The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004 Page: 39
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"Every Day Seemed to be a Holiday"
and Herman Lehmann, a German boy taken near Fredericksburg, Texas,
whose exploits as a full-fledged Apache and then Comanche raider are
widely published. The most famous assimilated captive is Cynthia Ann
Parker, wife of Peta Nocona and mother of Quanah, who has become an
icon of culture clash on the Texas frontier. Soon after her capture, Bianca
Babb was being taken care of affectionately by the sister of her captor, a
childless widow, who decorated her hair with conchos and entrusted her
with a horse. It appears that from the start Bianca's captors saw her as a
foster child and perhaps even a favorite daughter, a socially recognized
role among the Comanches.7
Bianca Louella Babb was born in a covered wagon on August 26,
1856, near Lecompton, Kansas, while her parents, John and Isabel
Babb, were relocating from Wisconsin to Texas. Bianca, their third
child, went by the nicknames "Bankuella" and "Banc." In 186o the Babb
family settled on a farm about twelve miles west of Decatur, near the pre-
sent-day town of Chico.
On September 14, 1866, Bianca Babb, age ten, and her fourteen-year-
old brother, Dot, were captured at their home by Nokoni Comanches
during a raid through Jack and Wise Counties that left their mother
dead. The leader of the raiding party, Persummy (whom Dot called
"Pernerney" in his book), was allegedly a brother to the Nokonis' princi-
pal chief, Terheryaquahip (teheya kwahip, Horseback). During their
flight northwest, the Babb siblings were separated and did not see each
other again until after they were ransomed in 1867. Bianca's captor,
Kerno, placed the girl in the care of his sister, Tekwashana, whose hus-
band had been killed during the raid into Texas and who had no chil-
dren of her own. Bianca said that Tekwashana "was always good to me"
and "never scolded me."8
Bianca's remarks about the path and range of her travels with the
Indians, and a few other details she supplies, suggest that the whole
7 Wallace and Hoebel, The Comanches, 126, 242; A. C. Greene, The Last Captzve (Austin: Encino
Press, 1972); George Catlin, Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Conditzons of the North
American Indzans (2 vols.; New York: Dover Publications, 1973), II, 67-68; Demitri B. Shimkin,
"Comanche-Shoshone Words of Acculturation, 1786-1848," Journal of the Steward Anthropological
Society, 2 (Spring, 1980), 207; Margaret Schmidt Hacker, Cynthia Ann Parker: The Lfe and the
Legend (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 199o).
8 Dorman H. Winfrey and James M. Day (eds.), The Indian Papers of Texas and the Southwest,
1825-1916 (5 vols.; Austin: The Pemberton Press, 1966), IV, 115-116; Dallas Herald, Oct. 6,
1866, 2; depositions, Indian depredation claim of Hernando C. Babb, box 377, case no. 4606,
RG 123 (National Archives and Records Administration; hereafter cited as NA); Report of the
General Council of the Kiowa, Comanche and Apache tribes of Indians of the Kiowa Agency,
Oct. 1o, 1899, microfilm roll KA48 (Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, hereafter
cited as OHS) (identifying Persummy and Kerno); Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Mar. 5, 1939, oil news
and classified ads section, 12 (identifying Tekwashana); "Shelton Glenn [sic; Willis Skelton
Glenn] Buffalo Hunt Manuscript," Ch. XIV, microfilm roll MF6 (University of Texas at El Paso
Library) (referring to Bianca's Comanche mother as "Lecwishama").
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004, periodical, 2004; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/m1/57/: accessed December 10, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.