When she was nine or ten years old, Cynthia Ann Parker lived in a fort built by her family in Limestone County. In May 1836, she was one of five people captured in a Comanche raid. The others were released, but she was not. She stayed with the tribe and eventually married the warrior Peta Nocona, with whom she had three children.
In the mid 1840s, she refused an invitation to return to her white family, stating that she loved her husband and children. In 1860, Parker, now known as Naduah, was one of three Comanches captured by Texas Rangers, along with her infant daughter Topsannah (Prairie Flower). In 1861, the legislature granted her an annual pension of $100 for five years and a league of land and appointed her uncles as guardians.
She had lived as a Comanche for almost 25 years and tried several times to return to her tribe. When Topsannah died, Cynthia Ann slashed herself in mourning and is said to have grieved to death. Her son Quanah Parker led 700 Comanches in the battle of Palo Duro Canyon in 1874, the last major battle of the Comanche tribe before they were exiled to Oklahoma reservations.
Written by Cynthia J. Beeman
Read by Sara Hickman
Katherine Anne Porter, one of America's most celebrated writers of fiction, was born in Indian Creek near Brownwood, but grew up in Kyle. She left Texas in 1915, became an actress, teacher, and journalist, and traveled the world. Considered a preeminent writer of short stories, she gained critical acclaim in 1930 with her first published collection, Flowering Judas and Other Stories. It was followed by another well-received collection, Pale Horse, Pale Rider, in 1939. Her 1962 novel, Ship of Fools, was made into a successful motion picture. The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter, considered her master work, won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1965.
Porter wrote often about Texas, and was a candidate for the first award of the Texas Institute of Letters, but the honor went instead to J. Frank Dobie. She negotiated with the University of Texas for placement of her papers there, but when the university declined to name a library for her, she turned instead to the University of Maryland, which established a Katherine Anne Porter Room to house her archives. Restored by local preservationists and leased to Texas State University, her childhood home in Kyle is now the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, with programs coordinated by the university’s English Department. It was designated a National Literary Landmark in 2002, and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.
Joan Givner, "PORTER, KATHERINE ANNE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpo40.
Katherine Anne Porter historical marker files (Brown and Hays counties), Texas Historical Commission, Austin.
The Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, Texas State University, San Marcos, http://www.kapliterarycenter.com/KAP_HistoryPage.html.
Biography Source Information
Biographies are reprinted from the Foundation for Women’s Resources (now Women’s Resources), Dallas, Texas. They originally appeared in "From Gutsy Mavericks to Quiet Heroes: True Tales of Texas Women," video study guide, Austin: The Foundation for Women's Resources, 1997. Death dates have been added where needed.
Audio Source Information
Our project, "Texas Women's History Moments," received the 2012 National Council on Public History Outstanding Public History Award and the American Association for State and Local History Leadership in History Award. The audio clips were broadcast on KUT radio from 2011-2016 during Women’s History Month.