JUNE 16, 1829

CHIRICAHUA APACHE LEADER GERONIMO REPUTEDLY BORN ON THIS DATE

Born in No-Doyohn Canyon, Mexico, Geronimo led 4 raiding parties by the age of 17.  While away, Mexican soldiers killed his mother, wife (Alota) and 3 children.  He hunted down and killed the soldiers and then fought the Mexican government for a decade.  By 1848, the U.S. took the Mexican territory, including Apache areas, settlers followed and war ensued.  Geronimo’s father-in-law, Cochise, halted his war in return for a reservation, but the U.S. government reneged after his death.  Geronimo renewed the war until captured in 1877.  Escaping from the San Carlos Apache reservation in September 1881, he led the last of the Indian wars until surrendering in 1886.  He and his band were imprisoned in Florida and Alabama before being settled at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.  In 1905, he published his autobiography.  He died at Fort Sill after being thrown from his horse in February 1909.  On his deathbed, he said, “I should never have surrendered . . . I should have fought until I was the last man alive.”

Source:  “Geronimo Biography (1829-1909),” Biography, 4/2/2014.  Retrieved 7/3/2019, https://www.biography.com/people/geronimo-9309607
Photo:  Ben Whittick (1845-1903), 1887.  National Archives.  Public Domain in U.S.:  Pre 1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.

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