Texas & Comanche History
1827 - 1911
THE STORY OF CYNTHIA ANN PARKER
Sunshine on the Prairie
by Jack C. Ramsay, Jr.PhD
Parkers Arrive In Texas
In 1836, not long after the Parkers had arrived in Texas, a band of Comanches descended on their newly built Fort Parker demanding food. When the natives were told no food was available, the male defenders were mutilated and the women raped. Five hostages were taken including a nine-year-old girl named Cynthia Ann Parker. White settlers returned four of the whites to their homes in exchange for silver which the native captors used to purchase firearms to defend themselves from attacks by whites. Only one captive remained with the natives, Cynthia Ann. Although she had at least three opportunities to return to white settlements, she repeatedly refused. She married Peta Nocona and remained on the plains for a quarter of a century. In 1860 a band of Texas Rangers forced her to return to Anglo settlement, an act she deeply resented for the rest of her life.
The story of Cynthia Ann Parker has long been a part of the legend of the western frontier. Unlike many legends, however, it is a tale which is based solidly on fact.
As a youth growing up in Texas, the author had heard the story. For a time he lived in the area of West Texas where the final acts of the Parker drama were played out as the last of the Comanche remnant took refuge from the relentless efforts of the military to bring about their destruction.
In later years Ramsay came across a variety of references to the capture and recapture of Cynthia Ann and the events which led her son, Quanah, to become the last chief of the Comanches.
From his accumulated data, it soon became apparent that the capture of Cynthia Ann was not a singular action, which was totally unrelated to the history of the Southwest. The true story became far more intriguing than fantastic.
This is one of the genuine sagas of the American West. It is the saga of Cynthia Ann Parker: the tragedy of the woman who preferred native life on the prairie to the comforts of white civilization.
"Jack – WOW! I have finished reading your outstanding book, The Story of Cynthia Ann Parker, Sunshine on the Prairie. I started first thing after supper and did not put it down til finished after 1:30 AM.
Sunshine on The Prairie
"You were poetic and had suspense in the midst of all the footnotes and documentation. It filled in lots of gaps and raised more questions. I wished for a map or two. On the whole a good balance between the white man / red man story. … It’s Excellent."
- Alexander M. (Sandy) McGeachy, Rocky Mount, NC.
Thank you for your beautiful manuscript on Cynthia Ann Parker. You have done a masterful job—the kind of book I would like to have written.... I liked everything about the manuscript, from your sensitivity to the Comanches to your beautiful description of a West Texas sunset.
As a Presbyterian you must believe in predestination. I think you were predestined to write this book. On certain passages I cried you presented the story so beautifully....
Jack, you set a lot of wrongs right in the manuscript. Your presentation of Comanche life was incredibly good. You did such fabulous research....
I just got a chance to read it at home this morning. I nearly shouted hallelujah! I am sure the Lord will give you a lot of Brownie points for your preaching, but you are going to get a bunch for writing this book.
Cynthia Ann Captured
Sunshine On The Prairie
The Story Of Cynthia Ann Parker
Soft Cover. 179 pages.
Extensive Bibliography. Index.
Libraries and Book Stores
To what others are saying about some people included in Sunshine on the Prairie:
President Teddy Roosevelt,
and in our
As you may know publishing can be a rather frantic business. Most of us stay in publishing because we deal and love the printed word and the ideas and ideals that can result. I assure you that I will be as proud of this book as any we have published. God bless you for writing it."
- Edwin M. Eakin,
Eakin Publications, Inc.
Contact Jack Ramsay
Back to BOOK LIST