Reading Recommendations: Captured, A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier, Scott Zelch.
On New Years' Day in 1870, ten year old Adolph Korn's life as the son of a poor German speaking farmer ended, and his life as a Comanche began.
On that day, an Indian raiding party kidnapped the boy from his neighbors pasture in the Texas Hill Country. With little hope of finding him alive and no resources, material or political, his loved ones eventually gave him up for dead.
However, Adolph survived his capture, and soon thrived in the rough, nomadic life of the Plains Indians. Within a year, he had become one of the Comanche's fiercest warriors.
For nearly three years, Adolph fought alongside his fellow Comanches against the encroaching white settlers, buffalo hunters, and U.S. Soldiers who threatened their survival. Forcibly returned to his parents when the army "captured" him a second time, Korn held fast to his Native American ways and never found a place in white society. He spent his last years living alone in a cave, an eccentric oddity forgotten by his family.
This is, until Scott Zelch stumbled over his relatives barely marked grave in a neglected corner of an old cemetery in Mason, Texas. Determined to know more about his ancestor and understand how a timid farm boy like Adolph could have become so thoroughly indianized in such a short time, Zelch tracked down surviving relatives, dug for primary sources in archives across the West, talked with Comanche elders, and expanded his search to include other child captives from the region, who also became some of the most Indianized whites in history.
Set against a backdrop of intense political wrangling and bloody confrontations between the U.S. Government and Native Americans, The Captured is a true account of what settlers considered a "fate worse than death", and the dramatic, very personal story of Adolph Korn and with other children abducted by Comanches and Apaches in the Texas Hill Country.
And, The San Saba Mission, Spanish Pivet in Texas, Robert S. Weddle.
Here is the exciting story of the San Saba Mission and its final destruction of Comanches. Built by the Spanish in 1757 along the San Saba River, the mission was intended as a place to convert the Plains Indians to Christianity. It was destroyed one year later by those same Indians, and the missions dramatic history and destruction signified the beginning of the decline of the Spanish frontier.
According to John H. Jenkins, Basic Texas Books, while the project failed utterly, it was an important Plains outpost. Attempts were made to connect it to the silver mines in Texas, and silver-seeking expeditions, including one led by James Bowie, went there. Through the decades the site has continued to be the subject of debate and Jenkins says of The San Saba Mission, Weddle has successfully debunked the mythology concerning the silver mines.
Robert Samuel Weddle is an award winning author who has written numerous articles and books, including Wilderness Manhunt: The Spanish Search for La Salle and San Juan Bautista Gateway to Spanish Texas, both published by the University of Texas Press.
Ever so often I like to present books from the Texas Bookshelves. The first two are bits of history having to do with parts of our area. The third is The Soul of a Small Texas Town, Photographs, Memories, and History from McDade, David Wharton.
McDade is in Bastrop County, twelve miles north of Bastrop. Nine miles west of McDade is Elgin. Many residents of McDade commute to work in Austin. Some residents of McDade remember when a trip to Austin was an all day affair. The readers will enjoy reading about life in McDade and the close family ties.
See you at Rylander!