Shadows Of The Comanche

The call of the road
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To give an idea of how urgent that latter project was, in over Comanches arrived in San Antonio to settle in for six days looting the town. By the s, for fear of Indian depredations, the "Anglo" settlers or Texians, as they came to be known, had still refused to settle east of the Colorado River.

In the Texians, along with many Tejanos, rebelled against Mexico City.

The call of the road

The distance between what was then Texas and New Mexico was almost inconceivably vast and extremely perilous to cross. Unsurprisingly, developments in 19th century Texas and New Mexico differed. Many retained close friendship and family ties to Comanches. This was when and where the "comanchero" commerce began to develop, and the "ciboleros," New Mexican bison hunters, emerged on the plains.

By the s, as Comanche raiding in Mexico stepped up, "New Mexicans had resigned themselves to purchasing peace from the Comanches, even if it meant inflicting death and suffering for the rest of northern Mexico. Having pushed the Apaches out of the southern Plains, in the s, using Texas as a byway, Comanches now pushed the Apaches west and south out of some of the richest raiding zones of northern Mexico. The door had been left open, so to speak, for in the wake of two decades of war for its independence from Spain, then the bloody contests among monarchists, federalists, and republicans, Mexico did not have the material nor political resources to protect its northern frontier.

Texas had been scoured of easy-pickings, and impoverished New Mexico was now locked into a tribute relationship. Demand for horses had three wellsprings. First, northern Plains Indians such as the Arapahoe, Assiniboine, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Crow, Pawnee, and Sioux, among others, needed horses for hunting, and to replenish the stock that could not survive or reproduce in the harsh winters north of the Arkansas River.

Thirdly, demand came from pioneers, those heading from all points east into the fringes of the Plains and overland to California, Oregon, and Colorado. If a dollar was to be made, there were traders, such as the Bent Brothers and Holland Coffee, who would eagerly deal in horses stolen from Mexico. Texas officials even supplied Comanches with provisions, the better to speed them through on their way to and from Mexico.

From the s Comanche raiding in Mexico became an annual late-summer migration, "a veritable industry"; "carefully planned and organized"; and "extraordinarily profitable.

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Generations later, Mexicans have not forgotten the terror of the Comanches' "avalanche-like expansion. They drove off entire horse and mule herds; captured women and children; and butchered cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats for food.

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To suppress resistance, they killed Mexican men, burned houses, destroyed food storages, and slaughtered animals they could not take and did not need. By the end of the s, the U. Army marched down through northern Mexico, encountering surprisingly little resistance, and in some cases, assistance, and occupied Mexico City itself. If somewhat lumpily placed in the middle of the book, "Children of the Sun" is a fascinating and illuminating chapter.

As the Comanches specialized in moving stolen horses and processing buffalo robes for trade, they also moved toward a more "highly structured and competitive warrior cult" and, for the extra household labor it could provide, polygyny. The latter reinforced the former, as young warriors, obstructed by older chiefs, found it difficult to accumulate horse herds and obtain wives. This chapter also includes an intriguing albeit brief look at the Comanches' political councils, "massive, ordered, hierarchical and democratic all at once," which met at the high elevation points of Medicine Mounds, the Wichita Mountains, and the Caprock Escarpment, in the general vicinity of present-day Amarillo and Wichita Falls, Texas.

The United States en route to its Manifest Destiny, and the fall of the Comanches: it would seem that the one was the Juggernaut that rolled over the other. In the s, it was indigenous overhunting, combined with the destruction of the buffalos' prime winter riverine habitat by horses, and a sudden and severe onslaught of drought that had begun in , that left the Comanches starving. In Bent closed his trading fort, and a second fort closed in , and "with that ended almost years of organized Comanche trade in the Arkansas valley.

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Have one to sell? Parker earned the respect of US governmental leaders as he adapted to the white man's life and became a prosperous rancher in Oklahoma. The "cross" ceremony later evolved in Oklahoma because of Caddo influences introduced by John Wilson , a Caddo - Delaware religious leader who traveled extensively around the same time as Parker during the early days of the Native American Church movement. Get to Know Us. Value Range.

After the last wave of gold rushers had passed through the upper Arkansas valley to Colorado in , that valley, "once a haven for Comanches and their horses, had become a dust highway. When they tried to raid, the Texas Rangers and the U. Army went after them. And then, suffering from malnutrition, they were decimated by smallpox and cholera.

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Filter reviews by the user's playtime when the review was written:. No minimum to No maximum. In , Capt. William Whiting of the U. Cavalry came upon a spring spouting from the grasslands in far West Texas, south of New Mexico. Whiting described it as "a clear gush of water which bursts from the plain, unperceived until the traveler is immediately upon it.

Comanche Springs became a stopping point for soldiers, travelers and explorers. Fort Stockton grew up around it; within a few decades farmers were irrigating 6, acres of cropland.

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The McGregor family, homesteading land on the Texas frontier, faced perils from man, animals and the weather. An escaped jailbird called Skeeter attacks Jane. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. After 30 years in the banking industry, rearing three Shadows Of The Comanche - Kindle edition by Pat Mehaffey.

In the early s, however, farms to the west began digging wells, drawing water from the same aquifers, and, soon, Comanche Springs began to wane. In , more than farmers sued their west-side neighbors, including Clayton Williams Sr.