Digital Repository

Cynthia Ann Parker

Cynthia Ann Parker is the most famous Indian captive in American history. Captured when she was six years old, Parker spent twenty-four years with the Comanche, eventually marrying the warrior Peta Nocona, with whom she had two sons and a daughter. In 1860, Texas Rangers and federal soldiers abducted Parker in an attack on a Comanche encampment in north Texas. Sadly, she struggled to readjust. A number of times she tried to escape and return to the Comanche and her children, including her son Quanah—who became the most important Comanche leader of his day.

Audio: Houston Public Media

Image: Portrait of Cynthia Ann Parker, 1861. Sixth plate tintype photograph, hand colored. Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library.