Booth Library is presenting an exhibit and program series about Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker during the spring semester. The series is titled “Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker: The History and the Legend.”
Cynthia Ann Parker was born c. 1827 to Silas and Lucy Parker. Cynthia Ann’s grandfather, Elder John Parker, her uncle, Benjamin Parker, and other members of the family were among the first white settlers of what is now Coles County.
In about 1833, several members of the Parker clan moved to Texas and created Fort Parker there. A few years later, a band of Indians attacked the fort, killing many and kidnapping a few of the children, including Cynthia Ann, age 9.
Cynthia Ann grew up as a member of the Comanche tribe, married one of the chiefs and bore three children. The oldest, Quanah, grew to become a politically influential leader and is considered to be the last Comanche chief. Cynthia Ann was kidnapped again and returned to the Parkers in 1860, but she never forgot her Comanche family and wished to return to them.
A variety of programming was offered during February, including lectures, panel discussions and three film screenings. The exhibit will be on display at Booth Library through April 9. For a complete schedule of programs, visit the series web page here.
“There are still many descendants of the Parker family living in the area,” Lanham said. “We hope they and other community members interested in local history will enjoy the library’s program.”
Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker: The History and the Legend, developed and produced by the faculty and staff of Booth Library, has been made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Illinois General Assembly. Additional support was provided by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian. The Texas Lakes Trail and Texas Trail of Fame were instrumental in providing many of the historic photographs found in the exhibit.
* Special thanks to Carolyn Stephens, Becky Parker, James David Parker and David Parker for their research help and support, and to Mike Watts and Kit Morice of the Tarble Arts Center.
For more information on the “Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker: The History and the Legend” series, contact Beth Heldebrandt at email@example.com or 581-6064.