Parker County Today August 2016 - Page 20

Continued from page 15 he brokered the best deal he could for his people, that he made the best of a raw deal. His relationship with President Theodore Roosevelt helped. According to biographer Neeley, “Roosevelt’s hunt in the Big Pasture served to familiarize the President with the Indian’s problem. Accordingly, Roosevelt, after receiving a telegram from Quanah, vetoed the bill authorizing the opening of the Big Pasture for settlement because there were no provisions made for allotting land to Indian children. Congress amended the bill, and the President signed it…. The new arrangement allowed them [the Indians] to keep 480,000 acres of land and secured $500,000 for the land the United States was taking away from them… .” Quanah continued to run his ranching operation north of present-day Cache, Okla., located some four miles south of the Wichita Mountains, and remained influential with his people. He rode in parades and made appearances and speeches, hunted with the President and his rancher friends, invested in railroads. Quanah flourished. In his last major speech, ironically enough made before the once hated Tejanos at the 1910 Dallas State AUGUST 2016 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY Charles Goodnight his son, White Parker, was a Methodist minister.” — Handbook of Texas Online In protecting his people and reservation lands, Quanah Parker was both artful and assertive, determined to move forward while resisting the whites’ everincreasing land lust that had been the signature engine of white expansion; but by 1901 the feverish impulse to settle Indian lands won out. Voting to break up the Kiowa-Comanche reservation, the federal government allowed the land to be carved in to individual holdings for white settlement. It should not have surprised the Indians, as the flood of whites onto reservation lands began April 22, 1899, with the Oklahoma Land Rush when thousands of settlers (Boomers) charged the borders of Indian Territory vying for cheap land — land whites formerly regarded as inferior. According to www.history.com, “Initially considered unsuitable for white colonization, Indian Territory was thought to be an ideal place to relocate Native Americans who were removed from their traditional lands to make way for white settlement.” Advances in farming and ranching techniques had convinced would-be settlers that Indian Territory might be valuable after all. They wanted it and pressured the government to give it to them. Quanah “could no more have prevented the opening of the reservation than he could have stopped a speeding locomotive,” wrote Neeley. The reservation days were coming to an end — another inevitable end for the Comanche. By 1905, almost all Indian lands were owned by white Americans, and two short years later on Nov. 16, 1907, Oklahoma entered the Union as its 46th state. But Qua nah Parker resisted to the last, making sure 18 Quanah Parker, Sam Burk Burnett Fair, Quanah appealed to the crowd asking that his mother Cynthia Ann Parker’s remains be returned from East Texas to her home in the Red River Country. A couple of months later he reburied her remains in Post Oak Mission Cemetery near Cache. At the funeral he said: “Forty years ago my mother died. She captured by Comanches, nine years old. Love Indian and wild life so well no want to go back to white folks. All the same people anyway, God say. I love my mother. I like my Continued on page 34