The Comanche acquired horses from the Pueblo Indians in 1680, allowing them to separate from the Shosone. They migrated to the southern Great Plains, extending their territory from the Arkansas River in what would become Kansas into central Texas.
In the 1740s, The Comanche began crossing the Arkansas, establishing themselves in western Oklahoma, across the Texas Panhandle, south the vicinity of San Antonio and west into New Mexico to the Pecos River. The area became known as Comancheria. Due to the abundance of wild buffalo, the Comanche population proliferated dramatically. They often traded with early European explorers and settlers, but would raid settlements and caravans for horses and cattle. In the late 1860s, epidemics of smallpox, measles and cholera — all of which the Comanche had no immunity — took a devastating toll on their population.
By the late 1860s, to curb the raids on settlers and commerce across the Comanche lands, the United States government attempted to restrict the tribe onto reservations with the 1867 Treaty of Medicine Lodge. But when conditions of the treaty were broken, some Comanche attacked a group of offending Texan buffalo hunters. Raids and attacks continued against white hunters and settlers into the early 1880s.
Trail West to Fury: In 1867, Bret and Bart Maverick were hired to work as trail bosses on the Miller cattle drive from Little Bend, Texas to Fort Adobe in the Arizona Territory. The drive took them through 500 miles of Comanche territory. In August of that same year, a wagon train worked by the Tall Man was traveling to the Colorado Territory. About 50 miles north of Little Bend, Bart Maverick witnessed the wagon train under attack by a band of Comanche. A few wagons, including the Tall Man, escaped the massacre.
The Jeweled Gun: In April of 1876, Bart Maverick and Daisy Haskell traveled by stagecoach through New Mexico Territory with others along the Santa Fe Trail. North of Las Vegas, the coach was attacked by a band of Comanche. A cattleman and Mitchell defended the coach with handguns, but Mitchell was shot and killed by a Comanche. Bart managed to kill seven of their attackers with the Winchester given to him by Henrique Fillipe at the start of their trip.
01. Comanche Timeline, The Comanche Nation of Oklahoma
02. Comanche warriors, circa 1867-1874, The University of Texas at Austin.
03. The Conjectural Maverick, Maverick Trails
04. Maverick, Trail West to Fury (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
05. Maverick, The Jeweled Gun (1957), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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