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Elizabeth Pack (Cynthia)

Elizabeth Pack (Cynthia)


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Amy Elizabeth Thorpe, the daughter of Major George Cyrus Thorpe and Cora Wells Thorpe, was born in Minneapolis on 22nd November, 1910. Her father was a professional soldier in the United States Marine Corps and in 1915 he was sent to Cuba. Elizabeth loved the hot dry sunshine and they stayed in Guantánamo all through the First World War.

After the war Major Thorpe was sent to Washington before being transferred to Hawaii. She later recalled: "I was always a loner and I never did learn how to play with other children. I had lived in too many places and adapted to too many local behaviours. I was always disoriented. I've never belonged anywhere really - or stayed anywhere long enough to be really taken in by a group."

Elizabeth was sent to the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts. One early admirer recalled that whenever he arrived at a party "I'd find her surrounded by a complete circle of boys - or men, as we considered ourselves. Certainly she was a beautiful girl, but the fact is she was far more reserved than most of them. She had dignity and she had no small talk - she was a serious girl really and she always held us off dancing: kept us at a distance physically, I mean. No clutching, or cheek-to-cheek... She was fully grown up at nineteen, far more adult than we were."

At the age of twenty, she met Arthur Pack, a secretary at the British Embassy in Washington, who was nearly twice her age. "Suddenly I was having an affair with Arthur Pack. Suddenly I was engaged. I don't think for a minute he was in love with me. I know I wasn't in love with him. It was as if it was all happening and I had nothing to do with it. I went along with the events like a sleepwalker." When she discovered she was pregnant her parents insisted she married Pack.

Pack was transferred to Madrid on the eve of the Spanish Civil War. According to Bill Macdonald, the author of The True Intrepid: Sir William Stephenson and the Unknown Agents (2001): "She was in Spain during the civil war and helped a number of Franco supporters to escape. Pack began her espionage career in Poland, where she had a relationship with an aide to the Polish Foreign Secretary, Colonel Joseph Beck. Some of the information she obtained may have related to secrets of the German cipher machine ENIGMA, which the Poles were working on, and a prototype was eventually smuggled to Britain." She later confessed that "our meetings were very fruitful, and I let him make love to me as often as he wanted, since this guaranteed the smooth flow of political information I needed."

Arthur Pack was transferred to South America. Elizabeth, writing under a pseudonym, published propaganda sympathetic to the British cause. Richard Deacon, the author of Spyclopaedia: The Comprehensive Handbook of Espionage (1987) has argued: "It was at this time she was summoned to New York and given her code name by the highly skilled spymaster, William Stephenson, head of the British Secret Service in America." William Stephenson, the head of British Security Coordination (BSC) gave her the code name "Cynthia".

H. Montgomery Hyde, a fellow BSC agent, met her for the first time in 1940: "Unusually beautiful, she had an exquisite, narrow-boned figure; a light quick-silver wit, a sharp intelligence and a soft and soothing voice that somehow inspired trust and confidence. It was by a combination of these formidable qualities that she was able to extract secrets of the highest political and military importance from the men of influence and position she cultivated for that purpose."

H. Montgomery Hyde was working at BSC at the time: "I had heard (only half believing, I must confess) of some of her more astonishing exploits in Europe, and I was aware, too, that she recently engaged in some unusually strong and subtle anti-Nazi propaganda work in South America." Marion de Chastelain worked in the BSC offices at the time and considered Cynthia to be an effective spy: "She was the type who reveled in espionage. She really loved it. And she came from a good Washington family so she had entree to all the embassies and places... She was tall... a dark blond... beautiful figure... not terribly good-looking, but she... certainly appealed to the males."

In December 1940 President Franklin D. Roosevelt made a speech where he proposed selling munitions to Britain and Canada. Isolationists like Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan and Thomas Connally of Texas argued that this legislation would lead to American involvement in the Second World War. It has been argued that both Vandenberg and Connally were targeted by British Security Coordination in order to persuade the Senate to pass the Lend-Lease proposal. Mary S. Lovell, the author of Cast No Shadow (1992) believes that Cynthia played an important role in this: "Cynthia's second mission for British Security Coordination was to try and convert the opinions of senators Connally and Vandenberg into, if not support, a less heated opposition to the Lend Lease bill which literally meant the difference between survival and defeat for the British. Other agents of both sexes were given similar missions with other politicians... with Vandenberg she was successful; with Senator Connally, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, she was not."

The author of The Quiet Canadian (1962) has suggested that her first major assignment was to renew a friendship with an Italian naval attaché, Alberto Lais, who was stationed at the Italian Embassy in Washington. She is said to have discovered the Italians planned to scuttle their ships harboured in the United States in March 1941. This information was passed to the American authorities.

Elizabeth Pack later recalled: "They were the happiest days of my life. They were packed with all sorts of emotions: the supreme desire to help the Allied war effort; anxiety lest I fail in the responsibilities entrusted to me; lonely despair when my moves went wrong; satisfaction when things took a constructive form. And in the end (it is with me still) the real anguish of wondering if, with more experience and better judgement, I could not have worked faster and done more."

In May 1941 Cynthia was asked to develop a relationship with someone working in the Vichy French Embassy. She eventually began an affair with Charles Brousse, the embassy's press attaché. Cynthia discovered that he was disillusioned with Pierre Laval and in July she confessed she was a BSC agent and that she was willing to pay for information. Brousse now began to obtain copies of nearly all the telegrams to and from the French Embassy. He was also able to obtain the French Naval ciphers.

Cynthia was later asked if she was ashamed of using sex to discover information from the enemy. "Ashamed? Not in the least, my superiors told me that the results of my work saved thousands of British and American lives….It involved me in situations from which respectable women draw back - but mine was total commitment. Wars are not won by respectable methods."

In 1945 Arthur Pack committed suicide. Elizabeth then married Charles Brousse and they lived in in a medieval castle in France.

Amy Elizabeth Thorpe Pack Brousse died of throat cancer on 1st December 1963. Charles Brousse was electrocuted about 10 years later by his electric blanket. Part of their castle was also destroyed in the ensuing fire.

They were the happiest days of my life. And in the end (it is with me still) the real anguish of wondering if, with more experience and better judgement, I could not have worked faster and done more.

In May 1941, Cynthia was asked to concentrate on the Vichy French Embassy. Posing as a journalist, she arranged for a meeting with the Ambassador Henry-Haye. Before the interview, she met with the embassy's press attaché, Charles Brousse, and he told her of the situation in Europe. "France's future requires cooperation with Germany," he reportedly told her. "If your car is in the ditch, you turn to the person who can put it on the road again that is why we work with Germany." The two began a relationship, and after time) Brousse expressed a dislike of Laval, which Cynthia cultivated with guidance from BSC, and he talked more and more about Vichy affairs. In July of 1941, she told him she was an agent of the American government and he could receive money for information. She stressed this could help defeat Laval and the Nazis, and that he'd be a patriotic Frenchman. Eventually she obtained copies of nearly all the telegrams to and from the French Embassy and - Cynthia was instrumental in securing the French Naval ciphers.

Published reports say one night the couple heard a guard at the embassy approaching and Cynthia quickly removed all her clothes. When the guard saw her, he decided he should leave the two alone. On at least one occasion BSC is said to have used the services of a criminal, "the Georgia Cracker," a Canadian safe expert, who helped the couple procure information. By November 1942, Vichy embassy officials in the U.S. were detained in a hotel in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Cynthia tried to join the personnel by posing as Brousse's daughter. However, Brousse's wife began to put "une and une" together and Cynthia's tryst with the Vichy French came to an end....

Cynthia's exploits for Stephenson's organization are said to have greatly assisted Allied European and African operations. The Italian ciphers may have contributed to the one-sided defeat of the Italian Navy by the British in the battle of Matapan. Ellery Huntington, who headed OSS special operations for TORCH, the Invasion of Africa, was quoted as saying Cynthia's work "had changed the course of the war."


The Brilliant MI6 Spy Who Perfected the Art of the ‘Honey Trap’

Betty Pack on her wedding day. (Photo: Churchill Archives Center, Papers of Harford Montgomery Hyde, HYDE 02 011/Courtesy Harper Collins)

These days the “honeypot” is a popular trope in espionage thrillers, with seemingly every high-level informant recruited via seduction by a ravishing female spy. But long before James Bond ever jumped across the roof of a moving train in books or film, the globe-trotting spy Betty Pack was wooing suitors for classified information on both sides of the Atlantic. Few people have elevated the habit of pillow talk to an art form quite like the crafty American-born intelligence officer, who “used the bedroom like Bond used a beretta,” Time magazine noted in 1963.

Pack’s code name at the British spy agency MI6 was “Cynthia,” and her clandestine escapades during World War II led her boss, Sir William Stephenson, to call her unequivocally “the greatest unsung heroine of the war.” Her discovery of the French and Italian naval codes, as well as her work aiding in the decades-long effort to crack the Enigma code, helped the Allies stay a few steps ahead of the Axis powers, and eventually, win the war.

Amy Elizabeth “Betty” Thorpe was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1910. She was an uncommonly restless child. “Always in me, even when I was a child, were two great passions—one to be alone, the other for excitement,” Betty told her fellow spy and lover Harford Montgomery Hyde, according to a new biography, The Last Goodnight. “Any kind of excitement—even fear.” 

Betty Pack, spy. (Photo: Reprinted with the permission of The Baltimore Sun Media Group/Courtesy Harper Collins)

The rebellious girl worshipped her father, Colonel George Thorpe, and detested her mother, Cora. Though Cora was a highly educated and cultivated woman, from her earliest years Betty, who was equally brilliant, viewed her as little more than a striving socialite. “You might say that she was a Persian Cat and I was a Siamese,” Betty said later. As her father rose through the ranks in the military, the family moved to Cuba and then to Washington, D.C., where they hobnobbed with the political elite. Betty, sent to the best boarding schools, well-versed in high-society decorum, disliked the phoniness of it all. “Life is a game where one plays one’s role—where one always hides their true emotions,” she wrote in her diary at 13.

From an early age, Betty captivated many of the men she met. When she was only 11, an Italian diplomat named Alberto Lais became so infatuated with the child that he would disturbingly visit her at school, just to chat with his “golden girl.” Tall and willowy with blondish-auburn hair, huge green eyes and a soft, teasing voice, teenage Betty already possessed the sexual allure, heightened intelligence, and eye for detail that would make her such a successful spy.

“She had a force, or magnetism, to a terrifying degree,” Hyde recalled. This was only amplified when, during her high school years, Betty discovered her unabashed love of sex. “The greatest joy,” she wrote, “is a man and a woman together.”

At 19, she found herself pregnant and unsure of who the father was. In the circles in which she moved, being an unwed teenage mother was akin to social suicide. A desperate Betty quickly came up with a ingenious way to find herself a husband, and her child a respectable father. During a weekend party, she snuck into the bed of Arthur Pack, a dapper British diplomatic attaché twice her age, and waited for him to enter the room. “There she was in my bed,” Arthur would explain to his sister, “what could I do?” 

The cover of Howard Blum’s book The Last Goodnight. (Photo: Courtesy Harper Collins)

The couple were married in 1930. This would be the start of what Betty called her “vagabond years,” as she followed Arthur from diplomatic post to diplomatic post. However, Betty soon discovered that her husband was a cold man obsessed with his status. Fearing her child was not his, he forced her to give the baby boy to a foster family in England. From this point on, Betty knew she could never love the man who had taken her child from her, and began to pursue extramarital affairs.

During her husband’s postings in Chile and Spain, the trilingual Betty, often bored and restless, played the part of an perfect diplomatic hostess, and began to hone the information gathering tactics that would later serve her so well. But it was Betty’s selfless—and self-directed—actions in Spain that first caught the eye of MI6 in London. In 1936, the election of a pro-communist government in Spain led to the imprisonment of the clergy, including a priest that Betty was intimately acquainted with. After figuring out which prison he had been taken to, she arranged a meeting with the papal nuncio, the diplomatic envoy of the Holy See, and persuaded him to push for the priest’s release. Although this was a risky gambit, it worked. Betty then arranged the priest’s escape across the border.

Spain exploded into civil war soon after, and many diplomatic families were moved to Biarritz, France. But Betty did not stay there long. When she heard that Carlos Sartorius, a Spanish aristocrat and government official that she was in love with, had been thrown in jail too, she returned to Spain to find him. Again, she was able to convince a skeptical bureaucrat to not only take a meeting with her, but take up her cause. She also petitioned him for the release of 17 imprisoned airmen.

On the same trip, Betty herself was initiated into unofficial spy work by the Valencia-based British diplomat Sir John Leche. After her intercession on their behalf, Sartorius and the airmen were eventually released. Work done, Betty departed Spain. “I come and go,” she explained. “No bones broken, and no hearts either, I hope.”

In 1938, the Packs headed for Arthur’s new post in Poland. But her husband was as cold and distant as ever, a man obsessed with appearances. Lonely and searching for passion and conversation, Betty began an affair with a bookish, cultured man working in the Polish Foreign Office. Soon, he began to share his worries about his homeland, especially the fact that Poland was secretly working with Germany. 

Pack in later years. (Photo: Churchill Archives Center, Papers of Harford Montgomery Hyde, HYDE 02 007/Courtesy Harper Collins)

Betty, who had seen the dangers of fascism and Nazism during her years abroad, was concerned by what she heard, and went to the head of intelligence at the British Embassy, John Shelley. A short time later, Shelley officially brought Betty into the MI6 fold. From there on out, the young American expat would find everything she was looking for—excitement, intellectual stimulation, and a life purpose—in partnership with Her Majesty’s Secret Service.  

Now Secret Agent Betty Pack was instructed to set a “honey trap” for handsome Count Michal Lubienski, chief aide to Poland’s foreign minister, Josef Beck. After meeting at a society party, the two soon became lovers. During this time, Betty would empathetically listen to his worries, and then go home and type up meticulous reports. These colorful, detailed briefs of conversations with various marks became a staple of Betty’s career, and were eagerly awaited by the folks at British Intelligence.

During her trysts with Lubienski, she copied the reports that filled his suitcase, and eventually learned that the Poles had cracked Germany’s fabled Enigma Machine, whose codes had stumped Europe for decades. Armed with Betty’s information, the British convinced Poland to share the findings. Alan Turing could not have built his famous computer to crack a later, more complicated version of the Enigma cipher without the assistance of Polish mathematicians.

Betty’s time in Europe soon came to an end, but not before a side mission to Prague, where she helped rob the office of Konrad Henlein, leader of the pro-Nazi Sudeten German Party. Betty smuggled out the stolen goods, including an invaluable map detailing Germany’s three-year plan to invade central Europe, in the same suitcase as her negligees.

The Packs’ next stop was back in Chile, where an increasingly restless Betty posed as journalist “Elizabeth Thomas,” writing anti-Nazi propaganda for the paper La Nacion. But soon she left her husband and small daughter behind for good, and returned to her childhood home of Washington, D.C., posing as a freelance journalist. Her superiors at British Intelligence encouraged this move, knowing that as a single working woman, Betty could infiltrate social circles with greater ease.  

Sir William Stephenson, Pack’s boss, and who called her “the greatest unsung heroine of the war”. (Photo: Public Domain)

Thus began what Betty called “the happiest days of my life.” Betty’s new boss was Sir William Stephenson, who led the “British Security Coordination” (wartime Britain’s American intelligence arm). Betty chose a lovely house on O Street in Georgetown, which had a handy secret exit around the back for “discreet entertaining.” She was soon given a big assignment— to discover the Italian naval codes.

Betty’s family connections and blue-blooded background were instantly useful. The man the BSC wanted her to trap was none other than Alberto Lais, now Italy’s Naval Intelligence agent, and the man running Mussolini’s secret spy network in the U.S. Soon, Lais was telling his “golden girl” secrets as he stroked and petted her, but never consummated the relationship. Betty, with her expert communication skills, was able to lead their conversations into areas the British were interested in. Eventually, she was able to bribe a clerk for the books containing the Italian naval codes, virtually neutralizing the Italian Navy for the duration of the war.

Her next assignment would be her greatest triumph. Having had so much success with the Italians, Betty was instructed to infiltrate the Vichy French Embassy. Betty’s mark, press attaché Charles Brousse, a married, charming man with serious concerns about the Nazis, immediately became Betty’s one “complete love.” Still, she made her boundaries regarding fidelity clear: “I do not belong to you or anyone else, not even to myself. I belong only to the Service,” she told him.

Soon, Betty had recruited Brousse to the Allied cause. But he balked at one assignment— to steal the French naval codes. “There’s a war going on, and if you, who swear you love me, will not help me, then I will either work alone or with someone else who will help me,” she threatened. He soon acquiesced. 

Chateau de Castlenou, a castle in the Pyrenees, where Pack lived later in her life. (Photo: Jeantosti/CC BY-SA 3.0)

To get the codes, Betty orchestrated a brazen plan. Over time, the couple cultivated the French Embassy’s night watchman, convincing him to let them use the building for late-night rendezvous. The couple had loud, passionate sex for weeks, with the watchman believing he was simply aiding two lovers. One night, after serving the watchman champagne laced with sleeping pills, they let in a man known as the “Georgia Cracker”—a safecracker. Their first and second attempts to rob the safe failed.

The night of the third attempt, sensing the watchman was on to them, Betty and Brousse stripped naked. Sure enough, the watchman burst into the room, only to be thoroughly embarrassed. That night the safe was opened with the aid of the “Georgia Cracker”, and the code books photographed and replaced.

The codes were a boon for the British and American military, especially in North Africa. It meant the Allies were always aware of the Vichy’s location and plans, giving them an enormously important tactical advantage in every area of warfare. “They have changed the whole course of the war,” a colleague told Betty.

Unfortunately, Betty’s intelligence career ended soon after she helped secure this huge coup. Her cover was blown by none other than Brousse’s wife. After discovering the two in bed together, she screamed that Betty was a spy for all to hear. No longer anonymous, Betty retired from “the service.” She and Brousse married after the war and moved to Chateau de Castelnou, a foreboding medieval castle in the Pyrenees Mountains. Though they loved each other, Betty remained restless. Without the excitement of spy work, or a known enemy to defeat, she felt rudderless and trivial, like the society hostesses she had despised growing up.

Shortly before she died of cancer in 1963, she was asked if she was ashamed of some of the things she had done. “Ashamed?” she scoffed. “Not in the least, my superiors told me that the results of my work saved thousands of British and American lives… It involved me in situations from which ‘respectable’ women draw back—but mine was total commitment. Wars are not won by respectable methods.”


Legends of America

Fort Parker, Texas Buildings

Born in Illinois around 1825*, Cynthia Ann Parker’s life would be turned upside down at the age of 11 after being kidnapped by Comanche Indians in Texas.

Her father, Silas M. Parker met Cynthia’s mother Lucinda ‘Lucy’ Duty in Illinois Territory where they were married in August of 1824. The family quickly grew with four children, Cynthia being the oldest.

Silas joined with the military during the Black Hawk War of 1832, after which he took his family to Texas in 1833. There he gained admission to the Austin and Williams colony and his family was granted a “league” (a measurement or unit) of property for settlement.

Parker’s land, on the edge of the Comanche frontier, was described as being on the Sterling Fork of the Navasota River. Along with their father, Silas and his brothers James and Benjamin Parker immediately set forth building Parkers Fort. The construction consisted of a large stockade, two-story blockhouses and two rows of log cabins. Completed by March of 1834, the entire Parker family moved in and began clearing the land for fields.

In May of 1835, Silas was elected as a member of the Committee of Safety and Correspondence for Viesca, and in October was named by the General Council as superintendent over a group of 25 rangers tasked with guarding the region between the Brazos and Trinity rivers.

Only a year later, on May 19, 1836, Fort Parker was attacked by Comanche warriors, along with allies from the Kiowa and Kichai tribes. James Parker, who had been working out in the fields, arrived at the fort during the attack and managed to hide 17 of the residents of the fort, but it was too late for his brother Silas, his other brother Benjamin, and father John, who were all killed during the attack. It would also be too late for five other family members who had been kidnapped by the Comanche, including his own daughter Rachel, his grandson James Pratt Plummer, his sister-in-law Elizabeth Kellogg, along with Cynthia and her brother John. James Parker managed to save Cynthia’s other two siblings, Orlena and Silas, Jr.

Fort Parker, Texas Cemetery Monument

James Parker would lead survivors through the underbrush for six days, south to Tinnin’s settlement where the Old San Antonio Road crosses the Navasota River. There he immediately began efforts to find and return his family members taken in the raid, but, after raising a company of men, his pursuit was halted by the threat of the Mexican army. It wouldn’t be until June that James would return to Fort Parker to bury the dead.

In July he met with Sam Houston, then major general of the Texas Army during the territories fight for independence from Mexico. Houston had previously negotiated a treaty with Cherokee Indians in east Texas, establishing peace, and wanted to try the same for the return of Parker’s family from the Comanche. James disagreed with the idea and wanted Houston to order an expedition against the tribe, which Houston refused. Houston refused Parker again during a second meeting in August at Nacogdoches, but while there he was reunited with his sister-in-law Elizabeth Kellogg, who had been purchased by the Delaware Indian’s and returned her.

The next year, in June of 1837, Parker asked Houston, now Texas President, for permission to gather 2,000 men to act against the Comanche. Houston let him have 120 but disbanded the force before it even set out. James’ daughter Rachel was returned to him in February of 1838 but died only a year later. In 1843 James located Cynthia’s brother John and his grandson James Pratt Plummer at Fort Gibson, although there is doubt over whether it was really John. Other accounts show John adapted well to the Comanche life until he contracted smallpox during a raid in Mexico, where the tribe abandoned him. He is said to have recovered, moved back to Texas, fought in the Civil War with the Confederate Army, and eventually return to Mexico to farm.

James would continue to petition the Texas House for forces against the Comanche, but was denied. In 1845, through the efforts of his brother Isaac Parker, a member of the Texas Congress, a joint resolution was passed for payment of redemption from the Kichai tribe.

Cynthia Parker, 1861 with infant daughter

In the meantime, Cynthia’s life with the Comanche was rough at first, abused and treated as a slave until being put under the care of a couple to raise her as their own. Under her native name of Na’ura, she quickly adapted, and around 1840 married chieftain Peta Nocona, who had participated in the raid on Fort Parker. Cynthia would have two sons, Quanah and Pecos, and a daughter Topsanna (Topusana).

A newspaper account from April 29, 1846, described an encounter between Cynthia and Colonel Leonard G. William’s trading party along the Canadian River. Reports indicate Williams tried to get the release of Cynthia, but tribal leaders refused. It’s also reported she didn’t want to leave the tribe as she was in love with Nocona. Later reports show an encounter with federal officials on the Washita River, but again she refused any attempt to return to her white family.

Finally, on December 18, 1860, after getting a tip that white captives were being held nearby, Texas Rangers attacked a Comanche hunting camp at Mule Creek, during which they took three of the tribe. The event is known as the Battle of Pease River and Cynthia was one of those captured, along with her infant daughter. Nocona was reportedly killed in the raid, however, that was disputed by Cynthia who said it was a Mexican slave. Additional reports say that Nocona lived for another year before succumbing to an infection from an injury. She was then taken back by her Uncle Isaac Parker to his home near Birdville, in what is now Arlington, Texas.

Cynthia Parker’s story captured the nation and gave hope to thousands of other families who had suffered the loss of family members during Indian raids. On April 8, 1861, the Texas Legislature awarded her a grant of $100 annually for five years and some land. Her cousins, Isaac Duke Parker and Benjamin F. Parker were made her legal guardians. However, Cynthia still didn’t want to live in white society and made several attempts to flee to her Comanche family.

Quannah Parker, Comanche Indian Chief

Her brother Silas Jr. then took her to his Van Zandt county home, but after he joined the Confederate Army she wound up with her sister Orlena. Reports indicate that in 1863 she got word her son Pecos had died of smallpox. Then a year later her daughter Topsanna died of pneumonia. The stress of not being able to assimilate back into the white culture and the death of her son and daughter led to severe depression and ultimately her death around 1870.

Cynthia Ann Parker’s son Quanah would go on to play an important role as the ‘last Comanche Chief’, for 25 years providing leadership, promoting self-sufficiency and self-reliance on a Comanche reservation in southwestern Oklahoma. There he oversaw the building of schools, helped create ranching operations, and established crops. The reservation was broken up and opened to settlers in 1901, after which Quanah spent the rest of his life on a profitable ranch. In 1910, Quanah moved his mother’s grave to Post Oak Mission Cemetery near Cache, Oklahoma and was buried beside her when he died in 1911. Both their bodies were moved to Fort Sill Post Cemetery in 1957.

Although Parkers Fort was lost over the years, in 1936 it was recreated in its original location and is now known as Old Fort Parker.

** It should be noted that the exact year and death of Cynthia Parker are not known as various accounts list 1824, 1825 and 1827 for birth, and 1870 and 1871 for her death.


Nocona’s Raid and Cynthia Ann Parker’s Recapture


In 1836 a Comanche raiding party took 9-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker captive. A white posse recaptured Parker nearly a quarter century later when she returned to Texas with a war party led by Nocona, her Comanche husband. (Image courtesy Greenwich Workshop, Seymour, Conn.)

The Comanche war party splashed across the Red River in late November 1860. Its leader was Puhtocnocony, called Peta Nocona by the whites. He and his raiders rode down the edge of the Western Cross Timbers, an irregular hilly and wooded region extending south through Montague, Wise, Jack, Parker, Hood, Erath and Comanche counties. The Cross Timbers&rsquo trees and broken topography enabled stealth. Now in enemy territory, the warriors, their faces painted black, the death color, moved by moonlight and holed up during the day.

Kelliher was ready to shoot her when Ross noticed something strange. ‘Why, Tom,’ he said, ‘this is a white woman! Indians don’t have blue eyes’

Nocona, born into the Noconi band but later joining the Kwahadis, was about 40 years old. Most likely he had entered Texas after envisioning a great raid in a dream. He had planned out the route in detail. The raiders made no fires, ate dried meat and endured heat and cold. They were not specifically in search of horses or other booty, although stealing horses along the way would add to their laurels. Nocona was leading a revenge party. Its mission was to kill the enemy, and it would stay the course until the leader declared his vengeance satisfied. His enemies were Texas settlers, and they could expect no mercy. There were no rules. Depending on the whim of the assailants, the victims could be slaughtered, raped, tortured, taken captive or set free.

While the raid had begun like so many others, it was destined for three reasons to become one of the most notable Comanche raids ever made in Texas. First was the sheer savagery of the attacks. Second was the participation of a white female warrior, Cynthia Ann Parker. Third was the recapture of Cynthia Ann, making her the most famous white captive in the history of the Western frontier.

Peta Nocona and his large war party first struck in Jack County at the James Landman home, about five miles northeast of Jacksboro. On November 26, Landman and his 14-year-old stepson, Will Masterson, were cutting wood about a mile from the cabin. At home were Mrs. Landman her 6-year-old son, Lewis her baby, John and her two daughters from a previous marriage, 12-year-old Jane and 15-year-old Catherine Masterson. The Comanches murdered Mrs. Landman and her son Lewis, plundered the house and carried off the Masterson girls. Catherine&rsquos captor threw her on a horse, but Jane was roped and dragged.

The raiders traveled less than a mile west to the banks of Lost Creek, where they cut loose Jane&rsquos battered body, shot her with five arrows and left her body on the ground. Nearby was Calvin Gage&rsquos cabin. At Gage&rsquos that day were Anna Gage her 5-year-old son, Jonathan her 1-year-old daughter, Polly and three children with the last name Fowler from Anna&rsquos previous marriage&mdash16-year-old Joseph, 10-year-old Mary Ann and young Hiram. Joseph was searching for stray oxen about a mile from the house. The Sanders cabin was nearby. Elick Sanders, the brother of Anna Gage, was away, but their mother, Katy Sanders, was inside with another of the Gage children, 14-year-old Matilda.

About 250 Comanches engulfed the two households. Old Katy Sanders had no luck fending off the raiders at the Sanders cabin they quickly killed her and ransacked the place. Several of them grabbed Matilda and threw her on a pony. About the same time, other warriors descended on the Gage cabin. They beat Anna senseless and shot her with arrows, leaving her for dead. She recovered, only to die of complications from her wounds a few years later. They took little Polly and, to their great amusement, threw her high into the air several times, letting the infant smash onto the ground on the last toss. They shot and wounded Mary Ann Fowler and Jonathan Gage. The Indians also ripped open several beds and tossed the feathers to the winds.

Tiring of this sport, Nocona and his warriors took what property they could carry and rode south, bringing with them three captives&mdashMatilda Gage, Catherine Masterson and Hiram Fowler. A short time later, several Comanches stripped Matilda and Catherine and abused them before setting them free. The two naked girls walked in a daze toward home and soon met up with Joseph Fowler, who was bringing in the oxen. The trio cautiously approached the Gage cabin. A cold north wind was blowing about the bed feathers. At first, Joseph thought it was snowing. After getting the full bloody picture, he rode to neighbors to report the raid. When H.A. Hamner of Jacksboro rode up to the Gage&rsquos, he found frightened Jane Masterson in the woods. She told him what had happened, showed him five wounds on her body from which she had pulled arrows and pleaded with him to help her family. Then she died from blood loss.

Although fairly inured to Indian depredations, the residents of Jack County were shocked by the brutality of the raid. One of them, W.W.O. Stanfield wrote to Governor Sam Houston on December 9, saying, &ldquoThis day a week ago, we buried five that was killed in the most savage-like manner that I have ever herd [sic] of.&rdquo He mentioned a 65-year-old lady &ldquoshot through with an arrow&rdquo and children &ldquomurdered withe [sic] a lance and beat withe rocks, some of them cut in as high as 14 different places.&rdquo Mrs. Anna Gage, Stanfield added, is &ldquothe worst brused [sic] human being I have ever saw.&rdquo The first day of raiding was over, and the Comanches rode south into Parker County, named, ironically, for the family whose daughter was a wife of Peta Nocona and was riding with the war party currently devastating the region.

This tragic, incredible episode had it antecedents nearly 24 years earlier, when, on May 19, 1836, several hundred Indians attacked Parker&rsquos Fort in east Texas. Brothers Silas M. and James W. Parker had established the frontier fort in 1834, on the headwaters of the Navasota River in today&rsquos Limestone County. Despite Indian warnings, someone left open the stockade gate that morning when the men went to work in the fields. The raiders hit and made short work of the virtually undefended settlement, killing five of the Parker clan and seizing five others. Taken captive were Rachel Parker Plummer and her son James, Elizabeth Kellogg and John and Cynthia Ann Parker.

For 9-year-old Cynthia Ann, the first several days of her capture were terrifying. She was beaten and abused, and she saw the Indians rape her cousin Rachel and Rachel&rsquos Aunt Elizabeth. In the Comanche village, Cynthia Ann was virtually a slave, forced into backbreaking labor to keep the lodge of her master. She was young and compliant, and her owner chose to keep her. When of marriageable age, she would bring in many fine horses.

Cynthia Ann survived and was adopted into the tribe. Sightings of her over the years tantalized the public and kept alive relatives&rsquo hopes she might one day be rescued. But by then Cynthia Ann may no longer have wanted to be rescued. She received the name Naduah, or Nautdah (&ldquoShe carries herself with grace&rdquo), married Nocona and gave birth to several children, one of them Quanah Parker, later to become a Kwahadi chief.

Indian agent Leonard Williams saw Cynthia Ann in 1846 during a meeting with Comanches on the upper Brazos. Williams said she &ldquocontinued to weep incessantly.&rdquo He offered 12 mules and two mule loads of merchandise for her but claimed the Indians &ldquosay they will die rather than give her up.&rdquo Commissioners Pierce M. Butler and M.G. Lewis reported that Cynthia Ann was the wife of a warrior, and either &ldquofrom the influence of her husband or from her own inclination, she is unwilling to leave the people with whom she associates,&rdquo and that &ldquoshe would run off and hide herself to avoid those who went to ransom her.&rdquo

In 1852 Captain Randolph B. Marcy met with a band of Noconis and saw a &ldquowhite woman&hellipby the name of Parker.&rdquo Marcy said she &ldquohas adopted all the habits and peculiarities of the Comanches, has an Indian husband and children and cannot be persuaded to leave them.&rdquo Cynthia Ann had chosen her new life. She roamed with the Penetekas for a time and then with her husband&rsquos adopted Kwahadis. But while Cynthia Ann, or Naduah, may have been contented with her new life and family, the very thought she could happily exist as a Comanche &ldquosquaw&rdquo rankled white settlers on the Texas frontier. The fact the Indians could take white women and force them into &ldquoa fate worse than death,&rdquo and that some would not care to return to white society, stoked the underlying racial and sexual tensions of the frontier folk.

Naduah sometimes accompanied Peta Nocona on his raids. Almost everyone in Comanche society, including women and children, participated in a raid either logistically or socially in the accompanying ceremonial dances. Women also helped manage the camps and carry away spoils, and female warriors occasionally participated directly in the fighting and killing. What exactly was Naduah&rsquos role in this savage raid? She was there, but did she actually lift the scalping knife, or did she remain at camp in a supporting role? Several captured white boys rode with other Comanche war parties and were said to be crueler than the Indians. Naduah never told what she did during the 1860 raid, or if she did, it was not recorded.

Nocona, Naduah and the other raiders had entered Parker County by the early morning hours of November 27. One may wonder if Cynthia Ann knew the county carried her family name. Just before daylight, a messenger reached John Brown&rsquos house, 16 miles northwest of Weatherford, bringing warning of an Indian raid, and Brown saddled an old cow pony to go alert his neighbors. Two hours later, Nocona and some 50 other Comanches approached Brown&rsquos cabin. Mary Brown gathered her children and a slave, 14-year-old Anthony, in the half-story loft. To her horror, Mary realized one of her little girls, Annie, remained below in a kitchen outbuilding. Anthony fetched her just as the raiding party appeared in the yard. While Mary shepherded her children up the trapdoor stairs to the attic, Anthony grabbed an ax and guarded the door. Surprisingly, the Indians didn&rsquot molest them but only stole the horses.

The Comanches encountered Mary&rsquos husband, John, a half mile from the house. They lanced and scalped him, then cut off his nose. Neighbors found his body under a cover of snow the next morning, and Mary buried him in the corner of their yard.

The raiders stole 18 horses from Brown and rode to T.E. Thompson&rsquos place, two miles away on Rock Creek. &ldquoThey came very near and like they were going to kill us all,&rdquo said one of Thompson&rsquos daughters, &ldquobut on second thought, they turned and left, taking all our horses.&rdquo Content with the stolen stock, Nocona and his warriors cut southwest into Palo Pinto County.

On Staggs Prairie, northeast of Mineral Wells, they came to the home of Ezra and Martha Sherman. The Shermans had just sat down for dinner when six Comanches walked through the door. Martha cautioned her family not to show any fear. Seven-year-old William H. Cheairs, Martha&rsquos son from a previous marriage, had seen the Indians coming and had run off to hide in an oak thicket.

The family tried to remain calm. Ezra indicated to a large warrior with a face painted black and scarlet that they had no food or drink to share, only molasses. Martha chose a different tactic: She pointed to the door and said, &ldquoGit!&rdquo

&ldquoHambre,&rdquo the Indian said in Spanish, rubbing his belly.

&ldquoNo, you ain&rsquot,&rdquo Martha said, picking up her broom and moving to swat him. Some of the warriors laughed, and one touched her long chestnut hair. Martha pulled away, and the Indians talked among themselves. One of the children, Mary Cheairs, then commented, &ldquoThat&rsquos red hair.&rdquo Martha, too, noticed the red hair of one of the unwanted guests, which meant he was probably a white renegade.

Finally, one of the warriors pointed at the door and told the family, &ldquoVamoose!&rdquo With 1-year-old Joe Sherman in hand, Ezra, Martha and Mary walked out into the cold and headed east toward their nearest neighbor. A light snow was falling. They only got half a mile when the Indians rode up to them and told Ezra and the children to keep moving. Ezra protested, but a lance pointed at his chest convinced him. The Indians then dragged Martha back to the cabin, where she was stripped, tortured and raped by at least 17 warriors, including one she called &ldquothat big old redheaded Indian.&rdquo They then scalped her and rode their horses over her, leaving her for dead. Other warriors ransacked the house, drank up the molasses and, for whatever reason, stole the family Bible. Then they rode off. William Cheairs watched it all from the thicket.

The marauders were not finished. They hit John B. Pollard&rsquos farm, less than three miles southwest on the Brazos, where they stole 26 horses. Warriors also attacked William Eubanks&rsquo ranch near the mouth of Turkey Creek, about six miles farther west. Solomon B. Owens, a 20-year old who had just moved to Texas, lived there with his young bride, one of Eubanks&rsquo daughters. While riding toward Turkey Creek, the Comanches drove some 300 stolen horses through Owens&rsquo wheat field, destroying the crop. The only ones home that day were three of Eubanks&rsquo daughters, who quickly donned men&rsquos clothing and hats and took position behind a fortified picket. Not wishing to challenge these defiant defenders, the Indians settled for riding off with more horses.

Nocona headed north toward Keechi Creek. Will Eubanks was riding home late that evening in a rain and sleet storm when he suddenly found himself amid the Comanches and their huge herd of stolen animals. He removed his hat, slumped over and rode slowly in the same direction. As night closed in, he sidled away and escaped.

The marauders also took advantage of the darkness to slip away. Crossing Keechi Creek, they turned west, passing through Dark Valley. Nocona had apparently slaked his vengeance, and with a herd of more than 300 horses, he finally headed out of the settlements.

The four Pollard brothers grabbed their weapons and followed the Comanches&rsquo trail. Arriving at the Sherman place, James Pollard &ldquosaw feathers flying over the yard and went in the house and saw blood and everything tore up.&rdquo Billy Cheairs emerged from his hiding place in the oak thicket and told the Pollards he saw the Indians take his mother, Martha Sherman. &ldquoThe little boy,&rdquo James noted, &ldquosaid he could hear her screaming and hollering for an hour, and the last he saw of her, her hair was tied to the tail of a pony, and they dragged her out on the prairie.&rdquo The Pollards soon found the battered Mrs. Sherman trying to crawl back to the cabin. Next to arrive was Ezra Sherman, who had made it to the neighbors and borrowed a gun. His wife told him the horrible things the Indians had done to her, describing how they had sawed and hacked at her scalp for the longest time trying to remove it.

Over the next couple of days, neighbors came to visit the Shermans, and one, Henry Belding, could not erase the &ldquofearful&rdquo sight of Martha from his memory even 50 years later. She lingered four days, delivering a stillborn child before dying. Ezra took her body to Weatherford, where it lay shrouded in a casket and laid out in a cabin for all to view. Martha Sherman was buried in Willow Spring Cemetery, eight miles east of town. Naturally, the people of the county were outraged.

A posse of neighbors trailed the Indian war party, soon finding several horses that had dropped dead from exhaustion. Sol Owens said the posse also found moccasin tracks, a quirt, a &ldquocross mark&rdquo and other signs, &ldquowhich was meant as a dare to [us] to follow them.&rdquo After two days, the men gave up the chase and returned home. Nocona&rsquos deadly raid convinced some settlers to pack up their belongings and return east, while others &ldquoforted up&rdquo with other families According to Ida Lasater Huckabay, a granddaughter of Mary Brown, the murders &ldquoso enraged the settlers that the cavalrymen and Rangers became determined to pursue the Indians to their own doors of the Texas plains.&rdquo

Civilians had been scouting for Indians in the western counties for the past month. Jack Cureton and a company of volunteers had just returned from Fort Chadbourne, hungry and exhausted. They reached Palo Pinto County in Nocona&rsquos wake. Ranger Captain Lawrence &ldquoSul&rdquo Ross and his men, plus nearly 100 civilian volunteers, gathered in Lovings Valley. The civilians elected Cureton captain and Richard W. Pollard first lieutenant. A 21-man detachment of Company H, 2nd Cavalry, under Sergeant J.W. Spangler, arrived from Camp Cooper. They moved to Fort Belknap and took on additional recruits. On December 14, the force of nearly 140 men and Tonkawa scouts rode out. Charles Goodnight, the future cattleman, discovered the raiders&rsquo trail heading west toward the Pease River.

Ross followed the pony tracks to the junction of Mule Creek and the Pease and, on December 19, found the raiders&rsquo camp. For young Hiram Fowler, the rescuers were one day too late. The night before, the Indians had murdered the troublesome boy and left his body behind. Just before Ross moved to attack, Goodnight found a pillowslip on the trail. Inside was a little girl&rsquos dress and a Bible inscribed with Martha Sherman&rsquos name. They had caught up to the guilty Indians&mdashat least some of them.

The Comanche camp on the Pease did not comprise the entire war party. Following the raid, many individuals had gone their own way. Peta Nocona himself had left two days earlier, taking his boys Quanah and Pecos on a hunt. Few warriors were in camp. Some of the Indian women and children had eaten a skunk for breakfast and were now gathering hackberries. Naduah, the white Comanche, had joined the other women in dismantling the lodges in anticipation of moving. She was startled to see white riders crest a hill and ride toward them.

Ross saw the Indians about the same time they saw him. He counted about two dozen warriors among the women trying to pack up. He had outmarched Cureton&rsquos exhausted volunteers, but there was no time to waste. The Ranger captain charged forward while Sergeant Spangler led the cavalry detachment around adjacent sand hills to cut off the Comanches. The fleeing Indians ran right into the flanking force, which trapped some of the women riding heavily laden horses. Spangler caught the women, said Goodnight, &ldquoand killed every one of them, almost in a pile.&rdquo

Naduah managed to grab a pony. Mounting with her young daughter, Toh-tsee-ah (&ldquoPrairie Flower&rdquo), she threw a buffalo robe around the two of them and rode off, with Ross and Lieutenant Tom Kelliher in pursuit. After a mile, Ross was close enough to shoot, but before he did, the fleeing rider turned, held out the child and shouted, &ldquoAmericano! Americano!&rdquo

Ross told Kelliher to hold the captive while he rode after the others. Closing to within 20 yards of a horse with two riders, Ross fired and hit the rider (a warrior) and his passenger (a girl). Both tumbled to the ground. The warrior rose and shot an arrow into Ross&rsquo horse, and the Ranger returned fire, putting three bullets into the Comanche. Ross watched him crawl off and sing his death song. He thought he had killed Peta Nocona, but the raid leader had already escaped to fight another day. Circling back to Kelliher, Ross found the captured Indian giving his lieutenant trouble. Kelliher was ready to shoot her when Ross noticed something strange. &ldquoWhy, Tom,&rdquo he said, &ldquothis is a white woman! Indians don&rsquot have blue eyes.&rdquo

The Rangers had found Cynthia Ann Parker, though they seemed uncertain about her identity. Later that night around the campfire, Palo Pinto County rancher Jonathan Baker, by his own account, suggested she might be one of the Parker children carried off by the Comanches more than two decades prior. James Pollard, who had ridden with the volunteers and arrived too late to participate in the attack, said the captive looked familiar. In 1857 and 1858, he had visited the old Brazos Reservation when annuities were issued and had watched the Indian women skinning buffaloes. One woman&rsquos light hair had stood out, and he&rsquod thought it odd, but he hadn&rsquot realized who she was. When Cynthia Ann tried to communicate&mdashin Comanche, English and sign language&mdashPollard got the impression she, too, recalled having seen him before.

Once Ross led the command back to Camp Cooper, the Rangers summoned Isaac Parker, who finally identified the captive as his niece. When someone mentioned the name &ldquoCynthia Ann&rdquo in her presence, she recognized the sound, stood up, patted herself and said, &ldquoMe Cincee Ann.&rdquo

For Cynthia Ann, it was not a triumphal return. En route to Camp Cooper, she repeatedly tried to escape. The 33-year-old woman had left behind a husband and two young boys&mdash12-year-old Quanah and 10-year-old Pecos&mdashand all that remained of her life for the past 24 years was her daughter and the clothes they wore. The Army wives at Camp Cooper gave her food and clothing, but Cynthia Ann was despondent. She tried to escape again but was closely guarded. Then Uncle Isaac Parker came to take her &ldquohome.&rdquo They traveled to Fort Worth and then to Isaac&rsquos home in nearby Birdville. Word spread of the captive&rsquos return, and Cynthia Ann became a celebrity, but she usually greeted visitors with tears. Officials feted Cynthia Ann at the capital in Austin, but the fuss and ceremony frightened her, and she attempted yet another escape. The Texas Legislature ultimately granted her a pension of $100 per year for five years, plus a league of land (about seven square miles).

But Cynthia Ann remained unhappy. Her brother, Silas Parker Jr., took her into his home in Van Zandt County, and when he joined the Confederate Army, Cynthia Ann went to live with her younger sister, Orleana, who was married to R.J. O&rsquoQuinn. At her sister&rsquos house, Cynthia Ann learned to weave, spin and sew. She already knew how to tan hides, and neighbors brought in skins for her to prepare. She picked plants and herbs for home remedies. Cynthia Ann also learned to speak English again and began to read and write. But she missed her Comanche family, even more so in 1864 after Toh-tsee-ah died of pneumonia.

The O&rsquoQuinns promised to take unhappy Cynthia Ann to visit her tribe but then moved even farther from the frontier. Unable to overcome her grief as a captive (this time of white people), Cynthia Ann fell into a deep depression. She died in 1870 and was buried at the Fosterville Cemetery. Few cases captured the public imagination as did Cynthia Ann&rsquos. In 1909 Congress authorized a monument in her honor, and the next year it approved the reburial of Cynthia Ann and Prairie Flower side by side at the Post Oak Cemetery near Cache, Okla.

The Comanches had killed seven white settlers and wounded five others during Nocona&rsquos November 1860 raid. No whites had died during the ensuing Pease River fight, but the Rangers killed five warriors and nine women and children and captured three other women and children. During the Indian wars on the Great Plains, particularly in Texas, it was the women and children, both Indian and white, who suffered the most. It was they who bore the brunt of the fighting. The innocent victims of Nocona&rsquos raid and the recapture of Cynthia Ann Parker/Naduah were heartbreaking examples.

Special contributor Gregory Michno won a 1997 Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum for his article &ldquoLakota Noon at the Greasy Grass&rdquo (June 1996 Wild West). Michno, of Longmont, Colo., has written extensively about the Indian wars. His book Fate Worth Than Death is recommended, along with A Cry Unheard, by Doyle Marshall, and Frontier Blood: The Saga of the Parker Family, by Jo Ella Powell Exley.


The Rose Queens of Tyler, Texas

As with many of my research projects, it started with a question of “Who was the first Rose Queen?” I assumed it would be one of established families of Tyler but I would have been wrong. It turns that the first Rose Queen was from Palestine, Texas, the daughter of a jeweler.

So I started with the book by Frank Bronaugh entitled 50 years, Texas Rose Festival Association, 1933-1983 which gave the Rose Queens through 1983. Frank’s 2nd book entitled 75 years, Texas Rose Festival Association, 1933-2008 which brought the list through 2008. The remaining Queens were found on Wikipedia article on the Texas Rose Festival that I accessed 30 October 2019 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Rose_Festival#The_Rose_Queen_and_her_court .

From 1942 to 1946 the festival was cancelled because of World War II.

The Tyler Rose Queens sorted by the year they were chosen:

1933 – Margaret Copeland
1934 – Louise Boren
1935 – Margaret Hunt
1936 – Gertrude Anne Windsor
1937 – Katherine Booty
1938 – Frances Connally
1939 – Dorothy Bell
1949 – Mary John Grelling
1941 – Elizabeth Calhoun
1942 -1946 Cancelled
1947 – Carolyn Riviere
1948 – Mary Anne Nenney
1949 – Rose Marie Young
1950 – Laura Jill King
1951 – Catherine Roberts
1952 – Carol Ellison
1953 – Sally Kay
1954 – Joanne Miller
1955 – Maymerle Shirley
1956 – Gail Hudson
1957 – Kay Howard
1958 – Patricia Lewis
1959 – Elizabeth Byers
1960 – Carol Dean
1961 – Lousanne Wise
1962 – Harriet Sue Caldwell
1963 – Lometa Hudnall
1964 – Carolyn Louise Shaw
1965 – Elaine McKay
1966 – Lynn Clawater
1967 – Katherine Clyde
1968 – Louise Grelling Spence
1969 – Eugenia Key
1970 – Melinda Riter
1971 – Mary Martha Fair
1972 – Cynthia Eileen Stringer
1973 – Amanda Warner
1974 – Eloise Clyde
1975 – Nanette Oge
1976 – Hollee Susann Hedge
1977 – Amy Jane Lawrence
1978 – Virginia Rice Fair
1979 – Claire Martin Ramey
1980 – Alicia Stanley Wynne
1981 – Kay Elizabeth Fair
1982 – Jamie Clara Arnold
1983 – Jane Alice Boyd Hartley
1984 – Diana Patricia Taylor
1985 – Mollie Bess Arnold
1986 – Maria Kathryn Hughes
1987 – Allyson Anne Henry
1988 – Lona Elizabeth Clyde
1989 – Samantha Price Fischer
1990 – Katherine Claire Duncan
1991 – Ashley Jean Powell
1992 – Kristie Leigh Hardin
1993 – Erin Elizabeth Simpson
1994 – Michael Katherine McArthur
1995 – Martha Lindsey Wolf
1996 – Anna Elizabeth Clyde
1997 – Elizabeth Peacock Marsh Smith
1998 – Meridith Leigh Patterson
1999 – Joan Lindsay Burroughs
2000 – Caroline Malone Key
2001 – Martha Claire Woldert
2002 – Audrey Elizabeth Bell
2003 – Elizabeth Arlene Lilly
2004 – Lauren French Sanford
2005 – Katherine Claire Noel King
2006 – Lauren Frances Jones
2007 – Grace Hartley Ramey
2008 – Sarah Elizabeth Clyde
2009 – Emily Austin
2010 – Mary-Lawson Bracken Walden
2011 – Morgan Elizabeth Rippy
2012 – Haley McGrede Anderson
2013 – Rachel Vanderpool Clyde
2014 – Kathryn Elizabeth Peltier
2015 – Madeline Shirley Wynne
2016 – Mallory Kristine Curtis
2017 – Emily Kaye Evans
2018 – Amanda Elaine Hiles
2019 – Hanna Claire Waits

The Tyler Rose Queens in alphabetical order:

Anderson, Haley McGrede – 2012
Arnold, Jamie Clara – 1982
Arnold, Movie Bess – 1985
Austin, Emily – 2009
Bell, Audrey Elizabeth – 2002
Bell, Dorothy – 1939
Booty, Katherine – 1937
Boren, Louise – 1934
Burroughs, Joan Lindsay – 1999
Byers, Elizabeth – 1959
Caldwell , Harriet Sue – 1962
Calhoun, Elizabeth – 1941
Clawater, Lynn – 1966
Clyde, Anna Elizabeth – 1996
Clyde, Eloise – 1974
Clyde, Katherine – 1967
Clyde, Lona Elizabeth – 1988
Clyde, Rachel Vanderpool – 2013
Clyde, Sarah Elizabeth – 2008
Connally, Frances – 1938
Copeland, Margaret – 1933
Dean, Carol – 1960
Duncan, Katherine Claire – 1990
Ellison, Carol – 1952
Evans, Emily Kaye – 2017
Fair, Kay Elizabeth – 1981
Fair, Mary Martha – 1971
Fair, Virginia Rice – 1978
Fischer, Samantha Price – 1989
Grelling, Mary John – 1949
Hardin, Kristie Leigh – 1992
Hartley, Jane Alice Boyd – 1983
Hedge, Holley Susann – 1976
Henry, Allyson Anne – 1987
Hiles, Amanda Elaine – 2018
Howard, Kay – 1957
Hudnall, Lometa – 1963
Hudson, Gail – 1956
Hughes, Maria Kathryn – 1986
Hunt, Margaret – 1935
Jones, Lauren France – 2006
Kay, Sally – 1953
Key, Caroline Malone – 2000
Key, Eugenia – 1969
King, Katherine Clair Noe – 2005
King, Laura Jill – 1950
Lawrence, Amy Jane – 1977
Lewis, Patricia – 1958
Lilly, Elizabeth Arlene – 2003
Mallory, Mallory Kristine – 2016
McArthur, Michael Katherine – 1994
McKay, Elaine – 1965
Miller, Joanne – 1954
Nenney, Mary Anne – 1948
Oge, Nanette – 1975
Patterson, Meridith Leigh – 1998
Peltier, Kathryn Elizabeth – 2014
Powell, Ashley Jean – 1991
Ramey, Claire Martin – 1979
Ramey, Grace Hartley – 2007
Rippy, Morgan Elizabeth – 2011
Riter, Melinda – 1970
Riviere , Carolyn – 1947
Roberts, Catherine – 1951
Sanford, Lauren French – 2004
Shaw, Carolyn Louise – 1964
Shirley, Maymerle – 1955
Simpson, Erin Elizabeth – 1993
Smith, Elizabeth Peacock Marsh – 1997
Spence, Louise Grelling – 1968
Stringer, Cynthia Eileen – 1972
Taylor, Diana Patricia – 1984
Waits, Hanna Claire – 2019
Walden, Mary-Lawson Bracken – 2010
Warner, Amanda – 1973
Windsor, Gertrude Anne – 1936
Wise, Lousanne – 1961
Woldert, Martha Claire – 2001
Wolf, Martha Lindsey – 1995
Wynne, Alicia Stanley – 1980
Wynne, Madeline Shirley – 2015
Young, Rose Marie – 1949

Submitted by Scott Fitzgerald
Vice-President of Smith County Historical Society


Alternate Elizabeths [ edit | edit source ]

There are many versions of Elizabeth in alternate dimensions. Few of them are explored in detail in the game, but those involved were all abducted (and in one case, a failed abduction) from their respective fathers by a version of Comstock to become his heir. At least eight of these alternate Elizabeth appear at the end of BioShock Infinite to help drown Booker before he makes the choice to either accept or reject his baptism.

Sea of Doors Elizabeths [ edit | edit source ]

A number of these alternates appear similar to how Elizabeth appeared at earlier points in the game. One is wearing the same clothes as Elizabeth did when Booker first meets her, another has the same blood-stained clothes as Elizabeth had after killing Daisy Fitzroy, while one lacks a jacket just as Elizabeth did when she was rescued from the “surgery” in Comstock House. Other alternates have physical differences from the main Elizabeth in the game. The most obvious one of these is the Elizabeth on the far left who sports a different haircut, possesses a more curvaceous figure, and appears very similar to the one seen in the 2010 BioShock Infinite Premiere Trailer and BioShock Infinite Early Gameplay Demonstration. Two other Elizabeths are seen wearing a white dress with dark brown trim. These two Elizabeths are not missing a little finger as all the others are. The last two Elizabeths that appear on each side of Booker just before drowning him are noticeably taller than the others. The attitude of some of the Elizabeths indicates that they had not met Booker before and only think of him as Comstock.

Anna DeWitt [ edit | edit source ]

Anna DeWitt was Elizabeth's previous identity, before she was sold to Comstock as an infant. The events of BioShock Infinite erased Columbia from existence, which means that Anna was never abducted and so there exist several universes where Anna never became Elizabeth and she lived her life in the same universe as her father, Booker DeWitt. One of these universes is possibly explored in the after credits scene of Infinite. Booker DeWitt enters the nursery in his office, calling his daughter's name, but before he reaches the crib, the screen fades to black, leaving the content of the crib, whether Anna is in it or not, ambiguous.

Decapitated Anna DeWitt [ edit | edit source ]

Another alternate Elizabeth, or rather an alternate Anna is seen in a flashback in Burial at Sea - Episode 1. Comstock remembers his struggle to pull baby Anna through the Tear into Columbia’s reality while Elizabeth tries to persuade him to stop. Instead of pulling her through as in the main game, Booker does not lose his grip and pulls Anna back through the Tear as it closes. Unfortunately the Tear closes before she is all the way through and she is decapitated when it closes.

Vox Revolt Universe Elizabeth [ edit | edit source ]

One last alternate Elizabeth is mentioned in the Voxophone Drawing Dead. In the reality where Booker became a martyr for the Vox Revolt, Elizabeth had been moved to Comstock House before his arrival at Monument Island. When Elizabeth opens the Tear in the Bull House and merges the two realities together, she is merged with this Elizabeth as well.

Bouncer Victim Elizabeth [ edit | edit source ]

After the events of Burial at Sea - Episode 1 on December 31, 1958, Elizabeth was killed by the Bouncer in the Toys Department of Fontaine's Department Store in Rapture. However, she remained in existence because of her quantum-superposition, but couldn't return to that Rapture without consequences. Elizabeth did choose to return to Rapture to save Sally and thus giving up her Tear powers in the process. After returning, she finds her own body impaled through the heart by a piece of rebar and remembers the events that led to it.

Columbia's Heir [ edit | edit source ]

Old Elizabeth, New York 1983.

With at least one version of Elizabeth, Comstock succeeded in his plans, and Booker was unable to save her. Worn down by months of brainwashing and Booker's failure to come to her rescue, Elizabeth succumbed and became the heir Comstock wanted her to be. Elizabeth eventually sounded the assault on the surface world below in fulfillment of his prophecy, culminating in a blitzkrieg on New York in 1983 when Elizabeth was ninety one. However, the aged Elizabeth began to regret her actions and resist her brainwashing. She broke the Siphon and used its power to bring Booker from the past just before he began his assault on Comstock House.

Whilst the city is bombed, she explains that Booker could not defeat Songbird, not on his own, and she gives him a message for her alternate younger self, so they could control the creature, before sending him back through a Tear inside the house. This version of Elizabeth assures him it was too late to save her, but he might still save his Elizabeth and himself in the process.



GiRl SpY

I’ve been a little loathe to write of Elizabeth “Betty” Thorpe Pack (1910-1963), famous WWII Spy-Dame, for the simple reason that she is too closely associated with a term this Agent truly dislikes: Sexpionage.

Sexpionage, quite simply, is a practice attributed to the dames who use those other “womanly charms” to get the intel or finish the op. This term is regularly and incorrectly attributed to ladies in the know, just like the name “Mata Hari”. And while this Agent won’t dispute the reality or even the necessity of utilizing such extreme methods to get a job done, this Agent does take issue with such methods garnering Ms. Pack the moniker of “Greatest Female Spy” because of them.

Okay, so here we go: Betty-Boop was born in Minneapolis, the daughter of a career Military man. Betty was a broad who, at a very early age, like to play the field. She was well educated and a striking beauty with her red hair and green eyes. She became the Paris Hilton of her day prowling the socialite circuit until she found herself knocked-up at 21 and set to marry a dull, British, embassy man twice her age.

Life wasn’t all bad as her husband’s career took her abroad to Chile, Spain, Poland, where she apparently continued to play the field. Around such time, Betty was put on the British payroll as a spy and set up to capture her first target: a Polish Prime Minister with access to the code-breaking work on the Enigma machine.

When war broke out, Betty found herself back on home turf where she was further recruited by the British (remember, the US was still neutral at this point) to set up shop in Washington DC. Her task was to obtain Italian naval codes from a certain sailor at the Italian Embassy. Betty employed her “usual methods” and voila! the Italian battle fleet is hitting skids.

Next up: Vichy France and their cipher codes. Betty set her sights on Charles Brousse, French Embassy Press Officer in order to gain access to the French Embassy in DC. She began a passionate affair with Brousse (a married person not unlike Betty, it’s easy to forget about that fact). Brousse was “turned” by the enticement of money, his dislike of Germans, and apparently Betty’s charms. The intel flowed into British hands but the cipher books were proving difficult to obtain and despite Betty’s “best efforts” with other men in the embassy, she unable to get them into the hands of the Brits.

A last ditch effort to obtain the books involved Brousse and Betty working in tandom over several nights at the French Embassy with a safe cracker. Guards were paid, others drugged, and the pinnacle event was while the safe cracker was doing his deed, Betty and Brousse engaged in the deed themselves, in flagrante delicato no less, in order to thwart discovery of their true activities when a security guard happened into the room they were in at the embassy.

So, of course, after all that hooplah, the codes were obtained. Pearl Harbor went down, America ended its neutrality, and we can all pretty much remember what happened after that.

After the war, Brousse divorced his wife and Betty’s long forgotten husband committed suicide leaving Betty and Brousse free to marry, which they did. Betty pack died in 1963 of throat cancer at the age of 53.

So what do we take away from all of this? Perhaps an argument about what makes a successful spy versus what makes a great spy? Betty was certainly successful and the intel was important, but do you compare that to the exploits of Hall, Szabo, Cornioley, and the host of other dames being dropped out of airplanes, wrangling ammo, sending secret communiques, waging war, and generally risking their lives? Does a broad using sex as her tradecraft really equate a “great” spy?

I’m not trying to undermine Betty’s accomplishments because to a certain extent we are comparing apples and radiators, but tallying up this skirt’s love of adventure and promiscuity, both of which seemed to have fueled her actions, makes this Agent glad for one thing:


You can also obtain inmate information for people incarcerated in a California jail or prison. This information is contained in the same databases, and they are searchable via first and last name. To get access to California jail records, it is helpful to have the person&rsquos inmate identification number, but not necessary in most cases.

Total reported incidents in California in 2016 decreased by 0.85% compared to 2015 and is lower than national average of 3,311.69 per 100,000 people. Violent crimes increased from 137,347 to 145,205 while non-violent crime decreased by 1.88% from 882,269 to 865,710.

5 Crimes In California 2016 with most arrests

Crime Arrests
Larceny-theft 559,297
Burglary 155,886
Motor vehicle theft 150,527
Aggravated assault 83,227
Robbery 48,985

Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits

The Tudor rose in portraits of Elizabeth I

Tudor rose on a Medalet commemorating HMS 'Hampshire'.

The red and white Tudor rose was created by combining the emblem of the House of Lancaster (the red rose) with that of the House of York (the white rose). These rival houses were united in 1486 by the marriage of the Lancastrian Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, which brought much-needed stability to the nation after years of civil war (the Wars of the Roses).

The Tudor rose was used in Queen Elizabeth I's portraits to refer to the Tudor dynasty and the unity it brought to the realm. The rose also had religious connotations, as the medieval symbol of the Virgin Mary. It was used to allude to Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen, as the secular successor to the Virgin Mary.

The pelican: a symbol of motherly love

The pelican was one of Elizabeth's favourite symbols. It was used to portray her motherly love to her subjects.

In times of food shortages, mother pelicans were believed to pluck their own breasts to feed their dying young with their blood and save their lives. In the process of feeding the mother would die. In the Middle Ages the pelican came to represent Jesus sacrificing himself on the cross for the good of mankind and the sacrament of communion, feeding the faithful with his body and blood.

The "Pelican Portrait" of Queen Elizabeth 1 c.1575 by Nicolas Hilliard.

The phoenix

A phoenix is a mythological bird which never dies but, after 500 years, is consumed by fire and born again, making it a symbol of the Resurrection, endurance and eternal life. Only one phoenix lives at a time, so it was also used to symbolize Elizabeth's uniqueness and longevity.

The ermine

The ermine, an animal of the weasel family, also featured in many portraits of Queen Elizabeth I. Prized for its tail of pure white fur with a black tip, according to legend the ermine would rather die than soil its pure white coat and it came to stand for purity. It also functioned as a status symbol, as wearing ermine was restricted to royalty and high nobility.

The sieve

A sieve is a symbol of virginity and purity reaching back to Ancient Roman times, where the Vestal Virgin, Tuccia, reputedly proved her purity by carrying water, unspilt, in a sieve. This symbol was used to glorify Elizabeth's virginity and associate England with the Roman Empire.

Elizabeth I, the "Phoenix" portrait.

Moons and pearls in portraits of Elizabeth I

Moons and pearls were used to present Elizabeth as Cynthia (Artemis), the Greek goddess of the Moon, who was a virgin and therefore pure. Sir Walter Raleigh helped to promote the cult of Elizabeth as a moon goddess with a long poem he wrote during the late 1580s, The Ocean's Love to Cynthia, in which he compared Elizabeth to the Moon.

Elizabeth was also associated with Minerva (or Pallas Athena), the Classic virgin-goddess of war and defender of the state. Although prepared for war, Queen Elizabeth I preferred peace and came to stand for peacefulness and wisdom. She was also the patron of arts and crafts, especially wool, and of trade and industry, including shipbuilding.

Other symbols used in portraits of Queen Elizabeth I

An armillary sphere is a skeletal celestial globe used to represent and study the movements of the planets. It was used to represent wisdom and power and also as a symbol of the good relationship between Elizabeth and her courtiers.

Dogs were used to represent faithfulness, and the breed associated with the Tudors was the greyhound.

While gloves represented elegance and olive branches symbolised peace, crowns, orbs and sceptres all signified monarchy.


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