History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families

232

232 HISTORY OF TEXAS.

torn from a mother's embrace and carried
into captivity. During this time no tidings
have been received of her. Many efforts
have been made to find her whereabouts, but
without success, when, in 1840, Colonel Len.
Williams, an old and honored Texan, Mr.
Stoat, a trader, and an Indian guide named
Jack Harry, packed mules with goods and
engaged in an expedition of private traffic
with the Indians.
"On the Canadian river they fell in with
Pa-ha-u-ka's band of Comanches, with whom
they were Peacefully conversant; and with
this tribe was Cynthia Ann Parker, who,
from the day of her capture, had never
seen a white person. She was then about
fourteen years of age and had been with the
Indians about five years.
" Colonel Williams found the Indian into
whose family she had been adopted and proposed
to redeem her, but the Comanche told
hitn all the goods he had would not ransom
her, and at the same time 'the firmness of
his countenance,' says Colonel Williams,
' warned me of the danger of further mention
of the subject.' But old Pa-ha-a-ka
prevailed upon him to let them see her. She
came and sat down by the root of a tree, and
while their presence was doubtless a happy
event to the poor, stricken captive, who in
her doleful captivity had endured everything
but death, she refused to speak a word. As
she sat there, musing, perhaps, of distant
relatives and friends, and the bereavements
at the beginnings and progress of her distress,
they employed every persuasive art to
evoke some expression. They told her of
her playmates and relatives, and asked what
message she would send to them, but she
had doubtless been commanded to Silence,
and, with no hope or prospect to ret rn, was
afraid to appear sad or dejected, and, by a

stoical effort in order to prevent future bad
treatment, put the best face possible on the
matter. But the anxiety of her mind was
betrayed by a perceptible opinion on her lip,
showing that she was not insensible to the
common feelings of humanity.
" As the years rolled by Cynthia Ann
speedily developed the charms of womanhood,
as with the dusky maidens of her
companionship she performed the menial
offices of drudgery to which savage custom
consigns woman, or practiced those little
arts of coquetry natural to the female heart,
whether she be a belle of Madison Square,
attired in the most elaborate toilet from the
elite bazaars of Paris, or the half-naked savages
with matted locks and claw-like nails.
"Doubtless the heart of more than one
warrior was pierced by the Ulyssean darts
from the laughing eyes, or cheered by the
silvery ripple of her joyous laughter, and
laid at her feet the game taken after a long
and arduous chase among the antelope hills.
Among the number whom her budding
charms brought to her shrine was Peta
Nocona, a Comanche war 4ehief,- in prowess
and renown the peer of the famous and redoubtable
Big Foot, who fell in a desperately
contested hand-to-hand encounter with the
veteran ranger and Indian fighter, Captain S.
P. Ross, now living at Waco, and whose
wonderful exploits and deeds of daring furnished
theme for song and story at the war
dance, the council and the camp fire.
," Cynthia Ann, stranger now to every
word of her mother tongue save ber own
name, became the bride of Peta Nocona, performing
for her imperious lord all the 'slavish
offices whjch savagism and Indian custom
assigns as the duty of a wife. She bore him
children, and, we are assured, loved him with
a fierce passion and wifely devotion; 'for,

/

HISTORY F EXS

Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families. Chicago. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/. Accessed August 22, 2014.