Narrative of the Capture and Subsequent Sufferings of Mrs. Rachel Plummer During a Captivity of Twenty-one Months Among the Comanche Indians (1839)
Author: Rachel Plummer
Format: Kindle Edition
Creating a sensation in Texas, the U.S., and even abroad, Rachel Plummer's narrative was the first narrative published in the Republic of Texas on Indian captivity by Texas Indians.
The stories of those who have survived captivity by the Comanche Indians of the Texas frontier are full of harrowing interest. One such story is the captivity of Rachel Plummer, a cousin to the mother of famous Comanche Chief Quanah Parker.
The capture of Rachel Plummer by Comanches and her eventual ransom is a famous episode in Texas history, and one of her fellow captives, Cynthia Ann Parker, was adopted into the tribe and became the mother of legendary Comanche chief Quanah Parker.
On May 19, 1836, a large party of Native Americans, including Comanches, Kiowas, Caddos, and Wichitas attacked the inhabitants of Fort Parker where Rachel Plummer resided.
Rachel Plummer (1819 –1839), the 17-year-old wife of Luther Plummer, daughter of James Parker, and cousin to Cynthia Parker, was held captive by the Comanche for two years before being ransomed by her father. Her book on her captivity, "Narrative of the Capture and Subsequent Sufferings of Mrs. Rachel Plummer in 1838," was published in 1839.
During her captivity, the Indians wandered over the country, crossed the plains and, as Plummer says, went as far as the headwaters of the Arkansas, where a number of tribes of Indians in March, 1837, held a big council to get up a combined war against the Texans. She talks of being on the headwaters of the Columbia and even in Sonora.
In describing a contentious run-in with one of her female captor, Plummer writes:
"An enraged tiger could not have screamed with more terrific violence than she did. She got hold of a club and hit me a time or two. I took it from her, and knocked her down with it. So we had a regular fight. During the fight, we broken down one side of the house, and had got fully out into the street. I discovered the same diffidence on the part of the Indians as in the other fight. The whole of them were around us, screaming as before, and no one touched us …."
Finally, a Mexican trader ransomed her west of the Rocky Mountains and in seventeen days she arrived in Santa Fe, where she was delivered to Col. William Donoho, an American trader, who finally took her to Independence about the beginning of 1838.