Quanah Parker and Adoption

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Quanah_Parker in ceremonial regalia, ca. 1890



Parker's mother was Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman captured by the Comanches in 1836, when she was about 12, who had married a Comanche chief, Nocona. After 25 years, in 1860, she was recaptured by the whites, and died in 1864. Parker's father also died about that time, leaving him a teenage orphan.

He grew to prominence in the tribe, becoming a paramount chief and a judge in the tribal Court of Indian Offenses. He encouraged the adoption of some white ways but also promoted traditionalist ways such as peyotism and polygamy. He was active in the fight to legalize the Peyote religion.

The town of Quanah, Texas, is named after him.


Dictionary of American Biography Hirschfelder, Arlene, and Molin, Paulette. Encyclopedia of Native American Religions: An Introduction. (New York: Facts on File, 1992) Neeley, Bill. The Last Comanche Chief: The Life and Times of Quanah Parker. (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1995) "Quanah Parker." [Includes portrait]. Available at: White, David. "Quanah Parker." [Includes portrait]. Available at: