Geronimo – Apache Leader

Geronimo – Apache Leader

Geronimo (Goyaale or Goyathlay) was a Chiricahua military leader who was believed by his followers to have some spiritual “powers,” such as the ability to walk without leaving tracks and to survive gunshots. He led raids on both sides of the Southwestern border, eluding capture by both the Mexican and U.S. Armies for nearly three decades. He is often considered the last “hold out,” refusing to recognize American occupation of the region, and leading an independent band of native people.

Geronimo was finally captured in 1886 by a troop of the 4th Cavalry led by Captain Henry Lawton under General Nelson Miles. Geronimo himself gave credit to 1st Lieut. Charles Gatewood, whom he knew and who spoke some Apache, as being the person who convinced him to surrender, but Lawton gave credit to a number of his men, and, of course, many others claimed the feat over the years. Geronimo would spend the remainder of his life as a prisoner of war. After he was moved to Fort Sill, OK in 1894, Geronimo was given some freedom. He was allowed to visit the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo and the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, and he rode in Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade. He was not, however, permitted to return to his homeland.

information courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions Inc., December, 2010

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