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 Herman Lehmann

Herman Lehmann

Birth
Mason County, Texas, USA
Death 2 Feb 1932 (aged 72)
Loyal Valley, Mason County, Texas, USA
Burial Loyal Valley, Mason County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 21398 · View Source
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Folk Figure. Born in Loyal Valley, Texas, the son of German immigrants Augusta Johanna Adams and Moritz Lehmann. His father died when he was about five, and his mother remarried two years later. In May 1870, he and his 8 year old brother, Willie, were captured by an Apache raiding party. Pursuing soldiers clashed with the raiding party five days later allowing Willie to escape, Herman, however, did not. He was adopted by a warrior known as Carnoviste, and was himself initiated as an Apache warrior, losing his native German language, and even forgetting his name, going by the adopted name En Da. He identified entirely with his Apache culture, taking part in raids against the Comanches, Mexicans, American settlers, and on one occasion, Texas Rangers. His band ranged from the Guadalupe Mountains to Texas and Mexico. After his adopted father was killed, he himself killed an Apache shaman, and then fled from his adopted people, living alone for almost a year. About 1876 he approached a band of Comanche, who took him in. With the Comanche he participated in raids against the Tonkawa and the US Cavalry. He was with the last tribal remnant that surrendered at Fort Sill before being installed on a reservation. He was living with Quanah Parker’s family on the Kiowa-Comanche reservation through 1877 and 1878. After queries from his biological mother concerning 'blue eyed Indians' on the reservation, the commanding officer of Fort Sill ordered that he be sent under guard to his family in Texas, arriving in May 1878, eight years after his capture. His sister recognized him by a scar on his arm; repetition of the name Herman also triggered a memory in him. He was reluctant to give up his adopted life way, he continued to appear in body painted, leggings, and breech clout. He refused to sleep in a bed, and had to be restrained from raiding the neighbors' livestock. He did, however, learn English, and relearn German. His expertise in archery, roping and riding helped make him a local celebrity. He wrote a memoir with the assistance of Jonathan Jones in 1899, under the title 'A Condensed History of the Apache and Comanche Indian Tribes for Amusement and General Knowledge' but he disliked the final publication, disparaging it as something Jones had taken to many liberties with. A second autobiography, 'Nine Years Among the Indians' quickly followed with his demand that the narrative be written just as he told it. It has since been called one of the finest captivity narratives written. In 1900, he left Texas for Indian Territory to be closer to his adopted people. In 1901, when the Comanche were given property allotments in Indian Territory, he was on the tribal rolls and given his own allotment of 160 acres. He never comfortably reverted to his Anglo culture, and drifted between the two for the rest of his life. He died at age 72, and was interred beside his Lehmann family. His story was the inspiration for the novel 'Savage Sam,' by Fred Gipson, a sequel to 'Old Yeller.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 15 Apr 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 21398
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Herman Lehmann (5 Jun 1859–2 Feb 1932), Find A Grave Memorial no. 21398, citing Loyal Valley Cemetery, Loyal Valley, Mason County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .