On May 19th, 1836 nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker, a member of a group of religious families occupying Fort Parker in Texas, witnessed the massacre of friends and relatives by combined bands of Caddos, Kiowas and Comanche warriors. Abducted by the Comanches, Cynthia was raised for the next 25 years as a tribal member and became "fully" Comanche, giving birth to Quanah Parker, the last Comanche Chief and one of the most influential intermediaries of his time, a representative of both the Native American and White cultures. Abducted a second time as an adult by a well-meaning Texas Ranger, Cynthia Ann was forced to return to White society, but mourned deeply for her Comanche family, ultimately starving herself to death out of grief.
Much lore and legend has grown around the story of Cynthia Ann Parker over the years, and it has often been difficult to separate the myth from the reality of her dramatic story. However, Margaret Schmidt Hacker has done just that. Over a period of five years, Ms. Hacker painstakingly researched the archives in Texas, Oklahoma, California and Washington, D.C. and objectively weighed all the accounts of Cynthia Ann's life. The result of her efforts is what is considered the most authoritative book on the subject. Although scholarly, it is at the same time, a gripping drama of the Texas prairies, and very readable by anyone with an interest in the Old West. Highly recommended reading.