They Promise Peace and Friendship
by Maxie Elizabeth Ruan, June 7, 2015
The Lipan Apache tribe strengthened ties with the German government last year on
after evidence of an old treaty was discovered between the two.
The treaty was discovered by Randy Rupley, a member of the Fort Martin Scott
Museum Association in Fredericksburg, Texas . It was exchanged between Prince
Carl of Solms-Braunfel and the Lipan Apache people. At the time, Prince Carl was
Commissioner General of the Adelsverein, a society that helped German immigrants
According to entries in Prince Carl’s diary, the treaty agreement took place on
Friday, Aug. 2, 1844, behind the Cassiano Store in San Antonio, Texas. The treaty
promised a peaceful coexistence between the Lipan and German settlers.
“They promise peace and friendship,” Prince Carl wrote.
Both Lipan and German officials have been unable to locate a written copy of the
treaty, and it is unknown if it was ever officially documented.
According to Rupley, Prince Carl conducted the treaty after he witnessed the
brutality towards the Lipan Apaches by the Anglo-Americans.
Four chiefs, with at least three identified as Lipan, attended the treaty. They were
Chief Castro, Chief Roon, and Chief Ltzdi. Prince Carl listed the fourth chief, Chief
Oketown, as being from an unknown tribe.
Rupley stated that treaty was for both parties to “live in peace together and have
mutual beneficial trade.”
Last year, on the 170th anniversary of the treaty, Lipan Apache officials strengthened
connections with the German community when they met with the German Consulate
in Houston, Texas on Oct. 15.
“It was a meeting of peace and remembrance,” Lipan Vice Chairman Robert Soto
said. “They got to know who we were.”
Tribal officials sat down with Consul General Ricarda Redeker and other German
diplomats to discuss their mutual history. As a sign of comradery, the Lipan gifted a
Pendleton blanket to the consulate, where it now hangs in their treaty room.
The highly valued Pendleton blanket, called the Circle of Life, was given in
friendship and respect of the highest regard. The blanket was designed to represent
the colors of humankind and the four directions of life. Soto described it as “the universal blanket of friendship.”
The Circle of Life blanket was chosen by the tribal council because it contained the
colors of the German flag: black, red and yellow.
According to Chairman Bernard Barcena, the meeting acknowledged that the treaty
existed before the Meusebach–Comanche treaty of 1847, solidifying the Lipan
presence in South Texas at that time.
Tribal officials are optimistic that this rediscovered tie will continue to strengthen
over time, and will ultimately provide a more historical insight into the Lipan