Del “Abe” Jones
CHIEF QUANAH PARKER
Chief Quanah Parker of the Kwahadi ComancheBorn around Eighteen forty-five
In what is now Oklahoma
To captive Cynthia Ann Parker
And Father, Chief Nocona.
Raised in Ancient Tribal ways;
Learned to ride by three or four;
His Band following the Buffalo
Trading with other Tribes and more.
While avoiding Army Troopers
He was taught of weaponry
The lance, knife, bow and arrow
The choice of the Comanche.
Although they had some guns, too
They didn’t trust the aim
While galloping on horseback
Into a Battle’s deadly game.
His Mother, taken as a child
Could not teach, the white man’s way
Learning from Braves of their conquests
And longing to join them one day.
His Mother and Sister were stolen
And when his Father was killed
In the raid by the Texas Rangers
His hatred of the white was instilled.
Eager to seek out his revenge
On the scourge of the white-man,
Who wreaked death and their disease
With their ethnic cleansing plan.
He saw the killing of the Buffalo
That once covered the open plain
Slaughtered into near extinction
Never to return to roam again.
During his youth warfare was constant
Treaties were made, only to be broken
Lies told in the form of promises
When the white man’s word was spoken.
Time and again, Peace was made
With other Tribes and with the whites
While all the while they were provoked
And stripped of all their Human Rights.
After his Band lost many members
He joined the Quahada Comanche
Of whom his Father had been Chief
Back when they had lived Free.
He refused to accept a treaty
To confine them to a reservation
As he became the last Chief
Of the whole Comanche Nation.
He remained on the warpath
Raiding Texas and Mexico
Outwitting the Army and others
Wherever he made the blood flow.
He was almost killed in Texas
When he attacked Adobe Wells
Against some Buffalo Hunters
That’s what the story tells.
By eighteen and seventy-five
The band was starving and weary
The Army asked for their surrender
And to sign a Peace Treaty.
Quanah rode out to a mesa
And saw a Wolf coming his way
Then turn and trot to the northeast
Towards where Fort Sill lay.
Overhead an Eagle glided lazily
Then, towards the Fort took wing
Quanah thought this was a sign
The kind the gods would bring.
In June, Eighteen seventy-five
He surrendered with his Band
To travel down the white man’s road
Into a strange and unknown land.
He learned the English language
And lobbied Congress for his Nation
He invested in a railroad
Was made Judge on the Reservation.
He learned of the way of politics
Became friends with the President
But older Chiefs thought him too young
And his white blood, they did resent.
In Ninety-two they split the Tribe
One faction on his side, one not
Those who thought he’d sold them out
And all those with whom, he’d fought.
He was a great Chief and Warrior
Who never forgot old traditions
But still able to bend enough
To survive those new conditions.
He was beloved by his People
And respected by old enemies
Whose word could be trusted
And who lived by signed treaties.
He passed in Nineteen eleven
But leaves a Great legacy
Which lives on in every member
Of the Tribe of the Comanche.
©Copyright September 2005 by Del “Abe” Jones
Author’s Note: Today the bodies of Chief Quanah and his Mother lie side by side at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The Comanche reservation was closed in 1901 with 10,000 or so surviving members, half of whom still live on their own property in Oklahoma.
A bit of trivia – My Granddad knew the Chief.