Quanah Parker

Quanah Parker

Quanah Parker was a man of two worlds. Naudah was a white woman who was taken captive as a young girl from Fort Parker in Texas, in 1836.Early yearsQuanah Parker was born around 1852, in a place called Laguna Sabinas (Cedar Lake), near the Wichita Mountains in what is now Oklahoma. The name Quanah translates as “smell,” “odor,” or “fragrance.” Quanah had a brother and a sister, but they both died before reaching maturity.Quanah’s youth was spent in a world where his people were at constant war with the United States and Mexico. In 1860, while Quanah was still a boy, his 24-year-old mother was kidnapped from her husband and sons by a unit comprising soldiers, Texas Rangers, and Tonkawa Indian scouts.In the same raid, Peta Nocona’s band was destroyed, leaving Quanah with no family and no home. The youngster found refuge among the Quahadi Comanche band that lived in what is now northern Texas.War over buffaloIn Quanah's youth, white buffalo hunters appeared on the plains to slaughter and nearly eradicate the vast buffalo population for their hides. Given that the buffalo was the Plains tribes' main sustenance, the Comanche beheld the slaughter as a sustained attack on Native American peoples, a direct assault on their very existence, and so Indian resistance erupted.At the Medicine Lodge peace council of 1867, the Quahadi rejected a proposed treaty that called for them to give up their tribal lands, and refused to accept the provision that would confine the Southern Plains Indians to a reservation. Because of that rejection, the Quahadi became fugitives on the Staked Plains (Llano Estacado¹).The Red River WarFollowing the council at Medicine Lodge, Quanah and his band stepped up their raids on Texan settlements. During those raids, Quanah distinguished himself as a valiant natural leader.The Quahadi Comanche waged a war on the plains unlike any war seen by the U.S. Even with repeating weapons, cannon, and superior numbers, the Comanche apparently could not be defeated.During the Red River War, numerous tribes — even mortal enemies — made alliances with each other to stop the slaughter of the buffalo and drive the white men from the land.As buffalo hunters spread like a disease onto the buffalo plains, annihilating the Indians' chief source of subsistence, Quanah Parker and the Quahadi targeted buffalo hunters in their raids. In June 1874, approximately 700 Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, and Comanche warriors attacked Adobe Walls in the Texas Panhandle where 28 hunters and one woman were staying.The warriors charged and the hunters began to fire. Unfortunately, the hunters' advanced weaponry enabled them to withstand the force of repeated attacks. Quanah was wounded, but emerged from the Red River War as a great chief.Just before dawn On September 28, 1874, Colonel Ranald Mackenzie's 4th Cavalry and Tonkawa scouts stumbled upon a large camp of sleeping Comanches in Palo Duro Canyon and attacked it. They were decapitated and their heads sent to Washington, D.C., for “scientific” study.Colonel Mackenzie issued an order that all Comanche who did not submit to reservation life would be exterminated. As women, elders, and children were non-combatants, their welfare was of great concern to Quanah.To the reservationWith their land stolen, the wildlife all but gone because of the white invasion and continual warfare with the U.S. The Quahadi did not receive the fair treatment that they were promised; instead, they were abused and humiliated.Nevertheless, for the following 25 years, Quanah led his people with forceful, yet down-to-earth leadership. To that end, he supported school construction on reservation lands and encouraged Indian youth to learn the white man's ways.His influence also was successful in preventing the spread of the militant Ghost Dance among his people, which generated uprisings elsewhere.Quanah had joined the white man’s world, but he did it his way. His family has branches on both sides of his heritage, Comanche and white.In 1892, the Jerome Commission coerced the three reservation tribes into accepting an agreement providing for the allotment and sale of about two-thirds of the reservation to the United States.In 1905, Quanah was one of five chiefs chosen to ride in Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural parade. He rode beside Geronimo. Among his friends were cattleman Charles Goodnight and the president himself.Quanah Parker was the only Comanche ever recognized by the U.S. Government with the title, "Chief of the Comanche Indians." He was a major figure both in Comanche resistance to white invasion and in the tribe's adjustment to reservation life.A resilient leader fallsOn February 11, 1911, while visiting the Cheyenne Reservation, Quanah became ill with an undiagnosed ailment. After returning home, he died on February 23.Two of his wives, To-nar-cy and To-pay, were with him. He is buried next to his mother, Cynthia Ann Parker, in the military cemetery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Resting Here Until Day Breaks
And Shadows Fall and Darkness
Disappears is Quanah Parker
Last Chief of the Comanche
Born – 1852
Died Feb. 23, 1911

The epitaph of Quanah Parker

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glint in snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush.
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Ai!


¹A level, semiarid, plateau-like region that marks the southernmost extent of the High Plains, 40,000 square miles of eastern New Mexico and west Texas, between the Pecos River and the Cap Rock escarpment. The Llano Estacado is one of the largest expanses of near-featureless terrain in the U.S. Early Spanish explorers, who placed marker stakes to avoid losing their way on the flat land, named the region.
² The Quahadi Comanche waged a hit-and-run guerrilla war, much as the Patriots did during the War of Independence.


Quanah Parker Medicine Mounds Gathering 2021

If you're ready to get outside and see something new, come to Quanah, Texas in June!

The Medicine Mounds, four dolomite mounds southeast of Quanah, are culturally significant to many Comanche, and to the descendants of Quanah Parker. The Quanah Parker Society is hosting a 4-day event that allows public access to these landmarks, celebrates Comanche culture, and highlights the history of the area. Activities will take place both at the Mounds and in Quanah.


The Move to Indian Territory

In 1867, the Treaty of Medicine Lodge was signed, which called for the settlement of the Comanche, Cheyenne, Riowa, Kiowa-Apache, and Arapaho onto reservations in Indian Territory (later the state of Oklahoma). Most of the Comanche bands accepted the treaty, but the Quahadi would resist settlement the longest, refusing to recognize the document. Seven years of periodic raiding and open hostility towards white settlers and frontier towns ensued, with retaliation against the Comanche for these incidents. The final insult in the minds of the Quahadi was the increasing presence of buffalo hunters, professionals hired to hunt the huge animals for the eastern market and to undercut the basis of Plains Indian life, forcing them onto reservations to avoid starvation. In June of 1875, a group of 700 allied tribes' warriors attacked a group of buffalo hunters at a fortification called Adobe Walls, in the Texas Panhandle. Three days of bitter fighting led to an eventual turning back of the Indian raiding force, and the beginning of two years of relentless pursuit of the Quahadi by General Ranald Mackenzie. Until recently, published accounts of Quanah Parker's life reported that he led the Indians against Adobe Walls, became the war chief of the Quahadi during Mackenzie's pursuit, and reluctantly surrendered to reservation life as the last fierce war leader of the free Comanche. Recent works show that Quanah was too young to have been a war chief, but report that he did fight at Adobe Walls.

The Quahadi surrendered to reservation settlement in 1875. The person who was most likely their leader at that time was Eschiti ["Coyote Droppings"], who had been the leader who incited the raid on Adobe Walls. A medicine man as well as a civil leader, Eschiti would see his influence decrease as Quanah Parker's increased with the favor of the Indian Agent. Early on, the agent had courted Parker's good graces, believing that, as a mixed-blood, Parker could be more easily converted to white ways and could then influence his people to change also. However, the agent had not taken into account that Parker's mixed ancestry was the reason many staunchly traditional Comanche refused to accept his leadership. That he was being "created" as an Indian leader by white officials caused further conflict.


Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker: The History and the Legend

The story of Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker is well-known in Texas history, but their story really began in East Central Illinois. Cynthia Ann&rsquos grandfather, Elder John Parker her uncles, Benjamin and Daniel Parker and other members of the family were among the first white settlers of Crawford and Coles counties. Cynthia Ann was born near present-day Charleston, IL, c. 1827.

From February 7 to April 9, 2015, Booth Library on the campus of Eastern Illinois University hosted an exhibit, as well as several programs and presentations, about Quanah Parker his mother, Cynthia Ann Parker and other members of the Parker Family who were influential in settling the land that is now Coles County, IL.

&ldquoQuanah & Cynthia Ann Parker: The History and the Legend&rdquo looked not only at the history of the family and the lives of Quanah and Cynthia Ann, but it examined the impact their story still has today. In addition to the programs listed below, the series included film screenings of the 1920 silent film &ldquoDaughter of Dawn,&rdquo starring two of Quanah Parker&rsquos children, White and Wanada Parker and &ldquoThe Searchers,&rdquo the John Wayne film inspired by James Parker&rsquos search for his niece, Cynthia Ann. In addition, captivity narratives written by Rachael Parker Plummer and others were examined in a panel discussion titled &ldquoAmerican Captivity Narratives: A Literary Genre of Enduring Interest.&rdquo

Co-sponsors of the Booth Library exhibit and program series were Eastern Illinois University, the Tarble Arts Center, the Illinois Humanities Council and the Texas Lakes Trail. Unless otherwise noted, all of the programs below were presented on Feb. 20-21 on the campus of Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL.

On the Trail with the Parkers

Audrey Kalivoda, documentary filmmaker with Mesquite 90 Productions based in Nashville, TN, examines the westward trek of Elder John Parker, who, like many early settlers, constantly was inspired to pull up roots and journey into new, unsettled lands. They traveled across 2,500 miles and through 12 states, settling in Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee and Illinois before ending their journey in Fort Parker, TX. Kalivoda&rsquos presentation and discussion included a viewing of her 2013 documentary, &ldquoFollowing the Parker Trail&rdquo (not included in the recording below).

Preserving Parker Cemetery

Two groups of Parkers were among the first settlers of Coles and Clark counties in East Central Illinois. Local historians refer to them as the &ldquoPreachin&rsquo Parkers,&rdquo with patriarch Elder John Parker, his 13 children and multiple grandchildren, including Cynthia Ann Parker and the &ldquoPrairie Parkers,&rdquo headed by James Parker. Early historical writings claimed no blood relationship between these two groups however, recent DNA testing has proven a familial relationship. In this program, two descendants of the &ldquoPrairie Parkers,&rdquo James David Parker of Memphis, MO, and David Parker of Pendleton, IN, explore the relationship between the two Parker families and describe recent cleanup efforts of the nearby Parker Cemetery, located in rural Coles County.

Parker Pioneer Burial Ground Historic Preservation and Mapping Initiative

Steven Di Naso, geospatial scientist and instructor in the Department of Geology and Geography at Eastern Illinois University, details new technology being used in the restoration of the Parker Cemetery. Di Naso and his students have used state-of-the-art technology and field data techniques to collect, analyze and map this historic burial ground. Once this research has been completed, an accessible, online database will be created to aid in historical and genealogical research, as well as provide a permanent record of the cemetery.

Quanah Parker and the Battle of Adobe Walls

Richard Hummel, professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern Illinois University, presents this overview of the Comanche tribe&rsquos reliance on the buffalo for survival and the effect of the dwindling herds on Quanah Parker and his people. Traditional Native American hunting grounds were being wiped out by buffalo hunters who made a living by harvesting the animals&rsquo hides. This conflict came to a head on June 27, 1874, when Quanah and his tribe battled with buffalo hunters in the Second Battle of Adobe Walls. The outgunned Comanches were eventually forced to give up the fight, and this battle had a profound impact on Quanah as he made future decisions to ensure the survival of his people.

Turning Hell into a Home: Depictions of Native Americans on Film

Robin Murray, professor of English at Eastern Illinois University, takes a look at how American Indians are portrayed in film, from early silent films to later Westerns that often depict them as savages. These include films with characters or storylines inspired by the Parker story, such as &ldquoComanche&rdquo (1956) and &ldquoThe Searchers&rdquo (1956). More authentic portrayals can be found through the eyes of American Indian filmmakers, as evident in the film &ldquoSmoke Signals&rdquo (1998).

Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker: The History and the Legend

Beth Heldebrandt, public relations director at Booth Library, gives an overview of the story of Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker, as well as the family of Elder John Parker, which was influential in settling the land and organizing the government of Charleston and Coles County, IL. This program was originally presented at the Crawford County Historical Society Museum in Robinson, IL, on Feb. 12, 2015, and was repeated on Feb. 25 on the EIU campus to an audience of education students. As part of the Booth Library series, these students are assigned to lead more than 200 Charleston fifth-graders through the Parker exhibit and provide them with a related social studies activity.


Quanah Parker with Wives

Photograph of Comanche Chief Quanah Parker with wives. From left to right are Payi, Quanah Parker, and Chony, who is the mother of Baldwin Parker.

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Quannah Parker’s Abandoned House

I came across the story of Quannah Parker’s house, which still stands today in Cache, Texas – though it’s not in its original location. It’s been moved a couple of times. But it is complete, and still full of Quannah’s furniture. His house is recognizable from the stars on his roof. Apparently he figured that since U.S. military generals have stars, he wanted to have stars too, but bigger, and on his roof.

This is a really cool relic of history which needs to be saved, and unfortunately, it sounds like the property owner isn’t willing to do anything with it, even though many groups are willing to buy it and restore it. One of the fascinating things about the Comanche Indians was that they were so fierce, and inhabited such difficult terrain, that they were pretty much the last holdouts, as far as American Indians go – except of course the Seminoles in the everglades. So we ended up with actual photos, and fairly recent accounts of their lives as some of the last free American Indians.

There is little reliable information about Quanah’s early life. When he was approximately nine, Cynthia Ann was recaptured by whites at the Battle of Pease River, in present-day Foard County two years after that his father died. In later life he recalled that he was a participant in the Second Battle of Adobe Walls, in June 1874, in which several hundred Comanche, Kiowa, Arapahoe, and Cheyenne attacked 28 buffalo hunters but were repelled after a five-day siege. The following May he was part of the Comanche band that surrendered to Colonel Ranald Mackenzie after the Red River War, agreeing to live on the reservation at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Quanah was approximately 23 years old.

Reservation life for the Comanche meant subjecting themselves to the government’s attempt to eradicate their free-range hunting and warring native culture and turn them into settled farmers. The first step in this process was abandoning their annual buffalo hunts and instead drawing government rations of beef, sugar, flour, and coffee. Quanah’s inherent leadership qualities caught the eye of reservation agent James M. Haworth, who in 1875 appointed him head of a beef band, a group of families who drew their rations together.

Chief Accessory: Quannah’s Majestic Headdress, Texas Monthly, by Darren Braun, December 23, 2015.

Lester Kosechata, a great-great-grandson of Quanah Parker, the last great chief of the Kawahari Comanches, recalls many tales of the old chief.

Kosechata, 57, of Noble, was told the stories by his “Grandpa Tom,” Quana’s eldest son. Tom died in March 1954 at 99.

“During the summer when I was young and was not working in the fields, I always had to help my Grandpa Tom because he was old,” Kosechata said. “He smoked oak leaves and I would have to go climb the oak trees for him. I was his favorite, and everthing that he did, he took me with him. I used to lie around on the porch and listen to the stories he would tell. I’d go to what they call the Indian gambling. While waiting to get in the game (the men) would all sit around and tell these stories under these brush arbors.”

Some of the stories they told led Kosechata to believe Quanah was not as beloved by all the Comanches as most people today think.

“They believed in him,” Kosechata said. “But he was very blunt and very mean. He believed things had to be done his way.

“Other tribes looked up to him. He never made a decision off the top of his head but slept on it.

Quanah Parker: Maybe Not a Wonderful Person, But Truly a Great Man, The Oklahoman, by Bonnie Speer, November 14, 1982.

Quannah’s mother is a really interesting character, and deserves her own movie, if anything. She was originally captured by the Comanche as a white settler, and was lucky to survive and assimilate into the tribe. Later they tried to force her to return, and she never did want to nor could she. He was very close to his mother, and she played an important role in his life. This is his mother, circa 1861:

Quanah’s mother, Cynthia Ann Parker, was abducted by Comanche raiders on the Texas frontier when she was 9. She was raised as a Comanche and married Chief Nocona. She had three children, the oldest of whom 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 were offered, tribal elders 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 camp along a tributary of the Pease River was attacked by Texas Rangers. Her husband was killed but her boys escaped. Cynthia Ann was finally freed from captivity, but she saw it as being abducted again. She was now 34. While being escorted to Tarrant County after the battle, she was photographed in Fort Worth with her daughter, Prairie Flower, at her chest and her hair cut short – a Comanche sign of mourning.

She never readjusted to white culture and tried many times to escape and return to her tribe. She begged to go back to her people. As S.C. Gwynne reported in his masterpiece, “Empire of the Summer Moon,” Cynthia Ann knew Spanish better than English. She told a translator: “Mi corazón llorando todo el tiempo por mi dos hijos.” “My heart cries all the time for my two boys” – Quanah and Pecos. But they wouldn’t give her her wish. Her relatives believed she would readjust in time. In truth, she was being held captive a second time.

She never gave up her Comanche ways. She often sat outside with a small fire and worshiped the Great Spirit according to the customs she knew. Sadly, Prairie Flower died of the flu a few years after they were returned to white society. And Cynthia herself died seven years after that, relatively young, essentially of a broken heart.

Quanah Parker: A Mother’s Day Story, Texas Standard, 5/3/16, https://www.texasstandard.org/stories/quanah-parker-a-mothers-day-story/

Quanah’s defense of his native customs included the tribesmen’s right to take as many wives as they could afford. Quanah himself had at least five at one time, and government officials continually harassed him about his polygamy. His position as presiding judge of the reservation’s Court of Indian Offenses was threatened because of his plural marriages, and when he requested government funds to build his sprawling ten-room, two-story home, known as the Star House, he was told that no assistance would be granted to him unless he agreed to live with only one wife. He traveled to Washington, D.C., to discuss the matter with Thomas Morgan, the commissioner of Indian Affairs, and purportedly told him that he would agree to those conditions if Morgan would be the one to tell the other wives to leave. Eventually his Texas rancher friends paid for the house.

Quanah also sustained the use of peyote in religious ceremonies, a practice that increased in the 1880’s and eventually became the foundation of the Native American Church. Starting in 1888, three successive agents at the Fort Sill reservation issued orders forbidding their Indian charges to use peyote in any form, and Quanah blandly assured each that his people were complying while he continued to function as a Road Man, or leader in the peyote ceremony. The secrecy that surrounded the ceremony made this deception possible. Quanah believed that peyote offered solace to his people and defended the practice by saying, “The white man goes into his church house and talks about Jesus, but the Indian goes into his tipi and talks to Jesus.”

By the late 1890’s Quanah had become a national celebrity. He made numerous well-publicized trips to Washington to represent Comanche interests, and in 1905 he rode down Pennsylvania Avenue in Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade, clad in buckskin and wearing a feathered headdress. He also led parades at the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show and the Texas State Fair, in Dallas, and he was much in demand for Fourth of July parades in Oklahoma. Quanah died in 1911, but the headdress he wore on these occasions is now in the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, in Canyon. It is a magnificent assemblage of 62 golden eagle feathers, each trimmed at the top with red turkey or rooster hackles and horsehair and attached to a felt cap and a trailer that falls nearly to the floor. It was a gift to the museum in 1960 from Topay, Quanah’s last surviving wife, a fitting memento of a man who spent his life trying to guide his people along the white man’s road while preserving their identity as Comanche.

Chief Accessory: Quannah’s Majestic Headdress, Texas Monthly, by Darren Braun, December 23, 2015.

This is pretty cool. Here’s the same table and the same chairs, in the same room, now and then:

Another table sitting there with some of the same chairs.

A table inside the Quanah Parker Star House in Cache, Okla., Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Quannah with his three wives:

You can see a bed in a few of the original pics. It looks a lot like this one, which is still in the house, but it appears to me to be a different – though similar – bed.


Circular of Information of the Bureau of Education, for , 1903

Ближайшие родственники

About Quanah Parker, Comanche Chief

There is a great deal to read in here. WONDERFUL WORK HERE.

I'm adding this at the top because it shouldn't be missed!
I found this old 1908 Film with Quannah Parker called, BANK ROBBERY

https://youtu.be/RbX4ekoVBDg
Also the TRUTH of his mother's capture at the Battle of Pease River and his father's true death date and circumstances..

And I beg forgiveness if it's wrong that I put it here.

But before I go. how many of us are aware that Quanah Parker has a house in Oklahoma that is falling apart it is on the national register of historic places but it is owned by a private party and sadly it is falling to ruin as we speak this may not be an appropriate spot but I wonder about starting a GoFundMe page or something to be able to pay for contractors to be able to save this house.

I have uploaded a few screenshots of the current condition of the house as well as some shots when it was new. And again I do beg your pardon but it seems this is the place to find concerned persons with regard to Quanah Parker and or his house and family in the year 2019.

Most certainly with such a great bloodline flowing in their veins there has got to be some good roofers and plumbers and electricians and carpenters ?

Please join the discussion about his house if you're interested.

Also I brought up the subject of the true death date and circumstances surrounding the death of Quannah's father and here is a video link to some very interesting information which I will also post on Peta Nocona 's profile as well. I think instead of showing a definitive date when we have a lot of conflicting information would be better for us to put an approximate date and show the possibilities instead of saying for sure that it was Ross and his men that killed Nokona that day because that could be completely inaccurate. https://youtu.be/0NaI2chrN4A.

Here also is a link to footage from the late 1950s of a Parker family reunion. https://youtu.be/Gkf7_XuD2VY

And now for the rest of the story.

Quanah Parker was the last Chief of the Comanches and never lost a battle to the white man. His tribe roamed over the area where Pampas stands. He was never captured by the Army, but decided to surrender and lead his tribe into the white man's culture, only when he saw that there was no alternative.

His was the last tribe in the Staked Plains to come into the reservation system.

Quanah, meaning "fragrant," was born about 1850, son of Comanche Chief Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, a white girl taken captive during the 1836 raid on Parker's Fort, Texas. Cynthia Ann Parker was recaptured, along with her daughter, during an 1860 raid on the Pease River in northwest Texas. She had spent 24 years among the Comanche, however, and thus never readjusted to living with the whites again.

She died in Anderson County, Texas, in 1864 shortly after the death of her daughter, Prairie Flower. Ironically, Cynthia Ann's son would adjust remarkably well to living among the white men. But first he would lead a bloody war against them.

Quanah and the Quahada Comanche, of whom his father, Peta Nocona had been chief, refused to accept the provisions of the 1867 Treaty of Medicine Lodge, which confined the southern Plains Indians to a reservation, promising to clothe the Indians and turn them into farmers in imitation of the white settlers.

Knowing of past lies and deceptive treaties of the "White man", Quanah decided to remain on the warpath, raiding in Texas and Mexico and out maneuvering Army Colonel Ronald S. Mackenzie and others. He was almost killed during the attack on buffalo hunters at Adobe Walls in the Texas Panhandle in 1874. The U.S. Army was relentless in its Red River campaign of 1874-75. Quanah's allies, the Quahada were weary and starving.

Mackenzie sent Jacob J. Sturm, a physician and post interpreter, to solicit the Quahada's surrender. Sturm found Quanah, whom he called "a young man of much influence with his people," and pleaded his case. Quanah rode to a mesa, where he saw a wolf come toward him, howl and trot away to the northeast. Overhead, an eagle "glided lazily and then whipped his wings in the direction of Fort Sill," in the words of Jacob Sturm. This was a sign, Quanah thought, and on June 2, 1875, he and his band surrendered at Fort Sill in present-day Oklahoma. Biographer Bill Neeley writes:

"Not only did Quanah pass within the span of a single lifetime from a Stone Age warrior to a statesman in the age of the Industrial Revolution, but he accepted the challenge and responsibility of leading the whole Comanche tribe on the difficult road toward their new existence."

Quanah was traveling the "white man's road," but he did it his way. He refused to give up polygamy, much to the reservation agents' chagrin. Reservation agents being political appointees of the Federal Government, their main concern was to destroy all vestiges of Native American life and replace their culture with that of theirs. Quanah Parker also used peyote, negotiated grazing rights with Texas cattlemen, and invested in a railroad. He learned English, became a reservation judge, lobbied Congress and pleaded the cause of the Comanche Nation. Among his friends were cattleman Charles Goodnight and President Theodore Roosevelt. He considered himself a man who tried to do right both to the people of his tribe and to his "pale-faced friends".

It wasn't easy. Mackenzie appointed Quanah Parker as the chief of the Comanche shortly after his surrender, but the older chiefs resented Parker’s youth, and his white blood in particular." And in 1892, when Quanah Parker signed the Jerome Agreement that broke up the reservation, the Comanche were split into two factions: (1). those who realized that all that could be done had been one for their nation and (2). those who blamed Chief Parker for selling their country."

Quanah Parker died on February 23, 1911, and was buried next to his mother, whose body he had reinterred at Ft. Sill Military cemetery on Chiefs Knoll in Oklahoma only three months earlier. For his courage, integrity and tremendous insight, Quanah Parker’s life tells the story of one of America's greatest leaders and a true Texas Hero.

  • Quanah Parker - Biography of the Famous Leader
  • www.comanchelodge.com/quanahpg.html
  • Find a grave
  • See MEDIA

Quanah Parker (ca. 1852�ruary 23, 1911) was an important Comanche chief, a leader in the Native American Church, and the last leader of the powerful Quahadi band before they surrendered their battle on the Great Plains and went to a reservation in Indian Territory. He was the son of Comanche chief Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, a European American, who had been captured at the age of nine and adopted into the tribe. Quanah Parker also led his people on the reservation, where he became a wealthy rancher and influential in Comanche and European American society. With five wives and 25 children, Quanah had numerous descendants. Many people in Texas and Oklahoma claim him as an ancestor.

Early life and education Quanah Parker's mother, Cynthia Ann Parker (born ca. 1827), was a member of the large Parker frontier family that settled in east Texas in the 1830s. She was captured in 1836 (at age nine) by Comanches during the raid of Fort Parker near present-day Groesbeck, Texas. Given the Indian name Nadua (Someone Found), she was adopted into the Nocona band of Comanches.

Assimilated into the Comanche, Cynthia Ann later married the warrior Nocona, (also known as Noconie, Tah-con-ne-ah-pe-ah, or Peta Nocona). His father was the renowned chief Iron Jacket, famous among the Comanche for wearing a Spanish coat of mail. He was said to have the power to blow bullets away with his breath.

Nadua and Nocona's first child was Quanah (Fragrance) born in the Wichita Mountains. The exact birthplace is debated, but Quanah visited what he understood to be his birthplace at Laguna Sabinas (Cedar Lake) in Gaines County, Texas in his later years. They also had another son, Pecos (Pecan), and a daughter, Topsana (Prairie Flower). In December 1860, Nadua (Cynthia Ann) and Topsana were captured in the battle of Pease River by Texas Rangers under Lawrence Sullivan Ross. Peta Nocona, Quanah, and most of the adult men were out hunting when Ross's men attacked. Returning to the aftermath of the raid, they found it difficult to get information only a few people had survived.

Meanwhile, Nadua (Cynthia Ann) and her mixed-race daughter were reunited with her white family, but after having made her life 24 years with the Comanche, she wanted to return to them and her husband. She was never permitted to do so. Her daughter Topsana died of an illness in 1863. Cynthia Ann lost her will to live and starved to death in 1870.

Soon after the Pease River battle, Nadua's husband Peta Nocona was said to be a broken, bitter man. Later wounded during a raid with Apaches and already in ill health, he soon died. Before his death, he told Quanah of his mother's origins and adoption into the tribe. With this revelation, other tribesmen taunted Quanah as a half-breed. The band split after Nocona's death.

Career Quanah joined the Destanyuka band, where Chief Wild Horse took him under his wing. Though he grew to considerable standing as a warrior, he never felt comfortable with the Destanyuka. He left and formed the Quahadi (Antelope Eaters) band with warriors from another tribe. The Quahadi grew in number, becoming the largest of the Comanche bands, and also the most notorious. Quanah Parker became a leader of the Quahadi, and led them successfully for a number of years. In October 1867, Quanah was among the Comanche chiefs as an observer at treaty negotiations at Medicine Lodge. He made a statement about his refusal to sign the Medicine Lodge Treaty. His band remained free while other Comanches signed.

In the early 1870s, the Plains Indians were losing the battle for their land with the United States government. Following the capture of the Kiowa chiefs Satank, Adoeet (Big Tree), and Satanta, the Kiowa, Comanche, and Southern Cheyenne tribes joined forces in several battles. Colonel Ranald Mackenzie led US Army forces to round up or kill the remaining Indians who had not settled on reservations.

In June 1874, a Comanche prophet named Isa-tai summoned the tribes in the Texas Panhandle to the Second Battle of Adobe Walls, where several American buffalo hunters were active. With Kiowa Chief Big Bow, Quanah was in charge of one group of warriors. He was shot twice in the conflict.[citation needed] In the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon, on September 28, 1874, ManKenzie and his Tonkawa scouts razed a Comanche village and killed nearly 1,500 Comanche horses, a source of their wealth and power.

On the reservation With their food source depleted, and under constant pressure from the army, the Quahadi Comanche finally surrendered in 1875. With Colonel Mackenzie and Indian Agent James M. Hayworth, Parker helped settle the Comanche on the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Reservation in southwestern Indian Territory.

Parker's home in Cache, Oklahoma was called the Star House. Parker's was the last tribe of the Staked Plains or Llano Estacado to come to the reservation. Quanah was named chief over all the Comanches on the reservation, and proved to be a forceful, resourceful and able leader. Through wise investments, he became perhaps the wealthiest American Indian of his day in the United States. At this time, Quanah embraced much of white culture and adopted the surname Parker. He was well respected by the whites. He went on hunting trips with President Theodore Roosevelt, who often visited him. Nevertheless, he rejected both monogamy and traditional Protestant Christianity in favor of the Native American Church Movement, of which he was a founder.

The man known today as Quanah Parker came from a culture where surnames were unknown. A man's identity was contained in a single word. Family oral traditions indicate that the name Quanah, as recorded in history, was an Anglo corruption of the Comanche word 'Kwihnai, which translates as �gle”.

Quanah Parker and Samuel Burk Burnett The story of the unique friendship that grew between Quanah and the Burnett family is addressed in the exhibition of cultural artifacts that were given to the Burnett family from the Parker family. The presentation of a cultural relic as significant as Quanah’s war lance was not done lightly. It is a clear indication of the high esteem to which the Burnett family was regarded by the Parkers. The correspondence between Quanah and Samuel Burk Burnett and his son, Tom Burnett, expressed mutual admiration and respect.

The historical record mentions little of Quanah until his presence in the attack on the buffalo hunters at Adobe Walls on June 27, 1874. Fragmented information exists indicating Quanah had interactions with the Apache at about this time.

This association may have related to his taking up the Native American Church, or peyote religion. Quanah was said to have taken an Apache wife, but their union was short-lived. The Apache dress, bag and staff in the exhibit may be a remnant of this time in Quanah’s early adult life.

With the buffalo nearly exterminated and having suffered heavy loss of horses and lodges at the hands of the US military, Quanah was one of the leaders to bring the Quahada (Antelope) band of Comanches into Fort Sill during late May and early June 1875. This brought an end to their nomadic life on the southern plains and the beginning of an adjustment to more sedentary life.

Burk Burnett began moving cattle from South Texas in 1874 to near present-day Wichita Falls, Texas. There he established his ranch headquarters in 1881. Changing weather patterns and severe drought caused grasslands to wither and die in Texas. Burnett and other ranchers met with Comanche and Kiowa tribes to lease land on their reservation—nearly one million acres just north of the Red River in Oklahoma.

Originally, Quanah, like many of his contemporaries, was opposed to the opening of tribal lands for grazing by Anglo ranching interests. But, Quanah changed his position and forged close relationships with a number of Texas cattlemen, such as Charles Goodnight and the Burnett family. As early as 1880, Quanah was working with these new associates in building his own herds. In 1884, due largely to Quanah’s efforts, the tribes received their first “grass” payments for grazing rights on Comanche, Kiowa and Apache lands. It is during this period that the bonds between Quanah and the Burnett family grew strong.

Burnett ran 10,000 cattle until the end of the lease. The cattle baron had a strong feeling for Indian rights, and his respect for them was genuine. Where other cattle kings fought Indians and the harsh land to build empires, Burnett learned Comanche ways, passing both the love of the land and his friendship with the Indians to his family. As a sign of their regard for Burnett, the Comanches gave him a name in their own language: Mas-sa-suta, meaning 𠇋ig Boss.”

Parker earned the respect of US governmental leaders as he adapted to the white man’s life and became a prosperous rancher in Oklahoma. His spacious, two-story Star House had a bedroom for each of his seven wives and their children. He had his own private quarters, which were rather plain. Beside his bed were photographs of his mother Nadua (Cynthia Ann) and younger sister Prairie Flower. Parker extended hospitality to many influential people, both Native American and European American. Among the latter was the well-known cattleman Charles Goodnight.

Of all his white acquaintances, Parker counted Burk Burnett the best. He reportedly said: “I got one good friend, Burk Burnett, he big-hearted, rich cowman. Help my people good deal. You see big man hold tight to money, afraid to die. Burnett helped anybody.”

During the next 27 years Parker and the Burnetts shared many experiences. Burnett helped with the construction of Star House, Quanah’s large frame home, which bore the inverted white stars signifying his rank. Burnett asked for (and received) Quanah's participation in a parade with a large group of warriors at the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show and other public events. The “Parade” lance depicted in the exhibit was usually carried by Quanah at such public gatherings. Burnett assisted Quanah in buying the granite headstones used to mark the graves of his mother and sister. After years of searching, Parker had their remains moved from Texas and reinterred in 1910 in Oklahoma on the Comanche reservation at Fort Sill.

According to his daughter Wanada Page Parker, her father helped celebrate President Theodore Roosevelt's inauguration by appearing in the parade. Roosevelt visited Parker at Star House and they went wolf hunting together with Burnett.

Marriage and family Quanah's first wife was Weakeah, daughter of Comanche chief Yellow Bear. Although first espoused to another warrior, she and Quanah eloped, and took several other warriors with them. It was from this small group that the large Quahadi band would form. Yellow Bear pursued the band and eventually Quanah made peace with him. The two bands united, forming the largest force of Comanche Indians.

Over the years, Quanah married four more wives. A c. 1890 photograph by William B. Ellis of Quanah and two of his wives identified them as Topay and Chonie. Quanah had twenty-five children with his wives. Many people in north Texas and south Oklahoma claim descent from Quanah. Reportedly more Comanches are related to Quanah than any other chief. One grandson became Comanche chairman, the modern "Chief" of the tribe.

After moving to the reservation, Quanah got in touch with his white relatives from his mother's family. He stayed for a few weeks with them, where he studied English and western culture, and learned white farming techniques.

Founder of the Native American Church Movement Quanah Parker is credited as one of the first big leaders of the Native American Church Movement. Parker adopted the peyote religion after being gored in southern Texas by a bull. Parker was visiting his mother's brother, John Parker, in Texas where he was attacked, giving him severe wounds. To fight an onset of blood burning fever, a Mexican curandera was summoned and she prepared a strong peyote tea from fresh peyote to heal him. It was from this incident on that Quanah Parker became involved with peyote .Peyote is reported to contain hordenine and tyramine, phenylethylamine alkaloids which act as potent natural antibiotics when taken in a combined form.

Parker taught that the sacred peyote medicine was the sacrament given to the Indian Peoples, and was to be used with water when taking communion in a traditional Native American Church medicine ceremony. Parker was a proponent of the "half-moon" style of the peyote ceremony. The "cross" ceremony later evolved in Oklahoma due to Caddo influences introduced by John Wilson, a Caddo-Delaware religious leader who traveled extensively around the same time as Parker during the early days of the Native American Church movement.

Parker's most famous teaching regarding the spirituality of the Native American Church:

"The White Man goes into his church and talks about Jesus. The Indian goes into his tipi and talks with Jesus."

The modern reservation era in Native American history began with the adoption of the Native American Church and Christianity by nearly every Native American tribe and culture within North American and Canada as a result of Parker and Wilson's efforts. The peyote religion and the Native American Church were never the traditional religious practice of North American Indian cultures. This religion developed in the nineteenth century, inspired by events of the time, Parker's leadership, and influences from Native Americans of Mexico and other southern tribes. They had used peyote in spiritual practices since ancient times. Parker became wealthy as peyote became an important item of trade, combined with his ranching revenues.

Death Quanah died on February 23, 1911 at Star House. He was buried at the Fort Sill Cemetery, beside his mother and sister. The inscription on his tombstone reads:

Resting Here Until Day Breaks And Shadows Fall and Darkness Disappears is Quanah Parker Last Chief of the Comanches Born 1852 Died Feb. 23, 1911

The biographer Bill Neeley wrote: "Not only did Quanah pass within the span of a single lifetime from a Stone Age warrior to a statesman in the age of the Industrial Revolution, but he never lost a battle to the white man and he also accepted the challenge and responsibility of leading the whole Comanche tribe on the difficult road toward their new existence."

Criticism Although praised by many in his tribe as a preserver of their culture, Quanah also had Comanche critics. Some claimed that he "sold out to the white man" by adapting and becoming a rancher. He dressed and lived in what some viewed as a more European-American than Comanche style. Quanah did adopt some European-American ways, but he always wore his hair long and in braids. He also refused to follow US marriage laws and had up to five wives at one time.

Quanah was never elected principal chief of the tribe by the people. Traditionally, the Comanche had no single chief. The various bands of the Comanche had their own chiefs. The US appointed Quanah principal chief of the entire nation once the people had gathered on the reservation and later introduced general elections.

Family reunion and powwow The Quanah Parker Society, based in Cache, Oklahoma, holds an annual family reunion and powwow. Events usually include a pilgrimage to sacred sites in Quanah, Texas tour of his "Star Home" in Cache dinner memorial service at Fort Sill Post Cemetery gourd dance, pow-wow, and worship services. This event is open to the public.

Memorials and honors 1970, Star House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. An exhibit describes Parker and the Second Battle of Adobe Walls at the Hutchinson County Historical Museum in Borger, Texas.

Several places and buildings were named after him:

Quanah, Texas, county seat of Hardeman County. The Quanah Parker Inn is located on U.S. Highway 287. At the founding of Quanah, Parker made this blessing: "May the Great Spirit smile on your little town, May the rain fall in season, and in the warmth of the sunshine after the rain, May the earth yield bountifully, May peace and contentment be with you and your children forever."

Nocona, Texas was named after Quanah Parker's father, Comanche chief Peta Nocona. 1962, Parker Hall, a residence hall at Oklahoma State University. Parker Hall, a residence hall at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. The Quanah Parker Trailway (State Highway 62) in Southern Oklahoma. Quanah Parker Trail, a small residential street on the northeast side of Norman, Oklahoma.

Quanah Parker (ca. 1852�ruary 23, 1911) was an important Comanche chief, a leader in the Native American Church, and the last leader of the powerful Quahadi band before they surrendered their battle of the Great Plains and went to a reservation in Indian Territory. He was the son of Comanche chief Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, a European American, who had been captured at the age of nine and adopted into the tribe. Quanah Parker also led his people on the reservation, where he became a wealthy rancher and influential in Comanche and European American society. With five wives and 25 children, Quanah had numerous descendants. Many people in Texas and Oklahoma claim him as an ancestor.

Quanah Parker's mother, Cynthia Ann Parker (born ca. 1827), was a member of the large Parker frontier family that settled in east Texas in the 1830s. She was captured in 1836 (at age nine) by Comanches during the raid of Fort Parker near present-day Groesbeck, Texas. Given the Indian name Nadua (Someone Found), she was adopted into the Nocona band of Comanches.

Assimilated into the Comanche, Cynthia Ann later married the warrior Nocona, (also known as Noconie, Tah-con-ne-ah-pe-ah, or Peta Nocona). His father was the renowned chief Iron Jacket, famous among the Comanche for wearing a Spanish coat of mail. He was said to have the power to blow bullets away with his breath.

Nadua and Nocona's first child was Quanah (Fragrance) born in the Wichita Mountains. The exact birthplace is debated, but Quanah visited what he understood to be his birthplace at Laguna Sabinas (Cedar Lake) in Gaines County, Texas in his later years. They also had another son, Pecos (Pecan), and a daughter, Topsana (Prairie Flower). In December 1860, Nadua (Cynthia Ann) and Topsana were captured in the battle of Pease River by Texas Rangers under Lawrence Sullivan Ross. Peta Nocona, Quanah, and most of the adult men were out hunting when Ross's men attacked. Returning to the aftermath of the raid, they found it difficult to get information only a few people had survived.

Meanwhile, Nadua (Cynthia Ann) and her mixed-race daughter were reunited with her white family, but after having made her life 24 years with the Comanche, she wanted to return to them and her husband. She was never permitted to do so. Her daughter Topsana died of an illness in 1863. Cynthia Ann lost her will to live and starved to death in 1870.

Soon after the Pease River battle, Nadua's husband Peta Nocona was said to be a broken, bitter man. Later wounded during a raid with Apaches and already in ill health, he soon died. Before his death, he told Quanah of his mother's origins and adoption into the tribe. With this revelation, other tribesmen taunted Quanah as a half-breed. The band split after Nocona's death.

Quanah joined the Destanyuka band, where Chief Wild Horse took him under his wing. Though he grew to considerable standing as a warrior, he never felt comfortable with the Destanyuka. He left and formed the Quahadi (Antelope Eaters) band with warriors from another tribe. The Quahadi grew in number, becoming the largest of the Comanche bands, and also the most notorious. Quanah Parker became a leader of the Quahadi, and led them successfully for a number of years. In October 1867, Quanah was among the Comanche chiefs as an observer at treaty negotiations at Medicine Lodge. He made a statement about his refusal to sign the Medicine Lodge Treaty. His band remained free while other Comanches signed.

In the early 1870s, the Plains Indians were losing the battle for their land with the United States government. Following the capture of the Kiowa chiefs Satank, Adoeet (Big Tree), and Satanta, the Kiowa, Comanche, and Southern Cheyenne tribes joined forces in several battles. Colonel Ranald Mackenzie led US Army forces to round up or kill the remaining Indians who had not settled on reservations.

In June 1874, a Comanche prophet named Isa-tai summoned the tribes in the Texas Panhandle to the Second Battle of Adobe Walls, where several American buffalo hunters were active. With Kiowa Chief Big Bow, Quanah was in charge of one group of warriors. He was shot twice in the conflict.[citation needed] In the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon, on September 28, 1874, ManKenzie and his Tonkawa scouts razed a Comanche village and killed nearly 1,500 Comanche horses, a source of their wealth and power.

With their food source depleted, and under constant pressure from the army, the Quahadi Comanche finally surrendered in 1875. With Colonel Mackenzie and Indian Agent James M. Hayworth, Parker helped settle the Comanche on the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Reservation in southwestern Indian Territory.

Parker's home in Cache, Oklahoma was called the Star House. Parker's was the last tribe of the Staked Plains or Llano Estacado to come to the reservation. Quanah was named chief over all the Comanches on the reservation, and proved to be a forceful, resourceful and able leader. Through wise investments, he became perhaps the wealthiest American Indian of his day in the United States. At this time, Quanah embraced much of white culture and adopted the surname Parker. He was well respected by the whites. He went on hunting trips with President Theodore Roosevelt, who often visited him. Nevertheless, he rejected both monogamy and traditional Protestant Christianity in favor of the Native American Church Movement, of which he was a founder.

The man known today as Quanah Parker came from a culture where surnames were unknown. A man's identity was contained in a single word. Family oral traditions indicate that the name Quanah, as recorded in history, was an Anglo corruption of the Comanche word 'Kwihnai, which translates as �gle”.

Quanah Parker and Samuel Burk Burnett

The story of the unique friendship that grew between Quanah and the Burnett family is addressed in the exhibition of cultural artifacts that were given to the Burnett family from the Parker family. The presentation of a cultural relic as significant as Quanah’s war lance was not done lightly. It is a clear indication of the high esteem to which the Burnett family was regarded by the Parkers. The correspondence between Quanah and Samuel Burk Burnett and his son, Tom Burnett, expressed mutual admiration and respect.

The historical record mentions little of Quanah until his presence in the attack on the buffalo hunters at Adobe Walls on June 27, 1874. Fragmented information exists indicating Quanah had interactions with the Apache at about this time.

This association may have related to his taking up the Native American Church, or peyote religion. Quanah was said to have taken an Apache wife, but their union was short-lived. The Apache dress, bag and staff in the exhibit may be a remnant of this time in Quanah’s early adult life.

With the buffalo nearly exterminated and having suffered heavy loss of horses and lodges at the hands of the US military, Quanah was one of the leaders to bring the Quahada (Antelope) band of Comanches into Fort Sill during late May and early June 1875. This brought an end to their nomadic life on the southern plains and the beginning of an adjustment to more sedentary life.

Burk Burnett began moving cattle from South Texas in 1874 to near present-day Wichita Falls, Texas. There he established his ranch headquarters in 1881. Changing weather patterns and severe drought caused grasslands to wither and die in Texas. Burnett and other ranchers met with Comanche and Kiowa tribes to lease land on their reservation—nearly one million acres just north of the Red River in Oklahoma.

Originally, Quanah, like many of his contemporaries, was opposed to the opening of tribal lands for grazing by Anglo ranching interests. But, Quanah changed his position and forged close relationships with a number of Texas cattlemen, such as Charles Goodnight and the Burnett family. As early as 1880, Quanah was working with these new associates in building his own herds. In 1884, due largely to Quanah’s efforts, the tribes received their first “grass” payments for grazing rights on Comanche, Kiowa and Apache lands. It is during this period that the bonds between Quanah and the Burnett family grew strong.

Burnett ran 10,000 cattle until the end of the lease. The cattle baron had a strong feeling for Indian rights, and his respect for them was genuine. Where other cattle kings fought Indians and the harsh land to build empires, Burnett learned Comanche ways, passing both the love of the land and his friendship with the Indians to his family. As a sign of their regard for Burnett, the Comanches gave him a name in their own language: Mas-sa-suta, meaning 𠇋ig Boss.”

Parker earned the respect of US governmental leaders as he adapted to the white man’s life and became a prosperous rancher in Oklahoma. His spacious, two-story Star House had a bedroom for each of his seven wives and their children. He had his own private quarters, which were rather plain. Beside his bed were photographs of his mother Nadua (Cynthia Ann) and younger sister Prairie Flower. Parker extended hospitality to many influential people, both Native American and European American. Among the latter was the well-known cattleman Charles Goodnight.

Of all his white acquaintances, Parker counted Burk Burnett the best. He reportedly said: “I got one good friend, Burk Burnett, he big-hearted, rich cowman. Help my people good deal. You see big man hold tight to money, afraid to die. Burnett helped anybody.”

During the next 27 years Parker and the Burnetts shared many experiences. Burnett helped with the construction of Star House, Quanah’s large frame home, which bore the inverted white stars signifying his rank. Burnett asked for (and received) Quanah's participation in a parade with a large group of warriors at the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show and other public events. The “Parade” lance depicted in the exhibit was usually carried by Quanah at such public gatherings. Burnett assisted Quanah in buying the granite headstones used to mark the graves of his mother and sister. After years of searching, Parker had their remains moved from Texas and reinterred in 1910 in Oklahoma on the Comanche reservation at Fort Sill.

According to his daughter Wanada Page Parker, her father helped celebrate President Theodore Roosevelt's inauguration by appearing in the parade. Roosevelt visited Parker at Star House and they went wolf hunting together with Burnett.

Quanah's first wife was Weakeah, daughter of Comanche chief Yellow Bear. Although first espoused to another warrior, she and Quanah eloped, and took several other warriors with them. It was from this small group that the large Quahadi band would form. Yellow Bear pursued the band and eventually Quanah made peace with him. The two bands united, forming the largest force of Comanche Indians.

Over the years, Quanah married four more wives. A c. 1890 photograph by William B. Ellis of Quanah and two of his wives identified them as Topay and Chonie. Quanah had twenty-five children with his wives. Many people in north Texas and south Oklahoma claim descent from Quanah. Reportedly more Comanches are related to Quanah than any other chief. One grandson became Comanche chairman, the modern "Chief" of the tribe.

After moving to the reservation, Quanah got in touch with his white relatives from his mother's family. He stayed for a few weeks with them, where he studied English and western culture, and learned white farming techniques.

Founder of the Native American Church Movement

Quanah Parker is credited as one of the first big leaders of the Native American Church Movement. Parker adopted the peyote religion after being gored in southern Texas by a bull. Parker was visiting his mother's brother, John Parker, in Texas where he was attacked, giving him severe wounds. To fight an onset of blood burning fever, a Mexican curandera was summoned and she prepared a strong peyote tea from fresh peyote to heal him. It was from this incident on that Quanah Parker became involved with peyote .Peyote is reported to contain hordenine and tyramine, phenylethylamine alkaloids which act as potent natural antibiotics when taken in a combined form.

Parker taught that the sacred peyote medicine was the sacrament given to the Indian Peoples, and was to be used with water when taking communion in a traditional Native American Church medicine ceremony. Parker was a proponent of the "half-moon" style of the peyote ceremony. The "cross" ceremony later evolved in Oklahoma due to Caddo influences introduced by John Wilson, a Caddo-Delaware religious leader who traveled extensively around the same time as Parker during the early days of the Native American Church movement.

Parker's most famous teaching regarding the spirituality of the Native American Church:

"The White Man goes into his church and talks about Jesus. The Indian goes into his tipi and talks with Jesus."

The modern reservation era in Native American history began with the adoption of the Native American Church and Christianity by nearly every Native American tribe and culture within North American and Canada as a result of Parker and Wilson's efforts. The peyote religion and the Native American Church were never the traditional religious practice of North American Indian cultures. This religion developed in the nineteenth century, inspired by events of the time, Parker's leadership, and influences from Native Americans of Mexico and other southern tribes. They had used peyote in spiritual practices since ancient times. Parker became wealthy as peyote became an important item of trade, combined with his ranching revenues.

Quanah died on February 23, 1911 at Star House. He was buried at the Fort Sill Cemetery, beside his mother and sister. The inscription on his tombstone reads:

Resting Here Until Day Breaks

And Shadows Fall and Darkness

Quanah Parker Last Chief of the Comanches

The biographer Bill Neeley wrote: "Not only did Quanah pass within the span of a single lifetime from a Stone Age warrior to a statesman in the age of the Industrial Revolution, but he never lost a battle to the white man and he also accepted the challenge and responsibility of leading the whole Comanche tribe on the difficult road toward their new existence."

Although praised by many in his tribe as a preserver of their culture, Quanah also had Comanche critics. Some claimed that he "sold out to the white man" by adapting and becoming a rancher. He dressed and lived in what some viewed as a more European-American than Comanche style. Quanah did adopt some European-American ways, but he always wore his hair long and in braids. He also refused to follow US marriage laws and had up to five wives at one time.

Quanah was never elected principal chief of the tribe by the people. Traditionally, the Comanche had no single chief. The various bands of the Comanche had their own chiefs. The US appointed Quanah principal chief of the entire nation once the people had gathered on the reservation and later introduced general elections.

Family reunion and powwow

The Quanah Parker Society, based in Cache, Oklahoma, holds an annual family reunion and powwow. Events usually include a pilgrimage to sacred sites in Quanah, Texas tour of his "Star Home" in Cache dinner memorial service at Fort Sill Post Cemetery gourd dance, pow-wow, and worship services. This event is open to the public.

1970, Star House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

An exhibit describes Parker and the Second Battle of Adobe Walls at the Hutchinson County Historical Museum in Borger, Texas.

Several places and buildings were named after him:

Quanah, Texas, county seat of Hardeman County. The Quanah Parker Inn is located on U.S. Highway 287. At the founding of Quanah, Parker made this blessing:

"May the Great Spirit smile on your little town, May the rain fall in season, and in the warmth of the sunshine after the rain, May the earth yield bountifully, May peace and contentment be with you and your children forever."

Nocona, Texas was named after Quanah Parker's father, Comanche chief Peta Nocona.

1962, Parker Hall, a residence hall at Oklahoma State University.

Parker Hall, a residence hall at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

The Quanah Parker Trailway (State Highway 62) in Southern Oklahoma.

Quanah Parker Trail, a small residential street on the northeast side of Norman, Oklahoma. Quanah Parker was the last Chief of the Comanches and never lost a battle to the white man. His tribe roamed over the area where Pampas stands. He was never captured by the Army, but decided to surrender and lead his tribe into the white man's culture, only when he saw that there was no alternative.

His was the last tribe in the Staked Plains to come into the reservation system.

Quanah, meaning "fragrant," was born about 1850, son of Comanche Chief Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, a white girl taken captive during the 1836 raid on Parker's Fort, Texas. Cynthia Ann Parker was recaptured, along with her daughter, during an 1860 raid on the Pease River in northwest Texas. She had spent 24 years among the Comanche, however, and thus never readjusted to living with the whites again.

She died in Anderson County, Texas, in 1864 shortly after the death of her daughter, Prairie Flower. Ironically, Cynthia Ann's son would adjust remarkably well to living among the white men. But first he would lead a bloody war against them.

Quanah and the Quahada Comanche, of whom his father, Peta Nocona had been chief, refused to accept the provisions of the 1867 Treaty of Medicine Lodge, which confined the southern Plains Indians to a reservation, promising to clothe the Indians and turn them into farmers in imitation of the white settlers.

Knowing of past lies and deceptive treaties of the "White man", Quanah decided to remain on the warpath, raiding in Texas and Mexico and out maneuvering Army Colonel Ronald S. Mackenzie and others. He was almost killed during the attack on buffalo hunters at Adobe Walls in the Texas Panhandle in 1874. The U.S. Army was relentless in its Red River campaign of 1874-75. Quanah's allies, the Quahada were weary and starving.

Mackenzie sent Jacob J. Sturm, a physician and post interpreter, to solicit the Quahada's surrender. Sturm found Quanah, whom he called "a young man of much influence with his people," and pleaded his case. Quanah rode to a mesa, where he saw a wolf come toward him, howl and trot away to the northeast. Overhead, an eagle "glided lazily and then whipped his wings in the direction of Fort Sill," in the words of Jacob Sturm. This was a sign, Quanah thought, and on June 2, 1875, he and his band surrendered at Fort Sill in present-day Oklahoma.

Biographer Bill Neeley writes:

"Not only did Quanah pass within the span of a single lifetime from a Stone Age warrior to a statesman in the age of the Industrial Revolution, but he accepted the challenge and responsibility of leading the whole Comanche tribe on the difficult road toward their new existence."

Quanah was traveling the "white man's road," but he did it his way. He refused to give up polygamy, much to the reservation agents' chagrin. Reservation agents being political appointees of the Federal Government, their main concern was to destroy all vestiges of Native American life and replace their culture with that of theirs. Quanah Parker also used peyote, negotiated grazing rights with Texas cattlemen, and invested in a railroad. He learned English, became a reservation judge, lobbied Congress and pleaded the cause of the Comanche Nation. Among his friends were cattleman Charles Goodnight and President Theodore Roosevelt. He considered himself a man who tried to do right both to the people of his tribe and to his "pale-faced friends".

It wasn't easy. Mackenzie appointed Quanah Parker as the chief of the Comanche shortly after his surrender, but the older chiefs resented Parker’s youth, and his white blood in particular." And in 1892, when Quanah Parker signed the Jerome Agreement that broke up the reservation, the Comanche were split into two factions: (1). those who realized that all that could be done had been one for their nation and (2). those who blamed Chief Parker for selling their country."

Quanah Parker died on February 23, 1911, and was buried next to his mother, whose body he had reinterred at Ft. Sill Military cemetery on Chiefs Knoll in Oklahoma only three months earlier. For his courage, integrity and tremendous insight, Quanah Parker’s life tells the story of one of America's greatest leaders and a true Texas Hero.

Quanah Parker - Biography of the Famous Leader

Quanah Parker (ca. 1852�ruary 23, 1911) was an important Comanche chief, a leader in the Native American Church, and the last leader of the powerful Quahadi band before they surrendered their battle on the Great Plains and went to a reservation in Indian Territory. He was the son of Comanche chief Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, a European American, who had been captured at the age of nine and adopted into the tribe. Quanah Parker also led his people on the reservation, where he became a wealthy rancher and influential in Comanche and European American society. With five wives and 25 children, Quanah had numerous descendants. Many people in Texas and Oklahoma claim him as an ancestor.

Quanah Parker's mother, Cynthia Ann Parker (born ca. 1827), was a member of the large Parker frontier family that settled in east Texas in the 1830s. She was captured in 1836 (at age nine) by Comanches during the raid of Fort Parker near present-day Groesbeck, Texas. Given the Indian name Nadua (Someone Found), she was adopted into the Nocona band of Comanches.

Assimilated into the Comanche, Cynthia Ann later married the warrior Nocona, (also known as Noconie, Tah-con-ne-ah-pe-ah, or Peta Nocona). His father was the renowned chief Iron Jacket, famous among the Comanche for wearing a Spanish coat of mail. He was said to have the power to blow bullets away with his breath.

Nadua and Nocona's first child was Quanah (Fragrance) born in the Wichita Mountains. The exact birthplace is debated, but Quanah visited what he understood to be his birthplace at Laguna Sabinas (Cedar Lake) in Gaines County, Texas in his later years. They also had another son, Pecos (Pecan), and a daughter, Topsana (Prairie Flower). In December 1860, Nadua (Cynthia Ann) and Topsana were captured in the battle of Pease River by Texas Rangers under Lawrence Sullivan Ross. Peta Nocona, Quanah, and most of the adult men were out hunting when Ross's men attacked. Returning to the aftermath of the raid, they found it difficult to get information only a few people had survived.

Meanwhile, Nadua (Cynthia Ann) and her mixed-race daughter were reunited with her white family, but after having made her life 24 years with the Comanche, she wanted to return to them and her husband. She was never permitted to do so. Her daughter Topsana died of an illness in 1863. Cynthia Ann lost her will to live and starved to death in 1870.

Soon after the Pease River battle, Nadua's husband Peta Nocona was said to be a broken, bitter man. Later wounded during a raid with Apaches and already in ill health, he soon died. Before his death, he told Quanah of his mother's origins and adoption into the tribe. With this revelation, other tribesmen taunted Quanah as a half-breed. The band split after Nocona's death.

Quanah joined the Destanyuka band, where Chief Wild Horse took him under his wing. Though he grew to considerable standing as a warrior, he never felt comfortable with the Destanyuka. He left and formed the Quahadi (Antelope Eaters) band with warriors from another tribe. The Quahadi grew in number, becoming the largest of the Comanche bands, and also the most notorious. Quanah Parker became a leader of the Quahadi, and led them successfully for a number of years. In October 1867, Quanah was among the Comanche chiefs as an observer at treaty negotiations at Medicine Lodge. He made a statement about his refusal to sign the Medicine Lodge Treaty. His band remained free while other Comanches signed.

In the early 1870s, the Plains Indians were losing the battle for their land with the United States government. Following the capture of the Kiowa chiefs Satank, Adoeet (Big Tree), and Satanta, the Kiowa, Comanche, and Southern Cheyenne tribes joined forces in several battles. Colonel Ranald Mackenzie led US Army forces to round up or kill the remaining Indians who had not settled on reservations.

In June 1874, a Comanche prophet named Isa-tai summoned the tribes in the Texas Panhandle to the Second Battle of Adobe Walls, where several American buffalo hunters were active. With Kiowa Chief Big Bow, Quanah was in charge of one group of warriors. He was shot twice in the conflict.[citation needed] In the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon, on September 28, 1874, ManKenzie and his Tonkawa scouts razed a Comanche village and killed nearly 1,500 Comanche horses, a source of their wealth and power.

On the reservation With their food source depleted, and under constant pressure from the army, the Quahadi Comanche finally surrendered in 1875. With Colonel Mackenzie and Indian Agent James M. Hayworth, Parker helped settle the Comanche on the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Reservation in southwestern Indian Territory.

Parker's home in Cache, Oklahoma was called the Star House. Parker's was the last tribe of the Staked Plains or Llano Estacado to come to the reservation. Quanah was named chief over all the Comanches on the reservation, and proved to be a forceful, resourceful and able leader. Through wise investments, he became perhaps the wealthiest American Indian of his day in the United States. At this time, Quanah embraced much of white culture and adopted the surname Parker. He was well respected by the whites. He went on hunting trips with President Theodore Roosevelt, who often visited him. Nevertheless, he rejected both monogamy and traditional Protestant Christianity in favor of the Native American Church Movement, of which he was a founder.

The man known today as Quanah Parker came from a culture where surnames were unknown. A man's identity was contained in a single word. Family oral traditions indicate that the name Quanah, as recorded in history, was an Anglo corruption of the Comanche word 'Kwihnai, which translates as �gle”.

Quanah Parker and Samuel Burk Burnett

The story of the unique friendship that grew between Quanah and the Burnett family is addressed in the exhibition of cultural artifacts that were given to the Burnett family from the Parker family. The presentation of a cultural relic as significant as Quanah’s war lance was not done lightly. It is a clear indication of the high esteem to which the Burnett family was regarded by the Parkers. The correspondence between Quanah and Samuel Burk Burnett and his son, Tom Burnett, expressed mutual admiration and respect.

The historical record mentions little of Quanah until his presence in the attack on the buffalo hunters at Adobe Walls on June 27, 1874. Fragmented information exists indicating Quanah had interactions with the Apache at about this time.

This association may have related to his taking up the Native American Church, or peyote religion. Quanah was said to have taken an Apache wife, but their union was short-lived. The Apache dress, bag and staff in the exhibit may be a remnant of this time in Quanah’s early adult life.

With the buffalo nearly exterminated and having suffered heavy loss of horses and lodges at the hands of the US military, Quanah was one of the leaders to bring the Quahada (Antelope) band of Comanches into Fort Sill during late May and early June 1875. This brought an end to their nomadic life on the southern plains and the beginning of an adjustment to more sedentary life.

Burk Burnett began moving cattle from South Texas in 1874 to near present-day Wichita Falls, Texas. There he established his ranch headquarters in 1881. Changing weather patterns and severe drought caused grasslands to wither and die in Texas. Burnett and other ranchers met with Comanche and Kiowa tribes to lease land on their reservation—nearly one million acres just north of the Red River in Oklahoma.

Originally, Quanah, like many of his contemporaries, was opposed to the opening of tribal lands for grazing by Anglo ranching interests. But, Quanah changed his position and forged close relationships with a number of Texas cattlemen, such as Charles Goodnight and the Burnett family. As early as 1880, Quanah was working with these new associates in building his own herds. In 1884, due largely to Quanah’s efforts, the tribes received their first “grass” payments for grazing rights on Comanche, Kiowa and Apache lands. It is during this period that the bonds between Quanah and the Burnett family grew strong.

Burnett ran 10,000 cattle until the end of the lease. The cattle baron had a strong feeling for Indian rights, and his respect for them was genuine. Where other cattle kings fought Indians and the harsh land to build empires, Burnett learned Comanche ways, passing both the love of the land and his friendship with the Indians to his family. As a sign of their regard for Burnett, the Comanches gave him a name in their own language: Mas-sa-suta, meaning 𠇋ig Boss.”

Parker earned the respect of US governmental leaders as he adapted to the white man’s life and became a prosperous rancher in Oklahoma. His spacious, two-story Star House had a bedroom for each of his seven wives and their children. He had his own private quarters, which were rather plain. Beside his bed were photographs of his mother Nadua (Cynthia Ann) and younger sister Prairie Flower. Parker extended hospitality to many influential people, both Native American and European American. Among the latter was the well-known cattleman Charles Goodnight.

Of all his white acquaintances, Parker counted Burk Burnett the best. He reportedly said: “I got one good friend, Burk Burnett, he big-hearted, rich cowman. Help my people good deal. You see big man hold tight to money, afraid to die. Burnett helped anybody.”

During the next 27 years, Parker and the Burnetts shared many experiences. Burnett helped with the construction of Star House, Quanah’s large frame home, which bore the inverted white stars signifying his rank. Burnett asked for (and received) Quanah's participation in a parade with a large group of warriors at the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show and other public events. The “Parade” lance depicted in the exhibit was usually carried by Quanah at such public gatherings. Burnett assisted Quanah in buying the granite headstones used to mark the graves of his mother and sister. After years of searching, Parker had their remains moved from Texas and reinterred in 1910 in Oklahoma on the Comanche reservation at Fort Sill.

According to his daughter, Wanada Page Parker, her father helped celebrate President Theodore Roosevelt's inauguration by appearing in the parade. Roosevelt visited Parker at Star House and they went wolf hunting together with Burnett.

Quanah's first wife was Weakeah, daughter of Comanche chief Yellow Bear. Although first espoused to another warrior, she and Quanah eloped, and took several other warriors with them. It was from this small group that the large Quahadi band would form. Yellow Bear pursued the band and eventually Quanah made peace with him. The two bands united, forming the largest force of Comanche Indians.

Over the years, Quanah married four more wives. A c. 1890 photograph by William B. Ellis of Quanah and two of his wives identified them as Topay and Chonie. Quanah had twenty-five children with his wives. Many people in north Texas and south Oklahoma claim descent from Quanah. Reportedly more Comanches are related to Quanah than any other chief. One grandson became Comanche chairman, the modern "Chief" of the tribe.

After moving to the reservation, Quanah got in touch with his white relatives from his mother's family. He stayed for a few weeks with them, where he studied English and western culture, and learned white farming techniques.

Founder of the Native American Church Movement

Quanah Parker is credited as one of the first big leaders of the Native American Church Movement. Parker adopted the peyote religion after being gored in southern Texas by a bull. Parker was visiting his mother's brother, John Parker, in Texas where he was attacked, giving him severe wounds. To fight an onset of blood burning fever, a Mexican curandera was summoned and she prepared a strong peyote tea from fresh peyote to heal him. It was from this incident on that Quanah Parker became involved with peyote .Peyote is reported to contain hordenine and tyramine, phenylethylamine alkaloids which act as potent natural antibiotics when taken in a combined form.

Parker taught that the sacred peyote medicine was the sacrament given to the Indian Peoples, and was to be used with water when taking communion in a traditional Native American Church medicine ceremony. Parker was a proponent of the "half-moon" style of the peyote ceremony. The "cross" ceremony later evolved in Oklahoma due to Caddo influences introduced by John Wilson, a Caddo-Delaware religious leader who traveled extensively around the same time as Parker during the early days of the Native American Church movement.

Parker's most famous teaching regarding the spirituality of the Native American Church:

"The White Man goes into his church and talks about Jesus. The Indian goes into his tipi and talks with Jesus."

The modern reservation era in Native American history began with the adoption of the Native American Church and Christianity by nearly every Native American tribe and culture within North American and Canada as a result of Parker and Wilson's efforts. The peyote religion and the Native American Church were never the traditional religious practice of North American Indian cultures. This religion developed in the nineteenth century, inspired by events of the time, Parker's leadership, and influences from Native Americans of Mexico and other southern tribes. They had used peyote in spiritual practices since ancient times. Parker became wealthy as peyote became an important item of trade, combined with his ranching revenues.

Death Quanah died on February 23, 1911 at Star House. He was buried at the Fort Sill Cemetery, beside his mother and sister. The inscription on his tombstone reads:

Resting Here Until Day Breaks And Shadows Fall and Darkness Disappears is Quanah Parker Last Chief of the Comanches Born 1852 Died Feb. 23, 1911

The biographer Bill Neeley wrote: "Not only did Quanah pass within the span of a single lifetime from a Stone Age warrior to a statesman in the age of the Industrial Revolution, but he never lost a battle to the white man and he also accepted the challenge and responsibility of leading the whole Comanche tribe on the difficult road toward their new existence."

Although praised by many in his tribe as a preserver of their culture, Quanah also had Comanche critics. Some claimed that he "sold out to the white man" by adapting and becoming a rancher. He dressed and lived in what some viewed as a more European-American than Comanche style. Quanah did adopt some European-American ways, but he always wore his hair long and in braids. He also refused to follow US marriage laws and had up to five wives at one time.

Quanah was never elected principal chief of the tribe by the people. Traditionally, the Comanche had no single chief. The various bands of the Comanche had their own chiefs. The US appointed Quanah principal chief of the entire nation once the people had gathered on the reservation and later introduced general elections.

Family reunion and powwow

The Quanah Parker Society, based in Cache, Oklahoma, holds an annual family reunion and powwow. Events usually include a pilgrimage to sacred sites in Quanah, Texas tour of his "Star Home" in Cache dinner memorial service at Fort Sill Post Cemetery gourd dance, pow-wow, and worship services. This event is open to the public.

In 1970, Star House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. An exhibit describes Parker and the Second Battle of Adobe Walls at the Hutchinson County Historical Museum in Borger, Texas.

Several places and buildings were named after him:

The Quanah Parker Inn is located on U.S. Highway 287.

Quanah, Texas, county seat of Hardeman County.

At the founding of Quanah, Parker made this blessing: "May the Great Spirit smile on your little town, May the rain fall in season, and in the warmth of the sunshine after the rain, May the earth yield bountifully, May peace and contentment be with you and your children forever."

Nocona, Texas was named after Quanah Parker's father, Comanche chief Peta Nocona.

Parker Hall, a residence hall at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

The Quanah Parker Trailway (State Highway 62) in Southern Oklahoma.

Quanah Parker Trail, a small residential street on the northeast side of Norman, Oklahoma.

Cynthia. Ann..Parker. mother. of..the..Comanche. Chief..Quanah. Parker.My..Indian..Ancestors. USA. Quanah Parker (Comanche kwana, "smell, odor")

Native American Folk Figure. He is often referred to as the last Chief of the Comanches, but the truth of the matter is that the Comanche people never elected him as a chief. In fact there was no such thing as Chief of the Comanches. Each band of Comanches had their own chief. After the surrender of the Comanche people and their placement on the reservation, Colonel Ranald S Mackenzie appointed him Chief of Comanches.

He was the son of Peta Nacona, a noted fierce Comanche chief, and Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman captured by the Comanches.

Quanah refused to sign the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867 and went on a savage eight year war against the whites. It has been said that he never lost a battle with the white man during those years. In 1874, he had his closest brush with death when he was shot twice by buffalo hunters in a battle at Adobe Wells.

In the year 1875 it became very clear to Quanah that the white people were far too numerous and too well armed to be defeated. Mackenzie sent Jacob J. Sturm, a physician and post interpreter, to solicit Quanah's surrender. Sturm found Quanah, whom he called "a young man of much influence with his people," and pleaded his case. Quanah rode to a mesa, where he saw a wolf come toward him, howl and trot away to the northeast. Overhead, an eagle "glided lazily and then whipped his wings in the direction of Fort Sill." This was a sign, Quanah thought, and on June 2, 1875, he and his band surrendered at Fort Sill in present-day Oklahoma.

The Comanches were placed on a reservation in southwestern Oklahoma The reservation agents saw it as their duty to eliminate all Native American cultures and replace them with the ways of the white man.

Quanah refused to give up his multiple wives and to cease the use of peyote. He also negotiated grazing rights with Texas cattlemen, and he invested in railroads. After his appointment as chief, the older chiefs resented his youth and particularly resented his white blood. When he signed the Jerome Agreement in 1892, the tribe was split into two factions those who thought all that could be done had been done and those who blamed Parker for selling their country.

He invested wisely, owned a large, beautiful home in Cache, Oklahoma known as the Star House.

He had five wives and twenty-five children. He was the wealthiest Indian in the United States. He was highly respected by white people and hunted with Theodore Roosevelt.

When he died in 1911, he was buried next to his mother and sister in the Post Oak Cemetery in Oklahoma. In 1957, all three bodies were relocated to the Chief's Knoll in the Fort Sill Cemetery, in Lawton, Oklahoma.


There is much to see & hear in Quanah where legends come alive & stories abound of history & cultures and where Puha (Spirit) lives. As a nonprofit we depend on individuals such as yourself for support. You may send a check to Quanah Parker Society, P O Box 367, Quanah Texas 79252 or via DONATE NOW button. Thank you.

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Quanah Parker: Man of Two Worlds

In the heart of the Stockyards Historic District of Fort Worth stands a statue to famous Comanche Chief Quanah Parker. What tourists may not understand is that there is little reason for it to be there. Quanah never lived in Fort Worth, had no family roots there and visited the Texas city only rarely. Yet this son of a Comanche father and a white mother became Fort Worth’s “native son” in the truest sense. His is the remarkable story of a man with his feet in two cultures who helped heal the wounds of war between them.

He was born and grew up in the world of the fearsome Comanches but died in the white man’s world after making peace with his people’s longtime enemies. His birth name was Quanah, a Comanche word that translates roughly as “odor” or “fragrance.” Years later he added the surname “Parker” as a concession to the white half of his ancestry. The two names symbolized the two worlds of Quanah Parker.

Quanah always said he was born “about 1850,” but various historians have placed the date as early as 1845 and as late as 1852. There is no way of telling for certain since the Plains Indians relied on oral history, instead of written records, to preserve their past. However, 1845 seems more likely, based on a review of the chronology of his lifetime. By Quanah’s account, as told years later to cattleman Charles Goodnight, he was born in a Comanche tepee in the shadow of Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains.

Quanah’s mother was Cynthia Ann Parker, who was taken at age 9 by Comanche and Caddo Indians in a raid on Fort Parker, the family compound at the headwaters of the Navasota River in east-central Texas. It was May 1836, and Cynthia Ann would not see her family for the next 24 years. The raiders escaped with five white captives, including Cynthia Ann and her brother John. The Comanches might have ransomed the girl back to her people, which is what happened to the other four captives, but they admired her toughness and her striking blue eyes. So they adopted her into the Quahade tribe (“Antelope-eaters”), giving her the name Na-u-dah (“Someone Found”).

A few years later, Chief Peta Nocona took Cynthia Ann as his wife. Like most Comanche males, he had several wives, so it was hardly a Boston marriage or a romantic coupling, but it proved a long and happy union. Cynthia Ann grew up thoroughly assimilated into the culture of those who called themselves “the People,” and the children she had by Peta Nocona were all raised in the Comanche way. By 1860, Quanah had a 10-year-old brother, Pee-nah (“Peanuts”) and an infant sister, Toh-Tsee-Ah (“Prairie Flower”).

Quanah Parker’s formative years coincided with the height of Comanche power in the Southwest. They lived up to the name given to them by the Utes, “the people who fight us all the time,” ranging from Kansas and Colorado down into Mexico. Texans were often victims of Comanche raids—and vice versa as the whites retaliated. At the time Quanah was born, the “Lords of the Plains” were battling rival tribes and encroaching on whites for a large territory known informally as “Comanchería.” After the Civil War, the Comanche Indians went into rapid decline as an independent power.

In December 1860, Cynthia Ann was recaptured by a white raiding party to the Pease River led by a future governor of Texas, Lawrence Sullivan “Sul” Ross. The Quahade Comanche Indians, mostly women and children, were caught completely off-guard and massacred, including another wife of Peta Nocona who had been a second mother to Quanah. Cynthia Ann, who was nursing Toh-Tsee-Ah at the time, was recognized as white and thus spared that she might be returned to civilization. Quanah, Pee-nah and their father were away from the camp on a hunting expedition at the time, so they, too, survived.

After he entered politics, Sul Ross would spread the story that he had personally killed Peta Nocona that day, a claim that Quanah, in adulthood, would vigorously refute. He told a Texas audience in 1909: “This damn lie. Sul Ross no kill my father. My father no there on Tongue River [sic]. Gone to Plains for hunting.” In fact, a very-much-alive Peta Nocona would rename his oldest son Tseeta (“the Eagle”) after the battle, a more warlike name signifying that the chief foresaw his son becoming a war chief in his own right some day.

Cynthia Ann passed through Fort Worth on the way to the Parker homestead in northeast Tarrant County. Mother and daughter were objects of curiosity and pity, which only underscored the fact that whites were no longer her people. Although returned to her birth family, at heart she remained a “white squaw.” She died prematurely in 1870, never having seen her sons or husband again after December 1860. Quanah never got over the manner of her dying, telling an audience years later: “My mother was a good woman whom I always cherished. She has gone to her resting place. I, myself, may die at any time. When I do I want to meet my mother in the great beyond.”

He cherished her memory so much that his only request when he first came in to the reservation was for help to find where she had been buried, and after he traded in his tepee for a house, he commissioned an oil painting of her to hang in his bedroom. When he eventually located her grave, he had the remains moved to a cemetery near his Cache, Oklahoma Territory, home and arranged to be buried beside her.

Quanah’s father, Peta Nocona, died two or three years after the Pease River fight, still grieving his personal loss. His death was the second great tragedy in Quanah’s young life, compounded by the fact that on his deathbed the old chief revealed for the first time that Quanah’s mother had not been Na-u-dah, a Comanche squaw, but Cynthia Ann, a white captive.

The next decade saw Quanah’s star rise among the Comanches as he grew into manhood. He easily assumed the mantle of war chief because all his boyhood had been spent training to be a warrior fighting for plunder, honor and revenge. It was how Comanche boys were raised. He was now a member of a warrior caste as ferocious as the Don Cossacks of Russia or the Mongols of China.

He was a magnificent specimen of manhood, possessing the best qualities of his people. Typically, the Comanches were short with stubby legs. One contemporary observer described them as “uncommonly fine-looking men and women… muscular and athletic.” Quanah combined the compact, powerful muscles of his father’s people with the longer build of his mother’s people. By the time he reached adulthood, he stood more than 6 feet tall. He had the high cheekbones of his father’s people and the blue eyes of his mother’s, but his face was all Comanche, with a jutting brow and prominent Roman nose. He learned the ways of his father’s people. Comanches were raised to be cunning but also generous and usually honest. Unfortunately for whites, they were also merciless in war.

Quanah led his share of raids under the full moon (the traditional time of Comanche raids), yet he never displayed the cruelty or taste for blood for which his adopted people were famous. His name was never attached to the torture of captives or the massacre of innocents, although white apologists writing in the 1960s and ’70s may have intentionally obscured such incidents.

Quanah took his first wife, stealing her from the tepee of her father, before he was 20 years old. By 1867 he was sitting in the Quahade councils of war and joined the older chiefs in rejecting the Medicine Lodge Treaty whereby all the Southern Plains Indians agreed to settle down in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) and submit to assimilation.

The Quahades held out for another seven years. During that time, they launched the last Indian raid into Tarrant County in June 1871, chasing homesteaders John P. Daggett and John B. York through the scrub oak north of town, but there were no deaths and no kidnappings on this occasion. Subsequently, Indian depredations continued to plague Parker County, due west of Tarrant, but Fort Worth’s days as a frontier settlement were over.

In June 1874, the Quahades took one more shot at defending their ancestral lands against white encroachment. Quanah led a war party of some 250-300 warriors against 28 buffalo hunters who were forted up in a trading post known as Adobe Walls on the Canadian River. The June 27 attack was repulsed with heavy Indian losses, and Quanah himself was wounded. Afterward, even the most diehard Comanches had to admit the truth: The white man owned the southern Great Plains, and their life of freedom was over. There was no longer any place to hide and no way to survive on the run.

In May 1875, Quanah led the pitiful remnants of the Quahade band—fewer than 100 men, women and children—into Fort Sill, Indian Territory, and surrendered to Colonel Ranald Mackenzie. Quanah identified himself to Mackenzie simply as war chief of the Comanches and son of Cynthia Ann Parker, although at the time he did not know if she was alive or dead. Quanah promised the colonel that he would adopt the white man’s ways.

The Comanches reluctantly settled down to reservation life, living on handouts and staying within the boundaries set by the U.S. government. Quanah’s native intelligence and flexibility allowed him to make the transition to reservation life with the same ease that he had shown going from boy to warrior. Government agents, the new overlords of the Plains Indians, recognized his leadership qualities and designated him a “tribal chief” over all the Comanches, to serve as a liaison between his people and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In effect, it represented a promotion from being merely a war chief of the Quahades. He proved a shrewd and pragmatic leader, encouraging the Comanches to take up ranching and farming, educate their young in government schools and sign contracts with whites. In return, the overlords embraced him as an assimilationist who could be a role model to his fellow Comanches.

Led by Quanah, many Comanche males took up cattle ranching and became relatively prosperous by leasing their grazing lands to white cattle barons such as Samuel Burke Burnett and W.T. Waggoner, both of whom called Fort Worth home. Quanah proved to be a shrewd stockman, as successful at managing his herds and lands as he had been at raiding and making war. He invested the money he made from leasing his grazing lands in railroad stocks and real estate, becoming a businessman of some means, perhaps even the wealthiest American Indian in the United States at the time. He built himself a spacious house near the foot of the Wichita Mountains, which he named “Star House,” but spent as much time away as he did at home. He traveled widely on business and tribal affairs, always with an entourage. He participated in Wild West shows, posed for photographs and gave speeches. He was an eloquent speaker, though he spoke, without affectation, in the broken English of latter-day Hollywood Indians.

Along with his personal wealth, his influence grew. Washington consulted him on Indian affairs and feted him as a “noble savage.” A town in Texas was named Quanah for him, and the Quanah, Acme & Pacific Railway was dubbed the “Quanah Line” by those it served. Although whites had bestowed his designation as tribal chief, most of his own people also treated him with deference because he had proved himself as a warrior. He served as a judge on Comanche tribal courts, which were a combination of English due process and Indian judges. He also encouraged the establishment of a tribal police force to assist white authorities in maintaining law and order on the reservation.

Chief Quanah became the leader of the so-called progressives among the Comanches, while more conservative members of the tribe denounced him as a half-blood lackey of the whites, an “Uncle Tom-tom” as it were. The same pragmatic, openhanded qualities that made him a leader of his own people also allowed him to move easily in white society. He learned to drive a car and wore a business suit when traveling. Yet he never completely turned his back on tribal ways. Rather, he walked a thin line between the two races.

He preferred moccasins to boots and under his Stetson wore his hair in long braids down his back. He also remained faithful to the old religious ways. Historically, the Comanches had never practiced organized religion, but they did believe in spirits and mystical visions. Quanah encouraged them to keep praying to the ancient spirits and even led the movement to use peyote in their religious ceremonies, which helped them cope with the humiliations of being “blanket Indians.” Here, again, he mixed white and Indian heritage in his religion, practicing a highly personal brand of Christianity along with peyote worship and seeing no apparent contradiction. His personal use of peyote coupled with his open advocacy of its use by his people would eventually result in his being recognized as a founding father of the Native American Church.

Quanah made it his life’s mission to keep peace between the two races. Under his leadership, the Comanches did not join the popular uprising known as the Ghost Dance movement when it swept through the Plains Indians around 1890 they thereby avoided the excesses committed by the Sioux up north. Quanah himself seems to have received a free pass from whites for his years of leading war parties. Ranald Mackenzie once declared that he “certainly should not be held responsible for the sins of former generations of Comanches,” ignoring Quanah’s own past aggressions.

In preserving the old Comanche family structure, however, he was on shakier ground. Comanche men had always been polygamists, and Quanah Parker stubbornly retained that part of his heritage. Estimates of the number of wives he took during his lifetime vary from four to eight, and at the time of his death in 1911, he still had at least two living under his roof. Ironically, this defiance of Victorian morals got him into more trouble with the authorities than his years of raiding white settlements ever did. Government agents sniffed at his “much married condition” and even thought they had convinced him to get rid of all but one.

In 1897 he promised Secretary of the Interior Cornelius Newton Bliss that he would take no more wives over and above his current four, but there is no indication that he kept this promise. The Bureau of Indian Affairs tried to be helpful by referring in their reports to all but one of the women as “mothers” rather than wives. But he kept the harem, including To-nar-cy, the “show wife” who often traveled with him.

Quanah’s intransigence on this matter finally got him dismissed from the tribal court in 1898, at which time he publicly acknowledged five wives. By his various mates, he eventually sired 24 children, of whom 19 grew to adulthood and 16 survived him. This remarkable patriarchy was a monument to both his virility and his love of family.

Despite Quanah’s best efforts, the Comanches continued to lose ground to advancing white civilization even after accepting resettlement in Oklahoma. In 1901 the federal government changed policy again by breaking up the Comanche Reservation and redistributing the land in parcels of 160 acres. Many Comanches moved away after this latest betrayal, but Quanah continued to live on his land, and even add to it until he had created a spread of baronial proportions. He also continued to act as tribal spokesman even after the Comanche diaspora.

Tragedy continued to dog his life. In 1906 his 18-month-old son died of whooping cough, a death Quanah took very hard. Later that same year, his 8-year-old son was dismissed from the public school in Lawton, Okla., because the parents of his white classmates considered the boy a half-blood. Quanah had stated earlier in regard to enrolling the boy, “I want my children to become educated men and women.” Now he was forced to reenroll the boy in the local Indian School, but the old chief was “nearly heart-broken” by the blatant discrimination.

Another slap in the face was the fact that in the eyes of the U.S. government he was not even an American citizen, despite being born on American soil and having an American citizen as a mother. As Quanah Parker, noncitizen, he could sign treaties, serve as sheriff of Lawton, negotiate contracts with whites, even own land, but he could neither vote nor enjoy the basic civil rights protections of the Constitution. That situation did not change during his lifetime. Not until 1924 did Parker’s children receive U.S. citizenship along with all American Indians after President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act into law.

Quanah never escaped discrimination, but late in life he derived some satisfaction from being a national celebrity whose fame crossed cultural and racial boundaries, much like Geronimo but with more dignity and influence than the last war chief of the Apaches. Business leaders and civic representatives feted him, and practically everyone who met him in person came away an admirer. A congressional investigator in 1904 stated: “If ever Nature stamped a man with the seal of headship she did it in his case. Quanah would have been a leader and a governor in any circle where fate may have cast him—it is in his blood.” It should never be forgotten that that blood came from both his mother and his father.

Among the notable men of his day who called him friend were legendary cattleman Charles Goodnight and U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. He corresponded with Roosevelt and even took part in the president’s 1905 inaugural parade through Washington, D.C. Quanah was a regular invitee to public events in Dallas and Fort Worth, including the Texas State Fair, the annual convention of the Texas Cattle Raisers’ Association and the annual Fort Worth Fat Stock Show.

At the Fat Stock Show in 1909, he brought 38 members of the tribe down with him from Oklahoma, and they set up their tepees near the imposing North Side Coliseum, not far from where the current statue of Quanah stands. After the show, he told one reporter, “Had big time big show lots fine cattle, lots people cattleman, Fort Worth people, old-home folks, all treat me as brother—think big man.” In these public appearances, he played his war chief image to the hilt. Perhaps, it could be argued, he demeaned himself by taking part in the mock Indian attacks that were standard fare in Wild West shows. But he believed they helped shape positive attitudes about the Comanches, so he participated in full Indian regalia.

Quanah’s remarkable personal popularity even extended to his mother’s descendants, the Parker family, who could not bring themselves to hate him. They joined the chorus that proclaimed Quanah, “the greatest of Comanche chiefs.” Quanah himself always believed his mixed heritage was a positive thing. Shortly before he died, he mused that white men and Indians were “all same people, anyway.”

Quanah’s connection to Fort Worth is shaky on historical grounds but part and parcel of local mythology. He made his first visit to “Cowtown” in December 1885, a visit that almost cost him his life. His hosts put him and a father-in-law, Yellow Bear, up in the town’s nicest hotel, the Pickwick. When the two visitors went to bed that night, they extinguished the gas flame but failed to turn off the gas. Both were overcome by the fumes. Yellow Bear died of asphyxiation and Quanah barely survived. Despite this bad experience, he returned to Fort Worth on several occasions in the following years.

Quanah Parker, aka the Eagle, died on February 23, 1911, at Star House, the home he had built. What white men had not been able to do when he was a feared war chief, pneumonia did in his seventh decade of life. Doctors at the time believed his death resulted from a combination of rheumatism and asthma. Some of his own people, however, believed he had been poisoned by his enemies, since he had taken ill suddenly while visiting the Cheyenne Reservation, and they vowed to launch an investigation. At any rate, the controversy soon died down, and he was quietly buried near his home. As he had requested, he was buried not beside any of his wives, but beside his mother in the Post Oak Mission Cemetery. In 1957 the remains of Quanah and Cynthia Ann were dug up and moved to the military cemetery at Fort Sill. This time a pair of impressive monuments were placed over the graves.

Quanah’s death marked the passing of an era in more ways than one. After his death, the Comanches never again called their elected leader “chief.” Instead, they adopted the white man’s title “chairman.” Quanah’s death cut the last ties to the old days when Comanches roamed the southern Plains at will, making war on anyone who dared to enter their domain, terrorizing white settlements and other Indian tribes alike.

For more than four decades, Quanah Parker had been the public face of those Comanches. He was also their first and last media star, filling the same role that Geronimo filled for the Apaches, Sitting Bull for the Sioux and Chief Joseph for the Nez Perces. Unlike those others, however, Quanah made the transition smoothly, almost effortlessly, from savage warrior to successful entrepreneur and public figure. In the tradition of Pocahontas and Massasoit, he became a “good Indian,” who helped forge the bonds of peace between the two races.

Despite his fame and the honors that came his way, Quanah Parker had a difficult life. Beginning with his separation from his mother and the deaths of both parents when he was young to the deaths of a beloved wife and son, he endured the loss of those who were closest to him. He also endured the loss of a certain amount of pride when he was forced to lead his people into captivity. Then after he led them to the reservation, even that was taken away from them by the double-dealing government in Washington. All the wealth and honors in the world could never replace all that he lost during his lifetime. Yet he never sank into bitterness or depression. On the contrary, he was never less than honorable and dignified and often rose to heroism in his role as last Comanche chief.

Quanah Parker’s memory looms large in Fort Worth history. In the same way Fort Worth appropriated Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid of Wild Bunch fame to represent its outlaw heritage, the city appropriated Quanah Parker to represent some sort of mythical Indian heritage. Fort Worth’s image as “the city where the West begins” requires not just the cowboy and outlaw elements but also the Indian element to be authentic. Quanah Parker represents Fort Worth’s tie to a time when American Indians “owned” north Texas and defied whites to take it from them.

Fort Worth native and Wild West contributor Richard Selcer is the author of Hell’s Half Acre and Legendary Watering Holes: The Saloons That Made Texas Famous. Suggested for further reading: The Last Comanche Chief: The Life and Times of Quanah Parker, by Bill Neeley Quanah Parker, Comanche Chief, by William T. Hagan and Quanah Parker: Last Chief of the Comanches, by Clyde L. Jackson and Grace Jackson.

Originally published in the December 2007 issue of Wild West. To subscribe, click here.


Cheryl Davis’ Art Blog

This is one of my favorite stories on Quanah Parker. You have to understand Native American women to understand his dilemma. (We’re strong women, you know!) He said, “YOU TELL UM…” …Wise man! Ha.

(Page 246)…. In 1892, when the Comanches and Kiowas agreed to accept allotments, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs approached Quanah in regard to the number of wives he would be allowed to keep. Their conversation was substantially as follows: “Quanah, you have agreed to take allotments and sell your surplus lands and let them be settled by white people. When the white people come to be your neighbors it will be the white man’s law and the white man’s law says one wife. You have too many wives. You will have to decide which one you want to keep and tell the rest of them to go somewhere else to live.” Quanah listened attentively and looked at the commissioner with a very fixed gaze for some moments, and then startled that worthy by saying, “You tell um!” Then he waited several moments until the significance of this had dawned on the commissioner’s mind, when he added: “You tell me which wife I love most—you tell me which wife love me most—you tell me which wife cry most when I send her ’way—then I pick um.”The commissioner replied, “Oh, let’s talk about something else.” (….smart move…)

The significance of this was that the chief loved his wives all alike, but if the Government would tell him which one he would be happiest with he would abide by the decision. This responsibility the Government, through the Indian Department, never assumed, but after statehood, when Quanah wanted to take another woman (to whom he had taken a fancy) for a wife, the Indian agent at Anadarko warned him not to take any more. In time Parker quarreled with one wife and then another and (Page 247) “threw them away,” to use the Indian phrase for divorce, until at the time of his death he had but two left.

Can’t blame the women. Quanah was a fierce warrior, never losing a battle to a white man, was easy on the eyes, a smart, forward-thinking man, powerful, wealthy… and a great Chief of the Comanches.

Photo above: Quanah Parker in his later life, in his business attire. Photo thought to be in public domain. Quanah Parker, a Kwahadi Comanche chief full-length, standing in front of tent.

American Indian Chief, Quanah Parker

More Links on the Great Chief Quanah Parker:

Concerning his wives:

In 1901, the Comanche were allotted 160 acres each and the rest of the land of the Comanche-Kiowa reservation was put up for lottery for the white settlement of the area. Quanah chose a place near Cache where a wealthy Texas cattleman named S.E. Burnett built a large house for Quanah. The lumber was hauled in from Vernon, Texas and a twenty-two-room house was built. With all the children and Quanah’s seven wives a large house was required. Each of the wife’s bedrooms was furnished identically so there would be no quibbling as to which wife got the better room.

When the Commissioner of Indian Affairs approached Quanah about having five wives he said that Quanah now lived in the United States and would have to live by it’s laws. The Commissioner told Quanah that the white men who were his neighbors had only one wife. He then said that he would have to send away all his wives except for one.

Quanah replied, “You tell um” and just stared at the Commissioner. After a few minutes the Commissioner realized what Quanah was referring to and did not answer. Quanah then said “You tell me which wife I love the most – you tell me which wife will cry the most when I send her away – you tell me and then I pick um.” The Commissioner quickly changed the subject and Quanah kept his wives. When he died, Quanah had only two wives left but had as many as seven in his life.

Cynthia Ann never re-adapted to the white culture. Broken in spirit and a misfit among whites, Cynthia refused to eat and starved herself to death in 1870. Cynthia was buried in Henderson County, Texas in the Fosterville cemetery. (continued: see above link for complete story.)

Quanah’s first wife was Weakeah , daughter of Comanche chief Yellow Bear. Originally, she was espoused to another warrior. Quanah and Weakeah eloped , and took several other warriors with them. It was from this small group that the large Quahadi band would form. Yellow Bear pursued the band and eventually Quanah made peace with him, and the two bands united, forming the largest force of Comanche Indians.

Over the years, Quanah accumulated four more wives . He had twenty-five children . Many north Texans and south Oklahomans claim descent from Quanah. It had been said that more Comanches are related to Quanah than any other chief. One grandson became Comanche chairman, the modern “Chief” of the tribe.

Photographs of Native Americans reside among the publicly and internet available materials of the National Archives. Images can be ordered in sets of slides, or as individual prints, though many are available in quality high enough for PowerPoint works and use on classroom materials. Many of the photos are 19th century.

Quanah Parker stands as one of the larger Native Americans in Texas history. This photo puts a face to a reputation in Texas history textbooks. Texas teachers may want to be certain to get a copy of the photo. His life story includes so many episodes that seem to come out of a Native American version of Idylls of the King that a fiction writer could not include them all, were they not real.

  • Quanah’s mother was part of the famous Parker family that helped settle West Texas in the 1830s. Cynthia Ann Parker was captured in 1836 when Comanches attacked Fort Parker, near present-day Groesbeck, Texas, in Limestone County. (See Fort Parker State Park.) Given a new name, Nadua (found one), she assimilated completely with the Nocona band of Comanches, and eventually married the Comanche warrior Noconie (also known as Peta Nocona). Quanah was their first child, born in 1852.
  • Nadua was captured by a Texas party led by Lawrence Sullivan “Sul” Ross in 1860, in the Battle of Pease River. Noconie, Quanah, and most of the Nocona men were off hunting at the time, and the fact of Nadua’s capture was not realized for some time. Nadua asked to return to the Comanches and her husband, but she was not allowed to do so. When her youngest daughter, who had been captured with her, died of an infection, Nadua stopped eating, and died a few weeks later. . At the time he participated in the raid that recaptured Cynthia Parker, he was a student at Baylor University (”What do I do on summer breaks? I fight Indians.”) At the outbreak of the Civil War, Ross enlisted in the Confederate Army as a private. Over 135 battles and skirmishes he rose to the rank of Brigadier General, the ninth youngest in the Confederate Army. A successful rancher and businessman back in Texas after the war, he won election as governor in 1887, served two very successful terms (he resolved the Jaybird-Woodpecker War in Fort Bend County, and had to call a special session of the legislature to deal with a budget surplus), refused to run for a third term, and was named president of Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College (Texas A&M) within a few days of stepping down as governor. Ross’s leadership of the college is legendary — students put pennies near a statue of Ross in a traditional plea to pass final exams, among many other traditions. After his death, Texas created Sul Ross State University, in Alpine, Texas, in his honor.
  • Quanah Parker’s father, Noconie, died a short time after his mother’s capture. He left the Nocona band, joined the Destanyuka band under Chief Wild Horse, but eventually founded his own band with warriors from other groups, the Quahadi (”antelope eaters”) (also known as Kwahadi). The Quahadi band grew to be one of the largest and most notorious, always with Quanah leading them. The Quahadis refused to sign the 1867 Medicine Lodge Treaties, and so avoided immediate internment to a reservation. However, dwindling food supplies and increasing opposition forced Quanah to retire to a reservation in 1875, in what is now southwestern Oklahoma. This was the last Comanche band to come to the reservation.
  • Quanah was appointed Chief of all the Comanches.
  • Through investments, Quanah became rich — probably the richest Native American of his time.
  • Quanah hunted with President Theodore Roosevelt.
  • Rejecting monogamy and Christianity, Quanah founded the Native American Church movement, which regards the use of peyote as a sacrament. Quanah had been given peyote by a Ute medicine man while recovering from wounds he’d suffered in battle with U.S. troops. Among his famous teachings: The White Man goes into his church and talks about Jesus. The Indian goes into his Tipi and talks with Jesus.
  • Photo at right: Quanah Parker in his later life, in his business attire. Photo thought to be in public domain. wrote of Quanah Parker: “Not only did Quanah pass within the span of a single lifetime from a Stone Age warrior to a statesman in the age of the Industrial Revolution, but he never lost a battle to the white man and he also accepted the challenge and responsibility of leading the whole Comanche tribe on the difficult road toward their new existence.”
  • Quanah Parker died on February 23, 1911. He is buried at Fort Sill Cemetery, Oklahoma, next to his mother and sister.

Quanah Parker’s epitaph reads:

Resting Here Until Day Breaks
And Shadows Fall and Darkness Disappears is
Quanah Parker Last Chief of the Comanches
Born 1852
Died Feb. 23, 1911


Watch the video: QUANAH PARKER: Riccardo Scivales KeysSpecial at Festival Rock Progressive December 2017