The Seventh Flag

Comanche Indians in Texas

by John Proctor



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 1/30/2002

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5x8
Page Count : 132
ISBN : 9780759674646

About the Book

Little is known about the Indians in North America. At best, they are displayed as ignorant savages whose only purpose was to impede the progress of civilization. Consequently, historians frequently overlook the contributions made by American Indians.

The Comanche Indians in Texas had a decided influence in the making of an independent Texas. The Comanches, themselves, were not aware of their contribution. The Comanches, though, were as important to Texas as Stephen Austin and Sam Houston. These three entities when combined made for an independent Texas. If any one of the three defaulted or were absent, there would not have been a Texas as we know it.

This book introduces the reader to the Comanche’s way of life; their government, and their uniqueness as a people. The reader comes away with the knowledge that the Comanches, although lived in the Stone Age, were human beings with aspirations much like other people.

Early in the life of Texas, political forces began to focus on Texas. Spain had claimed Texas for 300 years but never really had an interest in Texas. Nevertheless, Spain feared that its European rivals, Britain and France, coveted Texas. Spain did not have resources to control events without help from outside its system. Through diplomacy, Spain hoped to control Texas and to keep it as its own by inviting Americans to live in Texas as Spanish citizens. A key factor in this decision was Comanche raiders crossing the Rio Grande into Mexico. Might the Comanches then raid nearby American settlements in Texas rather than crossing into Mexico?

About the Author

John Proctor was born and reared in San Antonio, Texas. Living in San Antonio meant that he was always close to an old and proud military tradition. San Antonio is not only the home of the Alamo but also Fort Sam Houston, which was established in 1879. Before this, Spain also established a fort here in 1718, which was called: Presidio of San Antonio de Bejar. During the war with Mexico, Robert E. Lee was first posted to San Antonio. The Apache Indian chief, Geronimo, when captured, was sent to Fort Sam Houston. Teddy Roosevelt, when organizing his roughriders, used the Alamo as his headquarters.

John Proctor grew-up in San Antonio when elementary school children made pilgrimages to the Alamo every year to honor the men who died for our freedom. John became convinced that Texas was a special place. There was no other place quite like it. Texas history under six flags was accepted without question.

Recently, however, John realized one of the most significant elements in Texas history was omitted. Why were Americans settlers invited to live in Texas when Texas was claimed by Spain and later Mexico? If Texas were a Spanish province, it would seem that it would have been colonized by Spain. Nevertheless, Americans were invited to come to Texas if they fulfilled two requirements: become Spanish citizens and accept the Catholic faith. The answer to the question was readily found. Texas, at the time, was a wild and dangerous place, principally because the Comanche Indians ruled Texas.

After completing public school education in San Antonio, John Proctor attended the University of Texas at Austin. While at the university, he obtained a BA degree in geology and a BS degree in Petroleum Engineering. He also entered the ROTC program at the university and received a commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Force.

After graduation from the university, John Proctor pursued two careers: the petroleum industry and the Air Force Reserve. He was on active duty in the Air Force during the Korean conflict and then remained in the Air Force Reserve for 28 years. His work as a petroleum engineer was done over a 30-year period in the oil and gas fields of Texas and New Mexico.