This is not collectible.
This travel bug is one of several commemorating the major Indian tribes native to the land of what is now Texas from historic times (in general from the 18th century). The term tribe applies to peoples who spoke the same language and and shared the same customs and rituals. There are many other tribes and lesser-known bands occupying Texas than are acknowledged here. Some of these were never large enough to be considered a major tribe, others ceased to exist before the 1700s (assimilation and disease), some these were driven into the region by European-American expanansion (Cherokee, Kickapoo, Tigua, others), and finally some could not be classified because they were never seen by keen observers while their language and ways were still intact. The Cohuiltecans of south Texas fit all these criteria. It would be a mistake to assume that these tribes are insignificant in the history of Texas. Below is a brief narrative of the presence of one major tribe from historic times. Much of the information is from the online Texas Almanac.
The Comanches played a prominent role in Texas frontier history throughout much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Anthropological evidence indicates that they were originally a mountain tribe, a branch of the Northern Shoshones, who roamed the Great Basin region of the western United States as crudely equipped hunters and gatherers. Sometime during the late seventeenth century, the Comanches acquired horses. Their new mobility allowed them to leave their mountain home and move onto the plains of eastern Colorado and western Kansas. After their arrival on the Great Plains, the Comanches began a southern migration to a warmer climate, access to the mustangs of the Southwest and abundant buffalo. They acquired French trade goods, including firearms, through barter with the Wichita Indians on the Red River.
As the Comanches moved south, they came into conflict with tribes already living on the South Plains, particularly the Apaches. The Apaches were forced south becoming their mortal enemies. The first documented evidence of Comanches in Texas occurred in 1743, when a small band appeared at the Spanish settlement of San Antonio seeking their enemies, the Lipan Apaches. No hostilities occurred, but the Comanches believed that the Spanish and Apaches were allies. Fifteen years passed before the Spanish learned the true strength of Comanche presence in Texas. In 1758 a force of some 2,000 Comanches and allied tribes attacked a Spanish mission built for the Apaches on the San Saba River near present Menard. Santa Cruz de San Sabá Mission was sacked and burned, and eight of its inhabitants, including two priests, were killed. A year later, a Spanish punitive expedition led by Col. Diego Ortiz Parrilla also met defeat at the hands of the Comanches and their allies in a daylong battle on the Red River near the site of present Spanish Fort.
In 1821 Mexico won independence from Spain, but the change of government had little impact in Comanchería. Comanches continued to dominate much of Texas, both in trade and warfare. In the late 1820s several principal chiefs, established a tenuous peace with Mexican officials. However, when two of the major peace chiefs died in the early 1830s, Comanche-Mexican relations deteriorated once again, and Mexican officials began encouraging Shawnees, Cherokees, and other tribes to make war on the Comanches. The Mexican Colonization Law of 1824 encouraged foreign immigration to Texas, and settlers from the United States poured into the province. As the Anglo-American population grew, relations between Americans and Comanches began to deteriorate. The amity that had developed through mutually beneficial trade quickly disintegrated when the newly arrived Texans began surveying land that Comanches considered their traditional hunting ground, and the two soon became implacable enemies.
When Texans won their independence from Mexico in 1836 the Comanches and their allies were still in absolute control of the Texas plains. They frequently conducted raids on frontier settlements from San Antonio to northern Mexico. In May 1836 a particularly destructive raid occurred at Fort Parker, a settlement of some thirty-four persons near the Navasota River in the future Limestone County. Comanches and their Kiowa allies attacked the blockhouse, killed several settlers, and took five hostages, including nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker, who lived with the Comanches for twenty-four years. Parker became the wife of Chief Peta Nocona and the mother of Quanah Parker, the last great Comanche chief.
In an effort to stop Comanche destruction on the Texas frontier, Sam Houston, first duly elected president of the Republic of Texas, but Houston's peace efforts were hampered because the Texas Congress refused to agree to the one Comanche requirement for peace--a boundary line between Texas and Comanchería.
Mirabeau B. Lamar, who succeeded Houston as president, abandoned the peace policy, which he considered a failure, in favor of waging war on the Comanche nation. Lamar's policy culminated in the Council House Fight, a tragic incident that occurred in San Antonio in the spring of 1840 when Texas officials attempted to arrest a Comanche peace delegation. Fighting broke out, and thirty-five Comanches, including twelve chiefs, were killed. The remaining thirty Comanches, primarily women and children, were imprisoned by the Texans. Seven Texans were also killed in the melee, and eight were wounded. In late summer Comanches launched a retaliatory raid. More than 500 warriors made a sweep through south Texas, devastating the towns of Victoria and Linnville and killing twenty-five Texans. After the Linnville raid of 1840, as the Comanches made their escape to the north, they were intercepted at Plum Creek near the site of present Lockhart and routed by Texan forces. Though some fifty Comanches were killed in the battle of Plum Creek, the Texans continued to seek retribution. In October an expedition under the command of Col. John H. Moore traveled 300 miles up the Colorado River and destroyed a Comanche encampment near the site of present Colorado City. Having suffered a tremendous loss of leadership and manpower, the Comanches moved beyond the Red River and out of the range of Texas forces. Lamar's policy had succeeded in removing the Comanches from the borders of Texas, but at a terrible cost to both sides.
In 1841 Sam Houston again became president of the republic and almost immediately reinstated his peace policy. As a result of their previous experience with the Texas government, the Comanches were suspicious of the peace overtures. They continued to raid in Mexico but generally avoided the Texas settlements. In 1844 Comanches finally agreed to attend a peace council. The treaty, signed by Buffalo Hump and other chiefs, called for peace and trade between Texans and Comanches, but once again no agreement was reached on a boundary to separate the two nations. Conflict was inevitable, and by 1845 relations between Texans and Comanches were again strained.
Texas was annexed to the Union in 1845, and the United States government took over the administration of Texas Indian affairs. In 1849 the army established a line of forts to protect the frontier, but settlers rapidly pushed beyond the established cordon and became vulnerable to attacks by Comanches who were attempting to defend their traditional range. Raids were increasing as the Civil War left the frontier virtually unprotected. The country west of a line from Gainesville to Fredericksburg was abandoned by settlers.
When the war ended, the federal government reestablished frontier defenses and resumed its treaty-making with the Plains tribes. The 1867 Treaty of Medicine Lodge Creek, the last treaty made with the Comanches, established a reservation for the Comanches, Kiowas, and Kiowa Apaches in southwestern Indian Territory between the Washita and Red rivers. The treaty did not greatly improve conditions in Texas, however, because the Comanches would not stay on the lands allotted them and continued to conduct destructive raids in Texas.
An attack on buffalo hunters at Adobe Walls in Hutchinson County brought retribution from the United States government. In 1874 the army began a relentless campaign that became known as the Red River War. A concerted five-pronged attack was launched in the Panhandle for the purpose of driving all Indians to the reservation. Forces under the command of Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie surprised a Comanche camp in Palo Duro Canyon and destroyed their horse herd. Very few Indians were killed in the engagements, but their mounts and supplies were so depleted that they could not survive the winter on the plains and were forced to enter the reservation. Once estimated to number in the many, many thousands, the Comanche population, according to an 1875 reservation census, had been reduced to 1,597.