Honor The Treaty of 1847Help To Restore The Rightful Comanche Powwow at Fort Martin Scott
"When an entire nation failed to keep their promises and treaties with the native people of this land, a handful of brave German settlers and a group of honorable Commanche demonstrated what can be accomplished when people of two very different worlds work together."
"Have we waited 170 years to break the only treaty that was honored by both sides? Restore faith in America and keep the treaty, or close the fort and cast all history to the wind! Do not dishonor the tradition and legacy of Fredericksburg and its founders by denying the validity of the longest standing American treaty between nations."
~ Logan Hawkes
Corpus Christi, Texas
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)
What This Website Is About:
The Comanche Powwow at Fort Martin Scott in Fredericksburg has been cancelled by the Fredericksburg City Council because they will not allow it - or any other cultural or historical event - to be held on the Fort Martin Scott property.
This is a great act of disrespect to both the German settlers who founded Fredericksburg and to the Comanche people whom already 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.
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.
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.”
Brent and Carolyn Evans are interested in promoting 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)
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.)
(* Photo of Comanche John Keel by Frontier Media Scout)
Fort Martin Scott, Fredericksburg, TX — A small faction within the Former Texas Rangers Association 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 Foundation group is NOT endorsed by, or affiliated with, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Texas Rangers, the Texas Legislature, or the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco. Furthermore, they do NOT own any part of the land at Fort Martin Scott.
Here are a few facts that everyone should know:
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.
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!
To read all of the feedback we have received, please see our Feedback page
Bring back the POWWOW! I am appalled that there are people willing to partially bulldoze the Fort in order to build a duplicate museum. According to the online information, the cost and poor economic return is deterrent enough. However, the real shame in all of this is the willingness of some to sacrifice the history of our past and dishonor the Comanche Nation for so-called economic gain. We have visited the Fort with our families and learned a lot through this outdoor learning experience. We are also of German descent and take pride in knowing that the Germans and Comanches were willing to work together and create a treaty that has lasted for years.
~ Susan and David Espenlaub, Kerrville TX
In my time in the Army, I have told friends about this story. I'm very proud of it. People are surprised to hear that the powwow still happens. I wonder how many of these council members have roots as deep as I do in Gillespie county. This is a slap in the face to the original pioneers in this area. Disgraceful, spineless, and disgusting are a few words that come to mind. Y'all will have my support in word and deed.
~ Brad Bernhard
I know Fredericksburg and Larry Liles, Larry McCurtain, Charlotte McCurtain and many others from Comanche Nation more than 16 Years. I know the Powwow at Fredericksburg and felt all the time that the citizin of Fredericksburg were proud to honor the peace treaty of 1846 with such an event.
Even I´m not a Texan from Fredericksburg, only a German living at Schwalbach, al little town in Saarland, just nearby France and Luxemburg, but I know how important it has to beware friendship between to nation.
It´s more important to be aware traditions like the Powwow at Fredericksburg than a historical museum about the Texas Ranger especcially there is one at Waco.
~ Dillschneider Axel
My Great-great Grandfather was a Texas Ranger who fought to "protect" the settlers. I would rather he had been able to sit in Powwow with the Comanche and other 1st residents of this region. The people who sat together in 1847 should have everyone's respect and honour.
~ SL Rifat
Elk City, Oklahoma
I am Numunuh and Fredericksburg is ignorant to break a treaty with the Lords Of The Southern Plains!!
~ Billy Sellman
San Angelo, Texas
"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
Glenda Capps Allen
John Bonfardeci Jr
Daniel W. Box
Bobbie Joan Boyd
B. C. Burrer
RICHARD K CLINTON
Paul L Cochran Sr
Lawrence da Silva
Jason Roye Yoya-Sullivan-Daukei
Lisa J. Ennis
Susan and David Espenlaub
Anne Bucklin Frost
Nicki J. Fry
Amanda De La Garza
Carol Sue Lara Glidden
Lisa Clark Gonsalez
GARY L GRANT
Patricia Sumners Guinn
Heide and Paul Gulgowski
Nina McLeod Hall
Stacey Jo Hanna
Littlehawk TheGreatSpiritHidesHere (Helmstetter)
Daniel Roger Hill
Oscar Adrian Montes Iga
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
Jo Anne Narramore
Jodi M. Ochoa
Sharitta Bingham Fronczek Odom
Daniel Kevin O'Keefe
Cathy McRae Orlowski
William F Osborn II
Waane aa Parker
David "Hunter Hawk" Pierce
Mary Lee Pratt
Belinda Brown Ratliff
Beth Williams Ray
Lacie Roach Register
Shirley J. Richardson
Maria F. Rocha
Joseph E. Rose Jr.
Jimmy Rudy Sanchez
Lucy Childers Sanchez
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
Gary S. Whitford
Mari An Willis
Jo Ann Wolf