Believing that in a wise way it is good to go to church, and that associating with Christians would improve my character, I have adopted the Christian religion. I believe that the church has helped me much during the short time I have been a member. I am not ashamed to be a Christian, and I am glad to know that the President of the United States is a Christian, for without the help of the Almighty I do not think he could rightly judge in ruling so many people.
I have advised all of my people who are not Christians, to study that religion, because it seems to me the best religion in enabling one to live right. He joined the Dutch Reformed Church in , but four years later was expelled for gambling. The first Apache raids on Sonora and Chihuahua took place during the late 17th century. To counter the early Apache raids on Spanish settlements, presidios were established at Janos in Chihuahua and at Fronteras in northern eastern modern state of Chihuahua then Opata country. In , Mexico had placed a bounty on Apache scalps. Two years later, Mangas Coloradas became principal chief and war leader and began a series of retaliatory raids against the Mexicans.
Apache raids on Mexican villages were so numerous and brutal that no area was safe. Early in his life, Geronimo became invested in the continuing and relentless cycle of revenge warfare between the Apaches and Mexicans. On March 5, ,  when Geronimo was in his 20s, a force of Mexican militia from Sonora under Colonel Jose Maria Carrasco attacked and surprised an Apache camp outside of Janos, Chihuahua, slaughtering the inhabitants, including Geronimo's family.
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Carrasco claimed he had followed the Apaches to Janos, Chihuahua after they had conducted a raid in Sonora, taken livestock and other plunder and badly defeated Mexican militia. Attacks and counter-attacks were common. In December , 30 miners launched a surprise attack on an encampment of Bedonkohes Apaches on the west bank of the Mimbres River of modern New Mexico. According to historian Edwin R.
Sweeney, the miners " According to National Geographic , "the governor of Sonora claimed in that in the last five months of Geronimo's wild career, his band of 16 warriors slaughtered some to Mexicans. I have killed many Mexicans; I do not know how many, for frequently I did not count them. Some of them were not worth counting. It has been a long time since then, but still I have no love for the Mexicans. With me they were always treacherous and malicious.
In the Mexicans once again attacked the Apache.
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Though outnumbered, Geronimo fought against both Mexican and United States troops and became famous for his daring exploits and numerous escapes from capture from to The legend states that Geronimo and his followers entered a cave, and the U. Later, it was heard that Geronimo was spotted outside, nearby. The second entrance through which he escaped has yet to be found and the cave is still called Geronimo's Cave, even though no reference to this event or this cave has been found in the historic or oral record.
Moreover, there are many stories of this type with other caves referenced that state that Geronimo or other Apaches entered to escape troops, but were not seen exiting. These stories are in all likelihood apocryphal. After about a year some trouble arose between them and the Indians, and I took the war path as a warrior, not as a chief.
I had not been wronged, but some of my people had been, and I fought with my tribe; for the soldiers and not the Indians were at fault. At the end of his military career, he led a small band of 38 men, women, and children. They evaded thousands of Mexican and American troops for over a year, making him the most famous Native American of the time and earning him the title of the "worst Indian who ever lived" among white settlers. Haley, "About two weeks after the escape there was a report of a family massacred near Silver City ; one girl was taken alive and hanged from a meat hook jammed under the base of her skull.
The people, who had lived as semi-nomads for generations, disliked the restrictive reservation system. Each was composed of a troop of cavalry usually about forty men and about Apache scouts. They pursued the Apache through the summer and fall through Mexican Chihuahua and back across the border into the United States. The Apache continually raided settlements, killing other Native Americans and civilians and stealing horses.
While Apaches were shielded from the violence of warfare on the reservation, disability and death from diseases like malaria was much more prevalent. On three separate occasions — August ;   September ;  May   —Geronimo led his band of followers in "breakouts" from the reservation to return to their former nomadic life associated with raiding and warfare. The Apache knew the rough terrain of the Sierras intimately,  which helped them elude pursuit and protected them from attack. The Sierra Madre mountains lie on the border between the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua, which allowed the Apache access to raid and plunder the small villages, haciendas, wagon trains, worker camps and travelers in both states.
During these raids the Apaches often killed all the persons they encountered  in order to avoid detection and pursuit as long as possible before they slipped back over the border into Mexico. The "breakouts" and the subsequent resumption of Apache raiding and warfare caused the Mexican Army and militia, as well as United States forces to pursue and attempt to kill or apprehend off-reservation "renegade" Apache bands, including Geronimo's, wherever they could be found. Because the Mexican army and militia units of Sonora and Chihuahua were unable to suppress the several Chiricahua bands based in the Sierra Madre mountains, in Mexico allowed the United States to send troops into Mexico to continue their pursuit of Geronimo's band and the bands of other Apache leaders.
Crook was under increased pressure from the government in Washington. He launched a second expedition into Mexico and on January 9, , Crawford located Geronimo and his band. His Indian scouts attacked the next morning and captured the Apache's herd of horses and their camp equipment. The Apaches were demoralized and agreed to negotiate for surrender. Before the negotiations could be concluded, Mexican troops arrived and mistook the Apache scouts for the enemy Apache.
The Mexican government had accused the scouts of taking advantage of their position to conduct theft, robbery, and murder in Mexico. Maus, the senior officer, met with Geronimo, who agreed to meet with General Crook. During the three days of negotiations, photographer C. Fly's images are the only existing photographs of Geronimo's surrender. Geronimo, camped on the Mexican side of the border, agreed to Crook's surrender terms.
That night, a soldier who sold them whiskey said that his band would be murdered as soon as they crossed the border. Geronimo, Nachite, and 39 of his followers slipped away during the night. Crook exchanged a series of heated telegrams with General Philip Sheridan defending his men's actions, until on April 1, , he sent a telegram asking Sheridan to relieve him of command, which Sheridan was all too willing to do. Sheridan replaced Crook with General Nelson A. Gatewood , to lead the expedition that brought Geronimo and his followers back to the reservation system for a final time.
Lawton's official report dated September 9, sums up the actions of his unit and gives credit to a number of his troopers for their efforts. Geronimo gave Gatewood credit for his decision to surrender as Gatewood was well known to Geronimo, spoke some Apache, and was familiar with and honored their traditions and values.
He acknowledged Lawton's tenacity for wearing the Apaches down with constant pursuit. Geronimo and his followers had little or no time to rest or stay in one place. Completely worn out, the little band of Apaches returned to the U. General Crook said to me, "Why did you leave the reservation? One year I raised a crop of corn, and gathered and stored it, and the next year I put in a crop of oats, and when the crop was almost ready to harvest, you told your soldiers to put me in prison, and if I resisted to kill me. If I had been let alone I would now have been in good circumstances, but instead of that you and the Mexicans are hunting me with soldiers".
When Geronimo surrendered, he had in his possession a Winchester Model lever-action rifle with a silver-washed barrel and receiver, bearing Serial Number Additionally, he had a Colt Single Action Army revolver with a nickel finish and ivory stocks bearing the serial number , and a Sheffield Bowie knife with a dagger type blade and a stag handle made by George Wostenholm in an elaborate silver-studded holster and cartridge belt.
The revolver, rig, and knife are on display at the Fort Sill museum. The Indians always tried to live peaceably with the white soldiers and settlers. One day during the time that the soldiers were stationed at Apache Pass I made a treaty with the post. This was done by shaking hands and promising to be brothers. Cochise and Mangus-Colorado did likewise. I do not know the name of the officer in command, but this was the first regiment that ever came to Apache Pass. This treaty was made about a year before we were attacked in a tent, as above related. In a few days after the attack at Apache Pass we organized in the mountains and returned to fight the soldiers.
The debate remains as to whether Geronimo surrendered unconditionally. He pleaded in his memoirs that his people who surrendered had been misled, and that his surrender as a war prisoner in front of uncontested witnesses especially General Stanley was conditional.
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Howard , chief of US Army Division of the Pacific, said on his part that Geronimo's surrender was accepted as that of a dangerous outlaw without condition. Howard's account was contested in front of the US Senate. Geronimo and other Apaches, including the Apache scouts who had helped the army track him down, were sent as prisoners to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio Texas. More than a third of the students quickly perished from tuberculosis, "died as though smitten with the plague," the Post reported.
Vernon Barracks in Alabama ,  where they were reunited with their families. On the train ride to Fort Sill, many tourists wanted a "piece" of Geronimo so they paid 25 cents for a button that he cut off his shirt or a hat he took off his head. As the train would pull into depots along the way, Geronimo would buy more buttons to sew on and more hats to sell. Previous newspaper accounts of the Apache Wars had impressed the public with Geronimo's name and exploits, and in Omaha he became a star attraction.
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The Omaha Exposition launched Geronimo to celebrity status, and for the rest of his life he was in demand as an attraction in fairs large and small. Under Army guard, Geronimo dressed in traditional clothing and posed for photographs and sold his crafts. Visitors came to see how the "savage" had been "tamed," and they paid Geronimo to take a button from the coat of the vicious Apache "chief. The shows put a good deal of money in his pockets and allowed him to travel, though never without government guards. In President Teddy Roosevelt 's Inaugural Parade Geronimo rode horseback down Pennsylvania Avenue with five real Indian chiefs, who wore full headgear and painted faces.
The intent, one newspaper stated, was to show Americans "that they have buried the hatchet forever. President Roosevelt refused, referring to the continuing animosity in Arizona for the deaths of civilian men, women, and children associated with Geronimo's raids during the prolonged Apache Wars. In , Geronimo agreed to tell his story to S. Barrett, Superintendent of Education in Lawton, Oklahoma. Barrett had to appeal to President Roosevelt to gain permission to publish the book. Geronimo came to each interview knowing exactly what he wanted to say. He refused to answer questions or alter his narrative.
Barrett did not seem to take many liberties with Geronimo's story as translated by Asa Daklugie. Frederick Turner re-edited this autobiography by removing some of Barrett's footnotes and writing an introduction for the non-Apache readers.
Turner notes the book is in the style of an Apache reciting part of his oral history. When I was at first asked to attend the St. Louis World's Fair I did not wish to go.
Later, when I was told that I would receive good attention and protection, and that the President of the United States said that it would be all right, I consented Every Sunday the President of the Fair sent for me to go to a wild west show. I took part in the roping contests before the audience. There were many other Indian tribes there, and strange people of whom I had never heard I am glad I went to the Fair. I saw many interesting things and learned much of the white people. They are a very kind and peaceful people. During all the time I was at the Fair no one tried to harm me in any way.
Had this been among the Mexicans I am sure I should have been compelled to defend myself often. Geronimo married Chee-hash-kish and had two children, Chappo and Dohn-say.
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Then he took another wife, Nana-tha-thtith, with whom he had one child. Geronimo's ninth and last wife was Azul. In February , Geronimo was thrown from his horse while riding home, and had to lie in the cold all night before a friend found him extremely ill. I should have fought until I was the last man alive. In , former San Carlos Apache chairman Ned Anderson received an anonymous letter with a photograph and a copy of a log book claiming that Skull and Bones held the skull. He met with Skull and Bones officials about the rumor; the group's attorney, Endicott P.
Davidson, denied that the group held the skull and said that the ledger saying otherwise was a hoax. Trubee Davison that claimed the theft: The skull of the worthy Geronimo the Terrible, exhumed from its tomb at Fort Sill by your club The second "tomb" refers to the building of Yale University's Skull and Bones society. Miller notes that Geronimo's grave was unmarked at the time.
Bush the grandson of Prescott Bush requesting his help in returning the remains:. According to our traditions the remains of this sort, especially in this state when the grave was desecrated In , Ramsey Clark filed a lawsuit on behalf of people claiming descent from Geronimo, against several parties, including Robert Gates and Skull and Bones, asking for the return of Geronimo's bones.
Reportedly inspired by the film Geronimo , US Army paratroopers testing the practice of parachuting from planes began a tradition of shouting, " Geronimo! The United States military used the code name "Geronimo" for the raid that killed the al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in , but its use outraged some Native Americans. Cross at the intersection of Cornman Road and Carmel Blvd.
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