Parker, John (1830–1915)

By: Llerena Friend

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: June 1, 1995

John Parker, Indian captive, son of Lucinda (Duty) and Silas M. Parker, was born in 1830. In 1836 he and his sister, Cynthia Ann Parker, were captured by Comanche Indians at Fort Parker. James W. Parker, his uncle, made three trips in three years into the Indian country in an effort to rescue the captives. The Texas legislature, in 1845, appropriated $300 for John Parker's rescue, but the money was never used, as Parker was not located until he was grown, and he would not then return to Texas. He grew to manhood among the Indians and while on a raiding party with them in Mexico fell in love with a Mexican girl named Donna Juanita. She accompanied him back to Texas and nursed him back to health after the Indians abandoned him on the Llano Estacado when he became sick with smallpox. Parker then refused to rejoin the Indians but went to Mexico and became a stockman and rancher. He served in a Mexican company in the Confederate Army during the Civil War but refused to cross the Sabine River. After the war he returned to his family in Mexico, where he lived until 1915.

James T. DeShields, Cynthia Ann Parker: The Story of Her Capture (St. Louis, 1886; rpts.: The Garland Library of Narratives of North American Indian Captivities, Vol. 95, New York: Garland, 1976; Dallas: Chama Press, 1991). Gustavus Adolphus Holland, History of Parker County and the Double Log Cabin (Weatherford, Texas: Herald, 1931; rpt. 1937). Grace Jackson, Cynthia Ann Parker (San Antonio: Naylor, 1959). Lena Clara Koch, "The Federal Indian Policy in Texas, 1845–1860," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 28 (January, April 1925). Women of Texas (Waco: Texian Press, 1972).
  • Peoples
  • Native American
  • Captives and Victims of Attack

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Llerena Friend, “Parker, John,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 14, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995