Geronimo

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by missusbee
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
American History
Grade:
4

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Geronimo

He was a naturally gifted hunter, who, the story goes, as a boy swallowed the heart of his first kill in order to ensure a life of success on the chase.

Geronimo rounded up a force of 200 men and hunted down the Mexican soldiers who killed his family. On it went like this for 10 years, as Geronimo exacted revenge against the Mexican government. Following the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848, the U.S. took over large tracts of territory from Mexico, including areas belonging to the Apache. Spurred by the discovery of gold in the Southwest, settlers and miners streamed into their lands. Naturally, tensions mounted. The Apaches stepped up their attacks, which included brutal ambushes on stagecoaches and wagon trains.

They were surrounded by enemies—not just Mexicans, but also other tribes, including the Navajo and Comanches.

He belonged to the smallest band within the Chiricahua tribe, the Bedonkohe.

Geronimo fell in love with a woman named Alope. The two married and had three children together. While out on a trading trip, Mexican soldiers attacked his camp. Geronimo returned home, where he found his mother, wife and three children all dead.

Raiding their neighbors was a part of the Apache life.

Noble rebel or irresponsible renegade?

In response the Mexican government put a bounty on Apache scalps

Americans agreed to the establishment of a reservation for his people on a prized piece of Apache property. Then the federal government reneged on its agreement, moving the Chiricahua north so that settlers could move into their former lands. Geronimo proved to be as elusive as he was aggressive. However, authorities finally caught up with him in 1877 and sent him to the San Carlos Apache reservation.

His followers viewed him as the last great defender of the Native American way of life. But others, including fellow Apaches, saw him as a stubborn holdout, violently driven by revenge and foolishly putting the lives of people in danger.

Following the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848, the U.S. took over large tracts of territory from Mexico, including areas belonging to the Apache.

Finally, in 1886, Geronimo surrendered, becoming a prisoner of war, the last Chiricahua to do so.

Over the next five years, Geronimo and a small band of Chiricahua followers eluded American troops as they engaged in what proved to be the last of the Indian wars against the U.S.

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He escaped in September 1881.

GERONIMOAPACHE WARRIOR

"I should never have surrendered, I should have fought until I was the last man alive."

All text directly from Biography.com All pictures from Commons.wikimedia.org/


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