Honor The Treaty of 1847Help To Restore The Rightful Comanche Powwow at Fort Martin Scott
This letter can be read here: Letter To The Editor.
Michael Burgess — Former Chairman of the Comanche Nation
Comanche John Keel — Comanche Nation Traditional Dancer
The Treaty of 1847: "The people who did that way back then, they may be gone, but they're still here in spirit, you know, and we're trying to honor what they did."
Richard Attocknie — Comanche Nation Singer
"Too many treaties have already been broken, let's not break this treaty, it's too easy to keep."
"I am a member of the Great Comanche Nation and believe the treaty should be honored. Honor is earned by honorable actions. I hope the City of Fredericksburg will prove to be a honorable city."
~ Wil M. Niedo
The Comanche Powwow at Fort Martin Scott in Fredericksburg has been cancelled by the Fredericksburg City Council because they will not allow it to be held on the Fort Martin Scott property because of a deal they made with a private group located in Fredericksburg who call themselves the 'Former Texas Ranger Association (Foundation)'. This is NOT the same group as the Texas Ranger Association Foundation (TRAF) in Waco which was created in 1982.
The cancellation of the Comanche Powwow at Fort Martin Scott is a great act of disrespect to both the German settlers who founded Fredericksburg and to the Comanche people whom first lived in the surrounding area. These two cultures came together and signed a historic treaty in 1847 to forever live in friendship and trade for the betterment of all future generations.
Because of this treaty, the soldiers at Fort Martin Scott never had to fight a single battle with the Comanche people, who had lived in this area for many years before the Germans arrived, and the treaty was proof that different cultures could find a common ground and live in peace. Many believe that this was the only treaty with Native Americans that was never broken — until 2012, when the Former Texas Rangers Association (Foundation) set up their headquarters in town.
Because of public confusion, the following press release has been posted on the official website of The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco:
* * * N O T I C E * * *
The TEXAS RANGER ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION (TRAF) is a nonprofit educational foundation. It is formally affiliated with the Texas Rangers and their official museum, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco.
News reports of the activities and fund raising efforts of the the private Former Texas Ranger Association have caused confusion. The Former Texas Ranger Association (Foundation) is located in Fredericksburg. It is NOT affiliated with the Texas Rangers or their official historical center--the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum--in Waco.
(Click Here To Read Their Official Press Release)
* * * * * *
For more information about contributing to the TRAF, call them in Waco, 254-752-1001.
A Word From the Comanche Nation
"On Feb. 16, 2012 the Comanche Business Committee officially endorsed the effort of the Fort Martin Scott Museum Association in their effort of sustaining the history of the 1847 Treaty and culture of the Comanche Nation by their proposed action to memorialize the powwow grounds on the Fort Martin Scott historical site.
Endorsement signers from the Comanche Nation were: Johnny Wauqua, Edward Eschiti, Robert Tippeconnie, Ronald Red Elk, Yonevea Terry, Darrell Kosechequetah, and Robert Komahcheet Jr.
Please sign the petition on this website to reinstate the Comanche Powwow and other cultural events that so many people loved to attend throughout the years."
Native American Singer & Composer Al Santos
Supports the Comanche Powwow Being Reinstated in Fredericksburg
"I am horrified to hear of this development. The FTRA [Former Texas Rangers Association (Foundation)] has been doing a lot of talking and no building in Kerrville for more than 10 years, and to block this Pow Wow is a slap in the face to the people of Fredericksburg, and indeed every Texan who knows the history of this amazing and unbroken treaty. This is NOT the fault of the Texas Rangers. This IS the fault of some greedy Hill Country people who have been determined for years to gather money for something that obviously not only isn't going to happen but doesn't even need to!"
~ k.Dee Ignatin
San Antonio, Texas
"My family is one of the founding families of Fredericksburg, Tx (Kensing). Also on my dad's side of the family, Rudolph Fischer was taken by the indians, and I and all of my family are related to the Indians, although I am 100 percent German. Why don't you put that Tx Ranger Museum in Austin where it belongs? I had an ancestor, which was that one founder of Fredericksburg and he was a Tx Ranger, he would roll over in his grave if he knew what you people are planning to destroy! Keep this treaty going! "
~ Cory Brandon
A Word From The Fort Martin Scott Museum Association
"We want to be perfectly clear that we are not the 'official' management organization for Fort Martin Scott and that we do not accept any donations for the fort.
Our relationship with the City began before the Former Texas Rangers came to town. We were given the keys to the fort on a handshake and a man’s word. That used to be a contract or a treaty in the State of Texas.
We returned the keys to the fort because we are opposed to the construction of the Former Texas Ranger Heritage Center which will utterly destroy this historic site. It is our mission to preserve it. We do not claim anything that is not ours and we will not surrender our freedom and heritage.
We demand that the Former Texas Rangers find some other location. We insist that the Comanche Pow Wow returns to this fort to honor our eternal peace treaty.
This was never a 'ranger fort' and never should be."
~ Fort Martin Scott Museum Association
The Treaty of 1847
Fort Martin Scott, Fredericksburg, TX — A small faction within the Former Texas Rangers Association (Foundation) are attempting to collect funds for the construction of a "Texas Rangers Heritage Center" at Fort Martin Scott in Fredericksburg. This group has already tried for 10 years to build their dream in nearby Kerrville but were unsuccessful and now for the past 2 years they have been trying the same idea right here in Fredericksburg.
The Former Texas Rangers Association (Foundation) is a private group NOT endorsed by, or affiliated with:
- the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS),
- the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, or
- the Texas Legislature
- the Texas Ranger administration
Furthermore, they do NOT own any part of the land at Fort Martin Scott.
Here are a few publicly available facts that everyone should be aware of:
The proposed Fredericksburg "Texas Ranger Heritage Center" is NOT a project that is endorsed by, or affiliated with, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Texas Rangers, or the Texas Legislature. The Texas DPS and the Texas Rangers support the existing Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, the official Museum, Hall of Fame, and Repository of the Texas Rangers in Waco, Texas. (See www.texasranger.org). These are public facts that anyone can check.
Attempting to open another museum dedicated to the Texas Rangers will duplicate efforts already provided for the past 50 years at the official Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco. Duplication is a huge waste of money and resources and leads to public confusion and degrading of a service or product. The groups' argument that their proposed museum will be different than the official museum in Waco by being "Disneyland-like" is a ludicrous idea that tarnishes the symbol of the Texas Rangers and would be akin to turning the Alamo into a lively amusement park.
In 2014 the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum will celebrate its 50th anniversary of continued service in Waco, Texas. On June 7, 2012 they dedicated the new Tobin and Anne Armstrong Texas Ranger Research Center, which holds historic records and documents dating back to 189 years ago when the Texas Ranger service was formed. Here are the facts about the Official Museum of the Texas Rangers, the Official Hall of Fame of the Texas Rangers, and the Official Repository (all located in Waco):
The cost to build their proposed facility is astronomical. Their proposed "Texas Rangers Heritage Center" has been announced as a 41,000 sq. ft. facility, which roughly puts the amount required to build it between $9 to $16 million, or $300 to $400 sq. ft. Plus, since they are claiming it be full of "interactive exhibits" then you can easily add additional expenses of $600 to $900 sq. ft. on top of that. They cannot obtain state funding because the land at Fort Martin Scott is an National Historic Site, which means it is subject to Federal approval which will never happen.
It is not realistic for this proposed museum to operate professionally without thorough planning and revenues aside from admissions and gift shop sales. A museum of the proposed scale cannot run on volunteers. Here are some sample costs of keeping the doors of a museum open:
Information we requested from the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame in Waco indicates that it has a base operating budget of $1.3M to which the City of Waco provides an annual subsidy and at least an extra half-million dollars in legal, maintenance and professional services each year. This is regarded as a conservative budget for a museum of this size.
Anyone with some startup money can build a museum. Remember back during our nation's bicentennial celebration in 1976 when numerous museums were started in small towns everywhere? Despite the patriotic enthusiasm, within a short time many had closed their doors due to lack of business planning and the high cost of operating a museum. Emotion and enthusiasm were not enough to compensate for poor planning and unrealistic expectations.
Let's take a moment to look even more into the financial facts. Fredericksburg is a town of about 10,000 people and is not located close to any major interstate. Do you think our city has the appropriate location as well as the funding to be a trustee and sponsor of this proposed 41,000 sq. ft. facility?
The city of Waco boasts a population of 125,000. It has been the trustee and sponsor of Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum (about a 60,000+ sq. ft. facility) for almost 50 years. Despite gossip circulating, the museum in Waco is a service, it is NOT a “cash cow” making “millions of dollars”. Waco is located off a main interstate connecting San Antonio and Austin to DFW and the Official Texas Ranger Museum attracts more than 70,000 visitors per year. Without the benefit of the support from the city of Waco, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum would need an endowment of about $30 million. They charge $7 as an adult entry fee—the actual cost per visitor is about $18. This is typical for most museums across the country. History museums are not for-profit theme parks, they are preservation and historical centers.
The cold, hard, financial bottom line is this: A museum cannot charge enough for an entry fee and reap enough profits from a gift shop to open it's doors every day — it needs either:
Before investing in any museum, it is best to look at the financial planning and history to date of this proposed project and the group behind it. Contact the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame in Waco and the Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg and ask questions about their budget, operations and staffing:
- What kind of a construction, exhibits and operating budget is realistic?
- Does the Texas Ranger administration, whom the museum is supposed to honor, actively support this effort?
- Why didn't the museum work in Kerrville after 10 years and promises to Kerrville?
Meanwhile, the decision of a select few and the resulting action of the Fredericksburg City Officials have halted cultural activities at Fort Martin Scott. This action is dishonoring the people who made the historic treaty possible and is preventing future generations from learning about this unique and amazing event.
Pat Tooahnippah — Comanche Nation Straight Dancer
"I think the town of Fredericksburg should honor the Treaty of 1847...we need to work together and get things situated, and help each other with this problem. And then things will be alright."
This amazing sketch was drawn on the day of the historic Meusebach-Comanche Treaty on May 9, 1847. The sketch was graciously donated to this website from the family collection of Juanita Herff Chipman through Brent Evans**, author of "Images of America: Boerne" (Acadia Press, 2010).
Juanita Herff Chipman is the Great Great Granddaughter of Dr. Ferdinand Herff, one of the German settlers of Bettina and Tusculum (Boerne). Historian Jefferson Morgenthaler acknowledged that this sketch perfectly matches the description of the event as witnessed by Ferdinand Roemer, who wrote what he saw on that glorious day:
“In the twilight, a number of mounted men appeared before our camp in festive, but most peculiar attire. The faces were painted red and the majority of them wore the peculiar headdress made of buffalo skin with the horns of buffalo attached. In one hand they carried the long lance, painted red, in the other a round shield made of tanned buffalo hide, painted in gaudy colors and decorated with a circle of feathers. Horses were mostly light in color, their heads and tails were painted a carmine red.”
**Thanks to Brent and Carolyn Evans for donating this priceless sketch from this great day in Fredericksburg history! Brent and Carolyn promote local appreciation of their natural and historic legacy at the Cibolo Nature Center and Farm in Boerne on what was once Herff Ranch, established in 1852 by pioneer surgeon Dr. Ferdinand Herff. Open to the public since Earth Day 1990, the Cibolo Nature Center provides education, research, entertainment and outdoor activities for more than 100,000 visitors a year, while promoting sound stewardship of land, water and wildlife.
Comanches and Germans danced together celebrating the peace treaty and the construction of the Vereins Kirche.
Translation: “The laying of the corner stone for the church on the market place took place at this time and the Indians as a body, men and women, took part in the ceremony during the evening with their dances.”
Emil von Kriewitz is describing the first Comanche Pow Wow in Fredericksburg back in 1847. Comanches and Germans danced together celebrating the peace treaty and the construction of the Vereins Kirche.
Ancestors of German settlers and Comanche tribe meet for powwow festivities and celebrations in the 100 year anniversary of the treaty.
Macdonalds Studio Photograph of the Comanche Indian Tribe at the Centennial Celebration
Written on the back of this Macdonalds Studio photo:
Chief Baldwin Parker, Liberal Kansas, Norma Jean Parker with Little Harold Lee Parker, Peggy Jean Parker - Rt. 1, Cynthia Ann Parker - Cache, Okla., Pat Pohrog - Cache, Okla., Roy Wockmetooah - Box 170.
There are eighteen men, women, and children in the photograph.
Most are wearing traditional or ceremonial dress, and there is a teepee behind them to the left.
(* Photo courtesy of the Gillespie County Historical Society. Thanks to author Joseph Luther for finding and sharing this amazing photo!)
"I enjoyed seeing the Centennial photo. Chief Baldwin Parker, as many know, was Quanah Parker's son. My family in Anderson County, Texas intermarried with the Parker's (Cynthia Ann's family). I am of Choctaw/Chickasaw and Cherokee descent through a great-grandmother and great-grandfather, among others. I am also descended from a full-blood German great-grandmother. I have family at Fredericksburg. We are NOT happy! I enjoyed attending the Powwow and what it stood for. I cannot express my disappointment enough in the Fredericksburg officials' decision. We have a Texas Ranger Museum in Waco. They should built it in Austin. They want to put it in Fredericksburg because the tourist economy brings in $$$. Once again, kick the 'Americans' to the curb."
~ "Not Happy Nana"
The wind blew dust over the empty fairgrounds of the abandoned fort, while the sound of drums, singing, and celebration lay silent.
(Comanche Tribal group photograph not available for this reason: The Comanche Powwow has been prohibited by the Fredericksburg City Council.)
What does the petition stand for?
1. Honor The 150 year old treaty of friendship between the Comanche Nation and the German Settlers by restoring the Comanche Powwow
2. Stop the Former Texas Rangers Foundation from building their own museum on Fort Martin Scott property
3. Allow cultural and historical events to be held at Fort Martin Scott
The Comanche Nation thanks you!
I would like to thank everyone for signing the “Honor the Treaty” petition and for your comments about the importance of honoring the 1847 Treaty between the German settlers of Fredericksburg and the Comanches.
For decades before the signing of the 1847 Treaty, my ancestors (Comanches) traveled through Texas to Mexico. Passage to Mexico was near the then small town of Fredericksburg, Texas. My great grandmother, Takey yetchy (Stands and Speaks) was born during one of the journeys to Mexico. Therefore the 1847 Treaty has a strong significance to my Comanche family – Chappabitty/Quassycheeky.
Our family’s annual powwow celebrates the birthplace of Takey yetchy and the Treaty. We just held our twelfth annual family powwow on May 4th, 2013. This year’s powwow was a traditional powwow with no competitive dancing, only intertribal. We were pleased with the turnout.
We would like to thank all those that attended, in particular, the German consulate representatives. We would also like to thank the volunteers and supporters that donated their time to make the powwow a success.
A special thanks to the family that donated their building for the powwow. That was a gracious donation that we will never forget. If it wasn’t for the donated use of the building we would not have been able to have the powwow. This is because the old powwow grounds on the historical site of Fort Martin Scott have been made unavailable to the Chappabitty/Quassycheeky family thru actions of the Fredericksburg Mayor and city council.
These actions of support by the volunteers and those individuals that donated represent the true meaning of the Treaty – hospitality and kindness between the German founders of Fredericksburg and the Comanches.
It is these acts of kindness that encourages our family during the tough times to continue to share our heritage and tradition to those citizens of Fredericksburg that appreciate it. We plan on continuing to have our annual powwow, with competitive dancing, a year from now. In addition we plan on having an all gourd dance powwow in the fall time.
Again, UHDUH!! (Thank you)
"One of the main reasons that our family moved our annual powwow some 400 miles away to Fredericksburg [from the reservation in Oklahoma], was because of the birthplace of my great grandmother – Takey Yetchy (Stands and Speaks) and because of the 1847 Treaty between the Comanches and the German settlers of Fredericksburg."
"How can your city honor the treaty, when they are allowing the Texas Rangers to build a museum on this historical site? I concur with the tribal official I spoke with this morning, who stated that as Comanches we know that the primary reason the Texas Rangers were created was to get rid of the Comanches."
— Charlotte McCurtain, Comanche Nation Powwow Leader
Please do not break this treaty and build on this ground. Even the advertisement for the Ranger museum I found incredibly insensitive. As a pastor I have often used Fredericksburg as an example of one place that kept their treaty word. Please do not break it now!
~ Rev. Merrie Cardim
Granbury, Texas 76049
Please try to place announcements of your future powwows in our West Kerr Current and Kerrville Daily Times!
I am disgusted by the Fredericksburg City Council's action in cancelling this historic commemoration. They caved in to the demands of the group that wanted to build a Texas Rangers museum in Kerrville--a plan that people in this area understood was absurd and did not support.
I will make sure people I know in the Kerrville-Ingram-Hunt area become aware of your petition and will encourage them to sign it.
~ Janice Winzinger
To read all of the feedback we have received,
see Feedback Page
Larry Liles wears his cap of support: "Honor the Treaty of 1847!"
Larry was the emcee of the 1997 Memorial Day Weekend Lasting Friendship Powwow in Fredericksburg, Texas, and is the great great-grandson of Chief Horseback, one of the peace treaty signers in 1847.
Glenda Capps Allen
John Bonfardeci Jr
Daniel W. Box
Bobbie Joan Boyd
B. C. Burrer
Larissa Burri (Switzerland)
Rev. Merrie Cardim
RICHARD K CLINTON
Paul L Cochran Sr
Lawrence da Silva
Amanda De La Garza
Jason Roye Yoya-Sullivan-Daukei
Sharon Mazurek Denney
Michael Domroese (Germany)
Jimmy and Martha Dusek
Lisa J. Ennis
Carmelinda Nuzzo Escuder
Susan and David Espenlaub
Rex Lewis Field
Anne Bucklin Frost
Nicki J. Fry
Dr. Mary Jo Galindo
Edgar B. Garza
Carol Sue Lara Glidden
Lisa Clark Gonsalez
Amy Schlueter Gonzalez
GARY L GRANT
Patricia Sumners Guinn
Heide and Paul Gulgowski
Thomas Gutmann (Switzerland)
Nina McLeod Hall
Stacey Jo Hanna
Littlehawk TheGreatSpiritHidesHere (Helmstetter)
Daniel Roger Hill
Matthias Hoth (Germany)
Oscar Adrian Montes Iga
Henry Brook Johnson
Veronica Pachecano Johnson
Comanche John Keel
William G. Kennon, COL (R) US Army
Jan Braly Kihle
Kris Two Owls Ledzius
Philip and Jungshin Lewis
Timothy Lee Martin
Henry A. Medawis, IV
Glenda L. Gordon-Morris
Larry & Sandy Morris
Wolfgang Mosletr (Germany)
Patrick Müller (Germany)
Jo Anne Narramore
Anton Neff (Switzerland)
Wil M. Niedo
Jodi M. Ochoa
Sharitta Bingham Fronczek Odom
Daniel Kevin O'Keefe
Cathy McRae Orlowski
William F Osborn II
Waane aa Parker
Rose Radney Petmecky
Kerstin Pflaum (Germany)
David "Hunter Hawk" Pierce
Mary Lee Pratt
Belinda Brown Ratliff
Beth Williams Ray
Lacie Roach Register
Shirley J. Richardson
Werner Rilling (Germany)
Maria F. Rocha
Joseph E. Rose Jr.
Ursula Rothe (Switzerland)
Jimmy Rudy Sanchez
Lucy Childers Sanchez
Heidi Schauer (Germany)
Louisa M. Scherer
Arnold and Helen Schlueter
Dr. Thomas Schlueter
Kerstin Schroeeder (Germany)
Marc-Peter Schoelermann (Germany(
Michael H. Sodos
Kirsten Stadtmueller (Germany)
Sara Kristine Stilwell
George M Sweeney
Kay L. Williams Thompson
Jane T. Tucker
Stefani Van Wijk
Wilhelm P. Vins
Thomas H. Vollmar
James A. Walters
Ralph B. White
Gary S. Whitford
Andreas Wild (Germany-Bavaria)
Mari An Willis
John W. Wilson
Jo Ann Wolf
K. Michelle Yanez
Elizabeth Cisneros Zettle