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Comanche Chief Quanah Parker Came to Big Bend Seeking Peyote

Daniel P. Sink of Vernon, Texas
Public Domain

According to historian Barry Scobee, Comanche Chief Quanah Parker once appeared in Big Bend seeking peyote. Glenn’s Texas History Blogreports that Parker arrived at the Lempert Hotel in Fort Davis in the waning years of the 19th century in search of the hallucinogenic cactus. It’s unclear when the Comanche first began using peyote in their shamanistic ceremonies, but anthropologist Omar C. Stewart has called Parker “the most important Comanche roadman in the early history of peyotism.”  The blog proposes that Quanah might have become a believer in the power of peyote during a visit to his brother John Parker in Chihuahua, around 1885.

Not long before Parker’s death, the legendary chief was observed conducting a peyote ceremony at his home outside Lawton, Oklahoma.  Quanah Parker died in 1911.