Geronimo Facts

Geronimo Facts
Geronimo is an American Indian leader in the Apache tribe of the American southwest and the northern Mexico border states. He played a major role in the early years of the Apache Wars (1849-1924), lead warriors from his Bedonkohe band of Apaches in raids against both American and Mexican military and civilian targets. Geronimo was confined to reservations three different times before leaving and forming new war bands. Finally, after he was captured in 1886, the United States Army treated him as a prisoner of war, sending him to different camps through the southeastern states. At the turn of the century, though, things had changed in the United States. The frontier was over and people were interested in seeing living relics of America's not so distant "wild west." Geronimo was still a prisoner, but he was allowed to travel and participate in fairs and old west shows, making money for his appearances. The appearances, along with his numerous raids and reservation breakouts, helped make his name one of the most recognizable among all American Indian leaders in history.
Interesting Geronimo Facts:
Details of Geronimo's early life are a bit fuzzy. He was born in 1829 in either New Mexico or the Mexican state of Sonora. Geronimo was of the Chiricahua tribe, which was part of the wider Apache culture.
Geronimo's actions were said to be driven by revenge. In 1858 his mother, wife, and children were killed by Mexican soldiers.
Although the origin is disputed, Geronimo did not get his famous name until he began his military campaigns against Mexico and the United States.
Geronimo sometimes worked with and fought alongside the equally famous Apache, Cochise.
It is believed that Geronimo began raiding against Mexicans in 1851 when he was in his twenties.
Although Geronimo attacked and killed many Americans, his personal hatred was reserved for Mexicans. He carried animosity toward Mexicans for his entire life.
Geronimo was never a tribal chief, but was feared and respected among the Apaches as a warband leader.
Geronimo was known for daring and sometimes improbable escapes. In one such escape, American soldiers had Geronimo and some of his men cornered in a cave, but he somehow escaped. It is unknown if that or many similar stories were actually true, but they certainly contributed to the legend of the man.
Although Geronimo was personally disliked by many Apaches, his "medicine" was viewed as especially strong so he was given considerable freedom and leeway in his raids and actions.
After excepting the authority of the United States government, Geronimo agreed to live on reservations in Arizona. Reservation life didn't last long usually, as Geronimo led "breakouts" off the reservations in 1878, 1881, and 1885.
Geronimo and his band surrendered to the U.S. Army in 1886.
As Geronimo and the last of the "breakout" Apaches were imprisoned and moved around the United States, a quarter of them died of disease.
Geronimo actually took part in President Theodore Roosevelt's 1905 inaugural parade riding a horse wearing an Indian headdress! He was allowed to take part in many events, but always with an armed Army escort.
Geronimo died on February 17, 1909 in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

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