Quote of the Day: Little Innocent One

 

“My little innocent one was not only dead, but literally torn to pieces.”
Rachel Plummer, The Narrative of the Capture and Subsequent Sufferings of Mrs. Rachel Plummer, 1839.

Rachel Parker Plummer was kidnapped by Comanche Indians on May 19, 1836 from the Parker Fort on the outer edge of the western frontier in the newly independent Republic of Texas. She was taken along with her fourteen-month-old son James Pratt Plummer, a young widow named Elizabeth Kellogg, nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker, and Cynthia’s seven-year-old brother John Richard Parker. James and John were ransomed by General Zachary Taylor in 1842, while Cynthia Ann was married to a Comanche warrior and gave birth to three children. Her son Quanah Parker became the last Chief of the Comanche Indians.

After thirteen months of captivity as a Comanche slave, Rachel lived to tell the tale of her capture and eventual return to her family. The Comanches separated Rachel from her toddler son and tasked her with tending horses at night and dressing buffalo skins during the day. In Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History, S.C. Gwynne explains that Rachel’s fate was very likely linked to the Comanche economy that relied on trading horses, buffalo hides, and captives. However, the economic value of Rachel Plummer was compromised, from the Comanche perspective, by the birth of her second son, Luther, in October 1836. She was 17 years old.  

Gwynne elaborates on the tragedy:

“Her master thought the infant too much trouble, and feeding him meant that Rachel was not able to work full-time. One morning, when the baby was seven weeks old, half a dozen men came. While several of them held Rachel, one of them strangled the baby, then handed him to her. When he showed signs of life, they took him again, this time tying a rope around his neck and dragging him through prickly pear cactus, and eventually dragged him behind a horse around a hundred-yard circuit.” Gwynne quotes Rachel from her memoir: “My little innocent one was not only dead, but literally torn to pieces.” He editorializes further, “The torture-killing of a defenseless seven-week-old infant, by committee decision no less, is an act of almost demonic immorality by any modern standard.”

This modern reader was stopped by those words and made to wonder if they were as true in 2024 as when they were written in 2010, or if they were in fact ever true of our modern standards. If I am being unfair to my contemporaries, I think it’s only because they may still perceive a significant difference between violence inflicted upon a child seven weeks after birth instead of seven weeks before. Modern Americans may condemn the execution of an innocent child at seven weeks old, but those who support abortion are constantly using the same logic that drove the Comanches to murder Rachel Plummer’s son. The baby needed to be fed in winter, a time of scarce resources, and worse, he kept his mother from working full-time!

As just one example of similar thinking, a report published by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) in January 2024 noted: “…women make up a significant portion of the labor force and substantially contribute to the economy. Abortion bans hurt women and families, and they hurt state economies. When women are not able to work due to restrictions on abortion access, it directly impacts not just individual women but also the broader economies in which they participate.” The IWPR quantifies the economic loss in states that rank the lowest for protecting “women’s reproductive rights” as compared to the highest ranked states: an average median income for women of $24,335 versus $29,251, respectively.  The report does not mention the differences in the cost of living in different states, where the worse ranked state for abortion access is Missouri and the best ranked state is New Jersey. Taking these figures at face value, the IWPR analysis suggests that restricting abortion costs women about $5,000 annually.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen agreed with an earlier IWPR assessment in 2022, stating: “I believe that eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades.” She clarified, in case it seemed that she was referring to prospective family planning, that “Roe v. Wade and access to reproductive health care, including abortion, helped lead to increased labor force participation.” 

The economic losses may be real and harmful to the economy, but the idea seems to be that the collective interest of women in general and in greater economic production is more important than the well-being of individual women, their babies, and their families. At least in theory, the IWPR analysis is addressing the issue of existing pregnancies that cannot be terminated due to state legal restrictions or the lack of access to abortion providers. IWPR does not suggest that women should endeavor to finish their education or get married before getting pregnant so that they can increase their future earning potential and/or gain the financial support that a husband could provide. They see a baby as a problem and abortion as the solution.

Not only is the economic argument for abortion dehumanizing to both mother and child, but it also seems rather weak based on the numbers they provide. Should women kill their babies to earn another $5000? Even if it’s $5000 more each year? In truth, no one really makes that argument in individual cases. They do frequently argue that poor women are just financially unable to take care of a child, and they also argue that women who aren’t “ready” to take care of a child just shouldn’t have to be burdened. Those arguments completely ignore the reality that even women in those situations may, and likely do, want to bring their children into the world. And yet a woman has heard the message from our society since childhood that she should not want a baby that is unplanned. And she absolutely should not expect the father of her child to take responsibility for an unplanned child. In the guise of caring about women, the message from feminist policy researchers is that women are better off when they ignore their natural creative ability and structure their lives to work like men.

A modern woman faced with an unplanned pregnancy is not like Rachel Plummer, enslaved and alienated from her husband and family, but she still suffers essentially the same economic dilemma. The problem presented by Rachel Plummer’s son Luther in October 1836 is the same problem presented by every baby ever born. He will be too much trouble and keep his mother from working full-time, at least in the short-term. A society that treats women primarily as economic actors and children primarily as economic burdens is leading women and children on a path to “demonic immorality” whether the sacrifice occurs among prickly pear cactus or at a Planned Parenthood clinic. The Comanches waited to terminate the life of little Luther only after he was born, but the death of the innocent child is the same result that millions of Americans now advocate for. After all, mom must get to work.   

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  1. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    So much for the myth of the noble savage.

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Lilly B: A society that treats women primarily as economic actors and children primarily as economic burdens is leading women and children on a path to “demonic immorality” whether the sacrifice occurs among prickly pear cactus or at a Planned Parenthood clinic.

    This. When we compare the life of a child to dollars and cents, we have lost our way.

    • #2
  3. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    I was born in Quanah, Texas. 

    Quanah Parker was  featured in a movie I watched, the name is long gone.

    • #3
  4. Brian J Bergs Coolidge
    Brian J Bergs
    @BrianBergs

    Your post is a most fascinating one. I also read the book Empire of the Summer Moon. It is a very instructive book for those who don’t understand the conflict between the European settlers in the Native American populations.

    The Commanches were a most violent and free culture.  They were making a living by raiding other Native American nations. When those Nations became more successful at farming the Comanches were relegated to a very small section of I believe colorado. When they adopted a horse culture using the European introduced horse they became very successful. They went from a small backwater Nation to a powerful raidng nation. The farming Nations had little defense against their incredible raids.

    But their very free culture ran into the European colonists juggernaut.  Those European colonists did not understand the Comanche way. The Comanches thought it entirely appropriate to raid, take prisoners, and abuse their captives as they pleased.  This native American group took pleasure in torturing their captives to death unless they wanted to keep them for bartering or domestic slaves. Even then they took pleasure in torturing these humans.

    Quanah was a very intelligent and wiley chief of the Comanches. He was able to lead several bands on successful rating excursions against the White settlers. He had great success in eluding the US military. But eventually they either had to give up their ways or die. Quanah wisely LED his people to the reservation system and even though they were abused under that system they did live.

    The book made me think of another International crisis that is currently happening in the middle east. If a people chooses to live freely as the Comanches did but continue to raid them and expect that the rest of the world and their neighbors will accept that status quo they are wrong. The more materially successful Nations will eventually not put up with the violence that is perpetrated against them from a Comanche like free culture. A compromise will be expected.  How much of a price will be paid before the compromise is up to the materially weaker nation.

     

    • #4
  5. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    Brian J Bergs (View Comment):

    Your post is a most fascinating one. I also read the book Empire of the Summer Moon. It is a very instructive book for those who don’t understand the conflict between the European settlers in the Native American populations.

    The Commanches were a most violent and free culture. They were making a living by raiding other Native American nations. When those Nations became more successful at farming the Comanches were relegated to a very small section of I believe colorado. When they adopted a horse culture using the European introduced horse they became very successful. They went from a small backwater Nation to a powerful raidng nation. The farming Nations had little defense against their incredible raids.

    But their very free culture ran into the European colonists juggernaut. Those European colonists did not understand the Comanche way. The Comanches thought it entirely appropriate to raid, take prisoners, and abuse their captives as they pleased. This native American group took pleasure in torturing their captives to death unless they wanted to keep them for bartering or domestic slaves. Even then they took pleasure in torturing these humans.

    Quanah was a very intelligent and wiley chief of the Comanches. He was able to lead several bands on successful rating excursions against the White settlers. He had great success in eluding the US military. But eventually they either had to give up their ways or die. Quanah wisely LED his people to the reservation system and even though they were abused under that system they did live.

    The book made me think of another International crisis that is currently happening in the middle east. If a people chooses to live freely as the Comanches did but continue to raid them and expect that the rest of the world and their neighbors will accept that status quo they are wrong. The more materially successful Nations will eventually not put up with the violence that is perpetrated against them from a Comanche like free culture. A compromise will be expected. How much of a price will be paid before the compromise is up to the materially weaker nation.

     

    Thanks for providing all that context. I found the book fascinating as I did not know much at all about the conflict between Comanches and Texans, and the European settlers in general. Different tribes had very different ways of life, such that the settlers used Comanche enemies as scouts. And some of those tribes were cannibals. I also had the same thought about the similarity to the Hamas-Israel conflict. The atrocities committed by Comanches seemed like they could have been the inspiration for October 7th.

    • #5
  6. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    JoelB (View Comment):

    So much for the myth of the noble savage.

    Yes, this book puts the lie to any idea of a simplistic battle between good and evil. There was a lot of behavior to abhor on all sides, as well as much to admire and respect. Real people are not so easy to categorize, going back to @henrycastaigne’s post the other day. 

    • #6
  7. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    Chuck (View Comment):

    I was born in Quanah, Texas.

    Quanah Parker was featured in a movie I watched, the name is long gone.

    After reading the book, I am even more interested in visiting northwest Texas. Have you been to Palo Duro Canyon? It looks amazing.  

    I wonder if the movie you’re thinking of is The Searchers, with John Wayne and Natalie Wood. I haven’t seen it, but it’s loosely based on the search for Quanah’s mother, Cynthia Ann, and the other captives. Apparently Quanah was also cast in an early film. I can’t recall the name.

    • #7
  8. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    I was born in Quanah, Texas.

    Quanah Parker was featured in a movie I watched, the name is long gone.

    After reading the book, I am even more interested in visiting northwest Texas. Have you been to Palo Duro Canyon? It looks amazing.

    I wonder if the movie you’re thinking of is The Searchers, with John Wayne and Natalie Wood. I haven’t seen it, but it’s loosely based on the search for Quanah’s mother, Cynthia Ann, and the other captives. Apparently Quanah was also cast in an early film. I can’t recall the name. 

    No, I remember The Searchers pretty well, and it was for sure not that one. Quanah Parker was a main character in it. I think it was a black & white just not sure.

    But I have been to Palo Duro canyon just been beau coup years. We camped out there.  There was an open air play (put on by a local group) we went to that evening but I don’t recall what it was.

    • #8
  9. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Mark Twain referred now and then to the savagery of the Comanches.

    • #9
  10. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    Great post. Thank you for the history lesson and the further thoughts about the ‘right’ to abortion and the worth of women and babies. Agree with others on the Hamas/Israel corollary (I think I’m using that correctly? I’m sure a better grammarian will correct me.) Generally does the (mostly urban) criminal gang of today act like the Comanches? Easier to raid than to build. 

    • #10
  11. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    I was born in Quanah, Texas.

    Quanah Parker was featured in a movie I watched, the name is long gone.

    After reading the book, I am even more interested in visiting northwest Texas. Have you been to Palo Duro Canyon? It looks amazing.

    I wonder if the movie you’re thinking of is The Searchers, with John Wayne and Natalie Wood. I haven’t seen it, but it’s loosely based on the search for Quanah’s mother, Cynthia Ann, and the other captives. Apparently Quanah was also cast in an early film. I can’t recall the name.

    Palo Duro Canyon is nice to visit, I live just a half hour north of it.  It’s very strange that in the middle of the plains is this deep and intricate canyon.  

    The Comanche were not “free,” and it’s insulting (to us) to describe them as free.  They were murderous evil, not “free.”  Until the development of repeating firearms (most importantly the Colt Walker Pistol) they were able to dominate the European military forces because of their mobility and rapid shooting arrows.  

    Not all Indian tribes were so brutal, some were quite peaceful, but the Comanche were the worst.  Destroying their tribes was one of the greatest accomplishments of the 19th century Americans.  It’s right up there with eradicating the Rocky Mountain locusts.

    After living on the reservation for a while, they asked permission to go on a buffalo hunt.  The US agreed, and escorted them while they searched and searched for buffalo, who were all gone by then.  Reading the account of their growing realization that the immense herds of buffalo were gone and their way of life not even possible was delightful.  They were pure evil, and they are lucky we allowed some of them to live.  But they themselves ended up like the buffalo.  Their tribes are just barely existing anymore, and that’s a good thing.

    • #11
  12. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    I was born in Quanah, Texas.

    Quanah Parker was featured in a movie I watched, the name is long gone.

    After reading the book, I am even more interested in visiting northwest Texas. Have you been to Palo Duro Canyon? It looks amazing.

    I wonder if the movie you’re thinking of is The Searchers, with John Wayne and Natalie Wood. I haven’t seen it, but it’s loosely based on the search for Quanah’s mother, Cynthia Ann, and the other captives. Apparently Quanah was also cast in an early film. I can’t recall the name.

    Palo Duro Canyon is nice to visit, I live just a half hour north of it. It’s very strange that in the middle of the plains is this deep and intricate canyon.

    The Comanche were not “free,” and it’s insulting (to us) to describe them as free. They were murderous evil, not “free.” Until the development of repeating firearms (most importantly the Colt Walker Pistol) they were able to dominate the European military forces because of their mobility and rapid shooting arrows.

    Not all Indian tribes were so brutal, some were quite peaceful, but the Comanche were the worst. Destroying their tribes was one of the greatest accomplishments of the 19th century Americans. It’s right up there with eradicating the Rocky Mountain locusts.

    After living on the reservation for a while, they asked permission to go on a buffalo hunt. The US agreed, and escorted them while they searched and searched for buffalo, who were all gone by then. Reading the account of their growing realization that the immense herds of buffalo were gone and their way of life not even possible was delightful. They were pure evil, and they are lucky we allowed some of them to live. But they themselves ended up like the buffalo. Their tribes are just barely existing anymore, and that’s a good thing.

    You offer a needed correction to those who want to romanticize the “free Comanche.” 

    • #12
  13. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    I was born in Quanah, Texas.

    Quanah Parker was featured in a movie I watched, the name is long gone.

    After reading the book, I am even more interested in visiting northwest Texas. Have you been to Palo Duro Canyon? It looks amazing.

    I wonder if the movie you’re thinking of is The Searchers, with John Wayne and Natalie Wood. I haven’t seen it, but it’s loosely based on the search for Quanah’s mother, Cynthia Ann, and the other captives. Apparently Quanah was also cast in an early film. I can’t recall the name.

    Palo Duro Canyon is nice to visit, I live just a half hour north of it. It’s very strange that in the middle of the plains is this deep and intricate canyon.

    The Comanche were not “free,” and it’s insulting (to us) to describe them as free. They were murderous evil, not “free.” Until the development of repeating firearms (most importantly the Colt Walker Pistol) they were able to dominate the European military forces because of their mobility and rapid shooting arrows.

    Not all Indian tribes were so brutal, some were quite peaceful, but the Comanche were the worst. Destroying their tribes was one of the greatest accomplishments of the 19th century Americans. It’s right up there with eradicating the Rocky Mountain locusts.

    After living on the reservation for a while, they asked permission to go on a buffalo hunt. The US agreed, and escorted them while they searched and searched for buffalo, who were all gone by then. Reading the account of their growing realization that the immense herds of buffalo were gone and their way of life not even possible was delightful. They were pure evil, and they are lucky we allowed some of them to live. But they themselves ended up like the buffalo. Their tribes are just barely existing anymore, and that’s a good thing.

    You offer a needed correction to those who want to romanticize the “free Comanche.”

    I might add the modifier “devilishly” to free. Like completely amoral and unmoored from monotheistic, Judeo-Christian ethical standards. From what I have read, it seemed like a tragic clash of cultures that required violence. Kill or be killed. That seems to have been the Comanche way, and it was very difficult to deal with them any other way.

    Tragic in that there was no better way out, and the victory over the Comanches was not achieved the way Americans would have preferred. 

    • #13
  14. JoshuaFinch Coolidge
    JoshuaFinch
    @JoshuaFinch

    No wonder abortionists support Hamas. In the opinion of both groups, baby killing is justifiable.

    • #14
  15. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    I was born in Quanah, Texas.

    Quanah Parker was featured in a movie I watched, the name is long gone.

    After reading the book, I am even more interested in visiting northwest Texas. Have you been to Palo Duro Canyon? It looks amazing.

    I wonder if the movie you’re thinking of is The Searchers, with John Wayne and Natalie Wood. I haven’t seen it, but it’s loosely based on the search for Quanah’s mother, Cynthia Ann, and the other captives. Apparently Quanah was also cast in an early film. I can’t recall the name.

    Palo Duro Canyon is nice to visit, I live just a half hour north of it. It’s very strange that in the middle of the plains is this deep and intricate canyon.

    The Comanche were not “free,” and it’s insulting (to us) to describe them as free. They were murderous evil, not “free.” Until the development of repeating firearms (most importantly the Colt Walker Pistol) they were able to dominate the European military forces because of their mobility and rapid shooting arrows.

    Not all Indian tribes were so brutal, some were quite peaceful, but the Comanche were the worst. Destroying their tribes was one of the greatest accomplishments of the 19th century Americans. It’s right up there with eradicating the Rocky Mountain locusts.

    After living on the reservation for a while, they asked permission to go on a buffalo hunt. The US agreed, and escorted them while they searched and searched for buffalo, who were all gone by then. Reading the account of their growing realization that the immense herds of buffalo were gone and their way of life not even possible was delightful. They were pure evil, and they are lucky we allowed some of them to live. But they themselves ended up like the buffalo. Their tribes are just barely existing anymore, and that’s a good thing.

    You offer a needed correction to those who want to romanticize the “free Comanche.”

    I might add the modifier “devilishly” to free. Like completely amoral and unmoored from monotheistic, Judeo-Christian ethical standards. From what I have read, it seemed like a tragic clash of cultures that required violence. Kill or be killed. That seems to have been the Comanche way, and it was very difficult to deal with them any other way.

    Tragic in that there was no better way out, and the victory over the Comanches was not achieved the way Americans would have preferred.

    I have heard that the Comanche under Quanah Parker got decent ranching land and that the tribe has historically been more prosperous than other tribes. The Comanche were so ferocious the white governments respected their treaties. Is that true? How bad was reservation life for the Comanche. 

    • #15
  16. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    The Comanche were not “free,” and it’s insulting (to us) to describe them as free. They were murderous evil, not “free.” Until the development of repeating firearms (most importantly the Colt Walker Pistol) they were able to dominate the European military forces because of their mobility and rapid shooting arrows.

    Not all Indian tribes were so brutal, some were quite peaceful, but the Comanche were the worst. Destroying their tribes was one of the greatest accomplishments of the 19th century Americans. It’s right up there with eradicating the Rocky Mountain locusts.

    After living on the reservation for a while, they asked permission to go on a buffalo hunt. The US agreed, and escorted them while they searched and searched for buffalo, who were all gone by then. Reading the account of their growing realization that the immense herds of buffalo were gone and their way of life not even possible was delightful. They were pure evil, and they are lucky we allowed some of them to live. But they themselves ended up like the buffalo. Their tribes are just barely existing anymore, and that’s a good thing.

    You offer a needed correction to those who want to romanticize the “free Comanche.”

    I might add the modifier “devilishly” to free. Like completely amoral and unmoored from monotheistic, Judeo-Christian ethical standards. From what I have read, it seemed like a tragic clash of cultures that required violence. Kill or be killed. That seems to have been the Comanche way, and it was very difficult to deal with them any other way.

    Tragic in that there was no better way out, and the victory over the Comanches was not achieved the way Americans would have preferred.

    I have heard that the Comanche under Quanah Parker got decent ranching land and that the tribe has historically been more prosperous than other tribes. The Comanche were so ferocious the white governments respected their treaties. Is that true? How bad was reservation life for the Comanche.

    Apparently, Quanah was quite the businessman and actually managed to negotiate leases once he moved to the reservation. He hosted Teddy Roosevelt at his house. And yet, I got the sense that most Comanches just couldn’t quite get the concept of private property. I think the government couldn’t effectively make treaties with the Comanches because they didn’t have a single tribal representative that  could make binding agreements for any other “bands” of Comanches. They had war chiefs that rallied support for raids and got standing in the tribe, but it wasn’t the kind of authority that officials in Texas or the U.S. needed to deal with. It also seems that the government generally didn’t abide by the treaties, and whether that was intentional or in response to another violent attack on settlers wasn’t always clear.

    • #16
  17. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    The Comanche were not “free,” and it’s insulting (to us) to describe them as free. They were murderous evil, not “free.” Until the development of repeating firearms (most importantly the Colt Walker Pistol) they were able to dominate the European military forces because of their mobility and rapid shooting arrows.

    Not all Indian tribes were so brutal, some were quite peaceful, but the Comanche were the worst. Destroying their tribes was one of the greatest accomplishments of the 19th century Americans. It’s right up there with eradicating the Rocky Mountain locusts.

    After living on the reservation for a while, they asked permission to go on a buffalo hunt. The US agreed, and escorted them while they searched and searched for buffalo, who were all gone by then. Reading the account of their growing realization that the immense herds of buffalo were gone and their way of life not even possible was delightful. They were pure evil, and they are lucky we allowed some of them to live. But they themselves ended up like the buffalo. Their tribes are just barely existing anymore, and that’s a good thing.

    You offer a needed correction to those who want to romanticize the “free Comanche.”

    I might add the modifier “devilishly” to free. Like completely amoral and unmoored from monotheistic, Judeo-Christian ethical standards. From what I have read, it seemed like a tragic clash of cultures that required violence. Kill or be killed. That seems to have been the Comanche way, and it was very difficult to deal with them any other way.

    Tragic in that there was no better way out, and the victory over the Comanches was not achieved the way Americans would have preferred.

    I have heard that the Comanche under Quanah Parker got decent ranching land and that the tribe has historically been more prosperous than other tribes. The Comanche were so ferocious the white governments respected their treaties. Is that true? How bad was reservation life for the Comanche. Apparently, Quanah was quite the businessman and actually managed to negotiate leases once he moved to the reservation. He hosted Teddy Roosevelt at his house. And yet, I got the sense that most Comanches just couldn’t quite get the concept of private property. I think the government couldn’t effectively make treaties with the Comanches because they didn’t have a single tribal representative that could make binding agreements for any other “bands” of Comanches. They had war chiefs that rallied support for raids and got standing in the tribe, but it wasn’t the kind of authority that officials in Texas or the U.S. needed to deal with. It also seems that the government generally didn’t abide by the treaties, and whether that was intentional or in response to another violent attack on settlers wasn’t always clear.

    So far as I know some Comanche yet remain in SW Oklahoma. ( https://comanchenation.com/)

    • #17
  18. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    The Comanche were not “free,” and it’s insulting (to us) to describe them as free. They were murderous evil, not “free.” Until the development of repeating firearms (most importantly the Colt Walker Pistol) they were able to dominate the European military forces because of their mobility and rapid shooting arrows.

    Not all Indian tribes were so brutal, some were quite peaceful, but the Comanche were the worst. Destroying their tribes was one of the greatest accomplishments of the 19th century Americans. It’s right up there with eradicating the Rocky Mountain locusts.

    After living on the reservation for a while, they asked permission to go on a buffalo hunt. The US agreed, and escorted them while they searched and searched for buffalo, who were all gone by then. Reading the account of their growing realization that the immense herds of buffalo were gone and their way of life not even possible was delightful. They were pure evil, and they are lucky we allowed some of them to live. But they themselves ended up like the buffalo. Their tribes are just barely existing anymore, and that’s a good thing.

    You offer a needed correction to those who want to romanticize the “free Comanche.”

    I might add the modifier “devilishly” to free. Like completely amoral and unmoored from monotheistic, Judeo-Christian ethical standards. From what I have read, it seemed like a tragic clash of cultures that required violence. Kill or be killed. That seems to have been the Comanche way, and it was very difficult to deal with them any other way.

    Tragic in that there was no better way out, and the victory over the Comanches was not achieved the way Americans would have preferred.

    I have heard that the Comanche under Quanah Parker got decent ranching land and that the tribe has historically been more prosperous than other tribes. The Comanche were so ferocious the white governments respected their treaties. Is that true? How bad was reservation life for the Comanche. Apparently, Quanah was quite the businessman and actually managed to negotiate leases once he moved to the reservation. He hosted Teddy Roosevelt at his house. And yet, I got the sense that most Comanches just couldn’t quite get the concept of private property. I think the government couldn’t effectively make treaties with the Comanches because they didn’t have a single tribal representative that could make binding agreements for any other “bands” of Comanches. They had war chiefs that rallied support for raids and got standing in the tribe, but it wasn’t the kind of authority that officials in Texas or the U.S. needed to deal with. It also seems that the government generally didn’t abide by the treaties, and whether that was intentional or in response to another violent attack on settlers wasn’t always clear.

    So far as I know some Comanche yet remain in SW Oklahoma. ( https://comanchenation.com/)

    Just barely.

     

    • #18
  19. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Great post. Thank you for the history lesson and the further thoughts about the ‘right’ to abortion and the worth of women and babies. Agree with others on the Hamas/Israel corollary (I think I’m using that correctly? I’m sure a better grammarian will correct me.) Generally does the (mostly urban) criminal gang of today act like the Comanches? Easier to raid than to build.

    I’d say it’s generally easier to raid than to build. Makes me think of the Danish Vikings, and I’m sure there’s tons of other examples. I think the Comanches were weak until they mastered the horses brought to North America by the Spanish, and then they had little reason to alter their way of living. Until the U.S. government got serious about taking the fight to them, after the Civil War, they could hunt buffalo and roam the prairie and canyons anywhere they wanted. 

    • #19
  20. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

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    The Comanche were not “free,” and it’s insulting (to us) to describe them as free. They were murderous evil, not “free.” Until the development of repeating firearms (most importantly the Colt Walker Pistol) they were able to dominate the European military forces because of their mobility and rapid shooting arrows.

    Not all Indian tribes were so brutal, some were quite peaceful, but the Comanche were the worst. Destroying their tribes was one of the greatest accomplishments of the 19th century Americans. It’s right up there with eradicating the Rocky Mountain locusts.

    After living on the reservation for a while, they asked permission to go on a buffalo hunt. The US agreed, and escorted them while they searched and searched for buffalo, who were all gone by then. Reading the account of their growing realization that the immense herds of buffalo were gone and their way of life not even possible was delightful. They were pure evil, and they are lucky we allowed some of them to live. But they themselves ended up like the buffalo. Their tribes are just barely existing anymore, and that’s a good thing.

    You offer a needed correction to those who want to romanticize the “free Comanche.”

    I might add the modifier “devilishly” to free. Like completely amoral and unmoored from monotheistic, Judeo-Christian ethical standards. From what I have read, it seemed like a tragic clash of cultures that required violence. Kill or be killed. That seems to have been the Comanche way, and it was very difficult to deal with them any other way.

    Tragic in that there was no better way out, and the victory over the Comanches was not achieved the way Americans would have preferred.

    I have heard that the Comanche under Quanah Parker got decent ranching land and that the tribe has historically been more prosperous than other tribes. The Comanche were so ferocious the white governments respected their treaties. Is that true? How bad was reservation life for the Comanche. Apparently, Quanah was quite the businessman and actually managed to negotiate leases once he moved to the reservation. He hosted Teddy Roosevelt at his house. And yet, I got the sense that most Comanches just couldn’t quite get the concept of private property. I think the government couldn’t effectively make treaties with the Comanches because they didn’t have a single tribal representative that could make binding agreements for any other “bands” of Comanches. They had war chiefs that rallied support for raids and got standing in the tribe, but it wasn’t the kind of authority that officials in Texas or the U.S. needed to deal with. It also seems that the government generally didn’t abide by the treaties, and whether that was intentional or in response to another violent attack on settlers wasn’t always clear.

    So far as I know some Comanche yet remain in SW Oklahoma. ( https://comanchenation.com/)

    Just barely.

     

    From the web, I understand 10K in the area and another 7 k outside.  They apparently require 1/8 blood so my guess is sooner or later they are gonna disappear.  Just like the blacks, the whites, the orientals, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Koreans…

    • #20
  21. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

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    The Comanche were not “free,” and it’s insulting (to us) to describe them as free. They were murderous evil, not “free.” Until the development of repeating firearms (most importantly the Colt Walker Pistol) they were able to dominate the European military forces because of their mobility and rapid shooting arrows.

    Not all Indian tribes were so brutal, some were quite peaceful, but the Comanche were the worst. Destroying their tribes was one of the greatest accomplishments of the 19th century Americans. It’s right up there with eradicating the Rocky Mountain locusts.

    After living on the reservation for a while, they asked permission to go on a buffalo hunt. The US agreed, and escorted them while they searched and searched for buffalo, who were all gone by then. Reading the account of their growing realization that the immense herds of buffalo were gone and their way of life not even possible was delightful. They were pure evil, and they are lucky we allowed some of them to live. But they themselves ended up like the buffalo. Their tribes are just barely existing anymore, and that’s a good thing.

    You offer a needed correction to those who want to romanticize the “free Comanche.”

    I might add the modifier “devilishly” to free. Like completely amoral and unmoored from monotheistic, Judeo-Christian ethical standards. From what I have read, it seemed like a tragic clash of cultures that required violence. Kill or be killed. That seems to have been the Comanche way, and it was very difficult to deal with them any other way.

    Tragic in that there was no better way out, and the victory over the Comanches was not achieved the way Americans would have preferred.

    I have heard that the Comanche under Quanah Parker got decent ranching land and that the tribe has historically been more prosperous than other tribes. The Comanche were so ferocious the white governments respected their treaties. Is that true? How bad was reservation life for the Comanche. Apparently, Quanah was quite the businessman and actually managed to negotiate leases once he moved to the reservation. He hosted Teddy Roosevelt at his house. And yet, I got the sense that most Comanches just couldn’t quite get the concept of private property. I think the government couldn’t effectively make treaties with the Comanches because they didn’t have a single tribal representative that could make binding agreements for any other “bands” of Comanches. They had war chiefs that rallied support for raids and got standing in the tribe, but it wasn’t the kind of authority that officials in Texas or the U.S. needed to deal with. It also seems that the government generally didn’t abide by the treaties, and whether that was intentional or in response to another violent attack on settlers wasn’t always clear.

    So far as I know some Comanche yet remain in SW Oklahoma. ( https://comanchenation.com/)

    Just barely.

     

    From the web, I understand 10K in the area and another 7 k outside. They apparently require 1/8 blood so my guess is sooner or later they are gonna disappear. Just like the blacks, the whites, the orientals, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Koreans…

    Do you lament interracial marriage? Or people who don’t breed enough?

    • #21
  22. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

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    The Comanche were not “free,” and it’s insulting (to us) to describe them as free. They were murderous evil, not “free.” Until the development of repeating firearms (most importantly the Colt Walker Pistol) they were able to dominate the European military forces because of their mobility and rapid shooting arrows.

    Not all Indian tribes were so brutal, some were quite peaceful, but the Comanche were the worst. Destroying their tribes was one of the greatest accomplishments of the 19th century Americans. It’s right up there with eradicating the Rocky Mountain locusts.

    After living on the reservation for a while, they asked permission to go on a buffalo hunt. The US agreed, and escorted them while they searched and searched for buffalo, who were all gone by then. Reading the account of their growing realization that the immense herds of buffalo were gone and their way of life not even possible was delightful. They were pure evil, and they are lucky we allowed some of them to live. But they themselves ended up like the buffalo. Their tribes are just barely existing anymore, and that’s a good thing.

    You offer a needed correction to those who want to romanticize the “free Comanche.”

    I might add the modifier “devilishly” to free. Like completely amoral and unmoored from monotheistic, Judeo-Christian ethical standards. From what I have read, it seemed like a tragic clash of cultures that required violence. Kill or be killed. That seems to have been the Comanche way, and it was very difficult to deal with them any other way.

    Tragic in that there was no better way out, and the victory over the Comanches was not achieved the way Americans would have preferred.

    I have heard that the Comanche under Quanah Parker got decent ranching land and that the tribe has historically been more prosperous than other tribes. The Comanche were so ferocious the white governments respected their treaties. Is that true? How bad was reservation life for the Comanche. Apparently, Quanah was quite the businessman and actually managed to negotiate leases once he moved to the reservation. He hosted Teddy Roosevelt at his house. And yet, I got the sense that most Comanches just couldn’t quite get the concept of private property. I think the government couldn’t effectively make treaties with the Comanches because they didn’t have a single tribal representative that could make binding agreements for any other “bands” of Comanches. They had war chiefs that rallied support for raids and got standing in the tribe, but it wasn’t the kind of authority that officials in Texas or the U.S. needed to deal with. It also seems that the government generally didn’t abide by the treaties, and whether that was intentional or in response to another violent attack on settlers wasn’t always clear.

    So far as I know some Comanche yet remain in SW Oklahoma. ( https://comanchenation.com/)

    Just barely.

     

    From the web, I understand 10K in the area and another 7 k outside. They apparently require 1/8 blood so my guess is sooner or later they are gonna disappear. Just like the blacks, the whites, the orientals, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Koreans…

    Do you lament interracial marriage? Or people who don’t breed enough?

    No, I don’t.  (One of my sons is married to a Chinese lady and the other to a very black Dominican.  And I thoroughly enjoy my grandchildren.)  But I do appreciate the differences, and I do accept reality.

    Which, btw, brings the thought what happens to the government agencies tasked with taking care of them when all the Native Americans melt into the melting pot?  

    • #22
  23. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Chuck (View Comment):
    Which, btw, brings the thought what happens to the government agencies tasked with taking care of them when all the Native Americans melt into the melting pot?

    The Supreme Court, Sandra Day that is, in an opinion once commented on the hopelessness of the reservations and the property contained therein.

    That is, the injuns in most reservations owned the property in whole originally, but as the years went by, the parcels were owned by more and more descendants/heirs with each generation owning an impossibly smaller fraction of the property.  It has been virtually impossible to identify all the owners of the lands, and even if we could determine who owned all the land, it would be virtually impossible to get agreement on how to dispose of the land.  Land that can’t be transferred can’t be sold and thus has no value.  No one will invest in the land and no one will build on the land because there will be no way to profit from the sale or transfer.

    Someday something will have to be done about it, but it won’t be pretty and therefore it isn’t likely to happen any time soon.  Through their own misguided decisions, the people on the reservations have condemned themselves to owning almost nothing when in fact there are vast tracts of land involved.

    • #23
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