Geronimo 

 

Geronimo's wanted poster

 

by Rob, Noah, and David

General description

     

A Portrait of Geronimo

Geronimo, also called Goyathlay, which means “One who yawns”, was born in June 1829 in western New Mexico. He was born a Bedonkohe Apache, and through his life he was a member of Net’na and Ndnhi, parts of the Chiricahua Apache.  His Apache name was Goyale, which means “The smart One”.  The Apache tribes would often move with the changing seasons, and when food was scarce, they would take food from other tribes in the area.  Geronimo’s occupation was a medicine man and a spiritual leader who was very wise.

              “I cannot think that we are useless or God would not have created us. There is one God looking down on us all. We are all the children of one God. The sun, the Darkness, the winds are all listening to what we have to say.”               -Geronimo

                                                  (PowerSource.com)

           Geronimo hated white men.  This hatred developed after a while of Spanish and American settling in the region in which he lived.  The one event that really changed Geronimo’s life was in 1858 when he came home after a trade expedition to find his wife, his mother, and his three young children dead in his home.  He swore to kill as many white men as he could. 

In 1876, Geronimo’s people were forced to leave their homes and live in San Carlos, Arizona.  Geronimo led a group of people and fled the town.  Soon after that, he was arrested and moved to a reservation.  He lived for a few years peacefully with his brother in-law, the chief, Juh.  In 1881, an Apache prophet was slain which motivated the two to return to their anti-white activities in the Sierra Madre Mountains at a secret camp.  By that time, the US Army had moved all of the Chiricahuas to the reservation.

         Geronimo and his band were wanted by the US army for over a decade, and one fourth of the entire US army, 5,000, and 3,000 troops from the Mexican army.  He was caught by a group of Apache traitors working for the army in 1875.  He agreed to return to the reservation, but this was not so for Apache warrior Kayatennae.  He was arrested and killed on May 17, 1885.  This influenced Geronimo to flee once again along with a band of 35 warriors and 109 women and children.  When Juh was arrested in January of 1886, Geronimo surrendered.  he fled once again, was caught, and once again, he surrendered.  He stayed in a reservation in Florida, later moved to Oklahoma, and in 1905, he rode in Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural parade.  

               Geronimo's last stand was in 1886 with his group which now consisted of 16 warriors, 12 women, and 6 children.  The rest of the Chiricahuas eventually died. Over one fourth of them died from tuberculosis.  On February 17, 1909, Geronimo died of natural causes as a prisoner of war.  He never received freedom for his people.

 

 

 

 

 

Geronimo's most famous photograph

I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures."
                                                                                     -Geronimo 
                                                                                                           (PowerSource.com)

Impact on the West

 

A photograph of Geronimo

           Geronimo's impact on the west was that he was a major resister to the white settlers and their government.  He was also involved in many attacks and raids upon whites.  Another impact of Geronimo is that he was a hero for all Native Americans by fighting bravely for their freedom.  From all of his protests and fights with whites, Geronimo was recognized as the most dangerous Apache in the nation by many whites. There were many stories spread about him that made him feared by settlers and other soldiers.  "Sensationalized reports exaggerated Geronimo's activities, making him the most feared and infamous Apache." (http://www.indians.org/welker/geronimo.htm).

    Overall, Geronimo's goal was to prevent white expansion in the west into land that was rightfully owned by his people.

Geronimo: A Legacy to Remember

"The soldiers never explained to the government when an Indian was wronged, but reported the misdeeds of the Indians."                                    -Geronimo         (powersource.com)

            When the Apaches were being put in reservations, he escaped three times and one time for almost a decade requiring 5,000 soldiers, 500 scouts, and up to 3,000 Mexican soldiers to track down him and his band. During his “runs” he killed any Mexican settlements that he came upon. He made it his duty to put fear into the heart of the white man. He symbolized a rebellious spirit in the Apaches.

Geronimo's band in battle

He became a “Spokesman” for Native American ways of life and there culture. He represented the Apache heritage. He is the known name when it comes to the Apache tribe. He is known for holding out against overwhelming odds. His name is a character that kids know when they play Indians. Known for being a Native American.

As the Native American portion of the Government says, “Geronimo's final surrender in 1886 was the last significant Indian guerrilla action in the United States.”

-( http://www.indians.org/welker/geronimo.htm). Also as a “A seer and a spiritual and intellectual leader both in and out of battle.”- (http://www.peabody.harvard.edu/maria/apachemen.html)  

            Geronimo should be remembered not as a violent Indian as he often was, but a Native American fighting for the freedom of his followers and his Apache people. Fighting with something behind it. Not just fighting to fight, fighting for his ways of life. Something that the white man takes advantage of because no one questions or tests the white mans ways. That is why he should be remembered.

Resources: 

Web Sites:

“Apache Men”. [On-line] c___ available at: http://www.peabody.harvard.edu/maria/Apachemen.html accessed: January 29th, 2002

“Faces, Geronimo/Gothlay” [On-line] c1996-2002  available at: http://www.thewildwest.org/native_american/faces/Geronimo.html accessed: January. 27th, 2002

“Geronimo”. [On-line] c1996 available at: http://www.indians.org/welker/geronimo.htm accessed: January 27th, 2002

“Geronimo”. [On-line] c2001 available at: http://www.indigenouspeople.org/natlit/geronimo.htm accessed: January 27th, 2002

Pictures:

“Geronimo” [on-line]. C____ available at: www.historyplace.com/specials/calendar/docs-pix/geronimo.jp accessed: Januaryy 29th, 2002

“Geronimo” [on-line]. C____ available at: w ww.wmat.nsn.us/wmahistory.shtml accessed: January 29th, 2002

  “Geronimo Sitting.” [on-line]. C____ available at:  www.archives.state.al.us/trippe/geronimo.jpg accessed January 29, 2002

“Geronimo Poster” [on-line]. C____ available at: www.oldwestcowboystore.com/posters/ accessed: January 27th, 2002

  “Geronimo” [on-line]. C____ available at:  www.buffalosoldier.net/ Geronimo%20and%20Gen.%20Crooke.gif accessed : January 27th, 2002  

"Geronimo Quotes" [on-line] C____ available at: http://www.powersource.com/gallery/people/geronimo.html accessed January 31st, 2002

Books:

“Geronimo” World Book Encyclopedia Vol. 8, pg. 173 c 2001

"Geronimo" American Journey  pg.542, c 1998