Heritage, Volume 5, Number 2, Summer 1987 Page: 20
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Quanah Parker: Leader of the
People - *
"Forty years ago my mother
died. She captured by Comanches,
nine years old. Love v_
Indian and wild life so well no *
want to go back to white folks.
All same people anyway, God
say. I love my mother. I like my
white people. Got great heart.
I want my people follow after M
white way, get educated, know
work, make living when pay- :
ments stop. I tell 'em they got
to know (how to) pick cotton,
plow corn. I want them know
white man's God. Comanche
may die today, tomorrow, ten
years. When end comes they
all be together again. I want
see my mother again then."
by Bill Neeley
Editor's note: This article is based on a manuscript
excerpt from Quanah Parker and His People by Bill
Neeley, published by Brazos Press, Ninth Street and
Industrial Drive, Slaton, Texas 79364.
hen Comanches attacked
J'I/ the recently constructed Parker's
Fort near Groesbeck, Texas, in the
spring of 1836, there began a saga in
Southwestern history which culminated
in the person of Quanah Parker, last chief
of the Comanches. Peta Nocona, famed
war chief of Nermernuh (the People) captured
nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker,
daughter of Silas Parker, and took her to
the inner reaches of Comancherfa (the
Spanish term for the area claimed by the
In a speech at the State Fair in Dallas in 1910 the
last chief of the Comanches was quoted, "I used
to be a bad man. Now I am a citizen of the United
States. I pay taxes the same as you people do. We
are the same people now."
People). Adopted by a kindly Indian family,
Cynthia Ann became Naudah, or She
Carried Herself with Grace and Dignity.
When the adopted white girl reached
adulthood, Peta Nocona, He Who Leaves
Alone and Returns, took Naudah as one
of his wives. As the first-born of Comanche
war chief Peta Nocona and
Naudah, Quanah took on the mantle of
leadership from his warrior father. While
chieftainship was not passed down from
father to son among the Comanches,
rhythms of leadership beat in Quanah's
heart, not only from Peta Nocona, but
from his mother's people as well. So
Quanah from a very young age emerged
as a leader of keen intelligence, powerful
physique, and balanced judgment. It was
his lot to lead Nermernuh, along the most
perilous road in their history. It was a road
of transition from supreme overlords of
the southern plains to wards of the United
States government. At the time of
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 5, Number 2, Summer 1987, periodical, Summer 1987; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45437/m1/20/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.