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The Buffalo, Slave, and Horse Business (CEC)

Robert Temple Summers, “The First Family of Glen Rose”, depicting Charles and Juana Cavasos Barnard, early settlers of Glen Rose, Texas

In the 1830s and 1840s, Comanches also stepped up their buffalo hunts, slaughtering the animals for the insatiable hide trade. To meet demand, Comanches put enslaved captives to work dressing hides. Some of these eventually integrated into the tribe as warriors or wives. Captive boys, once broken by harsh treatment, were retrained to tend Comanche horses as a way of being assimilated into the Numunu. Comanche men, long accustomed to having more than one wife, began to take on several women as wives and slaves, allowing them to increase their production rate.

Comanches also continued to traffic in captives. Comanches seized eighteen-year-old Mexican Juana Cavasos along with several other teenaged girls from near Matamoros. Carrying her north toward their homes on the upper Brazos and Colorado, the Indians by George Bernard’s trading post near present-day Waco and sold Cavasos to him for $300 in horses and goods.

He married her. They later became founders of the town of Glen Rose.