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Cynthia Ann Parker
Transcript of Cynthia Ann Parker
Life of Cynthia Ann
After recently moving from Illinois to a fort in Texas around the age of 9, Cynthia Parker's fort was raided by the Comanche tribe. The raid resulted in many of the fort's inhabitants' death and Cynthia becoming a captive of the tribe. For 25 years Cynthia lived with the tribe, eventually becoming a full fledged member, married Chief Peta Nocona, and had three children with her husband. During a raid on the tribe by The Texas Rangers, Peta was killed and Cynthia with her daughter were taken captive. The Texas Rangers eventually found out who Cynthia was, because even though her skin had darkened and she had dark hair, her blue eyes gave her away. She was then never allowed to return to her tribe, even after several escape attempts, and was transported back into white society where she eventually starved herself to death because of the sadness she had on not being able to reunite with her people.
Current events in the mid-1800's
One thing in this time period that majorly affected Cynthia's life was the ongoing conflict between the Native Americans and settlers. Starting with the wrongful removal of natives from their land, then the false promise from the government that their new territories would be respected, created bad blood between all the native tribes and settlers. Both parties then took to the defensive side, which led to raids like the one at Cynthia's fort, and people in Congress talking about how the natives are savages and that the settlers are the victims. Discrimination of the Native Americans was at its peak during this time, and was one factor that contributed to the fact Cynthia never got to return to the family she had grown up with since the age of 9.
Why Cynthia Ann Parker?
I chose Cynthia because I wanted to do research on a historical figure I had never heard of before. By doing so I now know more about the relationship of Native Americans and settlers in the mid 1800's, and of course Ms. Parker. Cynthia Ann Parker became an important figure in history due to the relations she had with the Comanche tribe while being a white woman. Her relationship with the tribe was one of the first strong connections settlers had with the natives.
If the government was so fixed on keeping Cynthia in the Anglo community, why did they not go after her when she was originally taken? Ms. Parker to this day serves as a symbol of white supremacy and one of the rare connections settlers had with Native Americans during this era of discrimination of many ethnicities and wrongful removal of Indians from their land.
Cynthia Ann Parker served as one of the first main bridges between the native community and the settlers. Though neither society took initiative on creating peace through Cynthia and working together, she was one of the first major connections whites had ever had with Native Americans. She may also serve as an example of how strong white supremacy was in the day, even though she was Anglo by birth, she considered the natives her people but was consistently denied the freedom to be reunited with her tribe.
Drawing of Peta Nocona
Drawing of Cynthia Ann Parker
Painting of Comanche Raiding Party
Artist unknown "Cynthia Ann Parker." Date unknown
Artist unknown "Peta Nocona." Date unknown
Michno, Gregory. “Wild West” March 6, 2010.
Watch this video for a more in depth look at one of the causes of tension in the 1830's between natives and settlers.
Hughes, Keith. "The Indian Removal Act Explained in 5 Minutes: US History Review." YouTube. December 16, 2014. Accessed June 27, 2016.
Her captor and head of The Texas Rangers, Lawrence Sullivan Ross.
Photographer unknown. "Lawrence Sullivan Ross." 1978
Cynthia and her daughter after her capture, note her short hair which was a physical sign of mourning and sadness in the Comanche tribe.
Photographer unknown. "Portrait of Cynthia Ann Parker." 1861
Carlson, Paul H., and Tom Crum. “The Battle” at Pease River and the Question of Reliable Sources in the
Recapture of Cynthia Ann Parker.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly113, no. 1 (July 2009): 32-52. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed June 27, 2016)
This peer-reviewed scholarly journal article reviews the different accounts in history of the battle between Texas Rangers and the Comanche tribe. Collecting all accounts of this battle is critical since it is where Cynthia was captured by the Texas Rangers. The article is informative on the behind the scene actions of Lawrence Sullivan Ross who actually change his account of the battle just to boost his career, and compares all accounts to find the truth within false information.
Gonzalez, Catherine Troxell.
Cynthia Ann Parker, Indian Captive
. Burnnet, Tex: Eakin Press, 1980. eBook
Collection (Ebscohost), EBSCOhost (accessed June 26, 2016).
Cynthia Ann Parker, Indian Captive
supplies a first person point of view of what it was like to be Cynthia. It moves readers to fully understand what she went through because she was born a white woman who was then taken in by Native Americans. Providing accurate biographical information that also leads up to her historical legacy, this makes for a great resource. Since what happened to Cynthia when she was younger changed the way her life would be forever, there is a strong tie between her legacy and childhoodl.
McKenney, Thomas L. Sketches of Travels among the Northern and Southern Indians 3rd ed. Vol. 1. New York:
Daniel Burgess &, 1854.
Introducing one example on how Native Americans had tension with the settlers in the mid 1800’s, this source provides information on why the Comanches and settlers would be attacking each other. The natives were told they would receive protection from the government, which they never received. Territory borders were not respected by settlers and the government did not enact anything to prevent it. This is key knowledge that will help readers understand the rivalry between the natives and settlers in the time period of Cynthia.
Evarts, Jeremiah. Speeches on the Passage of the Bill for the Removal of the Indians. Boston: Perkins and Marvin,
Happening at the time when Cynthia was 6, about 3 years before her town was raided, Indians were wrongfully removed from their homelands. Helping bring rise to raids, like the one Cynthia was captured in, the event discussed in this article is critical to how she was later to become a historical legacy. Without the removal of Indians from their land, Cynthia’s town might have never been raided.
Suggested Readings Cont..
Primary Source Cont..
Lamar, Mirabeau B. Mirabeau B. Lamar to the Texas Congress, December 20, 1838
In this address, the point of view of the settlers is expressed. Playing the victim and questioning why the natives continue to protest when they (the settlers) have shown nothing but kindness is far from the truth. Lamar addressing Texas Congress gives an insight on the inter working’s of congress and its men at this time. A beneficial source to compare to others at show opposing views.
By: Megan Van Scoyoc
Other Works Cited
Hacker, Margaret S. "PARKER, CYNTHIA ANN." Texas State Historical Association.
Accessed June 27, 2016.
"Cynthia Ann Parker Is Kidnapped." History.com. Accessed June 27, 2016.