The Last Comanche Chief: The Life and Times of Quanah Parker

The Last Comanche Chief: The Life and Times of Quanah Parker

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by Bill Neeley
     
 

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Born in 1850, Quanah Parker belonged to the last generation of Comanches to follow the traditional nomadic life of their ancestors. After the Civil War, the trickle of white settlers encroaching on tribal land in northern Texas suddenly turned into a tidal wave. Within a few years, the great buffalo herds, a source of food and clothing for the Indians from time… See more details below

Overview

Born in 1850, Quanah Parker belonged to the last generation of Comanches to follow the traditional nomadic life of their ancestors. After the Civil War, the trickle of white settlers encroaching on tribal land in northern Texas suddenly turned into a tidal wave. Within a few years, the great buffalo herds, a source of food and clothing for the Indians from time immemorial, had been hunted to the verge of extinction. The Indians' cherished way of life was being stolen from them. Quanah Parker was the fiercest and bravest of the Comanches who fought desperately to preserve their culture. He led his warriors on daring raids against the white settlers and hunters. He resisted to the last, heading a band of Comanches, the Quahadas, after the majority of the tribe had acquiesced to resettlement on a reservation. But even the Comanches—legendary horsemen of the Plains who had held off Spanish and Mexican expansion for two centuries—could not turn back the massive influx of people and weaponry from the East. Faced with the bitter choice between extermination or compromise, Quanah stepped off the warpath and sat down at the bargaining table. With remarkable skill, the Comanche warrior adapted to the new challenges he faced, learning English and the art of diplomacy. Working to bridge two very different worlds, he fought endlessly to gain a better deal for his people. As the tribe's elder statesman, Quanah lobbied Congress in Washington, D.C., entertained president Teddy Roosevelt and other dignitaries at his home, invested in the railroad, and enjoyed the honor of having a Texas town named after him.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1875, Quanah Parker surrendered his people to the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, Okla.; thereafter, he would lead them on the ``white man's road.'' Son of a Comanche chief and a white woman, he had led war parties through north Texas for 12 years. Neeley, a freelance writer, traces his life from youth to warrior chief to respected cattleman. He describes the last wars between the Comanches and settlers, the peyote ritual and pressures on Native Americans to conform to white society. Parker was a realist; when he saw that opening the reservation to settlement was inevitable, he yielded. Neeley gives a detailed account for the legal battles that culminated in the Oklahoma land rush. This is a fine portrait of the legendary chief and an illuminating glimpse into the history of the American West. (July)
Library Journal

McLain's book is chock-full of trivia and factoids on a plethora of subjects, including animals, crime, food, disasters, inventions, entertainment, science, and sports. It's like Google in a book. Great fun to browse. Neeley provides a hard-core portrait of Quanah Parker, the last Commanche chief to follow the traditional nomadic life, who fought the encroaching settlers initially with bloody attacks and later with diplomacy. Two more solid bargain titles from Castle.


—Michael Rogers

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471117223
Publisher:
Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
Publication date:
06/23/1995
Pages:
276
Product dimensions:
6.52(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.00(d)

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