in 1867, through the Adobe Walls fight of 1874,
to his surrender in 1875. Although he lived until 1911 and played a role in the
Native American Church, the author relegates the last thirty-five years of his life
to a brief page.
The narrative is at times uneven, the genealogy (in spite of three charts) con-
fusing, and occasional extraneous details can bog down the reader like the of-
ten-mentioned quicksand. Still, for its scope and grand tragic elements, the story
is compelling.
Owens Community College R. BRUCE WAY
Chincahua Apache Women and Children: Safekeepers of the Heritage. By H. Henrietta
Stockel. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2000. Pp. xvi+l 15.
List of illustrations, preface, introduction, notes, bibliography, index. ISBN
0-89096-921-3. $24.95, cloth.)

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed December 29, 2014.