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Nine Years Among the Indians
Herman Lehmann

Herman Lehmann may be the most famous person taken captive by Indians in Texas. Snatched from his family’s home in Loyal Valley in May 1870, at about the age of twelve, he did not return home until he was a grown man, and then only under compulsion—he longed to return to his Comanche family.

After his abduction, Lehmann spent his early years among the Apaches, learning their ways from his captor and tutor Carnoviste. He killed a powerful medicine man in an intra-Apache conflict, then fled into the wilderness, wandering alone until he decided to approach the Comanches for shelter. They took him into their band, and he gave them his loyalty, joining the extended family of famous chief Quanah Parker.

During his years with the Indians, Lehmann participated in numerous raids and battles with settlers, other Indians, the U. S. army, and the Texas Rangers. Lehmann tells of these days in detail—sometimes in violent, bloody detail, and always without a note of remorse. He lived the life that the Indians had always lived, and as it had been complicated by the arrival of white strangers who drove the Indians from their lands.

After the U. S. government returned Lehmann to his mother, it took some time for Lehmann to re-adapt to the ways of civilization, but he eventually regained his roots and became a respectable citizen. His younger brother Willie, who had been abducted with Herman, but escaped in less than ten days, was there to greet him and help him adapt to his new circumstance.

Over time, Lehmann became a local celebrity, demonstrating his Indian skills to tourists, and dressing up in colorful native garb. He died in 1932 and is buried in Loyal Valley.