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A Fate Worse Than Death

Catherine German

Catherine German

1,742 words

The little bottle lay on the sand. Nearby, waves lapped softly against the beach. How long the bottle had been laying there no one knows. Whether it was the tide or a storm that placed it, we do not know that either. This much we do know: At some point, someone walking along the sand spotted the bottle and instead of breaking it or hurling it back out to sea, they stooped to pick it up. We also know that when the finder uncorked the bottle he discovered that a note was folded inside. After fishing out the note and reading the words on the paper, whoever held it must have been dumb-struck. Finally, we also know that soon after the finder read the note and recovered from his shock, word quickly spread.

Thus ended one of the most remarkable journeys ever recorded.

The little bottle’s story began somewhere on the high and dry plains of northwest Texas or eastern New Mexico, hundreds of miles from where it was found. Here, at a camp of the Southern Cheyenne Indians, a ragged and frightened young white woman secretly brought out her hidden treasure — a bottle, a cork, a pencil, a piece of paper — then nervously scratched out a note, a desperate plea for help. The girl quickly folded the paper into the bottle, corked the end tightly, then tossed it into the headwaters of the Brazos River. In this arid region, the Brazos during the best of times is a mere trickle of water; at worst, it is just a sandy draw. Nevertheless, this bottle and the tiny trickle that floated it were the best, and perhaps last, hope for freedom that the young woman would know.

Sophia German

Sophia German

Several months earlier, in September, 1874, Catherine German and her family had been moving up the Smoky Hill River in western Kansas with everything they owned in the back of a covered wagon. The Germans, originally from Georgia, were bound for Colorado and a fresh start. Just moments after breaking camp that morning, the family was surprised by Indians. Within minutes the wagon was in flames, the mother, father, and two children were dead and scalped, and four daughters — Catherine, aged 17, Sophia, 12, and little Julia and Addie, aged 7 and 5 respectively — were carried off into captivity.

Catherine’s story is not a pretty one to relate. There are no Harlequin Romance endings here; no Dances With Wolves Hollywood nonsense; no silly sentimentality. Catherine was raped repeatedly during her captivity, as was her sister, Sophia; both were traded back and forth from one brave to the next; both were transformed into tribal prostitutes, their worth measured in horses. Each time the frail young women were forced to fetch wood or water for their respective lodges, each trembled in fear for each could expect to be raped as many as six times per trip.

Hence, Catherine’s desperate attempt one day with her little bottle along the Brazos. Pathetic as her gesture was, it was all she had. Over the next several months, as her prayer drifted slowly down a shallow stream, this hope was the only thought that kept the young woman going. When all else had been stripped from her — her virtue, her freedom, her dignity — Catherine at least had her little star of hope.

The German sisters circa the 1920s: Catherine right, Sophia left, Addie bottom, Julia top

The German sisters circa the 1920s: Catherine right, Sophia left, Addie bottom, Julia top

Finally, after five months of captivity, the band holding Catherine and Sophia at last returned to their reservation and surrendered the girls. Along with the two younger children, who earlier had been rescued during a thundering cavalry charge, the two shattered girls tried to pick up the broken pieces of their lives.

Unbeknownst to Catherine, throughout her captivity, during all the rapes and beatings, during the freezing nights and terrifying days, the little bottle that she had secretly tossed into a trickle of water on the high plains had, despite snags and shoals and rocks and floods, continued its slow journey down a winding river.

Four months after Catherine’s rescue, the Ellsworth (Kansas) Reporter picked up an article from a Houston, Texas, newspaper. The startled editor then informed his readers:

Strange to say, after having traveled eight hundred or one thousand miles along the devious windings and changing current . . . a bottle . . . was picked up on the beach of the Gulf of Mexico near the mouth of the Brazos River, in which upon examination, was a written account of the capture of. . . .

Thus ended an incredible journey. After the message was uncorked and read, it can only be hoped that the reader saved the little bottle and today, passed from one generation to the next, it sits atop some bookshelf, an antique, curious and pretty . . . if nothing more.


Headwaters of the Brazos River

Although the details surrounding Catherine’s rescue are a bit unusual, the conditions of her captivity are not. During the research for my book, Scalp Dance: Indian Warfare on the High Plains, 1865–1879, I had a chance to study at random the ordeals of some dozen young women captured by Indians, including Catherine German and her sisters. With little variation, the accounts told the same sad story—rape, enslavement, brutality, beatings, abuse. For good reason I named their chapter in the book, “A Fate Worse Than Death.”

Such accounts, of course, fly in the face of all we have been told — or not told — about life among the wild Indians of North America. Despite the attempts of Jewish Hollywood and academia to convince us that the lot of a captive white woman was really not such a bad thing, perhaps a bit rough in some spots, but overall a satisfying, even pleasant experience, nothing, I repeat, nothing, could be further from the truth.

texas_mapUnlike the Hollywood version of captivity and unlike the silly day-dreaming moonshine of modern Romance writers, not one woman that I studied grew so enamored with her “natural” life among the Indians that, when the time came, she actually chose to remain among them. Nor, I might add, did even one woman fall madly, hopelessly in love with her red rapist. Quite the opposite. For those white females who somehow survived captivity and who were something other than “raving maniacs” upon their release, many begged to see their captors killed on the spot. When she realized that indeed her captivity was over and her cruel captor was now a prisoner, one young woman tried desperately to snatch a pistol from a white soldier’s belt to blow out the brains of the monster who had tormented her for so many months.

Based upon the accounts of the women I studied, here is a rough rule of thumb of what you might expect were you a young white woman captured by Indians of the High Plains:

1. After witnessing the murder and mutilation of your loved ones, your clothes are ripped from your body; immediate and violent gang rape and sodomy commence by however many warriors are present, for however long they choose.

2. If you have crying children, these are often instantly killed by a sharp blow from a war club or by swinging them against rocks and dashing out their brains. Little children are also commonly scalped.

3. With a rope around your neck you are then led back to the Indian camp in your stunned condition, naked, bruised, barefoot, and bleeding from the vagina. When you fall from exhaustion, hunger or thirst, you are whipped mercilessly to your feet with rawhide or rope.

4. Once in the village you undergo a howl of taunts from the old people; women and children ridicule you and lash you with switches. Even the hordes of dogs seem against you as they snap, snarl and bite your legs

5. You are claimed by a powerful man, perhaps a chief, and, in addition to his own sexual demands, you become his personal prostitute; you are traded among the men of the village for valuables, including horses. Just because you are owned by one man does not shield you from the rape of others.

6. Beatings and back breaking work are piled upon you by increasingly cruel and jealous squaws. Grooves are worn into your shoulders from the straps of heavy loads; long lacerations from beatings refuse to heal and remain open wounds.

7. Abuse takes its toll and you age and gray rapidly during the months, or years, of slavery. You are filthy. You are infested with fleas and lice.

8. At night, after another day of sex-on-demand and back-breaking work, you dream of rescue . . . or death, whichever comes first; you dream of bugle notes sounding the charge as the U.S. Cavalry arrives to save you. Alas, little do you realize that should you hear those beautiful notes they will signal both your rescue and your death since Indians commonly kill their captives at the first sign of trouble.

9. If somehow you do manage to survive and are eventually rescued, you have a half-breed child in tow, you are pregnant again, you are emaciated, you are broken, you are sick, you are diseased, you look twenty years older than your actual age, you are mentally unhinged, you will never be normal again.

Don’t look for Hollywood and Stephen Spielberg to depict the events described above with any degree of accuracy any time soon. Their mission, their agenda, their racial imperative these past fifty years has been the hammering home of white guilt to white audiences by pounding in the idea that the white race has been the curse on the world; that in addition to all the other crimes committed against man and nature over the ages, whites were also guilty of ruthlessly destroying one of the most peaceful and pastoral cultures ever to grace the earth—that of the gentle and deeply philosophical societies of the North American Indian tribes.

Many moderns, perhaps most, willingly buy into white guilt and other such Jewish rot, but those who actually lived through the period knew better. Catherine German certainly did.

* * *

Thomas Goodrich is a professional writer living in Florida. Tom’s Scalp Dance—Indian Warfare on the High Plains, 1865–1879 was a main selection of the History Book Club as well as a featured choice of the Doubleday Book Club. Scalp Dance is available in paperback or Kindle from, or through Tom himself via PayPal at [email protected], $25–postage included.


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  1. Petronius
    Posted February 15, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    John Ford surely knew about this background, when he shot “The Searchers”…

  2. Bobby
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    Indeed, a good and longtime friend of mine, has recently, according to how he describes it, “a total enlightenment”, where Hollywood movies are concerned. He has never read any white nationalist sites, and he has never used derogatory language toward any race or culture. In fact, having known him for over thirty years, I would describe him as being more on the liberal side of things. But despite this, he told me he can no longer stomach Hollywood movies, because they all seem to have an agenda!! When I asked him what he meant, he simply stated,”they’re all just stupid and in no way have anything realistic at all to say about “real life”. I was stunned, having wondered how he finally reached this way of thinking, but he did.

  3. Sandy
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    One day new Rightists are against our ancient religion because our God is too lovey dovey and the next day because our God is advocating his people do some ethnic cleansing. Yet here is an article condoning Christian women who having survived a brush with the “noble savage” wants them all dead. As Goodrich so aptly put it, Many moderns, perhaps most, willingly buy into white guilt and other such Jewish rot. To carry the NANR message to today’s nominal Christian my only suggestion would be that instead of using the modern term“Jewish rot” that the original from Titus 1:14 “not give way to Jewish fables” would be a tad more accurate – and strategically more effective.

    • Nyklot
      Posted February 16, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      You are giving too much power to Christianity, or to an ideology in general. The reality is that it is human beings who adhere to an ideology. A human being that is the way that it is because of millions of years of evolution. Does Christianity promote weakness? Yes it does. Is every Christian weak? No, they are not. I was going to write an article, “Why the Christian Girl likes the Bad Boy”. The point was that even though Christianity promotes a certain ideal, this girl will act according to instinct, and instinct drives her to want the “bad boy” during her fertile period. Those instincts completely overshadow any ideology in a good percentage of people. Just like this girl that was raped wants revenge. Her experience and instincts will negate any doctrine of turn the other cheek.

      I just read page 127 in Unleashing Courageous Faith: The Hidden Power of a Man’s Soul, and the author talks about how megalothymia is sinful, whereas isothymia is healthy. Look on Google Books to find it. The point is that even though a young male might be raised in a Christian environment where someone is saying this, he could have a lot of androgens, he could be lifting weights and achieve a high degree of muscularity. Now, the instinct for megalothymia will kick in, and could overpower his teaching. This is complicated in that it is humans who are not blank slates hold to doctrines, and when teaching goes against instinct, what takes control?

      Also, it is consistent to hold to both of those criticisms of Christianity, that it is too soft, and it called for genocide. I believe it was Machiavelli who stated that Christianity has both the elements of a timidity and a pious cruelty.

      • Sandy
        Posted February 17, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        I’d like to read your article “Why the Christian Girl likes the Bad Boy” for the attraction of our women to these black gangstas is a mystery to me.

        My interest in Christianity is that it is part and parcel of our heritage and although unpopular in our circles it can’t be ignored, We certainly don’t want to be featured by Lasha in her columns on how the new Right too, delighted in destroying churches!!?

        Admittedly, reaching America’s Christians is no easy task but I am sure that the NANR is up to it.

      • Nyklot
        Posted February 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink


        I will try to find the article for you, but the idea is this. When women are hitting the most fertile part of their cycle they will like traits like muscularity, dominance, arrogance, etc., whereas when they are in the less fertile parts of their cycle they will gravitate towards the “good provider”. The idea is that it is nature, and not an ideology that governs this behavior. As to your question, “Why do women want the black thug?” Because white males are being raised as “pussies”. I am being blunt and crude, but that is the point. There was a discussion on this topic a while back between Jack Donovan and Andy Nowicki where they went into this. It seems that white mothers seem to select against their sons having physical and social dominance, and want them to be “sweet boys”. This has not happened in the black community.

  4. Lew
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    I have nothing to add other than the miserable plains Indians got what they deserved.

  5. excalibur
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I believe no other race than white and no other civilisation than European has treated women better. I wonder are so called “feminists” so blind ? Even if they do not know anything about other civilisations they can see reality. Or do they rather trust Hollywood and “anthropology professors” than what they see ?

    • Alaskan
      Posted February 18, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      While many feminists simply identify and align themselves politically with other “victim” groups (mostly non-White) who see White males as a common enemy, not all feminists are totally clueless when it comes to race and cultural differences. Susan Okin’s book “Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women” speaks to this fact. The rise of Islam in Europe is an obvious point of contention for many women, including her.

      The fact is, no other culture in the world reveres or privileges women as much as our own does. In fact, “women’s rights” simply doesn’t exist anywhere else. Women are simply not protected elsewhere (although I realize that they are not really being protected here very well either). Deep down, every White feminists knows this, despite what they may say or do. None of them are staging their protests in Sudan! Of course, as the situation in the West worsens, those that remain doubtful and continue to hold to naive romantic (dangerous) views of other alien cultures as somehow morally superior to our own will become believers in the end! Well, most of them anyway.

  6. al perez
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Repeat after me, Cynthy Ann Parker.
    Captured as a child by “friendly” indians who wiped out the adults in her family and sold to the Commanche, she had the luck to be sold to a master who loved her, still had first child while still a child (boy grew up to be Quanah Parker whose biography is a bit of a legend) and died when could not reintegrate into Texan life. Please note the had her first child as a child part. And this is the one who came closest to the Hollywood legend.

    • rhondda
      Posted February 17, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      Sounds like they had trauma based bonding, aka the Stockholm Syndrome, back then too. It takes alot of will power to continuously hate your oppressor, especially if they are nice to you.

    • KeepitReal
      Posted September 16, 2015 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      About Cynthia Ann Parker: She was born in 1829, captured in 1836 by Comanches. So she wasn’t “sold to Comanches”. She was immediately adopted into a family and raised by loving foster parents. Accounts as to her age upon marriage and the birth of her first child vary. At any rate, it’s nonsense to state that she was still a child when she gave birth. Quanah Parker said he was born around 1850. At that time his mother was 21. Even if we take the earliest date given for the wedding, 1845, she would have been 16 upon marriage, probably 17 at the age of her first childbirth. At that age countless white women married and had children as well.

  7. Posted February 17, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    This morning, Sunday February 17, NPR had on a jew named Frankel, from Austin Texas studio, to speak on his new book THE SEARCHERS. Supposedly the true story behind the man played by John Wayne and directed by John Ford about an Uncle who tried to rescue the kidnapped White girls in Texas. The jewess who interviewed Frankel called the Whites :”WHITE SETTLERS” and Frankel stated that the reason the Whites were upset was because of Christianity and the thought of White women having sex. He also said the real Uncle CAPTURED the White children from the loving Comanches. What a BIG LIE the Tribe spews, and they trash us even at the Zenith of their power and the nadir of ours. But when they have Bolshevik power then these days will look like the GOOD OLD DAYS, unless, and UNTIL Whites have a renascent moment.

    • Petronius
      Posted February 17, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      At this period there certainly was a sentiment that raped women were irreparably defiled. In Griffith’s Victorian spirited pictures they often prefer death from “that” fate. In Ford’s movie however the accent is different: Ethan/Wayne wants to kill the “indianised” Debbie/Nathalie Wood in rage at the moment when she tells him and Martin to let her stay with “her” people – obviously a Stockholm-Syndrome of sorts. The reason why many liberals are still troubled by “The Searchers” is because Ethan’s fanatical hatred for the Indians is shown as being based in traumatic experiences. While his obsessive character really has a dark tinge, his “racism” isn’t entirely irrational at all. Being a 1950’s film, Ford can only tell indirectly that Debbie’s elder sister gets raped and killed by the Indians. Another strong scene is when he sees two rescued women at some Cavalry fort, who are seemingly psychotic because of horrible experiences. The look on his face sends chills down one’s spine.

  8. David
    Posted September 5, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    After over 100 years of movie making, any movies where Indians raped White women ,it was only verbally mentioned, or we would see a woman after it happened. I DARE Hollywood to make a movie of this,and, most importantly, without a shred of sympathy and propaganda towards the “Injins” .

    But WE know what the firestorm of immature,self-righteous, Leftist outrage and propaganda would be, in every area they rule – the media, politiKs, aKademia, eduKation , “emtertainment”, et al.

  9. rom
    Posted October 16, 2015 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    In many cases women and children were treated horrendously and often murdered. That is the sad truth and should be said openly. But one should NOT generalize! Cynthia Ann Parker is a good example that maltreatment of captives at the hands of the often exceedingly cruel Comanches wasn’t always the case. Her brother and her cousin, who were also taken at Fort Parker in 1836, were not tortured either. Her brother became a Comanche warrior who participated in raids against white settlements in Texas and Mexico.

    Another less famous example is the case of Olive Oatman, whose family was massacred by Yavapai-indians in Arizona who treated her and her sister badly. When they were sold to Mohave-indians their fate improved greatly because they both were treated kindly by the Mohaves. Her sister died from starvation, not because the indians gave her nothing to eat, but because they had nothing to eat either and many indians died too in that particular period of time. Olive often spoke with deep affection of her foster parents after her release and she went to meet with a Mohave-delegation in New York-city many years later in her life.

    And there are many less famous cases like that in american history. Generalisations are always false and they are also false in this case!

    • Posted February 28, 2016 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Oatman had a horrific time as a captive. Read up on her life story. It is tragic what was done to her, before and after. She was one of the fortunate ones.

  10. L. A. Chancey
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Thank you for telling the truth…… Most whites are fed up with the Jewish domination of our culture and forced diversity. Continue to speak. We are listening.

  11. Posted May 10, 2016 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    The Searchers had a scene where John Wayne’s character sees the body of his dead sister. His nephew asks what happened and he reacts violently “You want me to spell it out for you!” The inference was she was raped and mutilated. It is one of the few films that shows the brutality of the Indians towards innocent settlers. But even that did not go far enough Overall John Ford covered the West from all points of view in his career. Modern movies give us the Native American as victim and the “white man” as brutal abuser. Far from the truth. And anyone who holds up the story of Cynthia Parker to show that Indians were kind and benevolent should read what happened to her mother, grand mother, father, sisters and the rest of her party. Gang rape, sexual mutilation, sadistic torture. No not all Indians were this bad but it does not excuse their actions. It is the reason the worst retributions against the Indians were by local and state militia and NOT by the US Cavalry.

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