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Born in 1850, Quanah Parker belonged to the last generation of Comanches to follow the traditional nomadic life of their ancestors. After the Civil War, the trickle of white settlers encroaching on tribal land in northern Texas suddenly turned inot a tidal wave. Within a few short years, the great buffalo herds, a source of food and clothing for the Indians from time immemorial, had been hunted to the verge of extinction in an orgy of greed and destruction. The Indians' cherished way of life was being stolen from them.
Quanah Parker was the fiercest and bravest of the Comanches who fought desperately to preserve their culture. He led his warriors on daring and bloody raids against the white settlers and hunters. He resisted to the last, heading a band of Comanches, the Quahadas, after the majority of the tribe had acquiesced to resettlement on a reservation. But even the Comanches—legendary horsemen of the Plains who had held off Spanish and Mexican expansion for two centuries—could not turn back the massive influex of people and eaponry from the East.
Faced with the bitter choice between extermination or compromise, Quanah stepped off the warpath and sat down at the bargaining table. With remarkable skill, the Comanche warrior adapted to the new challenges he faced, learning English and the art of diplomacy. Working to bridge two very different worlds, he fought endlessly to gain a better deal for his people. As the tribe's elder statesman, Quanah lobbied Congress in Washington, D.C., entertained President Teddy Roosevelt and other dignitaries at his home, invested in the railroad, and enjoyed the honor of having a Texas town named after him.
The Last Comanche Chief is a moving portayal of this famed leader. His story is an inspiring and compelling chapter in the history of Native Americans and of the American West.