dren—black, brown and white—
who were taken by Indian tribes over
two centuries. All these children
metaphorically straddled two fires,
one tended by their birth parents and
the other tended by the Indians who
carried them away. And even though
their time with Indians was limited,
most survivors came to love their
riding, roaming days.
“The phenomenon of preferring
native life was more common than
not in captured narratives, although
the women didn’t fare as well as the
men,” said Zesch.
Zesch’s nine subjects, three of
them German speakers, lived with the
last of the free-ranging Plains Indians.
All were given full tribal rights.
brutality of the raids in which some
were captured, the Texas
children quickly changed alle- giances.
Despite the brutality of the raids
in which some were captured, the
Texas children quickly changed alle-
giances.Within less than a year,
some of them were enthusiastically
participating in raids near their for-
mer family homesteads. Adolph, for
example, was a particularly daring
warrior by the age of 11. He
sneaked into white campsites and
stole horses, commanded a group of
Comanches in a desperate fight with
Texas Rangers, and even burned
down a homestead near his family’s
place. Zesch believes that at least
four of the seven boys “almost cer-
tainly killed people.”
He said there have been few aca-
demic studies of how the children
adapted to Indian culture so quickly.
“The Stockholm Syndrome [in which
captives begin to relate to their cap-
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