Marc Simmons: Stories of capture among Apache in New Mexico

"In its day, the old Silver City Enterprise was one of New Mexico's outstanding territorial newspapers.

Recently, while I was reading through its back file, a short notice dated July 12, 1889, caught my attention.

Briefly, it referred to a man identified only as "Streeter," who had been killed by a Mexican in the town of Nacosari, Sonora, that Mexican state just south of Arizona.

And here's the interesting part: "Streeter was widely known as the 'White Apache,' " who had lived with the Indians many years and "assisted them in their outbreaks."

The news report failed to make clear whether this individual had been captured as a child and raised by the Indians, or joined the tribe voluntarily as an adult and then gone on raids against his own people. Instances of both were well known to frontier residents.

Two recent cases of captured boys in the Silver City areas had made headlines. The first involved the abduction of 6-year-old Charley McComas.

On March 28, 1883, he and his parents, Judge H.C. McComas and Juanita McComas, had been riding in a buckboard on the road from Silver City to Lordsburg when they were attacked by an Apache war party. The two adults were slain, and a traumatized Charley was carried away, never to be seen again, at least by whites."

Get the Story:
Marc Simmons: Trail Dust: Early adventurer became 'White Apache' (The Santa Fe New Mexican 1/8)

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