Herman Lehmann

Herman Lehmann was born in 1859. When Lehmann was eleven years old he was captured by an Apache war party. He enjoyed living with the Apaches and later admitted he learned to "hate his own people" and their "effeminate ways".

After killing a medicine man Lehmann went to live with the Comanches. He later became the adopted son of Quanah, the son of the white woman, Cynthia Ann Parker.

An account of Lehmann's captivity, first appeared in Jonathan Jones' book, Indianology (1899). An expanded version appeared in 1927 as Nine Years Among the Indians.

Herman Lehmann died in 1932.

Primary Sources

(1) Herman Lehmann, Indianology (1899)

We stayed in camp about a month, killed mustangs, antelope, buffalo, deer, etc., enough to run the old warriors, the manikins and the women until we came back, and then we started on another stealing expedition.

We only took the ponies we rode, each of us mounted on a separate pony, our guns primed and ammunition handy, besides a supply of bows and arrows.

If a horse gave out, that Indian had to take it afoot until he could steal one," but if we got in a tight we took him up behind. We came south-east about one hundred and fifty miles and camped on a little ravine. Scouts were sent out and soon they returned and reported three men headed toward us. We all hid in ambush and made ready, but just as these men rode up we were discovered and fired upon, and one horse was killed. We vigorously returned the fire and they ran, but continued to fight. We caught one man and he spoke Spanish. We asked where his camp was and he told us it was over the mountain, but that it was deserted and that the men were all away chasing buffalo. The Indians left me to guard the prisoner, and they charged over the hill and on to camp, but instead of an easy capture, a volley of balls met them. There was a crowd in camp and they had fortified the place with rock. The Indians were repulsed and one wounded in the leg. The Indians came back and ordered me to murder my prisoner. He picked up a rock and hurled it at me; I dodged the missile and fired in the air but my arm grew steady, and I fired again, killing him instantly. I pounced upon him and soon his bloody scalp was dangling at my belt, and I was the proud recipient of Indian flattery.

(2) Herman Lehmann, Indianology (1899)

That night we came in contact with a company of men and had a little fight. We killed one white man and captured fifteen horses. I think this must have been near Ballinger. We came down to Pack Saddle in Llano County and there had a terrible fight with four white men. We were in the roughs and so were the whites, so neither had the advantage, but we routed them in about a half hour. I think I wounded one of the white men severely. I had a good shot at him, but they all got away.

We wended our way from there to House mountains, and there we captured a nice herd of horses, and this increased our drove to fifty. We went our same old route up the Llano river, but the rangers got on our trail and followed us up through Mason county, but we made for Kickapoo Springs, but the rangers had changed horses and were giving us close chase. We changed horses often and rode cautiously and made our escape, but we were followed to the edge of the plains. We reached home safely and with all our horses, but the Mexicans had again joined our squaws, and this time they had plenty of mescal and corn whiskey, and tobacco in abundance. We all got drunk and one hundred and forty Indian warriors and sixty Mexicans went on a cattle raid. West of Fort Griffin, on the old trail, we ran into a big herd being driven to Kansas. There were about twenty hands with the cattle. We rushed up and opened fire. The cattle stampeded and the cowboys rode in an opposite direction. There were enough of us to surround the cattle and chase the boys. We soon gave the boys up and started for Mexico with the herd, but the second day we were overtaken by about forty white men, who tried to retake the cattle, and in the attempt two Mexicans and one Indian were killed - the Indian was shot through the neck - and we had four horses killed. We repulsed them and got possession of two of their dead, who were promptly scalped. I don't know what other losses they sustained. We went on southwest with the herd, and had about three thousand head when we reached the village. These we traded to Mexicans and immediately stampeded them.

We put the scalps of those boys on high poles and had a big feast and war dance. We slew forty beeves and roasted them all at once. We kept up a chant and dance around those scalps day and night. More Mexicans had come and replenished our stock of whiskey. We had a little disagreement - a debate - and in order to settle the rucus satisfactorily to all concerned, we killed two Mexicans and raised their scalps on poles. We drank all the whiskey, sobered up, ran off the Mexicans and kept all their trinkets, guns, ammunition, etc., but they got the most of the cattle, which was more than pay.