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Nine Years Among the Indians, 1870-1879: The Story of the Captivity and Life of a Texan Among the Indians Paperback – May 1, 1993

4.6 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Lehmann’s true-life story features suspense and excitement that surpass even the skill of the most imaginative fiction writer.” --Books of the Southwest

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It is the tale of Herman Lehmann, a captive of the Apaches on the Southern Plains of Texas and New Mexico during the 1870s.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press; Reprint edition (May 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826314171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826314178
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In events strikingly similar but less well-chronicled to those taking place on the Northern Plains, the 1870's witnessed the demise of the Southern Plains Indians--Apaches, Lipans, Commanches. Enter this young Henry Lehmann, an eleven-year old white taken from his frontier family by an Apache raiding party. Over the next ten years he matures from captive slave to fully "Indianized" warrior, only to ultimately (and reluctantly) reunite with his family. This amazing firsthand account details Indian life as it reached a violent climax with encroaching white settlement. A real page-turner and a must read for those interested in Plains Indians and Texas frontier history.
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If you are going to be stolen by raiding Apaches, you'd better hope you are made of the same kind of mesquite and hickory as little eleven year old Herman Lehmann. This is one of America's wildest tales of hardship and adventure, and nobody can tell it better than the sufferer and endurer, Herman. By the time it is over, the multi-lingual Herman stands out as one of the most fascinating characters in any time or place- EVER. He adopts the Apache culture until he pretty much out-Apaches even the hardest raiders. A small miscalculation of liquor and temper and a well- or ill-placed blow set him adrift even from the Apaches, who give a whole now definition to the term "wild-asses." You'll never think of Plains Indians the same way again- its not a racist or cultural problem, it is just that the folks who capture Herman are just hard to imagine from where we are sitting now. His life with them (he became a fearsome raider, too), and then as a hunted outcast who finds refuge with his former enemies the Comanches after a truly Biblical sojourn absolutely alone on the plains, hiding, for over a year....and then-- goes back to white "civilization" and tells us the wildest tale of all- how he re-integrated and then led a pretty normal life (he was not somebody you'd want to talk ugly to in the local saloon, but hey).

This book is a thousand things, all of them astonishing. Let's just say, if you are a captive, and some scarred old warrior offers you the guts out of a baby antelope that has been roasted, whole and alive in a bonfire that might also be used to.... well, just do as Herman did and chow down with all the enthusiasm you can muster.

Hal Herring
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By M. Lowrey on August 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
After spending a lifetime watching Westerns this was an eye-opener for me. I was a history major in college (back in the ice age) and there was very little information about Native American culture available. A great follow-up to the book about captive children in the late 1800s by Zorn.
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Format: Paperback
Herman Lehmann was a name mentioned a few times within my family as a boy growing up. Others were Korn, Fisher, etc. I was born in Texas. My Mother was Choctaw, born 1902, my father,1895, a descendent from hard core Texans that fought with Sam Houston. My Mother's people were moved from Mississippi to Oklahome where some reside today. I have read many stories concerning the lives of various tribes but I think Herman hits the nail on the head when it comes to the Apachie and Comanchie, however he does not speak for them all.In the seventies,I lived as a missionary among the Navaho and others. I found that each tribe place their values of life somewhat different.
Herman's life is interesting and educational. Several college professors have used his documented eventful life as source.
A good book, buy it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Must-read book for scholars of Indian life. Rare account of man who lived in both Indian and pioneer cultures on the frontier, in the last days before Indians were forced onto the reservations. The only bad thing is this book is too short, only 238 pages. If only it were twice as long. Normally, the risk in historical narratives is that narrators may lie or exaggerate, but this captive's story is so matter-of-fact, and his affection for his Indian family so palpable, that his amazing story is likely 100% genuine.

The finest aspect of this book is the unvarnished truth about frontier violence, without the politically correct drivel Hollywood producers and educators force-feed us. The narrator describes nonstop violence against white settlers, without emotion, dozens of raids to steal pioneers' horses and property, and kill and scalp as many pioneers as possible, including pioneer women and children. Politically correct dingbats portray Indians as noble good guys, and whites as the bad guys, but this book reveals both were humans, and humans often behave as violent brutes. You then understand why white soldiers responded in kind, attacking Indian villages and sometimes killing Indian women and children.

Most accounts of killings are not so detailed that readers are not grossed out by the details. Mainly the accounts of killing/scalping are just sad. Some victims were buffalo hunters destroying the Indians' food source, others just pioneers trying to make a life on the frontier. One particular description is gruesome: the treatment of hated Tonkaways, a tribe that sided with the whites.

The description of arrowhead manufacture differs from any I've ever read, and his description of buffalo hide shields is unique.
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