One of the most fascinating topics related to the control of the american west in the 1800s is that of Quanah Parker, the greatest chief of the Comanches. While other tribal names Apache, Souix, Cherokee, may have a rightful and important place in that historical time, and in our minds as a result, it’s the remarkable narratives of the rise and fall of the Comanches that stand out as truly unique.
In books like the renown ‘Empire of the Summer Moon‘ , and others, it is the Comanche band of plains Indians, and in particular the last Comanche chief, Quanah Parker, that captivate and regale us to this day. The legendary fighting ability of the Comanches is well documented, of course, in both fiction and non-fiction books.
While in feature films there may have been some stereotyping of the Comanche warriors, we can get a more nuanced and accurate view by looking into history books and nonfiction books that depict the old west in a more detailed way.
Another great story thread from that era that is also chronicled in Empire of the Summer Moon is that of the sweeping narrative of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who was destined to be the last and greatest Comanche chief.
Empire of the Summer Moon
Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history.
The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches.
Although readers may be more familiar with the tribal names Apache and Sioux, it was in fact the legendary fighting ability of the Comanches that determined when the American West opened up. Comanche boys became adept bareback riders by age six; full Comanche braves were considered the best horsemen who ever rode. Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, A New York Times Notable Book, Winner of the Texas Book Award and the Oklahoma Book Award
The Last Comanche Chief
Truly distinguished. Neeley re-creates the character and achievements of this most significant of all Comanche leaders. — Robert M. Utley author of The Lance and the Shield: The Life and Times of Sitting Bull A vivid, eyewitness account of life for settlers and Native Americans in those violent and difficult times.
— Christian Science Monitor The special merits of Neeley’s work include its reliance on primary sources and illuminating descriptions of interactions among Southern Plains people, Native and white. — Library Journal He has given us a fuller and clearer portrait of this extraordinary Lord of the South Plains than we’ve ever had before. — The Dallas Morning News
Quanah Parker: Comanche Chief
In 1845, a son was born to a white mother and a Comanche Indian father. This child, named Quanah for the flower-filled valley of his birth, was to become one of the greatest Comanche chiefs ever to have lived.
As a young chief, Quanah was determined to fight the encroachment of pioneers onto Indian lands. His tribe became the most feared on the Great South Plains as they fought the invading Americans. The brave chief fought many bloody battles to keep his people free to live the life they were accustomed to before the arrival of the white man. Finally, after continued attacks by the settlers and the army, Quanah was forced to bring his people to the reservation by the severe lack of food, clothing, and housing that had been brought about by the senseless slaughter of the buffalo herds. He was the last Indian chief to surrender.
Quanah Parker, Comanche Chief
The son of white captive Cynthia Ann Parker, Quanah Parker rose from able warrior to tribal leader on the Comanche reservation. Between 1875 and his death in 1911, Quanah dealt with local Indian agents and with presidents and other high officials in Washington, facing the classic dilemma of a leader caught between the dictates of an occupying power and the wrenching physical and spiritual needs of his people.
He maintained a remarkable blend of progressive and traditional beliefs, and contrary to government policy, he practiced polygamy and the peyote religion. In this crisp and readable biography, William T Hagan presents a well-balanced portrait of Quanah Parker, the chief, and Quanah, the man torn between two worlds.
If you prefer to explore “Quanah Parker” at Amazon, links are provided below:
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