In 1836, Indians abducted a 9-year-old girl from her home in East Texas. She made a new life among the Comanche, with a husband and three children. Then, after 24 years, the whites abducted her back again. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll tell the story of Cynthia Ann Parker, caught up in a war between two societies.
We’ll also analyze a forger’s motives and puzzle over why a crowd won’t help a dying woman.
Mathematician Ernst Straus invented a shape in which a ball might bounce forever without finding a hole.
In 1874 a Massachusetts composer set the American constitution to music.
Sources for our feature on Cynthia Ann Parker:
Margaret Schmidt Hacker, Cynthia Ann Parker: The Life and the Legend, 1990.
Jack K. Selden, Return: The Parker Story, 2006.
Jan Reid, “One Who Was Found: The Legend of Cynthia Ann Parker,” in Michael L. Collins, ed., Tales of Texoma, 2005.
Jo Ella Powell Exley, Frontier Blood, 2001.
Jack C. Ramsay Jr., Sunshine on the Prairie, 1990.
Richard Selcer, “The Robe,” Wild West 28:5 (February 2016), 60-64.
Glen Sample Ely, “Myth, Memory, and Massacre: The Pease River Capture of Cynthia Ann Parker [review],” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 115:1 (July 2011), 91-92.
Gregory Michno, “Nocona’s Raid and Cynthia Ann’s Recapture,” Wild West 23:2 (August 2010), 36-43.
Paul H. Carlson and Tom Crum, “The ‘Battle’ at Pease River and the Question of Reliable Sources in the Recapture of Cynthia Ann Parker,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 113:1 (July 2009), 32-52.
Anne Dingus, “Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker,” Texas Monthly 27:5 (May 1999), 226.
“Cynthia Ann Seized History,” Southern Living 25:3 (March 5, 1990), 61.
Lawrence T. Jones III, “Cynthia Ann Parker and Pease Ross: The Forgotten Photographs,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 93:3 (January 1990), 379-384.
Rupert N. Richardson, “The Death of Nocona and the Recovery of Cynthia Ann Parker,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 46:1 (July 1942), 15-21.
Donald MacGillivray, “When Is a Fake Not a Fake? When It’s a Genuine Forgery,” Guardian, July 1, 2005.
Noah Charney, “Why So Many Art Forgers Want to Get Caught,” Atlantic, Dec. 22, 2014.
Jonathon Keats, “Masterpieces for Everyone? The Case of the Socialist Art Forger Tom Keating,” Forbes, Dec. 13, 2012.
This week’s lateral thinking puzzle was contributed by listener Paul Sophocleous, who sent this corroborating link (warning — this spoils the puzzle).
Please consider becoming a patron of Futility Closet — on our Patreon page you can pledge any amount per episode, and we’ve set up some rewards to help thank you for your support.
You can also make a one-time donation on the Support Us page of the Futility Closet website.
Many thanks to Doug Ross for the music in this episode.
If you have any questions or comments you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening!