The Story of Geronimo

December 19, 2018

 

Geronimo was a spiritual and intellectual leader and medicine man from the Bedonkohe band of the Apache tribe. Some people believed that Geronimo had supernatural powers, including the abilities to heal the sick, slow time, avoid bullets, see things over long distances, and even conjure and control rainstorms. He joined three other Apache tribes from 1850 to 1886, to carry out many raids and resistance to US and Mexican military campaigns.

 

He was born on June 16, 1829, and died on February 17, 1909. He died from pneumonia, which was exacerbated by a horse riding accident. He died at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. He was buried at the Fort Sill Indian Agency Cemetery. He lived a life of 79 years.

 

When Geronimo was 17 years old he became an official warrior, which meant he could get married. He was in love with a young girl named Alope. He gave Alope’s father some horses, which he had taken in a raid, and her father allowed them to get married. He married her around 1847 or 1848. They had three children together. In 1858, Geronimo's family was murdered by Mexicans, which is why he led raids against Mexican and American settlers.

 

In 1885, Geronimo, along with 135 Apache people, traveled up to 70 miles per day to avoid American cavalry and Apache scouts. Over 7 months, Geronimo and his followers raided many Mexican and American settlements, and killed multiple civilians.

 

In 1886, Geronimo surrendered in Skeleton Canyon, Arizona, after fighting for his homeland for about 30 years. He was also the last American Indian warrior to formally surrender to the United States. He officially surrendered to General Miles.

 

Geronimo made a famous appearance on March 4 in 1905 when he was in Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural parade in Washington DC. He was with five other Indian leaders. Geronimo rode on a pony down Pennsylvania Avenue, where many people shouted “Hooray for Geronimo”. Five days later, Geronimo and his companions had the chance to speak to President Roosevelt in person at the White House. Geronimo, who was a prisoner of war, tried to beg Roosevelt to free him and his people. This happened 20 years after Geronimo surrendered, but Roosevelt declined because he thought another war would break out if he let them free. The government didn't let the Chiricahuas free until 4 years after Geronimo's death.

 

 

 

Sources:

7 Things You May Not Know About Geronimo. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.history.com/news/7-things-you-may-not-know-about-geronimo

Geronimo. (2017, April 28). Retrieved from https://www.biography.com/people/geronimo-9309607

 

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