May 19, 1836
Cynthia Ann Parker is kidnapped, at the age of about ten (possibly as young as 8 or already over 11 (her age was never verified), by Caddo,
Comanche and Kiowa Indians on a raid in Parker’s Fort, a community situated just 40 miles east of present day Waco, Texas. In the custom of the Indian culture the period, She was adopted by the Comanche and lived with them for 24 years, She was given the Comanche name of Na’ura (also variously spelled “Nadua” and “Nauta”), which means ‘the found one’.
In time she married a Comanche chieftain, Peta Nocona, and had three children with him. Cynthia was finally recaptured by the Texas Rangers when she was about 34, but having been acculturated to her new life, she was unable to adapt to living among the white culture any longer. She spent the re-maining ten years of her life refusing to adjust to life in white society. At least once, she escaped and tried to return to her Comanche family and children, but was again brought back to Texas. The Texans of that day could not comprehend that she preferred to be among the ‘savages’, and they kept bringing her back. Cynthia never fully understood her iconic meaning to the nation, which saw her as having been rescued from the Comanches, while she saw her place as being among them. .Heartbroken over the loss of her family, she stopped eating and died of influenza in 1871.
Two of Cynthia’s three children disappeared from history, as they were just part of the tribe, but one them made quite a name for himself
later in life. His name was Quanah, and became one of the last Comanche chiefs. The U.S. appointed Quanah principal chief of the entire nation once the people had gathered on the reservation and later introduced general elections. He had a long and accomplished career, always watching out for his people.
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Photo courtesy of wikipedia.com