This day in Texas History: Indian Captive Reunited With Husband

This day in Texas History:

Indian Captive Reunited With Husband

February 19, 1838

On this day in 1838, Indian captive Rachel Plummer was reunited with her husband after spending over a year with the Comanches.

Born Rachel Parker in Illinois in 1819, she moved to Texas with her father, James W. Parker, and her family and married Luther Plummer in 1833. In May 1836 their settlement was attacked by a large group of Indians. Five settlers were taken captive: Rachel and her son James Pratt Plummer, Cynthia Ann and John Parker, and Mrs. Elizabeth Kellogg. James Pratt was taken from Rachel, and she never saw him again.

Rachel Parker PlummerRachel became a slave to the Comanches, and traveled thousands of miles with the band. She was pregnant at the time of her capture and bore a second son about October 1836. The Indians thought that the baby was interfering with Rachel’s work, so they killed him when he was about six weeks old. Rachel was ransomed by Mexican traders north of Santa Fe in June 1837. Several months later, Rachel’s brother-in-law escorted her back to Texas, where she was reunited with her husband.

In 1838 she published an account of her captivity entitled Rachael Plummer’s Narrative of Twenty One Months Servitude as a Prisoner Among the Commanchee Indians. This was the first narrative about a captive of Texas Indians published in Texas. Rachel bore a third child in 1839 and died in Houston shortly thereafter; the child died two days later.

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